He was the third son of the writer and schoolmaster Leonard Huxley, who edited Cornhill Magazine and his first wife, Julia Arnold, who founded Prior's Field School. Julia was the niece of poet and critic Matthew Arnold and the sister of Mrs.
Mescaline Mescaline is the principal active psychedelic agent of the peyote and San Pedro cacti, which have been used in Native American religious ceremonies for thousands of years. These included mescaline, which he showed through a combination of animal and self-experiments was the compound responsible for the psychoactive properties of the plant.
The book stated that the drug could be used to research the unconscious mind. Peyote as entheogen drug[ edit ] A peyote cactus, from which mescaline is derived. In the s, an American anthropologist Weston La Barrepublished The Peyote Cult, the first study of the ritual use of peyote as an entheogen drug amongst the Huichol people of western Mexico.
La Barre noted that the Indian users of the cactus took it to obtain visions for prophecy, healing and inner strength. In the early s, when Huxley wrote his book, mescaline was still regarded as a research chemical rather than a drug and was listed in the Parke-Davis catalogue with no controls.
Most notable, William S. Burroughs,  Jack Kerouac,  and Allen Ginsberg  —all of whom were respected contemporary beat artists  of their generation. Theirs and many other contemporary artists works were heavily influenced by over the counter forms of mescaline during this time due to its potency and attainability.
Huxley had been interested in spiritual matters and had used alternative therapies for some time. In he told TS Eliot that he was starting to meditate and he used other therapies too; the Alexander Technique and the Bates Method of seeing had particular importance in guiding him through personal crises.
He had known for some time of visionary experience achieved by taking drugs in certain non-Christian religions. Osmond's paper set out results from his research into schizophrenia using mescaline that he had been undertaking with colleagues, doctors Abram Hoffer and John Smythies. His letter explained his motivations as being rooted in an idea that the brain is a reducing valve that restricts consciousness and hoping mescaline might help access a greater degree of awareness an idea he later included in the book.
He hoped drugs might also break down the barriers of the ego, and both draw him closer to spiritual enlightenment and satisfy his quest as a seeker of knowledge.
The psychiatrist had misgivings about giving the drug to Huxley, and wrote, "I did not relish the possibility, however remote, of being the man who drove Aldous Huxley mad," but instead found him an ideal subject.
Huxley was "shrewd, matter-of-fact and to the point" and his wife Maria "eminently sensible". The mescaline was slow to take effect, but Osmond saw that after two and a half hours the drug was working and after three hours Huxley was responding well.
Huxley was particularly fond of the shop and the large variety of products available there in stark contrast to the much smaller selection in English chemist's shops. There he considered a variety of paintings in art books. For one of his friends, Huxley's poor eyesight manifested in both a great desire to see and a strong interest in painting, which influenced the strong visual and artistic nature of his experience.
Photographs show Huxley standing, alternately arms on hips and outstretched with a grin on his face. Finally, they returned home and to ordinary consciousness. Huxley admitted to having changed the fabric as Maria thought he should be better dressed for his readers.
The line from which Huxley draws the title is in the second to last paragraph. After returning to Los Angeles, he took a month to write the book.
If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern. This increased his concern for his already poor eyesight and much of his work in the early part of the decade had featured metaphors of vision and sight.
Huxley writes that he hoped to gain insight into extraordinary states of mind and expected to see brightly coloured visionary landscapes. When he only sees lights and shapes, he puts this down to being a bad visualiser; however, he experiences a great change in his perception of the external world.
The experience, he asserts, is neither agreeable nor disagreeable, but simply "is". He likens it to Meister Eckhart 's "istigheit" or "is-ness", and Plato 's "Being" but not separated from "Becoming".
He feels he understands the Hindu concept of Satchitanandaas well as the Zen koan that, "the dharma body of the Buddha is in the hedge" and Buddhist suchness. In this state, Huxley explains he didn't have an "I", but instead a "not-I". Meaning and existence, pattern and colour become more significant than spatial relationships and time.
Duration is replaced by a perpetual present. Broad that to enable us to live, the brain and nervous system eliminate unessential information from the totality of the Mind at Large. In summary, Huxley writes that the ability to think straight is not reduced while under the influence of mescaline, visual impressions are intensified, and the human experimenter will see no reason for action because the experience is so fascinating.
In one book, the dress in Botticelli 's Judith provokes a reflection on drapery as a major artistic theme as it allows painters to include the abstract in representational art, to create mood, and also to represent the mystery of pure being.
As Huxley believes that contemplation should also include action and charity, he concludes that the experience represents contemplation at its height, but not its fullness. Correct behaviour and alertness are needed. Nonetheless, Huxley maintains that even quietistic contemplation has an ethical value, because it is concerned with negative virtues and acts to channel the transcendent into the world.
Outside, the garden chairs take on such an immense intensity that he fears being overwhelmed; this gives him an insight into madness.The Devils of Loudun is a non-fiction novel by Aldous Huxley.
It is a historical narrative of supposed demonic possession, religious fanaticism, sexual repression, and mass hysteria that occurred in seventeenth-century France surrounding unexplained events that took place in the small town of Loudun.
Aldous Huxley states that he first read of the events at Loudun in Michelet’s "La Sorcière". Huxley was struck by the inaccuracies and the “very slap-dash” quality of the work, written by an admittedly great caninariojana.coms: Aldous Huxley's account of 1 of the strangest occurrences in history.
In a whole convent within the small French village of Loudun was once it seems that possessed via the satan. After a sensational and celebrated trial, the convent's charismatic priest city Grandier—accused of spiritually and sexually seducing the nuns in his charge—was . Aldous Huxley was born July 26, , in the village of Godalming, Surrey, England.
The third son of Leonard Huxley, a writer, editor, and teacher, and Julia Arnold, also a teacher, the young Aldous grew up in a family of well-connected, well-known writers, scientists, and educators. The Devils of Loudun is a fascinating historical account, written like a fiction, detailing a scandalous affair in s France.