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
A thing is not esoteric because it is secret or kept hidden. It is esoteric because its existence is in some sense unmanifest, private, and by its very nature not available for examination from the outside: it is only available to participation, not, ultimately, merely to examination. In other words, the realm of the esoteric is, before anything else, the realm of consciousness, of experience.
Earl King, Jr., Having and Keeping Secrets: Some Words About Silence and The Hermetic Art of Secrecy
Even though tourists appear to be physically present in Nature or Culture, in effect one might call them ghosts haunting ruins, lacking all bodily presence. They’re not really there, but rather move through a mind-scape, an abstraction («Nature», «Culture»), collecting images rather than experience. All too frequently their vacations are taken in the midst of other peoples’ misery and even add to that misery.
Hakim Bey, Overcoming Tourism
I’d come to live as a human, to experience all the human traditions. And spending many a beautiful afternoon cooped up at the library service desk in order to make sure a bunch of middle schoolers weren’t playing dirty dating sims on the computers apparently counted as one.
B L Lacertae, DORIANA: Succubus At Large! [Amazon]
Like the scientist, the true occultist learns by his own experience, built upon the recorded previous experience of others.
William Walker Atkinson and Lon Milo DuQuette, The Astral World [Amazon]
You and I have both known him, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say it’s an experience we shan’t ever forget. And even when he and I met in the middle of China, with his mind a blank and his past a mystery, there was still that queer core of attractiveness in him.
James Hilton, Lost Horizon: A Novel
Gentlemen, we are men of experience. Self-interest is immutable, but its dictates vary daily.
Sara Hess, Deadwood, s02e10
I drew my own conclusion, which was that there is an entire category of experience that is not suited to intraspecies communication, so you are advised to keep it to yourself.
Barbara Ehrenreich, Living With a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth About Everything