What does Hermetics really mean?
If we look at common sources, for example
In the Webster dictionary it says.
her.met.ic also her.met.i.cal adj [NL hermeticus, fr. Hermet-, Hermes Trismegistus] (1605) 1 often cap a: of or relating to the Gnostic writings or teachings arising in the first three centuries a.d. and attributed to Hermes Trismegistus b: relating to or characterized by occultism or abstruseness: recondite 2 [fr. the belief that Hermes Trismegistus invented a magic seal to keep vessels airtight] a: airtight <~ seal> b: impervious to external influence <trapped inside the ~ military machine –Jack Newfield> c: recluse, solitary <leads a ~ life> — her.met.i.cal.ly adv
Who was Hermes Trismegistus?
In the Oxford illustrated Dictionary second edition, it says.
adj. Of Hermes Trismegistus; of alchemy, magical
alchemical; ~ seal, sealing, air-tight closeure of vessel, esp. glass vessel, by fusion, soldering, or welding. Hermetically adv.
Ironically just before this entry on the same page we have.
Hermes: (-z). 1. (Greek Myth)
Son of Zeus and Maia; represented as messenger of the gods,
god of science, commerce, eloquence, etc., identified by the Romans with Mercury, and represented as a youth with winged rod (caduceus), brimmed hat (petasus), and winged shoes (talaria).
2. ~ Trismegistus (‘thrice-greatest’), name given by Neo-Platonists etc. to Egyptian god Thoth, regarded as author of all mysterious doctrines and esp. of secret of alchemy.
So as far as the dictionaries are concerned we have Hermes Trismegistus to thank for Hermetics.
It even sounds like it came from him Hermes, Hermetics.
But what of the word/name Trismegistus?
Well its a Greek word meaning
Tris = Three or triple
megistus or megistos = Great or master or great master or Magician
Like there where three titles to this man or god?
What does the encyclopaedia Britannica have to say about Hermes Trismegistus?
Well only one entry came up when searching just the name Trismegistus in Dec 1996.
Nature and significance
The goal of mysticism is union with the divine or sacred. The path to that union is usually developed by following four stages: purgation (of bodily desires), purification (of the will), illumination (of the mind), and unification (of one’s will or being with the divine). If “the object of man’s existence is to be a Man, that is, to re-establish the harmony which originally belonged between him and the divinized state before the separation took place which disturbed the equilibrium” (The Life and Doctrine of Paracelsus), mysticism will always be a part of the way of return to the source of being, a way of counteracting the experience of alienation. Mysticism has always held–and parapsychology also seems to suggest–that the discovery of a nonphysical element in man’s personality is of utmost significance in his quest for equilibrium in a world of apparent chaos.
Mysticism’s apparent denial, or self-negating, is part of a psychological process or strategy that does not really deny the person. In spite of its lunatic fringe, the maturer forms of mysticism satisfy the claims of rationality, ecstasy, and righteousness.
There is obviously something nonmental, alogical, paradoxical, and unpredictable about the mystical phenomenon, but it is not, therefore, irrational or antirational or “religion without thought.” Rather, as Zen (Buddhist intuitive sect) masters say, it is knowledge of the most adequate kind, only it cannot be expressed in words. If there is a mystery about mystical experience, it is something it shares with life and consciousness. Mysticism, a form of living in depth, indicates that man, a meeting ground of various levels of reality, is more than one-dimensional. Despite the interaction and correspondence between levels–“What is below is like what is above; what is above is like what is below” (Tabula Smaragdina, “Emerald Tablet,” a work on alchemy attributed to Hermes Trismegistus)–they are not to be equated or confused. At once a praxis (technique) and a gnosis (esoteric knowledge), mysticism consists of a way or discipline.
The relationship of the religion of faith to mysticism (“personal religion raised to the highest power”) is ambiguous, a mixture of respect and misgivings. Though mysticism may be associated with religion, it need not be. The mystic often represents a type that the religious institution (e.g., church) does not and cannot produce and does not know what to do with if and when one appears. As William Ralph Inge, an English theologian, commented, “institutionalism and mysticism have been uneasy bedfellows.” Although mysticism has been the core of Hinduism and Buddhism, it has been little more than a minor strand–and, frequently, a disturbing element–in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. As the 15th- to 16th-century Italian political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli had noted of the 13th-century Christian monastic leaders St. Francis and St. Dominic, they had saved religion but destroyed the church.
The founders of religion may have been incipient or advanced mystics, but the inner compulsions of their experience have proved less amenable to dogmas, creeds, and institutional restrictions, which are bound to be outward and majority oriented. There are religions of authority and the religion of the spirit. Thus, there is a paradox: if the mystic minority is distrusted or maltreated, religious life loses its sap; on the other hand, these “peculiar people” do not easily fit into society, with the requirements of a prescriptive community composed of less sensitive seekers of safety and religious routine. Though no deeply religious person can be without a touch of mysticism, and no mystic can be, in the deepest sense, other than religious, the dialogue between mystics and conventional religionists has been far from happy. From both sides there is a constant need for restatement and revaluation, a greater tolerance, a union of free men’s worship. Though it validates religion, mysticism also tends to escape the fetters of organized religion.
Copyright © 1994-2000 Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.
So we see the more we dig the more we find.
And now I will leave you to get a fuller picture for yourselves.
Welcome to the links to Hermetics portal.
In addition for me Rawn Clark explains further
please see links to his site below
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