Reader reviews for The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell

Huxley's fascinating account of LSD experimentation in the early 1950's.......Title of his book was taken as a nameby the Rock group, "The Doors of Perception"
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anyone who has interest in the future and everyone who has experimented with acid or psychedelic drugs in general must this book (preferably before the drugs)
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It was good- but pretty matter-of-fact. I felt as though he was just recounting what he did. It was interesting, but nothing novel or inspirational for me- probably because I had already known.
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could huxley get any better? i think not.
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Careful- the Doors of Perception is a life-changer.
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As did AA co-founder Bill Wilson and former senator Eugene MacCarthy and Ram Doss and manyh others, Huxley writes of the experience of ingesting mescalinl, also known as peyote, a drug that southwest American natives have used for eons as a spiritual aid. he explained things that put its proper use into place for me. When I was raging and thinking hurtful things, if I had dropped that or LSD then I would have had a "bad trip," but now that I have a serene heart and a loving soul, I want to have some; i want the experience.
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Huxley's "The Doors of Perception" is one of the most interesting books i've encountered. Obviously, its notable for its account of an experiment with the drug mescalin, found in peyote. The fundamental notion of the work is that the mind acts, in its most normal and evolved state, as a "reducing valve." The world of perception is way too intense for one mind to encounter so it seeks to reduce experiences as a need for survival. A drug induced experience allows for the opening of said "reducing valve" ushering in opportunities to see things "isness" and "suchness." I found it particularly interesting that Huxleys suggested that the increase in drug use is in direct relationship to the lack of "transcendance" provided by organized religion. A shortcoming Huxley thinks the church should be addressing. I found this book to be interesting, informative, and challenging. All symptoms of a good read.
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Reads like no other book - mesmerising! The title incidently, is where the band 'The Doors' took their name from.
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"the doors..." changed the way i look at things [ like black moon (movie) ]. "heaven hell" brings to mind jewels. i am thankful for the former.
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Huxley's theory is that the mind takes in all sorts of incredible experiences but that it then filters those (through what he calls the "reducing valve") into what we're conscious of. In the first part of the book, The Doors of Perception, he experiments with peyote. He has a psychiatrist present and records everything he says, so the account of his actions and experiences is presumably reliable. This part of the book was highly entertaining. He is fascinated by details like chair legs, and he sees cosmic significance in them. He also advocates allowing the use of peyote over alcohol and tobacco because he thinks it has fewer downsides (and because he thinks people will always seek some kind of drug-induced escape from their lives). In the second part of the book, Heaven and Hell, he talks about "transporting" artwork--stained glass, jewels, and certain kinds of paintings. He thinks that the colors and ways of representing landscapes are similar to what people experience when they have visions of an "other world" or heaven, and we like these because they give us a glimpse of that world. He also argues that while for most visionaries the visions are blissful, for some, like schizophrenics, visions of this other world are terrifying and hellish. At the end, he includes a couple of short sections on the various ways to have visions--carbon dioxide, strobe lights, fasting, etc. I thought his comments on fasting were really interesting. He speculates that people in earlier times had more religious visions because they were malnourished and engaged in more religious fasting, and the lack of vitamins affects brain chemistry enough that the "reducing valve" is opened to allow for visionary experiences. I read the more scientific sections with skepticism because I'm not sure Huxley is a reliable source, but the book is nonetheless interesting and often entertaining.
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