The Principle of Mentalism:
The All is Mind; the Universe is Mental
The idea of The All is a virtual substitute for the monotheistic god of Abraham and Zarathustra. It takes the symbolic personification of the creator complex Jehovah and transfers it from mythological ‘story-space’ to rational ‘thought-space’. One is a depiction of creator by means fantastical storytelling; the other an ontological argument for the existence of creator. Essentially they are the same.
The All is a cornerstone of neo-platonic philosophy that flourished in the Greco-Roman world at the same time Christianity was annihilating its polytheistic pagan predecessors from the 3rd to 7th centuries AD. Given that the legendary Hermes Trismegistus precedes Abraham considerably it is unlikely his thinking was compatible with either monotheism or neo-platonism. The Emerald Tablets of Thoth shows no indication of either.
In any case the Principle of Mentalism offers some eye-opening insight into the relationship between mind and matter. But we should be careful not to interpret it. The revelation here is that mind and matter are equivalent. It is not mind OVER matter; but mind IS matter.
The idea of mind over matter is close enough of course; just that it conforms to the idea of subject acting upon object; the mover and the moved. That in turn must be traced back to a primal cause or a prime mover; in other words God. If mind and matter are the same then it is a self-contained system that does not require an infinite regression of steps to arrive back at a creator complex.
We can state that the mind pertains to the realm of the invisible, and that matter pertains to the visible. For them to be essentially the same we will have to reconcile this qualitative difference. The issue is this: if the mind-matter pair is a single unity, why does one of these two components, the mind, have such difficulty with it?
The challenge is not for the mind to acquiesce in submission to the first Hermetic Principle; such weak mindedness is the character trait of fools. Understanding is not a matter of will or contrived humility. It would be better to just cynically reject the principle on the grounds of human quackery. The individual is not a player situated on the outside looking in; his identity IS the principle.
Perhaps the issue is not that we struggle to understand the mysteries of the mind but that we do not understand matter. When we aspire for something greater, something spiritual, we are expressing bewilderment at the existence of matter.
Matter exists just as it is, on its own, without reference to anything else. Not in contrast to spirit; or to an invisible realm of perfect forms that the likes of Plato imagined. The sky is simply the sky; but when someone says ‘sky’ we tend to think, sky as opposed to land; or something like that. And if someone says blue sky, we might think blue sky as opposed to a grey sky, or a cloudy sky.
The mind is a measuring instrument; it compares things, referencing one thing against another. If we measure something to be 2 feet, we are referencing this against the standard scale of a foot. The mind has difficulty in seeing something without measuring it.
Just as the first Hermetic Principle declares The All is Mind, it could just as well have stated The All is Matter.