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O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in 't.
—William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, Scene I, II

    This is probably the second most recognized Utopian/Dystopian (depending on how you perceive it) novel, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four being the most well-known. I would say that We must be added to the list. Of the three, this current one rated last for me personally as I was reading it. It is the second I've read of Huxley's works, the other being Crome Yellow. I didn't care for that one too much either. However, my assessment of this one is changing as time passes, being able to look back at the entire work and its message. In fact, each day since I've read it allows me to ruminate and process the contents and raises my opinion of the work in general, especially since I am now connecting it to the perverted reality in which we are now imprisoned.
    Plus, since I write book reviews, I take lots of notes as I read, which slows me down and, in some cases, distracts me from enjoying the book. Often I will take profuse notes toward the beginning, as all the characters and themes are introduced, then I slack off once I get everything arranged in my head. But this one seemed to me to be mostly details with little story, and certainly little to endear me to any of the characters until about two-thirds of the way through. At the point, my interest perked up because a character was introduced who was actually a "normal" human.
    I also want to mention that this is a nice edition that I got for a buck at the local Goodwill bookshelf several years ago. At the end it provides some interesting biographical information about Huxley, who I think I might have actually liked as a person. However, it lacks the Foreword found in other editions. It also includes brief reviews on a number of his other works, and he wrote many. Internet Archive has quite a few available to download for free, including this one. As always, opt for the PDF because the other formats are usually not good, and sometimes the PDFs aren't either. There are a number of different editions, so if you get a bad one, try again. Project Gutenberg also has a few of his works, but not this one. Their quality is usually excellent. And this book really must be read.
    As usual, I will begin with bits of information. First, this novel is really not like We. There were some at the time who believed it was Huxley's model for this book, which he denied and I believe it. However, he did say that he was influenced by the utopian novels of H.G. Wells, such as Men Like Gods, which is one of my favorites. Brave New World was written in 1931 and published in 1932. It is #5 in Modern Library's listing of the top 100 English-language novels of the 20th-century. Nineteen Eighty-Four is #13, and We isn't on the list. However, in their listing of the top 100 Readers' Choice novels, this one is #18, while Orwell's comes in at #6. I have another listing of the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. (I don't like that title.) But in any case, it goes way back in history to modern times, and is chronological. All three of these novels are listed. I don't remember where I got it—I've had it pasted on my Word program for at least a decade. In any case, I am a big fan of futuristic novels. You can read more at my Utopia, Socio-Political Index Page, and my Futuristic, Apocalyptic, Time Travel Index Page.
    Here is the Wikipedia page for Brave New World, which is unusually excellent, condensing the plot admirably, and providing a list of both characters, and "background characters"—real people who appeared in the novel often under a slightly different name. The article is also filled with helpful links. Reading this page helped me to solidify my impressions and clear up some points of confusion. Here are the important points about the novel, which is actually, as mentioned above, the first two-thirds of the story—getting us thoroughly acquainted with every aspect of society, so that by the time we get to the section where there's real human interaction, we understand all the terminology and the people's everyday routine. I suggest reading the entire page.
    The story takes place far into the future, and it is 632 A.F. or "AD 2540 in the Gregorian calendar." Their years are measured "A.F," After Ford. Yes. Henry Ford. As in Model T. It was introduced in 1908 (+ 632=2540). He is their "god," so instead of saying "Oh, Lord," they say, "Oh, Ford." Yes, of course it is a satire. The tops of all crosses have been cut off, and now people make the "sign of the T." Fordliness. His Fordship. You get it. And why Ford? He was the god of industrialization. Factory assembly lines. You would think that a civilization so far into the future wouldn't even need factories. Everything should be done with robots. Well, of course it could, but the Controller(s) have decided that what is most important in civilization is stability and happiness. And this is how they did it. And it is offensive. But first, here is a quote from the Wikipedia article—about a letter written by Huxley to George Orwell.

In a letter to George Orwell about Nineteen Eighty-Four, Huxley wrote "Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World." He went on to write "Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience."

