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.
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!