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The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell: Two Complete Nonfiction Works (Perennial Classics)

The Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell - Aldous Huxley The author of Brave New World describes his experiments with mescalin. He should've stuck to fiction.Fun with PatternsThe highlight is Huxley's discussion about patterns and colors. During one of his trips, he became intensely aware of the pattern of folds and wrinkles in the sheets of his bed. The experience made such an impression that he continued to take particular notice, even after his trip, of the patterns that occur in folded cloth. He also began to notice that some artists (Michelangelo) seem to lavish much more attention than others on these patterns. Did the mescalin help Huxley achieve a perspective Michelangelo attained without chemical aid? Who knows? But try looking at the Pieta after this without thinking about Huxley and his folded-cloth fixation! Drop the "Mr Science" act and give us what we came for!The above paragraph notwithstanding, this book ovarall is too long, and burdened with excessive and extraneous details along the lines of: I took the pill and lay on the bed, looking at the ceiling, not sure what to expect. After a while, I got up and paced around the room, trying to decide whether I should get something to eat. Etc. This gives the text an air of clinical respectability, but the scientific facade doesn't stand up to much scrutiny. The word "experiment" comes up a lot, but what exactly is being tested? Nothing objective is measured. There is never a discussion of what specific data is collected, or how it will be analyzed. At the end, no conclusions are discussed. It is simply too charitable to call any of this "scientific". I think the "science" angle was disingenuinous, and intended to lend respectability to a subject publishers and readers may have been uncomfortable with. Huxley probably felt he couldn't admit "I just wanted to see what it feels like". That's too bad, because it would have been a lot more fun to read if he had embraced the subjective nature of what he was doing, and addressed the questions most of us probably wonder, like How did this experience make you feel? Was it "cool"? Do you feel like you "brushed the face of God", or some such trippy thing? Was it FUN? Would you let your kids do this? Denying readers that is just a cheat.