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The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley
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The Doors of Perception (1954)

by Aldous Huxley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8311216,298 (3.65)28
  1. 00
    Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (kaityjames)
    kaityjames: Huxley views art as a pale imitation of objects as they ARE; Sartre finds existence disgusting and obscene, and art as a beautiful form above and beyond reality. Definitely compatible if you can dig Sartre's dark, existential language.
  2. 00
    Miserable Miracle: Mescaline by Henri Michaux (chmod007)
    chmod007: While Huxley’s experiences with mescaline were mostly blissful, the substance revealed in his French contemporary Michaux a much darker mindscape. Read together, The Doors of Perception and Miserable miracle give the reader perspective on the tremendous transformative power of mescaline.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
“The effective object of worship is the bottle and the sole religious experience is that state of uninhibited and belligerent euphoria which follows the ingestion of the third cocktail.”

To put it bluntly, The Doors of Perception is a first-hand account of Brave New World author Aldous Huxley's documented experience of tripping balls on mescaline. I've always found it telling how high schools (at least in the eighties and nineties when I attended) would eagerly lead students through an anti-drug perspective of Brave New world without bothering to mention Huxley's later experimentation and promotion of hallucinogenics as positive tool towards psychological and philosophical growth.

The Doors of Perception is probably one of the most scholarly and grounded first-hand accounts of a hallucinogenic journey you'll ever read, as Huxley takes periodic breaks to expound upon drugs (not all, mind you) as a tool to aid in understanding the perceptions of those suffering from metal illnesses and seeing how the "genius" sees the world, as well as the religious connotations in and human necessity towards chemically aided transcendence.

Huxley would later experiment with LSD and continue to support the clinical and societal benefits of hallucinogenics, and would receive injections of LSD on his deathbed at his request. This book is an a must read for anyone interested in the scholarly pursuit of better living through chemistry, or the history of the modern approach and examination of such drugs. ( )
  smichaelwilson | Jan 18, 2019 |
About drugs (2 books in 1)
1 vote | stevholt | Nov 19, 2017 |
Aldous Huxley, uno de los intelectuales más osados de nuestro tiempo, recoge en este libro dos artículos acerca de las drogas alucinógenas y su influencia en diversas manifestaciones artísticas, de la pintura a la literatura. A través de la documentación disponible en los años cincuenta y del testimonio de médicos y científicos que habían experimentado con las drogas, Huxley relata la historia del peyote, su consideración social en las viejas culturas americanas y narra sus propias experiencias con alucinógenos. Una obra fundamental en el debate sobre las drogas.
  ckepfer | May 20, 2017 |
And... I'm done with this author. His non-fiction is less interesting than is fiction. Who would have thought that a book about one's personal experience with drug use could be so boring? I can't believe that members of The Doors found this drivel so intriguing that they would use part of the book title for the name of the band. What a serious time waster! ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
Absolutely profound. The most intellectual and yet simultaneously immanent account of altered perception I've ever read. The first piece of gonzo journalism. He captures the way empathy and love are the means through which we conduct our doomed quest to assuage the inescapable solitude of life. The revival of Bergson that forms the backbone of this piece insists on an understanding of the mind that, if accepted, is transformative, bursting with the potential for new ways of life, and disturbing. I find his meditations on art reassuring; perhaps my philistine disinclination towards art and preference for the art of being itself is not so philistine after all. ( )
  brleach | Jan 26, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything will appear to mas as it is, infinite.

--William Blake
Dedication
For M
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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 ecstacies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude.
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.
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Contains ONLY "The Doors of Perception". Please don't combine with editions also containing "Heaven and Hell".
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060801719, Paperback)

The bare book itself without all the pompous commentary usually found "explaining" Aldous Huxley's use of mind expanding drugs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:06 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The doors of perception and its sequel Heaven and hell, this joint volume has a foreword by J.G. Ballard.

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