Aldous Huxley Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 495 quotes)
To the exponents of the Perennial Philosophy, the question whether Progress is inevitable or even real is not a matter of primary importance. For them, the important thing is that individual men and women should come to the unitive knowledge of the divine Ground, and what interests them in regard to the social environment is not its progressiveness or non-progressiveness (whatever those terms may mean), but the degree to which it helps or hinders individuals in the their advance towards man's final end.
Oh you the creator, you the destroyer, you who sustain and make an end,Who in sunlight dance among the birds and the children at their play,Who at midnight dance among corpses in the burning grounds,You Shiva, you dark and terrible Bhairava,You Suchness and Illusion, the Void and All Things,You are the lord of life, and therefore I have brought you flowers;You are the lord of death, and therefore I have brought you my hear?This heart that is now your burning ground.Ignorance there and self shall be consumed with fire.That you may dance, Bhairava, among the ashes.That you may dance, Lord Shiva, in a place of flowers,And I dance with you.
From solitude in the womb, we emerge into solitude among our Fellows, and return again to solitude within the Grave. We pass our lives in the attempt to mitigate that solitude. But Propinquity is never fusion. The most populous City is but an agglomeration of wildernesses. We exchange Words, but exchange them from prison to prison, and without hope that they will signify to others what they mean to ourselves. We marry, and there are two solitudes in the house instead of one, We beget children, and there are many solitudes. We reiterate the act of love; but again propinquity is never fusion. The most intimate contact is inly of Surfaces and we couple, as I have seen the condemned Prisoners at Newgate coupling with their trulls, between the bars of our cages. Pleasure cannot be shared; like pain, it can only be experienced or inflicted, and when we give pleasures to our lovers or Bestow charity upon the Needy, we do so, not to gratify the object of our Benevolence, but only ourselves. For the truth is that we are kind for the same reason the reason as we are cruel, in order that we may enhance the sense of our own power; and this we are for ever trying to do, despite the fact that by doing it we cause ourselves to feel more solitary then ever. The reality of solitude is the same in all men, there being no mitigation of it, except in Forgetfulness, Stupidity, or Illusion; but a mans sense of Solitude is proportionate to the sense and fact of his power. In any set of circumstances, the more Power we have, the more intensely do we feel our solitude. I have enjoyed much power in my life.- The Fifth Earl, in Aldous Huxle?s After Many A Summer Dies The Swan
The values, first of all, of individual freedom, based upon the facts of human diversity and genetic uniqueness; the values of charity and compassion, based upon the old familiar fact, lately rediscovered by modern psychiatry - the fact that, whatever their mental and physical diversity, love is as necessary to human beings as food and shelter; and finally the values of intelligence, without which love is impotent and freedom unattainable.
Why do you love the woman you're in love with? Because she is. And that, after all, is God's own definition of Himself; I am that I am. The girl is who she is. Some of her isness spills over and impregnates the entire universe. Objects and events cease to be mere representations of classes and become their own uniqueness; cease to be illustrations of verbal abstractions and become fully concrete. Then you stop being in love, and the universe collapses, with an almost audible squeak of derision, into its normal insignificance.
O brave new world, O brave new world...' In his mind the singing words seemed to change their tune. They had mocked him through his misery and remorse, mocked him with how diseous a note of cynical derision! Fiendishly laughing, they had insisted on the low squalor, the nauseous ugliness of the nightmare. Now, suddenly, they trumpeted a call to arms. 'O brave new world!' Miranda was proclaiming the possibility of loveliness, the possibility of transforming even the nightmare into something fine and noble. 'O brave new world!' It was a challenge, a command.
Homer was wrong," wrote Heracleitus of Ephesus. "Homer was wrong in saying: 'Would that strife might perish from among gods and men!' He did not see that he was praying for the destruction of the universe; for if his prayer were heard, all things would pass away." These are the words on which the superhumanists should meditate. Aspiring toward a consistent perfection, they are aspiring toward annihilation. The Hindus had the wit to see and the courage to proclaim the fact; Nirvana, the goal of their striving, is nothingness. Wherever life exists, there also is inconsistency, division, strife.
One third, more or less, of all the sorrow that the person I think I am must endure is unavoidable. It is the sorrow inherent in the human condition, the price we must pay for being sentient and self-conscious organisms, aspirants to liberation, but subject to the laws of nature and under orders to keep on marching, through irreversible time, through a world wholly indifferent to our well-being, toward decrepitude and the certainty of death. The remaining two thirds of all sorrow is homemade and, so far as the universe is concerned, unnecessary.
He rubbed his hands. For, of course, they didn't content themselves with merely hatching out embryos: any cow could do that. "We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies as socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewage workers or future..." He was going to say "future World Controllers", but correcting himself, said "future Directors of Hatcheries" instead.
The soul of wit may become the very body of untruth. However elegant and memorable, brevity can never, in the nature of things, do justice to all the facts of a complex situations. On such a theme one can be brief only by omission and simplification. Omission and simplification help us to understand - but help is, in many cases, to understand the wrong thing; for our comprehension may be only of the abbreviator's neatly formulated notions, not of the vast, ramifying reality from which these notions have been so arbitrarily abstracted.
There, on a low bed, the sheet flung back, dressed in a pair of pink one-piece zippyjamas, lay Lenina, fast asleep and so beautiful in the midst of her curls, so touchingly childish with her pink toes and her grave sleeping face, so trustful in the helplessness of her limp hands and melted limbs, that the tears came to his eyes.