Aldous Huxley Quotes


Type: Writer, novelist

Born: 26 July 1894

Died: 22 November 1963 (aged 69)

Aldous Leonard was an English writer, novelist, philosopher, and prominent member of the Huxley family. He graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, with a first in English literature.

Aldous Huxley Quotes

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly - they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.

A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one; it comes as sincerely from the author's soul.

I believe one would write better if the climate were bad. If there were a lot of wind and storms for example...

Thanks to words, we have been able to rise above the brutes; and thanks to words, we have often sunk to the level of the demons.

Words, words, words! They shut one off from the universe. Three quarters of the time one’s never in contact with things, only with the beastly words that stand for them.

Words are man's first and most grandiose invention. With language he created a whole new universe;

Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.

All that happens means something; nothing you do is ever insignificant.

Who lives longer? The man who takes heroin for two years and dies, or a man who lives on roast beef, water and potatoes 'till 95? One passes his 24 months in eternity. All the years of the beefeater are lived only in time.

The trouble with fiction," said John Rivers, "is that it makes too much sense. Reality never makes sense.

I ate civilization. It poisoned me; I was defiled. And then," he added in a lower tone, "I ate my own wickedness.

Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.

An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling falsehood.

La filosofía nos enseña a sentir incertidumbre ante las cosas que nos parecen evidentes. La propaganda, en cambio, nos enseña a aceptar como evidentes cosas sobre las que sería razonable suspender nuestro juicio o sentir dudas.

He was a philosopher, if you know what that was.’
‘A man who dreams of fewer things than there are in heaven and earth,’ said the Savage promptly.
‘Quite so…

Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.

A felicidade nunca é graciosa.

Happiness is never gracious.

All crosses had their tops cut and became T's. There was also a thing called God.

Only times and places, only names and ghosts.

Mon Dieu, la vie est par trop moche.

The world and the friends that lived in it are shadows: you alone remain real in this drowsing room.

Thought must be divided against itself before it can come to any knowledge of itself.

You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. . . . Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.

Given the nature of spiders, webs are inevitable. And given the nature of human beings, so are religions. Spiders can't help making fly-traps, and men can't help making symbols. That's what the human brain is there for - the turn the chaos of given experience into a set of manageable symbols.

In the contexts of religion and politics, words are not regarded as standing, rather inadequately, for things and events; on the contrary, things and events are regarded as particular illustrations of words.

Even the best cookery book is no substitute for even the worst dinner.

Science [is] that wonderfully convenient personification of the opinions, at a certain date, of Professors X, Y, and Z....

The more science discovers and the more comprehension it gives us of the mechanisms of existence, the more clearly does the mystery of existence itself stand out.

They had not yet learned to draw the significant but often very fine distinction between smut and pure science.

Man is so intelligent that he feels impelled to invent theories to account for what happens in the world. Unfortunately, he is not quite intelligent enough, in most cases, to find correct explanations. So that when he acts on his theories, he behaves very often like a lunatic.

A physical shortcoming could produce a kind of mental excess. The process, it seemed, was reversible. Mental excess could produce, for its own purposes, the voluntary blindness and deafness of deliberate solitude, the artificial impotence of asceticism.

Grief doesn't kill, love doesn't kill; but time kills everything, kills desire, kills sorrow, kills in the end the mind that feels them; wrinkels and softens the body while it still lives, tots it like a medlar, kills it too at last.

Visual impressions are greatly intensified and the eye recovers some of the perceptual innocence of childhood, when the sensum was not immediately and automatically subordinated to the concept. Interest in space is diminished and interest in time falls almost to zero.

Una verdad sin interés puede ser eclipsada por una falsedad emocionante.

Deprived of their newspapers or a novel, reading-addicts will fall back onto cookery books, on the literature which is wrapped around bottles of patent medicine, on those instructions for keeping the contents crisp which are printed on the outside of boxes of breakfast cereals. On anything.

Back to culture. Yes, actually to culture. You can’t consume much if you sit still and read books.

One can’t have something for nothing. Happiness has got to be paid for. You’re paying for it, Mr. Watson - paying because you happen to be too much interested in beauty.

