The world operates from many different laws, but none are more important than the Universal Principals of the Kybalion at defining the process of how the innovative Mind thinks.
Ever since Newton documented the movement of the planets around the solar system, man has been able to understand and measure mechanical events, a construct now known as Newtonian Physics. The significance of this one event was that he broke from the traditional religious-based exploration of the sciences by removing unexplainable spirits from the process. He only worked with what could be observed and tracked and where changes could be measured.
That shift led to an infinite number of discoveries that have continued to this day. That’s because, since the end of the 17th Century, scientists have had a playbook for measuring and proving/ disproving theories.
The idea of universal Principles has also always existed within the realm of human cognitive experiences. Like with science, humans need rules to evaluate and examine how we should operate within a space – our space. There are countless universal Principles that people try to align with because they believe again that these laws provide a construct for existence.
None of these laws are more significant to the process of creativity and Innovation than the Principles captured during early dynasties of Egypt. Documented during the early 1900s by The Three Initiates, it was believed that these seven specific laws were originally written more than 5,000 years ago in a text known as The Kybalion. They are considered by many to be the “Principles of Reality”.
As a product developer and inventor, I have also found that they make up what I call the Cognitive Rules of Innovation because, without these Principles, Innovation would not exist.
Principle of Mentalism
The Principle of Mentalism states that everything exists only within our minds. While this is a foundational statement of the Cognitive Rules of Innovation, it is perhaps the most challenging idea for the human brain to grasp. For example, while we recognize that our eyes are not lenses to the world through which we really see our experiences, it is difficult to understand that what we are really seeing is just a translation of energy from nerve impulses into the brain as light. It’s how the brain receives that energy that determines what is actually seen. So, how and when do we apply the Principle of Mentalism? The Principle of Mentalism teaches us to have a critical eye that challenges what we experience. It prompts us to evaluate fact vs fiction to ensure that our perceptions are based on a grounding of logic and not of beliefs formed over the course of our lives. Beliefs that are very often false. When the Ideative Mind applies the Principle of Mentalism, it seeks to analyze its experiences more critically against the generalized understandings we oftentimes tend to reach. That generalized understanding forms the 6 walls of the box.
Principle of Correspondence
The Principle of Correspondence is the most foundational rule related to Innovation. This Principle basically states that you cannot get something from nothing. Every new or game-changing idea that has ever been conceived came from concepts and ideas already known. Steve Jobs once said, “You can’t connect the pieces by looking forward. You have to look backward.” This is precisely what he was referring to. All of the ideas he had ever conceived came by connecting pieces of past experiences. The break-away magnetic plug came from his experience in China and observation of break-away electric cords connecting rice cookers to the ways; his introduction of the concept of fonts stemmed from his brief experiences in a 1995 calligraphy class. This list continues.
All our experiences create a background of understanding of our world. Most people move through an experience and generalize it. We see a vertically positioned rectangle at the front of a house with a knob, and we automatically understand it to be a door. Ideators like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, go deeper in observation. They hyper-fixate. For the experiences they are not able to instantly generalize, they take note of the experience, the “how’s,” “whys,” “what ifs,” and store those as a working process made retrievable. Later they retrieve them in a Eureka moment.
Another example, the modern automobile. Today’s cars have the same standard design: Steering wheel in front; clutch on the left; hand brake in middle; accelerator on the right. In the beginning, no one had a design; they just threw in levers, pedals, buttons, etc.
The very first car, the 1896 Benz Patent Motorwagen, was more like a motorized tricycle with just three wheels. With a boat-type tiller style steering in the center, one front wheel, and with one hp, it was capable of doing up to 9 mph for just 5 miles before requiring a refill.
The second, the Royal Enfield, which arrived three years later, had two hp, four wheels, an Ignition switch on the floor, but came with so many levers on the steering wheel, it’s been described as “a car for a person with three arms and one leg”. There are two key points of note here:
- The formal steering wheel design that would become the standard design for all cars to follow came from this one car.
- For ideas to move to Innovation, there is a layering effect where simple designs become more and more complex on their way towards greater, ultimate simplicity.
