On This Day … 18 January

People (Births)

  • 1932 – Robert Anton Wilson, American psychologist, author, poet, and playwright (d. 2007).

Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson (born Robert Edward Wilson; 18 January 1932 to 11 January 2007) was an American author, futurist, and self-described agnostic mystic. Recognised within Discordianism as an Episkopos, pope and saint, Wilson helped publicize Discordianism through his writings and interviews.

Wilson described his work as an “attempt to break down conditioned associations, to look at the world in a new way, with many models recognized as models or maps, and no one model elevated to the truth”. His goal was “to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone but agnosticism about everything.”

In addition to writing several science-fiction novels, Wilson also wrote non-fiction books on extrasensory perception, mental telepathy, metaphysics, paranormal experiences, conspiracy theory, sex, drugs and what Wilson himself called “quantum psychology”.

Following a career in journalism and as an editor, notably for Playboy, Wilson emerged as a major countercultural figure in the mid-1970s, comparable to one of his co-authors, Timothy Leary, as well as Terence McKenna.

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