A Beginning to Existing: Understanding Colin Wilson’s “Outsiderism” in ‘Ritual In The Dark’ - An Eastern Perspective
Keywords:outsider, sadhak, self-realization, transcendence, pure consciousness, mysticism, Atman, existence.
The phenomenon of “Outsiderism” found in the works of Colin Wilson has both individual and social implications which are intrinsically evolutionary. Wilson takes a stock of this ‘evolutionary man’ and concludes that ‘outsider is a god in making. The ‘Outsider’ is a state of consciousness which recognizes both duality and non-duality, but strives to leave the former and hold the later. Like an Eastern Yogi, these ‘outsiders’ have a strong recognition that life in its ‘ordinariness’ generates ennui which is bereft of any meaning and purpose. They indulge in all such actions, though momentarily, with intent of bringing intensity to their consciousness. Wilson contends that human energy can manifest in all possible negative and positive forms, but in the outsider state, these energies begin to integrate which leads to the realization that mankind’s freedom lies in religious attitude wherein a human being reconnects with its inner sources. It is interesting to understand the complex character of the “outsider” that Wilson has created in both his fiction and non-fiction and hold him as an alter ego to the eastern sannyasin, who having some glimpses of the other modes of being and torn by his own inner and outer conflicts is desperate to cast off the slough of his trivial worldly existence and metamorphose into a god. This paper is an attempt to understand the Wilsonian outsider with specific reference to the novel ‘Ritual in the Dark.’ The study will be carried out from the perspective of Eastern mysticism so as to find out, whether such outsiders are Western sannyasins engaged in a similar self-quest, and who having traversed through myriad realms of their physical and psychological beings are beginning to exist.
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