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Moksha: Aldous Huxley's Classic Writings on Psychedelics and the Visionary Experience Paperback – April 1, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Moksha is more than a book about psychedelics--although it may well be the most intelligent, well-rounded one of its kind. It is also another chance to spend hours in Huxley's fascinating company as he talks about art, literature, religion, psychology, and ecology." (Los Angeles Times)

"A remarkably stimulating, worthwhile volume." (Publishers Weekly)

"This book collects all of [Huxley's] words on the subject and is a valuable addition to the psychedelic literature." (Andrew Weil, High Times)

"Then I read The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, and it just rolled from there.  That is what really put me over."  (Terence McKenna, Archaic Revival)

"Huxley had spent years preparing himself for the fearful psychedelic voyage, and he made it without question when it presented itself....He did it, and the world will never forget it." (Timothy Leary, Politics of Ecstasy)

"[Huxley was] the world's most influential advocate of psychedelic drugs." (High Priest)

"A pharmacological goldmine, supplementing Huxley's classic, The Doors of Perception." (Publisher's Weekly)

"A controversial, mind-expanding book that confirms Huxley's position...as the father of the modern drug movement." (Publisher's Weekly)

"This collection supplies a good account, in breath and depth, of Huxley's views on psychedelic drugs and is an excellent place to start in exploring the larger implications of psychedelic drug research" (Lester Grinspoon & James Bakalar, Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered)

"The main writings of Aldous Huxley about psychedelics and the visionary experience have now been gathered into a single volume [which] should stand as an unparalleled guide to investigators." (Peter Stafford, Island Views)

"The extraordinary richness with which Aldous Huxley describes the depth of his research on LSD and mescaline distinguishes him from thousands of researchers who have experimented with drugs over the years." (San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle)

"Huxley was a gifted explorer of transcendental experience, spirituality, and consciousness expansion.  It is this side of his remarkable mind that we glimpse in Moksha." (Whole Life Times)

"Moksha is an exceptionally alive and illuminating track of the process of discovery." (Soho Weekly News)

"Huxley was one of the first in the modern West to realize the potential value and spiritual implications of drugs. We are fortunate to have this experiential record of drug experiences." (Rhea A. White, Exceptional Human Experience Network)

From the Back Cover

PSYCHEDELICS / LITERATURE

“Moksha is more than a book about psychedelics--although it may well be the most intelligent, well-rounded one of its kind. It is also another chance to spend hours in Huxley’s fascinating company as he talks about art, literature, religion, psychology, and ecology.”
--Los Angeles Times

“A remarkably stimulating, worthwhile volume.”
--Publisher’s Weekly

“The final chapter, climaxing in Laura Huxley’s description of her husband’s death, is one of the most transfixing pieces of reportage I’ve ever read.”
--Soho Weekly News

In May 1953, while in the company of his wife and a physician friend, Aldous Huxley took four-tenths of a gram of mescaline. The mystical and transcendent experience that followed set him off on an exploration that was to produce a revolutionary body of work about the inner reaches of the human mind. Huxley was decades ahead of his time in his anticipation of the dangers modern culture was creating through explosive population increase, headlong technological advance, and militant nationalism, and he saw psychedelics as the greatest means at our disposal to “remind adults that the real world is very different from the misshapen universe they have created for themselves by means of their culture-conditioned prejudices.” Much of Huxley’s writings following his 1953 mescaline experiment can be seen as his attempt to reveal the power of these substances to awaken a sense of the sacred in people living in a technological society hostile to mystical revelations.

Moksha, a Sanskrit word meaning “liberation,” is a collection of the prophetic and visionary writings of Aldous Huxley. It includes selections from his acclaimed novels Brave New World and Island, both of which envision societies centered around the use of psychedelics as stabilizing forces, as well as pieces from The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, his famous works on consciousness-expansion. Also included are magazine articles, interviews, letters, and scientific papers that vividly demonstrate the evolution of his ideas and offer an engrossing record of the journey.

