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The “secrets” (or arcane truths) imparted in this Degree are explained as consisting of certain peculiar marks or signs, intended to distinguish all Brethren of the elementary grade of Apprentice. Outwardly, in this and in subsequent Degrees also, they are expressed by step, sign, and word. These, of course, are not the full or real secrets, but only figurative emblems of them. It is what they signify that constitutes the secrets, and that significance is left for the Candidate to meditate upon and reduce into daily personal practice. Only so will he really learn them and come to understand why they are called “secrets” and why we insist upon their use. They can never be orally communicated, except in symbolic form, but must be learned by experimental practice.

W L Wilmshurst, The Ceremony of Initiation, Part II

Hermetic quote Wilmshurst The Ceremony of Initiation secrets imparted marks signs outwardly step sign word not full real secrets figurative emblems daily personal practice learn understand experimental

Ideas have no status except through forms that are accepted symbols of sentience and are spatially and outwardly self-indulgent. Excarnation of an inspired or superimposed concept may be induced and orientated by ‘space-apperception’. The whole body and being must suspire… This total effluxion makes everything reciprocal and becomes a re-orientated sequence of focused nexity. Through this harmonic relation with Ego one becomes the qualitative mediator of the hypothetical or real propensity: any position giving vastness or panorama, and, by abstractive gazing beyond distance, allowing and following the flow of thought until there is an intrusive and more cognate idea. This idea is held and projected into the ‘vista’. Nothing innate is permitted to be subtracted from the visualization.

Austin Osman Spare, The Zoëtic Grimoire of Zos

Hermetic quote Spare Zoetic Grimoire of Zos ideas have no status except through forms accepted symbols sentience

Even though so many past and present conspiracy theories are exercises in paranoia rather than history, there have been real conspiracies down through the years; it’s worth remembering that even the Bavarian Illuminati did actually exist at one point, and attempted (however clumsily) a program of political subversion in late eighteenth-century Germany. Distasteful as it may be to modern scholarship, the material is there, and needs to be dealt with.

John Michael Greer, Caduceus III 2, An Embarrassment of Secrets

Hermetic quote Greer An Embarrassment of Secrets conspiracy theories exercises paranoia history real conspiracies bavarian illuminati did exist modern scholarship material needs dealt with

Nostalgia can be contained and marketed—but actual difference would threaten the hegemony of the one worldview. The “Gift Economy” of some nearly-extinguished “primitive tribe” makes excellent TV; our mourning for its disappearance can only boost the sales of whatever commodity might soothe our sense of loss. Mourning itself can become fetishized, as in the victorian era of onyx and jet and black-plumed graveyard horses. Death is good for Capital, because money is the sexuality of the dead. Corpses have already appeared in advertising—”real” corpses.

Hakim Bey, The Obelisk

Hermetic quote Bey Obelisk nostalgia contained marketed death good capital money sexuality dead corpses advertising

Daphne and Sylvester want to prove that their love is real. They want to prove that their love is real to the whole world. That is why they are currently having sexual intercourse in the middle of their local shopping centre on a Saturday afternoon.

Mike Russell, Nothing Is Strange [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]

Hermetic quote Russell Nothing is Strange prove love real whole world currently sexual intercourse middle shopping centre