Thoughts on Music #7 (Aldous Huxley)

Aldous Huxley
This is the 7th blog in my "Thoughts on Music" series which feature quotes containing interesting thoughts on music that someone has said or written (or both). This time around: Aldous Huxley.
Strictly speaking the thoughts presented here are not about music (if music is organized sound unfolded in time) but about noise. But if we're talking music in the Cagean sense of the word then this is as much about music as anything else. Worth reading anyways:

The twentieth century is, amongst other things, the Age of Noise. Physical noise, mental noise and noise of desire – we hold history’s record for all of them. And no wonder; for all the resources of our almost miraculous technology have been thrown into the current assault against silence. That most popular and influential of all recent inventions, the radio, is nothing but a conduit through which prefabricated din can flow into our homes. And this din goes far deeper, of course, than the ear-drums. It penetrates the mind, filling it with a babel of distractions – news items, mutually irrelevant bits of information, blasts of corybantic or sentimental music, continually repetated doses of drama that bring no catharsis, but merely create a craving for daily or even hourly emotional enemas. And where, as in most countries, the broadcasting stations support themselves by selling time to advertisers, the noise is carried from the ears, through the realms of phantasy, knowledge and feeling to the ego’s central core of wish and desire. Spoken or printed, broadcast over the ether or on wood-pulp, all advertising copy has but one purpose - to prevent the will from achieving silence. Desirelessness is the condition of deliverance and illumination. The condition of an expanding and technologically progressive system of mass production is universal craving. Advertising is the organized effort to extend and intensify craving – to extend and intensify, that is to say, the workings of that force, which (as all the saints and teachers of all the higher religions have always taught) is the principal cause of suffering and wrong-doing and the greatest obstacle between the human soul and its divine Ground.
-Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy, 1945

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I am from Australia.
    Aldous Huxley is one of my favorite authors.

    That having been said please find a unique Understanding of Sacred Art, and Culture via these references.