MICHAEL HOROWITZ and CYNTHIA PALMER are the directors of the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library in San Francisco, the only library in the world devoted exclusively to the literature of mind-altering drugs. Michael Horowitz was Timothy Leary’s archivist and is coauthor of The High Times Encyclopedia of Recreational Drugs. Palmer and Horowitz live in northern California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Park Street Press (April 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892817585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892817580
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) is the author of the classic novels Island, Eyeless in Gaza, and The Genius and the Goddess, as well as such critically acclaimed nonfiction works as The Devils of Loudun, The Doors of Perception, and The Perennial Philosophy. Born in Surrey, England, and educated at Oxford, he died in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
The book is divided into 40 chapters.
"ezonwaj"
Maybe I'm the wrong person to be reviewing this, as I love all of Aldous Huxley's writings, and highly recommend anything by him!
Leon Gaitanis
It also includes writings by Timothy Leary, Laura Huxley and Dr. Humphry Osmond.
Peter Uys

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on June 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
This volume brings together selections from Huxley's Brave New World, Doors Of Perception, Heaven And Hell and Island, as well as magazine articles, letters, lectures and scientific papers. It also includes writings by Timothy Leary, Laura Huxley and Dr. Humphry Osmond. Leary's interesting account of a 1960 meeting with Huxley at Cambridge is titled Mushrooms For Lunch, whilst the same year's Harvard Sessions is a report of a psylocybin session where Huxley took part in a group experiment. Other very thought provoking chapters include Dr. Humphry Osmond's May Morning In Hollywood and Huxley's own Disregarded In The Darkness, Doors, Mescalin, Heaven And Hell and Brave New World Revisited. But the highlights of the book are Laura Huxley's 1962 account of her husband in a psychedelic state and especially her moving account of his illness and death, titled Nobly Born. The appendix is titled Instruments For Use During A Psychedelic Experience and the book concludes with an index. This is a brilliant collection of this refined author's best work and an insightful investigation into the use of entheogenic substances for the expansion of consciousness. I also recommend Huston Smith's Cleansing The Doors Of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogentic Plants and Chemicals, William James' Varieties Of Religious Experience the title Chaos, Creativity and Cosmic Consciousness by Ralph Abraham, Terence McKenna and Rupert Sheldrake.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Stefan Isaksson on September 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
Moksha is a word in Sanskrit which means "liberation", and liberation is probably the best word to describe Aldous Huxley and his writings. Liberation from external forces, from norms and views of reality that the authority figures of the West have told you are "real" and "true", liberation from everything that stops you from finding your own path in life and the creation of your own truth.

In the world of fiction, Huxley is perhaps best known for his novel Brave New World, in which he painted a rather gloomy picture of a not-too distant future where the people are controlled by the use of Soma, a synthetic drug enabling everyone some time-out from their own miserable existence. This theme was continued in the later book Island, where the name of the drug has been changed to Moksha and is seen as a positive thing, a way for the individual to find his or her own means of evolution instead of a cheap escape from the dreaded reality. However, Huxley was more than just a writer of fiction, and in Moksha the reader is treated to a glimpse of this man's amazing intellect. Besides some of the many letters he wrote during his lifetime, you'll also find excerpts from different lectures held all over the world, interviews, and important sections from some of this best fictional writing, such as Brave New World, The Doors of Perception, Island, and Heaven and Hell.

The larger bulk of the text is about psychedelic drugs and their beneficial use in different sorts of therapy as well as their ability to help mankind in the expansion of human consciousness, and it's quite a pleasure to experience Huxley's fascinating ideas about these types of drugs, especially since they in later years came to be treated as a total menace to society.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By andy7 on June 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Aldous Huxley was clearly a man ahead of his time: imagine an English intellectual in the 1940's writing about mecaline and LSD, how they relate to psychology, sociology and religion in modern times.
This was not a cult leader or an Edgar Cayce/Aleister Crowley sort of philosopher: his essays were published in periodicals as varied as the Saturday Evening Post and Playboy Magazine (!). He was one of the ultimate explorers of the mind. Many of his thoughts from the 40's and the 50's still sound as relevant today as the day they were written.
His timeless thoughts are his genius. I recommend this book highly.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "ezonwaj" on July 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Alduos Huxley is a brilliant man. This book has made me think about things in a whole new way. I love the letters he writes. The book is divided into 40 chapters. I read it slowly, a chapter or two at a time over a period of a few months. It wasn't one of those books you, like his novels, that you'd want to read in a week or a day. It is something you want to read and then think about it for a while. His ideas on psychedelics are very enlightening. I am thankful for this work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Fiori on March 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
New Age, Self Help, Cults. While you might think that some of these things are 'new'.

you can find through this book that the human condition appears to have established

itself quite a long time ago and has not changed a great deal in aggregate over time.

It is really unfortunate that so little is understood about the workings of the human

mind and that so little of our collective time is spent in pursuit of a deeper cognition.

Well worth the investment in both time and money for anyone interested in knowing

more about themselves.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Thomas M. Seay on October 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Entheogens (psychedelics) through the eyes of an articulate and cultured man of letters. We get to see through this series of essays why Huxley turned to psychedelics as a tool for spiritual exploration. It also raises important questions that need to be addressed by those of us using entheogens (psychedelics) as a means of expanding consciousness.
Thomas Seay
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