â€œLife itself is an exile. The way home is not the way back.â€ –Colin Wilson
A fellow Cancerian, Colin Wilson‘s seminal book The Outsider aggravated a place in my soul that eventually became my salvo against the confines of consensus reality.
Meaning, his close examination of individuals who lived as poets or artists or occultists or just peculiar mutations within our species — the unclassifiables — got under my skin when I was a teenager and helped forge my path forward as an adult — with courage and enthusiasm — to explore astrology, art, poetry, metaphysics and the teachings of Gurdjieff.
Years later he recounted: â€œAs a young man I was scornful about the supernatural but as I have got older, the sharp line that divided the credible from the incredible has tended to blur; I am aware that the whole world is slightly incredible.â€
His claim that the “mark of greatness is always intuition, not logic” supported my own instincts and goaded, in a way, my disinterest in hard science, with its over-emphasis on materialism and chilly all-or-nothing proclamations about reality. Which, if you study enough science, you soon discover are made defunct decades later by a new brood of giant-headed blowhards declaring the latest explanations for everything.
Wilson always wrote from a wild mixture of wonder, awe, strict discipline (his output was beyond prolific) and the impulse to explore every possible facet of any given subject, especially if it involved the otherworldly. The weirder, the better. Even lurid subjects like crime, murder and perversion benefited from his unflinching eye and inquiry, driving my Moon and Saturn in Scorpio into rapt attention that bordered on obsession.
There will be lots of homages to read online today, better and more comprehensively written than mine. Find them and then begin your own journey into Wilson’s wondrous worlds. Start with The Outsider. A rite of passage for every human being.
But I wanted to post my shock and sadness and sense of loss upon hearing the news this morning that Colin had died. I don’t like the feeling of being on the planet without him around — as corny as that sounds; but it’s a testament to how thoroughly his essence intertwined with and impacted my path.
It’s like I’ve lost a soul brother.