Categories
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

Follow The Psilocybin

What went from 2gs turned into my subconscious telling me to eat all I had, 7.6gs, that I grew with love, myself. 

I eventually felt my ego melt through my body, where I felt at true peace. No pain or fear, as I watched my hand disappear into light.

Coming down, I realized I wasn’t afraid or confused about this life anymore. I’ve never been more grateful or happy in my life. 

There’s so much more, but in a nutshell. Holy fuck.

This post comes to you from @_nakeyy ✌️😎🍄

Categories
Psilocybin Stories

Samantha’s Psilocybin Surrender

Thank you for joining. 

This Psilocybin Story comes to you from Samantha Scrivens.

And if you have a Psilocybin Story the world needs to hear, email psilocybinstories@gmail.com with why you’d like to share your experience, even if you aren’t a writer!

The world needs more of these right now and forever. 

Thank you so much Samantha for sharing yours!

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Here is “Psilocybin Surrender”

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Can you sequence a dream?  

Pinpoint when it started?  

Likely the setting is a murky, submerged Monet. Conversations of grave importance are whittled to a phrase or single word, if you can recall any at all. Often it’s the sheer fear of being chased, the horror of teeth cracking from oozing gums, the uncontainable joy of flying, that sticks with us in the waking state.

I can no more eloquently detail my solo psychedelic expedition.  

But as you might describe your nightly and matutinal routines: brushing, flossing, drifting off to monotonous tones of a murder mystery podcast, so can I share my trip prep and epilogue: SET, SETTING, SUBSTANCE, SITTER, SESSION, SUPPORT, & SURRENDER.

(mind)SET

I asked myself “Why?”  Why take psilocybin mushrooms under a blindfold and headphones for four hours? My journaled response: 

  • to look the dragon of fear in the mouth
  • to gain experience and knowledge to offer others. 

There’s always a certain fear surrounding psychedelics. What if I have a bad trip? What if I’m that one person that keeps tripping forever? What if I need the paramedics? What if…whatif…whatif…Every time, without fail, this preparatory cry plagues me like a colicky infant to an exhausted mother.  I console my small self with wisdom from Michael Pollan, who experienced a similar protest before each of his psychedelic experiences in How to Change Your Mind

“That voice, I came to realize, was my ego trying (selfishly) to prevent me from a having an experience that, among other things, would undermine that ego.”

Even as I sat with the chocolate truffle in my perspiring palm, invoking divine Reiki energy and protection, my heart slammed like a relentless wave. I took a deep breath, then another, until my pulse subsided.

Fear would undoubtedly rear its ugly head again, snarling and snapping jaws at my bliss, and so I designated my breath as my anchor. After years of practicing yoga and advising students to “return to the breath”, I figured this would be second nature, a well-honed tool to mitigate anxiety during the trip.

As beginner in the burgeoning field of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, I needed to wade through my own internal terrain before I could hope to hold space for others. Hence I write right now, attempting to distill the ineffable experience into words.  

Next I SET intentions: 

  • to dissolve mental barriers
  • to make peace with the past and calm qualms for the future
  • to immerse myself in love and gratitude

At least, that’s what they would have been. There is no guaranteeing what will emerge in the psychedelics state. Whatever needs to surface from mental rabbit holes around which I typically veer, will surface. So I chose, with full faith in my spiritual guides, higher Self, and divine energy, to SURRENDER to the process, leaving my open journal alongside my bed as a remindful totem.  

SETTING

Although I find that submerging in nature is the most idyllic setting for psychedelics, this adventure was meant to explore the inner landscape. Snuggled in bed behind a locked door with sunlight splashing upon my thawing body on a cold winter afternoon created physical and mental comfort from which I could embark on my journey. With a fully charged battery and downloaded playlist compiled by John’s Hopkins University’s psilocybin researchers, I cut cyber connection to the outside world.  

I knew that the music would evoke an array of emotion, that some songs I simply wouldn’t like: the deep Gregorian chant reminiscent of a Catholic Mass; the tinny pitch of a single flute; another crescendo of screaming violins. I promised myself that I wouldn’t skip a song in attempt to skirt something I’d rather not face. “Music becomes a mirror of transcendental forms of consciousness,” the playlist developer, psychologist Bill Richards, Ph.D., explained in an interview with Inverse. My only option would be to surrender to the piercing choir and sharp cello notes evoking tension in my hands, as well as the Hindi chanting and drumming spreading smiles across my face. Along with the music, I steeped a fresh thermos of chamomile tea alongside lavender essential oil and tissues, and cleared the air with sage plumes, additional esoteric comforts to augment calm throughout the experiment.  

SUBSTANCE

Just like a beginning backpacker might start with a one-night trip before venturing out into the wild for a weeklong excursion, I wanted to dabble with a light dosage for my first solo expedition sans sitter. After an hour, I considered nibbling an additional sliver, but I decided to give the mushrooms time to work their magic. I’m grateful for that patience, as I soon felt akin to the protagonist in Gulliver’s Travels, subject to minuscule pixies swarming my skin suit. Of course due to the lesser dosage, I was very much still grounded in the realization that I was, in fact, settled in my own bed and not strapped down on the tiny island of Lilliput.  

