Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
Huxley in Hollywood.
Dunaway, David King. (1989).
New York: Harper & Row.
Description: First edition,
xviii + 448 + i pages. A Cornelia and Michael Bessie Book.
Contents: Prologue, 11
chapters, epilogue, notes, notes on sources, critical bibliography,
books by Aldous Huxley, filmography, acknowledgements,
index, about the author.
Excerpt(s): [From an
interview with Ellen Hovde, June 10, 1985]
He took LSD some time after Maria died. We
were together and he said, "It was the first time I could
really cry." He cried and cried [about his mother]. It showed
him, in the old Zen way of a kick in the ass or a blow on the
head, what he didn't know before. He couldn't even remember his
mother-no memory of her at all. He could block those things out.
LSD usually hits you where you live-where you're most blocked.
It hit him hard, and he was most grateful. (page 324)
By the time Heaven and Hell appeared, in
1956, Huxley had taken psychedelics nearly a dozen times. He had
tried not only LSD and mescaline, but ergine from morning
glory seeds (which had given Maria "visions of a Monkey trying
to climb up to heaven on his own tail"), carbogen,
and others. The rate of these excursions was increasing. All who
remember this period stress the seriousness with which he approached
these sessions, and there's no reason to doubt their accounts.
As a friend put it, "There was no `let's have some LSD' any
more than there was `let's have whisky and soda.'" (page
In his use (and justification) of psychedelic experiments,
Huxley did not nullify fifteen years of arduous religious study.
If he had not undergone this spiritual rigor, he would never have
had his `gratuitous grace' from drug-induced visions. In hot pursuit
of the visionary experience, however, Huxley did not anticipate
his moral responsibility for what happened to those less able
(or less willing) to ground drug explorations in a religious or
secular-mystical tradition. Huxley's visions differed dramatically
from the neutral hallucinations others may experience under mescaline
of LSD. Thus, Huxley and the CIA could each experiment simultaneously
with mind-altering chemicals; one toward liberation, the other
for brainwashing. Neoconservative Herman Kahn
would use LSD to help him plot bombing strategies against mainland
China. (page 329)
Asked to appear on a television program on mescaline
with Osmond, Huxley refused:
One gets a great deal of most unwelcome publicity,
with people stopping one in the street, to say how much they like,
or disliked, what you said. This unwelcome publicity would be
particularly annoying after a TV show on mescaline. ... Mescaline,
it seems to me, and the odder aspects of mind are matters to be
written about for a small public, not discussed on TV in the presence
of a vast audience of baptists, methodists, and nothing-but-men
plus an immense lunatic fringe. ... (quoted from Smith,
Letters of Aldous Huxley, page 801)
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