I have been reading Gary Lachman's new critical biography of Colin Wilson, and it reminded me of how spitefully the English Establishment treated Wilson for more than half a century - a mixture of mockery and disgust.
Indeed, Wilson is a good example of someone who pursued the spiritual path of The Fool, which I discussed recently. He had a total indifference to whether or not his interests and arguments would seem absurd, consequently he made many discoveries among authors, and found interesting things to say on many topics.
But the nasty way Wilson was handled by the mass media over such a long time, and especially by the highbrow media, is significant. It is clear that Wilson's line of work was something that the elites wanted to shut down, or neutralise by putting it into a ghetto where Serious People treated it as a joke.
Given the strategy of evil pursued by the establishment media, this is a clear but indirect indication that Wilson was saying something important that the English in particular needed to know.
What could this be? In one word it was optimism, fuelled by an expanded sense of the reality and possibility of human life.
When Wilson's first book (The Outsider) came out, I think it was misunderstood to be in the despair-inducing tradition of Continental existentialism; which the Establishment was keen to promote. But when it became clear, with Religion and the Rebel, that Wilson was seeking a new spiritual and religious energy and optimism - then the attempt was made to demoralise him by a mixture of shunning and mocking.
To his great credit, Wilson was neither silenced nor embittered, and continued to pour out books until old age; developing his ideas and being very supportive of many others.
The main problem with Wilson's work is that he wrote too much, too fast and without optimal attention to detail; and more importantly he spent more time writing than thinking. This was a consequence of his spending too much money on books, recorded music and wine - all if which were expensive hobbies in England.
Since Wilson always immediately spent everything he was earning, and more, he was always having to write; and since he was mostly excluded from the major publishers, he had to write far too much - and spend too much of each day writing, and not enough time and effort thinking hard - in order to sustain this rather self-indulgent lifestyle.
Nonetheless, ultimately I think Wilson probably did achieve his destiny in terms of writing what he needed to write, and telling England some of the most important things we need to hear.
I tried, intermittently but seriously over about 25 years, to live along the lines advocated by Wilson, and I therefore know that it is valuable but alone is not enough. Since I became a Christian I have realised what was missing from Wilson's spirituality, and how no amount of research or thinking could have provided it.
Like so many, Wilson was put off Christianity altogether by the churches and their exclusivism, whereas he should have ideally become some kind of an unaffiliated Christian, like William Blake.
If The Establishment shunned Wilson, the fact is that he had many friends among the eccentric spiritual patriots of England, and was indeed a kind of rallying point for such people. Although Wilson himself expressed justifiable anger and frustration at England (for example in his preliminary autobiography from the late 1960s) - and like Owen Barfield found his main audience in the USA and elsewhere - Wilson was an intensely English figure, whose work return frequently to the long tradition of offbeat individualists, each ploughing his own furrow - this especially applies to his 'occult'-themed writings.
In conclusion, Colin Wilson can be seen as illustrating the difference between the real England of Albion, and the inverted England of the modern elites, officials and media. Colin Wilson was a hero of Albion and an enemy of The Establishment.