“Yeats and the Occult” by George Mills Harper

"Yeats and the Occult" by George Mills Harper

"This volume of the Yeats Studies Series is devoted to the study of Yeats and the occult. The time has passed when it was necessary, in order to preserve intellectual respectability, to express either astonishment or dismay at the nature of Yeats's intellectual pursuits.

The "occult" means literally the covered, the hidden, the veiled; and during his life Yeats was concerned with the hidden significance underlying the appearances of the universe and of human life. He was, as he said himself, a religious man, and deprived of a comfortable belief in orthodox Christianity by the lively skepticism of his father, he sought in many quarters and opened up many veins in his quest for the jewel of enlightenment which would make intelligible "the burthen of the mystery … Of all this unintelligible world".