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Citatsektionen | Humanistiske citater

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Udvalgt af Rune Engelbreth Larsen Udprint

Den vilde tav en stund. »Det er lige meget,« sagde han stædigt, »Othello er god, Othello er bedre end disse 'følefilm'.«

»Naturligvis er det bedre,« indrømmede præsidenten. »Men det er prisen, som må udredes for social tryghed og stabilitet. Man må vælge mellem lykke, og hvad folk plejer at kalde den store kunst. Vi har opofret kunsten. Vi har føle-filmene og parfume-orglet i stedet for.«

»Men de er fuldstændig meningsløse.«

»De har den mening, de kan have. De betyder i alt fald en bunke behagelige fornemmelser, og det er, hvad publikum sætter pris på.«

»Men de er jo ... de er fortalt af en idiot.«

(Oversat af Harriet Oppenhejm og Henning Kehler)

ALDOUS HUXLEY: »That humanity at large will ever be able to dispense with Artificial Paradises seems very unlikely. Most men and women lead lives at the worst so painful, at the best so monotonous, poor, and limited that the urge to escape, the longing to transcend themselves if only for a few moments, is and has always been one of the principal appetites of the soul. Art and religion, carnivals and saturnalia, dancing and listening to oratory - all these have served, in H.G. Well's phrase, as Doors in the Wall. And for private, for everyday use there have always been chemical intoxicants. All the vegetable sedatives and narcotics, all the euphorics that grow on trees, the hallucinogens that ripen in berries or can be squeezed from roots - all, without exception, have been known and systematically used by human beings from time immemorial. And to these natural modifiers of consciousness modern science has added its quota of synthetics - chloral, for example, and benezedrine, the bromides, and the barbiturates.

Most of these modifiers of consciousness cannot now be taken except under doctor's orders, or else illegally and at considerable risk. For unrestricted use the West has permitted only alcohol and tobacco. All the other chemical Doors in the Wall are labelled Dope, and their unauthorized takers are Fiends.

We now spend a good deal more on dring and smoke than we spend on education.«


Aldous Huxley har beskrevet sine erfaringer fra eksperimenter med indtagelse af mescalin, og på baggrund af de visioner, han har oplevet, reflekterer han bl.a. over, hvor meget lettere visioner må være kommet til mennesker i tidligere tidsaldre. Dengang stod den farverige religiøse kunst i templer og kirker i skarpeste kontrast til dagligdagen og kan således have fremkaldt 'transporting' oplevelser af 'the Other World' og indtryk af mytiske væsner, som han udfra egne oplevelser kalder 'antipodes'.

ALDOUS HUXLEY: »The best vision-inducing art is produced by men and women who have themselves had the visionary experience; but it is also possible for any reasonably good artist, simply by following an approved recipe, to create works which shall have at least some transporting power. Of all the vision-inducing arts that which depends most completely on its raw materials is, of course, the art of the goldsmith and jeweller. Polished metals and precious stones are so intrinsically transporting that even a Victorian, even an Art Nouveau jewel is a thing of power. And when to this natural magic of glinting metal and self-luminous stone is added the other magic of noble forms and colours artfully blended, we find ourselves in the presence of a genuine talisman. Religious art has always and everywhere made use of these vision-inducing materials. The shrine of gold, the cyryselephantine statue, the jewelled symbol or image, the glittering furniture of the altar - we find these things in contemporary Europe as in ancient Egypt, in India and China as among the Greeeks, the Incas, the Aztecs.«

ALDOUS HUXLEY: »Bright pure colours are of the essence, not of beauty in general, but only of a special kind of beauty, the visionary. Gothic churches and Greek temples, the statues of the thirteenth century after Christ and of the fifth century before Christ - all were brilliantly coloured. For the Greeks and the men of the Midle Ages, this art of the merry-go-round and the wax-work show was evidently transporting.«

ALDOUS HUXLEY: »For the great mass of people there were only homespun and a few vegetable dyes; and, for interior decoration, there were at best the earth colours, at worst (and in most cases) 'the floor of plaster and the walls of dung.' At the antipodes of every mind lay the Other World of praeternatural light and praeternatural colour, of ideal gems and visionary gold. But before every pair of eyes was only the dark squalor of the family hovel, the dust or mud of the village street, the dirty whites, the duns and goose-turd greens of ragged clothing. Hence a passionate, an almost desperate, thirst for bright, pure colours; and hence the overpowering effect produced by such colours whenever, in church or at court, they were displayed. Today the chemical industry turns out paints, inks and dyes in endless variety and enormous quantities. In our modern world there is enough bright colour to guarantee the production of billions of flags and comic strips, millions of stop signs and tail lights, fire engines and Coca-Cola containers by the hundred thousand, carpets, wallpapers and nonrepresentational art by the square mile. Familiarity breeds indifference.«

ALDOUS HUXLEY: »The past is not something fixed and unalterable. Its facts are re-discovered by every succeeding generation, its values re-assessed, its meanings re-defined in the context of present tastes and preoccupations. Out of the same documents and monuments and works of art, every epoch invents its own Middle Ages, its private china, its patented and copyrighted Hellas.«