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Psychedelic Books

33 Essential Quotes from Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception

Doors of Perception
Written by Aldous Huxley. 
Published in 1954.
60 pages.
Huxley discusses his experience taking mescaline in 1953. 

Though I recommend reading the whole book (it’s pretty short), here are 33 quotes that I believe are essential to this book. They relate to My First Psychedelic Trip and others’ Psychedelic Experiences. (Also, Mescaline is written as Mescalin by Huxley – same thing)

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33 Quotes

1—”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.”

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2— “The mind was primarily concerned, not with measures and locations, but with being and meaning.”

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3—“But the reasonably healthy person knows in advance that, so far as he is concerned, mescalin is completely innocuous, that its effects will pass off after eight or ten hours, leaving no hangover and consequently no craving for a renewal of the dose.”

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4— “But 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 cocksure, 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.”

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5—Our goal is to discover that we have always been where we ought to be. Unhappily we make the task exceedingly difficult for ourselves.”

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6—“A moment later a clump of Red Hot Pokers, in full bloom, had exploded into my field of vision. So passionately alive that they seemed to be standing on the very brink of utterance.”

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7—“Other persons discover a world of visionary beauty. To others again is revealed the glory, the infinite value and meaningfulness of naked existence, of the given, un-conceptualized event. In the final stage of ego-less-ness there is an “obscure knowledge” that All is in all – that All is actually each.”

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8—“What the rest of us see only under the influence of mescalin, the artist is congenitally equipped to see all the time.”

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9—“The schizophrenic is like a man permanently under the influence of mescalin.”

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10—“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.”

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11—“Along with the happily transfigured majority of mescalin takers there is a minority that finds in the drug only hell or purgatory.”

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12— “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.”

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13— “Professor J. S. Slotkin, one of the very few white men ever to have participated in the rites of a Peyotist congregation, says of his fellow worshipers that they are “certainly not stupefied or drunk…. They never get out of rhythm or fumble their words, as a drunken or stupefied man would do…. They are all quiet, courteous and considerate of one another. I have never been in any white man’s house of worship where there is either so much religious feeling or decorum.”

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14—“How many philosophers, how many theologians, how many professional educators have had the curiosity to open this Door in the Wall? The answer, for all practical purposes, is, None.”

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15—“Words are uttered, but fail to enlighten. The things and events to which the symbols refer belong to mutually exclusive realms of experience.”

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16— “What is important is less the reason for the experience than the experience itself.”

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17— “It has been a retreat from the outward Datum into the personal subconscious, into a mental world more squalid and more tightly closed than even the world of conscious personality.”

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18—“For the moment, mescalin had delivered me “e world of selves, of time, of moral judgments and utilitarian considerations, the world (and it was this aspect of human life which I wished, above all else, to forget) of self-assertion, of cocksureness, of overvalued words and idolatrously worshiped notions.”

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19—“This is how one ought to see,” I repeated yet again. And I might have added,’ ‘These are the sort of things one ought to look at.” Things without pretensions, satisfied to be merely themselves, sufficient in their Suchness, not acting a part, not trying, insanely, to go it alone, in isolation from the Dharma-Body, in Luciferian defiance of the grace of god.”The nearest approach to this,” I said, “would be a Vermeer.”

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20—“For the moment that interfering neurotic who, in waking hours, tries to run the show, was blessedly out of the way.”

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21—“All that the conscious ego can do is to formulate wishes, which are then carried out by forces which it controls very little and understands not at all.”

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22—“In the intervals between his revelations the mescalin taker is apt to feel that, though in one way everything is supremely as it should be, in another there is something wrong.”

