104 Most Inspirational Aldous Huxley Quotes (About Life, History, God…)

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Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English philosopher and a prolific writer. He wrote more than fifty books that ranged from novels, essay collections, and poetry. Though Huxley didn’t win the Nobel Price in Literature, he was nominated seven times. In 1962, the Royal Society of Literature elected him as Companion of Literature.

Born in 1894 at Godalming, Surrey, England, Huxley was the third son of Leonard and Julia Huxley. When he was a child, his family gave him the nickname “Ogre,” and his brother, Julian, described Huxley as someone who “contemplated the strangest things.”

Huxley started his writing career by publishing poetry and short stories. He also edited in Oxford Poetry, a literary magazine. Later in life, he also became a contributor to British Vogue and Vanity Fair Magazines. However, Huxley rose to prominence through the success of his fifth novel Brave New World, a dystopian fiction.

Besides his career in writing, Huxley was also a pacifist and humanist. He also dabbled in philosophy, focusing on mysticism and universalism, found in his books The Perennial Philosophy and The Doors of Perception.

We have collected several of the best and most inspirational Aldous Huxley quotes and sayings that reveal his thoughts on life, history, God, and many more.

Aldous Huxley Quotes About Life

1. “Perhaps it’s good for one to suffer. Can an artist do anything if he’s happy? Would he ever want to do anything? What is art, after all, but a protest against the horrible inclemency of life?”

2. “The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency.”

3. “Bondage is the life of personality, and for bondage the personal self will fight with tireless resourcefulness and the most stubborn cunning.”

4. “It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘try to be a little kinder.'”

"It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'try to be a little kinder.'" #aldoushuxley #quotes #life

5. “Most of one’s life is one prolonged effort to prevent oneself thinking.”

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

7. “Every man who knows how to read has it in his power to magnify himself, to multiply the ways in which he exists, to make his life full, significant and interesting.”

Aldous Huxley Quotes About History

1. “Men do not learn much from the lessons of history and that is the most important of all the lessons of history.”

2. “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.”

3. “De Sade is the one completely consistent and thoroughgoing revolutionary of history.”

4. “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.”

"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." #aldoushuxley #quotes #history

Aldous Huxley Quotes About God

1. “God isn’t compatible with machinery and scientific medicine and universal happiness. You must make your choice. Our civilization has chosen machinery and medicine and happiness.”

2. “Uncontrolled, the hunger and thirst after God may become an obstacle, cutting off the soul from what it desires. If a man would travel far along the mystic road, he must learn to desire God intensely but in stillness, passively and yet with all his heart and mind and strength.”

3. “All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.”

4. “There’s only one effectively redemptive sacrifice, the sacrifice of self-will to make room for the knowledge of God.”

"There's only one effectively redemptive sacrifice, the sacrifice of self-will to make room for the knowledge of God." #aldoushuxley #quotes #god

More Aldous Huxley Quotes and Sayings

1. “Speed provides the one genuinely modern pleasure.”

2. “Feasts must be solemn and rare, or else they cease to be feasts.”

3. “What is absurd and monstrous about war is that men who have no personal quarrel should be trained to murder one another in cold blood.”

4. “The vast majority of human beings dislike and even actually dread all notions with which they are not familiar… Hence it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have generally been persecuted, and always derided as fools and madmen.”

5. “If human beings were shown what they’re really like, they’d either kill one another as vermin, or hang themselves.”

6. “There is no substitute for talent. Industry and all its virtues are of no avail.”

7. “That we are not much sicker and much madder than we are is due exclusively to that most blessed and blessing of all natural graces, sleep.”

8. “An unexciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling lie.”

9. “Man is an intelligence in servitude to his organs.”

10. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.”

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad." #aldoushuxley #quotes #truth

11. “Words, words, words! They shut one off from the universe. Three quarters of the time one’s never in contact with things, only with the beastly words that stand for them.”

12. “Specialized meaninglessness has come to be regarded, in certain circles, as a kind of hallmark of true science.”

13. “The proper study of mankind is books.”

14. “The impulse to cruelty is, in many people, almost as violent as the impulse to sexual love – almost as violent and much more mischievous.”

15. “Dream in a pragmatic way.”

16. “Several excuses are always less convincing than one.”

17. “Everyone who wants to do good to the human race always ends in universal bullying.”

18. “Sons have always a rebellious wish to be disillusioned by that which charmed their fathers.”

19. “You should hurry up and acquire the cigar habit. It’s one of the major happinesses. And so much more lasting than love, so much less costly in emotional wear and tear.”

20. “Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves.”

"Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves." #aldoushuxley #quotes #writers

21. “A democracy which makes or even effectively prepares for modern, scientific war must necessarily cease to be democratic. No country can be really well prepared for modern war unless it is governed by a tyrant, at the head of a highly trained and perfectly obedient bureaucracy.”

