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Aldous Huxley (Writer)

The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.
Aldous Huxley people
At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice, and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.
Aldous Huxley man
Words are good servants but bad masters.
Aldous Huxley good
It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than "Try to be a little kinder."
Aldous Huxley life
The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior "righteous indignation" — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.
Aldous Huxley science
The proper study of mankind is books.
Aldous Huxley books
I'm afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery.
Aldous Huxley sin
What the cinema can do better than literature or the spoken drama is to be fantastic.
Aldous Huxley literature
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Aldous Huxley facts
There are many kinds of gods. Therefore there are many kinds of men.
Aldous Huxley god
To talk about religion except in terms of human psychology is an irrelevance.
Aldous Huxley religion
Jehovah, Allah, the Trinity, Jesus, Buddha, are names for a great variety of human virtues, human mystical experiences human remorses, human compensatory fantasies, human terrors, human cruelties. If all men were alike, all the world would worship the same God.
Aldous Huxley men
Out psychological experiences are all equally facts.
Aldous Huxley experience
From the internal reality, by which I means the totality of psychological experiences, it [science] actually separates us. Art, for example, deals with many more aspects of this internal reality than does science, which confines itself deliberately and by convention to the study of one very limited class of experiences—the experiences of sense.
Aldous Huxley science
To the gross senses the chair seems solid and substantial. But the gross senses and be refined by means of instruments. Closer observations are made, as the result of which we are forced to conclude that the chair is “really” a swarm of electric charges whizzing about in empty space. ... While the substantial chair is an abstraction easily made from the from the memories of innumerable sensations of sight and touch, the electric charge chair is a difficult and far-fetched abstraction from certain visual sensations so excessively rare (they can only come to us in the course of elaborate experiments) that not one man in a million has ever been in the position to make it for himself. The overwhelming majority of us accept the electric-charge chair on authority, as good Catholics accept transubstantiation.
Aldous Huxley war
It is because we are predominantly purposeful beings that we are perpetually correcting our immediate sensations. But men are free not to be utilitarianly purposeful. They can sometime be artists, for example. In which case they may like to accept the immediate sensation uncorrected, because it happens to be beautiful.
Aldous Huxley time
One right-thinking man thinks like all other right-thinking men of his time—that is to say, in most cases, like some wrong-thinking man of another time.
Aldous Huxley time
Why did it occur to anyone to believe in only one God? And conversely why did it ever occur to anyone to believe in many gods? To both these questions we must return the same answer: Because that is how the human mind happens to work. For the human mind is both diverse and simple, simultaneously many and one. We have an immediate perception of our own diversity and of that of the outside world. And at the same time we have immediate perceptions of our own oneness.
Aldous Huxley god
There has been a general trend in recent times toward a Unitarian mythology and the worship of one God. This is the tendency which it is customary to regard as spiritual progress. On what grounds? Chiefly, so far as one can see, because we in the Twentieth Century West are officially the worshippers of a single divinity. A movement whose consummation is Us must be progressive. Quod erat demonstrandum.
Aldous Huxley war
If good music has charms to soothe the savage breast, bad music has no less powerful spells for filling the mildest breast with rage, the happiest with horror and disgust. Oh, those mammy songs, those love longings, those loud hilarities! How was it possible that human emotions intrinsically decent could be so ignobly parodied.
Aldous Huxley love
In the old dramas it was love that had to be sacrificed to painful duty. In the modern instance the sacrifice is at the shrine of what William James called “the Bitch Goddess, Success.” Love is to be abandoned for the stern pursuit of newspaper notoriety and dollars.
Aldous Huxley love
The film concludes with ... the most nauseatingly luscious, the most penetratingly vulgar mammy song that it has ever been my lot to hear. My flesh crept as the loud speaker poured out those sodden words, the greasy, sagging melody. I felt ashamed of myself for listening to such things, for even being a member of the species to which such things are addressed.
