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Thread: Platitude

  1. Senior Member
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    Can anybody tell me what the magus means by a platitude?

    We went together to my house. I had begun to suspect some trick of Hell. The malice of that devilish old woman, it might be, had not slept, even at her death. She had hidden the house beneath a magic veil? Or had her death itself in some strange way operated to--to what? Even conjecture paled. But magic somewhere there must be, and Eliphaz Levi was the most famous adept in Paris at the time. I told my story, just as I have told it to you, but with strong passion.
    "There is an illusion, master!" I ended. "Put forth the Power and destroy it!"
    "Were I to destroy the illusion," returned the magus, "thinkest thou to see a virgin with gold hair? Nay, but the Eternal Virgin, and a Gold that is not gold."
    "Is nothing to be done?" "
    "Nothing!" he replied, with a strange light in his eyes. "Yet, in order to be able to do nothing, thou must first accomplish everything. One day," he smiled, seeing my bewilderment, "thou wilt be angry with the fool who proffers such a platitude."

    Aleister Crowley, The Dream Circean, 1910

    Does it mean the foolish protagonist will be angry with himself one day for trying to ask the magus to put forth the power and destroy the illusion to find the house (and the girl inside)? I am really out of my depth ...

    Thanks a lot.
    Last edited by Johnyxxx; 03-Jan-2016 at 19:26.
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  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
    Retired English Teacher
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    Re: Platitude

    "Yet, in order to be able to do nothing, thou must first accomplish everything." As I understand it, this is the platitude. The magus is saying that the protagonist will one day be wise enough, (perhaps even be a magus himself) to be angry with anyone who says such a thing.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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