22. “That all men are equal is a proposition to which, at ordinary times, no sane human being has ever given his assent.”

23. “Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.”

24. “A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will’s freedom after it.”

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

26. “So long as men worship the Caesars and Napoleons, Caesars and Napoleons will duly arise and make them miserable.”

27. “Your true traveler finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty – his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.”

28. “It was one of those evenings when men feel that truth, goodness and beauty are one. In the morning, when they commit their discovery to paper, when others read it written there, it looks wholly ridiculous.”

29. “There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”

30. “A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one, it comes as sincerely from the author’s soul.”

"A bad book is as much of a labor to write as a good one, it comes as sincerely from the author's soul." #aldoushuxley #quotes #soul

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

32. “One of the great attractions of patriotism – it fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat. Bully and cheat, what’s more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous.”

33. “My fate cannot be mastered; it can only be collaborated with and thereby, to some extent, directed. Nor am I the captain of my soul; I am only its noisiest passenger.”

34. “Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.”

35. “Hell isn’t merely paved with good intentions; it’s walled and roofed with them. Yes, and furnished too.”

36. “Like every other good thing in this world, leisure and culture have to be paid for. Fortunately, however, it is not the leisured and the cultured who have to pay.”

37. “The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.”

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

39. “Orthodoxy is the diehard of the world of thought. It learns not, neither can it forget.”

40. “Science has explained nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness.”

"Science has explained nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness." #aldoushuxley #quotes #science

41. “The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own.”

42. “Like every man of sense and good feeling, I abominate work.”

43. “Amour is the one human activity of any importance in which laughter and pleasure preponderate, if ever so slightly, over misery and pain.”

44. “The finest works of art are precious, among other reasons, because they make it possible for us to know, if only imperfectly and for a little while, what it actually feels like to think subtly and feel nobly.”

45. “A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention.”

46. “Happiness is a hard master, particularly other people’s happiness.”

47. “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”

48. “Defined in psychological terms, a fanatic is a man who consciously over-compensates a secret doubt.”

49. “An intellectual is a person who’s found one thing that’s more interesting than sex.”

50. “What we feel and think and are is to a great extent determined by the state of our ductless glands and viscera.”

"What we feel and think and are is to a great extent determined by the state of our ductless glands and viscera." #aldoushuxley #quotes #feel

51. “Chastity – the most unnatural of all the sexual perversions.”

52. “Experience teaches only the teachable.”

53. “The most valuable of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it has to be done, whether you like it or not.”

54. “People intoxicate themselves with work so they won’t see how they really are.”

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

56. “Every man’s memory is his private literature.”

57. “Those who believe that they are exclusively in the right are generally those who achieve something.”

58. “There is something curiously boring about somebody else’s happiness.”

59. “We are all geniuses up to the age of ten.”

60. “The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.”

"The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human." #aldoushuxley #quotes #people

61. “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.”

62. “Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.”

63. “There isn’t any formula or method. You learn to love by loving – by paying attention and doing what one thereby discovers has to be done.”

64. “Official dignity tends to increase in inverse ratio to the importance of the country in which the office is held.”

65. “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”

66. “Habit converts luxurious enjoyments into dull and daily necessities.”

67. “The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.”

68. “Thought must be divided against itself before it can come to any knowledge of itself.”

69. “It’s with bad sentiments that one makes good novels.”

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

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

71. “We participate in a tragedy; at a comedy we only look.”

72. “The most distressing thing that can happen to a prophet is to be proved wrong. The next most distressing thing is to be proved right.”

73. “A belief in hell and the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumor.”

74. “What with making their way and enjoying what they have won, heroes have no time to think. But the sons of heroes – ah, they have all the necessary leisure.”

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

76. “Man approaches the unattainable truth through a succession of errors.”

77. “Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.”

78. “I’m afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery.”

79. “A fanatic is a man who consciously over compensates a secret doubt.”

80. “Beauty is worse than wine, it intoxicates both the holder and beholder.”

"Beauty is worse than wine, it intoxicates both the holder and beholder." #aldoushuxley #quotes #beauty

81. “Cynical realism is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation.”

82. “Europe is so well gardened that it resembles a work of art, a scientific theory, a neat metaphysical system. Man has re-created Europe in his own image.”

83. “My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.”

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

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

86. “It takes two to make a murder. There are born victims, born to have their throats cut, as the cut-throats are born to be hanged.”

87. “Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them.”

88. “The quality of moral behavior varies in inverse ratio to the number of human beings involved.”

89. “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

If you’d like to read some of Aldous Huxley’s works, we suggest you read The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell.