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Beyond the Occult

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  153 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Colin Wilson has explored the paranormal universe ever since he researched his first highly successful work, The Occult: he reveals the usually unseen powers of the human mind and discusses why he has become convinced that disembodied spirits do exist.*Sunday Telegraph
Hardcover, 381 pages
Published December 1st 1989 by Carroll & Graf Publishers
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Al Bità
Mar 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Colin Winson is always a good read, provided you don't take him too seriously: his style is always chatty and pleasant, and if you are interested in things occult, then he is a good introduction to the subject.

My edition of this work was published in 2008, but it is essentially a reprint of the work which was published in 1988.

The fun with Wilson is that he is amazingly eclectic and wide-ranging in his search for stories to back up his assessments. I have always found stories about amazing incid
...more
Justin Burnett
This book had been sitting on my bookshelf for at least a couple of years, continually demoted in an overgrowing ‘to read’ pile. I had read The Serial Killers by Colin Wilson years ago, so as I write this I can no longer recall my impressions of that book.

What I do know is that after reading the lengthy and often tedious Beyond The Occult I was tempted to revisit the pages of my previous encounter with Wilson, if only to see if certain passages bothered me as much as some of the more bemusing mo
...more
Nicholas
There's quite a bit to digest in this book, mostly containing philosophy and theory, in which the author attempts to tie together all his various theories on different topics which make up the controversial world of the paranormal. Written well and with a lucid manner which will be relief to anyone who dipped their toes into the subject materials before, only to find the surface to be poorly thought out rants and raves, or just badly written and researched pulp parading itself as research. Colin ...more
Claire
Mostly incoherent. The first part is full of confused and confusing psycho-babble gobbledygook and makes little sense. Wilson quotes fact and fiction without discrimination and seriously over-intellectualises - or at least attempts to; I didn't understand much of the first part and I suspect Wilson didn't either! However, I was rather taken with his 'Stan and Ollie' metaphor for the human psyche, and the chapters on clairvoyance, doppelangers, and precognition were interesting in parts. The seco ...more
Owen Spencer
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Beyond The Occult is an educational and insightful reading experience that deserves serious praise for its uplifting, optimistic, and mood-enhancing messages and advice. However, those who are already aware of spiritual realities and religious truths will likely benefit less from reading this book than individuals with less spiritual knowledge and experience. The target audience seems to be atheists, agnostics, and neurotics. I found myself agreeing with (and benefitting from) most of the inform ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it

I have always had special liking for British thinkers and Colin Wilson comes as my exact answer. He makes philosophy simple and real in our lives, and with him we enjoy the company of Berkley, Plato, Socrates, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and many others. He glides smoothly from philosophy to the paranormal as he takes us by hand to meet Proust eating a bite of madeleine which would revive memories of childhood . This would remind Proust as well as us of the depths of our higher consciousness rig
...more
Lilly
Feb 21, 2011 added it
will ts an amazing book he wrote when he was 24 years old!!! so o my god i feel like an idiot because i know ts amazing but cant the hell understand t!!! it's complicated !! is it just me or every1 know that!!! i hope that alot of people do not got so i feel ok and not stupid!!
Melissa Banaszak
Oct 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Interesting-educational.
seth chapin
Mar 21, 2009 rated it liked it
One of his older works but still a pleasant read with C.W.'s usual flair for intrepid research into the realms beyond.
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Colin Henry Wilson was born and raised in Leicester, England, U.K. He left school at 16, worked in factories and various occupations, and read in his spare time. When Wilson was 24, Gollancz published The Outsider (1956) which examines the role of the social 'outsider' in seminal works of various key literary and cultural figures. These include Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Her ...more
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“It is the sheer weight of the robot that makes us feel we are living in a ‘wooden world’. We can see for example that the moment Ouspensky or Ward returned from the mystical realm of perfect freedom and found themselves ‘back in the body’ they once again found themselves saddled with all their boring old habits and worries and neuroses, all their old sense of identity built up from the reactions of other people, and above all the dreary old heaviness, as if consciousness has turned into a leaden weight. This is the sensation that made the romantics feel that life is a kind of hell — or at the very least, purgatory. Yet we know enough about the robot to know that this feeling is as untrustworthy as the depression induced by a hangover. The trouble with living ‘on the robot’ is that he is a dead weight. He takes over only when our energies are low. So when I do something robotically I get no feedback of sudden delight. This in turn makes me feel that it was not worth doing. ‘Stan’ reacts by failing to send up energy and ‘Ollie’ experiences a sinking feeling. Living becomes even more robotic and the vicious circle effect is reinforced. Beyond a certain point we feel as if we are cut off from reality by a kind of glass wall: suddenly it seems self-evident that there is nothing new under the sun, that all human effort is vanity, that man is a useless passion and that life is a horrible joke devised by some demonic creator. This is the state I have decribed as ‘upside-downness’, the tendency to allow negative emotional judgements to usurp the place of objective rational judgements. Moreover this depressing state masquerades as the ‘voice of experience’, since it seems obvious that you ‘know’ more about an experience when you’ve had it a hundred times. This is the real cause of death in most human beings: they mistake the vicious circle effects of ‘upside-downness’ for the wisdom of age, and give up the struggle.” 1 likes
“And in fact this insight had often been confirmed by experience. I had frequently noted that I became accident-prone when I had allowed myself to become tired and discouraged, and that some instinct for avoiding accidents seemed to be aroused when I was feeling fully alive. I” 0 likes
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