    Of course, all those methods, and way more are in fact being used now. Please read my review of the espionage novel, Pay Any Price, concerning the CIA and their use of MKUltra—drugs and hypnotism to create "sleeper agents," to carry out assassinations, including the Kennedys'. It isn't as far-fetched as you may think. My review is filled with factual links. But as for this novel, hypnotism, as such, wasn't used, but instead, tapes were played as people slept to program them, to condition them, to the role they were destined to play in society, which was all completely decided when the sperm fertilized the egg, and the test tube labelled as such. The idea of repetitious phrases in itself isn't nefarious. I took the Silva Mind Control course—and so did millions of others, including celebrities like John Lennon—not to mind-control others, but to learn to take control of your own mind. I say Mantras all through the day, which is another way to safeguard your own mind to embrace what you believe, not what someone else wants you to believe. As in so many cases, a psychological practice is only perverse when it is used as a control agenda. I have always said that sci-fi is more accurate than science, and this book is another example of predictions that are now in full and blatant use. Huxley, in his own time, feared it would happen much earlier than the era in which the novel was set, in fact he saw changes that confirmed his fears. This quote is the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article.

Brave New World is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, whose citizens are environmentally engineered into an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by the story's protagonist. Huxley followed this book with a reassessment in essay form, Brave New World Revisited (1958), and with his final novel, Island (1962), the utopian counterpart. This novel is often compared as an inversion counterpart to George Orwell's 1984 (1949).

    Unlike both We and Nineteen Eighty-Four, violence isn't used to punish dissenters.

Government's an affair of sitting, not hitting. You rule with the brains and the buttocks, never with the fist. For example, there was the conscription of consumption.

    This novel, by the way, did not get good reviews from the critics, and yet today, it has become Huxley's most enduring work. It was banned, and still is in many places. It is set in London, by the way. I shall continue.
    DNA manipulation wasn't a part of the story, because there was little known about it at the time Huxley wrote the book. However, different castes of beings were produced in test tubes, according to the role they would play as adults. That not only included their "profession," but their location. For instance, if they were produced in a batch that was destined to be sent to the tropics, they were conditioned to like heat and hate cold. Yes, the beings produced had no choice whatsoever in their future place in society. The castes were labelled by the first five letters of the Greek alphabet—Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon. Within those castes were different levels, such as Alpha-Plus or -Minus, etc.. By the time one moved down the ladder to the lowest caste, the Epsilons, we encounter beings who had been poisoned in various ways in the test tubes, so that the finished product was a small, deformed, barely human moron that was programmed to do one extremely simple task, such as operating an elevator. The beings in the three lowest castes were mass-produced, which I will explain in a bit.
     Yes, it is cruel and horrible; I mean, here in the U.S. of A., we're supposed to have the opportunity to be who we are and what we aspire to be. Yes, what a joke, eh? I think too much of what Huxley wrote is, in fact, in full swing, especially since the plandemic and people who got the jab and had their DNA messed up. At the end, Mustapha Mond explains to the horrified "Savage" that these Epsilons are perfectly happy being morons and stuck doing one menial task for their entire, probably rather short, lives, because they have been programmed to not know any better. At the end of the work day, they get their hand-out of drugs. They are sterilized, so they can have sex as much as they want, and therefore, no one is envious of those in another caste. Stability is the goal, and that goal has been reached. "You will own nothing and you will be happy," is the slogan of the WEF and other current global elites, intent on taking over the world. That was certainly the case in the novel, but the goal wasn't so much control, it was perhaps to establish a society where control was no longer needed.
    As with all novels such as this, that are so filled with surprises to the very end, I always opt to only give away just enough to inspire you to read it. And this one should be read by everyone who is capable of reading. So, like it or not, it contains some terrible truths. As with many, or probably most of these dystopian novels, the authors didn't write them because they envisioned a similar future for humanity. They wrote them so that we might take heed to not allow such a thing to happen. And though the idea of "god" and any religion was fairy tale stuff to the inhabitants of this future society, Huxley himself was a deeply spiritual, or philosophical person. There's more about him at the end of this review.
    So, keeping in mind these little bits and pieces I've revealed, I will now go through my notes and mention more subject matter in detail as it is presented in the story. As mentioned above, much of the book is little story with great detail until the final one-third.
    It begins as the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning is giving a group of newly arrived students a tour of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, explaining the procedures as the students frantically scribble in their notebooks. They begin at the incubators where the fertilization process takes place—rack upon rack of test tubes all carefully examined with a microscope and labelled. Nothing is left to chance.
    For the Alphas and Betas, it is one egg-one embryo-one adult, as in the most common human reproduction. But as for the lower three castes, the Bokanovsky Method was used. Apparently that one wasn't based on anything real. I did a Wikipedia search on it and was promptly taken to back this book. Here's what the Director explains.

