Aldous Leonard Huxleywas an English writer, novelist, philosopher, and prominent member of the Huxley family. He graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, with a first in English literature...
There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception
Experience is not what happens to you; it's what you do with what happens to you.
Beauty is worse than wine, it intoxicates both the holder and beholder.
After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.
You should hurry up and acquire the cigar habit. It's one of the major happinesses. And so much more lasting than love, so much less costly in emotional wear and tear.
An intellectual is a person who's found one thing that's more interesting than sex.
Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.
Happiness is a hard master, particularly other people's happiness.
The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which mean never losing your enthusiasm.
My fate cannot be mastered; it can only be collaborated with and thereby, to some extent, directed. Nor am I the captain of my soul; I am only its noisiest passenger.
The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.
Hell isn't merely paved with good intentions; it's walled and roofed with them. Yes, and furnished too.
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.
God isn't compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice. Our civilization has chosen machinery and medicine and happiness.
Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.
A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.
The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency.
Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.
There isn't any formula or method. You learn to love by loving - by paying attention and doing what one thereby discovers has to be done.
Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them.
Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead.
One of the great attractions of patriotism - it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what's more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous.
The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.
Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
There's only one effectively redemptive sacrifice, the sacrifice of self-will to make room for the knowledge of God.
Sons have always a rebellious wish to be disillusioned by that which charmed their fathers.
Everyone who wants to do good to the human race always ends in universal bullying.
Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don't know because we don't want to know.
A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention.
That we are not much sicker and much madder than we are is due exclusively to that most blessed and blessing of all natural graces, sleep.
People intoxicate themselves with work so they won't see how they really are.
Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting.
Perhaps it's good for one to suffer. Can an artist do anything if he's happy? Would he ever want to do anything? What is art, after all, but a protest against the horrible inclemency of life?
What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood.
Orthodoxy is the diehard of the world of thought. It learns not, neither can it forget.
The most valuable of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it has to be done, whether you like it or not.
Uncontrolled, the hunger and thirst after God may become an obstacle, cutting off the soul from what it desires. If a man would travel far along the mystic road, he must learn to desire God intensely but in stillness, passively and yet with all his heart and mind and strength.
All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.
It was one of those evenings when men feel that truth, goodness and beauty are one. In the morning, when they commit their discovery to paper, when others read it written there, it looks wholly ridiculous.
The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own.
To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.
A belief in hell and the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumor.
I'm afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery.
There is no substitute for talent. Industry and all its virtues are of no avail.
Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.
The quality of moral behavior varies in inverse ratio to the number of human beings involved.
Most of one's life is one prolonged effort to prevent oneself thinking.
An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling lie.
If human beings were shown what they're really like, they'd either kill one another as vermin, or hang themselves.
A fanatic is a man who consciously over compensates a secret doubt.
The impulse to cruelty is, in many people, almost as violent as the impulse to sexual love - almost as violent and much more mischievous.
Man approaches the unattainable truth through a succession of errors.
The vast majority of human beings dislike and even actually dread all notions with which they are not familiar... Hence it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have generally been persecuted, and always derided as fools and madmen.
Defined in psychological terms, a fanatic is a man who consciously over-compensates a secret doubt.
Cynical realism is the intelligent man's best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation.
To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.
Those who believe that they are exclusively in the right are generally those who achieve something.
Official dignity tends to increase in inverse ratio to the importance of the country in which the office is held.
Men do not learn much from the lessons of history and that is the most important of all the lessons of history.
Science has explained nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness.
There is something curiously boring about somebody else's happiness.
Several excuses are always less convincing than one.
Europe is so well gardened that it resembles a work of art, a scientific theory, a neat metaphysical system. Man has re-created Europe in his own image.
The finest works of art are precious, among other reasons, because they make it possible for us to know, if only imperfectly and for a little while, what it actually feels like to think subtly and feel nobly.
Like every other good thing in this world, leisure and culture have to be paid for. Fortunately, however, it is not the leisured and the cultured who have to pay.
Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
Chastity - the most unnatural of all the sexual perversions.
Habit converts luxurious enjoyments into dull and daily necessities.
What with making their way and enjoying what they have won, heroes have no time to think. But the sons of heroes - ah, they have all the necessary leisure.
Like every man of sense and good feeling, I abominate work.
Bondage is the life of personality, and for bondage the personal self will fight with tireless resourcefulness and the most stubborn cunning.
So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly arise and make them miserable.
Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.
Feasts must be solemn and rare, or else they cease to be feasts.
A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one, it comes as sincerely from the author's soul.
Specialized meaninglessness has come to be regarded, in certain circles, as a kind of hallmark of true science.
We participate in a tragedy; at a comedy we only look.
Man is an intelligence in servitude to his organs.
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.'
The most distressing thing that can happen to a prophet is to be proved wrong. The next most distressing thing is to be proved right.
A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will's freedom after it.
Amour is the one human activity of any importance in which laughter and pleasure preponderate, if ever so slightly, over misery and pain.
Thought must be divided against itself before it can come to any knowledge of itself.
De Sade is the one completely consistent and thoroughgoing revolutionary of history.
It takes two to make a murder. There are born victims, born to have their throats cut, as the cut-throats are born to be hanged.
We are all geniuses up to the age of ten.
Speed, it seems to me, provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.
That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his assent.
The author of the Iliad is either Homer or, if not Homer, somebody else of the same name.
What we feel and think and are is to a great extent determined by the state of our ductless glands and viscera.
It's with bad sentiments that one makes good novels.
Words, words, words! They shut one off from the universe. Three quarters of the time one's never in contact with things, only with the beastly words that stand for them.
From their experience or from the recorded experience of others (history), men learn only what their passions and their metaphysical prejudices allow them to learn.
The only completely consistent people are the dead.