The Doors of Perception, and Heaven and Hell Themes

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Transcendence

For Huxley's purposes, transcendence means achieving knowledge and truth through a visionary experience. Finding knowledge and truth is considered by Huxley to be an essential part of the human experience. All individuals desire to find truth and to understand themselves and the world around them.

The problem, it seems, is the ability of people to achieve transcendence. Huxley finds many of the techniques people use in their attempts to find truth insufficient. To him, religion is rarely a consistently effective means of finding the truth. When religion fails, people resort to alcohol and smoking as a way to change their state of mind and hopefully better understand the truth. Huxley finds these methods ineffective. The physical effects of alcohol and cigarettes are known to be negative. In contrast, mescalin has few known negative effects and it is effective for almost everyone at helping them to understand truth. Huxley's...

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This section contains 1,663 words
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Buy The Doors of Perception, and Heaven and Hell Study Guide
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