   One egg, one embryo, one adult—normality. But a bokanovskified egg will bud, will proliferate, will divide. From eight to ninety-six buds, and every bud will grow into a perfectly formed embryo, and every embryo into a full-sized adult. Making ninety-six human beings grow where only one grew before. Progress.
    "Essentially," the D.H.C. concluded, "bokanovskification consists of a series of arrests of development. We check the normal growth and, paradoxically enough, the egg responds by budding."
   Responds by budding.:" The pencils were busy.
   He pointed. On a very slowly moving band a rack-full of test-tubes was entering a large metal box, another rack-full was emerging. Machinery faintly purred. It took eight minutes for the tubes to go through, he told them. Eight minutes of hard X-rays being about as much as an egg can stand. A few died; of the rest, the least susceptible divided into two; most put out four buds; some eight; all were returned to the incubators, where the buds began to develop; then, after two days, were suddenly chilled, chilled and checked. Two, four, eight, the buds in their turn budded; and having budded were dosed almost to death with alcohol; consequently burgeoned again and having budded—bud out of bud out of bud were thereafter—further arrest being generally fatal—left to develop in peace. By which time the original egg was in a fair way to becoming anything from eight to ninety-six embryos—a prodigious improvement, you will agree, on nature. Identical twins—but not in piddling twos and threes as in the old viviparous days, when an egg would sometimes accidentally divide; actually by dozens, by scores at a time.
   "Scores," the Director repeated and flung out his arms, as though he were distributing largesse. "Scores."
   But one of the students was fool enough to ask where the advantage lay.
   "My good boy!" The Director wheeled sharply round on him "Can't you see? Can't you see?" He raised a hand; his expression was solemn. "Bokanovsky's Process is one of the major instruments of social stability!"
   Major instruments of social stability.
   Standard men and women; in uniform batches. The whole of a small factory staffed with the products of a single bokanovskified egg.
   "Ninety-six identical twins working ninety-six identical machines!" The voice was almost tremulous with enthusiasm "You really know where you are. For the first time in history." He quoted the planetary motto. "Community, Identity, Stability." Grand words. "If we could bokanovskify indefinitely the whole problem would be solved."
   Solved by standard Gammas, unvarying Deltas, uniform Epsilons. Millions of identical twins. The principle of mass production at last applied to biology.

    And note that all these are identical "twins" have a limit of about ninety-six per ovary, but seventy-two is "a good average." Mr. Foster, who works in that department happens to be near and the Director calls him over for some statistics.

   "Sixteen thousand and twelve in this Centre," Mr. Foster replied without hesitation. He spoke very quickly, had a vivacious blue eye, and took an evident pleasure in quoting figures. "Sixteen thousand and twelve; in one hundred and eighty-nine batches of identicals. But of course they've done much better," he rattled on, "in some of the tropical Centres. Singapore has often produced over sixteen thousand five hundred; and Mombasa has actually touched the seventeen thousand mark. But then they have unfair advantages. You should see the way a negro ovary responds to pituitary! It's quite astonishing, when you're used to working with European material. Still," he added, with a laugh (but the light of combat was in his eyes and the lift of his chin was challenging), "still, we mean to beat them if we can. I'm working on a wonderful Delta-Minus ovary at this moment. Only just eighteen months old. Over twelve thousand seven hundred children already, either decanted or in embryo. And still going strong. We'll beat them yet."

