The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley

You have no idea how excited I was when I found this on the shelf in Half-Price Books. You can check it out here.

Rating: [3/5]

Summary: The Doors of Perception is essentially Aldous Huxley’s description and analysis of an acid trip he took one morning as an experiment. Technically, he did not take LSD. He took mescaline, which produces similar effects to LSD. After vividly describing everything he saw and felt during his chemical experience, Huxley made a few observations. First of all, he states what he believes about the nature of human consciousness. All people are capable of experiencing everything in the universe at once, but in order to keep from being overwhelmed, the human nervous system filters out everything except that which is necessary for survival. Since mescaline inhibits the nervous system, Huxley posited that the variety of things seen and felt during the mescaline experience were essentially little pieces of the cosmos slipping past the filters. He then states that mescaline (or something like it) should replace alcohol and harder drugs of that time, because it provides the same sense of escapism and altered state of consciousness without the negative side effects. Huxley concludes by stating that humans must find a balance between reason and “real life” with the heightened perception and spirituality that comes with mescaline.

Likes: The Doors of Perception was fascinating to me. I’ve always wanted to read it, since it was the inspiration behind name of the band The Doors. Also, John Lennon reportedly read this book, along with The Tibetan Book of the Dead, before going to work on Revolver. Huxley’s points were very easy to understand. I also liked how the tone of the book ranged from extremely scientific to wildly poetic.

Dislikes: While The Doors of Perception is an intriguing book, I cannot agree with any of Huxley’s conclusions. I do not personally believe that mescaline (or any other drug) is the way to bring balance to the spiritual side of the human experience.

TL;DR: That being said, I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in philosophy or psychology

Agree? Disagree? Tell me in the comments!

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley

  1. “I do not personally believe that mescaline (or any other drug) is the way to bring balance to the spiritual side of the human experience.”

    I think it’s fair to say Aldous Huxley didn’t think psychedelics were the way to bring balance to the spiritual side of the human experience either. He considered them a very powerful and potentially valuable gateway to very important realms the vast vast majority would not gain access to otherwise, but was certainly not to be wallowed in or treated in any way lightly, or a get out of jail card for the business of day to day living and awareness.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s