Famous Quotes & Sayings

Colin Wilson Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 86 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Colin Wilson.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pinterest Share on Linkedin

Colin Wilson Quotes 806900

Life itself is an exile. The way home is not the way back. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1243940

Sexual activity is driven by the same aims and motives as reading poetry or listening to music: to escape the limitations imposed by the need for particularity in the consciousness. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1604612

I was aggressively nonpolitical. I believed that people who make a fuss about politics do so because their heads are too empty to think about more important things. So I felt nothing but impatient contempt for Osborne's Jimmy Porter and the rest of the heroes of social protest. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 833879

The "passion for incredulity" can produce as much self-deception as the uncritical will to believe. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 299719

I had never doubted my own abilities, but I was quite prepared to believe that "the world" would decline to recognize them. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1346814

What I wanted to do was to try to create a philosophy upon a completely new foundation. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1085032

What if the 'brutal thunderclap of halt' takes the form of the choice, Dishonesty or insanity? — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1595698

The complex develops out of the simple. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 968540

Being very famous is not the fun it sounds. It merely means you're being chased by a lot of people and you lose your privacy. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1296282

These men are in prison: that is the Outsider's verdict. They are quite contented in prison - caged animals who have never known freedom; but it is prison all the same. And the Outsider? He is in prison too: nearly every Outsider in this book has told us so in a different language; but he knows it. His desire is to escape. But a prison-break is not an easy matter; you must know all about your prison, otherwise you might spend years in tunnelling, like the Abbe in The Count of Monte Cristo, and only find yourself in the next cell. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 2050073

Imagine that a tribe of ignorant natives find a motor-car, and decide that it makes an ideal storage room for food. So when they set out on a journey, they load it with food, attach ropes to it, and pull it through the jungle as if it was a cart. One of them fiddling about inside it, discovers the hand brake and releases it. Immediately, they find the car much easier to pull. They congratulate the discoverer, tell him he is a genius, and convince themselves that they now know the purpose and use of the car. This is how I feel with my body. Occasionally, as I am dragging it along, it accidentally gets into gear; there is a roar, and the engine starts for a moment. Then, just as quickly, it cuts out. But I know that this body is not merely designed for this boring, irritating, two-dimensional life that so easily becomes a burden to me. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1177269

It is important to grasp that boredom is one of the most common - and undesirable - consequences of 'unicameralism'. Boredom is a feeling of being 'dead inside'; that is to say, loss of contact with our instincts and feelings. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 280029

As 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 — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 191362

Sometimes life is intensely interesting and meaningful, and this meaning seems to be an objective fact, like sunlight. At other times it's as meaningless and futile as the wind. We accept this eclipse of meaning as we accept changes in the weather. If I wake up with a bad cold or a headache, I seem to be deaf to meaning. Now if I woke up physically deaf or half-blind, I'd feel there was something wrong and consult a doctor. But when I'm deaf to meaning, I accept it as something natural. Esmond didn't accept it as natural. And he also noticed that every time we're sexually stimulated, meaning returns. We can hear again. So he pursued sex as a way of recovering meaning. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1080596

Now the basic impulse behind existentialism is optimistic, very much like the impulse behind all science. Existentialism is romanticism, and romanticism is the feeling that man is not the mere he has always taken himself for. Romanticism began as a tremendous surge of optimism about the stature of man. its aim like that of science was to raise man above the muddled feelings and impulses of his everyday humanity, and to make him a god-like observer of human existence. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 547715

Human intelligence is a function of man's evolutionary urge; the scientist and the philosopher hunger for truth because they are tired of being merely human. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1250152

And in a flash I understood the meaning of sex. It is a craving of mingling of consciousness, whose symbol is the mingling of bodies. Every time a man and a woman slake their thirst in the strange waters of the other's identity, they glimpse the immensity of their freedom. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 2218542

I've always been a pretty hard worker. That's how I've written over a hundred books. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 115796

The effects of mescalin or LSD can be, in some respects, far more satisfying than those of alcohol. To begin with, they last longer; they also leave behind no hangover, and leave the mental faculties clear and unimpaired. They stimulate the faculties and produce the ideal ground for a peak experience. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 2247214

