Lucifer, September, 1887
[Note: in the pages of Lucifer, aphorisms or brief explanations of specific topics often appear at the close of articles. These are presumed to be by H.P.B. The following is the first such instance.]
Occultism is not magic, though magic is one of its tools.
Occultism is not the acquirement of powers, whether psychic or intellectual, though both are its servants. Neither is occultism the pursuit of happiness; as men understand the word; for the first step is sacrifice, the second, renunciation.
Life is built up by the sacrifice of the individual to the whole. Each cell in the living body must sacrifice itself to the perfection of the whole; when it is otherwise, disease and death enforce the lesson.
Occultism is the science of life, the art of living.