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Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception

Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception is a recollection of his ingesting of mescalin for the first time. The drug has been used for centuries by the native peoples of southwest America and Mexico, and is thought to be a catalyst for communion with deities. Instead of being another treatise on the positive aspects of drug consumption, this writing suggests that we can take a look at our daily rituals and ask ourselves ‘What am I doing?’ Most people are so preoccupied that they miss the wondrous beauty of life itself; the amazing depths of color, the richness of sounds, and the endless delights of touch and taste. Huxley claims that mescalin can peel away the layers of sensory deprivation we put up, and consequently suffocate ourselves with, on a daily basis. Part of this is a necessary means of survival, but ultimately we lose sight of what’s important and exciting about existence in our physical world – being in touch with our mind, body, and spirit, as well as the energy that pervades everything in our environment. I am a busy person, and so am familiar with being clouded by activity. This book helped me to re-evaluate my lifestyle in some ways and provoked some curiosity about what I’m ‘missing’.