Aldous Huxley words
To aspire to be superhuman is a most discreditable admission that you lack the guts, the wit, the moderating judgment to be successfully and consummately human.
Aldous Huxley success
After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
Aldous Huxley music
For in spite of language, in spite of intelligence and intuition and sympathy, one can never really communicate anything to anybody.
Aldous Huxley intelligence
I met, not long ago, a young man who aspired to become a novelist. Knowing that I was in the profession, he asked me to tell him how he should set to work to realize his ambition. I did my best to explain. 'The first thing,' I said, 'is to buy quite a lot of paper, a bottle of ink, and a pen. After that you merely have to write.'
Aldous Huxley work
Speed, it seems to me, provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.
Aldous Huxley pleasure
If we could sniff or swallow something that would, for five or six hours each day, abolish our solitude as individuals, atone us with our fellows in a glowing exaltation of affection and make life in all its aspects seem not only worth living, but divinely beautiful and significant, and if this heavenly, world-transfiguring drug were of such a kind that we could wake up next morning with a clear head and an undamaged constitution-then, it seems to me, all our problems (and not merely the one small problem of discovering a novel pleasure) would be wholly solved and earth would become paradise.
Aldous Huxley life
Experience teaches only the teachable…
Aldous Huxley tea
Half of the human race lives in manifest obedience to the lunar rhythm; and there is evidence to show that the psychological and therefore the spiritual life, not only of women, but of men too, mysteriously ebbs and flows with the changes of the moon. There are unreasoned joys, inexplicable miseries, laughters and remorses without a cause. Their sudden and fantastic alternations constitute the ordinary weather of our minds. These moods, of which the more gravely numinous may be hypostasized as gods, the lighter, if we will, as hobgoblins and fairies, are the children of the blood and humours. But the blood and humours obey, among many other masters, the changing moon. Touching the soul directly through the eyes and, indirectly, along the dark channels of the blood, the moon is doubly a divinity.
Aldous Huxley life
These are a few quotes from the novel; for more quotes from this work see(1932)
Aldous Huxley quotes
Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrong-doing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.
Aldous Huxley time
Unless we choose to decentralize and to use applied science, not as the end to which human beings are to be made the means, but as the means to producing a race of free individuals, we have only two alternatives to choose from: either a number of national, militarized totalitarianisms, having as their root the terror of the atomic bomb and as their consequence the destruction of civilization (or, if the warfare is limited, the perpetuation of militarism); or else one supra-national totalitarianism, called into existence by the social chaos resulting from rapid technological progress in general and the atomic revolution in particular, and developing, under the need for efficiency and stability, into the welfare-tyranny of Utopia. You pays your money and you takes your choice.
Aldous Huxley science
Of course some sort of general idea they must have, if they were to do their work intelligently — though as little of one as possible. For particulars, as every one knows, make for virtue and happiness; generalities are intellectually necessary evils. Not philosophers but fretsawyers and stamp collectors compose the backbone of society.
Aldous Huxley happiness
Sleep teaching was actually prohibited in England. There was something called liberalism. Parliament, if you know what that was, passed a law against it. The records survive. Speeches about liberty of the subject. Liberty to be inefficient and miserable. Freedom to be a round peg in a square hole.
Aldous Huxley men
You can't consume much if you sit still and read books.
Aldous Huxley books
The greater a man's talents, the greater his power to lead astray. It is better that one should suffer than that many be corrupted.
Aldous Huxley power
Well, I'd rather be unhappy than have the sort of false, lying happiness you were having here.
Aldous Huxley happiness
The optimum population is modeled on the iceberg — eight ninths below the water line, one ninth above.
Aldous Huxley water
Huxley's introduction to(1944) as translated byand
Aldous Huxley ya
In regard to man’s final end, all the higher religions are in complete agreement. The purpose of human life is the discovery of Truth, the unitive knowledge of the .
