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  • The Emerald TabletAn Interpretation of The Emerald Tablet by William Hoper

    drawing on Jung's Synchronicity and Plato's Theory of Forms

    In this article I explain the Emerald tablet,

    making clear as I do so the links between the

    tablet concepts and the works of Plato, Jung and


    The Emerald Tablet is a text said to be the work

    of Hermes Trismegistus, "Hermes the Thrice-

    Great", a legendary Egyptian sage or God.

    However, modern historians have proved him to

    be a collection of unknown 200ADish writers who mixed ideas from Platonism, Stoicism,

    Judaism, Christianity, Persia, Egypt etc. The Hermitic writings were especially popular in

    the Renaissance and gave rise to Rosicrucianism. In the late 19th Century the writings

    enjoyed a revival under the "Order of The Golden Dawn" and the "Theosophical Society".

    For a while, many celebrities belonged to the Golden Dawn, eg William Butler Yeats, one

    of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. However, the drug taking hedonist

    Aleister Crowley brought the movement into considerable disrepute by associating it with

    occultism and 'black magic'.

    The myth of antiquity, which persisted up until the 20th Century, gave the writings

    enormous, yet completely unwarranted, credibility. Why? Because inside them are

    metaphysical theories which Plato and others appeared to have independently

    rediscovered at a much later date. The writings also 'predict' the rise of Christianity

    despite supposedly predating it by thousands of years. Somewhat tragically, for the

  • science of metaphysics, many seekers of truth consequently ignored the works of Plato

    and his contemporaries in favour of these contradictory and cryptic texts, which they

    considered to be the unadulterated ancient source of all wisdom. Aquinas, on the other

    hand, was horrified by the blasphemies, and declared the work demonically inspired -

    satanic occultism instead of divine wisdom. One marvels at how easily scholars were

    once taken in.

    "The Emeral Tablet" is one of the most famous Hermitic Texts. It supposedly contains the

    secrets of enlightenment, what Alchemists called the "Philosophers Stone", the method of

    turning of Lead, Man, Mortal into Gold, God, Immortal. Isaac Newton famously wrote a

    translation. Of course, Newton was not trying to turn lead into gold physically, in those

    days it was fashionable to be cryptic, which hardly helped the knowledge escape. Why?

    Because had Newton admitted that he was studying God rather than "alchemy" the

    Christian authorities might have persecuted him.

    1) This is true and remote from all cover of falsehood.

    What follows is the complete truth.

    2) Whatever is below is similar to that which is above. Through this the marvels

    of the work of one thing are procured and perfected.

    As above so below, as within so without. The macrocosm and microcosm. This is the

    mystical connection principle Carl Jung called synchronicity. This is the most famous

    Emerald Tablet line, and the most famous concept in the Hermetica, it is a Neo-Platonic


    Explaining synchronicity Carl Jung tells the story: "A young woman I was treating had, at

    a critical moment, a dream in which she was given a golden scarab. While she was telling

    me this dream, I sat with my back to the closed window. Suddenly I heard a noise behind

    me, like a gentle tapping. I turned round and saw a flying insect knocking against the

  • window-pane from the outside. I opened the window and caught the creature in the air

    as it flew in. It was the nearest analogy to a golden scarab one finds in our latitudes, a

    scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata), which, contrary to its usual

    habits had evidently felt the urge to get into a dark room at this particular moment. I

    must admit that nothing like it ever happened to me before or since." Was this

    coincidence? Jung thought not (anyway, this was only one of many examples). Was this

    an example of conventional telepathy, clairvoyance or psychokinesis? Jung though not,

    although he said it could be the principle from which these phenomena derive. In fact,

    this was an example of a simultaneous occurrence that is meaningfully related in a

    psychological sense but has no causal relationship in nature. Jung variously described

    synchronicity as an "acausal connecting principle", "meaningful coincidence" and "acausal


    Here are some examples: (1) A film director emphasises the coming assassination of the

