Contextualising Mysticism in Aldous Huxley’s “Those Barren Leaves”

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S. John Joseph Raj, Dr. K. Ganeshram


This paper aims at Aldous Huxley’s relation to the Indian philosophical systems, both the Vedantic and the Buddhistic with the reference to his novel, Those Barren Leaves. Huxley shifts from the tedium of modern life to mysticism in this novel. Those Barren Leaves was his first attempt at portraying a realistic vision of a man who, in spite of his physical limitations, rises above all other species and seeks to understand the nature of existence itself. Huxley’s philosophical principles and worldview increasingly investigated the many issues that face people today. He was raised in a society where the three main forms of fear - nuclear, biological, and psychological - were still prevalent. This journey leads one through Huxley’s novel experiences, modes of thought, and livelihood options. Huxley emerges as a thoughtful author who guides his readers from intuition to self-transcendence. He has made an effort to capture the complexity and contradictions that characterise the human mind and nature as the source of all paradoxes. Huxley seems to be on the lookout for the ideal living environment for humans throughout his literary works and personal life. This search of Huxley, from material to spiritual is the purport of this paper.

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