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Author: zeteticus

Philosophy and depth psychology fanatic; writer and resident soul spelunker
Colin Wilson on Rudolf Steiner Part 1

Colin Wilson on Rudolf Steiner Part 1

I’ve had a copy of Colin Wilson’s little book on Rudolf Steiner sitting in one of my bookcases for over a year now, so I thought it might be a good time to blow off the dust and look inside. In his early works, Wilson didn’t really care for Steiner. He didn’t write anything about him ( that I know of ) until the 1980s, long after he had developed his “New Existentialism.” He does admit finding him “an interesting…

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Rudolf Steiner and Imagination

Rudolf Steiner and Imagination

As a prerequisite to better understanding Steiner, at least for myself, I begin with this amazing quote: . . . the sense-perceptible world is only part of what surrounds us. It is distinct from, and to a certain extent independent of, our overall surroundings simply because it can be perceived with senses that disregard the soul and spiritual aspects of these surroundings. It is like a piece of ice floating on water—the ice consists of the same substance as the…

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The Romantic Poets: What They Missed

The Romantic Poets: What They Missed

Even though they did not complete the work, the Romantic poets brought about great advancement in the consciousness of Imagination. The poets (except for William Blake, perhaps) fell short of grasping the conclusions of what they were experiencing. One could point to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, as an example. In his Biographia Literaria, Chapter 13, he begins to explain the philosophical nature of Imagination, only to be interrupted by a letter from a friend, whom he felt deserved his attention more…

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The Failure of Romanticism

The Failure of Romanticism

Colin Wilson, whom I have written much about on this blog, was an existentialist philosopher, but not in the sense of a Sartre or Camus. His existentialism, as he says, “covers a broader field than what Kierkegaard or Heidegger or Sartre means by it; my existentialism is closer to Goethe’s idea of Bildung.” 1 The literary climate of the existentialist is the “Bildungsroman,” the so-called coming-of-age novel or play, where the protagonist’s psychological and moral development is the focus. Dostoevsky’s…

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Jung on Individualism

Jung on Individualism

  Our day is filled with chaos and disorder. America and the nations of Europe have been suffering severely the past decade or so because of an overemphasis on the collective, as opposed to the individual. C.G. Jung would not share today’s obsession with collectivism. He had very specific ideas on individuals and what they offer mankind. The idea of individualism is inherent in Jung’s psychology–in his process of “individuation.” Even though there is, I believe, a phenomenon of world…

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Individualism and Character

Individualism and Character

Continuing with my discussion of character, in this article I would like to explore reasons why the idea of “classical individualism” promotes and fosters the proper foundation for the full manifestation of human character. For one to fully blossom into one’s calling in life, the genius, the innate destiny of a person requires an environment that will facilitate one’s unfolding.  A child is thrown into this world, but not as a tabula rasa. Yes, we are all thrown, but not into…

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The Imprinted Character

The Imprinted Character

One rarely thinks of character until one grows older. As I approach the ripe old age of sixty, I have been thinking much about the idea of character. What is character? How is one’s character formed? What are the ramifications of having a good or bad character? The best starting point is to trace the etymology of the word. The word, “character,” is derived from the Greek word, “kharakter,” which means “engraved mark,” also “symbol or imprint on the soul,”…

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The Curse of Consciousness

The Curse of Consciousness

  Dostoevsky, in his classic book, Notes from the Underground, states I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness – a real thorough-going illness. For man’s everyday needs, it would have been quite enough to have the ordinary human consciousness, that is, half or a quarter of the amount which falls to the lot of a cultivated man . . .1 This is a very curious notion. One would think that greater consciousness, more awareness, is to…

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Consciousness and Water

Consciousness and Water

  …Go visit the Prairies in June, when for scores on scores of miles you wade knee-deep among Tiger-lilies—what is the one charm wanting?—Water—there is not a drop of water there! Were Niagara but a cataract of sand, would you travel your thousand miles to see it? Why did the poor poet of Tennessee, upon suddenly receiving two handfuls of silver, deliberate whether to buy him a coat, which he sadly needed, or invest his money in a pedestrian trip…

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Colin Wilson Examines Heidegger’s Thought

Colin Wilson Examines Heidegger’s Thought

In this article, I will attempt to provide a brief summary of Colin Wilson’s thoughts regarding Martin Heidegger’s philosophy. Heidegger, of course, was one of the paramount figures in twentieth-century existentialist thought, even though he tried to distance himself from the movement known as existentialism, popularized by Sartre and Camus. Wilson proposes a “new existentialism,” which is more optimistic, as opposed to the pessimism of Sartre, Camus, et al. The exposition of his philosophy can be found in his book,…

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