Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Doors of Perception

The book “The Doors of Perception” contains two studies by Aldous Huxley. First, “The Doors of Perception” which is about Huxley’s trip with mescalin. This book explains only the story of his personal experience with mescalin. He tells about his visions while he’s under the influence of mescalin. He says that while under the influence of mescalin, we don’t care for our daily life. What would usually seem mundane in our everyday lives may turn into something vivid and vibrant because our interests change while experiencing a trip on mescalin. Example, from the mind of a writer, you don’t feel that you have to write some things. Little details are more important, in this case. For instance, Huxley focuses on the intensity of colors while on his trip with mescalin, in the book. So you may find yourself, sitting in a chair and thinking about the tissue of the couch. However, you’re not out of control when you’re under the influence of mescalin, which is good.

Second study is called “Heaven and Hell”. It raises the question “Why do we need drugs?” or “Why do we use drugs?” which contains the main reason of this process. Thus we may believe in the doors of perception.

The main thing I got from his writings is that people are thirsty for mystery; in other words, wondering about unknown. This triggers wanting to sense the environment in a different way.

In his book, he explains this curiosity with religion and some examples of visual arts. He says there is a different and unknown zone in our brains and we’re just trying to break through to it. So the ideas of “Heaven” and “Hell” may be coming from this mystery: Religion. He doesn’t focus on only one religion but many are talked about in the book.

He says, using shiny glasses in churches and mosques is about this feeling. The intensity of objects should make you feel mesmerized and stoned, to break through. So these temples take you to a sort of different dimension and you think it’s about the religion itself but he’s actually trying to say, “It’s all just illusion.”

On the other hand, there are people who feel like they’re in heaven with mescalin but there are also people who feel like they’re in hell with mescalin. So these “Heaven” and “Hell” concepts may just be about different parts of our brains. Subconscious, maybe.

He says, a person who takes mescaline will sense the environment like a schizophrenic person does; and a schizophrenic person may be happy with his hallucinations, or not. So this breaking through experience fits the story.

Maybe, we are not able to understand the whole environment with our actual minds. So these things we call “drugs” may be helping us to break on through to the other side, to sense and understand each mote as it supposed to be, as William Blake’s words:

If the Doors of Perception were cleansed, everything would appear to men as it is, infinite.

No comments:

Post a Comment