Aldous Huxley Prediction

JFK, C.S. Lewis, and Aldous Huxley

"If the Doors of Perception were cleansed,

everything would appear to man as it is, infinite."

William Blake

"Whenever the Secrets of Perception are taught

his lips are sewn against speaking of the Consciousness."


Human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Words form the thread on which we string our experiences.

The most valuable result of conditioning is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.

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

By simply not mentioning certain subjects propagandists influence opinion more effectively than they could have by eloquent denunciations.

In the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people adore their servitude, producing dictatorship without tears, producing a category of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will have their freedom taken away from them but will rather enjoy it.

Aldous Leonard Huxley, Prophecies

1897 Mescaline alkaloid extracted by Arthur Heffter.

1918 Mescaline first synthesized in by Ernst Späth.

"The unfortunate one is he who averts his head from this door.

For he will not find another one." - Saadi of Shiraz

Mescalin has a position among drugs of unique distinction.

Administered in suitable doses it changes the quality of consciousness more profoundly and yet is less toxic than any other substance.

The philosopher takes mescalin for the light it throws on ancient, unsolved riddles such as the place of mind in nature and the relationship between brain and consciousness.

The chemical composition of mescalin and adrenalin is similar.

Further research reveals lysergic acid, an extremely potent hallucinogen derived from ergot, has a structural biochemical relationship to the others.

Then came the discovery that adrenochrome, a product of decomposition of adrenalin (C9H9NO3 produced by the oxidation of adrenaline), can produce the symptoms observed in mescalin intoxication.

Adrenochrome occurs spontaneously in the human body.

Each one of us is capable of manufacturing this chemical, minute doses of which are known to cause profound changes in consciousness.

Aquarius - Let The Sunshine In

One bright May morning, I swallowed four-tenths of a gram of mescalin dissolved in half a glass of water and sat down to wait for the results.

We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves.

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 experience itself.

The mental places inhabited by the insane and the exceptionally gifted are different from the places where ordinary men and women live.

There is no common ground of memory to serve as a basis for connection.

Words uttered fail to enlighten.

The symbols refer to mutually exclusive realms of experience.

The change which actually took place was in no way revolutionary.

After swallowing mescalin I became aware of a slow dance of golden lights.

A little later there were sumptuous red surfaces swelling and expanding from bright nodes of energy that vibrated with a changing, patterned life.

There is an inside to experience as well as an outside, out of sight.

The reality to which mescalin admitted me was not the reality of visions.

Reality existed out there, in what I could see with my eyes open.

I took the mescalin at eleven.

A little later, I was sitting in my study, looking intently at a small glass vase.

The vase contained only three flowers - a full-blown Belie of Portugal rose, shell pink with a hint at every petal's base of a hotter, flamier hue; a large magenta and cream-colored carnation; and, pale purple at the end of its broken stalk, the bold heraldic blossom of an iris.

Fortuitous and provisional, the nosegay broke rules of traditional good taste.

At breakfast I had been struck by the lively dissonance of its colors.

But that was now no longer the point.

I was not looking at an unusual flower arrangement.

I was seeing what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation, the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence.

Istigkeit - wasn't that the word Meister Eckhart liked to use? "Is-ness."

Eternal life is transience, simultaneous perishing and recreation .

Unique particulars in which, by some unspeakable and yet self-evident paradox, is to be seen the divine source of all existence.

The important fact was that spatial relationships ceased to matter.

My mind was perceiving reality in other than spatial categories.

The mind perceives in terms of intensity of existence, profundity of significance, relationships within a pattern, being and meaning.

My actual experience was of an indefinite duration or alternatively of a perpetual present made up of one continually changing apocalypse.

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.

But as I looked, this purely aesthetic, Cubist's eye view gave place to what I can only describe as a sacramental vision of reality.

The suggestion is that the function of the brain, nervous system and sense organs is in the main eliminative and not productive.

Each individual is capable of remembering all that has happened to him.

The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant information, by shutting out most of what we sense at any moment, leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be useful.

What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of a category of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of the Earth.

To formulate and express the contents of this reduced awareness, man has invented and endlessly elaborated symbol systems and implicit philosophies.

Every individual is the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition.

Language gives access to the accumulated records of people's experiences.

