brave_new_world_aldous_huxley
Photo: ebookbees

In this book, the author creates a futuristic world where people live with insane amount of comforts. There is no ageing, no effort, no ugliness, no pain. People die at the age of 60. There is free sex. People can sleep with anybody they want to and they don’t have to worry about rejection because in this world, everybody belongs to everybody else. Citizens are conditioned from their childhood to accept things as they are. And if by chance they are dissatisfied, there is a solution: they have a pleasure drugĀ called ‘Soma’ which allows people to vacation at luxurious and beautiful places. Rebels are not tolerated in the world…but you might ask..what is there to rebel about? Human beings want happiness, right? These people have everything that we want: comfort, luxury, community, pleasure etc. And yet, there is a man who is chronically depressed. He wants something more. He wants to experience love. He wants adventure. And because of this, he is at loggerheads with authorities. One day, he gets a chance to meet people who live in a different kind of society..which is similar to ours.What is interesting is that people from this society want to live in the man’s futuristic world (because a world with so much of comfort and pleasure is appealing, right?) How the man (and few people like him) find happiness in the comfortable world forms the rest of the story.

This book has the ability to evoke gratitude and awe. We have made so much of technological progress and yet, the question of happiness and meaning are still elusive. This book, which was published in 1931, has a warning for people in 2016: It’s good to have cool technology but one has to remember that at the end of the day, it is a tool. Nothing will change unless we become wiser.

To eliminate vulnerability is to eliminate love, passion and creativity. You cannot love someone/something and then demand 100 percent safety…because loving someone/something IS risky. There is little meaning in life without love and to trade love for safety is to trade life for mere survival.

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