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The society of merchants can be defined as a society in which things disappear in favor of signs. When a ruling class measures its fortunes, not by the acre of land or the ingot of gold, but by the number of figures corresponding ideally to a certain number of exchange operations, it thereby condemns itself to setting a certain kind of humbug at the center of its experience and its universe. A society founded on signs is, in its essence, an artificial society in which man’s carnal truth is handled as something artificial.
Now, ideas are the raw material of progress. Everything first takes shape in the form of an idea. But an idea itself is worth nothing. An idea, like a machine, must have power applied to it before it can accomplish anything. The men who have won fame and fortune through having an idea are those who devoted every ounce of their strength and every dollar they could muster to putting it into operation. Ford had a big idea, but he had to sweat and suffer and sacrifice to make it work.
In order to judge of the inside of others, study your own; for men in general are very much alike; and though one has one prevailing passion, and another has another, yet their operations are much the same; and whatever engages or disgusts, pleases or offends you, in others, will, mutatis mutandis, engage, disgust, please, or offend others, in you.
I’ve often said that the only thing I can change with magick is myself. I believe that. Whatever changes I wish to effect with magick, the first and only thing that will be directly changed by my magical operation will be me. Once I am changed, then the new changed me will then somehow affect or attract the desired object of my operation.