I. The Principle of Correspondence


The Rosicrucians teach that there are Seven Cosmic Principles present and operating throughout the Cosmos, and extending even to its smallest activities. The first cosmic principle is called “The Principle of Correspondence”.

The Principle of Correspondence manifests in a certain correspondence or analogy or agreement between manifestations of the various planes of activity in the Cosmos. It is indicated by the old Hermetic aphorism: “As above, so below; as below, so above,” and by the Arcane axiom: “Ex Uno disce Omnes,” or “From One know All.”

The Rosicrucians, and other ancient occultists, hold that the laws governing the nature and activity of the amoeba, likewise govern the nature and activity of man and beings higher than man. What is true of matter is true of energy and of mind.

The occultists make a practical application of this universal principle, in the direction of studying the unknown by means of the known, with the knowledge that the same laws govern each. Thus, just as the solar system may be known by means of studying the atoms and molecules, so may the higher planes of being be studied by an examination of the lower planes in manifestation before us.

After discovering the operation of certain principles in one thing we may safely reason by analogy based upon the assumption that these principles exist in other things on a higher plane, and thus discover the nature of the unknown “x.” Thus the occultist reasons that there is Law and Order manifest on every plane of being; that there is a Principle of Vibration manifest on every plane of being; that there is a Principle of Rhythm manifest on every plane of being; that there is a Principle of Cycles manifest on every plane of being; that there is a Principle of Polarity manifest on every plane of being; that there is a Principle of Sex manifest on every plane of being. And the further that human investigation is pushed into the Unknown, the greater is the proof of the existence of these Cosmic Principles reasoned out by the ancient occultists upon the fundamental basis of the Principle of Correspondence.

A writer has said of this Cosmic Principle: “There is always a correspondence between the laws and phenomena of the various planes of life and being. The grasping of this truth gives one the means of solving many a dark paradox, many a hidden secret of Nature. There are planes beyond our knowing,

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but when we apply the Principle of Correspondence to them we are able to understand much that otherwise would be unknowable to us. This principle is of universal application and manifestation, on the various planes of the material, mental and spiritual universe—it is an universal law. The ancient Hermetists considered this principle as one of the most important mental instruments by which man was able to pry aside the obstructions which hid from view the Unknown. Its use even tore aside the Veil of Isis to the extent that a glimpse of the face of the goddess might be caught. Just as a knowledge of the principles of Geometry enables a man to measure distant suns and their movements, while seated in an observatory, so a knowledge of the Principle of Correspondence enables man to reason intelligently from the Known to the Unknown. Studying the moneron, he understands the archangel.

Without going deeply into the matter of the application of this particular Cosmic Principle, we may say that one of the fundamental facts of being discovered by the ancient occultists by the application of the said principle is this: That in every thing there is to be found (1) Substance, or Body; (2) Motion or Active Energy; and (3) Consciousness or Awareness. Therefore, when dealing with planes of being of which, at the time, they had but little knowledge, the ancient occultists always assumed the existence in everything on the unknown plane of these three great forms of manifestation. And all future esoteric investigation and discovery tended to disclose facts corroborating and sustaining the original assumption derived by analogy, and the discoveries of modern science have invariably tended in the same direction.

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[paragraph continues] It may be interesting to take a hasty glance at the presence of these three forms of manifestation, as follows:

Substance. The ancient occult teaching that “Everything has body” seems to be fully corroborated by all subsequent investigation. But it must be noted that by ” substance” or “body” is not necessarily meant what modern science calls “matter,” for the latter is merely one form or phase of ” substance” or “body.” Matter, as we know it, has a great range of manifestation, within the limits of which are found the hardest granite or steel or diamond, as well as the finest and most subtle and tenuous gases. The discovery by science of what it calls “radiant matter” opens out a field to science previously tilled only by the occultists and metaphysicians. Such matter is really not “matter” at all, but “super-matter,” and a higher form of “substance” or “body,” But, known to the occultists, there are forms of “substance” or “body” as much finer and rarer than radiant matter as the latter is rarer and finer than the granite, steel, or diamond. Even the hypothetical Ether of science is gross by comparison with some of the forms and phases of “substance” or “body” known to the occultists and alchemists. As a writer has said: ‘The field of matter, as known to science, as compared with the real extent of the Principle of Substance, is as no more than a hair-line drawn across a yard-stick.” The occult teachings inform us that there are living beings in existence on other planes whose bodies are composed of substance so fine and subtle that the term “ethereal” is the only one to be even fairly adequate to be employed in connection with them. Remember, the occult teaching is that “Everything

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has substance or body.” And “everything” includes All-that-is-Manifest.

Motion or Active Energy. The ancient occult teaching that “Everything moves” seems to be fully corroborated by all subsequent investigation. Motion, of course, results from the presence and power of Active Energy. And Active Energy is found everywhere present and in manifestation. Both the occult teaching and modern science teach that everything is undergoing constant change, and change is impossible without active energy and motion. Active Energy manifests through gravitation, cohesion, chemical affinity, electronic attraction, expansion, contraction, centrifugal and centripetal force, light, heat, magnetism, electricity, etc., etc. And there are much finer forces than these known to the occultists, though not as yet discovered by science. Wherever there is Substance there is Motion. Nothing is at absolute Rest. Everything Moves. From the tiniest electron or atom, up to the greatest sun, all is in constant motion. Remember, the occult teaching is that “Everything moves.” And “everything” includes All-that-is-Manifest.

Consciousness. The ancient occult teaching that “Everything is aware” seems to be fully corroborated by all subsequent investigations. As we have seen in the study of the chapters concerning the Planes of Consciousness, there is manifested consciousness of some form, phase, or degree on all planes of life and being. Wherever there is Substance there is also Motion, and also Consciousness. Substance, Consciousness, and Motion are always found together—never apart or divorced one from another. There can be no Substance without Consciousness and Motion; no Motion without Substance

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and Consciousness; and no Consciousness without Substance and Motion.

In the above we have but one of the many applications of the Principle of Correspondence, which teaches that “As above, so below; as below, so above;” and that “From One know All.”

Excerpt from: The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians, by Magus Incognito, [1918], at sacred-texts.com