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AS WITHIN, SO WITHOUT
AS WITHIN, SO WITHOUT, these words of ancient wisdom have profound significance for us today even though they have been around for longer than we know.
The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus contains this phrase as within, so without. Trismegistus was regarded as a synthesis of the Egyptian god Thoth and the Greek god Hermes who was also considered a priest, king, god, and in Renaissance, thought to be a contemporary of Moses.
What it means for humanity should be obvious, but unfortunately, it’s not. And so, for those who wish to plunge into the depths of what this might mean, I’ve included a short clip by Allan Watts. This talk was likely from the 60s when Watts was writing and lecturing extensively after being an Anglican Priest, an Eastern mystic and beatnik intellectual. To me, he was one of the greatest minds of his day, and through his books and recordings, still is.
Also, I have included a few excerpts from some of my yet unpublished novels that discuss ‘as within, so without, through various dialogues that speak of this notion. I trust these might illustrate the concepts Watts speaks of.
From Book 1, The Ascent
‘Unfortunately, much of what’s displayed on the screen of earth’s consciousness is projected from egoic fields of illusion. At times that can make for a rather nasty picture show. Unfortunately, these will continue as long as humanity insists on clinging to thought forms that create an unhappy reality.’
‘That’s rather pessimistic,’ I said. ‘Are you saying everyone gets what they deserve? That sounds a lot like karma to me. So, is that what you believe in?’
‘I prefer to think of it as consequences; that being the expression of what goes on within. I’m sure you’ve heard Mo and Eli use the expression as within, as without before.’
‘Indeed, they use that adage all the time.’
‘As well they should. It’s one of the more obvious truths that so many on earth remain oblivious to, particularly the educated classes even though this wisdom has been around longer than we know. It seems most of humanity in your world live their lives without rather than within. That’s why so much of humanity gives more value to what they have rather than what they are.’
‘I have to agree, most people I know, including scholars, don’t seem to know the difference.’
‘Which explains a lot, doesn’t it? And yet is it not evident that they, individually and collectively, can only give form to what they are within?’
‘That may be true now,’ I said, ‘but as the world becomes more educated, I’m sure the calibration will eventually move upward.’
‘Perhaps,’ he said, ‘but it won’t be because of intelligence only. It might surprise you, but one’s level of consciousness has little to do with how smart they seem to be. In fact, in the Flatlands, where most of the intellectual people live, consciousness calibrates in the area of 180, substantially below the human average.
‘Not coincidently, there’s a high concentration of intellectual hubris throughout these regions, which is why the ego quotient is generally the inverse of the consciousness quotient.
‘The reason intelligence on its own doesn’t imply a high level of consciousness is because it’s limited to gathering, interpreting and processing specialized information, especially that of the parts, rather than the whole. Consciousness, on the other hand, has a broad spectrum of awareness, such as intuition and discernment. Of course, these are not mutually exclusive qualities and are optimal when integrated as one.
‘This might suggest why intellects often become experts and yet fail in basic life skills such as relationships. Would that ring a bell, Sebastian?’
From Book 3 Quantum Jumps
‘God must have a real sense of humour,’ I said, with a wry smile.
‘The best,’ he said. ‘And so it will be interesting to watch how this plays out, considering you won’t suspect any of this at first. I expect there will be some very entertaining scenes emerge on your stage. Chaos, love, anguish, laugher… I’m sure you will have it all.’
‘Well, I guess if that’s Adam’s role, I’ll play it out too for the sake of humanity… and myself.’
‘Yes, for humanity,’ he said, ‘but only when there’s a consolidation of higher frequencies in human consciousness sufficient to activate a positive polarity upon the psychophysiology of your species.’
‘Once again,’ I said, ‘what you say seems to be a restatement of Mo’s hermetic invocations, as within, so without.’
‘Indeed,’ Rhom said, ‘the alchemy of the gods.’
‘Mo sometimes referred to this as being a reverberating tuning fork that epigenetically alters the outer body’s constitution,’ I said. ‘Every cell is stimulated by harmonious impressions of a unified mind which are regarded as patterns of divine essence.’
