T H Huxley Essays

T H Huxley Essays-44
It is much more the logical conclusion of the intellectual quest that began during his first years in Oxford.There was, from the very first, an ongoing relationship between Huxley and God.Whatever the subject, Huxley’s theme of “diseclipsing” the light that stands between ourselves and true enlightenment runs through the pages like an ominous seismological crack.

It is much more the logical conclusion of the intellectual quest that began during his first years in Oxford.There was, from the very first, an ongoing relationship between Huxley and God.Whatever the subject, Huxley’s theme of “diseclipsing” the light that stands between ourselves and true enlightenment runs through the pages like an ominous seismological crack.

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T H Huxley Essays

“The Doors of Perception,” Huxley’s 1954 account of his experiences with these hallucinogens, was, in many ways, the opening shot of the ‘60s; to that generation he became a culture-hero, and his book a kind of psychedelic Baedeker.One feels that what constantly eludes Huxley, and what he is most intent on capturing, is not so much the State of Grace or some higher degree of karma, but a most finite articulation of what these spiritual states consist of.It is their definition that excites him, not necessarily their realization in his own nature.In “Huxley and God,” editor Jacqueline Bridgeman has culled together 26 pieces that convey Huxley’s fascination with the impenetrable and the unknowable.The essays range from microscopic analyses of things like the Lord’s Prayer and a speech from “Henry V” to weighty discourses on subjects such as time, progress, contemplation, knowledge and understanding.His mystical predisposition and pre-New Age predilections fitted in perfectly with his adopted home.Although his reasons for moving here were the terrain and the clear and abundant southwestern light, there was also, as it turned out, an affinity for cults and spiritual disciplines which, then as now, made him a kindred spirit in Los Angeles.(There is even a kind of odd relevance in this book being published by a San Francisco publishing house.)Huxley’s fascination with spirituality was in large part an extension of the intellectual’s fascination with tantalizing abstractions.“True philosophy,” he told Andre Maurois, “is religion or else it is art, which is simply another form of religion.” Every self-contained system of thought holds out the promise that it will reveal the secrets of “ultimate reality,” a phrase that crawls endlessly through these pages like an elusive caterpillar through high grass.For such people mysticism, like space-travel for the astronomers, represents the unconquered universe--the last hold-out against verifiable human knowledge.When he is following his hunches and soaring on the wings of speculation, we experience a dazzling flight through vast and unexpected landscapes, but sometimes his zeal grounds him and then it is a little like being buttonholed by a Hare Krishna loony in an airport lounge.

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