Aldous Huxley and mysticism for the masses

Aldous Huxley and mysticism for the masses

Talk
Monday, March 18, 2019 - 19:00 to 20:30
Life
Inspiring
Alternatives says: 
Explore the life and work of mystic Aldous Huxley
Description: 
In this talk and group discussion, author Jules Evans will explore the life and work of Aldous Huxley, a mystic of Piccadilly (he converted to mysticism while living over the road from St James in Albany Street) and one of the most important influences on the growing demographic of ‘spiritual but not religious’.
 
We will discuss questions which Huxley asked, and which remain important today. What is the relationship between science and spirituality? Is a ‘mysticism for the masses’ possible, or is mysticism only for the spiritually adept? Is there a perennial philosophy that all the great mystics agree on? How does spirituality relate to politics?
 
Huxley insisted that humans have a ‘deep-seated urge to self-transcendence’, which can take toxic forms – alcoholism, addiction, the intoxication of nationalism and war, the mindless hedonism of Brave New World. But self-transcendence can also take healthier forms, which help humans heal, connect, and evolve into higher beings.
 
He championed what he called ‘integral education’ – an education that would work with all the levels of the human situation, from the ecological to the mystical. This vision was hugely influential on alternative education institutions like Esalen, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and Schumacher College.
 
His whole life, Huxley wondered what was the proper relationship between mysticism and politics. Should the mystic withdraw from politics altogether? Could a form of spiritual training be vital to global campaigns like pacifism? Could psychedelics transform society? We will consider these questions via the talk and audience discussions. 
About the speaker, Jules Evans
 
Jules is the author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations, which was published in 19 countries and was chosen as a Times book of the year by Matthew Syed. Adrian Edmondson says the book saved his life when he was struggling with grief and depression. Jules is a founder member of Modern Stoicism and organiser of Stoicon. He's also a research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions, a BBC New Generation Thinker, and the author of the Art of Losing Control. 
 
Timetable: 
18:30
Doors open
19:00
Talk commences
20:30
Book signing
Venue: