ALDOUS HUXLEY

I don’t want comfort; I want GOD// I want risk// Danger, poetry!

to have an experience in life: take ACTION

After silence, the next to expressing the inexpressible is music.

only one thing i can be certain to improve: MYSELF

the more powerful and original a mind— incline towards the religion of solitude

consistency is contrary to nature and life. the only completely consistent people are dead — to be alive, we have variation, change! *****

don’t forget other people are human!

‘the proper study of mankind is books’

study mankind in novels?

seek a QUIET life.

‘genuineness only thrives in the dark’

CINEMA//be better than literature?

Be a movie director, cinematographer, to reach larger people talking about DYSTOPIA//etc?

don’t be too consistent intellectually or spiritually— they will lead to my death!

don’t be single-minded.

POET: the MAKER!// ‘POEIN’

The poet is, etymologically, the maker. Like all makers, he requires a stock of raw materials— in his case, experience. Experience is a matter of sensibility and intuition, of seeing and hearing significant things, of paying attention at the right moments, of understanding and coordinating. Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him. It is a gift for dealing with the accidents of existence, not the accidents themselves. By a happy dispensation of nature, the poet generally possesses the gift of experience in conjunction with that of expression.

POET // poietes

It is man’s intelligence that makes him so often behave more stupidly than the beasts. Man is impelled to invent theories to account for what happens in the world. Unfortunately, he is not quite intelligent enough, in most cases, to find correct explanations. So when he acts on his theories, he behaves very often like a lunatic. Thus no animal is clever enough, when there is a drought, to imagine that the rain is being withheld by evil spirits, or as punishment for its transgressions. Therefore you never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. No horse, for example, would kill one of its children to make the wind change direction. Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Donkeys do not bray a liturgy to a cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by assistance from cat’s meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price to pay for being intelligent, but often, not intelligent enough.”

‘To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.’

The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people f forget that certain other sets of people are human.

WAR

War is not inevitable. Whether we choose war or not.

‘CONSTRUCTIVE PEACE’

All war propaganda consists in substituting diabolical abstractions for human beings.

My sympathy is for Anarchists; Anarchism seems to be more likely to lead to desirable social change than the highly centralized, dictatorial communism.

ANARCHOS — without a chief

How can I live an anarchist life?

How to produce peace and liberty?
necessity of pacifism

We are not satisfied with the life we have in ourselves and our own being; we want to live an imaginary life in other people’s idea of us. Hence all our efforts are directed to seeming what we are not. We labor incessantly to preserve and embellish this imaginary being, and neglect that which is really ours.

All my troubles: arise from the desire to seem what I am not.

To seem a man of action— I need to TAKE ACTION.

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving; and that is your own self.” – Aldous Huxley

Don’t take things for granted

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted

The trouble with fiction is that it makes too much sense. Reality never makes sense.

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.

We may not appreciate the fact; but a fact remains: we are living in a Golden Age, the most gilded Golden Age of human history — not just past history, but of future history. But we are living like drunken sailors, or the heirs of a millionaire uncle. At an ever accelerating rate, we are squandering the capital of metallic ores and fossil fuels accumulated in the earth’s crust during hundreds of millions of years. How long can this spending spree go on?

Dont’ squander planetary capital.

INNER LIGHT

glare of my inner-light?

Everything is connected — all living is relationship.

LIFE

Who lives longer— the man who takes heroin for 2 years and dies, or a man who eats roast beef, water and potatoes until age 95? One passes his 24 months in eternity — all the years of the beefeater are just lived in time.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.

FANATIC: man who over-compensates a hidden doubt via “The Substitutes for Religion, The Religion of Sex”.

DO WHAT YOU WILL

There are many kinds of gods. Therefore there are many kinds of men.

Jehovah, allah trinity, jesus, buddha— names for great variety of HUMAN VIRTUES!

ART: Experience of SENSES?

PHYSICS x REALITY

The chair seems solid and substantial. But closer observation — the chair is ‘really’ a swarm of electrical charges, whizzing in empty space.

