Becoming the Stellar Man: Hermeticism Simplified
Updated: Oct 14, 2019
For the past two years, Hermeticism has been instrumental in my approach to everyday life.
What is Hermeticism you may ask?
Well, simply put, Hermeticism is the study of the natural laws governing our universe. Written by Hermes Trismegistus, the name given by the Greeks to the Egyptian god Thoth or Tehuti.
This multi-faced character is considered the god of wisdom, learning, and literature.
Now, regardless of if these laws were actually written by Hermes or not is not the point. The point is that these laws have been widely agreed upon for millennia, and they are currently gaining popularity, especially in the West, due to the century edition of The Kybalion.
These laws of Hermeticism consist of seven fundamental principles:
1. The Principle of Mentalism.
2. The Principle of Correspondence.
3. The Principle of Vibration.
4. The Principle of Polarity.
5. The Principle of Rhythm.
6. The Principle of Cause and Effect.
7. The Principle of Gender.
All of which work in synchrony in order to deliver a cocktail of deep understanding, and when applied, a new level of human awareness and experience.
But this article isn’t going to be a cut and dry explanation of Hermeticism. If you’d like to first gain context by reading an article explaining Hermeticism in detail, click here.
In this article, we are going to breakdown and take a closer look at the book The Stellar Man. Written by philosopher, and founder of The Hermetic Institution in Santiago Chile, John Baines.
This book delivers a straight forward description of the esoteric reality behind the veil of the matrix and acts as a practical guide (As practical as esoteric knowledge can be) on how you can access an incredible level of awareness and experience through Hermetic practices.
So, together with a quick breakdown of the main premise of the book, I have written 4 sections on what I found to be the most influential or moving parts of the book along with notes on why these parts stood out to me and what I believe Baines is trying to instill in the reader.
These sections are the following:
What is a Stellar Man?
Waking up and Becoming a Stellar Man
The illusion of Free Will
Hermetic Initiation and the Qualities of The Stellar Man
It seems the premise of Baines’ book is to deliver a straight forward, no holds bar, practical view of Hermeticism and Hermetic beliefs by laying out the underlying illusion of the world we live in and how to transcend it.
By coining everyday people as ‘Sapiens’, Baines makes it very clear that most human beings are sacrificing true awareness and liberation for the fleeting and external satisfaction of the material world. Living as ‘Automatons’, these people aren’t aware of this illusion, let alone their slavery to it.
While those who take the necessary steps to transcend the illusion of the consumer-based matrix and achieve liberation from the suffering associated with this paradox evolve into a ‘Stellar Man’. According to Baines, the only way to transcend this illusion is by detaching from the Central Computer, which can be represented by the everyday mundanity of conditioned consumer-based life.
So, how does one transcend the matrix and evolve into a Stellar Man?
Well, by understanding and practicing the corresponding natural laws that govern the known universe.
Hermeticism is the ancient knowledge of these laws, (Or what Baines calls the Masterly Science of the Universe) and taking the necessary steps toward evolution while understanding and utilizing these laws is the path to becoming a Stellar Man.
What is a Stellar Man?
Stellar Man is a reference to a self-realized human being. One who sees beyond the veil of illusion associated with keeping up with the Joneses.
An individual that has discovered their true nature, knowing that they are not their body, but are eternal energy that will continue its existence for eternity. This realization, when applied, allows the individual to internalize this truth and experience a new form of reality, a completely different awareness of oneself and the surrounding environment.
An incredibly evolved version of existence, detached from expectation, desire, fear and ultimately, suffering.
Becoming Stellar Man is the equivalent of achieving Buddha Nature. And in doing so, one exists in Nirvana. It can also be compared with receiving Salvation within Christianity, which in turn leads to experiencing heaven.
There are MANY names for this experience and although Hermeticism is not a religion, there are many similarities between Hermetic qualities and it’s religious counterparts. In the end, the experience, and understanding associated with this massive realization are virtually the same.
In my eyes, Hermeticism could be considered a religion that focuses primarily on the natural laws of the universe, understanding, and living in accordance with these laws, and in turn, achieving liberation from the bindings of the matrix. Just as one is liberated from Samsara or suffering when attaining Buddha Nature.
Who doesn’t want to be free of the prison of the mind?
Who doesn’t want to have complete trust and faith in the universe and have the ability to appreciate every single moment for what it is without judgment or expectation?
Who doesn’t want to truly understand ancient knowledge of the masters and actually apply this knowledge in the modern world?
I know I do…
And that’s why this book spoke to me SO much. Instead of exhausting oneself with literature such as the Tao De Ching, or a conscious interpretation of the Bible, The Stellar Man lays out virtually the same information available in ancient spiritual texts without the fluff or much need for interpretation.