Human beings do not realise the extent to which their own sense of defeat prevents them from doing things they could do
perfectly well. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 96660

Mind is not really 'inside' us in the same sense that our intestines are. Our individuality is a kind of eddy in the sea of mind, a reflection of the total identity of the universal humanity. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 242704

It was Rousseau who was largely responsible for the problem by giving currency to the idea that freedom can exist without responsibility and discipline. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 237769

When I was a teenager I was a total romantic escapist. My world was books. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 818593

Man is an animal who is trying to evolve into a god. Many of his problems are an inevitable result of this struggle. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1044212

Christianity was an epidemic rather than a religion. It appealed to fear, hysteria and ignorance. It spread across the Western world, not because it was true, but because humans are gullible and superstitious. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 519418

Some are perfectly satisfied with what they have; they eat, drink, impregnate their wives, and take life as it comes. Others can never forget that they are being cheated; that life tempts them to struggle by offering them the essence of sex, of beauty, of success; and that she always seems to pay in counterfeit money. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1919076

If you can train your senses to perceive the movement of the minute hand of a clock, what is to stop you for training them to 'slow down' when you look at a tree or a puddle? — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1064938

The self-surmounter can never put up with the man who has ceased to be dissatisfied with himself. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 277305

I have always been aware that human life is dream-like because most human beings exist passively. Their consciousness is little more than a reflection of their environment. In the sexual orgasm, the voltage power of their minds surges, and they become momentarily aware that they are not forty-watt bulbs, but two hundred and fifty, five hundred, a thousand ... Then the voltage drops, and they sink back to forty watts without a protest. They are like empty-headed fools who cannot remember anything for more than a few seconds. Human beings are so mediocre that they can scarcely be said to possess minds in any real sense. In a flash, I understood the absurd and obvious truth: nothing is worth possessing except intensity of consciousness. This is the truth we glimpse in the orgasm. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 76134

Imagination should be used, not to escape reality but to create it. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 78907

Our language has become a tired and inefficient thing in the hands of journalists and writers who have nothing to say. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 113749

A symphony is a stage play with the parts written for instruments instead of for actors. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 138402

Isaiah Berlin once said that there are two kinds of writers, hedgehogs and foxes. He said the fox knows many things, the hedgehog knows just one thing. So Shakespeare is a typical fox; Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky are typical hedgehogs. Now, I'm a typical hedgehog. I know just one thing, and I repeat it over and over again. I try to approach it from different angles to make it look different, but it's the same thing. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 154552

The exploration of oneself is usually also an exploration of the world at large, of other writers, a process of comparison with oneself with others, discoveries of kinships, gradual illumination of one's own potentialities. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 222734

Man is the only animal who is prone to insanity. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 224868

Turning on the light is easy if you know where the switch is. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 281827

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

Colin Wilson Quotes 344885

The Americans have always been more open to my ideas. In fact, I could earn a living in America just by lecturing. One of my brightest audiences, incidentally, were the prisoners in a Philadelphia gaol - brighter than my students at university. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 422541

The body will destroy the germs of a physical illness within a week; but the mind will preserve germs of morbidity or fear for a lifetime. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 520620

The sheer volume of evidence for survival after death is so immense that to ignore it is like standing at the foot of Mount Everest and insisting that you cannot see the mountain. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 538401

It struck me that the popularity of Christmas is a matter of web-like consciousness. Childhood conditions us to relax and expand at Christmas, to forget petty worries and irritations and think in terms of universal peace. And so Christmas is the nearest to mystical experience that most human beings ever approach, with its memories of Dickens and Irving's Bracebridge Hall. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 581193

The mystical impulse in men is somehow a desire to possess the universe. In women, it's a desire to be possessed. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 582498

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

Colin Wilson Quotes 590414

The cultural problem was 'the fallacy of insignificance', and it was a philosophical form of this fallacy that had somehow landed existentialism in a cul de sac. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 628911

