Who may know his complete likeness, so much being hidden? The Astrals, Elementals, Mind, Soul? We realize something of the body’s mechanism and of the affectiveness of the whole; at its interrelations we may only guess. Every fact gleaned shows us merely greater ignorance of ourselves. Therefore, speak not of God, speak for yourself alone, for when you know yourself you will know your gods.
Austin Osman Spare, The Logomanchy of Zos
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
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
The next task now confronting him is to grow, as it were, into this higher self, that is, really to regard it as his own true self and to act accordingly. He realizes ever more clearly and intensely that his physical body and what he hitherto called his “I” are merely the instruments of his higher self. He adopts an attitude toward his lower self such as a person limited to the world of the senses adopts toward some instrument or vehicle that serves him.
Rudolf Steiner, How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher]
A great many things await you; I hope you will meet the challenges. Our Castalia is not supposed to be merely an elite; it ought above all to be a hierarchy, a structure in which every brick derives its meaning only from its place in the whole. There is no path leading out of this whole, and one who climbs higher and is assigned to greater and greater tasks does not acquire more freedom, only more and more responsibilities.
Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game [Bookshop, Amazon, Publisher]
To become wise, they would have to learn the true meaning of their own doctrines, symbols, and books, of which they at present merely know the outward form and the dead letter. They would have to form a much higher and nobler conception of God than to invest Him with the attributes of semi-animal man.
Franz Hartmann, With The Adepts [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Hermetic Library]