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THE OUTSIDER COLIN WILSON PDF

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Colin Wilson. The Outsider. (–). —a poem―. Compiled by .. manifested as 'more abundant life'. When the Outsider becomes aware of his strength. The Outsider is a non-fiction book by English writer Colin Wilson, first published in . Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. The classic study of alienation, existentialism, and how great artists have portrayed characters who exist on the margins of society. Published to immense.


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The Outsider (Colin Wilson): | | The Outsider | | | ||| | Fi World Heritage Encyclopedia, the aggregation of the largest online encyclopedias available, and the. PDF | A train of thought prompted by the key conference question is followed down a rabbit hole, finding Colin Wilson, author of The Outsider. Author of The mind parasites, The outsider, The Occult, The philosopher's Colin Henry Wilson was a British author who had written works on.

Upon leaving he took up a succession of menial jobs, spent some time wandering around Europe, and finally returned to Leicester in There he married his first wife, Dorothy Betty Troop, and moved to London, where a son was born.

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But the marriage rapidly disintegrated as he drifted in and out of several jobs. During this traumatic period, Wilson was continually working and reworking the novel that was eventually published as Ritual in the Dark Returning to Leicester again, he met Joy Stewart - later to become his second wife and mother of their three children - who accompanied him to London. There he continued to work on Ritual in the Dark, receiving some advice from Angus Wilson no relation - then Deputy Superintendent of the British Museum's Reading Room - and slept rough in a sleeping bag on Hampstead Heath to save money.

He described his feelings as follows: "It struck me that I was in the position of so many of my favourite characters in fiction: Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov, Rilke's Malte Laurids Brigge, the young writer in Hamsun's Hunger: alone in my room, feeling totally cut off from the rest of society.

It was not a position I relished. Yet an inner compulsion had forced me into this position of isolation. I began writing about it in my journal, trying to pin it down. And then, quite suddenly, I saw that I had the makings of a book.

I turned to the back of my journal and wrote at the head of the page: 'Notes for a book The Outsider in Literature'. The book became a best-seller and helped popularise existentialism in Britain. The back cover of the paperback edition reads: "[In The Outsider] Wilson rationalized the psychological dislocation so characteristic of Western creative thinking into a coherent theory of alienation, and defined those affected by it as a type: the Outsider.

Through the works of various artists Wilson explored the psyche of the Outsider, his effect on society and society's on him. Nothing has happened in the past four decades that has made The Outsider any less relevant He contributed to Declaration, an anthology of manifestos by writers associated with the movement, and was also anthologised in a popular paperback sampler, Protest: The Beat Generation and the Angry Young Men. Colin Wilson Publisher: English View all editions and formats Summary:.

The classic study of alienation, creativity and the modern mind. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Details Additional Physical Format: Print version: Wilson, Colin, Outsider. Document, Internet resource Document Type: Colin Wilson Find more information about: Colin Wilson. Reviews User-contributed reviews Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Be the first.

Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Similar Items Related Subjects: User lists with this item 1 Things to Check Out 1 items by kirkww updated Linked Data More info about Linked Data. Primary Entity http: Book , schema: MediaObject , schema: Intangible ;. InformationResource , genont: It is true that reality exists apart from us; but what we mistake for the world is actually a world constituted by us, selected from an infinitely complex reality.

The Transactionists who have been influenced by Whitehead rather than Husserl take this one stage further, and point out that when I 'perceive' something, I am actually making a bet with myself that what I perceive is what I think it is. In order to act and live at all, I have to make these bets; I cannot afford to make absolutely certain that things are what I think they are.

But this means that we should not take our perceptions at face value, any more than Nietzsche was willing to take philosophy at its face value; we must allow for prejudice and distortion. To begin with, they last longer; they also leave behind no hangover, and leave the mental faculties clear and unimpaired. They stimulate the faculties and produce the ideal ground for a peak experience. It is like an adjustable spanner that can be used for dismantling a refrigerator or a car, or used for hammering in nails, or even for knocking somebody out.

Existentialism is romanticism , and romanticism is the feeling that man is not the mere he has always taken himself for. Romanticism began as a tremendous surge of optimism about the stature of man. Its aim — like that of science — was to raise man above the muddled feelings and impulses of his everyday humanity, and to make him a god-like observer of human existence.

