Grace Mastered

The most thought-provoking Aldous Huxley quotes

aldous huxley quotes

In the first half of the twentieth century, he was considered one of the great intellects of the era. This is why Aldous Huxley quotes are considered profound and important.

Aldous Huxley was an English philosopher and author. He wrote over fifty books. These included novels, collections of essays, and poetry. Huxley was nominated for the Literature Nobel seven times, (although he never won.) The Royal Society of Literature made him a Companion in 1962.

Huxley was born in 1894 in Godalming, Surrey, England, to Leonard and Julia Huxley. His family called him “Ogre” as a child, and his brother Julian described him as someone who contemplated the oddest things.

Huxley began his writing career by publishing poems and short stories. He also edited Oxford Poetry, and later contributed to the magazines – British Vogue and Vanity Fair. He rose to prominence with his fifth work, Brave New World, a dystopian fiction.

Huxley was a writer, pacifist, and humanist. His books “The Perennial Philosophy” and “The Doors of Perception” explore mysticism and universalism.

What is interesting about Aldous Huxley, and what may have led to his thinking and mindset, are:

  • Aldous Huxley was almost completely blind as a teenager. Some of his vision was restored through surgery, but this was a challenge he dealt with throughout his life.
  • His grandfather was a vocal proponent of evolution.
  • He worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood.
  • He frequently wrote about Buddhism, pacifis,m, and mysticism. This commitment to pacifism prevented him from becoming an American citizen.
    During his lifetime,
  • Aldous Huxley spoke of the potential dangers of overpopulation.

 

Table of Contents

In the first half of the twentieth century, he was considered one of the great intellects of the era. This is why Aldous Huxley quotes are considered profound and important.

Aldous Huxley was an English philosopher and author. He wrote over fifty books. These included novels, collections of essays, and poetry. Huxley was nominated for the Literature Nobel seven times, (although he never won.) The Royal Society of Literature made him a Companion in 1962.

Huxley was born in 1894 in Godalming, Surrey, England, to Leonard and Julia Huxley. His family called him “Ogre” as a child, and his brother Julian described him as someone who contemplated the oddest things.

Huxley began his writing career by publishing poems and short stories. He also edited Oxford Poetry, and later contributed to the magazines – British Vogue and Vanity Fair. He rose to prominence with his fifth work, Brave New World, a dystopian fiction.

Huxley was a writer, pacifist, and humanist. His books “The Perennial Philosophy” and “The Doors of Perception” explore mysticism and universalism.

What is interesting about Aldous Huxley, and what may have led to his thinking and mindset, are:

  • Aldous Huxley was almost completely blind as a teenager. Some of his vision was restored through surgery, but this was a challenge he dealt with throughout his life.
  • His grandfather was a vocal proponent of evolution.
  • He worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood.
  • He frequently wrote about Buddhism, pacifis,m, and mysticism. This commitment to pacifism prevented him from becoming an American citizen.
    During his lifetime,
  • Aldous Huxley spoke of the potential dangers of overpopulation.

 

