foster the people
WE ARE NOT TREES or "purpose, obligation & endless unchanging volition"
I have been reading mister huxley’s novels and nonfiction books of late.
as a young person, i was coerced by the education system into reading BRAVE fresh WORLD. and the truth is, if you don’t know the story about where the title of this book comes from, this book will be somehow a lot less meaningful.
and i had no idea what the title meant. in fact, i never really liked the title, even after huxley tells us what it means and exactly where it is from and why it is said. it is almost belabored.
but for those of you who don’t know the origin, it is from a play about a man who has trapped his daughter onto an island in the middle of nowhere. she has only heard of the world from which he has been cast out of for being an evil magician (though his title was DUKE OF MILAN).
the only people that this young girl knows are the hideous demons that were on the island before she arrived or that her father conjures up and cavorts with — seriously, wtf was he doing with all his free “off-stage” time, shakespeare?!!!?
anyway, this girl has spent her entire childhood envisioning a pure world based on the things her father has told her about it. it’s a fantasy that has been aspired by her own imagination’s take on her father’s stories about his sordid and hidden past.
so not unlike miranda’s twisted view of life brought on by being off cast into a "style" world that she never deserved, the “noble savage” has his own strange birth tale in BRAVE fresh WORLD. in fact, huxley just reverses the arrangement — instead of a father and his daughter, he substitutes a boy and his mother, which naturally/biologically makes more sense anyway.
so in BRAVE fresh WORD — to be referred to as BNW from here out — the character that is frequently referred to as "the noble savage" is the son of a very important man in FORDTOPIA. FORDTOPIA is the name of the "empire" which has replaced all other world governments. and yes, it’s a nod to HENRY FORD and the implementation of mechanized production.
this young man — named John and raised in the tribal fresh mexican reservations in america –has a "dad/sire" that he has never met. his "father", once a young man who has right now risen to the great title of the DIRECTOR of HATCHERIES and CONDITIONING in london, had once gone out to visit the native american reservations in fresh mexico accompanied by a lady-friend on that excursion. during an unexpected storm on the reservation she goes permanently missing and is assimilated into the native tribe as a stranger where she then gives birth to the director’s son, who grows up as a complete misfit among the native americans on the reservations. this strange "mother/child" duo is discovered after almost two decades and they are brought back into the fold, so to speak, and they are returned to london in the FORDTOPIA empire where the rest of the story unfolds rather badly.
anyway, as we will get to later in this strange meandering, SEXUAL MISADVENTURES and "bastard" children tend to show up in all manner of stories that somehow turn into LEGENDS AND MYTHS. not unnaturally, we as humans seem overly drawn toward the vices of others and the calamities of their choices. sex and sexual activity captivates our attention and galvanizes our desires. sex, sex, sex, and drugs!!!
huxley’s own life is said to include dalliances encouraged by his first wife, allegedly a lesbian. she was his eyes and his helper in the seductions. she would bring him other beautiful ladies to play with and they would. apparently.
we are told that huxley allegedly lost most of his eyesight at the age of 17 and never saw the world very clearly ever again except through a magnifying glass, literally. or at least it is said.
as a result of his autobiographical details, i find that it’s interesting to read him chronologically because his early work is saturated with the physical world and his attempt to deal with the loss of his eyesight by gaining superior knowledge and listening VERY HARD instead of seeing. and he was obsessed with the problems and the containments of social order. and there is a concrete nature to all of this.
in his own family life his mother had died when he was 14 and one of his older brothers had already committed suicide.
it is not a far stretch to see that in his novels he is making an effort to pull down these ideas of termination and death and to then in turn, invest them into talking characters that emulate humanity.
there are many little shining glimpses of his autobiography scattered like shards throughout his earlier novels. not so much in BNW. BNW is patented on ford’s breakthroughs in industry.
ultimately, any idea of a FORDTOPIA is an auto-humanized toy space. it is a closed system and represents the "brave fresh world". there are islands and reservations where people who don’t fit into FORDTOPIA can live. it’s not a perfect system and the novel follows two different failures within this near perfect system — the UBER man and the tainted man. these two make up the trinity of "christs" in this strange futuristic story when you add the noble savage to the mix and the three, all misfits, rather shamelessly and shamefully fail to adjust in this perfect society.
notably, every single aspect of the novel is a genuflection of the redundancy that is brought on by the use of the following:
foreknowledge, craft, technique and success ratios.
therefore, the failure rate in FORDTOPIA is incredibly rare even though it is the PRIMARY focus of the novel.
and ain’t that just like people?!?!? to get all hung up on the .000001% of existence. to dedicate an entire novel to the tiniest failure rate imaginable!!!
all the while, in the background of this novel, like a monumental beast of power and achievement of nought, FORDTOPIA runs as smoothly as a planetary system — not a fissure to be found.
indeed, everything must be so and so it is.
and by every aspect, i mean from birth to death.
it is a CYCLICAL system with full closure.
there are no real questions.
and if there is a misfit, there is a place for that person, too.
which is where my PERSONAL variation for a NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES would take place — i would pick up where the novel ends and follow bernard marx and helmholz watson off into their fresh worlds on faraway islands. but i would circle back to FORDTOPIA and develop the series from that angle. the drone shots from above would be remarkable and would show what an amazing world of artificiality huxley had envisioned.