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23—“I took down my copy of Evans-Wentz’s edition of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and opened at random:

“O nobly born, let not thy mind be distracted.” That was the problem – to remain undistracted. Undistracted by the memory of past sins, by imagined pleasure, by the bitter aftertaste of old wrongs and humiliations, by all the fears and hates and cravings that ordinarily eclipse the Light…

… What those Buddhist monks did for the dying and the dead, might not the modern psychiatrist do for the insane? Let there be a voice to assure them, by day and even while they are asleep, that in spite of all the terror, all the bewilderment and confusion, the ultimate Reality remains unshakably itself and is of the same substance as the inner light of even the most cruelly tormented mind.”

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24—“But we can easily become the victims as well as the beneficiaries of these systems…

We must learn how to handle words effectively; but at the same time we must preserve and, if necessary, intensify our ability to look at the world directly and not through that half opaque medium of concepts, which distorts every given fact into the all too familiar likeness of some generic label or explanatory abstraction…

Literary or scientific, liberal or specialist, all our education is predominantly verbal and therefore fails to accomplish what it is supposed to do.”

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25—“The universal and ever-present urge to self- transcendence is not to be abolished by slamming the currently popular Doors in the Wall. The only reasonable policy is to open other, better doors in the hope of inducing men and women to exchange their old bad habits for new and less harmful ones.”

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26—“A man under the influence of mescalin quietly minds his own business. Moreover, the business he minds is an experience of the most enlightening kind, which does not have to be paid for (and this is surely important) by a compensatory hangover.”

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27—“For myself, on this memorable May morning, I could only be grateful for an experience which had shown me, more clearly than I had ever seen it before, the true nature of the challenge and the completely liberating response.”

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28—“The contemplative whose perception has been cleansed does not have to stay in his room. He can go about his business, so completely satisfied to see and be a part of the divine Order of Things that he will never even be tempted to indulge in what Traherne called “the dirty Devices of the world.”

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29—“Today the percept had swallowed up the concept. I was so completely absorbed in looking, so thunderstruck by what I actually saw, that I could not be aware of anything else.”

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30—“When we feel ourselves to be sole heirs of the universe, when “the sea flows in our veins … and the stars are our jewels,” when all things are perceived as infinite and holy, what motive can we have for covetousness or self-assertion, for the pursuit of power or the drearier forms of pleasure?”

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31—”We see, then, that Christianity and alcohol do not and cannot mix. Christianity and mescalin seem to be much more compatible.”

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32—“If you started in the wrong way,” I said in answer to the investigator’s questions, “everything that happened would be a proof of the conspiracy against you. It would all be self-validating, You couldn’t draw a breath without knowing it was part of the plot.” “So you think you know where madness lies?”

My answer was a convinced and heartfelt, “Yes.”

“And you couldn’t control it?”

“No I couldn’t control it. If one began with fear and hate as the major premise, one would have to go on to the conclusion.” “Would you be able,” my wife asked, “to fix your attention on what The Tibetan Book of The Dead calls the Clear Light?” I was doubtful.

“Would it keep the evil away, if you could hold it? Or would you not be able to hold it?”

I considered the question for some time. “Perhaps,” I answered at last, “perhaps I could – but only if there were somebody there to tell me about the Clear Light. One couldn’t do it by oneself. That’s the point, I suppose, of the Tibetan ritual – someone sitting there all the time and telling you what’s what.”

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33—“An hour later, with ten more miles and the visit to the World’s Biggest Drug Store safely behind us, we were back at home, and I had returned to that reassuring but profoundly unsatisfactory state known as “being in one’s right mind.”

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What’s your favorite Doors of Perception quote?

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Categories
Psilocybin Stories

Psilocybin Paradox

…So I clearly picked the stick up. Magic. It really did feel surreal. I later showed my friends who, at the time, we were all a little separated, walking around in our own worlds…but the same world.

^Another realization — The truth of Paradox. 

I saw both sides of many coins, and realized that they were all true. Like just above, we’re all in the same world, but also, we all operate individually within ourselves, our brains, mind, or whatever. Heart too.

