To understand what is good for civilization one must know what is bad for it. To seek out what is good or bad, one must be able to do so without the fear of reprisal. One must also understand what one finds not just that it is good or bad. Knowledge leads to improvement but it also leads to chaos, for it changes what is known.
To understand what is light you must know what darkness is and to understand what darkness is you must know what is light. You require a point of reference or a comparison to be able to create a relationship between two or more things. To know what will cause harm requires the knowledge of what that harm is and how it is achieved. To treat a bullet wound one must understand the idea behind the bullet and how it is used. Once you understand the purpose of the bullet and what it is meant to achieve you can then start to come up with ways of preventing it and treating it. In the case of the bullet its purpose is to inflict bodily harm that will either lead to immediate or slow death. This is done by destroying human tissue, bones and organs along its root in the body. Therefore it is necessary to remove the bullet fragments, stop the bleeding and administer antibiotics and then closed the wound to prevent further damage. Therefore, one must know how harm is inflicted to be able to mend it. It is by this example that Mustapha Mond collected, read and understood many old world texts (207-208,). John didn’t understand the value of Shakespeare and his experiences in life until he came into conflict with the new World. He was not amazed by it, he didn’t believe that it better than his own (146,148-149) and later was horrified by it (176-179, 183-184, 191-193, 216). He said he was poisoned by civilization (216), showing that he saw it as a negative VS the wonder that all other view it as. John wanted to be free to do as he pleased with his life, to suffer, to feel joy, to have something precious, conflict and a higher meaning tying it all together(214-215). Mustapha Mond was able to understand and add to John’s ideas with his own (208-215). That is what separates John and Mond from the rest of the people, their understanding of things beyond what society sees as ideal, standard, savage and to be forgotten. They are capable of higher though and have meaningful conversations in many topics VS the babble of all the clones, of all the mindless conversations about what people plan to do after work or on their breaks and other things that are mundane. And all this was made possible by both of them reading material that the society believed was better to be destroyed or forgotten. It is knowledge that was able to bring savage and the controller to the same field of thought.
The meeting of the minds of John and the Controller was able to take place due to the fact that both of them were immune to outside forces while seeking knowledge. John was free to read whatever he wanted for no one would stop him on the savage reserve. And he also was an outcast which led him to solitary, giving him plenty of time to read and learn (121-122). The Controller being one of the most power figures in the society was able to seek out knowledge from the old world with nearly no risk of questioning of his actions by others. Also, unlike Bernard, Helmholtz and John, the Controller didn’t seek to distribute or discuss what he learned and how they changed his believes if they ever did with the rest of the world. He, in fact, did his best to hide of the old world artifacts that he uncovered (207-208), and only gave small hints at what the old world was in order to further the new teachings (40-62). All the knowledge he had was used subversively to remove the old ways and anything linked to them. This would not be possible if he didn’t understand the core concept of the past and be able to seek them out.
The Controller had great grasp of a world that no longer exists. He knew all the works cited by John and was able to recall relative material that coincided with that work (197-199) (207-211). This allowed him to create counter points to John’s statements on behalf of current views, while agreeing with his own (199-203). The Controller has more academic perspective on old world literature, while John’s is more focused on his internal resonance with the work. However, this is enough to be able to transmit ideas back and forth between them with both understanding the other’s argument. They both agree that the older works of literature and plays were great, that they had a spark of life in them (197-199). However, that spark of life is an old one. One that the current world is lacking. The new world lacks what the old had, and that is the ability to be free and alive (197-199). The current world only understands what it wishes to in order to remain happy and in control. The old world had conflict, but that conflict created uniqueness. Much like John’s case, he is an outcast in the world of the savages which led to many altercations with them. But these events shaped his psyche and view of the world (120-128). No one else would have the exact same one as him or even come close to understanding it. The same way you cannot understand fire by just looking at it. To understand it you need to feel the heat that it produces, see how the wind plays with it, and how it destroys anything it touches. On the other hand fire gives light. It removes dangers. It can be used as a weapon and it can be seen. But one cannot see the mind of another person, you can understand the ideas that they are telling you but not fully grasp where they come from. Two people can share the same idea but have two completely different reasons why and how they came to it. It is also important to understand why good is done and why bed is done as well as how. From whose eyes do you judge? From the majority, the dumb masses or the few wise man who see the world completely different. How do you look at the world? And where do you want to lead it? In the case with the Controller, his duty is not to lead the world but to maintain what has already been done (207-215).
Few people within any organization have the clairvoyance to see the organization in a different light, it is often the view from outside that gives the best insight on what the organization truly is. However, something seen as evil by outsiders and agreed upon to be evil by those within will not change for it is not meant to be good in the sense that it is perceived as. There is a meaning as to why it is evil. For the meaning of it is hidden while remaining good. It takes understanding to formulate a valid reason why something that is evil can be good. It is knowledge, for knowledge can lead to greatness or downfall.