Tag Archives: colin wilson

The R’lyeh Text

Majere, Pr.ODF reviews The R’lyeh Text by Robert Turner, introduction by Colin Wilson; in the archive of Bkwyrm’s Occult Book Reviews.

Turner The R'lyeh Text

Another contributor has something to say about The R’lyeh Text:

This volume is a supplement to George Hays’ “Necronomicon: The Book Of Dead Names”, and is basically more of the same. Again, ignore the spurious “fragments” of garbage purporting to be pages from the Necronomicon and read the essays instead. If anything, they are even better than those in the previous volume – dealing with subjects incl. the Egyptian mysteries, Atlantis, creation myths, Lovecraft’s literary inspirations, and the tenuous Crowley-Lovecraft connection. Still, it’s certainly not to everyone’s tastes but as trash, it’s quite readable.

The R’lyeh Text

Julianus reviews The R’lyeh Text by Robert Turner, introduction by Colin Wilson; in the archive of Bkwyrm’s Occult Book Reviews.

Turner The R'lyeh Text

This latest in a long line of H.P. Lovecraft pastiches is a sequel to Hay’s bogus Necronomicon of the 70’s, and it reassembles all the usual suspects from that project for … more of the same. Mr Hay’s editorial style is unusual in that, whereas the editor’s normal job is to prune irrelevancies leaving a concise text, here he has left nothing BUT irrelevancies to baffle the reader’s mind. From the crocodile-infested cover to Colin Wilson’s rambling introduction to Patricia Shore’s oblique concluding essay we are left feeling strangely … unfulfilled. It is especially ironic to see that Robert Turner is behind this, as he spent a good portion of his Elizabethan Magic fulminating against the Golden Dawn for making “inauthentic” additions to Dee’s Enochian system, and now he’s marketing THIS as the decoded contents of Dee’s cypher manuscripts! The supposed “main text” itself is rather inadequate and certainly nothing compared to the original it attempts to ape.

(Quite honestly, if these people continue to take their own insipidities and pass them off as my work, I will have no choice but to take the matter up with my Patrons.
– A. Alhazred )

When the Sky Fell

When the Sky Fell: In Search of Atlantis by Rand and Rose Flem-Ath, with an introduction by Colin Wilson, is part of the collection at the Reading Room. There is a revised and expanded edition version of this book published as Atlantis beneath the Ice: The Fate of the Lost Continent.

Rand and Rose Flem-Ath When the Sky Fell

“The mystery of Atlantis, the legendary advanced civilization described in ancient texts, has been solved at last. Scientific evidence, exciting new research, and the breakthrough discovery of an amazing Egyptian map prove without a doubt that this lost continent did exist … and reveal where its ruin can be found.

But the fascinating truth about Atlantis also leads to a chilling conclusion about the environmental catastrophe that destroyed it. Now you can find out how the forces that shattered the first great civilization on Earth can happen again, bringing the end of the world to us all!” — back cover

From Atlantis to the Sphinx

From Atlantis to the Sphinx: Recovering the Lost Wisdom of the Ancient World by Colin Wilson is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Colin Wilson From Atlantis to the Sphinx

“Recent discoveries by Boston University geologist Robert Schoch of ancient water damage to the Sphinx have thrown the scientific world into tizzy, for they suggest that Egypt’s legendary monument might be thousands of years older than previously believed. In his astonishing new bestseller exploring the implications of these explosive new findings, Colin Wilson takes us on a grand tour of the knowledge amassed by researchers over the centuries to ask questions about mysteries that have puzzled humanity since Plato: Was there an ancient civilization destroyed by some great catastrophe whose survivors built the Sphinx some 10,500 years before Christ? Did it possess a knowledge system—science, astronomy, mathematics, passed on through descendants to Egypt and South America—that could move stones weighing thousands of tons with a technology which still baffles modern engineers? If so, who were these people who had developed a highly advanced culture and who traveled the world from China to the South Pole (then free from ice)? Were they really so unique in their thinking, as Wilson suggests, that, compared with modern man, they were as alien as Martians?

Via paleontology and ritual cannibalism, Wilson’s tour through time and space sets out to reconstruct that ancient knowledge. in a fascinating exploration of the remote depths of history, From Atlantis to the Sphinx takes us from the structure of the pyramids and the purpose of their tortuous interior shafts, to the prehistoric cities of America by way of ancient sea maps apparently showing the outlines of Antarctica before it was covered by ice. Along the way, Wilson visits the cave paintings of Cro-Magnon man, the Upper Amazon and the Gilbert islands, touching on Robert Graves’s The White Goddess and the I-Ching, on Gurdjieff and Abraham Maslow and the ultimate nature of human consciousness.” — flap copy

The Mind Parasites

The Mind Parasites by Colin Wilson, in two editions from Oneiric Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Colin Wilson The Mind Parasites from Oneiric 5th printing

