Category Archives: Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley

Open your eyes again and look at Nataraja up there on the altar. Look closely. In the upper right hand, as you’ve already seen, he holds the drum that calls the world into existence and in his upper left hand he carries the destroying fire. Life and death, order and disintegration, impartially. But now look at Shiva’s other pair of hands. The lower right hand is raised and the palm is turned outwards. What does that mean? It signifies, ‘Don’t be afraid: it’s All Right’. But how can anyone in his senses fail to be afraid, when it’s so obvious that they’re all wrong? Nataraja has the answer. Look now at his lower left hand. He’s using it to point down at his feet. And what are his feet doing? Look closely and you’ll see that the right foot is planted squarely on a horrible little subhuman creature—the demon, Muyalaka. A dwarf, but immensely powerful in his malignity, Muyalaka is the embodiment of ignorance, the manifestation of greedy, possessive selfhood. Stamp on him, break his back! And that’s precisely what Nataraja is doing. Trampling the little monster down under his right foot. But notice that it isn’t at his trampling right foot that he points his finger; it’s at the left foot, the foot that, as he dances, he’s in the act of rising from the ground. And why does he point at it? Why? That lifted foot, that dancing defiance of the force of gravity—it’s the symbol of release, of Moksha, of liberation. Nataraja dances in all the worlds at once—in the world of physics and chemistry, in the world of ordinary, all-too-human experience, in the world finally of Suchness, of Mind, of the Clear Light…

Aldous Huxley, Island, New York, 1962, pp. 206-207