A victim in so far as it confirms in him the belief that reduced awareness is the only awareness and as it bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things in reality.

That which, in the language of religion, is called "this reality" is the universe of reduced awareness, expressed, and, as it were, petrified by language.

Most humans, most of the time, know only what comes through reduced awareness consecrated as genuine reality by the local culture.

Some individuals have a bypass that circumvents the reduction of awareness.

In others temporary bypasses may be acquired spontaneously, as the result of deliberate "spiritual exercises" or by means of entheogens.

Through these temporary bypasses awareness of more than the carefully selected utilitarian material individual minds regard as an image of reality.

mascalin is an entheogen

What happens to those who have taken mescalin can be summarized as follows:

(1) The ability to remember and to "think straight" is little if at all reduced.

Listening to the recordings of my conversation under the influence I cannot discover that I was then any stupider than I am at ordinary times.

(2) Visual impressions are greatly intensified as the eye recovers some of the perceptual innocence of childhood, when the sensum was not immediately and automatically subordinated to the concept.

Interest in space is diminished and interest in time falls almost to zero.

(3) Though the intellect remains unimpaired and though perceptual coherence is enormously improved, the will suffers a profound change.

The mescalin taker sees no reason for doing anything in particular for the good reason that he has better things to think about.

(4) These better things may be experienced (as I experienced them) "out there," or "in here," the inner and the outer, simultaneously or successively.

That they are better seems to be self-evident to all mescalin takers who come to the drug with a sound liver and an untroubled mind.

i woke up

Some people discover a reality of visionary beauty.

To others is revealed the glory, the infinite value and meaningfulness of naked existence, of the given, unconceptualized event, of simply being.

In the final stage of egolessness there is knowledge all is one and one is all.

This is as near as a finite mind can ever come to perceiving the universe.

Mescalin raises all colors to a higher power and makes the percipient aware of innumerable fine shades, to which, ordinarily, she is completely blind.

A priceless gift of a new direct insight into the very nature of things.

Sources of true knowledge about the nature of things abound.

True knowledge prepares the mind to accept immediate insights.

However expressive, symbols can never be the things they stand for.

For the moment, mescalin had delivered me from "the world of selves, of time, of moral judgements and utilitarian considerations, of self-assertion, of cocksureness, of overvalued words and idolatrously worshiped notions.

Nearly all overact the part of our favorite character in fiction.

Mescalin can present the reality, apocalyptically, for those to whom it had never before presented itself through mystical dissociation in any other way.

When we feel ourselves to be a part of the universe, when "the sea flows in our veins ... and the stars are our jewels," when all things are perceived as infinite and holy, what motive can we have for covetousness or self-assertion, for the pursuit of power or the drearier forms of pleasure?

As a rule the mescalin taker discovers an inner world as manifest as reality, as self-evidently "infinite and holy," as the transfigured outer world.

Most visualizers are transformed by mescalin into visionaires.

Some of them, and they are perhaps more numerous than is generally supposed, require no transformation; they are visionaires all the time.

Visionaires belong to an archetypal reality, the raw materials of myth.

Visionaires retreat from rational consciousness into mythical consciousness.

Mythical consciousness balances worldview by obscuring rational fragments.

My body seemed to have dissociated itself almost completely from my mind.

Even though I no longer had an awareness of my body with only a second of hesitation I found myself able open the French window and walk through.

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It was odd, of course, to feel that "I" was not the same as these arms and legs "out there," as this wholly objective trunk and neck and even head.

It was odd; but one soon got used to it.

And anyhow the body seemed perfectly able to look after itself.

In reality, of course, it always does look after itself.

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.

When it does anything more - when it tries too hard, when it worries, when it becomes apprehensive about the future - it lowers the effectiveness of those forces and may even cause the devitalized body to fall ill.

In my present state, ego did not focus awareness; it was on its own.

The physiological intelligence controlling the body was also on its own.

For the moment that interfering neurotic who, in waking hours, tries to run the show, was blessedly out of the way.

Where the shadows fell on the canvas upholstery, stripes of a deep but glowing indigo alternated with stripes of intensely bright incandescence so that it was hard to believe that they could be made of anything but blue fire.

I was so completely absorbed in looking, so thunderstruck by what I actually saw, that I could not be aware of anything else.