Aldous Huxley quotes, general

  1. Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.
  2. Hell isn’t merely paved with good intentions; it’s walled and roofed with them. Yes, and furnished too.
  3. One of the great attractions of patriotism – it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what’s more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous.
  4. Science has explained nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness.
  5. The author of the Iliad is either Homer or, if not Homer, somebody else of the same name.
  6. Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.
  7. Europe is so well gardened that it resembles a work of art, a scientific theory, a neat metaphysical system. Man has re-created Europe in his own image.
  8. Beauty is worse than wine, it intoxicates both the holder and beholder.
  9. Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
  10. The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
  11. Cynical realism is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation.
  12. Sons have always a rebellious wish to be disillusioned by that which charmed their fathers.
  13. There isn’t any formula or method. You learn to love by loving – by paying attention and doing what one thereby discovers has to be done.
  14. I’m afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery.
  15. There is no substitute for talent. Industry and all its virtues are of no avail.
  16. A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one, it comes as sincerely from the author’s soul.
  17. What with making their way and enjoying what they have won, heroes have no time to think. But the sons of heroes – ah, they have all the necessary leisure.
  18. The quality of moral behavior varies in inverse ratio to the number of human beings involved.
  19. The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.
  20. The most valuable of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it has to be done, whether you like it or not.
  21. After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
  22. Thought must be divided against itself before it can come to any knowledge of itself.
  23. Several excuses are always less convincing than one.
  24. There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
  25. The finest works of art are precious, among other reasons, because they make it possible for us to know, if only imperfectly and for a little while, what it actually feels like to think subtly and feel nobly.
  26. It takes two to make a murder. There are born victims, born to have their throats cut, as the cut-throats are born to be hanged.
  27. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.
  28. Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.
  29. That we are not much sicker and much madder than we are is due exclusively to that most blessed and blessing of all natural graces, sleep.
  30. There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.
  31. Everyone who wants to do good to the human race always ends in universal bullying.
  32. The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.
  33. Official dignity tends to increase in inverse ratio to the importance of the country in which the office is held.
  34. We are all geniuses up to the age of ten.
  35. You should hurry up and acquire the cigar habit. It’s one of the major happinesses. And so much more lasting than love, so much less costly in emotional wear and tear.
  36. It was one of those evenings when men feel that truth, goodness and beauty are one. In the morning, when they commit their discovery to paper, when others read it written there, it looks wholly ridiculous.
  37. What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood.
  38. Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.
  39. The proper study of mankind is books.
  40. What we feel and think and are is to a great extent determined by the state of our ductless glands and viscera.
  41. Man is an intelligence in servitude to his organs.
  42. People intoxicate themselves with work so they won’t see how they really are.
  43. Happiness is a hard master, particularly other people’s happiness.
  44. My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.
  45. To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. It’s with bad sentiments that one makes good novels.
  49. Those who believe that they are exclusively in the right are generally those who achieve something.
  50. Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.
  51. Every man’s memory is his private literature.
  52. Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.
  53. The most distressing thing that can happen to a prophet is to be proved wrong. The next most distressing thing is to be proved right.
  54. The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own.
  55. If human beings were shown what they’re really like, they’d either kill one another as vermin, or hang themselves.
  56. I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.
  57. To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.
  58. That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his assent.
  59. A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will’s freedom after it.
  60. A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention.
  61. The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.
  62. 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.
  63. Specialized meaninglessness has come to be regarded, in certain circles, as a kind of hallmark of true science.
  64. Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them.
  65. Dream in a pragmatic way.
  66. A belief in hell and the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumor.
  67. Orthodoxy is the diehard of the world of thought. It learns not, neither can it forget.
  68. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.
  69. My fate cannot be mastered; it can only be collaborated with and thereby, to some extent, directed. Nor am I the captain of my soul; I am only its noisiest passenger.
  70. Speed provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.
  71. Like every man of sense and good feeling, I abominate work.
  72. Defined in psychological terms, a fanatic is a man who consciously over-compensates a secret doubt.
  73. Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.
  74. An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling lie.
  75. So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly arise and make them miserable.
  76. Experience teaches only the teachable.
  77. Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
  78. Your true traveler finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty – his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.
  79. Man approaches the unattainable truth through a succession of errors.
  80. There is something curiously boring about somebody else’s happiness.
  81. We participate in a tragedy; at a comedy we only look.
  82. A fanatic is a man who consciously over compensates a secret doubt.
  83. Feasts must be solemn and rare, or else they cease to be feasts.
  84. Habit converts luxurious enjoyments into dull and daily necessities.
  85. Amour is the one human activity of any importance in which laughter and pleasure preponderate, if ever so slightly, over misery and pain.
  86. 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.
  87. There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.
aldous huxley quotes

Aldous Huxley quotes about life

  1. Most of one’s life is one prolonged effort to prevent oneself from thinking.
  2. It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘try to be a little kinder.’
  3. Bondage is the life of personality, and for bondage, the personal self will fight with tireless resourcefulness and the most stubborn cunning.
  4. Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant, and interesting.
  5. 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?
  6. Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead.
  7. The worst enemy of life, freedom, and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency.

Aldous Huxley quotes about God

  1. Uncontrolled, the hunger and thirst after God may become an obstacle, cutting off the soul from what it desires. If a man would travel far along the mystic road, he must learn to desire God intensely but in stillness, passively and yet with all his heart and mind and strength.
  2. There’s only one effectively redemptive sacrifice, the sacrifice of self-will to make room for the knowledge of God.
  3. God isn’t compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice. Our civilization has chosen machinery and medicine and happiness.
  4. All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.

Aldous Huxley quotes about sex

  1. An intellectual is a person who’s found one thing that’s more interesting than sex.
  2. The impulse to cruelty is, in many people, almost as violent as the impulse to sexual love – almost as violent and much more mischievous.
  3. Chastity – the most unnatural of all the sexual perversions.

Aldous Huxley quotes about history

  1. Men do not learn much from the lessons of history and that is the most important of all the lessons of history.
  2. De Sade is the one completely consistent and thoroughgoing revolutionary of history.”
  3. From their experience or from the recorded experience of others (history), men learn only what their passions and their metaphysical prejudices allow them to learn.
  4. The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.
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