Aldous Huxley life
Forms of worship and spiritual discipline which may be valuable for one individual maybe useless or even positively harmful for another belonging to a different class and standing, within that class, at a lower or higher level of development.
Aldous Huxley spiritual
The original scriptures of most religions are poetical and unsystematic. Theology, which generally takes the form of a reasoned commentary on the parables and aphorisms of the scriptures, tends to make its appearance at a later stage of religious history. Theoccupies an intermediate position between scripture and theology; for it combines the poetical qualities of the first with the clear-cut methodicalness of the second... one of the clearest and most comprehensive summaries of the Perennial Philosophy ever to have been made. Hence its enduring value, not only for Indians, but for all mankind.
Aldous Huxley religion
has even left a diagrammatic picture of the relations subsisting between Godhead, triune God and creatures. In this very curious and interesting drawing a chain of manifestation connects the mysterious symbol of the Divine Ground with the three Persons of the Trinity, and the Trinity in turn is connected in a descending scale with angels and human beings. These last, as the drawing vividly shows, may make one of two choices. They can either live the life of the outer man, the life of the separative selfhood; in which case they are lost (for, in the words of the , “nothing burns in hell but the self”). Or else they can identify themselves with the inner man, in which case it becomes possible for them, as Suso shows, to ascend again, through unitive knowledge, to the Trinity and even, beyond the Trinity, to the ultimate Unity of the Divine Ground.
Aldous Huxley life
The second doctrine of the Perennial Philosophy — that it is possible to know the Divine Ground by a direct intuition higher than discursive reasoning — is to be found in all the great religions of the world. A philosopher who is content merely to know about the ultimate Reality — theoretically and by hearsay — is compared byto a herdsman of other men’s cows.uses an even homelier barnyard metaphor. For him the philosopher who has not realized his metaphysics is just an ass bearing a load of books. Christian, Hindu, Taoist teachers wrote no less emphatically about the absurd pretensions of mere learning and analytic reasoning.
Aldous Huxley religion
The unitive knowledge of the Divine Ground has, as its necessary condition, self-abnegation and charity. Only by means of self-abnegation and charity can we clear away the evil, folly and ignorance which constitute the thing we call our personality and prevent us from becoming aware of the spark of divinity illuminating the inner man.
Aldous Huxley knowledge
In regard to man’s final end, all the higher religions are in complete agreement. The purpose of human life is the discovery of Truth, the unitive knowledge of the . The degree to which this unitive knowledge is achieved here on earth determines the degree to which it will be enjoyed in the posthumous state. Contemplation of truth is the end, action the means.
Aldous Huxley life
Many Catholic mystics have affirmed that, at a certain stage of that contemplative prayer in which, according to the most authoritative theologians, the life of Christian perfection ultimately consists, it is necessary to put aside all thought of the Incarnation as distracting from the higher knowledge of that which has been incarnated. From this fact have arisen misunderstandings in plenty and a number of intellectual difficulties.
Aldous Huxley life
Human beings are not born identical. There are many different temperaments and constitutions; and within each psycho-physical class one can find people at very different stages of spiritual development. Forms of worship and spiritual discipline which may be valuable for one individual maybe useless or even positively harmful for another belonging to a different class and standing, within that class, at a lower or higher level of development.
Aldous Huxley people
The Bhagavad-Gita is perhaps the most systematic scriptural statement of the Perennial Philosophy. To a world at war, a world that, because it lacks the intellectual and spiritual prerequisites to peace, can only hope to patch up some kind of precarious armed truce, it stands pointing, clearly and unmistakably, to the only road of escape from the self-imposed necessity of self-destruction.
Aldous Huxley hope
The title of this work derives from a statement by : "If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite", and inspired the name of the musical group .
Aldous Huxley music
To be shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception, to be shown for a few timeless hours the outer and inner world, not as they appear to an animal obsessed with survival or to a human being obsessed with words and notions, but as they are apprehended, directly and unconditionally, by— this is an experience of inestimable value to everyone and especially to the intellectual.
