Robots Beware: Colin Wilson Strikes Again!

Greg Moffit has posted the second session of our three part interview about the life and work of Colin Wilson, based on my book Beyond the Robot, on his excellent Legalize Freedom site. Greg is an intelligent, engaging interviewer – may their number increase! – and as usual we cover what is generally known as a wide spectrum of subjects, all of which converge on Wilson’s philosophy of consciousness and our need to develop the muscles of “intentionality” that can free us from our usual, if subnormal, state of semi-conscious passivity. In the process we touch on topics I explore in a new work, scheduled to be released this spring, Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump, about how the mind’s ability to “participate” with reality – even to affect it – can be put to dubious uses, something alluded to at the close of Lost Knowledge of the Imagination. In this time of rising conformity, and, paradoxically, of a spreading “war of all against all,” when free, open and aware minds are needed more than ever, Wilson’s insights into the phenomenology of consciousness provide a way to ensure that some of us at least may stay awake.

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3 thoughts on “Robots Beware: Colin Wilson Strikes Again!

  1. Hi Gary,

    Came across an article in the NY Times today about Esalen and how it’s refashioning itself to cater to people in the tech industry who perhaps feel a little guilty about what they’ve wrought. Here’s the link:

    Because of your work on Gebser I thought you might appreciate a certain irony. Perhaps it signals another sign of the deficient mode of the mental-rational structure and a coming of the integral, who knows.

    Now reading Politics and the Occult and enjoying it very much. I’ve just read about Saint-Yves and the body politic, and the dangers of thinking in terms of “healthy cells” and what it means for those outside the volk. You mention Gebser and his idea of the magical structure of consciousness using the body to circumvent the rational mind. I’m wondering what you think about the idea of technology feeding today’s magical structure. We’ve certainly seen a reckoning and a little soul searching after what happened in last year’s election.

    Also, you mentioned in the past you may do something on Heidegger and Gurdjieff. Just wondering what’s next after Lost Knowledge and Dark Star Rising.

    Thanks,
    Ben

    1. Hello Ben. Very good to hear from you. One of the things I do look into in Dark Star Rising is the influence ‘meme magick’ had on Trump’s election and on the current ‘war of all against all’ that seems to have gripped the US – and is making its way here too. The internet has become a kind of externalized imagination, rather as I pods et al are forms of externalized inner space. I am wary of the kinds of consciousness-tech combos that are becoming more prevalent in the ‘alternative’ world these days. I especially mean the union of psychedelics and virtual reality that many see as some breakthrough in consciousness studies. I’m afraid I’m something of a luddite when it comes to this. I prefer the old school – working with my own consciousness directly. In any case, I’ve been commissioned to do a follow up to Dark Star, this time focusing on Russia and Putin’s revamping of the Holy Russia idea, and its links to the Eurasia project of Alexandre Dugin. That will be keeping me busy for the next year. I have ideas for some articles and essays – I’ve written some recently for New Dawn magazine – and the Gurdjieff/Heidegger idea is one of them. I just finished a piece on Maurice Nicoll, Ouspensky’s most important student. All the best, Gary

  2. That’s great, I’ll keep my eye out for the essays. I’m particularly interested in what you have to say about Gurdjieff and Heidegger.

    I’m with you on the technology issue. Jaron Lanier is a voice of skepticism I’ve found compelling, and as a pioneer in VR he speaks from direct experience. Many years ago in his introduction to Cybernetics Norbert Wiener warned that the new field is a system of control and if society did not use the new technology properly it could lead to great danger. It seems to me that we’ve arrived at that point.

    It was a little eerie to read your last chapter of Politics and the Occult, and sad to see where we’ve come to after nine years. I believe you made a distinction there that’s quite interesting: the tension between being and becoming. I’m thinking of this in connection to Eliade’s duality of sacred and profane space. When one group’s being is threatened by another’s becoming, and vice versa, then some very intense hostility of an almost religious quality may arise (such as Trump voters versus Silicon Valley, or the now-erupting me too movement). Too complex for me to articulate in this space, but you’ve given me much to think about.

    Also, you mentioned briefly that William Irwin Thompson was influenced by Schwaller de Lubicz. Could you direct me to something specific?

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