‘When your soul knows itself as one with the divine Self, it will be united with what’s above rather than the cacophony of what’s below. By this, your human soul will rise above the discord of the earth plane, while transporting itself towards the fullness of being.
‘That’s also why those aligned with these frequencies can’t help but extend the universal harmonics of music, nature, art and sacred relations into everyday life. That’s how the earth will become paradisiacal again. In fact, those with inward eyes might even expect angels to drop in for scintillating dinner conversations. I might even drop in too, even though, as you well know, I’m no angel.
‘Unfortunately, too few philosophers and scientists dwelling in the Flatlands wish to acknowledge the realm of Spirit. As long as they remain there, they will interpret the universe through the prejudices of their materialist reductionism. For them, the orientation is as without, so within, rather than the Hermetic opposite of as within, so without.
‘Still, this is just a stage your planet must pass through before it can experience life as it is, rather than what it’s not. This world remains confused by the ego-mind rather than understanding in union with the heart. But with your influence, along with light-bearers from outer spheres, scientists will eventually grow out of their bovine fixation of looking down rather than up. When they finally see the Mountain in the years and decades ahead, then they’ll finally comprehend what their theorems were trying to tell them.
From Book 5, Mystical Romance.
‘Ah, I think I now understand why you don’t stay late at the cabin.’
‘I’m not sure you do; not entirely. Each of the women attending this celebration went through similar ordeals, which is how their souls came to possess such a high calibre of character, which is so wonderfully expressed in their refulgent beauty. Again, James, as we keep saying, as within, so without. It might seem ironic, but the reason they appear so young is that they are so old… old souls, that is.’
‘Of course, I remember you and Mo telling me about this while on the Summit. And now, it seems, you were right after all, not that I ever doubted you. Just wondering, but what if I were to stay on this side of the veil; do you think I’d be able to connect with one of them, say Julianne’s look-alike?’
‘I don’t know, James. Do you think you would be up for her?’
‘To be honest, I’m not sure. All these goddesses intimidate me with their confidence and beauty, and so I’m not sure what I would say or do. Besides they have home-field advantage in another league altogether.’
‘So now you’re saying you feel awkward and self-conscious? From what you’ve told us before, that’s not like you.’
‘No, it’s not. As thrilling as it is to be around them, I feel like I’m fourteen years old again, hoping to impress my friend’s older sister. Suddenly, all my earthly charm is gone where I could attract beautiful women with my debonaire moves and smooth talk.’
From Book 6, The Elixir
‘But Anna, dear, call me vain if you will, but I don’t especially wish to appear ninety-five in the spirit body any more than in my mortal body.’
‘Well, here’s the paradox James, rest assured that on the surface you now look not much older than Gordon, who appears to me about twenty-four or twenty- five years old on the earth. But still, at times, he projects an impression of being a wise old sage in spite of his youthful demeanour and humour.’
‘Yes, I know what you mean,’ I said, ‘this often mystified me when we were on the Summit. Though he appeared several years younger than me, still he had an old wise quality to him that at times seemed rather curious and incongruous at times.’
‘But as you know now,’ she said, ‘there’s no way of determining chronological age in our spirit realm because age is meaningless, and so appearance has nothing to do with ‘age’. Rather, appearance is a state of being that manifests the inner soul’s inner qualities which flow outwardly for all to see. As we often say here: as within, so without. And nowhere is this more evident than in our spirit body’s appearance.
 Emanuel Swedenborg once commented on this, stating: Which form, when it is viewed, is ineffable beauty. In a word, to grow old in heaven is to grow young. Heaven and Hell, n.395
For those interested in a deeper philosophical discussion on this topic I've included an exchange in:
Chapter 9 of The Ascent
‘So, James,’ Eli said, ‘how about you? Are you going to do any better when you go back and get another kick at the earth plane? Or are you going to crater just like him by remaining too clever for your own good?’
I wasn’t sure if I should take Eli’s comments as an affront or a challenge… maybe both.
