Greatest Dead Angelenos #8: Aldous Huxley

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English writer Aldous Huxley lived in the Hollywood Hills from the late thirties til his death in 1963. He lived just a couple of streets up above where I live, under the Hollywood sign . Because of that, weirdly enough, I was always interested in his life and his writing. I wondered if he gazed out at the same trees and sky that I do as he wrote or journeyed into his subconcious and traveled in uncharted worlds with such fearlessness.

Mr. Huxley was a reknowned writer to be sure, but he also explored far and wide into his own soul, sometimes using powerful and wonderful pyschedlics in search of enlightenment. And this was in the 40’s, so he was pretty much on his own as far as that territory was concerned.

He wrote, “Brave New World” pretty early in his career, and with that work alone, you can see he was way ahead of his time. He embraced a lot of ideas in the forties that we are just now mainstreaming into our culture. Meditation, Vegetarianism and Pacifism were some of the principles he incorporated into his life.

He wrote so many influential books, and dabbled in screenwriting that it’s impossible to mention them all here, but one I really loved was “Doors of Perception” in which he explored using different pyschedlics to understand oneself and know God. The title was based on some lines in William Blakes tome, “The Marraige of Heaven and Hell”. Later, in the sixties, “The Doors” created their name based on “Doors of Perception”.

He was influential in teaching and participating in Esalen, up in Big Sur and while many of his ideas were radical, they proved to be true.

He was a fearless visionary and humanist and I do love that he led the way in so many uncharted territories and he did it right here in the hils of Hollywood.

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