The basic paradox about sex is that it always seems to be offering more than it can deliver. A glimpse of a girl undressing through a lighted bedroom window induces a vision of ecstatic delight, but in the actual process of persuading the girl into bed, the vision somehow evaporates. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 641557

It seemed perfectly possible that, in spite of my certainty of my own genius, I might die of some illness, or perhaps even in a street accident, before I had ever glimpsed the meaning of life. My moods of happiness and self-confidence convinced me that I had a "destiny" to become a famous writer, and to be remembered as one of the most important thinkers of the century. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 652274

Phenomenology is not a philosophy ; it is a philosophical method, a tool. It is like an adjustable spanner that can be used for dismantling a refrigerator or a car, or used for hammering in nails, or even for knocking somebody out. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 696595

If you asked me what is the basis of all my work, it's the feeling there's something basically wrong with human beings. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 786669

Man is not a 'fixed and limited animal whose nature is absolutely constant'. He changed drastically when he developed 'divided consciousness' to cope with complexities of civilisation, and has been changing steadily ever since. His greatest problem, the problem that has caused most of his agonies and miseries, has been his attempt to compensate for the narrowing of cinsciousness and the entrapment in the left-brain ego. His favorite method of compensation has been to seek out excitement. He feels most free in moments of conquest; so for the past three thousand years or so, most of the greatest man have led armies into their neighbours' territority, and turned order into chaos. This has plainly been a retrogressive step; the evolutionary urge has been defeating its own purpose. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 815488

And so is another question that Sanderson's experience leads him to discuss: whether the mind is identical with the brain. He mentions a case of a man who died in a New York hospital, and who an autopsy revealed to have no brain, only "half a cupful of dirty water". This sounds, admittedly, like another of those absurd stories that are not worth discussing. But in the early 1980s Professor John Lourber of Sheffield University discovered a student with an IQ of 126 whose head was entirely filled with "water". A brain scan showed that the student's brain was merely an outer layer, only one millimetre thick. How can a person function with virtually no brain? Lourber, who specializes in hydrocephalis ("water on the brain") replies that he has come across many cases of perfectly normal people whose heads are filled with 95 per cent of fluid, and that 70 to 90 per cent is actually quite common. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 860941

Defeat is always self-chosen. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 892867

One of man's deepest habits is keeping alert for dangers and difficulties, refusing to allow himself to explore his own mind because he daren't take his eyes off the world around him. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 903809

I have a strong antipathy to everything connected with gardens, gardening and gardeners ... Gardening seems to me a kind of admission of defeat ... Man was made for better things than pruning his rose trees. The state of mind of the confirmed gardener seems to me as reprehensible as that of the confirmed alcoholic. Both have capitulated to the world. Both have become lotus eaters and drifters. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 916764

There is in Shaw, as in Gurdjieff and Nietzsche, a recognition of the immense effort of Will that is necessary to express even a little freedom, that places them beside Pascal and St. Augustine as religious thinkers. Their view is saved from pessimism only by its mystical recognition of the possibilities of pure Will, freed from the entanglements of automatism — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 998893

Now individual consciousness, as typified in human beings, has great advantages and great disadvantages. Individuality means a narrowing, and narrowness can be useful. It is good for close-up work. We have invented the magnifying glass and the microscope to narrow our vision, because narrowness makes for precision. But narrowness also makes for a failure of purpose, for exhaustion of the will; for purpose depends upon a broad vision, a clear sight of one's objective. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1026266

It is far easier to write an angry letter than to go and say angry things to another person - because as soon as we look in one another's faces we can see the other point of view. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1049590

In the mid nineteenth century, the typical murderer was a drunken illiterate; a hundred years later the typical murderer regards himself as a thinking man. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1054001

The real issue is not whether two and two make four or whether two and two make five, but whether life advances by men who love words or by men who love living. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1066507

When we pull back and get, for a moment, the 'bird's eye' view of life, it reveals meanings that are ungraspable by the narrow focus of our usual worm's eye view — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1123722

I've always believed that a writer has got to remain an outsider. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1160851

Man is brilliant at solving problems; but solving them only makes him the victim of his own childishness and laziness. It is this recognition that has made almost every major philosopher in history a pessimist. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1190104