and he wasn’t far off target.
it’s a wee bit tokyo in scale with its buildings and a wee bit blade runner with its transport system.
so sad to fail to be able to live happily in such an idyllic environment. so sorry, mr. watson and mr. marx. such a tragedy you don’t belong.
but for the rest of the 99.999 percent of the people of FORDTOPIA, they won’t even remember the noble savage or lenina crowne or henry foster or mustapha mond.
the motto for this CLOSURE in the novel is IDENTITY, COMMUNITY, STABILITY.
but if we are being wakeful to the way words work, we can see quite quickly that these words actually have contractual agreements to them by their nature. these words are all philosophical ABSTRACTIONS.
they are not real things.
they are spectral and evaluative/valuative.
like time or speed or weight, they REQUIRE some kind scale or measurement to give them life. alone they are just ideological. there is no “IDENTITY” without the whole process of difference and segregation in place. there is no “COMMUNITY”. these are formula-ized ideas that come after you can make significant comparisons. these are EXPERIENCE-BASED notions. they require DEVELOPMENT and have a history, a timeline of their own.
so if we’re being honest, this concept regarding identity really means PURPOSE. purpose is part of the directionalized motion theories. purpose puts bodies into motion and it does so in particular ways and specific directions.
community really means OBLIGATION. in this case, obligation is formalized — you owe the community your IDENTITY. that is, your purpose is satisfied by the COMMUNITY’s use of you. in BNW this was a form of VOLUNTARY SLAVERY, an infantile decorum that went so deep into the laboratories that they were actually populating the planet earth with children pre-designed to endure their locations without any pain or harm or boredom.
which leads us to the notion of STABILITY. this is a big one with the eugenicists. and the biologists.
again, stability is an abstraction. it alludes to a perspective on motion, but it does not contain it. it can’t even really be measured because it refers to the ABSENCE of instability, and it often turns out later that a lot of bad sht was going down during times of “peace”. it’s just on the down low and the “peacefulness” works as the cover up. we 21st century foxes should know this already.
and speaking of people who never stop trying to learn more, aldous should win awards for his faithful endeavors into assimilating as much information as he could. and that is the third of these three translations — CONSTANTCY replaces the idea of stability.
first, identity is right now PURPOSE and community is right now OBLIGATION. so lastly, stability becomes ENDLESS VOLITION that is CONSTANT. that is, a preordained continuance that is in motion, but unchanging.
and on the topic of endless volition at a CONSTANT rate, it’s only fair to say that one really cool thing about huxley was his persistence of understanding. he wasn’t a “know it all”. he knew he could never know it all or anything even mildly or wildly close or far from this. but he wanted his mind and his spirit and energy to USED by the pursuit of ideas and life-force and anything he didn’t understand.
even in death, he was so curious about experiencing things differently that he tripped on LSD as he “exited”. November 22, 1963. he wasn’t afraid of the unknown or the unknowable.
as he evolves and ages and distills the information he is voraciously gathering over time, huxley goes deeply into what is called the “perennial philosophy” — an ancient physical art form or practice of ethics with the sole pursuit of inducing “spiritual magic” generated by the ALL and experienced by the “one” who does not split into two.
or as he quotes from hakuin ekaku buddhist perspective;
“Abiding with the non-particular which is in particulars,/
Going or returning, they remain for ever unmoved."
naturally, most of us are so duplicitous at this point with our minds and our hearts and our modern science, that we are more like TEN THOUSAND than we are or ever will be like the ONE. we are HARDLY UNMOVED. we move so fast and it’s hard to feel like you "belong" when you’re literally on your way to becoming someone/something else.
but that’s us —obsessed with distractionary excitement and hallucinations of the human dreams that have come true and do come true and will come true.
another really great thing about aldous was that he was a “writer” who was a GREAT READER. it’s true that this is not the case for 95% of modern writers. a great reader absorbs the stories and information of others. they dive into the discourse and tear through the PROCESS OF STORYTELLING. they see the lies, they see the fabrication that IS writing.
a great reader goes beyond the confinement of just listening. a great reader begins to see comparisons and contrasts in the writings of others. they see how there are really only a certain number of actual stories that can ACTUALLY be told. which is fascinating. it’s a startling way to see that our biological forms literally restrain us from the "you can do anything" jargon that is so liberally foisted onto people these days. an individual’s biological disabilities and foibles are far more important to the individual than to the collective.
when AIDS arrived it wasn’t a mystery why homosexuals were so scared. after all, AIDS was designed to kill its host. and to do it slowly so that the host would disseminate the disease to others through sexual collusion. when michael j. fox became a spokes person for the disease he represents, it’s not because he just thought, "hey, what a great cause!!"
no, it’s really probably more that when your back is up against a fresh wall you’ve never encountered with an intensity that you’ve never considered, you change. you fight back because you’ve realized your weakness, you’ve seen where it’s being exploited, you feel the consequences of this invasion. you become PROTECTIVE of your own personal biological weaknesses.
again, just let me say, can you imagine having huxley’s biological weakness of near-blindness?!?!
can we take a moment to try to visualize this in the imagination, him waking up on any given day, incapable of seeing the blurry world clearly.
what would it be like to lose so much of your vision at such a young age and to be forever sidelined?! to never play with the others again? to always be the boy sitting down or leaning up against something? to never ride a bicycle or a horse, perhaps to be terrified of speed?
