“I am I, and I wish I weren’t.” ~ Aldous Huxley, from Brave New World

It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig. Lightly, lightly—it’s the best advice ever given me. When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic. No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell. And of course, no theology, no metaphysics. Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling, on tiptoes and no luggage, not even a sponge bag, completely unencumbered.

~ Aldous Huxley, from Island (my favorite Huxley quote)

Literary Birthday: Aldous Huxley, born 26 July 1894, died 22 November 1963

15 Aldous Huxley Quotes

  1. The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.
  2. Every man’s memory is his private literature.
  3. There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
  4. The proper study of mankind is books.
  5. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.
  6. A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one, it comes as sincerely from the author’s soul.
  7. Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.
  8. Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.
  9. I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself
  10. The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.
  11. Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.
  12. Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
  13. Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.
  14. Hell isn’t merely paved with good intentions; it’s walled and roofed with them. Yes, and furnished too.
  15. That all men are equal is a proposition which at ordinary times no sane individual has ever given his assent.

Huxley was an English writer, best known for his dystopian novel, Brave New World. He also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry. Huxley was a humanist, pacifist, and satirist, who was also well known for his advocacy and consumption of psychedelic drugs.

by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write


Music by James Blunt, “Carry You Home”