The Occult Quotes

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The Occult The Occult by Colin Wilson
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The Occult Quotes Showing 1-14 of 14
“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. 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.”
Colin Wilson, The Occult
“Faculty X is simply that latent power in human beings possess to reach beyond the present. 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”
Colin Wilson, The Occult
“Our language has become a tired and inefficient thing in the hands of journalists and writers who have nothing to say.”
Colin Wilson, The Occult
“Simple perception then is a fallacy. Besides the conscious prejudices that we are aware of imposing on the world, there are a thousand subconscious prejudices that we assume to be actuality.”
Colin Wilson, The Occult
“The nineteenth century was the Age of Romanticism; for the first time in history, man stopped thinking of himself as an animal or a slave, and saw himself as a potential god. All of the cries of revolt against 'God' - De Sade, Byron's "Manfred", Schiller's "Robbers", Goethe's "Faust", Hoffmann's mad geniuses - are expressions of this new spirit. Is this why the 'spirits' decided to make a planned and consistent effort at 'communication'? It was the right moment. Man was beginning to understand himself.”
Colin Wilson, The Occult
“But the main trouble with human beings is their tendency to become trapped in the ‘triviality of everydayness’ (to borrow Heidegger’s phrase), in the suffocating world of their personal preoccupations. And every time they do this, they forget the immense world of broader significance that stretches around them. And since man needs a sense of meaning to release his hidden energies, this forgetfulness pushes him deeper into depression and boredom, the sense that nothing is worth the effort.”
Colin Wilson, The Occult
“Modern man has the possibility of understanding the mechanism of consciousness, and marching directly towards his objective, with the will flexed to its maximum efficiency.”
Colin Wilson, The Occult
“Thinking about such a situation, one becomes aware of the human lack of detachment; our inexperience and immaturity in the complex problems of the human condition. But it should not be so. We have the ‘breathing spaces’ when we can take a detached point of view. If it was of life-or-death importance that we learned by these moments of insight, men would quickly become something closer to being godlike. But most of us can drift through life without making any great moral decisions. And so the human race has shown no advance in wisdom in three thousand years.”
Colin Wilson, The Occult
“It is important to understand that an enormous amount of our human experience is really a response to symbols. I speak in Origins of the Sexual Impulse of an underwear fetichist who stopped the car when he was driving with his wife, went into a garden, and removed a brassiere and panties from a clothesline; he laid these on the ground, and proceeded to go through the motions of copulation with them. Response to the symbol of ‘forbidden-ness’—another woman’s underwear—was obviously stronger than his response to the actuality of his wife beside him in the car. This is the peculiarity of human beings: that a symbol can gain a hold on the imagination and cause a more powerful response than the actuality that it represents. Control”
Colin Wilson, The Occult
“Now, although hypertension is accentuated by modern civilisation, it is not specifically a disease of civilisation. It is a disease of consciousness—that is, of being human. The farm labourer going to work is as likely to ignore his surroundings as the harassed car salesman. And if the inhabitants of some Amazon village are ‘closer to nature’ than New Yorkers, this is usually at the cost of dirt and ignorance and inconvenience. Hypertension is the price we pay for the symphonies of Beethoven, the novels of Balzac, the advances in medical knowledge that prevent children dying of smallpox. However, it is not a necessary and inescapable price. It is the result of ignorance, of bad management of our vital economy. The point to observe here is that although hypertension may not be necessary, it is as widespread as the common cold. It would not be inaccurate to say that all human beings live in a state of ‘vigilance’ and anxiety that is far above the level they actually need for vital efficiency. It is a general tendency of consciousness to ‘spread the attention too thinly’; and, like an over-excited child with too many toys on Christmas Day, the result is nervous exhaustion.”
Colin Wilson, The Occult
“Human beings are the only living creatures who have this choice—of following the part that is great, or the part that is trivial. The difference depends upon the unique human faculty of imagination. When an animal is in a dull situation, it becomes dull; the fiercest of all birds, the hawk, becomes quiescent when a black bag is placed over its head. Man’s superior consciousness means that he can see further; his sense of purpose stretches into the distance. But we are still 99 per cent animal; few of us bother to develop this unique capacity. We drift along from day to day, becoming bored when things are dull, depressed when immediate prospects look poor, using our powers of foresight and imagination only when confronted by an interesting challenge, and allowing them to lie fallow in between. And this situation, we must admit, applies most of the time to all of us, including the Beethovens and Einsteins. ‘Involvement’ is our common lot. But what makes us uniquely human are the strange moments of non-involvement. The pressure vanishes. Suddenly we are seeing life from a distance, as if we were gods; seeing it from above, from a bird’s-eye view rather than the usual worm’s-eye view. In these moments of optimism and affirmation, it seems absurd that we should ever have sunk into a condition of depression or defeat, for it is suddenly obvious that we are undefeatable and indestructible. Every compromise or retreat is seen to be the result of absurd miscalculation. I”
Colin Wilson, The Occult
“And this is a point whose importance goes far beyond this discussion of the occult. We are considering the most important law of human nature. Man is at his best when he has a strong sense of purpose. When my consciousness is doing its proper work—grasping some of the immense complexity of the universe, and calculating how to increase its control and power—its energy flows into the subconscious, and arouses all the forces of the subconscious mind. When conscious purpose fails, everything else slowly breaks down.”
Colin Wilson, The Occult
“Man must believe in realities outside his own smallness, outside the ‘triviality of everydayness’, if he is to do anything worthwhile.”
Colin Wilson, The Occult: The Ultimate Guide for Those Who Would Walk with the Gods
“Mystics of many countries and many centuries have spoken of this memory…’ And he defines the real danger of this ‘lunar knowledge’: ‘It is perhaps well that so few believe in it, for if many did many would go out of parliaments and universities and libraries and run into the wilderness to so waste the body, and to so hush the unquiet mind that, still living, they might pass the doors the dead pass daily; for who among the wise would trouble himself with making laws or in writing history or in weighing the earth if the things of eternity seemed ready to hand?’ Aldous Huxley makes the same point in speaking of the effects of mescalin in The Doors of Perception: that in a world in which everyone took psychedelics there would be no wars, but no civilisation either.”
Colin Wilson, The Occult