Aldous Huxley Quotes

Aldous Huxley

English critic & novelist (1894 - 1963)

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The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.

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Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardor, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.

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I can sympathise with people's pains, but not with their pleasures. There is something curiously boring about somebody else's happiness.

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Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.

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The course of every intellectual, if he pursues his journey long and unflinchingly enough, ends in the obvious, from which the nonintellectuals have never stirred.

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The traveller's-eye view of men and women is not satisfying. A man might spend his life in trains and restaurants and know nothing of humanity at the end. To know, one must be an actor as well as a spectator.

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Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.

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Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead.

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Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.

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After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

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Chastity: the most unnatural of the sexual perversions.

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To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs.

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A country which proposes to make use of modern war as an instrument of policy must possess a highly centralized, all-powerful executive, hence the absurdity of talking about the defense of democracy by force of arms. A democracy which makes or effectively prepares for modern scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic.

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If the Prince of Peace should come to earth, one of the first things he would do would be to put psychiatrists in their place.

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Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.

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The only completely consistent people are the dead.

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Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

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Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.

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Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.

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All that happens means something; nothing you do is ever insignificant.

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The silent bear no witness against themselves.

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That all men are equal is a proposition which, at ordinary times, no sane individual has ever given his assent.

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At least two-thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity: idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religous or political ideas.

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An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.

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Experience teaches only the teachable.

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There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that is your own self. So you have to begin there, not outside, not on other people. That comes afterwards, when you have worked on your own corner.

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Death

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Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.

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Words form the thread on which we string our experiences.

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Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you

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The author of the Iliad is either Homer or, if not Homer, somebody else of the same name.

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I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.

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From their experience or from the recorded experience of others (history), men learn only what their passions and their metaphysical prejudices allow them to learn.

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Folly is often more cruel in the consequences than malice can be in the intent.

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To us, the moment 8:17 A.M. means something - something very important, if it happens to be the starting time of our daily train. To our ancestors, such an odd eccentric instant was without significance - did not even exist. In inventing the locomotive, Watt and Stevenson were part inventors of time.

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