Tag Archives: why

He paused for a second, and asked, “Why did you work on the bomb?” Bryce thought for a minute. Then he laughed at his situation: using a Martian, in a bar, for a confessor. But perhaps it was appropriate. “I didn’t know it was going to be a bomb at first,” he said. “And in those days I believed in pure science. Reaching for the stars. Secrets of the atom. Our only hope in a chaotic world.” He finished the martini. “And you don’t believe those things anymore?” “No.”

Walter Tevis, The Man Who Fell to Earth [Amazon, Local Library]

Hermetic quote Tevis The Man Who Fell to Earth why work on bomb martian bar confessor didn't know first believed pure science reaching stars secrets atoms hope chaotic world don't believe anymore

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

Demands for sacrifice lack appeal for those who have already sacrificed, and been sacrificed, too much and for too long. The future promised by the left looked to be – at worst, even worse – and at best, not noticeably better than the status quo. Why rush to the barricades or, for that matter, why even bother to vote?

Bob Black, Preface to The Right to be Greedy by “For Ourselves”

Hermetic quote Black Preface to The Right to be Greedy by For Ourselves demands sacrifice lack appeal already too much too long future promised worst worse at best not better status quo why bother

That poem of Browning owes much of its haunting charm to this very circumstance, that the reader is never told who Childe Roland is, or why he wants to get to the Dark Tower, or what he expects to find when he does get there. There is a skillfully constructed atmosphere of Giants, and Ogres, and Hunchbacks, and the rest of the apparatus of fairy-tales; but there is no trace of the influence of Bædeker in the style. Now this is really very irritating to anybody who happens to be seriously concerned to get to that tower. I remember, as a boy, what misery I suffered over this poem. Had Browning been alive, I think I would have sought him out, so seriously did I take the Quest.

Aleister Crowley, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Liber LXXI, The Voice of the Silence

Hermetic quote Crowley Blavatsky Liber LXXI Voice in the Silence Browning childe roland dark tower fairy tales poem misery suffered seriously take quest

“I should tell you all with pleasure,” said the General, “but you would not believe me.” “Why should I not?” he asked. “Because,” he answered testily, “you believe in nothing but what consists with your own prejudices and illusions. I remember when I was like you, but I have learned better.” “Try me,” said my father; “I am not such a dogmatist as you suppose. Besides which, I very well know that you generally require proof for what you believe, and am, therefore, very strongly predisposed to respect your conclusions.”

Joseph Sheridan le Fanu, Carmilla [Bookshop, Amazon, Internet Archive]

Hermetic quote Sheridan le Fanu Carmilla I remember when I was like you but  I have learned better

Did our ancestors go peeping about with dark lanterns, and do we walk at our ease in broad sunshine? Where is the manifestation of our light? By what symptoms do you recognise it? What are its signs, its tokens, its symptoms, its symbols, its categories, its conditions? What is it, and why? How, where, when is it to be seen, felt, and understood? What do we see by it which our ancestors saw not, and which at the same time is worth seeing?

Thomas Love Peacock, Nightmare Abbey [Amazon, Internet Archive]

Hermetic quote Peacock Nightmare Abbey where is the manifestation of our light