T H Huxley Essays

T H Huxley Essays-39
When he was a young man at Eton, a streptococcus infection attacked his eyes, and he was virtually blind for a year.

When he was a young man at Eton, a streptococcus infection attacked his eyes, and he was virtually blind for a year.Throughout his life, he had partial sight in only one eye and, given this impediment, the volume and breadth of his reading is staggering.Then, much to the chagrin of his earliest supporters, in his later years he wandered into the murky grottoes of religious mysticism (Buddhism, Hinduism, Vedanta, the paranormal) and--what was even more horrifying--personally experimented with mescaline and LSD.

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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.

In a way very different from you or me, Huxley inhabited an “inner world” and, despite publicly held positions on a wide variety of social and political issues, it was in that interior world that he conducted his most painstaking research.

Although in his last years he immersed himself completely, the preoccupation with mysticism was apparent from his earliest works, even in “Crome Yellow.” It is a mistake to see it as the aberration of a writer fading into his twilight years.

In his earnest quest for deeper in sights, there is a distinct tendency to undervalue ordinary human existence, which is understandable in a man whose inner circle contained scientists, physicians, mystics and philosophers, but deplorable in that it prevented him from enjoying the distinctive pleasures of junk food, junk ideas and junk people.

T H Huxley Essays

Which also explains somewhat his deficiency as a novelist for, as Chesterton pointed out, “A great novelist must above all be vulgar because life is vulgar and men are vulgar and because it is the novelist’s object to reproduce life.” As a writer and as a man, Huxley was a patrician whereas the greatest novelists were always, at base, plebs.A prominent defender of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, he was the grandfather of Julian, Aldous and Andrew Huxley.He was a critic of organised religion and devised the words "agnostic" and "agnosticism" to describe his own views.The urbanity and literary sophistication that Huxley brings to subjects that could so easily become soupily spiritual or turgidly transcendental is what gives this collection its special tang and makes it intensely readable even when the author is vainly trying to define the ineffable.Thomas Henry Huxley (4 May, 1825 – 29 June 1895) was a British biologist.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.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.Through a weird kind of synchronicity that often brings the right man into the right milieu, Huxley settled in California in 1937.After writing a brace of biting social satires (“Crome Yellow” and “Antic Hay”), he produced his Utopian nightmare “Brave New World,” which did for the 1930s what George Orwell’s “1984" was to do for the postwar generation.Throughout, he wrote essays, religious tracts, political analyses, newspaper articles, even drama criticism.

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