Huxley Quotes

Quotes tagged as "huxley" Showing 1-30 of 59
Neil Postman
“We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Aldous Huxley
“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.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Aldous Huxley
“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend”
Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception

Aldous Huxley
“There was a thing called Heaven; but all the same they used to drink enormous quantities of alcohol."
...
"There was a thing called the soul and a thing called immortality."
...
"But they used to take morphia and cocaine."
...
"Two thousand pharmacologists and biochemists were subsidized in A.F. 178."
...
"Six years later it was being produced commercially. The perfect drug."
...
"Euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly hallucinant."
...
"All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects."
...
"Take a holiday from reality whenever you like, and come back without so much as a headache or a mythology."
...
"Stability was practically assured.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Aldous Huxley
“The trouble with fiction," said John Rivers, "is that it makes too much sense. Reality never makes sense.”
Aldous Huxley, The Genius And The Goddess

Aldous Huxley
“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.”
Aldous Huxley, The Genius And The Goddess

Aldous Huxley
“God isn't the son of Memory; He's the son of Immediate Experience. You can't worship a spirit in spirit, unless you do it now. Wallowing in the past may be good literature. As wisdom, it's hopeless. Time Regained is Paradise Lost, and Time Lost is Paradise Regained. Let the dead bury their dead. If you want to live at every moment as it presents itself, you've got to die to every other moment.”
Aldous Huxley, The Genius And The Goddess

Ray Bradbury
“They knew how to live with nature and get along with nature. They didn't try too hard to be all men and no animal. That's the mistake we made when Darwin showed up. We embraced him and Huxley and Freud, all smiles. And then we discovered that Darwin and our religions didn't mix. Or at least we didn't think they did. We were fools. We tried to budge Darwin and Huxley and Freud. They wouldn't move very well. So, like idiots, we tried knocking down religion. We succeeded pretty well. We lost our faith and went around wondering what life was for. If art was no more than a frustrated outflinging of desire, if religion was no more than self-delusion, what good was life? Faith had always given us answer to all things. But it all went down the drain with Freud and Darwin. We were and still are lost people.”
Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles

Aldous Huxley
“It is possible to argue that the really influential book is not that which converts ten millions of casual readers, but rather that which converts the very few who, at any given moment, succeed in seizing power. Marx and Sorel have been influential in the modern world, not so much because they were best-sellers (Sorel in particular was not at all a widely read author), but because among their few readers were two men, called respectively Lenin and Mussolini.”
Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley
“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.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Aldous Huxley
“Give us this day our daily Faith, but deliver us, dear God, from Belief.”
Aldous Huxley, Island

Neil Postman
“What Huxley teaches is that in the age of advanced technology, spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face than from one whose countenance exudes suspicion and hate. In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Aldous Huxley
“Her cheeks were flushed. She caught hold of the Savage's arm and pressed it, limp, against her side. He looked down at her for a moment, pale, pained, desiring, and ashamed of his desire. He was not worthy, not... Their eyes for a moment met. What treasures hers promised! A queen's ransom of temperament. Hastily he looked away, disengaged his imprisoned arm. He was obscurely terrified lest she should cease to be something he could feel himself unworthy of.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Aldous Huxley
“Thought must be divided against itself before it can come to any knowledge of itself.”
Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley
“Katy was neither a Methodist nor a Masochist. She was a goddess and the silence of goddesses is genuinely golden. None of your superficial plating. A solid, twenty-two-carat silence all the way through. The Olympian's trap is kept shut, not by an act of willed discretion, but because there's really nothing to say. Goddesses are all of one piece. There's no internal conflict in them. Whereas the lives of people like you and me are one long argument. Desires on one side, woodpeckers on the other. Never a moment of real silence.”
Aldous Huxley, The Genius And The Goddess

Albert Hofmann
“I know LSD; I don't need to take it anymore. Maybe when I die, like Aldous Huxley.”
Albert Hofmann

Neil Postman
“What we are confronted with now is the problem posed by the economic and symbolic structure of television. Those who run television do not limit our access to information but in fact widen it. Our Ministry of Culture is Huxleyan, not Orwellian. It does everything possible to encourage us to watch continuously. But what we watch is a medium which presents information in a form that renders it simplistic, nonsubstantive, nonhistorical and noncontextual; that is to say, information packaged as entertainment. In America, we are never denied the opportunity to entertain ourselves.”
Neil Postman

Aldous Huxley
“Specialized meaninglessness has come to be regarded, in certain circles, as a kind of hallmark of true science.”
Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays, Vol. IV: 1936-1938

Aldous Huxley
“Henry's universe was modeled on the highball. It was a mixture in which half a pint of the fizziest philosophical and scientific ideas all but drowned a small jigger of immediate experience, most of it strictly sexual. Broken reeds are seldom good mixers. They're far too busy with their ideas, their sensuality and their psychosomatic complaints to be able to take an interest in other people - even their own wives and children. They live in a state of the most profound voluntary ignorance, not knowing anything about anybody, but abounding in preconceived opinions about everything.”
Aldous Huxley, The Genius And The Goddess

John Dos Passos
Luther Burbank was born in a brick farmhouse in Lancaster Mass,
he walked through the woods one winter
crunching through the shinycrusted snow
stumbling into a little dell where a warm spring was
and found the grass green and weeds sprouting
and skunk cabbage pushing up a potent thumb,
He went home and sat by the stove and read Darwin
Struggle for Existence Origin of Species Natural
Selection that wasn't what they taught in church,
so Luther Burbank ceased to believe moved to Lunenburg,
found a seedball in a potato plant
sowed the seed and cashed in on Darwin’s Natural Selection
on Spencer and Huxley
with the Burbank potato.

