Aldous Huxley: Don’t Mistake The Trickle For Ultimate Reality
You are more than the mind occupying your body.
In fact, you have a tenuous connection with your Higher Self, a part of you that is connected to the rest of the universe.
It’s a common thread weaving through much spiritual literature. Some call it by different names, such as the Soul, the Buddha-Nature, or as Aldous Huxley made famous in his book The Doors of Perception, it is your Mind at Large.
The book details Huxley’s personal experiment with mescaline, a hallucinogenic drug naturally occurring in certain cacti. He discovered the drug has the effect of removing the mental filters our brain uses to shut out 99% of actual reality:
“Each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe. […]
But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this particular planet.”
The problem with the reducing valve, he writes, is that:
“Most people, most of the time, know only what comes through the reducing valve and is consecrated as genuinely real by the local language.”
People tend to eat the menu instead of the meal. They become enraptured with the finger, instead of the moon to which it’s pointing, as explained in a famous Zen parable:
“Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky. Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. The finger can point to the moon’s location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger, right?”
In an attempt to shake up a few world views, I wrote a piece recently title The Red Pill: 10 Films Guaranteed To Blow Your Mind. Looking back on the piece now, I see that all the films I chose make a valiant attempt to teach the audience that their “measly trickle” is not reality.
Judging by the comments it generated (currently 160+) I’d say (1) subjective lists always generate controversy, and (2) many people have a hard time letting go of what they think they know.
This begs the question: what truths do you hold to be reality?