this is staggering.
it is a massive BIOLOGICAL LIMITATION.
but aldous didn’t waste his time on this.
he forged ahead into a world where he could participate — a world where he didn’t have to run and jump and dodge and turn with his body. instead, he could do all the same tricks with his mind and write them down. he could become a social scribe from an elevated position.
aldous was the KING OF BIOLOGICAL WEAKNESSES because of his lack of physical vision. this weakness comes with a scary amount of limitations.
and these limitations force a great reader to behold the "cage of storytelling".
and like us, in his early BNW days, he is obsessed with finding the limits to the infamous “10K”.
can we name all the animals and every atom? and at its core, FISSION. the terrible and destructive force of splitting the atom. the telescope and the microscope revealing scathing FAKE TRUTHS seen with mirrors and backwards and then misinterpreted by men of great prejudice. what a scary fking world of murderers it is and has always been!!!
it’s this EVER PRESENT obsession in the human condition with the volatile ideas which circulate around “rearrranging the world”. fundamentally, this outlook is in itself a race away from the unmoved position. it is the SIMS complex. the extension of the self into the greater world.
this archetype or "author" is the MAKER, the CREATOR, the GENERATOR of influences.
this figure represents the dreams and wishes of the many.
not coincidentally, this character is the BIOLOGICAL lineage of huxley’s past.
his family was entrenched with aristotelian ideas about nomenclature and the process of identifying animals and their intrinsic properties. which is kind of cool, but obviously an endless task that hails very directly back to the story in the old testament of the bible in which god “tells” adam to name everything in the garden.
but let’s be honest, the garden was allegedly a very tiny closed system that was, ironically, also surrounded by populations of giants, and all manner of strange creatures — remember, when eve is said to have met the “serpent”, this father of CAIN was walking around on two legs and because he fkt eve and gave her her first baby human BOY, it’s pretty obvious that this sexcapade wasn’t some kind of weird INTERSPECIES bang job.
and if we’re being fair, CAIN was a vegetarian and god was displeased…
but old testament god is often displeased like a scientist who got drunk and then woke up to see his formula has transformed while he was passed out. and fking adam is so stupid he never even really "gets" that his lady has CUCKOLDED him right from the start. and in all fairness, neither of them really or technically knew about "sexproduction". that must’ve been highly shocking except that it’s a story, it’s fake, it’s unreal.
it is true in the fable that eve has her second baby with adam, but they got kicked out of the garden because eve fkt another dude and also got adam to give up his cherry.
we never are really told why god didn’t want them to replicate or why sexual union is FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE.
yet then this "god", just several little books later in time in the BIBLE, suddenly in a BI-POLAR transformation tells abraham to have as many descendants as the stars.
that’s a radical 180 flip from paradise.
did it ever occur to people that perhaps this "god" from the exit from the garden has just sought to mislead and destroy humankind?
no, the sheer vanity of these wretched people armors them against this realization. they honestly have no idea how shitty they are and instead have donned the mantle of "chosen" people as a bandaid. so, still listening to this GOD OF THEIR OWN ENMITY, they continue a terrible history of sabotaging and murdering everyone around them until they are crushed time and time again for their hate-filled spiritual arrogance and murdering ways. it’s a very sad book of ruin and destruction in between periods of flourishing economic prosperity.
let’s just look at abraham. because he’s kind of a shtty liar. and he’s the one who claims that this GOD — who already kicked the "fake history" of these apirus (a technical term to describe people of the dust, with no history, or, in literary criticism, made up characters of ordinary value) — right now wants him to go out and fk anybody cuz he needs as many descendants as the stars?
hasn’t anyone ever thought that maybe this alleged god might literally just be the excuse that abraham used after he’d gotten caught fking HAGAR, sarah’s hand maid, because she had his baby, ISHAMEL?
and the way this all gets dismissed by the contemporary and historical church is fking bananas and whip cream. there is an insanity to trying to hide sexual collisions/collusions of this nature.
the church rots from the inside out by ignoring the great lessons that are embedded in the sexual FAILURES of these horrible people.
the way xians just slide over all this dark sexual ugliness and hostility and lies and deception and hate. they act like it’s beautiful. they want paintings of it, upholding only the parts of the terrible stories that matter to them.
but honestly, adam is just the yokel who gets sent off with eve after she’s fkt another man and taken his "fruit". god is of course displeased because she tried to use adam as a shield against her alleged “sex crime” of knowledge. so right now adam is her henchman.
unknowingly, he starts to participate in the generating of the FAKE PATRIARCHY and the codes and rules of sexproduction.
in the fake patriarchy, the woman hijacks the sexproduction control and takes over the children and especially the male children. this man then becomes "her man" and she uses him to weaponize herself and her world.
and that’s us. we have lived under these fake patriarchies in an endless fashion. men never really becoming men. and this is part of the biological enslavement that can descend through tyranny and control schemes that are useful and practical, but are not necessarily the best for the human spirit.
which is hard for cross-sexuals to embrace. there is so much intrinsic brainwashing and cultural debasement that men and women all over the world never really see through much of the CROSS-SEXUAL delusions.