So, let's take a closer look at some highlights from The Stellar Man.
Waking up and Becoming a Stellar Man
On page 69, Baines opens up with two simple objectives of what he calls true occultism, or inner Hermetic work.
That Sapiens be transformed into Stellar Man.
That this man be spiritual.
Simple enough eh?
Let's take a look at what it truly means to be spiritual within the realm of Hermeticism.
On the same page, Baines states “To become spiritual in truth only means one thing: that the spirit manifests itself through one's own brain. Thus, the individual is truly spiritual because his spirit has access to material, concrete, and temporal reality.” - pg 69
This explanation of spirituality really resonates with me. Instead of using some fluffy, dreamlike explanation, Baines demonstrates the understanding that we are certainly Mind, Body and Spirit. This practical definition of spirituality allows the reader to conceptualize what it is to be spiritual instead of leaving them in the dark to simply guess, guess and guess again.
This concept is also in alignment with the first principle of Hermeticism, the principle of Mentalism.
At first, while reading the Kybalion, I didn’t understand this concept. Yet, when I read what Baines describes as the definition Hermetic philosophers have given to the word Mind, my confusion subsided.
This definition is “Mind is Intelligence and consciousness born from apprenticeship in an intensified state of awakeness”.
Baines goes further in saying “The common man lacks mind and must resign himself to handling his limited intelligence and knowledge. Which have been developed through a somnambulistic apprenticeship in a state of hypnosis or sleep.”
Reading this statement, it is much easier to relate to the seemingly grandiose concept of Everything is Mind. What Baines clarifies is the fact that Mind is not simply the intellectual and logical mind that we immediately think of in the west, but an embodiment of one's spiritual consciousness in one's intellectual mind.
So, in a nutshell, the Stellar Man is one who not only understands but masters the implementation of bringing one's spiritual and eternal nature into the forefront of one's consciousness, and in turn, expresses true spirituality freely and effortlessly.
Therefore the Stellar Man responds to his environment as such and expresses his or her spiritual understanding through their everyday interactions and activities. He or she sees beyond the mundane drudgery that is constantly both debilitating and remaining the conversational topic of Sapiens. Who, according to Baines, “Live almost permanently entangled in a web of fantasy and dreams, which rob them of their best possibility for achieving true consciousness and happiness.”
The Illusion of Free Will
“One of the most powerful illusions of Homo Sapiens is that of free will.” - The Stellar Man pg 107
This chapter rocked me.
The quote above is the first line of chapter seven and I was instantly confused upon reading it. How can someone blatantly say that humans don’t have free will? My whole life I believed that free will was the ONLY thing that we truly had as humans. But when you look at the fact that the term Sapiens is referring to individuals who are not self-realized and unaware of their true nature, we can see the silver lining behind this statement.
Baines goes on to say “Sapiens believes in his personal independence due to the fact that at any moment he may, if he so desires, violently break any of the bonds which imprison him without any impediments. It is possible for him to leave the work that imprisons him and live as a vagabond on other people's charity if he so desires. Or, he can abandon those studies that are so arduous and look for a job or live as he can. If he undertakes any of these measures of freedom, he knows he will have to pay for them, but considers the price cheap for doing as he pleases.” - pg 109
Most people would consider this to be the free will that is every human being’s birthright. I sure have my entire life. If I can make decisions for myself then surely I must have free will!
But this is not the type of free will Baines is talking about. Sure, we all have the ability to make decisions for ourselves, but are our decisions truly ours? Or are our decisions pre-determined by a lifetime of conditioning, belief systems, and fear? Do we truly make decisions based on the greater good of our highest self? Or do we make them in order to please others, or worse, our false ego…
“We can assert that Sapiens understands only what he wishes to understand, more accurately, that which is convenient. He absolutely discredits everything that affronts his cerebral guidelines or his habits of life and conduct.” - Stellar Man pg 110
We see here that when Sapiens are not freed from their mental conditioning, they are not making decisions based on what is truly best for them, but based on what is comfortable and convenient.
Baines then proceeds to say that the only way to access the understanding of one's highest good and true free will is to diminish one's own personality and ego due to it being shaped by prior experience and conditioning.
“The first step taken by the student of Hermeticism is to really put his feet on the ground and proceed, despite the pain, with his own deflation until he reaches his real level. He will hopefully reach the lowest point possible, as there is no other starting point except from zero.” - pg 120
This diminishing of one's ego and conditioning is an incredibly difficult and strenuous path. It takes incredible effort, and in the western world, this entire concept is virtually unrecognized at best.
But, for those who aspire to gain access to this ancient knowledge and become a Stellar Man, it is necessary.