The Doors Of Perception

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Sir Willpower, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. What do you guys think about the main theory in this monologue of Huxley's? I'm not sure I believe it but hot damn is it interesting. Here's some excerpts from the book that explain it:

    "The suggestion is that the function of the brain and nervous system and sense organs is in the main eliminative and not productive. 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"

    "The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant knowledge, by shutting out most of what we should otherwise perceive or remember at any given moment, and leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful."

    So he's saying that our brains are much, much more powerful than we think they are, and that our body protects us from receiving all of this useless information and only lets us sense or remember the stuff that's biologically useful to our survival.

    The way this ties in with his mescaline experiment is that he thinks psychedelics can help open our "doors of perception" and that they let our brain receive the "useless" information we wouldn't normally. To me it has a ring of truth, as my brains certainly been overwhelmed on various psychedelics, and I could see the biological usefulness of shutting it all out. I would've liked to ask him if he thought animal and insect brains were this powerful too, but too bad he's dead :(.

  2. I'd say this is true. Almost everyone has heard the old "You only use 10% of your brain." I don't know if that exact figure is correct but I think it's pretty close. I think that with larger amounts of usable brain we would be able to do much more amazing things. But would that be helpful to society? Imagine the same emotional control but then compacting the 50 years of the Cold War in to a year due to quick development of new technology. I think it would be disasterous.
  3. i buy it..having been overwhelmed by the rest of reality i find it hard to deny.

    consider mckenna's "stoned ape theory"
  4. The "10% of your brain" thing is a myth.

    Anyway, I think Huxley had the right idea, but took it a little too far. If you erased the sentence "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", I would totally agree with all of that.

    The brain receives tons of useless information all the time, and its main function is to cut out the useless stuff and promote the useful stuff to conscious attention. Psychedelics open these doors and make you notice things you would normally ignore.

    But there's no magic information network that consciousness could somehow tap into if it didn't restrict itself.
  5. I just bought the book, I've yet to read it though..
  6. Huxley is a smart guy and though I dont totally believe this, i respect his opinions and have read most his books.
  7. im skeptical, but i like the theory. If deffinitely seems like the more drugs i do (especailly psycadelics) and the more experiences i have, the more answers i come up with (about anything and everything). all these answers just lead to more questions... and i hate feeling like i understand things more than a lot of other people. Knowing a lot and whatnot often feels like a burden... perheps we are supposed to be "protected" from these truths... using drugs is like opening up pandora's box... your messing with something VERY powerful. can you really handle what they can reveal to you?
  8. Exactly how i feel about it. I would definately agree that phycedelics are a gateway to altered perceptions and whatnot. After a mushroom trip i can journal for weeks about questions and answers and opinions on how and why we're here and the meaning of shit and all that jazz. I've never read any of Huxley's work but i think this thread has promped me to look into it.
  9. The point that you made about every person being cable of remembering all that has ever happened to him, and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe is true.

    psychedelics do help you get to this state, but you have to make sure that you use them as a staff that helps you climb the mountain, not a crutch that causes you to be dependant on them.
  10. Does the ability to perceive everything that is happening everywhere in the universe always come with a disinclination to prove that this ability exists? If there were someone who had this ability, they would be able prove its existence with very little effort. Why haven't they?
  11. Maybe its just to big of an answer for us to even start to comprhend with our underdeveloped brains... But on a serious note, the most basic nature of life is survival an adaptation, usually at the expense of other things.

    I think his theory is pretty cool when you think about it. Our sensory system is what keep us aware of our surounding, they act accordingly to an anomile in an eviroment like domino effetc. When where born, were born with over 30,000 synapsis, and slowly we loose them...our brain adapts and specializes... hard wired...

    The human brain has so much pontential... the question is taping it... Im a strong beliver in meditation and lucid dreaming!!
  12. It is only possible for God to talk to God, and he doesn't say anything more than what he means and he doesn't give you anything more than what he intended to.

    God also is not a patriarchal figure, or a matriarchal figure; he's both combined with sacrifice, that is why so many people can't find him.

    You must make sure that you make proper sacrifices in your life. Never sacrifice your Love of something for anything.

    Take heed of your choices. The potter only keeps shaping you while the clay is wet. Once it has dried off and hardened he throws it in the fire.

    God is Love, he is the present moment. There is no other moment than now. Even though you can see and go everywhere through all time, when you are able to do so, you are still always in the present moment, and you will only go where you need to go, and see what you need to see.

    If you have made a choice in life to live a certain way, God is going to honor your decisions, and give you what is befitting your situation.
  13. So, it's not true that someone has the ability to perceive everything that's happening anywhere in the universe?
  14. Yeah that was a pretty big contradiction...

    The theory pretty much says that, in the words of Bill Hicks "we're all one consciousness experiencing ourselves subjectively." So we're all technically god, or a part of it.

    Huxley put it as "Each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funnelled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of consciousness which will help us stay alive on the surface of this particular plant."
  15. #15 vostibackle, Aug 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2008
    It's unclear to me exactly what "consciousness" is besides personal subjective experience.

    To me the important spiritual revelation is not that our minds are part of some amazing mind-network or some ethereal non-material dimension, but exactly that our minds are not those things. That consciousness is not some special mind-pearl buried in the brain, but just a peculiar informational process.
  16. Check out this video. Really interesting stuff that really makes you think about how we see and view things and what we actually are. This is why I deeply believe reality is in the eye of the beholder. enjoy :wave:

    (Dont know how to insert vids.):confused:
  17. It is true, but it isn't based upon your own selfish (egotistical) desires.

    If you want to see or know something, for the purpose of ego gain, then you have to go about it in the way that the ego knows how. If you want to see or know something for the purpose of spiritual gain you have to go about it in the way that the spirit knows how.

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