The Principle of Correspondence

The Principle of Correspondence

Pont de Maincy (Maincy bridge) by Paul Cezanne

The Principle of Correspondence gives us the classic maxim, As above, so below; as below so above. This axiom is one of the most important ideas in all Hermeticism. According to the Hermetic Masters, there are myriad planes of existence, our material realm being the least subtle form of Reality. The Principle of Correspondence holds that there is always a concurrence between phenomena on higher and lower strata of existence. Higher planes are sometimes unknown to us; by this principle we can at least glean some knowledge of what we would otherwise be totally ignorant of. As above, so below is a universal axiom. It applies to all strata of Reality. According to The Kybalion,

The great Second Hermetic Principle embodies the truth that there is a harmony, agreement, and correspondence between the several planes of Manifestation, Life and Being. This truth is a truth because all that is included in the Universe emanates from the same source, and the same laws, principles, and characteristics apply to each unit, or combination of units of activity, as each manifests its own phenomena upon its own plane.

We humans are many microcosms, each one corresponding to the macrocosm, the cosmos, and higher, more subtle worlds of Being. Just using the example of the cosmos and our own microcosm, what we learn about stars, planets, galaxies, moons, etc. corresponds to the particular Soul that we are. There are worlds within us that we can travel to and from via the power of Imagination. Through correspondence, we can gain knowledge about many riddles of our existence.

In the time of Abraham, the teacher Hermes Trismegistus asserted that all information about a man could be found within a single drop of his blood and that within a man was represented the entire universe. He formulated from this a principle which he called The Law of Correspondence which stated: “Whatever is above is like that which is below, and whatever is below is like that which is above” (Hortensia Galvis Ramz, The Law of Correspondence).

At age fifty-six, Emanuel Swedenborg saw his world  change forever. He began having dreams and visions where he talked with angels and other spirits, even those from the planets in our solar system. He adopted the Law of Correspondence and used it to interpret the Bible in meaningfully new ways. Swedenborg believed

The correspondence between spiritual and natural things extends to all objects in the physical world. Light corresponds to wisdom because wisdom enlightens the mind as light enlightens the eye. Warmth corresponds to love because love warms the mind as heat does the body. The various animals in creation correspond to the various affections in man. Ultimately, all things correspond to and symbolize qualities in God (Wikipedia).

Robert Fludd said, 

Man is a whole world of its own, called microcosm for it displays a miniature pattern of all the parts of the universe. Thus the head is related to the Empyreal, the chest to the ethereal heaven and the belly to the elementary substance.

The Principle of Correspondence is very enlightening when thinking of the relations between various layers of reality. Our existence is like an onion. The more you peel back the skin, the more layers you find. The difference is, our Universe has infinite layers.

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