“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
Rereading this book (my first time in 9th grade) has inspired me towards embracing all we are that makes us human. Huxley brings an eye-opening perspective on love, life, the pursuit of happiness and its ultimate end game. Touching on God and our need for him, and on the human conditioning that makes this life so beautiful. A contrasting portrayal of the extremes of each utopia: one of ultimate happiness and stability, the other, and much more disguised of the two, of life without sacrificing all that makes this life truly worth living (insanity, as described by Huxley).
Huxley brilliantly displays what a utopia might look like, were the world we live in able to advance to such fruition, yet the human condition seems to hold onto things that would otherwise be completely done away with: ambition, individuality, pain, love, adversity of any kind, parenthood, curiosity with everything in this life and genuine discovery. Like a busy man who retires and finds neither rest nor happiness, only boredom and depression, humanity thrives on the very dichotomies of this life.
I believe it happened during the Fall of Man, when our mind was elevated from its state of slavery into its position of power as one who wields the knowledge of good and evil. Before consuming of this tree, there was no dichotomy within us. We knew God and walked with him, knowing only trust in Him. We then abandoned that trust and sat down into the judgement seat. Ever since then we’ve been trying to determine the fates of everyone in the world, asking if they are good or evil, more often then not throwing ourselves into the defendant’s seat. Ever tried to make a decision without any knowledge of the facts? Yet we judge ourselves and each other, day by day… As if we had been presented an entire case and knew the hearts of each person… I’ve not heard of a more tormented way to live.
My favorite quotes from Brave New World:
“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”
I love how Huxley writes such a simple understanding of guilt and how destructive it can be in our lives. Learn to shed it off and and abandon self-judgement. Different than conviction, wearing a backpack full of rocks never helped anyone find joy, purpose, or life more abundantly.
“One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.”
Learn to challenge all that you believe, all that you have been led to believe, and search for the truth yourself. No one ever changed the world being spoon-fed truth, for truth reveals itself to the seeker. If you want to one of influence, seek truth relentlessly and you will find it. Nothing in this world surrenders itself to you without you being more determined to capture it than you are to breathe, neither fame nor wealth, neither knowledge nor wisdom. You must be one of resolve to ever truly claim what you want in this life.
Never shy away from adversity, nor tip toe to avoid pain. For these are dear friends who are often misunderstood. They are our teachers, and instill in us great pleasure and appreciation for the things we have, rather than reminding us of the the things we don’t have. They offer us the most beautiful perspective on the the great mysteries of life like joy, love and death. They are also inevitable, and we waste energy and time in effort to avoid them. They create success, for they grant power of body and power of mind.
Do not mistake adversity and pain as monsters to be feared, instead embrace them for who they really are; our teachers, our friends, our new pair of glasses that enhance our perspective of this life.
My biggest takeaway: our awareness is our greatest obstacle towards our happiness and bliss(in ignorance you would find these in abundance), and is therefore our greatest motivator towards ultimate joy and beauty. How could an immortal ever appreciate life? For it is in death that the beauty of life is found, and in mortality that everything truly valuable to us is realized.
Oracle Insider Rating: 7 out of 10
Who should read it right now: Someone who is looking to really enhance their perspective, on both the world and on the ideals of happiness or satisfaction. This book truly adds to one’s literacy and is a read that is quite crucial to anyone who wants to have a political future of any kind. Many intangible benefits.
Who should avoid it right now: Someone who is niching down into a specific area of study at the moment and is not concerned with reading for the sake of becoming more literate or to open their perspective. I would not suggest this as a read that would give someone any solutions to current issues, it is one of those ones that will sit on a shelf in your mind for many years and someday will provide a solution to an issue that many people won’t think of.