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The critically acclaimed novelist and social critic Aldous Huxley describes his personal experimentation with the drug mescaline and explores the nature of visionary experience. The title of this classic comes from William Blakes the Marriage of Heaven and Hell: If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.
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Sometimes a writer has to revisit the classics, and here we find that "gonzo journalism"--gutsy first-person accounts wherein the author is part of the story--didn't originate with Hunter S. Thompson or Tom Wolfe. Aldous Huxley took some mescaline and wrote about it some 10 or 12 years earlier than those others. The book he came up with is part bemused essay and part mystical treatise--"suchness" is everywhere to be found while under the influence. This is a good example of essay writing, journal keeping, and the value of controversy--always--in one's work.From the Inside Flap:
In 1953, Aldous Huxley took four-tenths of a gram of the drug Mescalin, sat down and waited to see what would happen. When he opened his eyes everything was transformed. He describes his experience in The Doors of Perception and its sequel Heaven and Hell.
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