Garden furniture, lath, sunlight, shadow - these were no more than names, mere verbalizations, for utilitarian or scientific purposes, after the event.

The event was this succession of azure furnace doors opening.

It was inexpressibly wonderful, to the point, almost, of being terrifying.

outsie the lines of reason

I had an inkling of what it must feel like to be insane.

Most takers of mescalin experience only the heavenly part of schizophrenia.

Mescalin brings hell only to those who have had a recent case of jaundice, or who suffer from periodical depressions or a chronic anxiety.

If, like the other drug of remotely comparable power, mescalin were notoriously toxic, the taking of it would be enough, of itself, to cause anxiety.

The reasonably healthy individual knows in advance that mescalin is completely innocuous, that its effects will pass off after eight or ten hours, leaving no hangover and consequently no craving for a renewal of the dose.

Fortified by this knowledge, he embarks upon the experiment without any disposition to convert an unprecedentedly strange and other than normal human experience into something appalling, something actually diabolical.

walking the thin space with Merlin

I found myself alone on the brink of panic.

This, I suddenly felt, was going too far.

Too far, even though going into intenser beauty, deeper significance.

The fear, analyzed in retrospect, was of being overwhelmed, of disintegrating under the pressure of a greater reality than a cosy world of symbols.

The literature of religious experience abounds with references of the blind terror of those faced with a manifestation of the mysterium tremendum.

In theological language, this fear is due to the incompatibility between man's egotism and the divine purity, between man's self-aggravated separateness and the Eternity of God.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead I opened at random.

"O nobly born, let not thy mind be distracted."

That was the problem - to remain undistracted.

Undistracted by the memory of past sins, by imagined pleasure, by the bitter aftertaste of old wrongs and humiliations, by all the fears and hates and cravings that ordinarily eclipse the light.

Ultimate reality remains unshakably itself and is of the same substance.

A clump of Red Hot Pokers, in full bloom, exploded into my field of vision.

So passionately alive, they seemed to be standing on the very brink of utterance, the flowers strained upwards into the blue.

I looked down at the leaves and discovered a cavernous intricacy of the most delicate green lights and shadows, pulsing with indecipherable mystery.

Roses. The flowers are easy to paint. The leaves difficult.

Shiki's haiku expresses, by indirection, the excessive, the too obvious glory of the flowers, as contrasted with the subtler miracle of their foliage.

Effects of the mescalin were on the decline: the flowers in the gardens still trembled on the brink of being supernatural, the pepper trees and carobs along the side streets still manifestly belonged to some sacred grove.

Abruptly, we were at an intersection, waiting to cross Sunset Boulevard.

The cars were rolling by in a steady stream - thousands of them, all bright and shiny like an advertiser's dream and each more ludicrous than the last.

I saw what Guardi had seen and often rendered in his paintings - a stucco wall with a shadow slanting across it, blank but unforgettably beautiful, empty but charged with all the meaning and the mystery of existence.

Revelation dawned and was gone again within a fraction of a second.

An hour later, I had returned to that reassuring but profoundly unsatisfactory state known as "being in one's right mind."

That humanity will ever dispense with artificial paradises seems unlikely.

Most men and women lead lives at the best so monotonous, poor and limited that the urge to escape, the longing to transcend themselves if only for a few moments, is and has always been one of the principal appetites of the soul.

All the vegetable sedatives and narcotics, all the euphorics that grow on trees, the hallucinogens that ripen in berries or can be squeezed from roots - have been known and systematically used by humans.

Most of these modifiers of consciousness cannot now be taken except under doctor's orders, or else illegally and at considerable risk.

For unrestricted use America has permitted only alcohol and tobacco.

Doors of Perception are labeled dope, unauthorized takers are "fiends".


To most people, mescalin is almost completely innocuous.

Unlike alcohol, it does not drive the taker into the category of uninhibited action which results in brawls, crimes of violence and traffic accidents.

A man under the influence of mescalin quietly goes about his own business.

Indians who consume peyote buttons are not physically or morally degraded.

The urge to transcend rational consciousness is a principal soul appetite.

When, for whatever reason, men and women fail to transcend themselves by means of worship, good works and spiritual exercises, they are apt to resort to surrogates - alcohol and "goof pills" in modern North America, alcohol and opium in the East, hashish in the Mohammedan world, alcohol and marijuana in Central America, alcohol and coca in the Andes, alcohol and the barbiturates in the more up-to-date regions of South America.

