ALDOUS HUXLEY

Aldous Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley Family. He spent the latter part of his life in United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death in 1963. He was the author of The Perennial Philosophy.

‘The further you go towards the East,’ Sri Ramakrishna was fond of saying, ‘the further you go away from the West.’ This is one of those apparently childish remarks, which we meet with so often among the writings and recorded sayings of religious teachers. But it is an apparent childishness that masks a real profundity. Within this absurd little tautology there lies, in a state of living, seminal latency, a whole metaphysic, a complete programme of action. It is, of course, the same philosophy and the same way of life as were referred to by Jesus in those sayings about the impossibility of serving two masters, and the necessity of seeking first the kingdom of God and waiting for all the rest to be added. Egoism and alter-egoism (or the idolatrous service of individuals, groups, and causes with which we identify ourselves so that their success flatters our own ego) cut us off from the knowledge and experience of reality....

Egoism and alter-egoism advise us to remain firmly ensconced in the West, looking after our own human affairs. But if we do this, our affairs will end by going to pot.... Whereas if we ignore the counsels of egoism and alter-egoism, and resolutely march toward the divine East, we shall create for ourselves the possibility of receiving the grace of enlightenment and, at the same time, we shall find that existence in our physical, Western home is a great deal more satisfactory than it was when we devoted our attention primarily to the improvement of our human lot.1