Another Paradox — That we are all connected and that we’re all separate. Similar to above. We’re all living individual lives, but beyond who we think we are(which might be ego?), is who we actually are — which is one entity. I’ll relate this one to living in the state you had as a child. There was a time in our lives, when we were really young, that we didn’t separate ourselves from anything. It could have been from our lack of knowledge/education….but it could have been that that is who we are in our purest form? We don’t fear anything. We don’t fear death because we don’t think about it. We’re truly living in the moment, thoughtless, and isn’t that what so many people try to do, or have always been trying to do? — reach that state of bliss, of no thoughts. We see people turn to drugs, alcohol, food, anything to try and get away from “ourselves”(who we think we are), and yes, psilocybin is considered a drug, but there are things that are legal, like Cigarettes, that are wayyyy worse for our health(not judging as I dabble sometimes, just comparing). 

There are many reasons Psilocybin is illegal while there are numerous lethal things that are legal. We are on our way though, making progress, more people are opening up to it, and this is actually one of the good trends to follow

This comes from my experience though, so it may not be for everyone, but I believe in psilocybin’s benefits. It’s more than great seeing research and studies being done in this area, and I look forward to all that is to come from it 🙂

This was a short excerpt from My First Real Trip.

Categories
Psilocybin Stories

Existential Thoughts

I went into this writing as a story idea — this would be a suicide note sent to a friend, and the friend is now reading this note which they received a day or two after their friend killed themselves.

I don’t plan on committing suicide, but this quickly turned into my own existential thoughts on life, to myself, and less of a suicide note. I wrote it in one sitting with pencil and paper, in late October 2019-it was one of those flow moments. 

I wasn’t on magic mushrooms when writing this, I’m not even sure if they were on my mind, but I know they helped shape some of these thoughts.

I decided to keep some of the things I planned on editing out, in – they are in parentheses. Can be read with or without them.

Here is Existential Thoughts:

_____________________________

I can’t put into words how I feel right now, but I’ll try.
I’m young, but I feel so old; restless.

(A lost soul in a cold world.)

I found out this is a cold world; heartless.
Or maybe too much heart, and not enough brain,

(No thinking in this world, or you’ll be called insane; psycho, crazy.)
(Just do what we’re told.)

Cuz the people who think are all called insane; psycho.
They want us to do what we’re told and then feel shame; brainwash. (obedience)

I just can’t take it anymore, this game, I fold; The End.

Yes-I know I’m (loathing, dwelling) drowning in self-pity,
But I’m no Hunter S. Thompson, 
I can’t always “ride the waves of life” 
Sometimes those waves get so big, they suck me in and throw me against the ocean floor.

(And it fucking hurts. A fucking lot.)

Anyway, I know that everyone has their own waves to try and ride so I don’t even know why I’m sending this out.

No one actually cares. The world turns, the sun sets and rises and has been here for like billions of years..maybe..who knows what’s really real, I don’t think anyone does, except our experiences seem real, I don’t know.

I wonder what death will be like..or that it won’t “be” at all, not for our egos at least, 
Bye bye whoever I thought I was, Hello reality.
But this life is miraculous, it’s, there’s no words that can capture what this is, “life” we call it.
It’s a fucking trip.
Don’t know where it came from, don’t know where it goes.

I’m not sure if anything actually matters.
If we’re just dust in the wind, which in a sense we are because the Earth is just a small speck in the Universe that we don’t know how big it is!!
So if we’re just dust in the wind then why do we live? —or better, why do we want/desire to live?

It’s built within us—everyone wants to survive, mostly everyone. I do, but I just don’t fucking know life’s purpose! Fuck…maybe life has no purpose, although it feels as if it does.

Paradoxes on top of paradoxes on top of paradoxes; life is an unsolvable puzzle…maybe.

What if it could be solved? Or maybe there’s no solving to do because it just “is”
Maybe we’ve been taught, or our biologies lead us to desiring to “solve” life.
What would that even mean?-To solve life…
Haha, it sounds ridiculous but I think everyone I know is trying to do it. I know I am…Like, to experience ecstasy all the time?

I think that’s what most people are seeking—to feel good, and not feel bad,
And we’ve come up with a million and one ways to do this, but, it all ends in death, right?

I don’t know, maybe there’s life after death, maybe we .. or maybe life-whatever this is, just goes on without us.

Maybe it’s indifferent to our feelings—kind of like how we humans are mostly indifferent to others’ feelings and especially indifferent to animals’ feelings – I mean, we eat them. So what makes us better than them?? I don’t think we are better, but I do believe the collective human conscious believes we are better than animals…I’m just trying to put things into perspective, like an objective perspective-because we each have our own individual ego/self-perspective, but I think there’s more to life than humans-A lot more! Maybe I’ll find it on the other side-like I’ll be born as an alien or something…stupid…

But anyway-I think when people, when I, you, everyone are confronted with (the end) death, we get defensive. We don’t want to believe the truth of reality so we never live in a reality of truth. Facades and masks and makeup and clothes—these things strengthen a false reality, so what would strengthen a truer reality? – I do still believe in wearing clothes, geez I’m not an animal…Or are we just animals playing dress-up? Haha.

I don’t know. I think though. I think a lot. 
Sometimes I wish I didn’t think so much, but sometimes I like thinking.

So strengthening a truer reality..I think part of it comes down to a deep understanding/realization of death. -It’s hard for anyone to understand what we aren’t currently experiencing. So maybe one thing could be an imagination/visualization of losing all of one’s possessions—imagine what it would be like to have nothing and be on the streets of this cruel world. 

It seems like most people don’t want to know the truth of reality, they want to believe they will live forever until they die, and I don’t think that’s wrong because I believe in the cosmos-that all things that happen are supposed to happen, but if the cosmos is just another made-up idea, well I don’t know – people who live a completely selfish life and die don’t worry about the consequences of their actions—they’re dead, but I think each persons’ actions impact us all, I do believe in that – cause and effect, which I only have a limited understanding on.

But then also if the whole human race would go/goes extinct, what does it matter? 

I have no idea, but I have instinct/intuition, and it has a desire to do good, to help, to live a life where if when I die—I came/come back as a human(or animal) on the other side of the planet, that I can feel safe and loved—that I can be born into a world of love-a world where love rules – where we help each other rather than punish and shame, where we can look a stranger in the eye and really, really know, that they are me, and I am them, and that in what we have labeled as imperfections or flaws,-we (can) look at our own shortcomings/mishaps first before judging … that we won’t even judge, or that our judgements will be Love.-that, why would I ever try to hurt someone who is me, and I them?

It may never happen-it might not matter at all, but this is where I’m being called. I don’t know how to deal with people who hate—and I could be wrong but from what I’ve learned in human history-I’ve learned that masses of people tend to hate love…Like all the prophets get assassinated or thrown in jail. That seems backwards/wrong.

Are these “happenings” rooted in a corrupt system that desires control by any means?
Using the media to plant subconscious(selfish) ideas into human minds that/which benefit/strengthen the current power/system?
Or is it (“just”) conspiracy? 

I don’t think it’s conspiracy, I think it’s another truth of reality that the “winners”/people in power/many people, don’t want to see/look at. If you go back in history and study it, really study it, you’ll see this to be true(see the truth of this harsh reality); control, greed, more, more, never enough, more, but never being satisfied. (So) When does it end?

It ends when our desire for truth is stronger than our desire for more(of anything)…What is true and what’s not?

I have no fucking idea, but I know and I feel a truth inside of me that yearns to live.

(Maybe this life/society isn’t meant to live like that, or maybe we experience truth in death, or maybe we are evolving-into something beautiful, as/like a caterpillar turned butterfly).

But it’s A World of Love that I want to live in.