instead, cross-sexually identified people religifiy the impulse toward a woman forced to find a man to protect her while she takes a replication through infancy to adulthood. transactional and protective contracts emerge from this tenuous union. and it works. just like a geico ad — there is fundamentally ZERO connections between a gecko and independent automobile insurance.
but for humans, the biological/sexual weakness toward sex and sexproduction (you call it reproduction, but it’s not, it’s sexproduction) is irresistible. more so than the "impulse toward god" or the perennial philosophy, for that matter.
in comparison to all this muck, aldous has the COURAGE to tell a real sex story about sexproduction and civilization instead of making weird sht up about apple trees. at least he’s willing to admit that humans love drugs and euphoria and sex fantasies.
and let’s be even more honest — isn’t this INNATE sense that the person you’re having sex with might be fucking someone else really at the heart of all these strange fairy tale religions that are twisted with genocides, rapes, lies and very dehumanized values?
but what i want to know is why are the color-coded WHITE world men and women obsessed with this embarrassing desert religion? why is this collection of “books” so interesting to people who have no historical relationship with it aside from the horrible stain produced by its encouragement of USURY, COLONIALIZATION, SLAVERY, TRANSACTIONAL RELIGION, HYPOCRISY and CULTURAL RUIN.
i suppose if you are deluded into thinking that after you “name” everything that “exists” around you that you’ll somehow be a different person is obvious. but different will happen anyway, regardless of this manic, and ultimately ECONOMIC neuroticism.
and in a direct sense, huxley himself was separating from this "white man’s judaism", letting go of this "false christ" myth, and the stolen and half-consumed “fruits” from the eastern philosophers reared up in a bastard child of a 13 year old girl who lied to him and told he was god’s chosen son so he could become a “manifest-destiny suicide by romans” advocate?!?!
i mean, come on, jesus was messy.
again, like cain, jesus hard no REAL FATHER.
his mom fkt some unnamed man as well — like the serpent, these men remain faceless.
but isn’t this JUST LIKE EVE!?!!!
and then MOTHER MARY gets hustled off to egypt to "take care of her business" for two years with a man twice her age who has bought her? i mean come on, human trafficking is a THEME of the old and fresh testament. a FKING THEME!!!!!
and jesus is the byproduct of this union. gross. not gross as in morally gross, it’s just gross that ALL christians and others who can’t see the STORY AS IT IS and fabricate and rebrand the sexual rape and all the bastard kids and the fking that goes on are FKING SICKOS to ignore the CORE FOUNDATIONS of their ridiculous belief system.
and people call this GOD?!!? and right now they want to go out and name the whole world based on a 13 year old girl who got knocked up? but this is the known. the WHITE EUROPEAN world was in love with this. it’s all over the walls of every museum that has european or colonial art. cuz we americans are an intellectually european colony gone wild. an obsession with a young girl being pregnant with "the future." wise men and kings standing around staring at a young girl breast-feeding a newborn male child.
this is reality. this is their strange dream. imagine, if you will, all of the psychotic nativity scenes around the world. the literal actuality of these strange scene preserved like a sex cult polaroid snap shot.
a young girl, holding a stranger’s baby, some guy she fkt who’s been eliminated completely from the scene, his genetic legacy hijacked by a superstitious belief in an imaginary god who right now gets credit for fking the 13 year old.
and what if you stacked every last one of these SEX POLAROIDS on top of each other? would you reach the moon?
and the first world war is what shapes this young and "right now near-blind man" who is becoming an author, a writer!
and here is where we could insert a conspiracy theory of our own devisings. you see, most men of huxley’s age were conscripted to war and died. sad, but kind of true. so what if this sudden partial blindness was an elusive and slightly daring evasion of conscription?
35% of all british participants in wwi died.
he beat those odds.
the average age of death was 27, but that hides the true fact that the real loss was among 19 year olds.
huxley would have been about 22 (though in all fairness, and why this is just a conspiracy theory, he was 17 when his eye sight issues are said to have started — show me the documents! lol, no in all seriousness, huxley actually wrote a lot about how to find relief from the horribleness of his own eye affliction, the constant pain from trying to read, trying to see. and he said something wonderful which i will pass onto you — the best way to relieve eye ache is to sit back, relax and relive your favorite childhood memories and to explore them, to push beyond the memory itself and revisit the entire world from which your memory comes. it’s great advice. but, back to the conspiracy fable…)
"Conscription during the First World War began when the British government passed the Military Service Act in January 1916. The act specified that single men aged 18 to 40 years old were liable to be called up for military service unless they were widowed with children or ministers of a religion."
but until we know more about the upper class tactics of evasion and bone spur draft dodgers, let’s just pretend that aldous really was near blind.
let’s try not to imagine what a radically cool secret that would have been to fake blindness your entire life once you realized it gave others a chance to act like they were "enlightened" because they could lead a blind man… ah the irony is so delightful and british.