Chair ‘substantial’ — abstraction made from memories of sensation of sight and touch.

electricity = reality?

Good catholics accept transubstantiation; the overwhelming majority of us accept the electric-charge chair on authority.

why believe in only one god; or in many gods?

How the human minds work — mind is diverse and simple//many and one.

DIVERSITY vs ONENESS?

Why do we worship one god?

In ancient times: worship MANY GODS?

What is ‘spiritual progress?’

POLITICS // city — POLIS?

‘a pious and universal mediocrity was their ideal’

DONT BE UP TO DATE

avoid modernity and ‘sophistication’ — LOSE MY FEARS

I have lost all desire to frequent the places and people that a man simply must frequent; unless seen as a ‘low class’ person

// SILENCE IS GOLDEN

Good music: charms to soothe the savage beast.

Aspiration to be superhuman — become the best GUTSY human being!

DONT HAVE MORE THAN 1 EXCUSE

‘Several excuses are always less convincing than one.’

Habit converts luxurious enjoyments into dull and daily necessities.

HOW TO STIR YOURSELF UP

intellectual: pathetic belief in rationalism, and absolute supremacy of m mental values and conscious wills.

Intrinsic superiority in mental, conscious, voluntary life over the physical, intuitive, and instinctive/emotional life.

don’t be specialist— become a WHOLE MAN

Plato, aristotle, jesus, newton

“After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” – HUXLEY

How to be a writer

Realize ambition — buy lots of paper, ink, pen. And just write.

SPEED

Speed provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.

Why do we gain pleasure from speed?

Drug

If we could sniff or swallow something that (for 5-6 hours) abolish our solitude, all our problems would be solved— earth would be paradise.

  • Abolish solitude as individual
  • glowing exaltation of affection for others
  • make life worth living; but divinely beautiful and significant

obedience

we are slaves to the lunar rhythm — we ebbb and flow with the changes of the moon.

Moon as divinity.

GOD

BRAVE NEW WORLD

rolling in the muck isn’t the way of getting clean.

don’t have chronic remorse— if i behave poor, repent, change my behavior next time.

don’t brood over wrong-doing

BRAVE NEW WORLD

decentralization and applied science— to produce a race of FREE INDIVIDUALS

How to promote freedom in individuals?

freedom to be a round peg in a square hole.

‘you can’t consume much if you sit still and read books’

‘id rather be unhappy than have a false, lying happiness’ — id rather take the red pill

Liberty to be inefficient and miserable. Freedom to be a round peg in a square hole.

seek truth via science?

what is scientific progress?

KNOWLEDGE — greatest good // truth the supreme value.

Seek truth and beauty OVER comfort and happiness.

people are getting dumbed-down with comfort/happiness.

ends and means

CAN I SMOKE FEAR AWAY?

people hunger for meaning and value

people are afraid the world has no meaning nd value.

fuck nationalism, fascism, and revolution!

how to add meaning and value to others?

PHILOSOPHY of meaninglessness?

the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation.

liberate myself from political and economic system, and liberation from morality

  • what if we lived in a matrix, what would morality be?

sexual freedom?

don’t have victorian notion of ‘respectability’

training changes the nature of our spiritual experiences (bach used to be bore, and shakespeare sheer torture).

beauty and significance in life?

train myself in GOODNESS

intuition about character, relationship between humans, — don’t just be the average sensual man

sex is only ‘evil’ when it is a form of physical addiction.

dont crave social climbing— for position and distinction

to remove war: don’t have prejudice?

self-expression opportunities

words and their meanings

words have an enormous part of our lives— words have power.

words do have a magical effect.

i am influencing people via WORDS

Bhagavad-gita

Introduction to the Bhagavad-Gita (1944)
Huxley’s introduction to Bhagavad-Gita : The Song of God (1944) as translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood

in regard to mans final end, all the higher religions are in complete agreement.

religion: obligation, reverence— BINDING?

