The Doors of Perception, Heaven and Hell
Programme 1st Year
Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception is a book-length essay that explores the author’s experiences with the hallucinogenic drug mescaline, which he took under the guidance of a psychiatrist in 1953.
In the book, Huxley recounts his vivid and intense sensory experiences while under the influence of the drug, including heightened perception of color and sound, altered sense of time and space, and mystical and spiritual insights. He also reflects on the nature of human consciousness and the ways in which the mind filters and interprets the world around us, suggesting that our perception of reality is limited by our biological and cultural conditioning.
Huxley’s book had a significant influence on the counterculture of the 1960s and the development of the psychedelic movement. It also inspired the name of the rock band The Doors, whose lead singer, Jim Morrison, was a fan of the book.
Heaven and Hell is the sequel of The Doors of Perception, published in 1956.
Reading for next lecture