Initiation means the Journey Inwards: nothing is changed or can be changed; but all is trulier understood with every step. The Magus of the Gods, with His one Word that seems to overturn the chariot of Mankind in ruin, does not in fact destroy or even alter anything; He simply furnishes a new mode of applying existing Energy to established Forms.
Aleister Crowley, Mastery in Little Essays Towards Truth
What the man in the street means by Atheist is the militant Atheist, Bradlaugh or Foote; and it is a singular characteristic of the Odium Theologicum that, instead of arguing soberly concerning the proposition, which those worthies put forward, they always try to drag the red herring of morality across the track. Of all the stupid lies that men have ever invented, nothing is much sillier than the lie that one who does not believe in God must be equally a disbeliever in morality. As a matter of fact, in a country which pretends so hard to appear theistic as England, it requires the most astounding moral courage, a positive galaxy of virtues, for a man to stand up and say that he does not believe in God; as Dr. Wace historically remarked, ‘it ought to be unpleasant for a man to say that he does not believe in Jesus’; and my dislike to Atheism is principally founded on the fact that so many of its exponents are always boring me about ethics. Some priceless idiot, who, I hope, will finish in the British Museum, remarked in a free-thinking paper the other day, that they need not trouble to pull down the churches, ‘because they will always be so useful for sane and serious discussion of important ethical problems.’ Personally, I would rather go back to the times when the preacher preached by the hour-glass.
Aleister Crowley, Concerning “Blasphemy” in General & the Rites of Eleusis in Particular
Some believe any and every thing is symbolic, and can be transcribed, and explain the occult, but of what they do not know. (Great spiritual truths?) So argument a metaphor, cautiously confusing the obvious which developes the hidden virtue. This unnecessary corpulency, however impressive, is it not disgusting? (The Elephant is exceeding large but extremely powerful, the swine though odious does not breed the contempt of our good taste.) If a man is no hero to his servant, much less can he remain a mystic in the eyes of the curious; similarity educates mimicry. Decorate your meaning, however objectionable (as fact), after you have shown your honesty. Truth, though simple, never needs the argument of confusion for obscurity; its own pure symbolism embraces all possibilities as mystic design. Take your stand in commonsense and you include the truth which cannot lie; no argument has yet prevailed. Perfect proportion suggest no alteration, and what is useless decays.
Austin Osman Spare, The Book of Pleasure
Of what use the wisdom of Virginity to him who has been raped by the seducer, ignorance? Of what use sciences or any knowledge except as medicine? Hidden treasure does not come at the word nor by digging with your hands in the main road. Even with the proper implements and accurate knowledge of place, etc., may be but the acquisition of what you possessed long ago. There is a great doubt as to whether it is hidden, except by the strata of your experience and atmospheres of your belief.
Austin Osman Spare, The Book of Pleasure
TO KNOW, TO DARE, TO WILL, TO KEEP SILENT, are, as we have said elsewhere, the four qabalistic words which correspond to the four letters of the tetragram and to the four hieroglyphic forms of the Sphinx. To know, is the human head; to dare, the claws of the lion; to will, the mighty flanks of the bull; to keep silent, the mystical wings of the eagle. He only maintains his position above other men who does not prostitute the secrets of his intelligence to their commentary and their laughter.
Éliphas Lévi, trans. Aleister Crowley, Liber XLVI The Key of the Mysteries
I couldn’t see any sense in pretending that life was not full of horrors. Death and trousers are facts in nature; and merely to avoid reference to them or to invent euphemisms for them does not alter their character.
Aleister Crowley, Confessions, Chapter 8