Young man go west;
Luther Burbank went to Santa Rosa
full of his dream of green grass in winter ever-
blooming flowers ever-
bearing berries; Luther Burbank
could cash in on Natural Selection Luther Burbank
carried his apocalyptic dream of green grass in winter
and seedless berries and stoneless plums and thornless roses brambles cactus—
winters were bleak in that bleak
brick farmhouse in bleak Massachusetts—
out to sunny Santa Rosa;
and he was a sunny old man
where roses bloomed all year
everblooming everbearing
hybrids.

America was hybrid
America could cash in on Natural Selection.
He was an infidel he believed in Darwin and Natural
Selection and the influence of the mighty dead
and a good firm shipper’s fruit
suitable for canning.
He was one of the grand old men until the churches
and the congregations
got wind that he was an infidel and believed
in Darwin.
Luther Burbank had never a thought of evil,
selected improved hybrids for America
those sunny years in Santa Rosa.
But he brushed down a wasp’s nest that time;
he wouldn’t give up Darwin and Natural Selection
and they stung him and he died
puzzled.
They buried him under a cedartree.
His favorite photograph
was of a little tot
standing beside a bed of hybrid
everblooming double Shasta daisies
with never a thought of evil
And Mount Shasta
in the background, used to be a volcano
but they don’t have volcanos
any more.”
John Dos Passos, The 42nd Parallel

Aldous Huxley
“...wordless conditioning is crude and wholesale; cannot bring home the finer distinctions, cannot inculcate the more complex courses of behavior. For that there must be words, but words without reason... Not so much like drops of water, though water, it is true, can wear holes in the hardest granite; rather, drops of liquid sealing-wax, drops that adhere, encrust, incorporate themselves with what they fall on, till finally the rock is all one scarlet blob.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Aldous Huxley
“Ustedes piensan primero en obtener la producción más grande posible en el menor tiempo posible. Nosotros pensamos primero en los seres humanos y en sus satisfacciones. El cambio de trabajo no es lo mejor para obtener una gran producción en pocos días. Pero a la mayoría de la gente le gusta más que hacer un solo trabajo toda la vida. Si se trata de elegir entre la eficiencia mecánica y la satisfacción humana, elegimos la satisfacción.”
Aldous Huxley, Island

“Obviously, if theism is a belief in a God and atheism is a lack of a belief in a God, no third position or middle ground is possible. A person can either believe or not believe in a God. Therefore, our previous definition of atheism has made an impossibility out of the common usage of agnosticism to mean 'neither affirming nor denying a belief in God.' Actually, this is no great loss, because the dictionary definition of agnostic is still again different from Huxley’s definition. The literal meaning of agnostic is one who holds that some aspect of reality is unknowable. Therefore, an agnostic is not simply someone who suspends judgment on an issue, but rather one who suspends judgment because he feels that the subject is unknowable and therefore no judgment can be made. It is possible, therefore, for someone not to believe in a God (as Huxley did not) and yet still suspend judgment (ie, be an agnostic) about whether it is possible to obtain knowledge of a God. Such a person would be an atheistic agnostic. It is also possible to believe in the existence of a force behind the universe, but to hold (as did Herbert Spencer) that any knowledge of that force was unobtainable. Such a person would be a theistic agnostic.”
Gordon Stein

Aldous Huxley
“What we feel and think and are is to a great extent determined by the state of our ductless glands and viscera.”
Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley
“Armamentos, deuda universal y obsolescencia planificada: ésos son los tres pilares de la prosperidad de Occidente.”
Aldous Huxley, Island

Aldous Huxley
“No podemos salir de nuestra irracionalidad fundamental por medio del razonamiento. Lo único que podemos hacer es aprender el arte de ser irracional en forma racional.”
Aldous Huxley, Island

Aldous Huxley
“La teología de un pueblo refleja el estado de las nalgas de sus niños.”
Aldous Huxley, Island

Aldous Huxley
“Electricidad menos industria pesada más control de la natalidad es igual a democracia y abundancia. Electricidad más industria pesada menos control de la natalidad es igual a miseria, totalitarismo y guerra.”
Aldous Huxley, Island

Aldous Huxley
“Los intelectuales de Occidente son todos aficionados a la silla. Por eso la mayoría de ustedes son tan repulsivamente malsanos.”
Aldous Huxley, Island

Aldous Huxley
“En tanto que nosotros hemos preferido siempre adaptar nuestra economía y tecnología a los seres humanos, no nuestros seres humanos a la economía y tecnología de otros. Importamos lo que no podemos fabricar; pero fabricamos e importamos sólo lo que podemos permitirnos. Y lo que podemos permitirnos está limitado, no sólo por las libras, marcos y dólares que poseemos, sino también, y principalmente... principalmente por nuestro deseo de ser felices, nuestra ambición de ser humanos.”
Aldous Huxley, Island

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