Perception were cleansed,
everything would appear to man as it is,
"Whenever the Secrets of Perception are taught to
his lips are sewn against speaking of the
Human beings have an
almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
Facts do not cease to exist because they
Words form the
thread on which we string our experiences.
The most valuable result
of conditioning is the
ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be
done, whether you like it or not.
truth, but still greater, from a
practical point of view, is
By simply not mentioning
certain subjects propagandists
influence opinion more
effectively than they could have by
the next generation or so, a
method of making people adore their servitude,
producing dictatorship without
tears, producing a category of painless concentration camp for entire
societies so that people will have their freedom taken away from them but
will rather enjoy it.
Leonard Huxley, Prophecies
Mescaline alkaloid extracted
by Arthur Heffter.
1918 Mescaline first
synthesized in by Ernst Späth.
Mescalin has a position among
drugs of unique distinction.
Administered in suitable doses it
changes the quality
of consciousness more profoundly and yet is
less toxic than any
take mescalin for the light it throws on such ancient, unsolved riddles such as
the place of mind in
nature and the relationship between brain
The chemical composition of mescalin
and adrenalin is
research reveals lysergic
acid, an extremely potent
from ergot, has a structural biochemical
relationship to the others.
Then came the discovery that adrenochrome,
a product of
decomposition of adrenalin, can
produce the symptoms observed in mescalin intoxication.
occurs spontaneously in the human body.
Each one of us is capable of
manufacturing this chemical, minute doses of which are
known to cause profound
changes in consciousness.
One bright May morning, I
swallowed four-tenths of a gram of mescalin dissolved in half a glass of water
and sat down to wait for the results.
live together, we act on, and
react to, one another; but always and
in all circumstances
we are by ourselves.
Every embodied spirit is doomed to
Sensations, feelings, insights,
fancies - all these are private
and, except through symbols and at second hand,
We can pool information about
experiences, but never experience itself.
inhabited by the insane and the exceptionally gifted are
different from the places
where ordinary men and women live.
There is no
common ground of
memory to serve as a
basis for connection.
Words are uttered, but fail to
The symbols refer to
mutually exclusive realms of
The change which actually took place was in no way
After swallowing mescalin I became
aware of a slow dance of golden lights.
A little later there were
sumptuous red surfaces swelling and expanding from bright nodes of energy that
vibrated with a continuously changing, patterned life.
There is an
inside to experience as well as an outside, closing of my eyes revealed a
complex of gray structures, within which pale bluish spheres kept emerging into
intense solidity and, having emerged, would slide noiselessly upwards, out of
reality to which mescalin admitted me was not the reality of visions.
Reality existed out there, in
what I could see with my eyes open.
I took the mescalin at eleven.
little later, I was sitting in my study, looking intently at a small glass
The vase contained only three flowers-a full-blown Belie of
Portugal rose, shell pink with a hint at every petal's base of a hotter,
flamier hue; a large magenta and cream-colored carnation; and, pale purple at
the end of its broken stalk, the bold heraldic blossom of an iris.
Fortuitous and provisional, the nosegay broke rules of
traditional good taste.
breakfast I had been struck by the lively dissonance of its colors.
that was now no longer the point.
I was not looking at an unusual
I was seeing what Adam had seen
on the morning of his creation, the
miracle, moment by moment, of
Istigkeit - wasn't
that the word Meister Eckhart liked
to use? "Is-ness."
Eternal life is transience,
simultaneous perishing and
particulars in which, by some
unspeakable and yet self-evident paradox, is to be seen the divine source
of all existence.
The important fact
was that spatial
relationships ceased to matter.
My mind was perceiving
reality in other than spatial categories.
The mind perceives in terms of
intensity of existence, profundity of significance, relationships within a
pattern, being and meaning.
My actual experience was of
an indefinite duration or alternatively
of a perpetual
present made up of one continually
I was looking at my furniture, not as the
utilitarian who has to sit on chairs, to write at desks and tables, and not as
the cameraman or scientific recorder, but as
the pure aesthete whose concern
is only with forms and their relationships within the field of vision.
But as I looked, this purely aesthetic, Cubist's
eye view gave place to what I can only describe as
a sacramental vision of reality.
The suggestion is that
the function of the
system and sense organs is in the
main eliminative and not productive.
Each individual is at each moment
capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him.
function of the brain and
nervous system is to
protect us from
being overwhelmed and confused by this
mass of largely useless and
irrelevant information, by shutting out most of what we sense at any
moment, leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to
What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of
a category of consciousness
which will help us to stay
alive on the surface of the
To formulate and express the
contents of this reduced awareness, man
has invented and endlessly elaborated symbol systems and
which we call languages.
individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic
tradition into which he has been born.
