Quotes by Aldous Huxley

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Aldous Leonard Huxley (July 26, 1894 November 22, 1963) was a British writer who emigrated to the United States. He was a member of the famous Huxley family who produced a number of brilliant scientific minds. Best known for his ...

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Morality is always the product of terror; its chains and strait-waistcoats are fashioned by those who dare not trust others, because they dare not trust themselves, to walk in liberty.

The history of any nation follows an undulatory course. In the trough of the wave we find more or less complete anarchy; but the crest is not more or less complete Utopia, but only, at best, a tolerably humane, partially free and fairly just society that invariably carries within itself the seeds of its own decadence.
Single-mindedness is all very well in cows or baboons; in an animal claiming to belong to the same species as Shakespeare it is simply disgraceful.
One of the many reasons for the bewildering and tragic character of human existence is the fact that social organization is at once necessary and fatal. Men are forever creating such organizations for their own convenience and forever finding themselves the victims of their home-made monsters.
If it were not for the intellectual snobs who pay -- in solid cash -- the tribute which philistinism owes to culture, the arts would perish with their starving practitioners. Let us thank heaven for hypocrisy.
Speed provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.
Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.
Cant is always rather nauseating; but before we condemn political hypocrisy, let us remember that it is the tribute paid by men of leather to men of God, and that the acting of the part of someone better than oneself may actually commit one to a course of behavior perceptibly less evil than what would be normal and natural in an avowed cynic.
Orthodoxy is the diehard of the world of thought. It learns not, neither can it forget.
We are living now, not in the delicious intoxication induced by the early successes of science, but in a rather grisly morning-after, when it has become apparent that what triumphant science has done hitherto is to improve the means for achieving unimproved or actually deteriorated ends.
Speed, it seems to me, provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.
Science and art are only too often a superior kind of dope, possessing this advantage over booze and morphia: that they can be indulged in with a good conscience and with the conviction that, in the process of indulging, one is leading the higher life.
Man is an intelligence, not served by, but in servitude to his organs.
Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.
Good is a product of the ethical and spiritual artistry of individuals; it cannot be mass-produced.
A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will's freedom after it.
The condition of being forgiven is self-abandonment. The proud man prefers self-reproach, however painful --because the reproached self isn't abandoned; it remains intact.
It's with bad sentiments that one makes good novels.
Sons have always a rebellious wish to be disillusioned by that which charmed their fathers.
A fanatic is a man who consciously over compensates a secret doubt.
Specialized meaninglessness has come to be regarded, in certain circles, as a kind of hall-mark of true science.
From their experience or from the recorded experience of others (history), men learn only what their passions and their metaphysical prejudices allow them to learn.
That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his assent.
A belief in hell and the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumor.
Now, a corpse, poor thing, is an untouchable and the process of decay is, of all pieces of bad manners, the vulgarest imaginable. For a corpse is, by definition, a person absolutely devoid of savoir vivre.
A large city cannot be experientially known; its life is too manifold for any individual to be able to participate in it.
But a priest's life is not supposed to be well-rounded; it is supposed to be one-pointed -- a compass, not a weathercock.
Official dignity tends to increase in inverse ratio to the importance of the country in which the office is held.
A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one; it comes as sincerely from the author's soul.
Beauty for some provides escape, who gain a happiness in eyeing the gorgeous buttocks of the ape or Autumn sunsets exquisitely dying.
Abused as we abuse it at present, dramatic art is in no sense cathartic; it is merely a form of emotional masturbation. It is the rarest thing to find a player who has not had his character affected for the worse by the practice of his profession. Nobody can make a habit of self-exhibition, nobody can exploit his personality for the sake of exercising a kind of hypnotic power over others, and remain untouched by the process.
The business of a seer is to see; and if he involves himself in the kind of God-eclipsing activities which make seeing impossible, he betrays the trust which his fellows have tacitly placed in him.
Industrial man --a sentient reciprocating engine having a fluctuating output, coupled to an iron wheel revolving with uniform velocity. And then we wonder why this should be the golden age of revolution and mental derangement.
Like every man of sense and good feeling, I abominate work.
The Dickensian Christmas-at-Home receives only perfunctory lip-service from a press which draws a steady income from the catering and amusement trades. Home-made fun is gratuitous, and gratuitousness is something which an industrialized world cannot afford to tolerate.