Colin Wilson The Mind Parasites from Oneiric 10th printing

“‘Is it not time that we create a new type of novel? I think of a hatchet biting into a tree and making the chips fly, not an evasion of reality or a description of it, but an attack on it … What is needed is an existential realism. Like the social realism of the Soviets, yet biting much deeper; its attitude is not passive or pessimistic. In a qualified sense, it might be called practical; it wishes to change things. What it wishes to change I prefer to leave unsaid, it can be inferred from this book.’ — Colin Wilson

Colin Wilson has blended the dark vision of an H. P. Lovecraft, the power of an H. G. Wells and his own unique philosophy of evolutionary existentialism in a stunningly powerful story of imagination. The Mind Parasites is a truly dangerous novel, dangerous in the sense that the eminent British philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead, speaks of in his Adventures in Ideas: ‘It is the business of the future to be dangerous … The major advances in civilization are processes that all but wreck the societies in which they occur …'”— back cover

The Outsider

The Outsider by Colin Wilson is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Colin Wilson The Outsider

“When Colin Wilson was 24, The Outsider electrified eminent critics, many of whom envied this grasp of criticism and comparison. Ranging through the lives of writings of Bernard Shaw, Nietzsche, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, William Blake, Hermann Hesse, van Gogh, T. E. Lawrence, Nijinsky, Sarte, T. S. Eliot, Kafka, and many others, he defined numerous very modern dilemmas in the character of ‘The Outsider,’ who, in his alienation and introversion, ‘stands for Truth.’ Republished with a new Postscript by the author, this book is essential for everyone who shares Wilson’s conviction that ‘a new religion is needed.'” — back cover

What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn

What You Should Know About The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie, with a foreword by Christopher S Hyatt, the fifth and enlarged 1988 printing of the paperback from Falcon Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Israel Regardie What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn from Falcon Press

Apparently, there’s also a 2011 ebook edition of this as well, which may be of interest, which includes at least some new material, from the 2010 New Falcon revised print edition, by Chic and Tabatha Cicero and Regardie’s 1934 Stella Matutina Enochian Examination from his personal archives.

“This fascinating book has been out of print and highly sought after for many years since its first publication as My Rosicrucian Adventure in 1936.

In this work Israel Regardie relates his own personal experience with those secret societies which have exerted such a great influence on the development of modern Occultism.

Regardie lifts the cloak of mystery which has shrouded The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, The Rosicrucian Fraternity, and The Masonic Lodge.

From his close personal association Regardie reveals the true nature and actions of such leading Occult authorities as Aleister Crowley, S.L. MacGregor Mathers, Dr W.W. Westcott, Dion Fortune.

‘Israel Regardie is the last representative of the great occult tradition of the late 19th century, whose major names include Madame Blavatsky, W.B. Yeats, MacGregor Mathers, A.E. Waite, Aleister Crowley and Dion Fortune. Even in such distinguished company, Regardie stands out as a figure of central importance.’ — Colin Wilson”

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

The Search for Abraxas

The Search for Abraxas by Nevill Drury and Stephen Skinner, is newly released from Salamander and Sons. This is a second edition of the 1973 The Search for Abraxas, and I understand it will be distributed through Weiser Antiquarian, though as of this writing there is not yet in their catalogue, but it does appear to be available directly from the publisher.

 

Nevill Drury Stephen Skinner The Search for Abraxas from Salamander and Sons

“‘There is an animal in man, and there is a God in man. In order to produce a harmonised microcosm these aspects of our nature have to be firstly acknowledged: it is then that the self may be transformed. Perhaps the God which best symbolises this mystical venture is the one who is both a man and a hawk; He who is of the Sun and whose legs are coiling serpents, symbol of Wisdom reaching down to Earth. He who holds the sacred shield … and whose name is Abraxas.’

Hailed as ‘the manifesto of a new generation’, The Search for Abraxas examines the nature of human potential emblematised by the transcendent Gnostic deity Abraxas – a figure associated not only with Time and Eternity, but also representative of the polarities of good and evil. Navigating the complex terrains of ‘The World of Light’, ‘The World of Shadows’ and ‘The World of Dreams’, renowned esoteric researchers and authors Nevill Drury and Stephen Skinner map the major themes of the Western esoteric tradition and elaborate upon the philosophies and cosmologies underpinning them.

From modern occult revivals and the international counter-culture and psychedelic revolution of the late 1960s to theoretical and practical qabalah and ceremonial magic; from witchcraft, sorcery and ‘transformation phenomena’ to astral and etheric projection and reincarnation, The Search for Abraxas reminds us that ‘magic is essentially about altered states of awareness that can lead alternatively towards cosmic transcendence and spiritual integration or towards dark alienation and even evil.’

