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Occult, The

Product no.: 1-84293-107-5
Colin Wilson's great classic work is the essential guidebook to the mind-expanding experiences and discoveries of the 20th Century.

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Publisher's Synopsis

Colin Wilson utilizes a wide-ranging survey of paranormal experience to explain his own theory of the sixth sense, showing how it is at the center of all occult phenomenon and offering an insightful exploration of humanity's latent powers. His genius lies in producing a skilful synthesis of the available material; clarifying without simplifying, seeing the occult in the light of reason and reason in the light of the mystical and paranormal. It is a journey of enlightenment.

He provides a wide-ranging survey of the whole subject, a comprehensive history of "magic" and an insightful exploration of Man's latent powers and brings his own refreshingly optimistic and stimulating interpretation to the worlds of the paranormal, the occult and the supernatural. This new edition has a new introduction by Colin Wilson.


"I am very impressed by this book, not only by its erudition but by the marshalling of it, and above all the good-natured, unaffected charm of the author whose reasoning is never too far-fetched, who is never carried away by preposterous theories."       ~Cyril Connolly, Sunday Times

"Wilson is rather like the headmaster of some appalling school who contrives in his innocence and benevolence, to find a good word on even the most outrageous of his pupils. [The Occult] displays, more fully than any other Wilson book that I have read since The Outsider, the full array of his amiable virtues."       ~Philip Toynbee, the Observer
"But there was, equally, a positive side to Crowley. This emerges in Seabrook's account of Elizabeth Fox's experience at Thelema. She was the 'film star' who somehow avoided becoming Crowley's mistress. Seabrook says that before she came to Cefalu she was in a depressed condition due to too much night life and bath-tub gin. Crowley dismayed her by telling her that she must begin with a month's solitary meditation in a lean-to shelter on the cliff-top. When she objected, he pointed out that there was a boat leaving the next day. To comply, she had to meditate naked, except for a wooly burnoose that could be utilized on chilly days. The shelter was completely empty; the latrine was a lime pit outside the 'tent.' 'She would have, said Master Therion, the sun, moon, stars, sky, sea, the universe to read and play with.' At night, a child would quietly deposit a loaf of bread, bunch of grapes and a pitcher of water beside her.

She decided to give it a try. The first days confirmed her fears. Sun, moon and sea are all very well, but if you feel bored, they are boring. For the first days she felt nervous and resentful. By the nineteenth day, her chief sensation was boredom. And then, quite suddenly, she began to feel 'perfect calm, deep joy, renewal of strength and courage.'

There is nothing strange in all this, although few people know it. The mind must be made to stop running like a wristwatch. It must be persuaded to relax and sit still. Its hidden fountain of strength must be persuaded to flow. This is the secret of the Hindu ascetics who sit still for years. It is not penance, but a continuous trickle of deep delight. What is more, this is an automatic process. Our subconscious robot will adjust to any conditions if it is given long enough. It adjusts to stillness, so that the stillness ceases to cause boredom. For you have boredom when nothing is happening inside you. And nothing is happening inside you when the outside world keeps the mind distracted. If the outside world is distracted for long enough, the inner power-house begins to work."

Author Wilson, Colin
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 795 pp.
Publisher Watkins Publishing 2004
Gold Medal

Gold Medal


  Gold Medal Essential Reading

Browse these categories as well: Western Mystery Schools, Wicca, Neopaganism and Occultism, Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and the Fourth Way, The Supernatural and the Paranormal, Spiritual Biography and Autobiography, Noteworthy Releases 2004, Gold Medal Essential Reading

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