Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Aldous Huxley, a British novelist, philosopher and visionary, was probably best known for his novel Brave New World. He was interested in mysticism, eastern religion, and experimented with psychedelic drugs. Incredibly, he died on the same day as John F. Kennedy, C.S. Lewis and Anthony Burgess. On his deathbed with his wife Laura at his side, Huxley bravely faced the inevitable. When most people are in a state of stupor, he wanted to enter death with complete awareness. He took a dose of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and tripped right out of this world.

When I was a mere child I had the pleasure of befriending an elderly woman named Lillian North, who was a close personal friend of Laura Huxley’s. She lived on the Lower East Side of New York City near where I was living at the time. She was also a dear friend of Ram Dass and helped him with the writing of his popular book Be Here Now; we met because of our mutual connection to Ram Dass. Lillian and I spent a lot of time together in her apartment drinking herbal tea and talking. She gave me some fascinating insights into the lives of Laura and Aldous Huxley. We kept in communication with letter writing for a couple of years afterward but unfortunately lost touch with each other. Lillian North died in the year 2000.

Photo credit: E.O. Hoppé, 1922