    In case you haven't figured this out, these will be the "people" who do all the labor and menial tasks, leaving the Alphas and Betas to do the work requiring intelligence and education. That way, everyone knows their place and is "happy." And let me also remind you that the current human population here in 2024 is being purposely "dumbed-down." IQs have dropped 7-9 points in the last generation. We are being sprayed 24/7 with nanoparticles of aluminum, and being bombarded with radio frequencies and EMFs, along with CELLPHONES, which are damaging everything on the planet and probably the biggest cause of people getting stupider by the day. Zombies with their faces stuck in their dumb-phones no matter what they are doing. How is that worse than what is described in the novel? And people are in too much of a stupor to even protest.
    They then visit the Bottling Room, where the eggs were transferred from their test tubes to larger containers. The Predestinators send figures to the Fertilizers who give them the embryos they request, then are sent to the Embryo Store which is in the basement and where the Director and the students are headed. The atmosphere is tropical, and dark, with only red light. Foster points out that it is like a dark room for photography, and the red light is all the embryos can tolerate.

   Two hundred and twenty metres long, two hundred wide, ten high. He pointed upwards. Like chickens drinking, the students lifted their eyes towards the distant ceiling.
   Three tiers of racks: ground-floor level, first gallery, second gallery.
   The spidery steelwork of gallery above gallery faded away in all directions into the dark. Near them three red ghosts were busily unloading demi-johns from a moving staircase.
   The escalator from the Social Predestination Room.
   Each bottle could be placed on one of fifteen racks, each rack, though you couldn't see it, was a conveyor travelling at the rate of thirty-three and a third centimetres an hour. Two hundred and sixty-seven days at eight metres a day. Two thousand one hundred and thirty-six metres in all. One circuit of the cellar at ground level, one on the first gallery, half on the second, and on the two hundred and sixty-seventh morning, daylight in the Decanting Room Independent existence—so called.
   "But in the interval," Mr. Foster concluded, "we've managed to do a lot to them. Oh, a very great deal." His laugh was knowing and triumphant.

    Foster then explains the labelling system for sex—male, female, or freemartins.

   "For of course," said Mr. Foster, "in the vast majority of cases, fertility is merely a nuisance. One fertile ovary in twelve hundred—that would really be quite sufficient for our purposes. But we want to have a good choice. And of course one must always leave an enormous margin of safety. So we allow as many as thirty per cent, of the female embryos to develop normally. The others get a dose of male sex-hormone every twenty-four metres for the rest of the course. Result: they're decanted as freemartins-structurally quite normal (except," he had to admit, "that they do have just the slightest tendency to grow beards), but sterile. Guaranteed sterile. Which brings us at last," continued Mr. Foster, 'out of the realm of mere slavish imitation of nature into the much more interesting world of human invention."

    Foster explains how they deprive the Epsilons of oxygen, to keep them "below par," (stupid).

   "But why do you want to keep the embryo below par?" asked an ingenuous student.
   "Ass!" said the Director, breaking a long silence. "Hasn't it occurred to you that an Epsilon embryo must have an Epsilon environment as well as an Epsilon heredity?"
   It evidently hadn't occurred to him. He was covered with confusion.
   "The lower the caste," said Mr. Foster, "the shorter the oxygen." The first organ affected was the brain. After that the skeleton. At seventy per cent of normal oxygen you got dwarfs. At less than seventy, eyeless monsters.

    Foster then goes on about the process of condition—preparing the future adults for the work they are destined to do.

   "Heat conditioning," said Mr. Foster.
   Hot tunnels alternated with cool tunnels. Coolness was wedded to discomfort in the form of hard X-rays. By the time they were decanted the embryos had a horror of cold. They were predestined to emigrate to the tropics, to be miners and acetate silk spinners and steel workers. Later on their minds would be made to endorse the judgment of theirbodies. "We condition them to thrive on heat," concluded Mr. Foster. "Our colleagues upstairs will teach them to love it."
   "And that," put in the Director sententiously, "that is the secret of happiness and virtue—liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny."

