Colin Wilson died in December 2013. A few months later I conceived of the idea of writing a book about him that would be like the introductions he wrote to the lives and work of Gurdjieff, Crowley, Steiner, and Jung. It would be maybe 100-150 pages long.
I mocked-up a cover that was a homage to his classic paperbacks, using the same font, and the colour background of Mysteries, perhaps my favourite book of his.
I started writing in 2014. Since then other projects intervened but I periodically returned to it. With the advent of UK Lockdown1 I felt it would be great for my sanity to complete it.
It was in June that a radical shift occurred. I became certain that I was going to end up writing something that would be almost as long as one of the volumes of the legendary Occult Trilogy.
Just as I had paid tribute to the enormous influence of Robert Anton Wilson on me with my expansive Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus, I was now going to do the same with Colin Wilson.
I’m approaching this with the intention to apply what Wilson called existential literary criticism. There is a summary of his thought but the measure of it is how it has impacted on me. I therefore am weaving many personal stories that are clearly directly connected with my readings of Wilson’s books. It’s a huge task, the most ambitious I have ever undertaken.
I believe I have come to some very interesting understandings. Looking at Wilson’s meeting with Robert Graves, for example, so crucial to the creation of his landmark The Occult, led to me seeing things I don’t think anyone else has spotted. My attempt to give an account of TC Lethbridge, whose work was so vital to Mysteries, has led to a most satisfying retrospective perspective.
I’ve given up attempting to estimate how long this project will take to complete. I will be hopefully be presenting some extracts concerning Robert Graves at the projected Glastonbury Occult conference in February 2021.
I may also present some material comparing WB Yeats and Aleister Crowley at another possible event but that is still to be finalised.