Alan Watts on Aldous Huxley (Lecture)

“This lecture is devoted to the outrageous ideas which Aldous Huxley put forward in his book, ‘Island’, where he made himself a sitting duck for every kind of sophisticated derision; he attacked the sacred cow of the American family, he advocated mystical experience through using drugs, he discussed rational modes of economics, and he proposed a utopia which is the thing that just no realistic hard-headed person has done for a long, long time. He wrote a book called Brave New World which was a very cogent prognostication of what the completely automated, technologically superior society would be like. And it’s very very easy to poke fun, to satirize, to deride…And Huxley has been an expert at poking all kinds of fun and sophistocated criticism of social institutions, of aesthetics of religious ideas, and of human character when a man who has devoted his life in a way to being the master satirist has suddenly turned round; and, as it were, redeem himself by saying now after I pulled you all apart this is the kind of world I would really like – that’s the most difficult thing to do.”

– Alan Watts