Even the first model T, while having the steering wheel where we all know it today, was still
very complicated to drive. It was the first mass-produced vehicle, and it still had a hand-operated accelerator and brake. It wasn’t until 19 years after the introduction of the Cadillac Type 53 in 1916 that its configuration became the standard barrier for all cars to follow. This came after the examination of designs that had come before it, and it positioned the brake, the gas pedal, and clutch in the middle of the car. That knowledge of what a proper car should look and feel like came from experiencing how different prior arrangements had assisted in enabling the process of driving i.e. from past experiences, “As Below,” arrive new and sub-similar future experiences “So As Above.” Without the Law of Correspondence, Innovation would not be possible.
The Ideative Mind, in applying the Principle of Correspondence, will therefore understand the importance of their experiences in the process of ideation. This is of particular importance as it relates to the understanding of the processes, meanings, symbolism, or anything else that one finds of interest, in anything consider. No one knows how an ideator will interpret one or a series of past experiences and what may result from that interpretation. This is where one’s ability to apply their own meanings to that experience, creates the new perspective of possibilities.
Principle of Vibration
The Principle of Vibration for Innovation basically states that everything changes. Nothing stays the same, which is another concept that most people have difficulty grasping.
In truth, it suggests that everything vibrates, even the seemingly immoveable. The human brain conceives the world in compressed timelines. This means we are structured to see only within our frames of reference: daily activities across a week, the growth and aging of our family, blocks of time related to elections, the 4-year cycle of the Olympics, for example. With such a compressed view, even across our lifetimes, we may see a tree at different heights, but we never notice its growth.
The Principle of Vibration within the realm of Innovation can assist us in understanding the concept of thinking in scale. By training our brains to comprehend the idea of time and change better, the brain naturally begins to develop neural pathways to support that ideation. The process teaches the brain to think not just in linear terms but multi-dimensionally as the Mind seeks to categorize concepts that span across multiple areas of consideration.
By being able to examine events across time and as those events relate to other events across a different time scale, the critical thinking person is stretched to develop ways to combine the different and opposing frames of reference. Simply stated, you think bigger when your brain learns to think effectively in concepts of scale.
The Ideative Mind can leverage the Principle of Vibration by recognizing that change is constant. Charles Darwin, the 19th Century English naturalist, geologist, and biologist once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”. In recognizing that everything changes, the Innovative Mind can look past where we are today and know at any moment, a new experience can yield a new reference point that produces new hypotheses leading to a model that sparks a revolution in how things are done, from this point and onwards to the next.
Principle of Polarity
The Principle of Polarity states that everything has poles. If I apply this to the idea of temperature, it is easy to understand that while 98o F is warm, it is colder than 100o F by two degrees, but it is also two degrees warmer than 96o F. The Principle of Polarity states that all things are equal (temperature) but different in degrees.
As a creative thinker, I take it as there is no one solution but gradations of options. While we build skyscrapers that require cranes able to lift a minimum of between 12 to 18 tons, in 1,000 BC, the Egyptians raised megalithic blocks weighing more than 1,600 tons and never saw anything significant about it. We both have/had the technology, same but different in degree. But while we know how cranes work, we still have no idea how they performed such feats of moving impossible objects of weight at that time or even this time, with the technology we believe they possessed.
To further support this argument, there are many locations around the world where seemingly advanced technology was used to perform actions, we are incapable of performing today. We are quick to disbelieve what we see when we experience the impact of these events because we have no basis or reference points of experience from which we can drill down into those experiences to understand the origins of the Innovation. Therefore, we have no map which can provide an understanding of “How did they do that”. In understanding the Principle of Polarity, the Innovative Mind learns to discard absolutes because they begin to recognize the importance of the gradation of possibilities that exist when one is open to change.
