Aldous Leonard Huxley

Aldous Leonard
Huxley
1894
1963

English Novelist, Short-Stories, Playwright and Editor including Brave New World and Oxford Poetry

Author Quotes

Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.

Knowledge of what is happening now does not determine the event. What is ordinarily called God’s foreknowledge is in reality a timeless now-knowledge, which is compatible with the freedom of the human creature’s will in time.

The causal process takes place within time and cannot possibly result in deliverance from time. Such a deliverance can only be achieved as a consequence of the intervention of eternity in the temporal domain; and eternity cannot intervene unless the individual will makes a creative act of self-denial, thus producing, as it were, a vacuum into which eternity can flow.

Experience teaches only the teachable.

Love is as necessary to human beings as food and shelter; [but] without intelligence... love is impotent and freedom unattainable.

The end cannot justify the means, for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

Man’s final end, the purpose of his existence, is to love, know and be united with the immanent and transcendent God head. And this identification of self with spiritual not-self can be achieved only by “dying to” selfness and living to spirit.

The Godhead is impassable; for where there is perfection and unity, there can be no suffering. The capacity to suffer arises where there is imperfection, disunity and separation from an embracing totality; and the capacity is actualized to the extent that imperfection, disunity and separateness are accompanied by an urge towards the intensification of these creaturely conditions. For the individual who achieves unity within his own organism and union with the divine Ground, there is an end of suffering. The goal of creation is the return of all sentient beings out of separateness and that infatuating urge-to-separateness which results in suffering, through unitive knowledge, into the wholeness of eternal Reality.

Faith is a pre-condition of all systematic knowing, all purposive doing and all decent living. Societies are held together, not primarily by the fear of the many for the coercive power of the few, but by a widespread faith in the other fellow’s decency.

Mortifications have their reward in a state of consciousness that corresponds, on a lower level, to spiritual beatitude. The artist - and the philosopher and the man of science are also artists - knows the bliss of aesthetic contemplation, discovery and non-attached possession. The goods of the intellect, the emotions and the imagination are real goods; but they are not the final good, and when we treat them as ends in themselves, we fall into idolatry. Mortification of will, desire and action is not enough; there must also be mortification in the fields of knowing, thinking feeling and fancying.

From their own experience or from the recorded experience of others (history), men learn only what their passions and their metaphysical prejudices allow them to learn.

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.

Genuine self-government is possible only in very small groups, societies on a national or super-national scale will always be ruled by oligarchical minorities, whose members come to power because they have a lust for power.

Most people tend to perform the actions that require least effort, to think the thoughts that are easiest, to feel the emotions that are most vulgarly commonplace, to give the rein to desires that are most nearly animal.

God may be worshipped and contemplated in any of his aspects. But to persist in worshipping only one aspect to the exclusion of all the rest is to run into grave spiritual peril... The best that can be said for ritualistic legalism is that it improves conduct. It does little, however, to alter character and nothing of itself to modify consciousness... The complete transformation of consciousness, which is “enlightenment,” “deliverance,” “salvation,” comes only when God is thought of as the perennial Philosophy affirms Him to be - immanent as well as transcendent, supra-personal as well as personal - and when religious practices are adapted to this conception.

Nobody can have the consolations of religion or philosophy unless he has first experienced their desolations.

If most of us remain ignorant of ourselves, it is because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasures of illusion.

Our current neglect of Law is yet another of the many indications that twentieth-century educators have ceased to be concerned with questions of ultimate truth or meaning and (apart from mere vocational training) are interested solely in the dissemination of a rootless and irrelevant culture, and the fostering of the solemn foolery of scholarship for scholarship’s sake.

If there is freedom... there is a spiritual Reality, which it is the final end and purpose of consciousness to know; then all life is in the nature of an intelligence test, and the higher the level of awareness and the greater the potentialities of the creature, the more searchingly difficult will be the questions asked.

Our perceptions and our understanding are directed, in large measure, by our will. We are aware of, and we think about, the things which, for one reason or another, we want to see and understand. Where there’s a will there is always an intellectual way. The capacities of the human mind are almost indefinitely great.

If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.

Our present economic, social and international arrangements are based, in large measure, upon organized lovelessness. We begin by lacking charity towards nature.

Author Picture
First Name
Aldous Leonard
Last Name
Huxley
Birth Date
1894
Death Date
1963
Bio

English Novelist, Short-Stories, Playwright and Editor including Brave New World and Oxford Poetry