Loneliness and Societal Conditioning in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
This idea about shallow engagement with emotions is interesting - I hadn’t thought of the book quite in that way before. I didn’t realise Huxley had lost his eyesight. I wonder if this contributed to feelings of isolation that we see in his characters? Such a fascinating author. Really like Island and Perennial Philosophy. Thanks for this engaging look at his life through loneliness.
I’m a bit obsessed with human potential movements and their connections to cults, MLMs, and the life coaching industry. It is fascinating to think about the genuinely countercultural origins of HPMs and to see this link to Huxley. Thank you, as always, for this amazing research and writing.
I was slightly obsessed with BNW as a kid, not sure why - it probably coincided with a brief flirtation with subliminal learning, hypnosis and astral projection... Did come away with a name for my Substack though. :)
This was excellent. I barely remember the book from high school, so it was a nice refresher. It also had me relating it to the show Severance (have you watched?). Corporate anomie, mind-erasing, and loneliness.
I liked the Darwin connection (I’m a big fan) and the tidbit about him dying on Kennedy’s assassination date - probably the worst day to die on if you want anyone memorializing your life. Wow.
Wonderful post. I am a big Huxley fan and have read all of his work, multiple times. My favorite book of his is "Island." I also have to say that Huxley's spiritual writing is some of the most fascinating of his work. There's a book of essays called, "Huxley and God," which includes a lot of work published in Vedanta Magazine. Huxley was very close to J. Krishnamurti who he met in L.A. in 1938. They remained friends for life. I had the pleasure in the late 90's of studying A Course In Miracles with Tara Singh, who was the first teacher of ACIM and Singh regaled attendees of the retreat with stories about both Huxley and Krishnamurti after I enquired about their friendship.
Outstanding! Thank you
Well, some of those themes sound familiar.... I'm ashamed to say I've never read this book, but now I want to!
Lovely. Now I’m thinking about the pull of loneliness and the adjacent pull toward “transcendent experiences”-- from separation to ultimate unity. Thank you for this...
Excellent take on a classic. I love that book. Important reading even today. I didn't know he lost his eyesight. You did such thorough research. <3
Brave New World and 1984 are two books which affected me deeply. Shockingly so. I read each of them one time (and in both cases I couldn't put the book down, so it was a non-stop reading) and had to distract myself with something to stop anxiety as an aftermath of what I've read. Although I'm still staying away from rereading 1984 (it's crazily accurate in describing the current state of affairs), I may reread Brave New World. If I'll do that, I will keep in mind the concept of loneliness.
The Earth is burning with climate change as billionaires build bunkers- Huxley's prescient vision of Soma is now mass consumption of antidepressants and stimulants as we gawk at non-stop entertainment/ we must wake up and fight climate change and fascism which threaten our freedom, health and even survival.