The Book of Aldous Huxley

Aldous_Huxley

(1894 – 1963)


Chastity, the most unnatural of all the sexual perversions.

Nothing – the only perfection, the only absolute. Infinite and eternal nothing.

A totally unmystical world would be a world totally blind and insane.

We are not our own masters. But everyone belongs to everyone else.

My fate cannot be mastered; it can only be collaborated with and thereby, and to some extent, directed. Nor am I the captain of my soul. I am only the noisiest passenger.

Life is short and information endless; nobody has time for everything…. [So] … never put off until tomorrow the fun you can have today.  

 

Reality never makes sense…. [But] … reality, however Utopian is something from which people feel the need to take frequent holidays…. [In fact] …Most of one’s life is one prolonged effort to prevent oneself thinking.  

Consistency is contrary to nature; contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead.

Our vanity makes us exaggerate the importance of human life; the individual is nothing; nature cares only for the species.

Given the nature of spiders, webs are inevitable, and given the nature of humans, so are religions. Spiders can’t help making flytraps and men can’t help making symbols. That’s what the human brain is there for – to turn the chaos of a given experience into a set of manageable symbols.

You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible foolishness of magic and religion. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent, but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Proverbs are only platitudes until you have personally experienced them.

That all men are created equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his consent.

Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you…. [But] … Experience teaches only the teachable. 

Men do not learn much from the lessons of history and that is the most important lesson of history.

Man approaches the unattainable truth through a succession of errors…. Two-thirds of all sorrow is homemade and, so far as the universe is concerned, unnecessary.

The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence.

If a man would travel far along the mystic road, he must learn to desire God intensely but in stillness, passively, and yet with all his heart and mind and strength.

The best way … [a man] … may seek to approach the ultimate That … [is] … from both within and without, so that he comes to realize God experientially  as at once the principle of his own thou and of all other thous, animate and inanimate.

In actual life a downward movement may sometimes be made the beginning of an ascent.

The more a man knows about himself in relation to every kind of experience, the greater his chance of suddenly, and one fine morning, realizing who in fact he really is.

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.

The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm … [for life].

The fact that we are not much sicker and madder than we are is due exclusively to that most blessed of all natural graces, sleep.

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that….There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that is yourself.  It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find that at the end one has no more to offer, by way of advice, than try to be a little kinder.

Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.

After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

As I peek into the future it doesn’t work.