"The Doors of Perception" by Aldous Huxley Essay

872 Words 4 Pages
"The Doors of Perception" by Aldous Huxley

The Doors of Perception, written by Aldous Huxley in 1954 was the first essay of its kind to deal with not only the physical effects of mescaline but also attempted to rationalize the fundamental needs satisfied by the drug by its takers. Mescaline is the active chemical in peyote, a wild cactus that grows in the American Southwest and Northern Mexico. Huxley volunteered to boldly go where few Americans other than chemists, native Americans, and researchers dared to go by ingesting synthesized mescaline in a controlled experiment to measure it's psychological effects. The idea was that since Huxley was an accomplished writer he would be well suited to catalog the effects of the drug in a
…show more content…
It was far more enjoyable to contemplate more esoteric ideals than to deal with the humdrum of daily life and relationships. This reluctance to pursue human relationships disturbed Huxley at first. It seemed as though the experience on mescaline left no room for human relationships, which is as he later conclude exactly how it should be. One should not be concerned with the banal nature of one's life when one has had one's ego dissolved into the "Mind at Large" as he puts it. Huxley hypothesizes that since mescaline lowers the blood sugar in the brain it has effectively allowed his senses to be more aware of this "Mind at Large", which is in a sense the universal mind. This universal mind is what allows us to perceive things which are seemingly beyond perception and accounts for genius, artistic innovation and madness. It is with similarly unhindered senses that Huxley believes the schizophrenic must be forced to experience the world. When the realization that madness lies not far from the state in which he is in Huxley comments to the overseer that, "if you started out in the wrong way, everything that happened would be a proof of the conspiracy against you. It would be self-validating." Huxley believes to have found where madness lies and when if asked if he thought he could control it, his answer is a resounding "No". The idea that one could induce a state of near madness seems to be a valuable tool in the

Related Documents