Aldous Huxley - God Quotes
23 Sourced Quotes
The effects which follow too constant and intense a concentration upon evil are always disastrous. Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes even perceptibly worse than it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself.
Propaganda in favor of action that is consonant with enlightened self-interest appeals to reason by means of logical arguments based upon the best available evidence fully and honestly set forth. Propaganda in favor of action dictated by the impulses that are below self-interest offers false, garbled or incomplete evidence, avoids logical argument and seeks to influence its victims by the mere repetition of catchwords, by the furious denunciation of foreign or domestic scapegoats, and by cunningly associating the lower passions with the highest ideals, so that atrocities come to be perpetrated in the name of God and the most cynical kind of Realpolitik is treated as a matter of religious principle and patriotic duty.
Why did it occur to anyone to believe in only one God? And conversely why did it ever occur to anyone to believe in many gods? To both these questions we must return the same answer: Because that is how the human mind happens to work. For the human mind is both diverse and simple, simultaneously many and one. We have an immediate perception of our own diversity and of that of the outside world. And at the same time we have immediate perceptions of our own oneness.
Cant is always rather nauseating; but before we condemn political hypocrisy, let us remember that it is the tribute paid by men of leather to men of God, and that the acting of the part of someone better than oneself may actually commit one to a course of behavior perceptibly less evil than what would be normal and natural in an avowed cynic.
The Quaestor turned back the pages until he found himself among the Pensées. We are not satisfied, he read, with the life we have in ourselves and our own being; we want to live an imaginary life in other people's idea of us. Hence all our efforts are directed to seeming what we are not. We labor incessantly to preserve and embellish this imaginary being, and neglect that which is really ours. The Quaestor put down the book, … and ruefully reflected that all his own troubles had arisen from this desire to seem what in fact he was not. To seem a man of action, when in fact he was a contemplative; to seem a politician, when nature had made him an introspective psychologist; to seem a wit, which God had intended him for a sage.