    They reach the Decanting Room, where they leave Mr. Foster, and the others continue to the fifth floor. They enter the Infant Nurseries. Neo-Pavlovian Conditioning Rooms, where nurses dressed in white were setting out bowls of full-blossomed roses in a row along the floor. The Director ordered them to set out the books—children's nursery books with brightly colored pictures of animals. Then the Director ordered the babies to be brought out. They were of the Delta caste, so all were dressed in khaki—a Bokanovsky Group of eight-month-olds—all identical, of course. They were unloaded from the cart and set onto the floor. I have to say, this was one of the most horrifying scenes of the story.

   Turned, the babies at once fell silent, then began to crawl towards those clusters of sleek colours, those shapes so gay and brilliant on the white pages. As they approached, the sun came out of amomentary eclipse behind a cloud. The roses flamed up as though with a sudden passion from within; a new and profound significance seemed to suffuse the shining pages of the books. From the ranks of the crawling babies came little squeals of excitement, gurgles and twitterings of pleasure.
   The Director rubbed his hands. "Excellent!" he said. "It might almost have been done on purpose."
   The swiftest crawlers were already at their goal. Small hands reached out uncertainly, touched, grasped, unpetaling the transfigured roses, crumpling the illuminated pages of the books. The Director waited until all were happily busy. Then, "Watch carefully," he said. And, lifting his hand, he gave the signal.
   The Head Nurse, who was standing by a switchboard at the other end of the room, pressed down a little lever.
   There was a violent explosion. Shriller and ever shriller, a siren shrieked. Alarm bells maddeningly sounded.
   The children started, screamed; their faces were distorted with terror.
   "And now," the Director shouted (for the noise was deafening), "now we proceed to rub in the lesson with a mild electric shock."
   He waved his hand again, and the Head Nurse pressed a second lever. The screaming of the babies suddenly changed its tone. There was something desperate, almost insane, about the sharp spasmodic yelps to which they now gave utterance. Their little bodies twitched and stiffened; their limbs moved jerkily as if to the tug of unseen wires.
"We can electrify that whole strip of floor," bawled the Director in explanation. "But that's enough," he signalled to the nurse.
   The explosions ceased, the bells stopped ringing, the shriek of the siren died down from tone to tone into silence. The stiffly twitching bodies relaxed, and what had become the sob and yelp of infant maniacs broadened out once more into a normal howl of ordinary terror.
   "Offer them the flowers and the books again."
   The nurses obeyed; but at the approach of the roses, at the mere sight of those gaily-coloured images of pussy and cock-a-doodle-doo and baa-baa black sheep, the infants shrank away in horror; the volume of their howling suddenly increased.
   "Observe," said the Director triumphantly, "observe."
   Books and loud noises, flowers and electric shocks—already in the infant mind these couples were compromisingly linked; and after two hundred repetitions of the same or a similar lesson would be wedded indissolubly. What man has joined, nature is powerless to put asunder.

