Beauty inexpressible, peace beyond understanding . . .

Ends are ape-chosen; only the means are man’s.

NARRATOR

Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth. What remains is the dumb or studiedly jocular desperation of one who is aware of the obscene Presence in the corner of the room and knows that the door is locked, that there aren’t any windows. And now the thing bears down on him. He feels a hand on his sleeve, smells a stinking breath, as the executioner’s assistant leans almost amorously toward him. “Your turn next, brother. Kindly step this way.” And in an instant his quiet terror is transmuted into a frenzy as violent as it is futile. There is no longer a man among his fellow men, no longer a rational being speaking articulately to other rational beings; there is only a lacerated animal, screaming and struggling in the trap. For in the end fear casts out even a man’s humanity. And fear, my good friends, fear is the very basis and foundation of modern life. Fear of the much touted technology which, while it raises our standard of living, increases the probability of our violently dying. Fear of the science which takes away with one hand even more than what it so profusely gives with the other. Fear of the demonstrably fatal institutions for which, in our suicidal loyalty, we are ready to kill and die. Fear of the Great Men whom we have raised, by popular acclaim, to a power which they use, inevitably, to murder and enslave us. Fear of the War we don’t want and yet do everything we can to bring about.

As the Narrator speaks, we dissolve to the alfresco picnic of the baboons and their captive Einsteins. They eat and drink, with gusto, while the first two bars of “Onward Christian Soldiers” are repeated again and again, faster and faster, louder and louder. Suddenly the music is interrupted by the first of a succession of enormous explosions. Darkness. A long-drawn, deafening noise of crashing, rending, screaming, moaning. Then silence and increasing light, and once again it is the hour before sunrise, with the morning star and the delicate, pure music.

NARRATOR

Beauty inexpressible, peace beyond understanding . . .

Far off, from below the horizon, a column of rosy smoke pushes up into the sky, swells out into the likeness of an enormous toadstool and hangs there, eclipsing the solitary planet.

We dissolve again to the scene of the picnic. The baboons are all dead. Horribly disfigured by burns, the two Einsteins lie side by side under what remains of a flowering apple tree. Not far off a pressure tank is still oozing its Improved Glanders.

FIRST EINSTEIN

It’s unjust, it isn’t right . . .

SECOND EINSTEIN

We, who never did any harm to anybody;

FIRST EINSTEIN

We, who lived only for Truth.

NARRATOR

And that precisely is why you are dying in the murderous service of baboons. Pascal explained it all more than three hundred years ago. “We make an idol of truth; for truth without charity is not God, but his image and idol, which we must neither love nor worship.” You lived for the worship of an idol. But, in the last analysis, the name of every idol is Moloch. So here you are, my friends, here you are.

Stirred by a sudden gust, the stagnant plague-fog noiselessly advances, sends a wreath of pus-colored vapor swirling among the apple blossoms, then descends to engulf the two recumbent figures. A choking scream announces the death, by suicide, of twentieth-century science.

— Aldous Huxley, Ape and Essence (1948)

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