Dr. Elias Rubenstein – The Online Courses of the Hermetic Academy
The first course, “The Miracle of Hermeticism,” deals with certain basic themes. In the first course, we have the powers of the subconsciousness, the powers of the self-consciousness and the powers of the superconsciousness. These three aspects are the basic framework of hermeticism. Once we understand how these different levels of consciousness work, we will gradually be able to master the circumstances in our life.
What distinguishes a course of study in hermeticism from, say, one in psychotherapy, self-discovery or a weekend seminar? We have a constant, continuous path, over the course of many months and years, where we gradually bring each individual aspect of life into harmony with a higher plan. And the blessing of hermeticism is that this higher plan promises joy, happiness, and freedom. All these points are, of course, also proclaimed by other so-called paths to salvation and the like. One thing sets the Hermetic Academy apart from all of these other paths: we have a tried and tested, well-founded path which looks back on thousands of years of experience.
This means that all of our instructions are verifiable. We don’t have to just accept any dogmas; rather, we can verify everything we learn for ourselves — be it theoretical instructions which explain how hermetic mechanisms work, or the tools of hermeticism — we can try them out and determine: are there positive changes in our lives? Do these tools help us move forward? If so, then we’re on the right track; if not, then maybe we aren’t especially suited to this path. From our experience we can definitively say that the path of hermeticism is suitable for a great many people who live in the West. Of course, no path satisfies all requirements for all people. This is why there are different training systems — the same reason there are different paths of study at different universities.
In this way, the Hermetic Academy is meant for certain people — namely, those who want to take their destiny into their own hands and would like to change certain fundamental aspects of their lives — whether they are plagued by existential angst, are searching for the meaning of life, want to unfold their potential, or simply want to turn a career into a vocation. We can learn, step by step, to master all of these points in the Hermetic Academy. A tool must, however, never be confused with a magic wand, because ultimately it is we who must change ourselves. It wouldn’t be a legitimate path if we said, “Here’s a magic book, and when you perform all these spells, everything in your life will change according to your wishes.” The path doesn’t work that way. All of our instructions are based on this: are we ready to take these steps in order to realize our goals?
In the first course, we receive comprehensive tools — tools that help us to understand why it is we operate in certain ways in everyday life. Why do we get up at this time and act in this way? Which behavior mechanisms lie in the background that are responsible for the way our everyday lives play out? Whether we are satisfied with the mechanism or not, we can come to understand it. And once we understand the mechanism, we have the opportunity to use it to our advantage. What sets a wise person apart from a beginner on this path? Both use the same tools. The wise person just uses these tools consciously and is able to control them, steer them — whereas the one who is just beginning on the path is steered by these forces: he becomes a pawn whose life is seemingly controlled by external forces. But ultimately they are both on the same playing field. It all just depends on whether we learn to consciously and actively shape our lives.
After this follow the more in-depth courses which deal intensively with the topics of the hermetic tradition. Gradually, step by step, we gain insight into each area of our life. Material issues are very important for us to discuss on the path of hermeticism. This is why we have a course where we familiarize ourselves specifically with basic existential issues — existential angst, material worries and fears, financial problems, and so on.
We know from our own experience that many spiritual aspirants learn from misinterpreted Eastern doctrines or esoteric texts, that it would be desirable for them to renounce the material world — to break away from it. And ultimately they end up in a system where they must rely on others to help them meet their basic needs, and they are no longer able to actively shape their lives. They don’t even have the fundamentals covered, which are necessary for their basic subsistence, because they don’t understand these mechanisms yet. And in this course — for example, in “Universal Prosperity” — we provide the tools and the background information on how to gain a new mindset toward finances, material well-being, wealth, fulfillment, career, vocation, and so on.
We also learn to question deeply-rooted behavioral patterns in this regard: do they bring us to a point where we can hope for fulfillment, wealth, prosperity, abundance, and the like; or are they more of a burden? If they are a burden, we receive the tools we need to let go of these burdens and optimize them through new behavior patterns. Of course, there are other areas of life that can be truly problematic. We may have health problems, or issues with interpersonal relations — in our environment, in society, with our colleagues — and we may be unable to find peace. All these areas are examined in depth, in a personal, as well as in a societal, context. We are, after all, a part of society, so we must learn to get along as a part of our society.
So, in these seven preparatory courses we really learn about the wide breadth of the hermetic tradition — and the exceptional thing is that it uses very simple language. You won’t find any deep, over-the-top, kabbalistic, Greek or Hebrew terms; rather, the information is presented in everyday language, suitable for everyday life. Anyone can dive into these courses; the exercises are explained simply. And that’s the truly stunning thing: they’re such simple exercises. Some people wonder, how it is such simple exercises can be so effective? But we should also ask ourselves how it is our everyday negative thoughts can have such a big influence on us? Well, it’s because they are quite easy to think of. How can our negative emotions have such a serious influence on us? Well, everyone can feel. So here we can see that we carry our tools with us; now, we need to learn how to use these tools in a conscious, constructive, uplifting way.
And of course, we also have in-depth courses. These in-depth courses come after the introductory courses and deal with special areas of the hermetic tradition, be it the symbols and archetypes of the tarot, which assist us in correcting behavior patterns; alchemical processes; mechanisms of the hermetic kabbalah; the larger cosmic plan that is reflected in our smaller plan — that is, hermetic astrology — or the transformation of the kundalini energy. We learn all of this step by step in these courses. And if we are persistent and possess the desire to gradually tread this path, we will be abundantly rewarded.
The important thing for us is this: only through verification, experimentation and trying things out for ourselves can we attest to them. Just hearing about something can’t really help us. We have to muster the courage to take this first step and see: is this academy right for me? This is why we have kept the hurdles to a minimum when getting started. This means that anyone can financially afford to enroll, and it’s also easy to cancel your enrollment. It involves minimal hassle, bureaucratically and administratively. The mystery tradition has offered us this opportunity, the chance to enroll in the Hermetic Academy and immediately begin verifying the instructions on the same day. This is a great gift — unique in our time.
And if we find this path is right for us, then we go on, step by step; if not, what have we lost? How many books have we bought that weren’t especially beneficial to our development? We can just look at this course like a book that collects dust somewhere in our library. Perhaps now, at this point in time, we feel we’ve had this experience that just wasn’t helpful to us, but maybe in a few weeks or months the seed will grow in our subconsciousness and lead to an “aha!” moment. And then we will know, okay, this wasn’t all completely in vain — we really gained something from the experience and as a result are able to harvest something. And that is also the meaning of our tradition. The more people learn to be conscious, active creators in their own lives, the more beautiful and magnificent our society will become — the more uplifting the social interactions will be among all people. Our goal is to make a significant contribution to this end.