    Again, a student asks what the purpose of this is, and, here's the condensed answer he received: "A love of nature keeps no factories busy." OK, so I think you probably "get it" about the production of future working adults, so I will just skip around and mention other aspects about this society that are nearly as horrific as the scene described above. Consumerism is not only stressed but required. Of course. Why else would they choose Henry Ford as their god? This is a throw-away society, and those of us who are legitimate activists—meaning that we are non-materialistic and live our lives in harmony with all other life on earth—realize that rampant consumerism has turned our once pristine planet into a trash dump.
    As mentioned earlier, one of the ways that people were programmed was to have to listen to recordings as they slept—over and over and over. Throughout the story, the adults, or young adults would constantly find phrases that were drummed into them. We all have little phrases that we heard constantly as children that we still remember, but the more intelligent among us are able to discern which ones to follow and which to hold as truths. Gosh, I can even remember TV commercial ditties from back in the 50s! Oh, my!! Here's one from the novel: "But old clothes are beastly," continued the untiring whisper. "We always throw away old clothes. Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches." However, the one we encounter the most is "Every one belongs to every one else."
    That is partly referring to sex, which is not only encouraged but promiscuity is required. The idea is to not get attached to anyone. "Family," "Mother," "Father," "Home" are all fairy tale words that usually cause an explosion of laughter. No one can even imagine what those words mean, and find it hard to believe that they defined that way people lived in the days before Ford. And speaking of sex, and it is a main theme of the book, the children, like six-year olds, have their outdoor playtime. Naked. The purpose being erotic play. Yes, I can see why this book was and still is banned. It is while the children are out "exploring," and the Director and his students are outside in the same area, that we meet His Fordship, Mustapha Mond, the Controller of Western Europe. (His name was derived from two real people, Alfred Mond, a British industrialist, financier and politician, and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first President of Republic of Turkey.) He sits and chats with the Director and students. Meanwhile, Lenina Crowne has just ended her shift in the basement and comes up to the girls' changing room. Fanny Crowne (there are a limited number of last names), is concerned because Lenina has not been promiscuous and has only slept with Henry Foster for months now, and they have a bit of an argument. Finally Lenina agrees to go out with someone else—and much to Fanny's dismay, she chooses Bernard Marx. Here is where it actually gets interesting.
    Bernard and his faithful friend Helmholtz Watson, are misfits. They are both Alpha-Plus, but Bernard is just a little too short, and the rumor is that alcohol was put in his blood-surrogate, but the fact is, that he knows he can do and be much more than he is, as does Watson. The two of them, in their different ways, are rebels, but what makes them a threat to the stability is that, in spite of their programming, they both know they are individuals. They think for themselves, and find much about the lives they are forced to live, baloney. They want to change things. (That was the big issue in the novel We, also.)
    We like Watson, and try to like Marx, who is whiny, cowardly, lacks self-confidence, is negative, and at other times arrogant and fickle. Watson, however, is just the opposite—cool, calm and faithful in friendship.
    Bernard has wanted to go out with Lenina for a long time, and she suddenly announces to him, in front of a lot of people, that she will go to New Mexico with him to the "Savage Reservation." More on that in a bit, and yes, that part was pretty offensive, too.
    But meanwhile, Lenina is still going out with Henry Foster. They go play Obstacle Golf until dark, then go home in Henry's helicopter. During the course of their conversation, there was another part that reminded me of We. Lenina had just made a derogatory remark about the three lower castes, and Henry corrects her.

   "All men are physico-chemically equal," said Henry sententiously. "Besides, even Epsilons perform indispensable services."
   "Even an Epsilon . . ." Lenina suddenly remembered an occasion when, as a little girl at school, she had woken up in the middle of the night and become aware, for the first time, of the whispering that had haunted all her sleeps. She saw again the beam of moonlight, the row of small white beds; heard once more the soft, soft voice that said (the words were there, unforgotten, unforgettable after so many night-long repetitions): "Every one works for every one else. We can't do without any one. Even Epsilons are useful. We couldn't do without Epsilons. Every one works for every one else. We can't do without any one . . ." Lenina remembered her first shock of fear and surprise; her speculations through half a wakeful hour; and then, under the influence of those endless repetitions, the gradual soothing of her mind, the soothing, the smoothing, the stealthy creeping of sleep. . . .
   "I suppose Epsilons don't really mind being Epsilons," she said aloud.
   "Of course they don't. How can they? They don't know what it's like being anything else. We'd mind, of course. But then we've been differently conditioned. Besides, we start with a different heredity."
   "I'm glad I'm not an Epsilon," said Lenina, with conviction.
   "And if you were an Epsilon," said Henry, "your conditioning would have made you no less thankful that you weren't a Beta or an Alpha." He put his forward propeller into gear and headed the machine towards London. Behind them, in the west, the crimson and orange were almost faded; a dark bank of cloud had crept into the zenith.

    They reach Henry's apartment building, where they go to dine.

