The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Advanced Search 

Merton's Correspondence with:

Aldous Leonard Huxley; Aldous Huxley; Aldous L. Huxley; Huxley, Aldous Leonard, 1894-1963

Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963  printer


Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1958-1959, 1973
Volume: 6 item(s); 8 pg(s)

Scope and Content

In his one extant letter to Huxley, Merton responds to an article Huxley wrote entitled, "Drugs That Shape Men's Minds" (The Saturday Evening Post. 231, October 18, 1958). (Source: The Hidden Ground of Love, p. 436.)


Philosopher, social critic, and author of books such as his most famous, Brave New World, Aldous Huxley was born and educated in England and moved to the California in the 1930's. Becoming ever more critical of Western civilization and the dehumanizing character of technology, Huxley became drawn to Eastern philosophy and religion and to mysticism. Merton was influenced early on by Huxley though his book, Ends and Means. Similar views on technology, Eastern philosophy, and mysticism appear in Merton's thinking, as well. (Source: The Hidden Ground of Love, p. 436.)

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

Please click here for general restrictions concerning Merton's correspondence.

Related Information and Links

Contains one letter from Mrs. Huxley to Tommie O'Callaghan; see also "O'Callaghan, (Tommie) Thomasine (Cadden)" file. One letter from Merton to Huxley can be found in The Hidden Ground of Love, pp. 436-439. Huxley's reply to Merton appears in the Letters of Aldous Huxley, edited by Grover Smith (Harper & Row, 1969), pp. 862-864. In the same volume, Merton is mentioned in his St. Bonaventure days in a 1942 letter from Huxley to Christopher Isherwood, pp. 474-475.

Series List

This Record Sub-Group is not divided into Series and is arranged chronologically.

Container List

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPub ✓Notes
 y/m/dMerton Scan ✉ 
1. 1958/11/27 TAL[c] from Merton Twenty years, or nearly that many, have gone by since a very pleasant exchange of letters took place Huxley's article “Drugs That Shape Men’s Minds” from the Saturday Evening Post / question of drug-induced mystical experience / aesthetic and natural vs. mystical and supernatural experiences / addiction / Zen and "use of a Koan to dispose one for Satori" «detailed view»
2. 1959/01/10 transcript to Merton Thank you for your letter. The problems you raise are interesting and difficult, and their solution mescaline and lysergic acid (LSD), Huxley's use / treating alcoholism in British Columbia with lysergic acid and in Catholic frame of reference / Christian and Oriental mystics / Julian of Norwich / dependency / good and bad experiences «detailed view»
3. 1973/11/30 TL[c] from Center to Aldous Huxley Estate Mr. Victor Kramer at Georgia State University has requested permission to look at Mr. Aldous Huxley regarding permission to publish materials «detailed view»
4. 1973/12/07 TLS to Center from Huxley, Laura Your letter of November 30 is very interesting to me and I would be inclined to grant permission to regarding permission to publish materials «detailed view»
5. 1973/12/17 TL[c] from Center to Huxley, Laura Thank you for your kind letter of December 7. Mrs. O'Callaghan has forwarded it to me in order that regarding permission to publish materials «detailed view»
6. undated/no/no other   ALDOUS LEONARD HUXLEY biographical information «detailed view»

Printer-Friendly Version   Return to the Top of the Page