    King by having his palace catch fire the night before. According to the principle this type

    of 'meaningful coincidence' happens in real life as well as films. (2) A young man dreams

    and prays for something to happen which subsequently does. As within so without: if

    something is imagined with enough force it crystallises in the physical. Here we have the

    power of prayer. There is said to be a link between the spiritual development of the

    individual and the speed with which his inner manifests on the outer physical. The more

    spiritually developed an individual the more synchronistic events occur around him. (3) A

    young man is vain and arrogant as a result of his inherited wealth. His higher

    unconscious mind is in opposition to his egotistical flaws and manifests his financial ruin

    in order that he may develop. Karma is the drawing toward an individual those external

    circumstances most appropriate to his self development. As we evolve spiritually our

    Karma works out that much more quickly. (The use of the individual's higher unconscious

    in this explanation of Karma does not exclude other possible mechanisms).

    Although in the past this principle was universally accepted, eg Shakespeare's plays are

    full of it, today our scientists reject it as mumbo jumbo and our politicians reject it as

    immoral. In fact there is limited circumstantial scientific evidence for some sort micro-

  • synchronistic process coming from results in quantum mechanics. It is possible, and has

    been demonstrated in laboratory tests, to split particles in two, send the halves in

    opposite directions, and then measure one of them for spin. The instant it is measured,

    and the spin determined, the other particle adopts the opposite spin. The time interval is

    zero, the event takes place instantaneously, even though the particles are separated, and

    theoretically would still do so even if they were separated by a distance measured in light

    years. This "EPR Paradox" mystifies physicists and is an apparent example of micro-

    synchronicity. Another possible example is the wave-particle like nature of

    electromagnetic energy. The photon particle is detected at random but in accordance

    with the wave distribution, thus we have probability crystallising into events. Wolfgang

    Pauli was a brilliant Nobel Prize winning scientist at the forefront of quantum mechanics

    who developed spin theory. Pauli and Jung collaborated to some extend on the theory of

    synchronicity. Pauli thought synchronicity might be an example of a possible fundamental

    principle which needs to be properly integrated into Physics at the micro level (Jung's

    interest was in the psychological and spiritual ramifications). Pauli was a brilliant man

    who wrote a 237 page paper on general relativity at the age of 21 that was praised by

    Einstein. He was critical of Neo-Darwinian Theory even before Crick's arguments about

    the complexity of DNA. Jung considered Pauli a highly evolved individual whose dreams

    contained vast quantities of deep archetypal material. The Pauli effect was named after

    his bizarre ability to break experimental equipment simply by being in the vicinity. Pauli

    himself was aware of his reputation, he believed this poltergeist like activity was the

    synchronistic effect of inner conflict. In 1958 he was admitted to hospital with cancer.

    When his assistant visited him Pauli asked Did you see the room number? It was

    number 137. Throughout his life, Pauli had been preoccupied with the question of why

    the fine structure constant, a dimensionless fundamental constant, has a value nearly

    equal to 1/137. Pauli later died in that room.

    Once one really understands the connection principle the veil is lifted and one begins to

    live in another world.

    Some more complex examples: (a) A woman is tense and fussy and has difficulty

  • behaving in a loving way - her top lip is thin - 'Face Reading' is an example of

    synchronicity. Angelina Jolie's large lips are popular because they reflect a desirable

    psychological trait in a mate. Although the conscious mind of the average person cannot

    see a link, deep down feelings are generated. (b) What is beauty? The striking reflection

    of a harmonious state of consciousness. Of course, it is easier to create striking

    reflections of disharmonious states, a trick employed by many Modern Artists (Beauty

    defined at last and so simply- I hope you are impressed! Yet there is another problem -

    what of raw nature? No longer a state of consciousness we are witnessing divine

    complexity directly. Dorris Day vs JS Bach).

    An Enlightened individual is one who can discern the plot and untangle the connections.

    Take face reading - how can one become conscious of the inner outer associations? By

    reason and f