The beneficiary inasmuch as
language gives access to the
accumulated records of other people's experiences.
The victim in so
far as it confirms in him the belief that reduced awareness is the only
awareness and as it bedevils his
sense of reality, so that he is all
too apt to take his
concepts for data, his words for actual
things in reality.
That which, in the language of religion, is
called "this reality" is the universe of reduced awareness, expressed, and, as
it were, petrified by language.
Most humans, most of the time,
know only what comes through reduced
awareness consecrated as genuinely reality by the local culture.
Certain individuals have been born with a
bypass that circumvents the reduction of awareness.
temporary bypasses may be acquired spontaneously, as the
result of deliberate
"spiritual exercises" or by means of entheogens.
temporary bypasses there flows awareness which is more than, and above all,
different from, the
utilitarian material individual minds regard as a sufficient image of
What happens to those who have taken mescalin can
be summarized as follows:
(1) The ability to remember and to "think straight" is little if at
Listening to the recordings of my conversation under the
influence I cannot discover that I was then any stupider than I am at ordinary
the intellect remains
unimpaired and though perceptual coherence is
enormously improved, the will suffers a profound change.
taker sees no reason for doing anything in particular for the good reason that
he has better things to think about.
(4) These better things may be experienced (as I
experienced them) "out there," or "in here," or in both worlds, the inner and
the outer, simultaneously or successively.
That they are better seems
to be self-evident to all
mescalin takers who come to the drug with a sound liver and an untroubled
Some people discover a reality of
To others is revealed the glory,
the infinite value and
meaningfulness of naked existence, of the given, unconceptualized event.
In the final stage of egolessness there is knowledge
all is one and one is
This is as
near as a finite mind can ever come to perceiving the
Mescalin raises all colors to a higher power and makes the
percipient aware of innumerable fine shades of difference, to which, at
ordinary times, he is completely blind.
priceless gift of a new direct insight into the very nature of things, together
with the modest treasure of understanding reality.
Such emblems are
sources of true
knowledge about the nature of things, and this
true knowledge may serve to
prepare the mind to accept immediate insights on its own account.
However expressive, symbols can never be the things they stand
For the moment, mescalin had delivered me from "the world of selves, of
moral judgements and
utilitarian considerations, the
world of self-assertion, of
overvalued words and
overact the part of our favorite character in fiction.
present the reality, apocalyptically, for those to whom it had never before
presented itself through
dissociation in any other way.
When we feel ourselves to be a part
of the universe, when "the sea flows in our veins ...
and the stars are our
jewels," when all things
are perceived as infinite and holy, what motive can we have for
the pursuit of power or the
drearier forms of
As a rule the mescalin taker discovers
an inner world as manifest
as reality, as self-evidently "infinite and holy," as the
visualizers are transformed by mescalin into visionaires.
them, and they are perhaps more numerous than is generally supposed, require no
they are visionaires all the time.
They belong to that archetypal
reality, where men have always found the raw materials of myth and religion.
They have engaged in a retreat from
consciousness into mythical
Mythical consciousness balances
worldview by obscuring rational fragments that don't comfortably fit in.
More clearly present, perhaps, than in
a rationally coherent
seemed to have dissociated itself almost completely from my
Even though I no longer had an awareness of my physical
organism with only a minimum of
hesitation I found myself able to get up,
open the French window
and walk through.
It was odd, of course,
to feel that "I"
was not the same as these arms and legs "out there," as this
wholly objective trunk and
neck and even head.
It was odd; but one soon got used to
And anyhow the body seemed perfectly able to look after
In reality, of course, it always does look after itself.
All that the conscious ego
can do is to formulate wishes, which are then
carried out by forces
which it controls very little and understands not at all.
does anything more - when it tries too hard, when it worries, when it becomes
apprehensive about the future - it lowers the effectiveness of those forces and
may even cause the devitalized body to fall ill.
In my present state,
ego did not focus awareness; it was on
physiological intelligence controlling the body was also on its own.
For the moment that
interfering neurotic who, in waking hours, tries to run the show, was
blessedly out of the way.
Where the shadows fell
on the canvas upholstery, stripes of a deep but glowing
indigo alternated with
stripes of intensely bright incandescence so that it was hard to believe that
they could be made of anything but blue fire.
I was so completely
absorbed in looking, so thunderstruck by what I actually saw, that I could not
be aware of anything else.
