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Quotes by Aldous Huxley

  • English novelist
  • Born July 26, 1894
  • Died November 22, 1963

Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) was an English writer, novelist, philosopher, and prominent member of the Huxley family. He graduated from Balliol College at the University of Oxford with a first-class honours degree in English literature. The author of nearly fifty books, Huxley was best known for his novels (among them Brave New World, set in a dystopian future); for nonfiction works, such as The Doors of Perception, in which he recalls his experiences taking psychedelic drugs; and for his wide-ranging essays.


People intoxicate themselves with work so they won't see how they really are.




A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will's freedom after it.




Defined in psychological terms, a fanatic is a man who consciously over-compensates a secret doubt.


Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them.




The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency.




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.




Hell isn't merely paved with good intentions; it's walled and roofed with them. Yes, and furnished too.




Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead.




Bondage is the life of personality, and for bondage the personal self will fight with tireless resourcefulness and the most stubborn cunning.




The author of the Iliad is either Homer or, if not Homer, somebody else of the same name.




There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.




Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.




Man approaches the unattainable truth through a succession of errors.




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.




What we feel and think and are is to a great extent determined by the state of our ductless glands and viscera.




There is no substitute for talent. Industry and all its virtues are of no avail.




If human beings were shown what they're really like, they'd either kill one another as vermin, or hang themselves.




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.




The quality of moral behavior varies in inverse ratio to the number of human beings involved.




Every man's memory is his private literature.




An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling lie.




There is something curiously boring about somebody else's happiness.




Orthodoxy is the diehard of the world of thought. It learns not, neither can it forget.


The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.




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.




A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one, it comes as sincerely from the author's soul.




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.




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.


De Sade is the one completely consistent and thoroughgoing revolutionary of history.




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.



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