Jeffrey Kripal’s piece on Aldous Huxley in this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education captures a piece of the tug of war (cultural war?) over spirituality since the 1960s.

It’s interesting that East Europeans are rediscovering Huxley, now that Orwell would seem less relevant. Perhaps there’s a correlation between authoritarianism (as embodied by Soviet-style socialism and portrayed in Orwell’s 1984) and dualist-transcendentalist religion (the only way one can avoid the system is by transcending it, working outside the system, liberating oneself from it altogether), versus liberal commodity capitalism (Brave New World, today’s Eastern Europe) and immanentism (Huxley, psychedelic spirituality, etc)? I’ll have to think about that… It’ll be interesting to see what Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) and Leonardo DiCaprio do with Brave New World.

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