“Now let us speak first of what is said about the key to self-change in that extraordinary production called the Gospels. Notice how the whole idea of self-change, inner self-evolution, begins with one magical word. This word in the Greek is metanoia. … The introductory word to the Gospels and all their inner psychological teaching is metanoia which is wrongly translated as ‘repent’ and which really means ‘change your mind.’ In other words it means ‘think in a new way.’ Meta = beyond; and noia = mind. So the word metanoia means ‘think beyond your mind’ and that is equivalent to what this Work, which is Esoteric Christianity, indicates when it teaches that in order to change we must think in a new way.”
– Maurice Nicoll, Commentaries, “Commentary on Habits,” Vol. 3, February 14, 1948, p. 1124


“What we have to grasp is that metanoia – change of mind – is impossible unless another idea is grasped – the idea of the ‘Kingdom of Heaven.’ This idea is impossible to grasp unless the concept of the individual evolution of a man is realized – i.e., that everyone on this planet is capable of a certain inner growth and individual development, and that this is his true significance and his deepest meaning, and begins with metanoia. But change of mind is useless, impossible, impracticable, save in view of this other idea that makes a change of mind possible and gives it its meaning and its fulfilment. If life on the earth is all, then metanoia is impossible. And this other idea makes all man-invented psychology unimportant and arbitrary. For if a man is born on earth as an individual capable of undergoing a transformation latent in him, comparable to the transformation of a grub into a winged insect, which possibility is latent in the grub, then a true and genuine psychology of man can and does exist – a psychology of transformation of oneself. … so if we wish to begin to understand what the Gospels are about, it must be understood that they are about a possible inner development of transformation of man, and that this begins with metanoia as its starting-point. … a new way of thinking about one’s life. Esoteric teaching is to make us think differently. that is its starting point: to feel the mystery of one’s own existence, of how one thinks and feels and moves, and to feel the mystery of consciousness, and to feel the mystery of the minute organization of matter. All this can begin to effect metanoia in a man.”
– Maurice Nicoll, The Mark