Friday, December 14, 2007

Laura Archera Huxley passes on at age 96

The author and widow of Aldous Huxley has died in Los Angeles, according to family friends. She was 96. She was born in Italy and became a top violinist at a young age. Her friends pick up the story in an obituary they prepared:

"In 1948 Laura met Aldous Huxley and then wife, Maria and a wonderful friendship blossomed. In 1956, a year after Maria’s death, Aldous and Laura were married. During that time Aldous wrote Island and Laura wrote You Are Not The Target, which became national bestsellers and huge successes. The “recipes for living and loving” contained in Laura’s fabulous self-help book ask you to imagine attending your own funeral, visualize your favourite flower, jump in another person’s position, dance naked with music In later years she also wrote Let’s Die Healthy, available online for free.

The Huxleys became prominent representatives of the Psychedelic Movement, always advocating the use of psychedelics in a controlled environment and for personal enrichment and always warning against the dangers of the mindless and indiscriminate use of drugs.

Aldous Huxley died on November 22, 1963. Laura wrote about their life together, and Aldous’s death, in the her touching book This Timeless Moment. A favourite quote of Aldous’ words is: “One never loves enough.”

In 1978 she started OUI (Our Ultimate Investment), later to become COUI – Children: Our Ultimate Investment. This Foundation is dedicated to the best development of the “possible human” from before conception to the first years of life, with particular attention given to unwanted teenage pregnancy.

"A succession of explorations and discoveries – that is what my life has been,” says Laura Huxley, whose life continues to be a series of investigations uncovering answers for her ceaseless questions about the nature and quality of life. Laura Huxley has indeed undergone a series of discoveries throughout the course of her life. From the age of ten, she lived and moved in the universe of the violin, going from her native Turin, Italy, to study with the masters in Berlin, Paris and Rome, where she earned a Professor of Music degree. She made her teenage debut at Carnegie Hall, continuing her music education at the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia. At this point, Laura decided she knew little of life other than that of the concert violinist. After a long and painful deliberation, she put her Guarneri into its case and set out to discover wider horizons.

Seeking other means of creativity and development, in the following years Laura produced documentary films, played in a major Symphony Orchestra, was assistant film editor at RKO and intensely studied health, nutrition and psychology. She worked as a psychological counselor, a lecturer, and a seminarist in the human potential movement.

In 1956 she married the writer and philosopher, Aldous Huxley, and together they explored ways of opening the mind to new levels of consciousness. After his death in 1963, Laura wrote THIS TIMELESS MOMENT, a book describing her life with her husband.

The ever present common denominator that impressed her were the problems in human relations and the vast amount of avoidable unhappiness with which people are affected. The response to this challenge were her books: YOU ARE NOT THE TARGET, BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH, ONEADAY REASON TO BE HAPPY, and THE CHILD OF YOUR DREAMS which she co-authored with Piero Ferrucci. An even more complete reflection of her innovative thought was the founding in 1977 of Our Ultimate Investment (OUI), a non-profit organization dedicated to the nurturing of the possible human. “The predicament of the human situation,” she days, “begins not only in infancy, not only before birth, but also in the physical, psychological and spiritual preparation of the parents before conception.”

April 1994 in Los Angeles: Laura’s Foundation sponsored the highly successful four day Conference entitled, CHILDREN: OUR ULTIMATE INVESTMENT. This event honoring the centenary of the birth of Aldous Huxley addressed the issues of children's conditions in our present society.

Laura continues to fulfill her role as grandmother to her adopted child, Karen and Karen's daughter, Kaya, and has received widespread recognition for her humanistic achievements. Some of these include an Honorary doctor of Human Services from Sierra University, Honoree of the United Nations, Fellow of the International Academy of Medical Preventics, and Honoree of the World Health Foundation for Development and Peace, from which she received the Peace Prize in 1990.

In December 2003, the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health honored Laura Huxley with the Thomas R. Verny award. Laura was the 6th recipient of the Verny award, chosen for outstanding contributions to the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology both as an author and as the founder of Children: Our Ultimate Investment, which serves children in several communities through Project Caress and Teens & Toddlers.

Laura Archera Huxley

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