It cannot, because it works in terms of symbols and language. There is another factor involved: consciousness. If the flame of consciousness is low, a symbol has no power to evoke reality, and intellect is helpless. The view I expressed in that book was that, while Lovecraft was distinctly a creative genius in his own way, his pessimism should not be taken too seriously; that it was the pessimism of a sick recluse, and had about it an element of rassentiment , a kind of desire to take revenge on the world that rejected him.

In short, Lovecraft was a 19th century romantic, born in the wrong time.

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Most men of genius dislike their own age, but the really great ones impose their own vision on the age. The weak ones turn away into a world of gloomy fantasy. It passed in a moment, but I found myself shuddering. Blake said that eternity opens from the center of an atom. My former terror vanished.

Now I saw that I was mistaken in thinking of myself as an object in a dead landscape. I had been assuming that man is limited because his brain is limited, that only so much can be packed into the portmanteau. But the spaces of the mind are a new dimension. The body is a mere wall between two infinities. Space extends to infinity outwards; the mind stretches to infinity inwards. As a romantic, I have always resented this: I like to sink into myself. The problems and anxieties of living make it difficult.

Well, now I had an anxiety that referred to something inside of me, and it reminded me that my inner world was just as real and important as the world around me. Any poet knows this truth; when other people sicken him, he turns to hidden resources of power inside himself, and he knows then that other people don't matter a damn.

He knows the 'secret life' inside him is the reality; other people are mere shadows in comparison. Man has more in common with the hills, or with the stars , than with other men. Their strength could increase in an atmosphere of defeat and panic , for it fed on human fear.

In that case, the best way to combat them was to change the atmosphere to one of strength and purpose. I believed that people who make a fuss about politics do so because their heads are too empty to think about more important things.

So I felt nothing but impatient contempt for Osborne's Jimmy Porter and the rest of the heroes of social protest. Philosophy may be only a shadow of the reality it tries to grasp, but the novel is altogether more satisfactory. I am almost tempted to say that no philosopher is qualified to do his job unless he is also a novelist I would certainly exchange any of the works of Whitehead or Wittgenstein for the novels they ought to have written.

But this time, my consciousness of the world seemed larger, more complex. It was the mystic's sensation of oneness, of everything blending into everything else. Everything I looked at reminded me of something else, which also became present to my consciousness, as if I were simultaneously seeing a million worlds and smelling a million scents and hearing a million sounds-- not mixed up, but each separate and clear.

I was overwhelmed with a sense of my smallness in the face of this vast, beautiful, objective universe, this universe whose chief miracle is that it exists, as well as myself.

It is no dream, but a great garden in which life is trying to obtain a foothold. I experienced a desire to burst into tears of gratitude; then I controlled it, and the feeling subsided into a calm sense of immense, infinite beauty.

It should be self-evident to him, all the time, that life is superb, glorious, endlessly rich, infinitely desirable. At present, because he is in a midway position between the brute and the truly human, he is always getting bored, depressed, weary of life.

He has become so top-heavy with civilisation that he cannot contact the springs of pure vitality. Control of the prefrontal cortex will change all of this. He will cease to cast nostalgic glances towards the womb, for he will realise that death is no escape.

Man is a creature of life and the daylight; his destiny lies in total objectivity. It fascinates him because to be suddenly gripped by it is to see that human beings are not the accidental products of a mechanical universe — that they are not "alone".

As social animals , we live in a narrow but apparently logical world with a well-defined identity and position. When we are lulled into somnolence by lack of challenge every molehill tends to become a mountain, every minor inconvenience an intolerable imposition.

For a self-chosen reality tends to become a prison. The factors that protect and insulate civilized man can easily end by suffocating him unless he possesses a high degree of self-discipline, the 'highly developed vital sense' that Shaw speaks of. And since clever and sensitive people are inclined to lack self-discipline, a high degree of culture usually involves a high degree of pessimism.

This is what has happened to Western civilisation over the past two centuries. It explains why so many distinguished artists, writers and musicians have taken such a negative view of the human situation. Introduction, p.

Colin Wilson

It fascinates him because to be suddenly gripped by it is to see that human beings are not the accidental products of a mechanical universe — that they are not 'alone'.

As social animals, we live in a narrow but apparently logical world with a well-defined identity and position. But man is the satellite of a double-star; there is also an inner-world that seems to have a completely different set of laws from the rational universe. And in fact, if we judge this 'rational universe' by its own laws, we see that it is not self-complete and self-explanatory; space must end somewhere, time must have a stop; but the alternative propositions sound equally 'logical': space is infinite; time has neither beginning nor end.

