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Colin Wilson


COLIN: No, except as I say, knowing this; you see, the business about techniques, once again, means trying to do it the easy way. Obviously psychedelics would be one technique, and alcohol is another technique. Various yogic meditation exercises are another technique. But what’s so important is to have the precise knowledge of what you want to achieve, and then to calculate how to get there. Now you must know what you want to achieve. So I keep emphasizing you have got to know in advance. This is what I am after.

It seems to me that what we are all aiming at is what Jean Gebser called “integral consciousness,” these levels of consciousness in which you find yourself perfectly contented with the present moment. So if everytime we experience that feeling of tiredness, that feeling of, oh god what the hell, and so on, what we must do is to recognize clearly that this is telling us lies. Whereas, of course, what we very often tend to do is not only to accept it, but let ourselves therefore get into a state of discouragement, and then suddenly into negative feedback, where as it were, you’re rolling down hill. This is the real danger-to go into depression.

DJB: You have stressed the importance of people having a strong sense of certainty about things in their lives. But we know from quantum physics that we can never really be certain of anything, because everything that exists, exists as vibrating waves of probable possibilities. What are you certain of?

COLIN: Now, as I say, that is not true in quantum physics. That is the Copenhagen Interpretation. All that Heisenberg stated is you can not know both the position and the speed of an electron. And Einstein said, well yeah, maybe that’s true simply because we are dealing with sub-atomic events. In order to observe a sub-atomic event, you would need some way, as it were, of getting inside the atom or the electron, which is not possible without affecting it. So, in point of fact, it just appears to be a simple consequence of the fact that you are observing something so small.

On the other hand, Einstein did not believe there is any fundamental uncertainty about this. He went on to say, if you could devise an experiment in which you could somehow bombard something so that two particles shot off in opposite directions, you could in theory, measure the speed of one and the position of the other. And if they’re identical particles shooting off in opposite directions, you would in fact have this double measurement. Of course this whole Bell’s Theorem business seems to recognize that this is so. As far as I’m concerned, like Einstein, I do not believe in Bohr’s Copenhagen Interpretation.

DJB: Do you see the non-local effect postulated by Bell’s Theorem as being an explanation for such unexplained psychic phenomena as telepathy?

COLIN: No, I just don’t know. I don’t think that the two electrons are telepathic. But on the other hand, I have noted in my book Beyond the Occult cases of identical twins, where you get absolutely absurd similarities in their lives, even though they have been separated from birth. They have married people of the same name, on the same day. They go to the same place for holidays, and all kinds of other preposterous things like this. They fell down and broke their leg on the same day. I do not know how you explain this. It does seem to me that there is something very weird going on.

DJB: What kind of relationship do you see-if you do-between sexuality and creativity?

COLIN: Well, I don’t know. It seems to me tremendously important because sexuality is one of these examples where we experience ambiguity so often. This sudden feeling of-oh my god, is this really what I want? You know the old Latin tag about after sex one feels sad, because you suddenly feel-oh it’s gone. There never was anything there in the first place. It’s what I call the Ecclesiastes effect. There is nothing new under the sun-vanity of vanities, all is vanity. Which is the state we get into, when we get something we badly want, as Schopenhauer says. But on the other hand, you don’t let it depress you that when you have eaten your dinner, you no longer want to eat another dinner. You just accept it and take it for granted, and it seems to me the same thing applies in this case. That the pessimism that Schopenhauer and Ecclesiastes believed is simply a sort of logical howler.

It seems to me that obviously sexuality can play an important part in creativity. But not simply because one feels that the essence of sexuality is so immensely important, like D.H. Lawrence. You see, William Barrett, writing about existentialism, used this phrase about return to the sense of power, meaning, and purpose inside us. We all recognize that somehow that’s what it’s all about-to get back to that sense of power, meaning, and purpose inside us. Now sex does tend to do that for us. It will jar us instantly, for example, into a sense of meaning.

If a man is

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