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In: Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality
In: Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality
In: Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality
In: Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality
In: Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality
In: Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality
In: Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality
In: Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality
Author: Jake Poller
Aldous Huxley and Alternative Spirituality offers an incisive analysis of the full range of Huxley’s spiritual interests, spanning both mysticism (neo-Vedanta, Taoism, Mahayana and Zen Buddhism) and Western esotericism (mesmerism, spiritualism, the paranormal). Jake Poller examines how Huxley’s shifting spiritual convictions influenced his fiction, such as his depiction of the body and sex, and reveals how Huxley’s use of psychedelic substances affected his spiritual convictions, resulting in a Tantric turn in his work. Poller demonstrates how Huxley’s vision of a new alternative spirituality in Island, in which the Palanese select their beliefs from different religious traditions, anticipates the New Age spiritual supermarket and traces the profound influence of Huxley’s ideas on the spiritual seekers of the twentieth century and beyond.
Author: Jake Poller

There has been a welcome emphasis in the last decade on the importance of mysticism in the work of Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) from several scholars, including Dana Sawyer, Jeffrey Kripal and K.S. Gill. Less attention has been paid to Huxley’s interest in the paranormal and his contacts with the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). While Huxley did not join the SPR until 1956, he closely followed its Journal and Proceedings, and wrote a number of essays on the subject of psychical research. I examine his treatment of spiritualism in the play The World of Light (1931) and in the novel Time Must Have a Stop (1944). In his experiments with mescaline and LSD, Huxley also drew on key thinkers from psychical research, namely Henri Bergson, C.D. Broad and William James. In this article, I examine Huxley’s links with the SPR and the role of psychical research in his work.

In: Aries