Aldous Huxley time
Art, I suppose, is only for beginners, or else for those resolute dead-enders, who have made up their minds to be content with the ersatz of Suchness, with symbols rather than with what they signify, with the elegantly composed recipe in lieu of actual dinner.
Aldous Huxley mind
To see ourselves as others see us is a most salutary gift. Hardly less important is the capacity to see others as they see themselves.
Aldous Huxley gift
We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies — all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.
Aldous Huxley love
The really important facts were that spatial relationships had ceased to matter very much and that my mind was perceiving the world in terms of other than spatial categories. At ordinary times the eye concerns itself with such problems as where? — how far? — how situated in relation to what? In the mescaline experience the implied questions to which the eye responds are of another order. Place and distance cease to be of much interest. The mind does its perceiving in terms of intensity of existence, profundity of significance, relationships within a pattern."
Aldous Huxley relationships
And suddenly I had an inkling of what it must feel like to be mad.
Aldous Huxley
"Is it agreeable?" somebody asked.
Aldous Huxley body
I strongly suspect that most of the great knowers of Suchness paid very little attention to art.... (To a person whose transfigured and transfiguring mind can see the All in every this, the first-rateness or tenth-rateness of even a religious painting will be a matter of the most sovereign indifference.) Art, I suppose, is only for beginners, or else for those resolute dead-enders, who have made up their minds to be content with the ersatz of Suchness, with symbols rather than with what they signify, with the elegantly composed recipe in lieu of actual dinner.
Aldous Huxley art
The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend.
Aldous Huxley words
In the days before machinery men and women who wanted to amuse themselves were compelled, in their humble way, to be artists. Now they sit still and permit professionals to entertain them by the aid of machinery. It is difficult to believe that general artistic culture can flourish in this atmosphere of passivity.
Aldous Huxley women
All that the conscious ego can do is to formulate wishes, which are then carried out by forces which it controls very little and understands not at all.
Aldous Huxley ego
I was looking at my furniture, not as the utilitarian who has to sit on chairs, to write at desks and tables, and not as the cameraman or scientific recorder, but as the pure aesthete whose concern is only with forms and their relationships within the field of vision or the picture space. But as I looked, this purely aesthetic, Cubist's-eye view gave place to what I can only describe as the sacramental vision of reality. I was back where I had been when I was looking at the flowers—back in a world where everything shone with the Inner Light, and was infinite in its significance.
Aldous Huxley relationships
These effects of mescalin are the sort of effects you could expect to follow the administration of a drug having the power to impair the efficiency of the cerebral reducing valve. When the brain runs out of sugar, the undernourished ego grows weak, can't be bothered to undertake the necessary chores, and loses all interest in those spatial and temporal relationships which mean so much to an organism bent on getting on in the world. As Mind at Large seeps past the no longer watertight valve, all kinds of biologically useless things start to happen. ... Other persons discover a world of visionary beauty. To others again is revealed the glory, the infinite value and meaningfulness of naked existence, of the given, unconceptualized event.
Aldous Huxley relationships
How significant is the enormous heightening, under mescalin, of the perception of color! ... Man's highly developed color sense is a biological luxury—inestimably precious to him as an intellectual and spiritual being, but unnecessary to his survival as an animal. ... Mescalin raises all colors to a higher power and makes the percipient aware of innumerable fine shades of difference, to which, at ordinary times, he is completely blind. It would seem that, for Mind at Large, the so-called secondary characters of things are primary.
Aldous Huxley war
All page numbers from the mass market paperback published in the Perennial Library by Harper & Row (1965)
Aldous Huxley age
The soul of wit may become the very body of untruth.
Aldous Huxley truth
The nature of power is such that even those who have not sought it, but have had it forced upon them, tend to acquire a taste for more.
