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
But they were entirely free from the malignant envy, the panic born of prejudice and the perverse passions produced by hypocritically pretending to suppress natural instincts, which one associates with tradesmen in the West End of London and ministers of religion.
Aleister Crowley, Confessions, Chapter 55
Porphyry ridicules the idea that gods, being wiser, more powerful, and superior to man, could be coaxed, persuaded or forced to do the will of man or conform to his desires. He repudiates the theory that clairvoyance, prophecy, etc., were the results of the inspiration by external gods, but says that they are a function of the Divine Spirit within man; and that the exercise of this function becomes possible when the soul is put into that condition which is necessary to exercise it. “The consciousness of man may be centred within or beyond his physical form; and according to conditions a man may be, so to say, out of himself or within himself, or ‘in a state in which he is neither wholly without nor within, but enjoys both states at once.” He also states that there are many invisible beings, which may take all possible forms and appear as gods, as men, or as demons, that they are fond of lying and masquerading, and of pretending to be the souls of departed men.
Franz Hartmann, In the Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom
Presently I discovered that whenever anything happened to depress her she sought consolation in alcohol. The Puritan idea, the necessity of pretending to be what you are not, had destroyed her sense of freedom. She did the drinking secretly. Ultimately the smash came.
Aleister Crowley, The Argument That Took the Wrong Turning
We affirm on our altars our faith in ourself and our wills, our love of all aspects of the Absolute All.
And we make the Spirit shin combine with the Flesh teth in a single letter, whose value is 31 even as those of LA the Naught, and AL the All, to complete their Not-Being and Being with its Becoming, to mediate between identical extremes as their mean—the secret that sunders and seals them.
It declares that all somethings are equally shadows of Nothing, and justifies Nothing in its futile folly of pretending that something is stable, by making us aware of a method of Magick through the practice of which we may partake in the pleasure of the process.
Aleister Crowley, Liber V vel Reguli
Briefly, Truth is an idea of a supra-rational order, pertaining to Neschamah, not to Ruach. That all rational conceptions imply that we know Truth, and that Truth is in their propositions, only shows that these so-called rational ideas are not really rational at all. Truth is by no means the only idea that resists rational analysis. There are very many ideas that remain indefinable: all simple ideas do so. At the back of all our efforts is the dead wall that we must already know what we are pretending to find out.
Aleister Crowley, Little Essays Toward Truth, Truth
A “Christian” of that order ought to be put under restraint, and not allowed to associate with mankind. He carries a moral malaria with him, which poisons the air. He suggests evil to minds which have not thought it. He is a dangerous hypnotist, while pretending to be a disciple of Christ.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox, The Heart of the New Thought [Amazon, Bookshop, Local Library]
Oh no! I’m all right. One must speak sometimes, one can’t spend one’s life grinning like a Cheshire cat, and pretending one thinks everything perfect.
Florence Farr, The Dancing Faun
Charisma, the projection of an aura of self confidence, is based on a simple trick. After a short while there is no difference at all between the pretence and the actuality of self confidence. Anyone wishing to remedy a lack of confidence and charisma, and uncertain as to how to begin pretending to these qualities, may find that a day or two spent pretending to absolute zero self confidence will quickly reveal both the effectiveness of pretence and the specific thoughts, words, gestures and postures required to project either pretence.
Pete Carroll, Rituals and Spell Objectives and Design in Eight Magics
“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]