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A Welcome Return
on 8 November 2012
I read this book many years ago, in the days when L.S.D. was going strong. It therefore had an interest to my generation.
At the time I remembered thinking that "The Doors of Perception" was basically about Aldous Huxley's experiences and reflections whilst on mescaline. He also asked about such expereinces being a doorway into the world of schizophrenia and wondered if it would be worth reconsidering the philosopher Bergson's idea of the brain being basically an eliminative organ, to stop us being overwhelmed by impressions, so we can function in the everyday world. Both points are worthy of argument and Youtube has a video where he speaks, from the book,on the latter.
Heaven and Hell,which I preferred at the time is an essay on how over history people's minds have been opened up a world beyond the everyday experience of the ego (he calls it that "interfering neurotic" in the first book). Anyone who has had an aesthetic experience will know something about that "opening up". There can be beauty, in it's truest sense but there can be horror. There can be good trips and there can be bad trips. There can be ecstasy but there can be madness. There can be heaven and there can be hell (the land of lit-up-ness, as he describes it).
A worthy and fascinating read, of perennial interest, which I am pleased to return to on kindle and would certainly recommend.