Author Topic: Aldous Huxley  (Read 201 times)

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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Aldous Huxley
« on: May 31, 2015, 06:15:11 PM »
I thought I'd share a few of my favorite quotes from Aldous Huxley:




“There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.”



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



“The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.”



“An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling falsehood.”



“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.”



"Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him."



“In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or the propaganda might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies - the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions."



“A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.”



“Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, and their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.”



“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”



“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”



“I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”



“Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.”



“God isn't the son of Memory; He's the son of Immediate Experience. You can't worship a spirit in spirit, unless you do it now. Wallowing in the past may be good literature. As wisdom, it's hopeless. Time Regained is Paradise Lost, and Time Lost is Paradise Regained. Let the dead bury their dead. If you want to live every moment as it presents itself, you've got to die to every other moment.”



“If one is different, one is bound to be lonely.”



“So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.”



“Words form the thread on which we string our experiences.”



“Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth. In the end fear casts out even a man’s humanity. And fear, my good friends, fear is the very basis and foundation of modern life. Fear of the much touted technology which, while it raises our standard of living, increases the probability of our violently dying. Fear of the science which takes away with one hand even more than it so profusely gives with the other. Fear of the demonstrably fatal institutions for which, in our suicidal loyalty, we are ready to kill and die. Fear of the Great Men whom we have raised by popular acclaim, to a power which they use, inevitably, to murder and enslave us. Fear of the war we don’t want yet do everything we can to bring about.”



“Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.”



“It is only when we have renounced our preoccupation with "I," "me," "mine," that we can truly possess the world in which we live.  Not only is everything ours - provided that we regard nothing as property - it is also everybody else's.”



“We are not our own any more than what we possess is our own. We did not make ourselves, we cannot be supreme over ourselves. We are not our own masters.”



“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.”



“Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead.”



“The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior 'righteous indignation' — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.”



“Most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.”



“Ironically enough, the only people who can hold up indefinitely under the stress of modern war are psychotics. Individual insanity is immune to the consequences of collective insanity.”



“Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence—those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you'd collapse. And while you people are over-consuming, the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster.”



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



“Democratic institutions can be made to work only if all concerned do their best to impart knowledge and to encourage rationality. But today, in the world's most powerful democracy, the politicians and the propagandists prefer to make nonsense of democratic procedures by appealing almost exclusively to the ignorance and irrationality of the electors.”



“Give us this day our daily Faith, but deliver us, dear God, from Belief.”



“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 sure, 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.”



“Nobody can have the consolations of religion or philosophy unless he has first experienced their desolations.”



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



“I can sympathize with people's pains, but not with their pleasure. There is something curiously boring about somebody else's happiness.”



“Never put off till tomorrow the fun you can have today.”



“It is possible to argue that the really influential book is not that which converts ten millions of casual readers, but rather that which converts the very few who, at any given moment, succeed in seizing power. Marx and Sorel have been influential in the modern world, not so much because they were best-sellers (Sorel in particular was not at all a widely read author), but because among their few readers were two men, called respectively Lenin and Mussolini.”



“There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it.”



“We cannot reason ourselves out of our basic irrationality. All we can do is learn the art of being irrational in a reasonable way.”



“It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'Try to be a little kinder'.”





Selam
""Love is a dangerous thing. It will crush you if you trust it. But without it you can never be whole. Love crucifies, but love saves. We will either be saved together with love, or damned alone without it."    Selam, +GMK+

Offline Hinterlander

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2015, 06:30:29 PM »
Thanks.

I was reading Huxley in the same season of my life when I first inquired into Orthodoxy. His Perennial Philosophy was thought provoking but found wanting.

God bless.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 06:31:37 PM by Hinterlander »

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2015, 06:52:30 PM »
Thanks.

I was reading Huxley in the same season of my life when I first inquired into Orthodoxy. His Perennial Philosophy was thought provoking but found wanting.

God bless.

I was just considering reading his "Perennial Philosophy." Can you tell us what you liked about it and in what ways you found it lacking?

Selam
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 06:52:50 PM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
""Love is a dangerous thing. It will crush you if you trust it. But without it you can never be whole. Love crucifies, but love saves. We will either be saved together with love, or damned alone without it."    Selam, +GMK+

Offline Hinterlander

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2015, 07:46:46 PM »
Thanks.

I was reading Huxley in the same season of my life when I first inquired into Orthodoxy. His Perennial Philosophy was thought provoking but found wanting.

God bless.

I was just considering reading his "Perennial Philosophy." Can you tell us what you liked about it and in what ways you found it lacking?

Selam

It has been five years since this "season". At the time I appreciated the parallels and connections he draws between the East and West. I was on my way back to Christianity after exploring Eastern philosophy and spirituality.  Huxley's Perennial Philosophy I read alongside works by Watts, Griffiths, Teasdale, Barnhart, Rohr . . . I'm having difficulty singling out what I didn't like about Huxley.  Sorry.  I should have witheld my critical comment.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 07:47:05 PM by Hinterlander »

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2015, 08:35:17 PM »
Thanks.

I was reading Huxley in the same season of my life when I first inquired into Orthodoxy. His Perennial Philosophy was thought provoking but found wanting.

God bless.

I was just considering reading his "Perennial Philosophy." Can you tell us what you liked about it and in what ways you found it lacking?