CLICK, and let that remain a "conspiracy theory" just for those of you who don’t know the difference between fake history and a conspiracy theory.
so huxley lives through the first war.
he keeps writing.
in 1932 huxley blatantly removes himself from the social order of his past novels.
instead of peering in at class and society as he has done in he earlier novels "crome yellow" and "antic hay", he focuses his perceptions and insights on the world of post HENRY FORD mechanization. huxley is bowled over by this idea of a mechanized society that runs like a perfect automobile. for really, if you can make a perfect car, how much easier to make a perfect human!!!
and from this zealous and futuristic standpoint, aldous creates a whole world that is unlike any world that anyone he knows can actually inhabit. which means that he is no longer "incriminating" the people around him with his writing. it is taking on its own life. he isn’t just listening to those around him and then crafting a novel around their personalities.
instead, he’s influenced by GREAT IDEAS and the radical events of a quickly industrializing world — read this little excerpt about a book you could also read:
"In this chapter Henry Ford describes the initial production of his Fordson tractor in 1917. The first orders came in from the British government, desperate to replace traction and labor lost during the war. Ford fulfills the orders and works to reduce the cost – he proudly notes that the cost fell by around half from 1917 to 1922. He notes that the same production principles he had pioneered in automobiles would soon transform the agrarian world. The Fordson tractor would indeed introduce much of the agrarian world to fossil fuel power, and it would be exported and copied the world over. " — yale university, energy history energyhistory.yale.edu/library-item/henry-ford-and-mechan…
out of huxley’s obsession over FORD’s literal success, he enviions the long term outcomes of this productionizing method of civil "engineering". he sees FORD’s ideas as placed onto the human machine.
and for this act of creation, huxley knows that he will not be accused of betraying any of his family members or their friends. he seems to know this quite proudly at this point because he is confidently giving ideas a "human housing", not the other way around like most great writers. he lets go of this tendency and dependency for great characters in favor of strange saga where a social outcast stumbles on an opportunity to show up his superiors inside an enforced caste system.
and this is fun. it is more "novel" than his other novels. in his other novels, his characters are all "flawed" with huxley’s own personality and his own travails and perspectives. in those earlier novels, huxley is obsessed with showing off his characters and enthralled by this idea of moving them around like objects who also say things that fit their description. he wants to take them dancing and describe the music to us, to celebrate the rising spirit of jazz and sexuality and dancing and champagne.
but in BNW he has reversed this scheme.
he is all incredibly global in his outlook for the first fifty pages before the real story starts to kick.
he does this by sticking us, the readers, with a tour right from the start.
we, as the readers, are lumped together with some young "alpha males" (there are no alpha females in BNW, for the record) who are getting a tour of a sexproduction center known as "hatcheries and conditioning" centers. it is a massive building in which clones are produced.
naturally, huxley has concocted a massive backstory to the stage drop on which this "play" takes place, for it is also in line with the famous "mese en abyme" concept of a story within a story within a story. there are three different christ stories taking place all at once with three different outcomes — two of the christs are banished to islands and the third christ commits suicide by rope.
in this opening of the novel, aldous dives into the complications of the MATERIAL world and the schemes for solving all these fundamentally biological problems that persist over and over throughout time. he calls it "biological slavery" in the novel "antic hay".
and right now, huxley brings all of his intellectual forces and imaging to bear on this in BNW — as if he will release the human population from the SLAVERY!!!
he, and therefore FORDTOPIA, is overly obsessed with population ratios; manifestly concerned with "work satisfaction" and the individual’s need for self-congratulatory satisfaction; he believes in the use of a narcotic which is uplifting and healing and vital instead of the current ones in use at his time and our time — alcohol and heroin.
aldous wants the use of drugs to BENEFIT society, not destroy it.
but he is very naive in so many ways which is perhaps why he later wrote “brave fresh world revisited” in 1952 to kind of sift through some of those younger ideas, ideas that had lived before the atomic bomb blasted its way into the human consciousness, many were ideas that had subsequently been murdered by the atomic blast just as much as all the humans that were annihilated. the bomb destroyed so much more than the physical world we talk much of, and rightfully so. there is so much shame in this devastation that is still manifesting in all of our lives to this very moment.
moreso, the atomic bomb and its aftermath killed and killed and killed and even still keeps killing. but we ignore this. we are busy and lazy.
but huxley is still genuflecting as an author at this point in his life. he’s still convincing himself that the ideas he loves will save us all. he’s utterly convinced and the sincerity is laced with an understanding of human failure. after all, he’s still in the throes of his family’s legacy and he’s had the necessary education and training and is adept in "arrangement theories" and he’s been suitably influenced by culture and architecture and right now is being encouraged to actually contribute his own works to the historical discourse.
and he does! he falls into all of it quite agilely for a mostly blind man.
for aren’t ideas even more compelling if you can’t really see? or even better, what if you’re faking your whole life?
so in the early 1930s, aldous is daydreaming about an EMPIRE called Fordtopia that has been an empire for over 600 years at the time the story begins. in his own mind, huxley is making up complicated sporting games for the citizens of this empire. he is concocting their daily lives and manners and hopes. he is dreaming of rampant capitalism and what comes after it if "a society" enlightens past the entrapments of USURY, a world free from loans and debt and transactional commerce.
oddly, these sporting games inherently require immense amounts of expensive equipment which are somehow still firmly launched in huxley’s own time and critically. and it is these feeble attempts at trying to create a glimpse at the "lifestyle" of the citizens of FORDTOPIA where huxley stays a bit locked into his own world and time.
he can imagine gigantic cities with amazingly tall and wide buildings that carry on forever. and in all fairness, those things were already arriving with a fast fury. so he didn’t really have to imagine much. he also doesn’t incorporate a realistic transit system, but travel is radically curtailed and appears to be limited to the alpha and beta classes only.
but, the beauty of this world is HOW MUCH HE LEFT OUT. he wanted to tell a specific story and generated a huge fresh world to do so. there are still hundreds of wonderful stories that are even still taking place behind the curtains. they merely await a fresh writer or a movie house to say YES!!!
