BOOK REVIEW: “The Kybalion” by The Three Initiates

The Kybalion by the Three Initiates (Amazon) (Goodreads)
  • Title: The Kybalion 
  • Author: “The Three Initiates”
  • Publication: Rough Draft Printing
  • Pages: 108 pages
  • Genre: Non-Fiction, New Age/Metaphysical
  • Format: Paperback
  • Source: Purchased copy
  • Rating: 3/5 stars

The Kybalion is a brief introduction to the arcane world of Hermeticism, a mix of religious, philosophical, and magical beliefs of humanity’s spiritual quest to its true divine nature. The book consists of a short intro to Hermeticism with chapters dedicated to each of the seven hermetic principles:

  1. The Princple of Mentalism: Everything is mental
  2. The Principle of Correspondence:  As above, so below
  3. The Principle of Vibration:  Everything is in motion, nothing  is at rest
  4. The Principe of Polarity: Everything is dual
  5. The Principle of Rhythm: All is ebb and flow
  6. The Principle of Cause & Effect: Every cause has its effects and every effect has its cause
  7. The Principle of Gender: Everything consists of masculine and and feminine qualities

This cryptic tradition was founded by the mysterious figure Hermes Trismegistus. Trismegistus was a reputed philosopher, priest, and a magician. Some claim he was an actual man who lived in Egypt so long ago that the biblical figure Abraham picked up his teachings. Others believed he was simply a metaphorical figure mixed of the ancient gods Hermes and Thoth. Trismegistus supposedly wrote over 10,000 books, giving another theory he was actually made up of a group of anonymous occult student writers.

Speaking of anonymous writers, William Walter Atkinson wrote The Kybalion under the pseudonym “The Three Initiates”. He was compelled to write this book after a conversation with a yoga teacher. Atkinson was a Chicago lawyer heavily interested in the occult world. He wrote for the Yogi Publication Society as “The Three Initiates” and “Yogi Ramacharaka”. More information about Atkinson is wrapped in uncertainty.

Overall, The Kybalion can be a difficult read but a satisfying one at that. I read this book multiple times to grasps its concepts and found a few of my favorite useful sayings:

The possession of Knowledge, unless accompanied by a manifestation and expression in Action, is like the hoarding of precious metals-a vain and foolish thing. Knowledge, like wealth, is intended for Use. The Law of Use is Universal, and he who violates it suffers by reason of his conflict with natural forces.” –The Kybalion

Mastery consists not in abnormal dreams, visions, and fantastic imaginings or living, but in using the higher forces against the lower – escaping the pains of the lower planes by vibrating on the higher. Transmutation, not presumptuous denial, is the weapon of the Master.” -The Kybalion

This book is written as an easy read but it can be hard and excessive in some chapters. It is read in The Kybalion it’s only easy for those who are ready (otherwise, you’re a noob). Fans of general philosophy and the occult world might enjoy this book. For me, reading The Kybalion was a diving board to a deep ocean of hidden knowledge.

Have you read The Kybalion?

What occult traditions have you read related to Hermeticism?



A New Sister Branch is Born: Twitter!


I’ve decided to use Twitter as the latest sister branch to Duckie’s Book Nook. Click here to go straight to the Twitter page. Feel free to follow me over at the Twitterverse!

You can also find the link to the Twitter page on the “Sister Sites” page along with my Tumblr and Pinterest branches. Slowly building an empire…mwahaha!

Thank you!


Manga Monday #7: “Barefoot Gen” by Keiji Nakazawa

Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa (Amazon) (Goodreads)

Don’t let the playful cover fool you! Barefoot Gen will turn you into an emotional wreck.

The manga follows Gen Nakoaka’s painful journey shortly before and after the Hiroshima bombing. He witnesses half of his family dying in a house fire, struggles to support the rest of his surviving family, and fears he will die from radiation exposure after his hair falls out. Along the way to a better life after Hiroshima, Gen meets fellow survivors and tries to help them recover from their troubles. He takes in Ryuta, an orphan who reminds him of his dead little brother. Together, they try to create a better life for themselves and their surviving loved ones.

