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.
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.
It's with bad sentiments that one makes good novels.
What we feel and think and are is to a great extent determined by the state of our ductless glands and viscera.
The author of the Iliad is either Homer or, if not Homer, somebody else of the same name.
That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his assent.
Speed, it seems to me, provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.
We are all geniuses up to the age of ten.
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.
De Sade is the one completely consistent and thoroughgoing revolutionary of history.
Thought must be divided against itself before it can come to any knowledge of itself.
Amour is the one human activity of any importance in which laughter and pleasure preponderate, if ever so slightly, over misery and pain.
A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will's freedom after it.
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.
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.'
Man is an intelligence in servitude to his organs.
We participate in a tragedy; at a comedy we only look.
Specialized meaninglessness has come to be regarded, in certain circles, as a kind of hallmark of true science.
A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one, it comes as sincerely from the author's soul.
Feasts must be solemn and rare, or else they cease to be feasts.
Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.
So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly arise and make them miserable.
Bondage is the life of personality, and for bondage the personal self will fight with tireless resourcefulness and the most stubborn cunning.
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.
Habit converts luxurious enjoyments into dull and daily necessities.
Chastity - the most unnatural of all the sexual perversions.
Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
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.
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.
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.
Several excuses are always less convincing than one.
There is something curiously boring about somebody else's happiness.
Science has explained nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness.
Men do not learn much from the lessons of history and that is the most important of all the lessons of history.
Official dignity tends to increase in inverse ratio to the importance of the country in which the office is held.
Those who believe that they are exclusively in the right are generally those who achieve something.
To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.
Cynical realism is the intelligent man's best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation.
Defined in psychological terms, a fanatic is a man who consciously over-compensates a secret doubt.
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.
Man approaches the unattainable truth through a succession of errors.
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.
If human beings were shown what they're really like, they'd either kill one another as vermin, or hang themselves.
An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling lie.
Most of one's life is one prolonged effort to prevent oneself thinking.
The quality of moral behavior varies in inverse ratio to the number of human beings involved.
Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.
There is no substitute for talent. Industry and all its virtues are of no avail.
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...