How Huxley Haunts Me

By Mark Antony Rossi

I did not mean to steal it. I have always regarded the place with the reverence of a church. But once I got an audiocassette of the narrated version of Huxley’s “Brave New World” from the local public library I never returned it. I meant no disrespect.

I was transfixed by people born in factories. Listening to knowledge downloaded into their brains while they slept. Their destiny written before they can utter a word. Free love without consequence. Drugs provided via government fiat. A tower of happiness for a thimble of freedom. I spent a lifetime exploring the questions Huxley posed.

I read all his novels. I read his nonfiction works especially “Brave New World Revisited” essays on some fictional aspects of the novel that may be possible. I read twice a year “The Human Condition” which is a collection of his lectures while visiting American colleges.

Even today I want to know what I would experience if I stayed in a sweat lodge on a Native American Reservation and ingested psychedelic mushrooms. Is it a door cleanser to see past perceptions? Can I connect to a spiritual world? Is there special knowledge obtained from an inward journey?

Our backgrounds are so distinctively different that I venture to guess Mr. Huxley might have viewed me as consumerist American war-monger. Being from a military family and a military veteran I suspect we’d have some unusual discussions on war and peace in light of his life-long pacifism. I wish it were possible to have met him. But he died before I was born and lives on in his writings. And in my mind and heart. His pursuit of the human condition was genuine and sincere. Perhaps this is why I am still haunted by his curiosity.

Huxley’s writings have made me reflect on the future, the individual and this current society that’s spinning fast out of control with technology leading humans instead of the reverse. If he were still alive he would have reminded us to take control of our lives for this is the only true antidote to tyranny.

Neither Huxley or Orwell had predicted humanity’s demise might be hastened by monied corporations and selfish individualism. Both visionaries pegged the architect of apocalypse to be corrosive big government deceiving citizens into a circular loop of servitude and slavery. We good is our principled stand against political corruption if we hand over our precious freedoms to unelected chief executive officers less willing to see anything above the bottom line.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York. 

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