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The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  24,469 Ratings  ·  700 Reviews
As only he can, Aldous Huxley explores the mind's remote frontiers and the unmapped areas of human consciousness. These two astounding essays are among the most profound studies of the effects of mind-expanding drugs written in this century. Contains the complete texts of The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell , both of which became essential for the counterculture ...more
Paperback, 187 pages
Published May 4th 2004 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published 1956)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Generally, I greatly prefer to read books in the dead-trees format—actual paper in my hand. This was the first I've read in a long time where I found myself desperately longing, not only for an electronic edition, but for a fully hypertextual version, rich with links. Over the two months I spent on this volume, on and off, I believe two-thirds of my time was spent on the Internet looking up references. At the very least, this book would benefit greatly from extensive illustration: the range of a ...more
Sep 13, 2015 Stian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, owned-books
Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty billows of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, and pass themselves by.
- St. Augustine, from Confessions

If you are like me, you have some reservations about trying drugs -- even psychedelic ones. I know one of the people that I look up to -- Carl Sagan -- was a fairly regular marijuana smoker. I know Richard Feynman, another one of my 'heroes', tried some drugs, but stopped at som
Mar 29, 2016 Kamran rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

درباره ی کتاب - ویرایش شد

بسیاری با آلدوس هاکسلی به واسطه کتاب دنیای قشنگ نو آشنا هستند. اما این نویسنده معروف اثر جنجالی دیگری دارد که در ایران ناشناخته است: درهای ادراک دوزخ و برزخ. هاکسلی در بخش اول این کتاب تحت عنوان درهای ادراک، تجربیات خود را از مصرف روانگردان مسکالین شرح داده است. همانطور که از نام کتاب مشخص است، پس از مصرف، جهان برای هاکسلی همان جهان است، اما کیفیت ادراک وی در مواجهه با طبیعت و همچنین صنایع دست انسان، نظیر موسیقی و نقاشی دچار تغییرات وسیعی شده است
توصیفات هاکسلی از شفافیت
Oct 28, 2015 Sumati rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Who want to break on through ( to the other side).
Recommended to Sumati by: Motivated to read by Jim Morrison
'There are things known
and there are things unknown
and in between are the doors'; The Doors of Perception.

Why should you read it?

1. If you want to question the mind.
2. If you want an insight into psychedelics. (i.e. if you haven't already tried any form of hallucinogens yet)
3. If you want to know about the 'unknown' and its difference with the 'known'.
4. If you want to know what is the difference between a deranged ( schizophrenic) and a normal brain and what defines a brain, normal and labe
Jul 01, 2008 Toby rated it really liked it
Doors of Perception is a deeply interesting short essay by the famous author Aldous Huxley. In 1953 he was involved in a controlled experiment into the psychological effects of the drug mescalin.
What he describes is less a mere hallucinatory experience and more an opening of his ability to percieve, and to see himself as part of the Oneness of the universe. He argues (quite correctly) that a massive part of the function of the brain is to selectively discard sensory input, keeping only what is
Dang Ole' Dan Can Dangle
Dec 09, 2012 Dang Ole' Dan Can Dangle rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Those interested in altered mind-states and psychedelics
Going into this I had very high hopes, which were somewhat let down. A book about hallucinogenic drugs and altered mind-states written by author of famed science fiction novel Brave New World (which, as of writing, I have yet to read). Being that I have dabbled in the use of psychedelics and studied countless writings on hallucinogens and alteration of mind-states, a topic that greatly fascinates me, not to mention my love for sci-fi, I really expected more from this.

I was deeply disappointed..
Erik Graff
May 09, 2016 Erik Graff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all interested in psychedelics or in Huxley
Recommended to Erik by: John O'Reilly
Shelves: psychology
Towards the end of his life Aldous Huxley was introduced to psychedelics, still legal at that time. His analyses of the phenomenon are detailed in these two essays here combined in one volume. For further reading about his relationship to such drugs see, of course, the various biographies about Huxley, particularly Huxley in Hollywood, and his wife's collection of essays by and about him and these drugs entitled Moksha. For his use of his experiences in literature see his novel Island.

