Even those dreadful periods of “dryness” and of despair seem but the necessary lying fallow of the Earth. All those “false paths” of Magic and Meditation and of Reason were not false paths, but steps upon the true Path; even as a tree must shoot downwards its roots into the Earth in order that it may flower, and bring forth fruit in its season.
Aleister Crowley, John St. John, Prologue
Religion, like nations and individuals, passes through the regular gradation, first of infancy, when religious ideas and thoughts are crude in the extreme; the age of Puritanism, when innocent women and children are burned at the stake for witchcraft, when with gloomy faces and in unsightly dress the poor fanatics sacrificed every pleasure on the altar of duty; the time when Sunday was a day of horror to children from its gloom, a day when every innocent amusement was forbidden. After religion’s infancy comes youth. At that stage, the absurd dress and gloomy faces were not considered essential adjuncts to religion, but free discussion was not allowed upon religious subjects. Everything must be taken for granted, without any investigation on the part of the people. After youth comes manhood, the time when reason has full sway, when superstition and credulities form no part of religious teaching and thought. People are able to think, to reason for themselves. After the age of manhood, comes old age and that is the stage of agnosticism. Questions are being asked, and ideas propounded which must not be overlooked nor treated with contempt. All questions asked in a fair spirit, must be answered in a fair manner. It is not sufficient to say, “it is so”, but good and tangible reasons must be given to prove the truth of an assertion. We are now in the stage of “old age.” Agnosticism and Infidelity are wide spread. After old age comes decay and the decline of the absolutely orthodox. From time immemorial, every religion has passed through the same gradation, of infancy, youth, old age and decay finally comes philosophy.
Lydia Leavitt, Bohemian Society [Amazon, Amazon (Dodo Press), Bookshop (Dodo Press, Gutenberg, Local Library]
It took a lot of time and I thought of quitting a few times, but I am not one to admit defeat. I steadily persevered. It is what we do, as Magicians. I meditated. I evaluated the reason behind everything I did. I refused to do that which was not in line with my new path: work for work’s sake.
Soror Beth Shemesh (Beth Kimbell), TMI or Karma Yoga: A Fool’s Journey
green of the honeyed muse, green of the rough caress of ritual, green undaunted by reason or delirium, green of jealous joy, green of the secret holy violence of the thyrsos, green of the sacred iridescence of the dance
Anne Carson and Euripides, Bakkhai [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]
it is the fashion to be unhappy. To have a reason for being so would be exceedingly common-place: to be so without any is the province of genius: the art of being miserable for misery’s sake, has been brought to great perfection in our days
Thomas Love Peacock, Nightmare Abbey [Amazon, Bookshop, Local Library, Internet Archive]
Jackie: That’s a cut, Zoey. It’s not an existential crisis.
Zoey: Everything happens for a reason.
Jackie: Sometimes that reason is bad plumbing.
Abe Sylvia, Nurse Jackie, s05e06
You can and should use logic and reason all you want. But it would be a great mistake to ignore the stray bit of data that doesn’t fit into your preconceived theories, that may even confound everything you thought you were sure of.
Barbara Ehrenreich, Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth about Everything
The reason should transcend every interest of the body and its desires; it should seek to know the universe through contemplation and abstraction, as it is to the mind, not just as man might perceive it through the senses alone.
Ralph M Lewis, The Conscious Interlude