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
An imaginary conviction that this or that thing is true, even if such conviction be based upon the strongest reasons of plausibility and probability, is no real knowledge or self-recognition of truth. The truth is really known to no man until it is realized in him; but when the light of truth arises as a living power within his soul, penetrating and illuminating his understanding, causing him to enter into full harmony and become one with the truth, he may then truly say, not only “I know the truth,” but like one of old, “I [in my personal state] am the Truth.” This, however, is not to be interpreted as if to mean that we should reject all theories or treat opinions of others with contempt. Theories are means by which to arrive at practice; they are like crutches used by children before they are able to walk. They are sometimes good for discarding errors; but a knowledge of theories is not identical with the recognition of truth.
Franz Hartmann, The Correlation of Spiritual Forces
“It’s all math to you, isn’t it?” “Everything is math, Brittle. All of existence is binary. Ones and zeros. On and off. Existing or not. Believing anything beyond that is simply pretending.” “That’s all anything means to you?” “Meaning is a function set to zero in this universe. Maybe in the other places beyond us there is something more than simply maintaining existence, but here, in this universe, it is the only thing that matters.”
C Robert Cargill, Sea of Rust: A Novel [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]
To live in the sense of these great cosmogonies means to work for the attainment of personal spiritual perfection. Only by so doing can man become a servant of the world and of humanity. Self-perfection is by no means self-seeking, for the imperfect man is an imperfect servant of the world and of humanity. The more perfect a man is, the better does he serve the world. “If the rose adorns itself, it adorns the garden.”
Rudolf Steiner, How to Know Higher Worlds [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]
Riches she possessed, but that which enriches them, the participation of affection, was wanting. All that they could purchase for her became indifferent to her, because that which they could not purchase, and which was more valuable than themselves, she had, for their sake, thrown away. She discovered, when it was too late, that she had mistaken the means for the end—that riches, rightly used, are instruments of happiness, but are not in themselves happiness.
Thomas Love Peacock, Nightmare Abbey
The ‘Worst Man in the World’ Tells the Astounding Story of His Life in Articles by Aleister Crowley.
“Then one of the first principles of magic was revealed to me.
It is sufficient to will with all one’s might that which one wills. You who read this—whatever you will you can do. It is only a question of commanding the means.” [via, also]