Aldous Huxley nature
Liberty, as we all know, cannot flourish in a country that is permanently on a war footing, or even a near war footing. Permanent crisis justifies permanent control of everybody and everything by the agencies of central government.
Aldous Huxley war
Democracy can hardly be expected to flourish in societies where political and economic power is being progressively concentrated and centralized. But the progress of technology has led and is still leading to just such a concentration and centralization of power.
Aldous Huxley power
Never have so many been manipulated so much by so few.
Aldous Huxley man
Societies are composed of individuals and are good only insofar as they help individuals to realize their potentialities and to lead a happy and creative life.
Aldous Huxley life
In the course of evolution nature has gone to endless trouble to see that every individual is unlike every other individual....Physically and mentally, each one of us is unique. Any culture which, in the interests of efficiency or in the name of some political or religious dogma, seeks to standardize the human individual, commits an outrage against man’s biological nature.
Aldous Huxley nature
It is in the social sphere, in the realm of politics and economics, that the Will to Order becomes really dangerous.
Aldous Huxley politics
However hard they try, men cannot create a social organism, they can only create an organization. In the process of trying to create an organism they will merely create a totalitarian despotism.
Aldous Huxley men
Propaganda in favor of action that is consonant with enlightened self-interest appeals to reason by means of logical arguments based upon the best available evidence fully and honestly set forth. Propaganda in favor of action dictated by the impulses that are below self-interest offers false, garbled or incomplete evidence, avoids logical argument and seeks to influence its victims by the mere repetition of catchwords, by the furious denunciation of foreign or domestic scapegoats, and by cunningly associating the lower passions with the highest ideals, so that atrocities come to be perpetrated in the name of God and the most cynical kind of Realpolitik is treated as a matter of religious principle and patriotic duty.
Aldous Huxley passion
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free,” said Jefferson, “it expects what never was and never will be.”
Aldous Huxley will
In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies—the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distraction.
Aldous Huxley men
Assembled in a crowd, people lose their powers of reasoning and their capacity for moral choice.
Aldous Huxley people
Unlike the masses, intellectuals have a taste for rationality and an interest in facts.
Aldous Huxley facts
The survival of democracy depends on the ability of large numbers of people to make realistic choices in the light of adequate information.
Aldous Huxley people
The indispensible is not necessarily the desirable.
Aldous Huxley
Most kings and priests have been despotic, and all religions have been riddled with superstition.
Aldous Huxley religion
The effectiveness of political and religious propaganda depends upon the methods employed, not upon the doctrines taught. These doctrines may be true or false, wholesome or pernicious—it makes little or no difference.
Aldous Huxley religious
An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling falsehood.
Aldous Huxley truth
Children are nowhere taught, in any systematic way, to distinguish true from false, or meaningful from meaningless, statements. Why is this so? Because their elders, even in the democratic countries, do not want them to be given this kind of education.
Aldous Huxley education
Who is going to educate the human race in the principles and practice of conservation?
Aldous Huxley man
In any race between human numbers and natural resources, time is against us.
Aldous Huxley time
It is a political axiom that power follows property.
Aldous Huxley power
At this point we find ourselves confronted by a very disquieting question: Do we really wish to act upon our knowledge?
Aldous Huxley knowledge
There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
Aldous Huxley self
Experience is not what happens to you; it's what you do with what happens to you.
Aldous Huxley you
The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which mean never losing your enthusiasm.
Aldous Huxley sin
There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
Aldous Huxley perception
My fate cannot be mastered; it can only be collaborated with and thereby, to some extent, directed. Nor am I the captain of my soul; I am only its noisiest passenger.
Aldous Huxley soul
An intellectual is a person who's found one thing that's more interesting than sex.
Aldous Huxley sex
Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead.
Aldous Huxley life
Beauty is worse than wine, it intoxicates both the holder and beholder.
Aldous Huxley win
To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.
Aldous Huxley man
The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency.
Aldous Huxley life

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