   Landing on the roof of Henry's forty-story apartment house in Westminster, they went straight down to the dining-half. There, in a loud and cheerful company, they ate an excellent meal. Soma was served with the coffee. Lenina took two half-gramme tablets and Henry three. At twenty past nine they walked across the street to the newly opened Westminster Abbey Cabaret. It was a night almost without clouds, moonless and starry; but of this on the whole depressing fact Lenina and Henry were fortunately unaware. The electric sky-signs effectively shut off the outer darkness. "CALVIN STOPES AND HIS SIXTEEN SEXOPHONISTS." From the facade of the new Abbey the giant letters invitingly glared. "LONDON'S FINEST SCENT AND COLOUR ORGAN. ALL THE LATEST SYNTHETIC MUSIC."
   They entered. The air seemed hot and somehow breathless with the scent of ambergris and sandalwood. On the domed ceiling of the half the colour organ had momentarily painted a tropical sunset. The Sixteen Sexophonists were playing an old favourite: "There ain't no Bottle in all the world like that dear little Bottle of mine." Four hundred couples were five-stepping round the polished floor. Lenina and Henry were soon the four hundred and first. The sexophones wailed like melodious cats under the moon, moaned in the alto and tenor registers as though the little death were upon them. Rich with a wealth of harmonics, their tremulous chorus mounted towards a climax, louder and ever louder—until at last, with a wave of his hand, the conductor let loose the final shattering note of ether-music and blew the sixteen merely human blowers clean out of existence. Thunder in A flat major. And then, in all but silence, in all but darkness, there followed a gradual deturgescence, a diminuendo sliding gradually, through quarter tones, down, down to a faintly whispered dominant chord that lingered on (while the five-four rhythms still pulsed below) charging the darkened seconds with an intense expectancy. And at last expectancy was fulfilled. There was a sudden explosive sunrise, and simultaneously, the Sixteen burst into song:

    Soma. Yes, it was a drug which may have been similar to LSD. I dunno. I never messed with any of that shit, even though I grew up in the 1960s. Huxley, however, did experiment with it in order to have an experience similar to mystics. From what I've read about him so far, I don't think he used it as a recreational drug (along with mescaline), but more to gain spiritual insight, which put him in disagreement with those who didn't believe the effects of these drugs should be confused with mysticism. I totally agree. As one who has spent nearly her entire life seeking mystical experience, my opinion is that only meditation and living a life devoted to spiritual evolution will grant one entrance into the mystical world. Here's a bit about one of the books Huxley wrote about his drug experience.

The Doors of Perception provoked strong reactions for its evaluation of psychedelic drugs as facilitators of mystical insight with great potential benefits for science, art, and religion. While many found the argument compelling, others including German writer Thomas Mann, Vedantic monk Swami Prabhavananda, Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, and Orientalist scholar Robert Charles Zaehner countered that the effects of mescaline are subjective and should not be conflated with objective religious mysticism. Huxley himself continued to take psychedelics for the rest of his life, and the understanding he gained from them influenced his final novel Island, published in 1962.

    It doesn't sound like Huxley was addicted, either. Wikipedia also says: "Huxley continued to take these substances several times a year until his death, but with a serious and temperate frame of mind." The Doors of Perception is the book from which Jim Morrison got the name for his rock band, The Doors, and he definitely was addicted. Huxley's inspiration for the title of his book came from William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. And Blake was definitely a mystic!

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.

    Anyways, in this novel, soma was certainly not only a recreational drug, but absolutely an escape from anything unpleasant. In other words, the beings that inhabited this World State were not capable of handling anything unpleasant. Another of their repeated phrases was "a gramme is better than a damn." Here's a quote:

   "Now—such is progress—the old men work, the old men copulate, the old men have no time, no leisure from pleasure, not a moment to sit down and think—or if ever by some unlucky chance such a crevice of time should yawn in the solid substance of their distractions, there is always soma, delicious soma, half a gramme for a half-holiday, a gramme for a week-end, two grammes for a trip to the gorgeous East, three for a dark eternity on the moon; returning whence they find themselves on the other side of the crevice, safe on the solid ground of daily labour and distraction, scampering from feely to feely, from girl to pneumatic girl, from Electro-magnetic Golf Course to . . ."