“Better to end than to mend,” is a cultural value.
no reason to redo BNW.
just start with a brand fresh FRESH world inside BNW.
ditch the tragic characters and let’s see what it’s really like to live inside a corporate caste system where there really is this cultic sense of community and identity and stability. make that entertaining!!!
but for aldous, it was enough to generate a world in which the upper caste is flying off in airplane/helicopter hybrids to lush play lands for "obstacle golf". and in a literary sense, he is attempting to generate aphorisms about a future society that he sees as a biological outcome — the corporatized caste system. he’s doing his best, but the novel really only skirts around this magnificent societies claimed greatness. we see no proof of this in a holistic sense since all the male characters are flawed and operate outside the FORDTOPIAN ideals.
and who can really argue with that?
it is literally almost here and people generally feel isolated and alone somehow, surrounded by others.
where i live, the corporate caste system is already here.
the false democracy has already fallen.
the volunteer slavery is well into play.
but in the book, aldous is basically playing god as an author of the yet unknown. which is wonderful. this is the imagination’s payback. the reward we all seek — at last, a visceral honesty that shames us!!!
and it’s funny because i had read that huxley was sort of ostracized from his social circle in the UK because of his “tell-all” novels that he wrote in which he barely veiled his real life acquaintances’ and friends’ personalities behind rather hilarious and empty-headed characters caught up in empty social lives that never really go anywhere or develop. however, that’s the modern perspective. at the time, it was perceived in its time and he was judge harshly for writing about his friends and acquaintances in such a dicing and mincing way that they couldn’t help feeling FILLETED.
in our modern world, his “salacious” works would barely receive a PG rating, so that should tell you how much we’ve changed since his day. antic hay, for example, was banned in australia. i thought this would be fascinating.
so i picked these early novels up and read them, starting with CROME YELLOW and moving on to ANTC HAY. and immediately, i realized that each one of these stories was similar. the narrator was the same man. not the same character, but the same man with the same stream of consciousness and the same absorptions and fascinations with IDEAS and HISTORY and CULTURE and MANNERS and IRONY.
and damn, ANTIC HAY is a fking hilarious novel. i SERIOUSLY can’t believe that it hasn’t been turned into a NETFLIX series. it has a great cast of wonderful characters and it takes place in the coolest part of london almost 100 years ago. it would be so DELICIOUS to see this novel brought to life and the characters given a fresh vector upon which to live.
his first novel, crome yellow follows a 26 year old poet from a bit of a distance (sorry, aldous is not the best writer by any means, but what he has to say is very much worth struggling through to understand). the young poet arrives from London by train and commutes on bicycle down into and across a valley to "crome yellow”, the name of an ancient manner house in the country with three majestic and towering privvies. besides this and so many other outstandingly funny details, it’s very downton abbey without the whole boring UPSTAIRS/DOWNSTAIRS class struggle.
this story is about all the people who do not WORK at the manner house. they are leisurely and aimless, enjoying a summer vacation. the young poet stays for three long weeks before returning to london. in one sense, this character’s spirit and losses are revisited in BNW in the character of the “noble savage”, john.
which i suppose demonstrates that huxley was more interested in batting his ideas around like tennis balls mores than singularly defining the independence of his characters from his own absolute control. seriously, do we think that aldous ever “surprised himself” while writing? or was he too crafty and clever?
regardless of these overlaps in characters, each of his first two novels have a very exciting world to peer into, and he completes this illusion quite masterfully. there is a majesty to some of the memories that are still in my head, gleefully revisited time and again because they are so brutally funny and cleverly manifested.
and by majestic, for example, i mean that at crome yellow there are three toilets that are in high towers that rise far above the house and can be seen from high up on the valley ridgeline from across the valley. and this is an odd detail that leads aldous into a very funny history of eccentric aristocrats. but also, there is a deeper humor, for at the distant time from which aldous was writing his story about this story, the long-dead architect believed that the further you could be from your own sht, the holier you were. and i find stuff like this endlessly amusing, and it is with a sheer joy that aldous goes into historical detail and retells all these hilarious family stories and histories.
of note, there is the tiny little dwarf man who had inherited crome yellow only to end up regenerating his own terrible tragedy in a mirror-like way in which he had destroyed his own father’s life.
and such terrible ironies come to the surface in between these past remembrances and the ensuing drama that revolves around this young man’s quest to be the poet he wishes he were or to even press himself upon a young woman successfully.
there is a virginity to this book that is forceful. and yet, in its own day, this book was lancing and wincingly funny and daring and racy. and it caused trouble in real life. so apparently he goes off to write some more in italy and then we get the birth of ANTIC HAY.
the title for this book comes from a poem by marlowe. and the antic hay is sort of the playground of the horny mating satyr or centaur, something like that. basically it’s MEN IN HEAT.
but the truth is, aldous huxley is developing a female character in all of these works. he’s trying to find a way to say something relevant through women as characters. and he’s not terribly successful because as much as he studies them, he doesn’t really understand them.