Physically, psilocybin connects parts of the brain that aren’t usually linked, temporarily dissolving the default mode network that is responsible for the ego. My ego, however, was still very much present, albeit in the passenger’s seat rather than behind the wheel. I would’ve (and still would) liked to more deeply explore the universe from within through a stronger dose, but not without a sitter to hold space.

SITTER

“Would you mind staying with me for upwards of 5 hours while I lie in bed and listen to classical music?” is a huge favor to ask; and in fact probably categorizes better as a job. As I didn’t have access to such, I shrugged and said, “I’ll be my own sitter, let my breath be my guide.” Although that resolute determination seems sensible in sobriety, it quickly dissolves under a mind altering substance.

I used the bathroom mid-trip, dazzled by the ethereal, vibrant world glowing outside myself. As I nestled into bed again and saw the eye pillow’s slow descent, the Fear Dragon’s scorching breath ignited my worry. I don’t want to go back under.  Oh God. I actually just want this to be over. Maybe I should stop the music, toss the eyemask, and explore myself through yoga. No…that won’t solve this anxiety either. Fuck, I’m thirsty. Gulp. Should I call a friend?And tell them, what, that I took mushrooms and am having a difficult time? That would only make me (not to mention them) more uncomfortable. Oh God, this is why having a sitter is recommended. 

“A SITTER” was the first bullet point I scratched in my journal towards the tail end of the trip. Have a sober someone to hold safe space; a thread of continuity weaving a safety net to assure that you’re doing great, that everything is ok, is paramount. That presence provides a foundation from which the ego can relax so that the rest of consciousness can continue traversing the unknown.

SESSION

At first it felt like I was lying in bed for an afternoon nap. Sunlight danced between branches seemingly in time to Vivaldi’s mandolin measures. But I can no more sequence thoughts or detail images after the first hour than describe how I fell asleep last night. I can, however, identify warm fuzzy feelings of contented bliss amongst harmonious strings and hauntingly enchanted voices. Until I had to tinkle during the trip’s peak.  

It was as I returned to bed that I struck myself with a sudden desire for it all to be over. It dawned on me that I was in the middle of the ocean in a rowboat. Briefly I deliberated biting into an emergency Xanax, but realized that I would be robbing myself of a rich opportunity for growth.

“Surrender” the word jumped from my journal as I sipped tea with shaky hands. I knew that, even if I had a sitter, shaman, entire paramedic team, I would be the only person able to help myself. The psychonaut mantra echoed, “The only way out is through.” And the music will carry me through, I told myself. Although there wasn’t another physical person present, I knew that I wasn’t alone. Calling upon divine feminine energy, The Great Earth Mother for protection, I saw my small self cocooned into her cosmic cuddle.

Deep breath in. Deep breath out.  

A moment later Mozart’s heavy Vesperae Solennes de Confessore gave way to Vivaldi’s Gloria in D Major, releasing rushing relief throughout my entire being. Through jubilant strings I saw a landmass, a continent upon the horizon, and knew that I was going to make it. 

Night darkened. I’d been lying in bed for nearly 5 hours. I really wanted to make it to the end of the playlist, featuring Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles and Louie Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World, but needed a break from music and my room. As I ventured outside to gaze upon the moon and stars, tears welled, not from relief or astonishment at life’s intrinsic beauty and interconnectedness, but from an overwhelming sensation of isolation. Mopping exhausted eyes, I returned inside, grounded myself with (non-psychoactive) dark chocolate, transcribed what I could, and slept.  

SUPPORT

I’d always experienced psychedelics with another soul, holding hands to skirt dark shadows. Afterward, the space that was usually full of reminiscent giggling was rife with lonely contemplation. I’d noticed the gaping disconnect between the altruistic, wholesome life I desired and my current, unfulfilled existence. As after every psychedelic trip, I felt as if I’d come back with a handful of seeds, but lacked the tools with which to cultivate them. Wreaked with worry, I reached out to an old friend.

Over chips, salsa, and frosted mug of Pacifico, Smeagol held space for me to vent smoke clouding my mind. “We can really only do the best we can with what we have,” she mused in response to my whines of wasting potential and squandering opportunities. With a wry smile she added, “Besides, it’s not like we’re really free,” nodding to our many past dialogues on of the farce of free will. It was a relief, but still I realized why these experiences are often communal, as in ayahuasca ceremonies, and involve a shaman for integrating a transcendental overload.  

SURRENDER

In the days following, I wrote and wrestled, attempting to solve a mental Rubik’s cube, spinning worries round and round, until I noticed that the puzzle was color changing. Maybe there is no solution. It’s ok to not be ok, to walk away from this battle with anxiety. 

Surrendering, I realized, was an avenue to peace.  

As for the seeds, I’m planting them one at a time. Literally in gardens, and figuratively, through this piece here, hoping to grow a community in which we can facilitate safe, supported consciousness exploration, thus expanding awareness of interconnectedness.

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Check out more of Samantha’s posts here on her website.
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Thank you for reading🙏❤️😄💙🍄