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Additional info for Aldous Huxley and the Mysticism of Science
In his frustration, Huxley wondered why we are less likely to warm to science. 'Explanations Science in Literature 45 in terms of God and Satan, of sin, conscience and categorical imperative, of karma and grace and predestination, are', he protested, 'just as inferential, just as rationalistically public, as are the scientist's explanation in terms of evolution and neurology, of bio-chemical uniqueness' (Literature 88). Nevertheless, ethical and theological notions excite emotion, while for most of us scientific explanations remain 'non-human, essentially undramatic, completely lacking in the obvious attributes of the picturesque' (Literature 90).
1931) 25 26 Aldous Huxley and the Mysticism of Science Elsewhere, Huxley summoned the view of a post-lapsarian exile from a previously harmonious relationship (Human 10). Currently, each discipline lived in its own monastic cell, but he hoped to break down the 'celibacy of the intellect' and return them to their married state (Human 6). 3 Literature, not science, was the natural mediator. Literary texts are less specialized than scientific texts, more closely based on nonspecific or 'ordinary' language and less 'pure' than other art forms.
Although some artists would like to think otherwise, few novels actually play any direct role in policy. Brave New World is an exception. Like Orwell's dystopian 1984, its vision has shaped our cultural consciousness, so that one only has to mention the phrases 'brave new world' or 'Big Brother' to set off a whole set of ideas and alarms that still shape current debates. Part of the utopia's power lies in its peculiar ontology. Because it is fictional, readers can imaginatively 'enter' it and believe they are witnessing it successfully working.