Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and philosopher. Within the psychedelics community, he is best known for writing two books about his experience with mescaline. In his most well-known work, Brave New World, Huxley wrote of a dystopian future wherein psychoactive drugs (Soma) are used as a means of pacification and self-medication. In his later years, Huxley wrote its utopian counterpart which introduced the fictional island of Pala, a society that integrates entheogenic (moksha) medicine for enlightenment and social bonding.
Aldous Huxley (born 1894 — died 1963) came from a family of scientists and literary figures. He was the grandson of the prominent biologist Thomas Henry Huxley and his brothers included physiologist Andrew Fielding Huxley and biologist Julian Huxley. His writings were influenced by his travels to California, which reflected both a type of fear and astonishment over the 20th-century trends in both politics and technology: a future society in which psychological conditioning forms the basis for a scientifically determined caste system by subjugating individuals to love their own servitude. His later works explored Hindu philosophy and mysticism as a viable alternative to the growing sense of emptiness and aimlessness experienced in contemporary society. His later work, ‘The Perennial Philosophy‘ is a comparative study of mysticism and explores the notion of spiritual truths that underlie human existence in all cultures through all time, transmitted through Jungian archetypes, the `morphic field’ and the wisdom philosophies. These notions are still implicit within the modern-day conception of psychedelic-induced ‘mystical experiences’. Huxley’s later works, ‘The Doors of Perception’, ‘Heaven and Hell’, and ‘Island’ reflected an interest in the use of psychedelic, or mind-revealing, substances as a means of accessing universal truths by diminishing the boundaries of everyday conceptual thinking and giving access to the Mind at Large.
- The Doors of Perception (1954)
- Heaven and Hell (1956)
- The Perennial Philosophy (1946)
- Brave New World (1932)
- Island (1962)
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