there is this overly funny scene from crome yellow where the hot young women never eat in public but feast in private out of the view of men. and so there are these moments where aldous pokes fun at things that he wants to understand, but he never really gets into the head of female.
and it was at this point that i started to rename his books.
for example, i don’t think of BNW as BRAVE fresh WORLD. i call it the “the assorted fks of lenina crowne.”
and antic hay is also this way if you step back and look at it casually. though it is told (rather autobiographically) by a young man who quits his job at a school as a tutor, it is all about one woman who has sex with a bunch of men and ruins their lives on purpose. which is strange, because you wouldn’t get that at all from the use of “antic hay” in marlowe’s poem.
in fact, it’s like aldous huxley has desexualized the book by calling it antic hay. for me, this book would be called, The Sad and Ruinous Myra Viveash. or at the very least, "The tale of myra viveash".
because really, this novel is about a woman who intentionally destroys the lives of young men because the first world war destroyed the man she loved. and sex is her weapon and she chooses to kill talent and hope and opportunities. she generates rage, inaction, suicidal thoughts, envy, jealousy and despair.
but the book is also littered with the most wonderful homages to the things huxley had loved and had learned — poetry, art, philosophy, religion, science, the modern world, the classical world, the histories of men and MUSIC!!!
These were all as important themes to huxley as any of his characters who spend their brief lives discussing and discoursing on these topics for aldous. music, most of all, induced his authorial joy.
and authoristically, aldous was a hierophant.
and his alleged blindness only sharpened his hearing.
and hearing is so important for philosophical inquiry.
and aldous was certainly a philosopher.
which eventually left him a bit bereft, what with having to witness two world wars as he moved around the globe.
it would seem that he begins to tire of this endless idea of control, hunting and scheming, purpose, direction — the VECTOR lifestyle.
and even though all these earlier fascinations and inquiries meant almost everything to him, eventually, even he ends up realizing that “nothing ever happens”. the principles of zeno are more than true. they are larger than truth, they are unmovingly present and absent simultaneously. we are the lie. we are the illusion of motion.
to this motion, huxley turns away. right now he goes further into eastern studies where the mind becomes silent and the alleged "TEN THOUSAND" slowly melts down. the unmoving becomes unmovable. the one becomes the topic, but for aldous, it’s not a monotheistic hegemony like christianity or islam.
the one is a PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY. the ONE is where two points of time meet — the eternal and the ephemeral converge in the moment.
he begins to believe that we, being alive, cannot be eternal.
but we can interact with the eternal while we are alive.
and this is wonderful. there is a LONG history of recorded documentation on this topic and aldous sets out to become a master reader. and a listener. and a doer.
and this leads him back to the ONE, to the perennial philosophy. during this process of discovery, he takes in so much information from so many disparate traditions and ideologies established by real practitioners. he stays away from the sermonizing and the rhetoric and focuses in on the men and women who gave their lives over to this "unionizing/convergence" with the perennial philosophy.
for the record, i have come up with WAY TOO MANY titles for this book already. mostly because it’s non-fiction. but here are several of the titles and they may help elucidate what the perennial philosophy really is:
“in me, many find home.”
a fascination with liberation & enlightenment
“mise en abyme”
metaphors about trees
non-attachment & total self-naughting
“strange openings & theophanies”
i’m sure there will be many more to come, as the perennial philosophy is so broad and open to interpretation. plus i’m only 80 pages into a really long book all about it… so take this as a part one review.
as a gnostic i believe we all have the opportunity of engaging with the perennial philosophy and that we EACH have the right and ability to do it the best way we can. in gnosticism, the perennial philosophy is too abstract. instead, we reduce it to — the “god” is in you. your job is to let it out. you are the vessel of god, you’re not trying to be god. and god isn’t MAN or anything like that. it’s your generative spirit of godhood moving outward toward the perennial philosophy to say hello!
and lying, either by intention or accident, KILLS the god inside you. further, that doing things you hate to do also kills the god inside of you. so these two activities — lying and doing things you hate doing — are the only forbidden activities.
if you look closely you will see that in gnosticism, you can be almost any kind of person and live almost anywhere. and you will stand out for not lying or doing things you hate. this perennial philosophy that is talked so much about around the world of human experience will grace you with a lack of question or concern for it. you won’t need a perennial philosophy or an unmoved mover.
WE ARE NOT TREES.
for me, the irony of BNW is that it just describes the way every civilization falls apart — when the sum total of differences are based on differences of location which grow greater and greater, war ensues naturally through corruption, degeneration, lies and misunderstandings, and intentionality. that is, all human life falls into the dynastic cycle of ruin.
this may sound overly simple, but the VECTORS of our individual lives are not only directed and invested with imaginary purpose, but there is an obligation that comes from being GRAND SLAMMED by your proximal neighbors and relations. we are not even in charge of our own VECTORS. as nebulous and abstract as the “vector” may seem, in terms of biomechanics, you are moving. you are covering space. you have initial points of departure and they can be subtracted from the final destinations points you choose to establish. and we are also biological slaves.
it takes effort and “fuel” to sustain human life. every saint shts. well, maybe not the breatharians…
and so we can put the blame on biological slavery for teaching us more than any other “imaginary thing” has ever taught us. biological slavery even teaches humans about god.
all lessons of god come from biological slavery.
so also in science.