Selam

It has been five years since this "season". At the time I appreciated the parallels and connections he draws between the East and West. I was on my way back to Christianity after exploring Eastern philosophy and spirituality.  Huxley's Perennial Philosophy I read alongside works by Watts, Griffiths, Teasdale, Barnhart, Rohr . . . I'm having difficulty singling out what I didn't like about Huxley.  Sorry.  I should have witheld my critical comment.

No, don't apologize. I'm glad you offered your opinion, and I think I probably share your reservations about some of his philosophy. I am a strange bird, because I am constantly drawn to the beautiful truths expressed by certain unorthodox spiritual writers, and yet I cringe at the things they say that are unorthodox. I am moved by their passion, and yet I can see that their passion also led them into great errors. But I guess I am drawn to people like Huxley (although he was quite unique) because their truths and their errors seem to reflect life, which is full of truth and error. As much as I love and value the writings of the saints and fathers, I sometimes feel so far removed from them that it's hard for me to relate. Their talk of sin and pain and struggle often seems too generic for me. I am drawn to those who are not afraid to bare their souls, to express the darkness as well as the light. Huxley and Camus are two authors who acknowledged their agnostic uncertainty and yet somehow were always able to express a deep affirmation of life and faith in a transcendent hope. That's what I like about them. Just my two cents.


Selam
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 08:36:15 PM by Gebre Menfes Kidus »
""Love is a dangerous thing. It will crush you if you trust it. But without it you can never be whole. Love crucifies, but love saves. We will either be saved together with love, or damned alone without it."    Selam, +GMK+

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2015, 09:51:18 PM »
Quote
As much as I love and value the writings of the saints and fathers, I sometimes feel so far removed from them that it's hard for me to relate. Their talk of sin and pain and struggle often seems too generic for me. I am drawn to those who are not afraid to bare their souls, to express the darkness as well as the light. Huxley and Camus are two authors who acknowledged their agnostic uncertainty and yet somehow were always able to express a deep affirmation of life and faith in a transcendent hope. That's what I like about them.

+1

Thanks for starting this thread.

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2015, 08:59:54 PM »
I have heard that Steven Spielberg is contemplating a big screen adaptation for Brave New World.
I seek the truth by which no man was ever harmed--Marcus Aurelius

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Offline wgw

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2015, 09:07:42 PM »
Will he use new technology mounted in each cinema seat to make it a Feelie?

I juat find the idea of a blockbuster version of Brave New World hilarious in a black comedy, ironic sort of way.

In states where it has been legalized they should hand out marijuana candies labelled "Soma" to feelie-goers at the door.  I mean if youre going to go Brave New World, you should go all the way.

Im more of an Orwell man myself.  It was only after reading Nineteen Eighty Four that I discovered my love for Big Brother.  To quote the brilliant national anthem composed for the film, which Richard Branson ruined in post production, "Oceania!  Every thought, every deed, Tis for thee."
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2015, 10:00:24 PM »
I have heard that Steven Spielberg is contemplating a big screen adaptation for Brave New World.
This only means a new ending where everyone lives and the protagonist somehow wins.
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2015, 11:49:21 PM »
I have heard that Steven Spielberg is contemplating a big screen adaptation for Brave New World.
This only means a new ending where everyone lives and the protagonist somehow wins.

And it needs precocious children, whimsical music, references to 50s sci-fi movies, and floodlights.

Offline biro

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2015, 11:50:20 PM »
I thought 'Brave New World' was very good. I haven't read his other stuff.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2015, 11:51:44 PM »
Will he use new technology mounted in each cinema seat to make it a Feelie?

I juat find the idea of a blockbuster version of Brave New World hilarious in a black comedy, ironic sort of way.

In states where it has been legalized they should hand out marijuana candies labelled "Soma" to feelie-goers at the door.  I mean if youre going to go Brave New World, you should go all the way.

Im more of an Orwell man myself.  It was only after reading Nineteen Eighty Four that I discovered my love for Big Brother.  To quote the brilliant national anthem composed for the film, which Richard Branson ruined in post production, "Oceania!  Every thought, every deed, Tis for thee."

Have you ever read We by Yevgeny Zamyatin? Orwell adored that book and acknowledged the debt which 1984 owes to it (though he accused Huxley of plagiarizing Zamyatin).

Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2015, 11:52:57 PM »
I have heard that Steven Spielberg is contemplating a big screen adaptation for Brave New World.
This only means a new ending where everyone lives and the protagonist somehow wins.

Yeah, apparently movies are not allowed to have tragic endings, but stage shows are. Presumably this is because in a stage show, all the actors come out on stage at the end so this reassures the audience that they aren't "really" dead. With movies, the suspension of disbelief is much stronger and the show seems more "real", so when the characters get killed off it actually traumatizes people. Frank Oz wanted Little Shop of Horrors to end the same way the stage musical did, with Audrey II clones eating everyone in the country, but when the movie was test-screened the reception was terrible, so they realized they needed to change the ending.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 11:53:41 PM by Minnesotan »
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Offline biro

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2015, 11:54:34 PM »
I have a copy of "We" somewhere. I've heard it's very good. :)

Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: Aldous Huxley
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2015, 12:20:56 PM »


Selam
""Love is a dangerous thing. It will crush you if you trust it. But without it you can never be whole. Love crucifies, but love saves. We will either be saved together with love, or damned alone without it."    Selam, +GMK+