should I now be entering these other realms, these secret twilight places, which may have hidden dangers?
My dearest, I will now explain the only safe and true formula, the destroyer of the darkness of the World, the most secret among all secrets. Let it be secret to him who would attain. Let it cover any period of time, depending on his conception. There is no qualification, nor ritual or ceremony. His very existence symbolising all that is necessary to perfection. Most emphatically, there is no need of repetition or feeble imitation. You are alive!
Austin Osman Spare, The Book of Pleasure
Yet excess is the secret of success.
Aleister Crowley, The Old Comment on Liber Legis, II.71
The silence that enfolds something kept unsaid points to the unsayable. By being wrapped in silence, what is arcane (kept hidden) comes to participate in what is esoteric (by its nature inexpressible). The secret becomes a symbol of the mystery, participating in what it points to, by the way in which it points to it.
Rather, what may seem to be mystification is a way of making that information symbolic because it is hidden. Because it is hidden, it cannot be explained. Because it cannot be said, it stands in for, or acts as a pointer to, the unsayable. We map the extra, tacit, inarticulable dimension into the ordinary realm by the use of secrets. Or: the secret is the diagonal that allows the third, inarticulate dimension to be mapped into the plane, the domain of words.
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.
The secret of the Lord is set with him
That wonders at His majesty: his praise
Wells from no trembler’s misery: his hymn
Swells the exultant day’s.
His psalm wings upward, and reflected down
Even in Hell makes music and renown.
Aleister Crowley, The Temple of The Holy Ghost, The Mountain Christ
Lo! were it otherwise, mere banishment,
I deem he had feared more! He had an heir.
This was a boy of strength with ardour blent,
High hope embowered in a body fair.
Him had he watched with eager eye, aware
Of misery occult in youth, awake
At the first touch of the diviner air
Of manhood, that could bane and blessing make,
The Lord of Life and Death, the secret of the Snake.
Aleister Crowley, Why Jesus Wept