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Aldous Huxley - Quotes

Music is an ocean, but the repertory is hardly even a lake; it is a pond.
Huxley, Aldous. Interview, Time magazine. December 1957.

An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.
Huxley, Aldous. As quoted in Discovering Evolutionary Ecology: Bringing Together Ecology And Evolution by Peter J. Mayhew, p. 24. 2006.

Maybe this world is another planet's Hell.
Huxley, Aldous. As quoted in Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Time by Laurence J. Peter, p. 239. 1979.

Words are good servants but bad masters.
Huxley, Aldous. As quoted by Laura Huxley, in conversation with Alan Watts about her memoir This Timeless Moment, in Pacifica Archives #BB2037 [sometime between 1968-1973]). 1968.

Never give children a chance of imagining that anything exists in isolation. Make it plain from the very beginning that all living is relationship. Show them relationships in the woods, in the fields, in the ponds and streams, in the village and in the country around it. Rub it in.
Huxley, Aldous. Island. 1962.

It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'Try to be a little kinder.'
Huxley, Aldous. As quoted in What About the Big Stuff?: Finding Strength and Moving Forward When the Stakes Are High by Richard Carlson, p. 293. 2002.

All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.
Huxley, Aldous. Island. 1962.

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.
Huxley, Aldous. Case of Voluntary Ignorance in Collected Essays. 1959.

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.
Huxley, Aldous. The Genius and the Goddess. 1955.

The trouble with fiction... is that it makes too much sense. Reality never makes sense.
Huxley, Aldous. The Genius and the Goddess. 1955.

At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice, and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.
Huxley, Aldous. Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow. 1952.

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
Huxley, Aldous. Themes and Variations. 1950.

Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.
Huxley, Aldous. Essay "Distractions I" in Vedanta for the Western World. 1954.

There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
Huxley, Aldous. Time Must Have a Stop. 1944.

Facts are ventriloquists' 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.
Huxley, Aldous. Time Must Have a Stop. 1944.

It is only when it takes the form of physical addiction that sex is evil. It is also evil when it manifests itself as a way of satisfying the lust for power or the climber's craving for position and social distinction.
Huxley, Aldous. Ends and Means. 1937.

A man who has trained himself in goodness come to have certain direct intuitions about character, about the relations between human beings, about his own position in the world -- intuitions that are quite different from the intuitions of the average sensual man.
Huxley, Aldous. Ends and Means. 1937.

First Shakespeare sonnets seem meaningless; first Bach fugues, a bore; first differential equations, sheer torture. But training changes the nature of our spiritual experiences. In due course, contact with an obscurely beautiful poem, an elaborate piece of counterpoint or of mathematical reasoning, causes us to feel direct intuitions of beauty and significance. It is the same in the moral world.
Huxley, Aldous. Ends and Means. 1937.

So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly rise and make them miserable.
Huxley, Aldous. Ends and Means. 1937.

All war propaganda consists, in the last resort, in substituting diabolical abstractions for human beings. Similarly, those who defend war have invented a pleasant sounding vocabulary of abstractions in which to describe the process of mass murder.
Huxley, Aldous. Pacifism and Philosophy. 1936.

History teaches us that war is not inevitable. Once again, it is for us to choose whether we use war or some other method of settling the ordinary and unavoidable conflicts between groups of men.
Huxley, Aldous. What Are You Going To Do About It? The case for constructive peace. 1936.

The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.
Huxley, Aldous. The Olive Tree. 1936.

Death is the only thing we haven't succeeded in completely vulgarizing.
Huxley, Aldous. Eyeless in Gaza. 1934.

To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.
Huxley, Aldous. Readers Digest. 1934.

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.
Huxley, Aldous. Do What You Will. 1929.

The poet is, etymologically, the maker. Like all makers, he requires a stock of raw materials — in his case, experience. Now experience is not a matter of having actually swum the Hellespont, or danced with the dervishes, or slept in a doss-house. It is a matter of sensibility and intuition, of seeing and hearing the significant things, of paying attention at the right moments, of understanding and co-ordinating. Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him. It is a gift for dealing with the accidents of existence, not the accidents themselves. By a happy dispensation of nature, the poet generally possesses the gift of experience in conjunction with that of expression.
Huxley, Aldous. Texts and Pretexts. 1932.

Too much consistency is as bad for the mind as it is for the body. Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead. Consistent intellectualism and spirituality may be socially valuable, up to a point; but they make, gradually, for individual death.
Huxley, Aldous. Do What You Will. 1929.

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.
Huxley, Aldous. Point Counter Point. 1928.

Habit converts luxurious enjoyments into dull and daily necessities.
Huxley, Aldous. Point Counter Point. 1928.

Those who believe that they are exclusively in the right are generally those who achieve something.
Huxley, Aldous. Proper Studies. 1927.