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Religion and the Rebel, Part 13

Religion and the Rebel, Part 13

Wilson now turns to Emanuel Swedenborg, to examine some of his work. It is a short chapter and he doesn’t have a lot to say about him. Most of us have heard of Swedenborg and his amazing visions of Heaven and Hell. The material pertaining to the Outsider and existentialism in his oeuvre is what we’re interested in here. Wilson begins his examination by stating: “For the existentialist, truth is subjectivity; external events are neither true nor untrue, but unimportant.”1 Wilson…

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Religion and the Rebel, Part 10

Religion and the Rebel, Part 10

Jacob Böhme and Friedrich Nietzsche have a few things in common, according to Colin Wilson. Both men wanted to get at the same thing: ultimate reality. We have learned that Böhme is every bit as much an existentialist as Nietzsche: As we read him, we discover that many of the things he says are not new to the student of existentialism. There is frequently a Nietzschean note; what could be more Nietzschean than this? If thou art not a spiritual…

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Religion and the Rebel, Part 9

Religion and the Rebel, Part 9

In the next section of Religion and Rebel, Wilson begins examining several important Outsiders, beginning with Jacob Boehme. I will not give lengthy biographical sketches of any of these men, as Wilson does. I am more interested in his presentation of the Outsider psychology, which begins with Boehme. With the mystic, Jacob Boehme, Wilson begins to dig into the material I am interested in: Boehme’s inner journeys. He begins by saying, “Boehme was one of the earliest psychologists.” 1 He…

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