Meet the family leading the psychedelic revolution

Rexa Vella

Meet the family leading the psychedelic revolution

One of the most interesting questions to have come out of the psychedelic renaissance is about the nature of consciousness itself — who and what our thoughts actually are. It’s the question that Feilding has been asking, she tells me, since her earliest childhood at Beckley Park. Her father, who she “adored completely” and describes as a “violent tempered, very eccentric individual, charming and mercurial”, was a painter who never made any money. “It was a funny upbringing, very cultured, very educated. My father’s parents were bosom friends of William and Henry James. Aldous Huxley actually came here, when he was a student, and sat talking with my grandmother all night.” The author and philosopher — who wrote the dystopian classic Brave New World, to which our podcast owes its title — based his first novel, Crome Yellow, at Beckley. “So they were kind of intellectual, but we never had money for heating or hot water or any of those normal luxuries. My father adored beauty, so any money he could lay his hands on, he’d buy beautiful things.” A passion for Buddhism began during that spartan childhood, she explains, and at 16 became the reason that she decided to leave school with £25 to her name and travel to Sri Lanka to find her godfather, Bertie Moore, who was living as a Buddhist monk. “I never did find him,” she says. “Although I got as far as Syria and lived with Bedouin chieftains for a while.”

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