Aldous Huxley's Buddhist Paradise

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tingdzin
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Aldous Huxley's Buddhist Paradise

Post by tingdzin » Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:57 am

Most people are familiar with Aldous Huxley's dystopian Brave New World, if only by reputation. The younger generation of Buddhists may not be aware that he wrote another philosophical novel, Island (still in print after fifty years), which describes some ways in which the best aspects of Western culture could be combined with a traditional Asian way of living, including Buddhism. It begins when a cynical, hard-shelled journalist is shipwrecked on an island in the Indonesian archipelago and finds himself in a society that has managed to avoid being contaminated by globalism. For those who like to discuss such matters in the Lounge here, the book has lots of food for thought on a variety of issues that are still current, but it also has psychedelic medicine, Tantric sex (sort of), and, on the horizon, a menacing military dictator bent on taking the island over. If you're looking for Buddhist fiction, you might give it a try.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Aldous Huxley's Buddhist Paradise

Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:14 am

I remember that I read it years ago and enjoyed it, but I didn't remember that the religion was explicitly Buddhist.
Huxley was an interesting character - connections to Krishnamurti's circle if I remember rightly, wrote about early experiments with mescalin in "Doors of Perception".

:reading:
Kim

mañjughoṣamaṇi
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Re: Aldous Huxley's Buddhist Paradise

Post by mañjughoṣamaṇi » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:14 pm

IIRC, the rāja of the island explicitly mentions he is mixing Mahāyāna Buddhism with western science but its been at least 20 years since I've read the book.
སེམས་རྣམ་པར་གྲོལ་བར་བྱའི་ཕྱིར་བྱམས་པ་བསྒོམ་པར་བྱའོ།
“In order to completely liberate the mind, cultivate loving kindness.” -- Maitribhāvana Sūtra

"The bottom always falls out of the quest for the elementary. The irreducibly individual recedes like the horizon, as our analysis advances." -- Genesis, Michel Serres

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