Garden furniture, lath, sunlight,
shadow - these were no more
than names and notions, mere verbalizations, for
utilitarian or scientific
purposes, after the event.
The event was this succession of azure
furnace doors separated by gulfs of unfathomable gentian.
inexpressibly wonderful, to the point, almost, of being terrifying.
takers of mescalin experience only the heavenly part of
Mescalin brings hell only to those who have had a recent
case of jaundice, or who suffer from
depressions or a chronic
If, like the other drug of remotely comparable power,
mescalin were notoriously toxic, the taking of it would be enough, of itself,
to cause anxiety.
reasonably healthy individual knows in advance that mescalin is completely
innocuous, that its effects will pass off after eight or ten hours, leaving no
hangover and consequently no craving for a renewal of the dose.
Fortified by this knowledge, he embarks upon the experiment without any
disposition to convert an unprecedentedly strange and other than normal human
experience into something appalling, something actually
suddenly felt, was going too far.
Too far, even though going into
intenser beauty, deeper significance.
analyzed in retrospect, was of
being overwhelmed, of
under the pressure of a greater reality than I was accustomed to,
a cosy world of
The literature of religious
experience abounds in references to
the pains and terrors
overwhelming those who have come, too suddenly, face to face with a
manifestation of the mysterium
In theological language, this fear is due to the
between man's egotism and the
purity, between man's
separateness and the Eternity
The Tibetan Book of the Dead I opened at random.
"O nobly born, let not thy mind be
That was the problem - to remain
Undistracted by the
memory of past sins, by imagined pleasure, by
aftertaste of old
wrongs and humiliations, by all the
ordinarily eclipse the light.
Ultimate reality remains
unshakably itself and is of the
same substance as the
A clump of Red Hot Pokers, in
full bloom, exploded into my field of vision.
So passionately alive,
they seemed to be standing on
the very brink of
flowers strained upwards into the blue.
I looked down at the leaves
and discovered a cavernous intricacy of the most delicate green lights and
shadows, pulsing with indecipherable mystery.
flowers are easy to paint. The
Shiki's haiku expresses, by indirection, exactly what
I then felt-the excessive, the too obvious
glory of the flowers, as contrasted with the subtler miracle of their foliage.
Effects of the mescalin were on the decline:
the flowers in the gardens
still trembled on the brink of being supernatural, the pepper trees and
carobs along the side streets still manifestly belonged to some sacred grove.
Abruptly, we were at an
intersection, waiting to cross Sunset Boulevard.
The cars were rolling
by in a steady stream - thousands of them, all bright and shiny like an
advertiser's dream and each more ludicrous than the last.
And all at once I saw what Guardi had seen and had so often rendered in
his paintings - a stucco wall with a shadow slanting across it, blank but
unforgettably beautiful, empty but charged with all the meaning and the mystery
Revelation dawned and was
gone again within a fraction of a second.
An hour later, I had returned
to that reassuring but profoundly unsatisfactory state known as "being in one's right
That humanity at large will ever be
able to dispense with artificial
paradises seems very unlikely.
Most men and women lead lives at the
worst so painful, at the best so monotonous, poor and limited that the urge to
escape, the longing to transcend themselves if only for a few moments, is and
has always been one of the principal appetites of the soul.
vegetable sedatives and narcotics, all the euphorics that grow on trees, the
ripen in berries or can be squeezed from roots-all, without exception, have
been known and systematically used by human beings from time
Most of these modifiers of consciousness cannot now be taken
except under doctor's orders, or else illegally and at considerable risk.
For unrestricted use America has permitted only
Doors of Perception
are labeled dope, unauthorized takers are
To most people,
mescalin is almost completely innocuous.
Unlike alcohol, it does not
drive the taker into
the category of uninhibited action which results in brawls, crimes of violence
and traffic accidents.
A man under the influence of
mescalin quietly goes about his own business.
Indians who consume
peyote buttons are not physically or morally degraded.
The urge to transcend
self-consciousness is a principal appetite of the soul.
whatever reason, men and women fail to transcend themselves by
means of worship, good
works and spiritual
exercises, they are apt to resort to surrogates -
alcohol and "goof pills" in
modern North America,
opium in the East,
hashish in the
coca in the Andes,
alcohol and the
the more up-to-date regions of South
In Poisons Sacrés, Ivresses Divines Philippe
de Felice has written at length, with a wealth of documentation, on the
connection between religion and entheogens.
Ritual use of entheogens can
be observed in every culture on Earth.
I am suggesting that the mescalin
experience is what some Catholic theologians call
"a gratuitous grace," to
be accepted thankfully.