    And, oh . . . the Feelies. Yes, like going to the movies, except . . . . Keep in mind that eroticism played a huge role in society. Off work, sex and drugs were major forms of recreation. Except for the few that were actually beginning to wake up, as in Bernard and Helmholtz.
    And speaking of Bernard, his vacation time arrives, and he and Lenina fly off to New Mexico to the Savage Reservation. I will stop here because this is where it becomes more of a story, with real people, and it is here that we meet the man that, to me, is the hero of the novel. Bernard becomes fascinated with him, whose mother has taught him to read, but the only two books he has ever had are The Chemical and Bacteriological Conditioning of the Embryo. Practical Instructions for Beta Embryo Store Workers, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. It is he that keeps saying "O brave new world." He, like Bernard, lives in a world where he does not belong.
    It seems Lenina spends a lot of time drugged during their holiday. The one thing I didn't like is the portrayal of the Indigenous peoples who were living in filth. I dunno. Perhaps it was so. They didn't have water. Think of Mexico City. As I write this in late May, 2024, the entire city's water supply is so low that they can't even flush their toilets. Oh, my. Here is a quote from Wikipedia, from the page on this novel, linked above. I hope I haven't revealed too much.

   Bernard takes a holiday with Lenina outside the World State to a Savage Reservation in New Mexico, in which the two observe natural-born people, disease, the ageing process, other languages, and religious lifestyles for the first time. The culture of the village folk resembles the contemporary Native American groups of the region, descendants of the Anasazi, including the Puebloan peoples of Hopi and Zuni. Bernard and Lenina witness a violent public ritual and then encounter Linda, a woman originally from the World State who is living on the reservation with her son John, now a young man. She, too, visited the reservation on a holiday many years ago, but became separated from her group and was left behind.

    I will end this with one last quote from the book—a typical work day at a branch of the "Electrical Equipment Corporation."

   And, in effect, eighty-three almost noseless black brachycephalic Deltas were cold-pressing. The fifty-six four-spindle chucking and turning machines were being manipulated by fifty-six aquiline and ginger Gammas. One hundred and seven heat-conditioned Epsilon Senegalese were working in the foundry. Thirty-three Delta females, long-headed, sandy, with narrow pelvises, and all within 20 millimetres of 1 metre 69 centimetres tall, were cutting screws. In the assembling room, the dynamos were being put together by two sets of Gamma-Plus dwarfs. The two low work-tables laced one another; between them crawled the conveyor with its load of separate parts; forty-seven blond heads were confronted by forty-seven brown ones. Forty-seven snubs by forty-seven hooks; forty-seven receding by forty-seven prognathous chins. The completed mechanisms were inspected by eighteen identical curly auburn girls in Gamma green, packed in crates by thirty-four short-legged, left-handed male Delta-Minuses, and loaded into the waiting trucks and lorries by sixty-three blue-eyed, flaxen and freckled Epsilon Semi-Morons.
   "O brave new world . . ." By some malice of his memory the Savage found himself repeating Miranda's words. "O brave new world that has such people in it."

    As mentioned above, I think I would have liked Huxley as a person. Even though the characters in his novel ridiculed religion, other than their reverence toward Henry Ford, Huxley seems to have been a deeply spiritual person—interested in Eastern religions, mysticism, and philosophy. I like this book much more since I've written this review, and I am sure it will continue to work on me for a long time to come, as has the novel We. I've found some of his other books at Internet Archive that can be downloaded for free, although many cannot. I am pretty good at finding what I want on the internet, so I will look for his other books to add to my digital library, or perhaps find them used and cheap at Amazon.
    This book is highly recommended. It doesn't matter if you find parts of it offensive. (You will.) Or if you like it. (You might not.) At the place where we are now as a global society, it is the responsibility of all citizens of Planet Earth to educate themselves on our future, which will either end very soon, seeing that there are so many things going on that can and will kill off the entire planet if not brought to a halt. OR we will end up in the dystopian nightmare where we are currently headed unless we put a stop to the criminally insane who are running the planet.
    Aldous Leonard Huxley was born in Surrey, England, 1894 and died in Los Angeles, California, 1963. Below: "English Heritage blue plaque at 16 Bracknell Gardens, Hampstead, London, commemorating Aldous, his brother Julian, and his father Leonard.

Commemorative Plaque

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