Before I could reply, he added: ‘You understand from experience how the intellectual establishment can be less than open-minded when their materialist prejudices are challenged. But don’t forget, you still have Plato and the good Bishop Berkeley on your side along with some of antiquities finest minds. But there are also several contemporary philosophers and physicists who remain open to off-grid perspectives. You may wish to do a little research and contact some of them before you tell your story to the world.’
Frankly, I was uncomfortable being prodded into bearing their spiritual torch against the dark forces of Mordor. Why should I become persona non grata in my intellectual community; forever cast out of the fraternity of acceptable thoughts and correct beliefs?
‘It’s interesting you should mention Berkeley once again,’ I said. ‘As I probably mentioned before, his writings were among my favourites while I was completing my doctoral degree. Perhaps it had more to do with him considered an outlier like me.
‘My thesis was a comparative analysis of the British Empiricists Locke, Hume and Berkeley, and the meanings each assigned to the concept of substance. Berkeley figured prominently in my research, perhaps too prominently, since his musings on the nature of God, substance and reality seemed in stark contrast to those of Hume, who most obviously was the examiners’ preference. I think I may have once used the word bias, which didn’t do much to endear me to the committee.’
‘After centuries,’ Mo said, ‘Hume seems to have come out on top of the debate, perhaps for no other reason than he had the last word, at least chronologically, among the empiricists. For a long time there haven’t been many philosophers keen to accept the Bishop’s immaterialism, or as it’s called, subjective idealism, any more than Plato’s elusive concept of Forms.’ 
‘I think it’s true,’ I said, ‘both he and God seemed to have fallen out of favour among the ardent rationalists who took over the last few centuries. After Hume’s tenure, Berkeley was shown the door about the same time many in the intelligentsia were trying to shove God out too.’
‘Or maybe,’ Eli said, ‘it was more the other way; it was the philosophers who left the room, slamming the door behind. It seems that over the years, more than a few have crept back, some with ears cupped to the door so they may find what’s going on inside.
‘Today, many noteworthy philosophers are conversant with the latest research that links consciousness with quantum theory. I think the implications of what’s demonstrated in physics has caused some scholars to reconsider certain positions espoused by Berkeley.’
‘So, James,’ Mo said, ‘since you’re the philosopher, and an expert on Berkeley, I’d like to hear more on how you interpret his ontology. I think this could lead to other important concepts on how we might approach our discussions at Summit U.’
‘Well, it’s quite simple,’ I said, 'at least the summation is. Essentially, I think what he was saying is that all the objects we think we experience out there don’t exist, at least in the way we think, but are perceptions.’
‘Be they, all the choir in heaven or furniture on earth,’ Mo said.
‘It’s most impressive you know that famous quip, Mo. That’s quite the memory you have.’
‘As will you one day… it’s standard equipment where we’re from. In any case, I agree with how you interpreted Berkeley. Indeed, all objects, objective or subjective, exist first as a thought in the Mind of God rather than separately. In this sense, everything exists as a divine thought that we co-create as participants in life’s experiences as interpreted by our mind’s thoughts.'
‘I’ll admit,’ I said, ‘his brand of philosophy seems closer to the truth of how I seem to experience life in this dimension of fluid existence. To me, it suggests that the intention of the mind is, in some fashion, the basis for what manifests as reality. It was difficult for me to swallow that premise before, but now I know it’s only by my intention that I’m able to teleport to mountain peaks. So maybe Berkeley was on the right track after all, even after all the bad press.
‘That’s not to say I consider Berkeley to have all the answers, but at least he had an intriguing perspective, which is perhaps why I included the logical viability of his ideas in my thesis. So, there you have it gents, Berkeley in a nutshell. Now you can give me your enlightened perspective; what do you think; did he get it right?’
‘Like you,’ Mo said, ‘I agree that Berkeley was headed in the right direction, if not on the right track, although his Western perception of God might have compromised his understanding of what Oneness means. I’m sure it would have helped had he spoken with an enlightened seer to show how we are all in union with the divine. Possibly there weren’t enough good mystics around back then to provide him with a broader perspective.’
‘And yet,’ Eli said, ‘I think more than any other empirical philosopher he came into greater proximity to the ancient traditions of the East which, as I recall, tend to represent reality as an emanation and extension of the one Source. However, in the West, the external out their belief assumption is still implicitly held by almost everyone.
