Colin Wilson: Poetry & Mysticism

(2646 words)

After spending six months as Visiting Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, Colin Wilson moved on to lecture in San Francisco in March 1968. There, sitting in a bar with the Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti [1919- ], discussing the use of psychedelic drugs to enhance consciousness, Wilson argued against the use of such drugs insisting that mystical experience is “a normal potentiality of everyday consciousness, and not something that has to be snatched by inducing states over which we have no control” (13*). Ferlinghetti suggested that Wilson write a short book about this which he offered to consider for publication under his famous City Lights imprint. Feeling that this would be a “good vehicle for an &l…

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Stanley, Colin. "Poetry & Mysticism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 September 2012
[, accessed 04 July 2015.]