And maybe our own heaven and hells are within each of us, and we, as individuals, me-I, am in control of whether I experience real love or not-that if I want to change the world I need to change myself. It’s probably true, but I still don’t change. I continue as I am, and can I change?-I’m sure I could, at least it feels like we have that free will. But I still don’t change. I envision a beautiful world-but beautiful for who?-Humans? Will we still eat animals?-I think our fear to survive is stronger than compassion for animals..Or beautiful for “Americans?”-To live believing we are superior to others of the human race because of where we were born and had zero control of?..

Even if I want to help make the world better, it’s because it would be a better place to be if I died and came back, that’s still selfish. It focuses on “I” “Me” “My” still.

(So what’s the point?)

So the point is that I have no fucking clue if what I or we do is “right” or “good” because a lot of people are trying to do what’s good for them and their “tribe”

(So) Instead of being told what I should do and believe in, I follow a/my calling-maybe my calling is just a sum of my experiences and observations, I don’t know-but it’s strong within me. I am no perfect person-that doesn’t exist. I (just) am that I am.

I have a desire to go on/continue trying to explain or discuss these ideas, but I realized that some people will understand; and maybe I’m biased but I think those that understand are also seeking truth-(they are on a path of love).

And many may think I’m crazy-but I know that it’s common for people to fear and hate on what they don’t understand…

Cuz the people who think are called insane.

One more thing—I’ve observed numerous amounts of people who are actually afraid to think against societal ideas—to think for themselves, for the fear of being condemned or whatever(which is one reason I write anonymously).

-And yea it makes sense – a lot of prophets and peace makers have been/are targeted and killed or put in a cage. The system doesn’t desire to be changed – it craves/desires evil, corruption, power, control at the expense of anything and anyone.

But I think it can change as more and more people genuinely want truth and love, and as difficult as it is in this world to follow one’s truth, it will become easier as more people join(the movement); To Love-support, help, cooperate, encourage, collaborate, in authenticity, in knowing that I am you, and you are me.

(How can we know if we’re authentically loving ourselves and others?…)

Love—what does it really mean?

—Not to hate ourselves because of our vices, or should we hate ourselves until we do what we think we should do? -Or Loving ourselves through it all-making progress as we strive and fail, and continue to strive to live in a state of Love…

I don’t know.

(Maybe you’ll find something of use from my words-as all we/I know and say is a result of my experiences and observations.)

(This whole thing just flowed out of me and onto the pages in one sitting)

There’s a lot of thinking going on inside of me, sometimes too much?-No-it’s all what it is and what “it” is is ___________. -There’s no word I can think of-but the experience is a oneness with everything-a connection that is beyond thought-beyond words-beyond judgements-a deep peace. -Knowing that it’s all okay despite the (horrendous) truth of reality – I cross our horrendous because we may label it that because of our ideas of what is right and wrong(which a person’s thoughts of right and wrong are all relative to the human species-or race, gender, etc) is subjective. -(to our personal beliefs, not the truth of reality.)

But anyway!—yes, that it’s all okay, that we have very little control of whatever it is we are experiencing-but we have some control of (I think) our own actions-not the external world.

And that that is okay too.

And that you and I are going to die one day, and that that is okay.

Why wouldn’t it be okay??

-Because we thinkit’s not “okay” or “good”

Maybe death-it is the greatest thing that will ever happen to us.

I don’t know – and I don’t want to think that I know, because I don’t, (but) it-(death) is natural-and is “natural” indifferent?

Are we in a simulation? – maybe.
Is Jesus the only way to “eternal life?” -maybe.
Is there no purpose to anything, including this text? -maybe.

I guess one of the main takeaways I want readers to get from this is to really think about life—your own life, others’ lives, animals’ lives, and imagine/envision/think about what a “perfect”/ideal life would look like?

What does it look like to you?-And then imagine what it might be like for someone completely different from you—you may come to the realization that no amount of thinking will change reality’s truth, or who knows, maybe it will.

Are there similar characteristics in these perfect worlds?-or do your biases and human nature create a perfect world for just you-regardless of the feelings and thoughts of others?…

Thank you for reading.

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Love. Peace. Shrooms.