Though dat
Sam Quixote
Apr 07, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever had to be the designated driver while your buddies got wasted? Watching them laugh at nothing and behave like asses while you’re (unfortunately) stone cold sober is a pretty miserable experience as your mind hasn’t been altered by chemicals. Reading “The Doors of Perception” is like this - Aldous Huxley does mescaline and then describes it extensively to the bored reader who is probably not on mescaline. And it’s not nearly as fascinating as Huxley believes it to be - because we’re ...more
Ian Not His Real Name
Oct 24, 2011 Ian Not His Real Name rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
Teenage Kicks

I read this book in the early 70's in my early teenage years.
The first thing about "The Doors of Perception" is that it was the source of the name of the band.
The second is that it shaped the views of many people about drugs for 20 years.
Aldous Huxley came from a scientific as well as a creative background. For me, it gave him some level of credibility when assessing the merits of psychedelic drugs.
Basically, (I think) he argued that the psychedelic experience could open the door
If hallucinogens have any utility, then at least some of it surely stems from their capacity to shake up our belief systems, to present reality in a strange, new way—in short, to unlock the doors of our perception. Yet if this is so, why do so many hallucinogenically-minded writers (see: Huxley, Castaneda, et. al.) attempt to force the psychedelic experience through the narrow categories of "truth" and "certainty"?

The Doors of Perception is admittedly one of the better works in the drug-lit cano
Jul 15, 2015 Adam rated it liked it
I liked this much more when I read it a few years ago. But I am a different person now, though not different enough to not still think Huxley's writing w/r/t the infamous Chair is, alone, worth the price of admission.

The truth is that this essay is neither *woah mindblowing maan* nor stupid drug-addled drivel. Both positions reflect, I think, biases brought to the reading of the essays.

The latter species of reactionary dismisses without much consideration the possibility that certain chemical
Dec 05, 2013 Kristiana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Woah. First time reading anything like this.
It makes a lot of sense for the most part,
although the part where he says we like
shiny things because they take us to ''The Other World''
is a bit ''meh, no.'' it most certainly
makes you see the whole thing from a very
different angle. It also made me want to try
psychedelics even more and Mescalin is now
on my Drugs-To-Take list. I will have to re-read
it though.
Andrei Tamaş
Oct 09, 2015 Andrei Tamaş rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Un studiu asupra consumului de mescalină. Lucrare care are mai degrabă un caracter științific decât beletristic.
"The urge to escape from selfhood and the environment is in almost everyone almost all the time." Sad but somewhat undeniably true. There are so many forms of escape that people try to utilise in order to "cope" with their mundane lifestyles. I've never quite understood it myself, and I've never quite understood the need to turn to narcotics in order to feel satisfied. Even now, after having read Huxley's account of his time as a spontaneous Mescaline user, I feel no closer to understanding.

It a
Jan 09, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it
So I decided that, starting with 2012, I'm going to try to focus on one "great mind" each year and read as much as I can by and about that person. There will probably also be various other goofy events like celebrating the person's birthday and planning mini-vacations around the person, but that is really up in the air at this point. ANYWAY, for 2012 I decided to focus on Aldous Huxley, the great mind behind Brave New World. Sadly, that is pretty much the only book most people (including me) hav ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Read online here. A friend told me to read this, I think in my rant against drug use, lol. This book was popular in the 1970s, and argues that we need to find a safe drug that will allow everyone to escape reality without damaging our bodies. Some fun quotations here.

"We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse the
Dec 21, 2007 John rated it it was ok
i give doors of perception 3 stars, and heaven and hell 1. overall, there was just not much interesting material in these books. i found two ideas in "the doors" that were interesting to me.

first, the idea that the primary function of the brain is as a filter, to reduce the massive amount of incoming information that comes into a smaller set that is useful for survival and propagation. in itself, this is not much, but the implications as to what that unfiltered set looks like, is. this does not
Tim Pendry
Although much-lauded, especially by those looking for a literary advocate for the re-integration of altered states of consciousness into our society and culture (a cause I tend to support on principle), this book has not stood the test of time very well.

This edition contains, in fact, two works – ‘The Doors of Perception’, an account of Huxley’s experience taking mescalin and ‘Heaven and Hell’, a somewhat rambling view of art from a somewhat self-appointed cultural Pontifex Maximus.

‘Heaven and H
Feb 27, 2016 Yasemin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Algının düşsel/düşünsel doğasını canlandıran meskalin deneyi ve sonuçları. Cennet ve cehennem bildiğimiz tanımlarından çok uzaktalar aslında.
Nov 05, 2010 Cwn_annwn_13 rated it it was ok
What you have here is Aldous Huxley describing his experiments with Mescaline and musing on psychedelics. Maybe its his background (he came from a high level British aristocratic family) but he just comes off in such a cold detached way in his thoughts on psychedelics being an enhancement of ones spiritual life. Not that I don't believe psychedelics can't be a spiritual enhancer or give one a deep glance into ones self or into other worlds but Huxley just does it in such a sterile heartless way ...more
Till the Gods of Goodreads settle on a half-star rating, I'll have to do with the slightly duplicitous deed of rating 4 and feeling 3.5, or if you want to magnify the discord, of saying one thing while seeming to say another. Then again, some would say, we are perpetually 'seeming' to be, and never really become anything.

