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Religion and the Rebel, Part 12

Religion and the Rebel, Part 12

Continuing with chapter three, Wilson makes a claim I don’t think I’ve ever heard before: All man’s experience is emotional experience. Even the mathematician, plunged in his calculations, is undergoing emotional experience. His intellectual activity is accompanied by a pleasure and an excitement that is emotional, and it is this that makes him pursue mathematics. An electronic brain takes no pleasure in its calculating. All life is continual emotional experience.1 I tend to think this energy we experience when we…

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Religion and the Rebel, Part 11

Religion and the Rebel, Part 11

In his chapter on Blaise Pascal, Wilson begins describing the Outsider as “the obsessed man — obsessed with the problem of where he is going and who he is.” 1 Many geniuses begin as mediocre and banal individuals. Wilson offers the example of Gaugin: “Gaugin’s painting is great, not because Gaugin is a talented painter, but because he cared so much about painting that his comparative lack of talent (in the sense that Ingres had talent) is unimportant.” 2 The…

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