‘It might be argued this belief provided the basis for the great leaps in science and technology. In counter-distinction to Newton, Berkley at least understood what we perceive is in and of the mind, since it’s the divine Mind that creates its reality through us since we are at One in essence. In other words, we are both creators, and the created.’
‘This would imply there’s no basis for knowing anything other than by what is processed by our consciousness. And so, there can be no evidence of anything without it first being perceived by consciousness which is to say, in the words of Berkely, esse est percipi, that is, to be is to be perceived. What we assume to be without; is what’s first within. That’s why Mo and I continue to repeat our hermetic mantra: as within, so without.’
‘Unfortunately,’ Mo said, ‘these Gnostic concepts are out of favour in much of the world, relatively unknown in Occidental culture. But these are not unfamiliar to traditions arising from the ancient Vedas.
‘To my knowledge, no philosopher or scientist on earth has credibly refuted Berkeley on this issue. Even Kant was somewhat in agreement. And as you now know, this understanding becomes even more apparent the longer one exists in this dimension.’
‘I wonder if A. J. Ayer even twigged on to Berkeley’s ideas after he passed over.’
‘I’m not sure,’ Mo said, ‘but I can check. I’m rather certain there aren’t many fans for his logical positivism where he now resides. At least Sir James Jeans, a contemporary of Ayer, as wise a philosopher as he was scientist, seemed to have understood Berkeley when he concluded: If the universe is a universe of thought, then its creation must have been an act of thought. Too bad he didn’t have a word with Ayer back then, but I’m not sure Ayer would have listened anyway.’
‘Maybe not,’ I said, ‘but I think it’s great that Berkeley’s empiricism finally got a little help from a visionary philosopher/scientist such as Jeans… and most notably, my thesis,’ I chuckled. ‘I wonder if anyone other than the committee has yet read it.’
‘If you can find me a copy, I’ll be sure to read it,’ Mo said. ‘Whatever renewed interest, you may be able to stoke in the mental/idealist approach to reality is probably a result of how static things have become in the reductionist, logical positivist movement. There’s nowhere to go with it since it doesn’t point beyond itself. It’s a dead cat bounce at best; an utterly unsatisfying philosophy that leads to fragmentation. Fortunately, the heart’s wisdom already knows its Oneness.
 As a young man, I was an enthusiastic reader of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, so I made this reference to Mordor, the dark land.
 George Berkeley (1685-1753), mathematician, philosopher and Bishop.
 Plato's theory of Forms presents the idea of an all-prevailing non-material higher reality whereby we can only perceive shadows of the hidden reality. From these, we ascribe meaning to what things are in essence. For example, the Form of dog applies to all dogs without regard to species or breed.
Berkeley's full quote regarding mind and substance: All the choir of heaven and the furniture of earth, in a word, all those bodies which compose the mighty frame of the world, have not any subsistence without the mind … so long as they are not actually perceived by me, or do not exist in my mind, or that of another created spirit, they must either have no existence at all or else subsist in the mind of some Eternal Spirit...
 Be it noted, however, that the Eastern Orthodox Church has for centuries had a place for mysticism and some esoterica within their traditions. See Theology and Mysticism in the Tradition of the Eastern Church, authored by the eminent Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky (1903-1957).
 What objects are in themselves, apart from all the receptivity of our sensibility, remains unknown to us. We know nothing but our mode of perceiving them. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
For more general discussion on this subject, go to these posts:
REALITY: WHAT A CONCEPT
THINKING THOUGHTS ABOUT THOUGHTS
WHAT'S THE MATTER?
SUMMARY OF ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE NOVEL SERIES
Elysium's Passage a series of seven narrations regarding a young British philosopher named James Phillips, who finds himself living in an altered state of reality while still remaining on earth.
After experiencing a near-fatal fall while climbing to the summit of a remote mountain in the Andes, James awakens in a new dimension. He soon encounters two mysterious beings who provide him with a very different perspective on the nature of his existence. Over the next year, before his body recovers from the coma, he is challenged to re-examine his understanding of life’s meaning and purpose far beyond anything he previously believed or could believe.