if you think about it, biological slavery is the basis for the calculation of displacement, which is called DISTANCE. but distance is not the same as DISTANCE TRAVELED. distance is an abstraction. we use it to corral ideas. speed, time, force, weight — all of these are abstractions which are used to generate scales or spectrums of measurement or mass. they are even referred to in engineering as SCALARS.
a cup of coffee for example. the cup becomes the scale of measurement. when you spill the coffee in the cup, it becomes a VECTOR. it is no longer a measurement or quantifiable “object”. it has lost that abstraction value and right now the coffee is all over the table, it’s on your friend’s shirt and dripping over the sides of the table onto the floor. it’s still coffee, it’s just not so easily “quantifiable” anymore. right now it has its own purpose and direction and it is moving.
in english grammar you can see some crossing over here. we call coffee a NON-COUNT NOUN. this is our way of saying that it isn’t a quantity, it’s a THING.
"non-count nouns" require CONTAINMENT because you can’t technically count them (rice and beans and fish and such you can actually count, but we still use a non count identification because who wants to know how many fking grains of rice are on your plate!!??!?)
on the other hand, we have COUNT NOUNS. your dad, your mom, a leaf, a car, the rose, our home, her baby, their dog, etc.
all of these nouns can be counted.
so it’s not too hard to see how the grammar of our language identifies things.
in grammar, abstractions are almost always NON-COUNT NOUNS. they aren’t even actually real, but often speak to our intentions or the prejudices we maintain.
the TRUTH, for example. what’s that. you can’t count it and you can’t count on it. so it must be a NON-COUNT NOUN.
JUSTICE, LOVE, HOPE, CHANGE, GRAVITY, EVOLUTION, RELIGION, ECONOMICS.
all non-count nouns. like GOD and GODS.
for the individual, there is no constant from these abstract, non-count ideas. it is flickering and wavering at best. it is not perennial and neither are we.
we are COUNT NOUNS and we live in a COUNT NOUN world of objects and materials. i live in a completely PREFABRICATED and ARTIFICIAL world of count nouns where only water and air are mysteriously present as non-count nouns. everything else is made by humans and absent of anything but human life. and a cat.
i chose the cup of coffee on purpose because it’s a liquid. all liquids are non-count nouns because you have to put them in something to measure them. obviously. but the second you do, you’re creating vector theories.
pouring the coffee is directional and has purpose. the coffee cup that is just sitting there getting cold is the SCALAR. the second it gets knocked over, it’s a vector.
likewise, any “identified object/force” that goes into motion, also becomes a vector. it is no longer an abstraction or unmoving thing that can be located and measured.
instead, it is actualized through its DISPLACEMENT. you have to TRACK IT to keep locating it or to predict its final destination.
right now aldous talks a little bit about this idea that “DIS-" comes from the word TWO. he charts the notion a bit and includes a lineage of words that spill over with this prefix DIS-, which is the turning away from the ONE.
dyspepsia from greek’s dys-, dishonorable from latin, and the cognate bis- for bévue in french and in dubious, doubt and "Zweifel. two faced, double minded, uncertain, lying.
KABIR says, as aldous points out, “Behold but One in all things; it is the second that leads you astray."
in the perennial philosophy, the goal is to bring the VECTOR to a "silent let go." and this is always when the tree metaphors kick in. we start hearing about roots and branches and it always ends with the fruit.
they’r like, "fk the leaves!! all they did was make out with the sun their whole life…” instead, they want to be the FRUIT. they are obsessed with the becoming FRUIT.
but honestly, aren’t we all more like the LEAVES!?!?!
didn’t we just hang out our whole lives and the fall off this silly tree and die?
but no, the perennial philosophy wants so truly to be the fruit of god, to identify with it, to create a life practice that revolves around this “imaginary unification”. and so all these texts and verses and heuristic guide dog-humans of the past to show us the way to touch the “divine” from our non-divine location.
or, if we really reduce it, it’s like that really gay ceiling painting where the men are so lonely they reach out their fingertips hoping to make a connection, because let’s be honest, there are two MEN on the ceiling of a roman catholic church that are about to make out… or, at the very least, one of those men plans to live vicariously through the younger and hotter variation of himself. just saying. use your eyes not your knowledge of the dumb stories that hide the homoeroticism and self-love of “man on younger man action."
so there’s that. sounds to me like childish thoughts based on infantile longings — “oh, i’m a rock star, i’m touching god!!!”
is it not enough to DISPEL THE COLD AND THWART OFF THE INSECTS?!!??! are these MONUMENTALLY profound things not worth noting? as long as goldilocks eats from all the bears’ porridge, she’s got nothing to worry about, right?!?
but humans get bored when they are alone. and worse, some humans want to go around and fk sht up on purpose when they get bored.
weirdly, in BNW this is not the case. ALL the inhabitants of FORDTOPIA are pleased with their lives and their jobs and their eternal youth. they all realize that you die at a certain age and there is no shame in that, as it avoids the callous hostilities of aging and corruption and physical decay — which generally accounts for at least 65% of the EVIL done by humans on this planet to all other life forms.
aging sucks. aging is the mirror turning against you. aging is the receding tide of ability. and this is why we are like leaves and this is why pretending to be roots or limbs or trunks is quite ridiculous.
WE ARE NOT TREES.