Published on November 3, 2016
1. Aldous Huxley • July 26 1884- November 22 1963 • Born in Surrey, UK • Third son of Leonard Huxley, writer/schoolmaster, and Julia Arnold, founder of Prior’s Field School. • Aldous himself very well-educated • In 1911, suffered from illness which left him almost blind for several years. Disqualified him from service • After graduating from Oxford, he was financially indebted to father. Taught French at Eton where Eric Blair (George Orwell) was one of his students • In 1920s worked at a chemical plant (inspiration for Brave New World) • In 1919, married Maria Nys •In 1937, moved to Hollywood, California to work as screenwriter. Not successful •In 1956, married Laura Archera after 1st wife died of breast cancer • Died on November 22, 1963, the same day as C.S. Lewis and John F. Kennedy
2. Aldous huxley believed the perennial philosophy (the philosophy of mysticism was true, which entails certain beliefs. A given is the idea that there are two orders of "reality": orders which have a hierarchical relationship. The higher order is absolute; the lower is conditioned, impermanent, in constant flux--it is where we live. One can refer to the higher order as “That," and the order in which we live and move as “This."
3. Many humans endeavor--religious, spiritual, psychological, social, even financial- -are attempts to access the higher order, and to bring its benefits into the lower, to join That to This, to realize the concepts of "As above, so below" and "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
4. The first two endeavors, the religious and the spiritual, are obvious means of making this attempt. The third, the psychological, also partakes of the less-material, non-daylight side of things. That social enterprises address this issue is a harder case to make, although it becomes clearer when we talk about "utopias," or "the just society.
5. " But financial endeavors are aimed at "a better life," even if it is conceived of in strictly material terms. The end, is still happiness, which is clearly one of the fruits of successfully accessing the "higher order
6. MYSTICISM…..? the belief that personal communication or union with the divine is achieved through intuition, faith, ecstasy, or sudden insight rather than through rational thought spiritual system: a system of religious belief or practice that people follow to achieve personal communication or union with the Divine
7. ISLAM AND MYSTICISM mysticism means the most spiritual teachings and practices that derive from a given Revelation, then Sufism is indeed Islamic mysticism. But if we mean by mysticism something that is vague and obscure, and perhaps even abnormal, then Sufism is not mysticism at all, if only because it is the most intelligent, the most crystal-clear, and the most normative dimension of the Islamic religion. In truth, Sufism has always considered itself to be the very heart of Islam, which
8. ISLAM AND MYSTICISM the esoteric, that has to do with contemplation or meditation, and the exoteric, that has to do with action. The prototypes for this division are to be found amongst the Names of the Divinity: Allah is called Al-Bâtin (the Interior) and Az-Zahir (the Exterior). From the realities symbolized by these two Names flow the esoterism and exoterism of Islam. The exoteric aspect of the Revelation is addressed to the great mass of believers, who are engaged in action; the esoteric aspect is addressed to a small minority of believers who, in addition to the life of action, pursue also the life of meditation.
9. HUXLEY CALLES PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY "The metaphysics ( philosophy of being: the branch of philosophy concerned with the study of the nature of being and beings, existence, time and space, and causality ) that recognizes a divine reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds.
10. HUXLEY USES "DIVINE REALITY Metaphysically, the divine Reality is the substance (or in some systems the creator) of all that we see. Psychologically: the divine Reality is the model and "home" of the individual soul. Ethically, IT sets a standard for human behavior through knowing--and presumably therefore accessing--that divine Reality.
11. So although the divine Reality is both "immanent and transcendent," both inside the world and outside of it, this Reality has real implications for the way we understand the world, the way we understand ourselves, and the way we think and behave in this very life.
12. PLATO'S THEORY OF FORMS postulates that everything we see in This sensible world has a perfect original in a realm of unseen Reality ……. We Aare twice removed from the reality…. Every object is An imitation of the imitation
13. FOUR FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINES. First: the phenomenal world of matter and of individualized consciousness--the world of things and animals and men and --is the manifestation of a Divine Ground within which all partial realities have their being, and apart from which they would be non-existent.
14. Everything exists only in that it is the "manifestation" of the divine Reality, is clearly a reflection of the metaphysical statement above. In talking about That and This, the higher and lower orders of reality, Huxley points out that virtually all religions hold that That order is responsible for the existence of This.
15. Second: human beings are capable not merely of knowing about the Divine Ground by inference; reasoning process, logic: they can also realize its existence by a direct intuition, knowing without evidence.. Miraj, This immediate knowledge unites the knower with that which is known…. Wahdat ul wajood…mansoor
16. Charles Lindbergh's night stand the morning after his death: "I know there is infinity beyond ourselves. I wonder if there is infinity within." The Perennial Philosophy asserts that there is, and that it is intimately connected with the "infinity beyond."
17. Third: man's life on earth has only one end and purpose: to identify himself with his eternal Self and so to come to knowledge of the Divine Ground. Fourth: Every quest of humankind is a quest for the divine Reality. if one approaches the divine Reality, one is fulfilled; to the extent that one misses the mark,
18. one is frustrated and unhappy. Whether it is "knowing God" or "being one with the universe," the attainment of religion described above leads to personal happiness. Each of Huxley's coming three points shows a mode of connection between the divine Reality and the individual Soul.
19. First, he asserts that apart from the divine Reality nothing at all would exist-- including individual Souls. Second, he claims that individual Souls can know the divine Reality directly, and be united with it. Third, he says that the entire purpose of human life on earth is to achieve This union.