I have nothing original/witty to say for myself today. Sorry folks. However, my reading of Huxley's, surprisingly dense, Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell continues apace so I thought I'd ride on his coattails again and share some of my favourite quotes so far, a sort of 'diet' Huxley. Here goes.
"Most visualizers are transformed by mescalin into visionaries. Some of them - and they are perhaps more numerous than is generally supposed - require no transformation; they are visionaries all the time."
"That humanity at large will ever be able to dispense with Artificial Paradises seems very unlikely. Most men and women lead lives at the worst so painful, 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."
(Huxley gets us people, he's one of us.)
"For the intellectual is by definition the man for whom, in Goethe's phrase, ' the world is essentially fruitful.' He is the man who feels that 'what we perceive by the eye is foreign to us as such and need not impress us deeply'."
"If you go to New South Wales, you will see marsupials hopping about the countryside. And if you go to the antipodes of the self-conscious mind, you will encounter all sorts of creatures at least as odd as kangaroos. You do not invent these creatures any more than you invent marsupials. They live their own lives in complete independence. A man cannot control them. All he can do is go to the mental equivalent of Australia and look around him."
"Most dreams are without colour...about two-thirds of all dreams are in black and white."
"Reading these accounts, we are immediately struck by the close similarity between induced or spontaneous visionary experience and the heavens and fairylands of folklore and religion. Praeternatural light, praeternatural intensity of colouring, praeternatural significance - these are characteristic of all the Other Worlds and Golden Ages. And in virtually every case this praeternaturally significant light shines on, or shines out of , a landscape of such surpassing beauty that words cannot express it."
I love Huxley's way of writing, even if I do have to re-read it several times to understand. And I may even get around to reading one of his novels one of these days. And despite his descriptions of the wonderful effects of mescalin and other drugs, I still have absolutely no urge to try it.