As for women, I am perpetually assuring myself that they're the broad highway to divinity

But, then, you were born a pagan; I am trying laboriously to make myself one. I can take nothing for granted, I can enjoy nothing as it comes along. Beauty, pleasure, art, women - I have to invent an excuse, a justification for everything that's delightful. Otherwise I can't enjoy it with an easy conscience.

It is a scene of Satyrs and Nymphs, of pursuits and captures, provocative resistances followed by the enthusiastic surrender of lips to bearded lips, of panting bosoms to the impatience of rough hands, the whole accompanied by a babel of shouting, squealing and shrill laughter

My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.

...reality, however utopian, is something from which people feel the need of taking pretty frequent holidays....

He woke once more to external reality, looked round him, knew what he saw- knew
it, with a sinking sense of horror and disgust, for the recurrent delirium
of his days and nights, the nightmare of swarming indistinguishable sameness.

Believe it or not, a normal human being is one who can have an orgasm and is adjusted to his society.

However expressive, symbols can never be the things they stand for.

A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.

Perhaps it's good for one to suffer. Can an artist do anything if he's happy? Would he ever want to do anything? What is art, after all, but a protest against the horrible inclemency of life?

It's a very salutary thing to realize that the rather dull universe in which most of us spend most of our time is not the only universe there is. I think it's healthy that people should have this experience.

As a lover or a dipsomaniac, I've no doubt of your being a most fascinating specimen. But as a combiner of forms, you must honestly admit it, you're a bore.

It is only when we have renounced our preoccupation with "I," "me," "mine," that we can truly possess the world in which we live. Everything, provided that we regard nothing as property. And not only is everything ours; it is also everybody else's.

The physique of a Messiah. But too clever to believe in God or be convinced of his own mission. And too sensitive, even if he were convinced, to carry it out. His muscles would like to act and his feelings would like to believe; but his nerve-endings and his cleverness won't allow it.

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

These,” he said gravely, “are unpleasant facts; I know it. But then most historical facts are unpleasant.

De Sade is the one completely consistent and thoroughgoing revolutionary of history.

Pain was a fascinating horror

All of us desire a better state of society. But society cannot become better before two great tasks are performed.Unless peace can be firmly established and the prevailing obsession with money and power profoundly modified, there is no hope of any desirable change being made.

But then every man is ludicrous if you look at him from outside, without taking into account what’s going on in his heart and mind.

The essential Not-self could be perceived very clearly in things and in living
creatures on the hither side of good and evil. In human beings it was visible only when they were in
repose, their minds untroubled, their bodies motionless.

Cine naiba se crede el ?”. Întrebarea nu i se adresa lui Cézanne în particular, ci speciei umane în general. Cine se credeau oamenii ?

Liberties aren't given, they are taken.

Freedom to be a round peg in a square hole.

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.

Consciousness is only possible through change; change is only possible through movement.

The vast majority of human beings dislike and even actually dread all notions with which they are not familiar... Hence it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have generally been persecuted, and always derided as fools and madmen.

We don't want to change. Every change is a menace to stability. That's another reason why we're so chary of applying new inventions.

Dünyayı değiştirmek istedim, anladım ki kesin olarak değiştirebileceğiniz tek şey bizzat kendinizdir.

One of the principal functions of a friend is to suffer (in a milder and symbolic form) the punishments that we should like, but are unable, to inflict upon our enemies.

Power and wealth increase in direct proportion to a man's distance from the material objects from which wealth and power are ultimately derived.

Everybody wants power. Power in some form or other. [...] Some people want power to persecute other human beings; you expend your lust for power in persecuting words, twisting them, molding them, torturing them to obey you.

Like every other good thing in this
world, leisure and culture have to be paid for. Fortunately, however,
it is not the leisured and the cultured who have to pay. Let us be
duly thankful for that, my dear Denis-duly thankful.

Every man's memory is his private literature.

Viata e insa atat de banala,incat literatura trebuie sa se ocupe de lucrurile care ies din comun.

I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly.

No social stability without individual stability.

Home, home - a few small rooms, stiflingly over-inhabited by a man, by a periodically teeming woman, by rabble of boys and girls of all ages. No air, no space; an understerilized prison; darkness, disease and smells.

Individual insanity is immune to the consequences of collective insanity

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