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Official Thread for Aldous Huxley's Last Book - 'Island' - Never Before Discussed Here on GLP

 
Here and Now
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05/30/2017 05:27 PM
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Official Thread for Aldous Huxley's Last Book - 'Island' - Never Before Discussed Here on GLP
There has never been a thread posted to GLP in regards to this book. Many threads have been posted of his other works, specifically 'Brave New World'. I'd like to designate this thread for discussion of 'Island'. Anyone who has read it is encouraged to participate, and I hope many others who haven't read it will pick the book up; it's a true masterpiece.

The book deals with the reality of corruption, wisdom, materialism, education, government, freedom, nature, industry and the important role of firsthand experience in all facets of life. It's definitely not a book for the close-minded, as they will have a hard time grasping the concepts which are introduced. It is however, a must-read for anyone seeking understanding of our place on this earth as both individuals and society as a whole. The book presents a variety of situations in which deep thought, knowledge and understanding is expressed in contradiction to shallow, basic and simplistic thought.

The book is fiction, and could be compared to something like Orwell's 1984, if only for the fact that it teaches very valuable lessons. It's more spiritually and intellectually complete than 1984 yet offers understanding in a similar fashion for those able to see its truths that plague the mentality of society.

I will continue with some examples of quotes and lessons that I learned from this book as this thread begins to shape itself. For now, I'm more curious of how many of you have been lucky enough to read 'Island', and what your thoughts are on it.

Of every book I have ever read - and I've read a lot - this book is more truthful, wise, enlightening, and ahead of its time than anything I've seen before. The messages are many; they are concise and remarkably correct. The ideas offered within its pages are not all new, yet nearly all of them are radically accurate.

Published in 1962, this utopian novel presents concepts that may be far-fetched to your average working-class commoner, yet simultaneously indisposable to the average thinker or scholar.

Society as a whole is led to believe that our current system, for the most part, is functional and effective. Island proves that this couldn't be more false.

What has happened to us? How did we lose our love for learning, our connection with nature, our will to experience, and our drive for true self-understanding and betterment?

I personally and confidently say that just as Orwell's 1984, Aldous Huxley's Island is more true and relevant today than it ever was. We can learn an immense amount from this book. It deeply reinforced and verified my understandings of our global/national/local issues and also gave me new insight about what we are missing in our lives and how we think and percieve incorrectly in many basic (and critically important) situations.

Anyway, I'd like to get into some discussion and/or just hear what others have to say. I'm afraid that this book has been highly under-rated and disregarded for no reason other than it contains a great deal of very real and very insightful knowledge. I hope there are a few of you here interested in talking about it. If not, that's fine and I'll eventually get around to creating some content on this thread from the ideas and teachings within the book itself.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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05/30/2017 05:52 PM
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Re: Official Thread for Aldous Huxley's Last Book - 'Island' - Never Before Discussed Here on GLP
bump for a bit of exposure, but I'll make a few posts later tonight when the thinkers/readers/philosophers are online and the 'tards have fell asleep.
OP
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05/31/2017 03:19 AM
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Re: Official Thread for Aldous Huxley's Last Book - 'Island' - Never Before Discussed Here on GLP
One of the many interesting things in this book is when a young girl goes off with to witness a woman dying. The idea was that they had sent the girl to witness this old woman pass away so that she could learn about the experience of dying. What sounds rather morbid and depressing was an important part of the young girl's learning process, as death is something guaranteed to all of us.

There's something interesting to be said about learning to die. In fact, most cultures don't like to speak too much of death as it's uncomfortable and the idea generally scares people. The concept of "learning to die" may sound preposterous to many, but it's actually brilliant. What better way to understand this reality than to learn to die gracefully? Of course not everyone dies gracefully - some die brutally. However, this experience gives the girl a much needed understanding of one of the most difficult experiences we face - losing people. To learn how to die, for what it's worth, is actually a great gift and something we never really think of, let alone regard as being important. Nobody wants the experience of watching someone die, but what better way to have a complete understanding of the processes of life. Being with a stranger, watching them pass away, learning from that experience, helping them pass peacefully and being comfortable enough with it that you are able to to do it again if the need arises. What a beautiful thing to be able to give someone comfort in their last moments of life.

Think of the people who die alone in hospitals, without family or friends, without anyone to see them off! How nice it would be to ensure these people could pass in the company of someone and also bestow an important bit of knowledge on a youngster. It's instantly reciprocal and beneficial for both parties.
Anonymous Coward
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05/31/2017 03:28 AM
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Re: Official Thread for Aldous Huxley's Last Book - 'Island' - Never Before Discussed Here on GLP
Quote from Island:

"Eating, drinking, dying - three primary manifestations of the universal and impersonal life. Animals live that impersonal and universal life without knowing its nature. Ordinary people know its nature but don't live it and, if they think seriously about it, refuse to accept it. An enlightened person knows it, lives it, and accepts it completely. He eats, he drinks, and in due course he dies - but he eats with a difference, drinks with a difference, dies with a difference."
Anonymous Coward
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05/31/2017 03:37 AM
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Re: Official Thread for Aldous Huxley's Last Book - 'Island' - Never Before Discussed Here on GLP
Quote from Island:

Armaments, universal debt and planned obsolescence - those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste and money-lenders were abolished, you'd collapse.
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05/31/2017 03:43 AM
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Re: Official Thread for Aldous Huxley's Last Book - 'Island' - Never Before Discussed Here on GLP
Quote from Island:

Lenin used to say that electricity plus socialism equals communism. Our equations are rather different. Electricity minus heavy industry plus birth control equals democracy and plenty. Electricity plus heavy industry minus birth control equals misery, totalitarianism and war.
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05/31/2017 03:55 AM
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Re: Official Thread for Aldous Huxley's Last Book - 'Island' - Never Before Discussed Here on GLP
I'd like to mention for those who've not read Island, that it's not only a novel, but rather a manifesto of sorts; maybe basic instructions for life. A manual for living, loving, experiencing, appreciating and dying.

It's a novel, but only for certain purpose. Only to enhance the beauty of the writing as a whole. The novel format lends a better sense of authenticity to the work and allows the reader to see the ideas play out as the story progresses - giving one a better understanding of it all.





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