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The Doors of Perception Hardcover – Import, January 1, 1954


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 63 pages
  • Publisher: Harper and Brothers; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (1954)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0000CIRKK
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,508,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Kwon on September 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
In The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley chronicles his experience with mescaline, the active ingredient in peyote. Huxley ingests mescaline as a test subject and he describes the experience as he is interviewed by the experimenter and presented with various objects. To me, it seems as if the style he wrote this in mimics the high he gained from taking mescaline.

He begins the book with various pieces of background information, explaining the current state of mescaline research at the time. This is written in a very straightforward and coherent manner. He then "swallowed four-tenths of a gram of mescalin dissolved in half a glass of water and sat down to wait for the results." At this point, his writing becomes difficult to follow as he writes in a stream of consciousness style. He recounts his observations when presented with various works of art and everyday objects. Huxley explains first that he has always been a "poor visualizer," that "words...do not evoke pictures in my mind." As the drug effects begin to manifest themselves, Huxley's vision changes. He fixates on objects such as a vase of flowers, noticing the colors in greater detail and the overall beauty. From the flowers he moves onto an essay he remembers reading and then to the books lining his study walls, describing each in excruciating detail. This is all in an attempt to show the reader what the drug has forced him to fixate on.

Looking around the room, he notices that spatial relationships have changed. In his mescaline-drugged state, Huxley explains that "Place and distance cease to be of much interest...position and the three dimensions were beside the point...the mind was primarily concerned, not with measures and locations, but with being and meaning.
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Format: Hardcover
Since I first read The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda in 1998, I've wanted to experience peyote. The Doors of Perception is Aldous Huxley's account of taking mescaline (the active ingredient in the peyote cactus). It's a controlled experiment in which he is interviewed, given objects, played music, taken on a ride, fed, etc.

Some of the passages are a thrilling record of euphoria, intensity, and the shifting of perception. Some of them are bewildering.

"To be shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception, to be shown for a few timeless hours the outer and the inner world, not as they appear to an animal obsessed with survival or to a human being obsessed with words and notions, but as they are apprehended, directly and unconditionally, by Mind at Large - this is an experience of inestimable value to everyone and especially to the intellectual."

But was he seeing reality as it actually is (if that is indeed possible), or was he simply experiencing the physical effects of his brain depleted of sugar?

Natasha Holme
Author of 'Lesbian Crushes and Bulimia: A Diary on How I Acquired my Eating Disorder'
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By FrankZ on May 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're a throw back from the 60's and still trying to expand your mind with drugs this could be a good read. I purchased this book as a collectable. Due to the fact that the 60's rock band "The Doors" derived their name from a line in this book.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By julian durham on July 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is one of the most over rated books,it was alright. not the best this like people make it out to be.
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