An engaging and sometime surreal adventure with intimations of impending romance, the narrative explores the most important questions about life, death, reality, and our ultimate destiny.
The Plains of Elysium (Champs-Élysées) was described by Homer, Hesiod, Virgil, and many other poets as the paradisiac afterlife realm reserved for heroes. As the title suggests, this is about a journey through a passage that leads towards Elysium’s exciting realm of existence.
To read a sample press review at https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15515775.htm
(ATTEMPTED) INTRODUCTION TO THE SERIES
The following comments are excerpts from among the first readers, including a number of Amazon five star reviews. To read the full reviews, go to READER REVIEWS on www.elysiumspassage.com or directly at https://digitalbloggers.com/arts-and-entertainment/reader-reviews
"A delightful mix of fantasy, reality, conjecture, and humour; Mr Meyers draws the reader into the story with a gentle narrative that captures the imagination, leaving one anxious to get to the next page drawing you into his exceptional world.”
"Quietly, gently, and without imposition, the Author unfolds the pages, creating an intricate, interlocking bridge spanning the chasm between mind and heart. Renewing, refreshing, restoring. In my bereavement, it was vigil and light…"
“Excellently written with an exceedingly deep understanding of this world and the next. The characters are very well written and engaging. I can't wait to complete this book!"
“Takes the reader on both a philosophical and spiritual journey, a journey that at times is both disquieting and tranquil. James, a British Philosopher, can be irreverent and caustic, traits that should have left me cringing, but instead made me laugh out loud. Elysium’s Passage is a fun, enlightening and remarkable book.”
“This is a masterful fantasy, becoming a real possibility, as the reader is drawn into the story. The Summit leaves you anxious for the next book in the series, yet also leaves you totally satisfied with the world you have just visited. Genius! An exciting yet calming experience that is not to be missed."
"There was hardly a page on which I did not find at least one sentence worthy of hi-lighting for future reference. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the main character, James, whose personality and passionate verbal exchanges with the other characters, kept me coming back for more. I am reading the book for a second time while I wait for the next one in this series to be made available."
“N.G. Meyers has clearly put a great deal of research and thought into what the afterlife may look like and I like his perspective. It’s an altogether welcoming and exciting vision. The book gives one a great deal to think about and a reassuring confidence that the end of our lives is truly the beginning of life in the next. I highly recommend it."
"I am really enjoying your book, it’s fantastic! It is so incredible and diversified that I can’t really explain it to other people, so what I say is just read this book. Thank you so much for the blessings that you’ve given the world!"
“The humour interjected into a serious discussion makes me laugh out loud. Totally unexpected....l may be in the presence of at least a master, if not a genius. A fair ride into reality... seeking that which is unseen, yet absolutely real.”
“An engaging story of adventure embracing man's deepest desire to search for meaning and purpose, N.G. Meyers takes the reader on an adventurous thought-provoking journey. This book has substance. It is a perfect blend of adventure and fantasy combined with spiritual philosophy. It ignited my imagination. The author magically weaves a good story laced with wit and humour together with deep philosophical wisdom. This book has it all!”
“An evolution in thought is triggered by many fresh philosophical themes which could inspire readers to re-think their reality and former ideologies that have dictated their lives… the author fires readers’ imaginations to view what could be possible when our spirit vacates the body.”
“This is the book spiritual seekers have been waiting for. For me, it granted a great read as well as increased inspiration to live every day with a heightened sense of purpose. I highly recommend it.
“The Summit is capable of hooking readers and luring them to search for Book 2 to discover more about Dr. Philip’s surreal trek into the mysterious unknown universe. This thick book is well worth the read and to share…”
“Mind-blowing statements and speculation (‘…everyone is a non-physical thought form conceived in the Mind of God, preserved for all eternity because God’s thoughts never die…’). Many will find Meyers’ journey up the Mountain intriguing—and possibly even life-changing.” (BLUEINK REVIEW)
“In its effort to grapple with fundamental questions about the meaning of life, it raises questions that have echoed throughout the ages, including about where we come from, where we are going, who we are.” (CLARION REVIEW)
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