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Aldous Huxley Quotes

49 of the best book quotes from Aldous Huxley
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“In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth.”
Aldous Huxley
Neil Postman
authors
Amusing Ourselves to Death
book
acceptance
going with the flow
self deception
small-minded
bad choice
mindless thinking
concepts
02
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“For in the end, [Huxley] was trying to tell us what afflicted the people in ‘Brave New World’ was not that they were laughing instead of thinking, but that they did not know what they were laughing about and why they had stopped thinking.”
03
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Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery.
Mustapha Mond
character
04
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I am I, and I wish I weren’t.
05
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One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.
06
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But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.
07
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I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly.
08
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Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.
09
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If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.
10
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Stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability.
11
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I like being myself. Myself and nasty.
12
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Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment.
13
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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.
14
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Most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.
15
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Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
16
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A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.
17
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No social stability without individual stability.
18
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Isn’t there something in living dangerously?
19
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I ate civilization. It poisoned me; I was defiled. And then, I ate my own wickedness.
20
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Reality, however utopian, is something from which people feel the need of taking pretty frequent holidays.
21
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You got rid of them. Yes, that’s just like you. Getting rid of everything unpleasant instead of learning to put up with it. Whether ‘tis better in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows or outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them...But you don’t do either. Neither suffer nor oppose. You just abolish the slings and arrows. It’s too easy.
22
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Nothing costs enough here.
23
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There was a thing called the soul and a thing called immortality.
24
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One of the principal functions of a friend is to suffer (in a milder and symbolic form) the punishments that we should like, but are unable, to inflict upon our enemies.
25
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Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.
26
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A love of nature keeps no factories busy.
27
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Ending is better than mending.
28
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Pain was a fascinating horror.
29
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Every one works for every one else. We can’t do without any one. Even Epsilons are useful. We couldn’t do without Epsilons. Every one works for every one else. We can’t do without any one. . . .
30
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“Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe.”
31
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“These are the sort of things people ought to look at. Things without pretensions, satisfied to be merely themselves.”
32
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“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.”
33
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“However expressive, symbols can never be the things they stand for.”
34
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“Every 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 experience, the victim in so far as it confirms him in 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. That which, in the language of religion, is called “this world” is the universe of reduced awareness, expressed, and, as it were, petrified by language.”
35
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“We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves.”
36
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“By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies - all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable.”
37
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“Technology has tended to devaluate the traditional vision-inducing materials. The illumination of a city, for example, was once a rare event, reserved for victories and national holidays, for the canonization of saints and the crowning of kings. Now it occurs nightly and celebrates the virtues of gin, cigarettes and toothpaste.”
38
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“The urge to escape from selfhood and the environment is in almost everyone almost all the time.”
39
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“But the man who comes back through the Door in the Wall 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 words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable Mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend.”
40
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“We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.”
41
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“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.”
42
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“At breakfast that morning I had been struck by the lively dissonance of its colours. But that was no longer the point. I was not looking now at an unusual flower arrangement. I was seeing what Adam had seen on the morning of his creation - the miracle, moment by moment, of naked existence.”
43
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“For Monet, on this occasion, water lilies were the measure of water lilies; and so he painted them.”
44
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“To see ourselves as others see us is a most salutary gift. Hardly less important is the capacity to see others as they see themselves.”
45
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“Visual impressions are greatly intensified and the eye recovers some of the perceptual innocence of childhood, when the sensum was not immediately and automatically subordinated to the concept. Interest in space is diminished and interest in time falls almost to zero.”
46
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“To be shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception, to be shown for a few timeless hours the outer and inner world, not as they appear to an animal obsessed with survival or to a human being obsessed with words and notions, but as they are apprehended, directly and unconditionally, by Mind at Large — this is an experience of inestimable value to everyone and especially to the intellectual.”
47
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“Familiarity breeds indifference.”
48
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“What the rest of us see only under the influence of mescalin, the artist is congenitally equipped to see all the time.”
49
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“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.”

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