The outsider is not sure who he is. He has found an "I", but it is not his true "I".' His main business is to find his way back to himself. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1208466

The visionary disciplines himself to see the world always as if he had only just seen it for the first time. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1226845

The mind has exactly the same power as the hands; not merely to grasp the world, but to change it. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1279370

The worst crimes are not committed by evil degenerates, but by decent and intelligent people taking 'pragmatic' decisions. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1348732

The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1368227

But Zarathustra made it clear in which direction the answer lay; it is towards the artist-psychologist, the intuitional thinker. There are very few such men in the world's literature; the great artists are not thinkers, the great thinkers are seldom artists. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1386718

Ask the Outsider what he ultimately wants,and he will admit he doesn't know.Why? Because he wants it instinctively,and it is not always possible to tell what your instincts are driving towards. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1428776

Too much success gets you resting on your laurels and creates a kind of quicksand that you can't get out of. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1436873

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

Colin Wilson Quotes 1439274

With the use of a map, I could walk from Paris to Calcutta; without a map, I might find myself in Odessa. Well, if we had a similar 'map' of the human mind, a man could explore all the territory that lies between death and mystical vision, between catatonia and genius. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1480849

I'm basically a writer of ideas, and the English aren't interested in ideas. The English, I'm afraid, are totally brainless. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1670312

When I open my eyes in the morning, I am not confronted by a world, but by a million possible worlds. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1679868

Whereas in the past optimism had been regarded as rather shallow - because 'oh well, it's just your temperament, you happen to be just a cheerful sort of person' - what I wanted to do was to establish that in fact it is the pessimists who are allowing all kinds of errors to creep into their work. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1705507

Freedom posits free-will; that is self-evident. But Will can only operate when there is first a motive. No motive, no willing. But motive is a matter of belief; you would not want to do anything unless you believed it possible and meaningful. And belief must be belief in the existence of something; that is to say, it concerns what is real. So ultimately, freedom depends upon the real. The Outsider's sense of unreality cuts off his freedom at the root. It is as impossible to exercise freedom in an unreal world as it is to jump while you are falling. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1797299

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

Colin Wilson Quotes 1878327

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

Colin Wilson Quotes 1952423

I have tried to show how religion, the backbone of civilisation, hardens into a Church that is unacceptable to Outsiders, and the Outsiders - the men who strive to become visionaries - become the Rebels. In our case, the scientific progress that has brought us closer than ever before to conquering the problems of civilisation, has also robbed us of spiritual drive; and the Outsider is doubly a rebel: a rebel against the Established Church , a rebel against the unestablished church of materialism. Yet for all this, he is the real spiritual heir of the prophets, of Jesus and St. Peter, of St. Augustine and Peter Waldo. The purest religion of any age lies in the hands of its spiritual rebels. The twentieth century is no exception. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 1958277

Could it be that sexual perversion and romanticism sprang from the same longing for distant horizons? — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 2017416

Criminals interest me, because they're driven by the same desires as we are, but they take these disastrous shortcuts and end up in a real mess. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 2107434

A tired man is already in the grip of death and insanity ... A sane man is a man who is fully awake. As he grows tired, he loses his ability to rise above dreams and delusions, and life becomes steadily more chaotic. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 2107965

If I'd stayed on in London and carried on going to literary parties, it would have wrecked me as a writer. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 2156637

She admitted that his nerves were ragged. 'But why?' asked Reich. Surely things were going excellently for the company. 'Oh yes,' she said. 'But when a man is President of a concern as big as A.I.U., he gets into the habit of worrying, and sometimes can't stop. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 2175391

One cannot ignore half of life for the purposes of science, and then claim that the results of science give a full and adequate picture of the meaning of life. All discussions of 'life' which begin with a description of man's place on a speck of matter in space, in an endless evolutionary scale, are bound to be half-measures, because they leave out most of the experiences which are important to use as human beings. — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson Quotes 2231863

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

Colin Wilson Quotes 2245183

Man is a continent, but his conscious mind is no larger than a back garden ... man consists almost entirely of unrealized potentials. — Colin Wilson