The accepted author of this statement was Hermes Trismegistus and was contained within a series of sacred texts called Hermes Corpus. “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.” This text was taken from a discourse by Hermes to a disciple between the second and 3rd century A.D. which discussed the divine, the cosmos, the mind and nature. They became the basis for later beliefs concerning Alchemy, Astrology and magic. These insights were recorded centuries before we knew anything about quantum physics or subatomic particles. Despite that, the insight embodied within that statement seems to be validated through today’s research in that field.
One of the leading physicists in the field of quantum physics, David Joseph Bohm (1917-1992), theorized that everything in the Universe operates as a whole and that there is no separation of parts. He came to this conclusion by observing the behavior of matter at the quantum or subatomic state. He observed that the apparent random motion of particles at a quantum level was not random at all, but instead appeared to followed an established underlying order which he referred to as the implicate or hidden order. The unfolding of that effect, or manifest explicate, appeared to be organic in nature. That is, it seemed to behave as a whole cohesive event instead of separate, disconnected phenomenon.
In much the same way as our bodies are composed of a multitude of atoms, all following an ordered arrangement, it is the whole being that has consciousness. Expanding that reasoning further, we can see how that might hold true as we move from the micro-cosmos to the macro-cosmos. Humanity must be viewed as a whole, as well as the Earth, the Solar System, the Galaxy and finally, the Universe. Each level is a reflection of the other.
Another way to view the parallels in the different levels of organization would be to consider the metaphor I presented in my book Energetic Awakening. Imagine all of humanity as a single developing organism, a fetus in the egg of the Earth. Starting from only two sex cells, male and female, fertilization occurs, and cells begin multiplying. The developing embryo grows and eventually, specialization occurs. Individual cells activate portions of their DNA, according to a master genetic plan.
Parallels can easily be seen here with Adam and Eve, and with the emergence of different populations and cultures. The Bible refers to the tower of Babel, where all of mankind spoke a single language and strived to rival the Gods. At this point, God sent confusion into their minds, so each spoke a different language and went in separate directions. Specialization had occurred. As humanity continued to grow and specialize in this metaphorical embryo, different organs began to emerge, composed of specialized groups of tissues, but all according to the DNA blueprint.
The growing organism, although very small initially, later grows exponentially in mass and cell number. The living and dying of people also parallel the cell processes of the body. Eventually, as the fetus continues to develop, distinct groups of cells become functioning organs; the nervous system and the brain, the heart and the circulatory system, the liver, spleen, pancreas, etc. Each organ is composed of a distinct specialized tissue, or groups of tissues, that all begin functioning according to their specific characteristics.
Buddhism, dealing with the development of the mind, would represent the brain and the nervous system. Christianity, with Jesus, represents the heart and the circulatory system. Missionaries expand the veins, arteries, and capillaries throughout the organism. Moslems represent the liver and digestive system. The liver purges and detoxifies the system, as well as providing bile (oil) to aid in the digestion process. As growth increases, so does the amount of waste produced, to the point where the fetus is in danger of poisoning itself with its own waste products.
Sound familiar? In the later stages of its development, the systems of the organism begin to work in harmony and unison with each other to integrate all aspects of the body. The new life is ready to emerge from the egg. Envision the shell of the egg as our ozone atmosphere, which is slowly showing signs of “cracking” at the poles. The ozone holes are getting larger and larger as the egg begins to hatch. Will this organism, called Mankind, be ready to emerge with its systems integrated in time to support its continued development? Will people of various religions realize that they are all part of a unified whole, unfolding according to a master encoded plan? A body does not only consist of a heart or a brain or a liver, but each is an integral part of the whole. The complete organism cannot survive without them.
From atoms to galaxies, nature uses variation on the same fundamental pattern in every size and scale of creation. The Universe is a hologram where every part contains the implicate order of the whole. The consciousness which embodies the whole we call God. That consciousness permeates every aspect of the whole and is the source of the explicate unfolding of creation. “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.”