This roller coaster of a manga made me angry, sad, and laugh at the lighthearted moments. And to think, this is loosely based on the author’s real life! Keiji Nakazawa was only six years old when the atomic bomb hit Hiroshima and his life wasn’t the same since.

Barefoot Gen will make you despise war. This story reveals war only brings more pain than victory.

BOOK REVIEW: “The 80/20 Manager” by Richard Koch

The 80/20 Manager by Richard Koch (pic via Success) (Amazon) (Goodreads)
  • Title: The 80/20 Manager
  • Author: Richard Koch
  • Publication: Little, Brown and Company (Oct. 1, 2013)
  • Pages: 288
  • Genre: Non-Fiction, Business
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Source: Library
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

The 80/20 Manager is an excellent guide for those who want to receive more by doing less. The 80/20 Principle is a productivity method of achieving great outcomes with little effort by accomplishing the most important projects first. This principle is also called the “Pareto Principle” after Italian economist and philosopher Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923). He wrote Course d’Economie Politique, an academic paper about the elite 20% who controlled 80% of Italy during his time. A small group can produce big results.

Author Richard Koch presents many examples in his book how the 80/20 principle worked for him as an entrepreneur and a managing consultant. He outlines ten ways the 80/20 principle can be used like time-rich management and simplification. Apple’s iPhone was Koch’s core example of simplification. The iPhone is one product (20% work) with many functions: internet, GPS, video recording, and more (80% effort). Therefore, Apple has become wildly successful and prolific with the iPhone as opposed to many products with limiting operations (still, Apple make more than just phones).

The 80/20 Manager is aimed for those in business but it can be used for anybody in any career for anything! Since I’ve read this book, my productivity habits have sharply upgraded. This is a life-changing book! Every chapter was filled with rich, useful information.  Instead of racing to get everything done by nightfall, knock out the work with the greatest impact and a huge chunk of the day is already done while the sun is still up.

Have you read this book or anything else by Richard Koch? Did the 80/20 principle work for you at all?



Manga Monday #6: One Punch Man by ONE

One Punch Man by One  (Amazon) (Goodreads)

All Saitama wants to do is fight a worthy opponent who can withstand his powerful punch. This is the story of One Punch Man. He always knocks out his enemies with one punch (and they’re brilliant)! These easy matches bore him.

Not only that, the citizens of his hometown accuse him of taking credit from other heroes. It’s not him, the other heroes simply suck at their job. People may hate Saitama but what he cares about the most is a worthy challenge.

I didn’t know what to expect from this series but I have to say I’m glad I’ve finally read it. Curiosity finally got to me as I’ve seen my friends posting images of this bald-headed gentleman all over the web. Saitama’s a pretty powerful guy and he’s really humble about it. All he does to get so strong is simple exercise (seriously, that’s what he says).

via fanaru

Have you read One Punch Man?

Did you see the anime? I heard it was great!


1,000 Manga Volumes Goal Update: Feb. 2016-Apr. 2016

It’s been a while, right? Haha! Below are the following manga series I’ve been reading between February and April 2016. You can find the updated list over here. The updated titles are highlighted in bold. I’ve also mentioned With the Light by Keiko Tobe in my latest Manga Monday post!

Just a little over 300 more volumes and I’ll defeat the challenge. This year is the year! ^_^

Updated Volumes

  1.  Bleach by Tite Kubo
  2. My Love Story by Kazune Kawahara
  3. One Piece by Eiichiro Oda
  4. Ouran Host Club by Bisco Hatori 
  5. Prince of Tennis by Takeshi Konomi
  6. Twin Star Exorcists by Yoshiaki Sukeno
  7. Yukarism by Chika Shiomi

New Titles

  1. Handa-Kun by Satsuki Yoshino  
  2. Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter by Stacy King 
  3. Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring by Masashi Kishimoto
  4. One Punch Man by ONE
  5. With the Light by Keiko Tobe