There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
– Aldous Huxley
Aldous was born in Surrey, England, into a family of academics and educators. Like his brothers, Aldous attended Eton College. Due to his poor vision, he could not work in medicine; instead, he propelled himself into the world of literature.
After taking his degree at Oxford, Huxley returned to Eton to teach. Among his pupils was Eric Blair, who later wrote such classics as 1984 and Animal Farm under the pseudonym “George Orwell.”
He started by writing poetry, but soon Huxley emerged as a particularly witty chronicler of modern life among the educated and pretentious.
In 1932 he wrote arguably his most famous book, Brave New World.
“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”
― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
He discovered mysticism after leaving England and settling in California with his wife, Maria. “His new philosophical outlook informed his novel Eyeless in Gaza (1936), which promoted pacifism on the eve of World War II. After Many a Summer Dies the Swan (1939) makes the case for the emptiness of materialism. Gradually, Huxley moved toward mystical writings, far from the tone of his early satire. The Perennial Philosophy (1945) and The Doors of Perception (1954) represent Huxley’s non-fictional expression of his interests, including even experimentation with psychedelic drugs.” (text from here)
His last novel, Island (1962), revolves around the future, as does Brave New World. This book isn’t a novel but rather a manifesto. The final work of Huxley is a sociological blueprint, a manual for living, loving and dying. His legacy so to speak, leaving us his vision of paradise within reach. It’s a powerful inspiration to live a life devoted to strive for ones highest potential as a human being.
Huxley died from cancer in 1963. “When cancer brought Aldous to his death bed, he asked Laura (his second wife) to inject him with “LSD, 100 µg, intramuscular.” He died later that day, after two doses, in the most peaceful way. So after creating radical forms of living, Huxley himself demonstrated a radical way of dying.”