Colin Wilson published his first book, the seminal The Outsider in 1956, before I was born! With over 100 books to his credit, Colin is not just a legend; he’s the Godfather of modern day esoteria.
His new book, Super Consciousness: The Quest for the Peak, Experience, only adds to his impressive legacy. The book is the result of over 40 years of research into the phenomena of peak experiences and how luminaries such as Yeats, Blake, Sartre, Nietzche and Robert Graves were influenced by them.
I had the pleasure of meeting Colin in the green room of my friend Philip’s show; ‘Gardiner’s World’, back in March and found him to epitomize class, understatement and cool.
Several months later, I attended one of Colin’s lectures in Saint James, the London church where William Blake was baptized. The lecture was part of weekly summer series that featured some of the newest and interesting speakers on the circuit. The only difference is Colin filled the place to capacity and the audience hung on his every word and afterwards queued for an hour to speak to him.
However, the most interesting part of the evening was a 15 minute segment during Colin’s talk where his character and patience were tested by a vocal minority who took offence with his refusal to attribute his own peak experiences to meditation. One after another, audience members raised their objections; each time Colin calmly and un-defensively restated his belief that his peak experiences were due to conscious intention, concentration and technique – not meditation. I found Wilson’s grit to be impressive and his resolve extraordinary. But I would expect nothing less from a man who has seen and heard it all for the last five decades.