Aldous Huxley Quotes

A quotes list created by Lee Sonogan

Happy birthday, Aldous Huxley! - Los Angeles Times

Before 1984 there was Brave New World. Before Brave New World was much speculation of the ensuing future. More than an English dystopian writer, Huxley wrote nearly 50 books in his career. Being a humanist, his work explored the isms of the mystics and the universe. So influential, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times.

  • “In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or the propaganda might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies – the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” — Aldous Huxley
  • “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” — Aldous Huxley
  • “Beauty is worse than wine, it intoxicates both the holder and beholder.” — Aldous Huxley
  • A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will’s freedom after it.” — Aldous Huxley
  • “An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling lie.” –– Aldous Huxley
  • “Science has explained nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness.” — Aldous Huxley
  • “Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.” — Aldous Huxley
  • “Facts are ventriloquist’s dummies. Sitting on a wise man’s knee they may be made to utter words of wisdom; elsewhere, they say nothing, or talk nonsense, or indulge in sheer diabolism.” — Aldous Huxley
  • “What a gulf between impression and expression! That’s our ironic fate—to have Shakespearean feelings and (unless by some billion-to-one chance we happen to be Shakespeare) to talk about them like automobile salesmen or teen-agers or college professors. We practice alchemy in reverse—touch gold and it turns into lead; touch the pure lyrics of experience, and they turn into the verbal equivalents of tripe and hogwash.” — Aldous Huxley
  • In spite of language, in spite of intelligence and intuition and sympathy, one can never really communicate anything to anybody. The essential substance of every thought and feeling remains incommunicable, locked up in the impenetrable strong-room of the individual soul and body. Our life is a sentence of perpetual solitary confinement.” — Aldous Huxley
  • “All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.” — Aldous Huxley
  • “Complete prohibition of all chemical mind changers can be decreed, but cannot be enforced, and tends to create more evils than it cures.” — Aldous Huxley
  • People will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. Aldous Huxley
  • The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence. Aldous Huxley
  • The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him, the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free. Aldous Huxley
  • It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling. Aldous Huxley
  • This concern with the basic condition of freedom — the absence of physical constraint — is unquestionably necessary, but is not all that is necessary. It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison and yet not free — to be under no physical constraint and yet to be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national State, or of some private interest within the nation, want him to think, feel and act. Aldous Huxley
  • Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know. Aldous Huxley
  • Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth. Aldous Huxley
  • Human beings act in a great variety of irrational ways, but all of them seem to be capable, if given a fair chance, of making a reasonable choice in the light of available evidence. Democratic institutions can be made to work only if all concerned do their best to impart knowledge and to encourage rationality. But today, in the world’s most powerful democracy, the politicians and the propagandists prefer to make nonsense of democratic procedures by appealing almost exclusively to the ignorance and irrationality of the electors. Aldous Huxley

Why are so many from the past so more interesting to me in this current passing? For non-fiction, most of the older books the better than the modern ones. Still needing to read Brave New World, I feel like I already know it. Other books from Aldous still intrigues me if I can find one a copy cheap.

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