Principle of Rhythm
The innovator understands that everything operates in cycles with the Principle of Rhythm. This applies to the human cycle of life: birth, growth, peak, and decline, which is about 70 years. But it also applies to Obliquity, which is the number of years it takes the earth’s pole to make one complete titled rotation, 41,000 years. In understanding the Principle of Rhythm, we can maximize opportunities while minimizing risk. Daniel Burrus, the award-winning technology futurist, has written numerous books on soft and hard trends affecting any number of industries and or markets. He defines these trends in two ways: Trends of things that will definitely happen, such as the aging of the baby boomers and increases in corporate sustainability (Hard Trends), or Soft Trends such as the increase in immigrant traffic at the southern border. It’s a Soft Trend because something can be done to change what is occurring. By understanding cycles, the innovator sees and can predict when they can be leveraged because they are will become congruent. This creates an opportunity to maximize the potential. When conditions are incongruent the innovative mind can seek to minimize risk.
In considering the Principle of Rhythm as an Innovator, the person understands that ideas – creativity flows. As we move through life, we will experience the peak of ideation when everything builds a road to a solution. But just as we peak (flow), our cycles will ebb, and ideas will be slower to emerge and with less clarity. The Ideator, however, knows that for every rise of a cycle or pattern, the fall will be exactly equal in-depth as the rise was in height. Ideator who understands the Principle of Rhythm knows that we cannot stop the change in cycles (Principle of Vibration), but we can control how we view it.
Principle of Cause & Effect
The Principle of Cause & Effect states that the universe operates according to rules. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The innovative Mind understands that this constitutes a process because they instinctively see the world through a process lens. For the Mind that tends to fixate, the experience is viewed as process mapping with two potential goals:
- to understand what is observed: The “What if,” the “How come,” the “I wonder why”;
- to apply our understanding of what we believe it to be and arrive at a process of how we would have done it. And then moving on, but in doing so, the ideator stores that experience or reference point into their subconscious.
In understanding the Principle of Cause and Effect, the Ideator will begin to see the processes that occur with everything that changes. It is the study of these processes that assist the Mind in not just seeing the relationships between “Action & Reaction” but equally important, to begin to see how all the Principles operate on the same process. They begin to understand how these universal Principles are in lockstep inter-dependency, meaning the significance of one is only as important as it is in relationship to another.
So many people see the “Law of Attraction” as the end-all to be all of the universal Principles because they believe that it is The One Law that can get them what they want. They, however, fail to understand that nothing stands alone and that everything is connected. The concept of the Universal Law of Connection tells us that nothing in the world stands by itself. With the Principle of Cause and Effect, the Innovative Mind understands this as well and is able to see the connections between the seemingly disconnected.
Principle of Gender
The Principle of Gender is the final Principle and can only be truly understood and harnessed, when the ideator has reached a form of self-actualization or mastery. This can only occur when the person brings balance to their two sides. In bridging that divide, the reward is that the ideator can gather more reference points of experiences through a wider lens of considerations and possibilities, i.e., the balanced masculine and feminine perspective.
Regardless of our actual sex (male, female, non-binary), we all operate within realms of energy that are both Masculine and Feminine. Understand that the Principle of Gender is not speaking of a person’s actual biological sex when discussing the Masculine and Feminine energies as we all (Principle of Polarity) operate between these two poles, regardless of our biological sex. The “Masculine” energy represents the goal or action to be performed. It is Action Focused. It’s the energy that moves us towards our goals one step at a time. The “Feminine” energy prompts us, however, to step back and evaluate where we are – where we are going. It is the energy that forces us to think by considering more reference points of experiences to arrive at more options – things to consider. It continually forces us to examine what we have, where we are, what we are doing in relationship to where we are trying to go.
By not understanding the impact these forces have on our actions, the Masculine self may prompt us to move forward, potentially off of a cliff due to impulsivity. Conversely, the Feminine self can have an equally detrimental impact on our actions by prompting us to stop digging potentially “3 feet from the gold”.
These Principles should be considered as you seek to increase your ability to “Think Outside of the Box” because they represent the fundamental laws of how we experience the world.
As I look back on my experiences of asking the question of “What if,” “How come,” “I wonder why,” I naturally moved to the Hermetic teachings as a guide for creativity. It was my door towards increasing my creativity and ability to scale in thought. British Author and poet Jiddu Krishnamurti once said, “In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there, and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.” This sums up my understanding of the possibilities in one brief statement. I hope that this can assist you in finding both your key and your door.
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