In Poisons Sacrés, Ivresses Divines Philippe de Felice has written at length, with a wealth of documentation, on the connection between religion and entheogens.

Ritual use of entheogens can be observed in every culture on Earth.

I am suggesting that the mescalin experience is what some Catholic theologians call "a gratuitous grace," to be accepted thankfully.

To be shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception, to be shown for a few timeless hours the outer and the inner reality, not as they appear to an animal obsessed with survival or to a human being obsessed with words and notions, but as they are apperceived, directly and unconditionally.

This is an experience of inestimable value especially to the intellectual.

We can never dispense with language and the other symbol systems; for it is by means of them, and only by their means, that we have raised ourselves above the brutes, to the level of human beings.

We must learn how to handle words effectively; but at the same time we must intensify our ability to look at reality directly and not through the opaque medium of concepts, which distorts every given fact into the all too familiar likeness of some generic label or explanatory abstraction.

This has been demonstrated by many tribes of Native Americans.

Among Native American tribes are found groups affiliated with the Native American church, a sect whose principal rite is togetherness, a supper feast, where slices of peyote take the place of the sacramental bread and wine.

These Native Americans regard the cactus as God's special gift to the Native Americans, and equate its effects with the workings of Divine Spirit.

JS Slotkin, one of the very few white men ever to have participated in the rites of a peyotist congregation, says of his fellow worshipers:

are not stupefied or drunk;

never get out of rhythm or fumble words;

all are quiet, courteous and considerate of one another.

For these Native Americans, sychronized religious experience is directly illuminating, spontaneous, not a product of a superficial mind.

Sometimes they see visions, which may be of Jesus Himself.

Sometimes they simply feel the Presence of the Great Spirit.

Awareness of personal shortcomings to be corrected within the Will of God.

The practical consequences of entheogen openings of doors into inner reality are generally positive with participants enjoying a new presepctive on life.

Slotkin reports that peyotists are on the whole more industrious, more temperate (many of them abstain altogether from alcohol), more peaceable.

A tree with satisfactory fruit cannot be condemned as evil.

In sacramentalizing the use of peyote Native American Church Indians have done something which is psychologically sound and historically respectable.

The soul knows itself as unconditioned and of like nature with the divine.

In it two great appetites of the soul - the urge to independence and self-determination and the urge to self-transcendence are fused with, and interpreted in the light of, a third, the urge to worship, to justify the ways of God to man, to explain the universe by means of a coherent theology.

Literary or scientific, liberal or specialist, education is predominantly symbol manipulation and therefore fails to enlighten us.

The art of being directly aware of the given reality of existence is ignored.

Systematic reasoning is required as a species and as individuals.

As a bundle of nerves no human can remain sane without direct perception.

This given reality is an infinite reality which passes all understanding and yet admits of being directly and in some way totally apperceived by the soul.

To be enlightened is to be aware of total reality in its immanent otherness.

Near the end of his life Thomas Aquinas experienced Infused Contemplation.

Thereafter he refused to go back to work on his unfinished book.

"Everything I have written seems to me like straw, in comparison with the things I have seen and that have been revealed to me." - Thomas Aquinas

(Note: Most likely he was unable after experincing a minor stroke while at the same recognized the futility of attempting to define God.)

The man who walks through the Doors of Perception will never be the same.

He will be wiser but less cocksure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand relationships and to apply systematic reasoning to mystery in an attempt to comprehend.

- adapted from The Doors of Perception, Aldous Leonard Huxley

Psychological and cognitive effects of
long-term peyote use among Native Americans

Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction

Aldous Huxley examined and critiqued social morés, societal norms and ideals, as well as the possible misapplications of science in human life.

Aldous Huxley wrote on the dehumanising aspects of scientific progress.

Aldous Huxley examined the tragedy that frequently follows from egocentrism: self-centeredness and selfishness.

Aldous Huxley, noted for compassion, only the influence of DH Lawrence, did he heartily embrace feelings as important in evolving literary expression.

Aldous Huxley, immigrated to America, but was denied citizenship as he refused to ascribe his pacifism to religious beliefs.

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