To be shaken out of
the ruts of ordinary
perception, to be
shown for a few timeless hours the outer and the inner reality, not as they
appear to an animal
obsessed with survival or to
a human being obsessed
with words and notions, but as they are apperceived, directly and
an experience of inestimable value especially to the intellectual.
We can never dispense with language and the other symbol systems; for
it is by means of them, and only by their means, that
we have raised ourselves above
the brutes, to the level of human beings.
Unfortunately we can as
easily become the victims as well as the beneficiaries of these systems.
We must learn how to
handle words effectively; but at the same time we must
ability to look at reality directly and not through that
half opaque medium of
concepts, which distorts every given fact
into the all too familiar likeness of some generic label or
This has been demonstrated by many tribes of Native
Among these Native American tribes are to be found groups
affiliated with the Native American church, a sect whose principal rite is a
category of early Christian
Agápe, or compassion feast, where slices of peyote take the place of
the sacramental bread and
These Native Americans regard the cactus as God's special
gift to the Native Americans, and equate its effects with the workings of
JS Slotkin, one of
the very few white men ever to have participated in the rites of a peyotist
congregation, says of his fellow worshipers:
are not stupefied or
never get out of rhythm or fumble words;
all are quiet,
courteous and considerate of one another.
Americans, sychronized religious
experience is more direct and illuminating,
less the product of the
superficial, self-conscious mind.
Sometimes they see visions, which
may be of Jesus Himself.
Sometimes they hear the
voice of the Great Spirit.
They become aware of the
Presence of God and of
those personal shortcomings which must be corrected to stay within the
Will of God.
practical consequences of these entheogen openings of doors into inner reality
seem to be wholly good.
Slotkin reports that peyotists are on the whole
more industrious, more temperate (many of them abstain altogether from
alcohol), more peaceable.
with satisfactory fruit cannot be condemned as evil.
sacramentalizing the use of peyote Native American Church Indians have done
something which is psychologically sound and historically respectable.
Here the the soul
knows itself as unconditioned and of like nature with the divine, hence the
Native American Church.
In it two great appetites of the soul -
the urge to
independence and self-determination and
the urge to
self-transcendence are fused with, and
interpreted in the light
of, a third, the urge to
worship, to justify the ways of God to man,
to explain the universe by
means of a coherent theology.
Literary or scientific, liberal or
predominantly symbol manipulation and therefore fails to enlighten us.
Instead of transforming children into fully developed adults, it turns
out students of the natural sciences who are completely unaware of nature as
the primary facet of experience, it inflicts upon the Earth students of the
humanities who know nothing of humanity.
The art of being directly aware of the
given reality of existence is ignored.
Systematic reasoning is something we
could not, as a species or as
individuals, possibly do without.
But neither, if we are to remain sane, can we possibly do without
direct perception, the
more unsystematic the better, of the inner and outer realities into which we
have been born.
This given reality is an infinite which passes all
understanding and yet admits of being directly and in some sort totally
To be enlightened is to be aware of total reality in its
Near the end of his life
Thomas Aquinas experienced Infused
Thereafter he refused to go back to work on his
(Note: Most likely he was unable after experincing a
stroke while at the same
recognized the futility of
attempting to define God.)
The man who comes back through the
Doors of Perception will
never be quite the same as
the man who went out.
He will be wiser but less cocksure, happier
but less self-satisfied,
humbler in acknowledging
his ignorance yet better
equipped to understand the relationship of things and to apply
systematic reasoning to
mystery in an attempt to
adapted from The Doors of Perception, Aldous Leonard
Huxley examined and critiqued social morés,
societal norms and ideals, as
well as the possible misapplications of science in
Aldous Huxley wrote on the
aspects of scientific progress.
Aldous Huxley examined the
frequently follows from
While Aldous Huxley was noted for
considerably later, some say under the influence of such friends as
DH Lawrence, did he heartily embrace
feelings as matters of importance in his evolving personal philosophy and
Aldous Huxley, immigrated to America, but was denied citizenship as he
refused to ascribe his pacifism
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This website defines a
new perspective with which to engage reality to which its author adheres. The
author feels that the falsification of reality outside personal experience has
forged a populace unable to discern propaganda from reality and that this has
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agents who wish to foist a corrupt version of reality on the human race.
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religion based on reason which requires no leap of faith, accepts no
tithes, has no supreme leader, no church buildings and in which each and every
individual is encouraged to develop a personal relation with the Creator and
Sustainer through the pursuit of the knowledge of reality in the hope of curing
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corporate media psychological operations. The results have been the destruction
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