Brave New World
How we cite our quotes:
"Partly on his interest being focused on what he calls 'the soul,' which he persists in regarding as an entity independent of the physical environment, whereas, as I tried to point out to him…" (11.34)
While John's various spiritual sources differ in dogma or finer points, they can all agree on this: the existence of some immortal aspect of man. This is why John never wavers in his belief that self-denial is necessary; his concern is for the soul instead of the body.
A click; the room was darkened; and suddenly, on the screen above the Master's head, there were the Penitentes of Acoma prostrating themselves before Our Lady, and wailing as John had heard them wail, confessing their sins before Jesus on the Cross, before the eagle image of Pookong. The young Etonians fairly shouted with laughter. Still wailing, the Penitentes rose to their feet, stripped off their upper garments and, with knotted whips, began to beat themselves, blow after blow. Redoubled, the laughter drowned even the amplified record of their groans.
"But why do they laugh?" asked the Savage in a pained bewilderment.
"Why?" The Provost turned towards him a still broadly grinning face. "Why? But because it's so extraordinarily funny." (11.54-6)
We argue in John's Character Analysis that he's basically like a spiritual sponge. This is a great example; he sees the Penitentes abusing themselves in the name of God, so he does the same thing to himself at the end of the novel.
"My young friend," said the Arch-Community-Songster in a tone of loud and solemn severity; there was a general silence. "Let me give you a word of advice." He wagged his finger at Bernard. "Before it's too late. A word of good advice." (His voice became sepulchral.) "Mend your ways, my young friend, mend your ways." He made the sign of the T over him and turned away. "Lenina, my dear," he called in another tone. "Come with me." (12.34)
We were excited to point out that the Arch-Community-Songster is like a religious figurehead – like a Cardinal, perhaps…until Huxley pointed it out himself in Chapter Seventeen. Still, now you know.