RELIGARE: TO BIND — i don’t want to be bound, or slave to religion.

purpose of human life: discovery of TRUTH

words are trasncended— pure state of philosophy.

original scripture of religion: POETIC//unsystematic.

  1. individual consciousness
  2. human beings have a spark of divinity within our soul.
  3. my purpose on earth; see myself as part of universe.
  4. TRINITY — me, with jesus, god, etc?

‘the holy trinity of photography’

‘nothing burns in hell but the self’

ultimate metaphor?

how to use analytic reasoning?

inner-spark

posthumous state?

contemplate of TRUTH is the end— ACTION is the means

Machines

machines are made more efficient — can this help us improve morally and spiritually?

‘utopian future’?

External circumstances came to be regarded as more important than states of mind about external circumstnaces.

inner-state of my mind more important than external circumstnaces

equality?

Human beings are not born identical.

thrive in our individuality?

avoid positive harm!

Bhagavad-GITA (perennial philosophy) — EVERGREEN

WHAT IF YOU TOOK A PILL TO ELIMINATE FEAR?

Philosophy: to avoid a world war. Avoid self-imposed self-destruction.

the doors of perception

‘if the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is— INFINITE’

universe, and i am infinite!

shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception.

be wiser, but less sure.

to amuse myself, become an artist. — don’t let professional and machines entertain us.

artistic culture cannot flourish in ‘atmosphere of passivity’

place and distance cease to be of much interest.

‘the mind perceives through intensity of existence, profoundness of significance, relationships within a pattern.’

‘pure aesthete’ — look at my furniture, only concern with forms and relationships within the field of vision or the picture space.

’this purely aesthetic, Cubist-eye view’ — sacramental VISION OF REALITY

a world where everything shines with the inner light; and was infinite in significance.

memory with sense-perception?

the function of the brain and nervous system and sense organ: is the main ELIMINATIVE (eliminate superfluous signals)!!!

brain and nervous system and sensory organs: to FILTER OUT NOISE or unnecessary information .

the brain grows by subtraction.

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 knoweldge.

focus: to REMOVE or SUBTRACT useless/irrelevant knowledge!

brain; filters small and special selection of what is practically useful.

each of us is potentially a MIND AT LARGE

as animal, my business is to survive at all costs.

mind at large: reduce valve of the brain and nervous system.

mans brain; has reduced awareness.

language: have access to other peoples experiences.

how can i expand my knowledge of other people’s experiences???

don’t just trust my own sense of reality!

unfortunately today, the world is about REDUCED AWARENESS

discover a world of VISIONARY BEAUTY

PERCEPTION OF CoLOR HEIGHTENED!

see myself how others see me. have the capacity to see others from their own perspective.

some people take drugs; but the artist call ALWAYS SEE VISION — the artist doesn’t have perception limited to what is just biologically or social useful — ARTIST has ability to distinguish artistic value through AESHTETICS!

AESTHEETE

aesthete — ‘a person who perceives’

•   What the rest of us see only under the influence of mescalin, the artist is congenitally equipped to see all the time. His perception is not limited to what is biologically or socially useful.
◦   Page 168.


•   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 cocksure, 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.

writing about what is HUMAN?

beauty in each particle of sand— perfect geometrical pattern, sharp angles, shaft of light reflected— each tiny crystal like rainbow. rays crossed and recrossed, exquisite patterns of beauty

whole universe is particles of material, filled with intense and vital beauty

SOCIeETY : help individuals realize their POTENTIAL to lead a happy and creative life.

don’t standardize the human individual — we are DIFFERENT!!!

intellectual: have a taste for RATIONALITY and interest in FACTS!

can i have a religion without superstition?

distinguish true from false; meaningful from meaningless!

ACT UPON MY KNOWLEDGE // INFORMATION!


PHOTO CUBISM: ALDOUS HUXLEY


HuxleyA1954TheDoorsOfPerception