Anyhoo, I don't know how to feel about some parts of the book; a good part of what Huxley proposes has already been debunked by that age of postmodernism. A mythical return to t
Pete daPixie
Jan 12, 2009 Pete daPixie rated it really liked it
Open the doors, step inside and float downstream. The philosophy of chemical nirvana through mescalin and LSD.
Sean Wilson
When I first discovered my love of philosophy, I decided that I would want to read all works of philosophy. I read quite a few over the years and little did I know just how boring certain philosophy books are! I then decided that I must personally create two distinct categories of philosophy: Systematic philosophy and Artistic philosophy. Only every now and then do I venture into the former category of dry, dense and long philosophical works. I do, however, love to delve into the latter category ...more
Jul 06, 2014 Qi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read-books
This book contains Doors of Perception, which is by far the most important and best-written one among this slim collection. Heaven and Hell is a derivative work, largely a rumination.

Doors of Perception deserves its place in thought-provoking literature by its sheer merit of writing quality. Science has advanced since his time, and much of his enthusiasm for conscious-altering drugs have darkened by experiential data, yet this book holds its own value in terms of understanding art, spirituality
Apr 09, 2008 David rated it really liked it
This is a collection of two long essays by Aldous Huxley. The First one featured is the Doors of Perception. It argues that the primary purpose of the brain is to filter out irrelevant thought, rather than creating relevant thought. This has somewhat been confirmed by modern neuroscience. with side effects from psychiatric medications and astral energy form covert groups, creating allegic dependsay on such normal things as caffine, alchol,tobacco, Through thease and recreational drugs, hallucino ...more
Dec 04, 2015 Anicius rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Благодаря на Зорница Христова - винаги чета преводите й с огромно удоволствие, защото съм сигурен в способността й да предава адекватно смисъл, да разбира текста в цялост, а не просто да превежда от един език на друг (като пренос на значения). Затова в някаква степен дори събирам нейни (и на други преводачи) преводи, макар да не съм почитател на съответните автори.
В четвърти курс, в упражненията по съвременна философия мисля, текстът на Хъксли "Прекрасният нов свят" бе сред разискваните. Призна
Matei Agachi
Jun 04, 2015 Matei Agachi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aldous Huxley face o analiza a efectului mescalinei asupra propriei persoane. El incearca aceasta substanta intr-un cadru supravegheat de un cercetator. Acesta inregistreaza toate simptomele lui Huxley, adresandu-i diferite intrebari. S-a dovedit stiintific ca mescalina poate avea diferite efecte benefice asupra psihicului, fiind relevanta testarea acestei plante de catre filozofi si oameni de cultura pentru a se observa efectul asupra mintilor cultivate.

Aldous Huxley descrie experienta sa dint
Anthelia  Amazes
Feb 17, 2016 Anthelia Amazes rated it really liked it
The Doors of perception is a must read for people who had once taken one of these doors. To my friends who tried LSD, Ayahuasca,DMT or Mescalin I highly recommend it. Huxley philosophical and analytical approach of his mescalin experience and so on any similar experience is mind blowing.
It expresses perfectly what can't be said after such shaking moment.

"Compelled by the investigator to analyse and report on what I was doing (and how I longed to be left alone with Eternity in a flower, Infinit
May 27, 2015 Scott rated it it was ok
In terms of the writing itself, The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell is a solid 4 or 5 star level; it’s a superbly written book. Also, there are a few interesting (if poorly considered) ideas proposed in the book about the nature of reality as it relates to the way in which the human mind perceives it. The only aspect of the book ultimately worth reading about, though, is the description of Huxley’s experience on mescaline itself, told moment to moment as he experienced it.

The huge dra
rose vibrations
Mar 01, 2012 rose vibrations rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will finish this book one day.

I promise.

You care.


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Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death in 1963. Best known for his novels and wide-ranging output of essays, he also published short stories, poetry, travel writing, and film stories and scripts. Through his novels and es ...more
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“We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies - all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes. Most island universes are sufficiently like one another to Permit of inferential understanding or even of mutual empathy or "feeling into." Thus, remembering our own bereavements and humiliations, we can condole with others in analogous circumstances, can put ourselves (always, of course, in a slightly Pickwickian sense) in their places. But in certain cases communication between universes is incomplete or even nonexistent. The mind is its own place, and the Places inhabited by the insane and the exceptionally gifted are so different from the places where ordinary men and women live, that there is little or no common ground of memory to serve as a basis for understanding or fellow feeling. Words are uttered, but fail to enlighten. The things and events to which the symbols refer belong to mutually exclusive realms of experience.” 66 likes
“The course of every intellectual, if he pursues his journey long and unflinchingly enough, ends in the obvious, from which the non-intellectuals have never stirred.” 56 likes
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