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The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell: Two Complete Nonfiction Works (Perennial Classics) Paperback – May 4, 2004
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Sometimes a writer has to revisit the classics, and here we find that "gonzo journalism"--gutsy first-person accounts wherein the author is part of the story--didn't originate with Hunter S. Thompson or Tom Wolfe. Aldous Huxley took some mescaline and wrote about it some 10 or 12 years earlier than those others. The book he came up with is part bemused essay and part mystical treatise--"suchness" is everywhere to be found while under the influence. This is a good example of essay writing, journal keeping, and the value of controversy--always--in one's work. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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In 1953, Aldous Huxley took four-tenths of a gram of the drug Mescalin, sat down and waited to see what would happen. When he opened his eyes everything was transformed. He describes his experience in The Doors of Perception and its sequel Heaven and Hell. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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The title was taken from William Blake who had said, "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite." That quote and this book would later help Jim Morrison in naming his band, "The Doors."
I read it with rapt attention. I was entranced. When I reread it recently, I was amazed at how much I remembered and how much of my life choices it had influenced.
I do remember that I promised myself at that young age, that when I was older, I would try these drugs as the search for "God" and spirituality was very important to me then and is still now.
In particular, I recall the passage where, staring at a simple chair, Huxley waxed eloquently about what the chair revealed about its maker. Most of all, I recall his referring to perceiving the "isness" of the chair.
This book was originally published in 1954. It was an important book then and it remains so now. It is a "must-have" for the library of any seeker of the truth, any who seek "higher learning", (pun intended and not), any who are investigators of world spirituality. Very highly recommended.
I definitely wouldn't recommend mescaline to people (despite it working wonders for me), it can be very dangerous, but I highly recommend The Doors of Perception. It's so short, you've really got nothing to lose by checking it out.