Explorations of this duality – the polar opposites within the psyche – are particularly pronounced in the works of various artist-magicians, including the unconventionally brilliant and visionary Austin Osman Spare; the phantastically sinister yet transcendent Late Art-Nouveau, Decadents Aubrey Beardsley, Harry Clarke, Alastair, Edmund Dulac, and Kay Nielsen, and the Surrealists Yves Tanguy, Wolfgang Paalen and Max Ernst. This connection between magical thought and visionary art is a central motif of ‘this far-ranging and highly readable book.'” [via]

“Skinner and Drury met – at university – and Drury was impressed by Skinner’s Qabalistic erudition … Drury’s belief that the artist is a vehicle for, not a creator of, his artistic productions, produced a desire to explore methods of charting the hidden sources of inspiration. ‘The levels of inspiration achieved by different artists seems to me to parallel the stages of consciousness outlined in the Qabalah, and for this reason, one of my main aspirations is to achieve greater rapport with the higher levels of my unconscious.’ And so Skinner’s need for scientific exactitude and Drury’s desire to tap hidden levels of subconscious vitality combine in a common purpose. The first result of their cooperation appears in this far-ranging and highly readable book … What Stephen Skinner and Nevill Drury have done in this book is not to make an anthology of the weird and wonderful, but to state, with a kind of modesty and quiet precision, what they consider the relevant facts to be. It is their manifesto, and the manifesto of a new generation.”—Colin Wilson, from the introduction [via]

 

The Gnostic

You may be interested in Voices of Gnosticism and The Gnostic: A Magazine of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality put out by Bardic Press. I saw several issues of The Gnostic at the Esoteric Book Conference and thought they were well done. I regret not picking them up at the time, but they are available still.

 

Voices of Gnosticism

“For several years, Miguel Conner has engaged the most prominent writers and scholars on Gnosticism and early Christianity on Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio. These interviews with 13 leading scholars represent one of the best ways to get to know ancient Gnosticism, the movement that has inspired Dan Brown, Philip Pullman, Philip K. Dick and The Matrix movies. Read what the best minds have to say about the Gnostic sects, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Judas, Mary Magdalene, heresy, the origins of Gnosticism, and the original teachings of Jesus.

Elaine Pagels · Marvin Meyer · Bart Ehrman · Bruce Chilton · Stevan Davies · David Fideler · Birger Pearson · John Turner · Einar Thomassen · Jason BeDuhn · Karen King · Jane Schaberg · April DeConick”

 

The Gnostic 1

“The first issue of a tri-annual journal on Gnosticism in all its forms. Featuring interviews with Alan Moore and Sethian Gnostic expert John Turner; a complete translation of the Gospel of Judas; Tim Freke on The Gospel of the Second Coming; articles on William Burroughs, Philip K.Dick, the Alternative Judas, Gnosticism and Magic; columns, book reviews and more.”

 

The Gnostic 2

“The second issue of The Gnostic: A Journal of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality. Featuring an interview with Colin Wilson and an indepth examination of his ideas on the occult. An interview with Tessa Dick, widow of Philip K Dick, plus an excerpt from her memoir and Anthony Peake’s analysis of Dick’s precognitive abilities. An interview with noted scholar April DeConick on the Gospel of John. The Gnosticism of the TV series The Prisoner. Kimetikos, Jeremy Puma’s Gnostic practice. Tony Blake’s meetings with remarkable people including J.G. Bennett, David Bohm and Idries Shah. Articles on asceticism, the symbolism of the Bible, resurrection, Schrodinger’s Gun, a short story by Andrew Phillip Smith. Extensive book reviews, original art and more.”

 

The Gnostic 3

“The third issue of The Gnostic: A Journal of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality. Featuring a cover by C.G. Jung, Lance Owens on Jung’s Red Book. Interviews with David Tibet of Current 93, Jacob Needleman and Zohar expert Daniel C. Matt. Articles on Gnostic anime, Robert Graves, Gnostic texts, the Gospel of Luke, William Blake, deja vu, coincidence, a ten page comic, reviews and much more.”

 

The Gnostic 4

“The fourth issue of The Gnostic: A Journal of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality. Alan Moore’s Fossil Angels, an investigation into the contemporary occult scene. Interviews with Stephan Hoeller and Miguel Conner. Anthony Peake on the Quantum Pleroma. Sean Martin tells a Gnostic sci-fi tale. Robert M.Price on the Gnostic Gospel of John. Bill Darlison on the zodiac in the Gospel of Mark. Gnostic influences on Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. The plight of the Mandaeans. The gematria of Marcus the Magician. The Gospel of Thomas, a translation and Fourth Way interpretation. Gnostic politics. John Cowper Powys. The complete text of the Gnosis of the Light–a book within a magazine! Egyptian cat mummies and more. And we review enough books to fill a whole shelf. Cover and interior illustrations by Laurence Caruana.”