Author: Aldous Huxley. Date first posted: Sep. 11, wiser, more conducive to a quiet life, to leave Loudon and start afresh in some other parish? Grandier. HUXLEY’S MASTERPIECE AND PERHAPS THE MOST ENJOYABLE BOOK ABOUT SPIRITUALITY EVER WRITTEN..” — Washington Post Book WorldAldous. Note. In this short text, Aldous Huxley puts forward the hypothesis that the evils we ascribe to religious intolerance and obscurantism are instead a product of.

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While in this state they will believe any nonsense that may be bawled at them, will act upon any command or exhortation, however senseless, mad debils criminal.

Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudun. Appendix ()

In his novel The Devils of Loudun, Aldous Huxley tells the story of the persecution, torture and death of Grandier in an almost l On a hot August day inFather Urbain Grandier, the priest of the church of Saint Croix in the French city of Loudun was slowly burned alive at the stake for the crimes of sorcery and spell casting as well as his responsibility in the possession and corruption of the cities enclosed Ursuline nuns of during what has been come to be known as the Loudun Possessions.

It deals with actual events, that’s true. But though individuals can always feel and do whatever their temperament and constitution permit them to feel and do, they cannot think about their experiences except within the frame of reference which, at that particular time and place, has come to seem self-evident.

It can be brought about through self-identification with any human activity, from running a business to research in nuclear physics, from composing music to collecting stamps, from campaigning for political office to educating children or studying the mating habits of birds.

The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley

Some wonderfully dark, comedic touches throughout e. I tne loved this book. The drug is a parasite on the body politic, but a parasite which its host to speak metaphorically has strength and sense enough to keep under control.

The current theory of human nature had left no place for it; consequently, so far as our ancestors were concerned, it did not exist. Huxley opens a vibrant speculative world that, in this book, provides an extended postscript with more of a feeling of reality than the sensationalistic, impossibly literal ‘main’ story of Grandier.


That he tried to make the worst of both worlds, instead of the best, is also th typical. As a race, we have to discover how a huge and rapidly increasing population can go on existing satisfactorily on a planet of limited size and possessed of resources, many of which are wasting assets that can never be renewed.

Such crimes are planned when the pulse is normal and committed in cold blood and with unwavering perseverance over a long course of years.

The Devils of Loudun

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. Herd-intoxication disintegrates the ego more thoroughly than does elementary sexuality. Mar 14, Jordan Moore rated it really liked it.

This product of the man-made environment is without intrinsic significance and possesses no rights to self-determination. It also deals with an alleged case of demon possession: The Catholic church is evil. It is a notion labelled ‘God’.

It is not merely that ‘beer does more sevils Milton can to justify God’s ways to man’. Similar theophanies are sometimes experienced by alcoholics, and there are probably moments in the course of intoxication by almost any drug, when awareness of a not-self superior to the disintegrating ego becomes briefly possible.

I mean, to bill it as a history book or a book about politics would be equally misguided. He was accused of seducing an entire convent of Ursuline nuns and of being in league with the devil.

Writings on Psychedelics and huxleu Visionary Experience Got interested in reading this book after seeing Ken Russell’s “The Devils” the tje month. He is far more interested in personal power, in climbing the Church ladder and in boinking pretty young things.

True, crowd-delirium evoked by members of the opposition and in the name of heretical principles has everywhere been denounced by huxleey in power. Huxley does not overtly bash religion, but turns a cynical eye on the actions of not only the priests, nuns, and exorcists, but also of the population in general whether the poor inhabitants of Loudun or wealthy and influential of other cities.


Like intoxication, elementary sexuality, indulged in for its own sake and divorced from love, was once a god, worshipped not only as the principle of fecundity, but as a manifestation of the radical Otherness immanent in every human being. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written.

I love when this type of stuff has been researched and wants to show yo Pretty good! Nov 01, Mark rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Later, when they had come to power, it was only in relation to foreigners and selected scapegoats that they permitted herd-intoxication to run its full course.

Because they do these things for the sake of a group which is, by definition, good and even sacred, they can admire themselves and loathe their neighbors, they can seek power and money, can enjoy the pleasures of aggression and cruelty, not merely without feeling guilty, but with a positive glow of conscious virtue. Crowd-intoxication reduces od to a condition of infra-personal and antisocial irresponsibility. The fact that most of those who take part in these affairs are temporally dehumanized by herd-posion devis of no account in comparison with the fact that their dehumanization may be used to consolidate the religious an political powers that be.

Felt it lost its way in discussions of spirituality, but characterisation and psychology were sound. No such scruples restrain the revolutionary leader, who hates the status quo and has only one wish – to create a chaos on which, when he comes to power, he may impose a new kind of order.

It speaks to a reader devoted to truth and careful analysis who holds the author and the reader to superlative standards. The organs of the body politic are purposive groups.