The answer to these paradoxes must be that the outer universe is not self-complete; it is only half a universe.

The Outsider

The inner world is the other half. But at present we know very little about this inner world. It is only within the present century that its existence has been clearly recognized by psychology. His everyday conscious self is only a small part of the mind, like the final crescent of the moon. In moments of crisis , the full moon suddenly appears. Could there be a more conclusive proof that human beings are freer than they realize, and that their freedom is eroded by habit and laziness?

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Yet it must be acknowledged that there is a fundamental difference between the sexual impulse in men and women. Her need is for a lover, a protector, a father for her children. His desire is for mastery, conquest, to be allowed to use her body for his own satisfaction. He feels like a bee, burying itself in a flower, apparently doing nothing for the flower but taking its sweetness.

If he loves her, then his desire is mixed with a kind of pity. The God of the Labyrinth [ edit ] And in a flash I understood the meaning of sex. It is a craving for the mingling of consciousness, whose symbol is the mingling of bodies.

Every time a man and a woman slake their thirst in the strange waters of the other's identity, they glimpse the immensity of their freedom. Defeat is always self-chosen. Poets feel that we are cut off from meaning by a thick, lead wall, and that sometimes for no reason we can understand the wall seems to vanish and we are suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of the infinite interestingness of things.

Whatever one thinks about the extraordinary claims of its founder, it must be acknowledged that there is something very beautiful and healthy about the Swedenborgian religion. Its founder may have not been a great occultist, but he was a great man.

Religion, mysticism and magic all spring from the same basic 'feeling' about the universe: a sudden feeling of meaning, which human beings sometimes 'pick up' accidentally, as your radio might pick up some unknown station.

After all, we know perfectly well that the past is as real as the present, and that New York and Singapore and Lhasa and Stepney Green are all as real as the place I happen to be in at the moment. Yet my senses do not agree. They assure me that this place, here and now, is far more real than any other place or any other time. Only in certain moments of great inner intensity do I know this to be a lie.

Faculty X is a sense of reality, the reality of other places and other times, and it is the possession of it — fragmentary and uncertain though it is — that distinguishes man from all other animals. It appealed to fear, hysteria and ignorance. It spread across the Western world, not because it was true, but because humans are gullible and superstitious. He rejects the notion that Jesus died on the cross to atone for the sin of Adam , declaring that God is neither vindictive nor petty-minded, and that since he is God, he doesn't need atonement.

It is remarkable that this common-sense view had never struck earlier theologians. But since there are more healthy people around than sick people, how can this psychology give a fair idea of the workings of the human mind? It struck him that it might be worthwhile to devote some time to the study of healthy people. They are natural, and can be studied naturally. They are not 'ineffable' in the sense the sense of incommunicable by language.

The outsider

Maslow also came to believe that they are far commoner than one might expect, that many people tend to suppress them, to ignore them, and certain people seem actually afraid of them, as if they were somehow feminine, illogical, dangerous. The peak experience tends to be a kind of bubbling-over of delight, a moment of pure happiness.

The sun was streaming in, the children clean and nicely dressed, were chattering as they ate. The husband was casually playing with the children: but as she looked at them she was suddenly so overwhelmed with their beauty and her great love for them, and her feeling of good fortune, that she went into a peak experience. Man's freedom is a reality -- a reality that makes a difference to his physical, as well as his mental health.

When Frankl's prisoners ceased to believe in the possibility of freedom, they grew sick and died. On the other hand, when they saw that Dachau had no chimney, standing out all night in the rain seemed no great hardship; they laughed and joked. The conclusion needs to be stated in letters ten feet high. In order to realise his possibilities, man must believe in an open future; he must have a vision of something worth doing. And this will not be possible until all the determinism and pessimism that we have inherited from the 19th century -- and which has infected every department of our culture, from poetry to atomic physics -- has been dismissed as fallacious and illogical.

Twentieth century science, philosophy, politics, literature -- even music -- has been constructed upon a weltanschauung that leaves half of human nature out of account. Mathers was a clown, and Yeats was just a romantic trying to deceive himself. Most of them were interested in personal power, and it ended up by destroying them.Flag as Inappropriate. I turned to the back of my journal and wrote at the head of the page: And Ted Serios has never at any time been exposed as a fraud — although obviously he might be.

A reprinting of Mysterious Powers, plus the Holroyd text. It was not a position I relished I was neglecting my job of looking after them.

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