Light in Aldous Huxley’s Island
The imagery of light is a major component in Island. An example of Huxley’s use of light imagery is in Lakhmi’s death. Susilla, comforting her dying mother, reminds Lakshmi that the light she sees is, “‘[her] own consciousness shining, void, inseparable from the great Body of Radiance…’ (Huxley, Island 318)”. After Lakshmi’s death, Will and Susilla took the moksha medicine. The narrator says “the light grew brighter, the understanding deepened,” (325) as Will goes through the experience. When Susilla asks Will what he’s feeling and if he sees the light, he responds that he is being the light. This is interesting, because so many people are obsessed with the light at the end of the tunnel. They don’t think to focus on finding the light or enlightenment until the very end. They are just getting through life and hope to get a good afterlife, which light signals the journey to afterlife happiness. But Will seems to find it on his own. Although drug-induced, Will still sees the world in the way that some don’t see until their final moments. As a rush of bliss and peacefulness, as complete and utter understanding of everything. Many people just think that drugs make everything really funny or just dumb you down. They may do that sometimes, but they also can open your mind and make yourself think about things in a way that you’ve never thought of before. Sometimes a trip can make you realize things about yourself, whether it be good or bad, and it can change you. I think that Huxley is trying to convey to the audience that enlightenment is up to one’s self to achieve and that there isn’t one single way to achieve that. Of course, it doesn’t have to come to death or drugs to reach it. It can come whenever; the light is in ourselves. One needs to become vulnerable and allow one’s self to see one’s light.
Source: “Reaching the Light.” By Rebel28 on DeviantArt. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.