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Strange Powers by Colin Wilson

Strange Powers by Colin Wilson


New York: Random House, 1973. Stated "First American Edition w/full number line" on the copyright page. Hardcover. 146 pages ; 22 cm. $6.95 dust jacket. Foxing to edges. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm.

During the research for his book The Occult, Colin Wilson became fascinated by the personalities as well as the powers of some of the people he interviewed. Despite initial skepticism, he has become increasingly aware of those vistas of reality that lie outside our everyday preoccupations.

In Strange Powers he presents three unusual personalities and the problems they suggest, treating them as a novelist rather than a psychic investigator.

Robert Leftwich is a retired sales manager and a dowser who has given successful and convincing performances on television. Sometimes he feels an unusual awareness of mind that indicates his astral body is about to leave his physical body behind.

Mrs. Eunice Beattie is a retired hospital nurse whose hands periodically begin to twitch, and she has to get to a typewriter or pencil so that the spirits can write out messages through her. In this way she has completed hundreds of pages of manuscript with curious prophecies of the future.

Dr. Arthur Guirdham believes that in a previous existence he belonged to a thirteenth-century religious sect called the Cathars, or "pure ones." He is the author of several books, and his writings on reincarnation make claims as far-reaching as those in Einstein's original paper on relativity.

All three of these people believe their powers to be perfectly normal. If this is so, are the rest of us abnormal? Or subnormal? These are some of the questions raised in this study of unusual people with strange powers.

About the Author
COLIN WILSON was born in Leicester in 1931, the son of a boot-and-shoe worker. He left school at sixteen, and for eight years worked at a series of laboring jobs. His original ambition to be an atomic physicist was dropped when his interest switched to literature and philosophy. At thirteen he had already written an essay called "Questions on the Life Aim," raising the problems: Why are we alive? What are we supposed to do now we are here? Ten years later he sketched out a book considering the answers of the major thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries — the great "outsider" figures from Kierkegaard to T. E. Hulme and Gurdjieff. The Outsider, published when he was twenty-four, brought him overnight fame, and was translated into twenty languages. This instant success brought an equally violent reaction: "I suddenly became the world's most unpopular writer." Wilson moved to a cottage in Cornwall, where he has lived ever since, and continued to explore his Outsider thesis and develop his own form of phenomenological existentialism. He has lectured widely in Germany, Scandinavia and America. Publication of The Occult (which suggests that man needs to develop a new faculty, "Faculty X") in 1970 led to the formation in London of a Colin Wilson Society.

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