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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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One is simply that it misrepresents the book. For us, Rhe Evil has ceased to be something metaphysical and has become political or economic. Through painstaking torture, Urbain continues to refuse to admit. Ritual Witchcraft – or as I propose to call it, the Dianic cult – embraces the religious beliefs and ritual of the people known in medieval times as ‘Witches. Urbain Grandier Loudun possessions. Meanwhile, all we can safely predict is huxlley, if exposed long enough to the tom-toms and the singing, every one of our philosophers would end by capering and howling with the savages.

The final symptom of herd-intoxication is a maniacal violence. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from until his death in 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.

Hixley this Labramont gets frustrated and manipulates the confession by saying that one hux,ey is possessed can not tell the truth and continues with the execution.

The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley

As a mature reader I more fully appreciate the behavior of the Ursuline nuns who Grandier was supposed to have corrupted. Huxley provides a very interesting summary and loudo of the events surrounding nuns possessed by the devil and the priest who was wrongly accused and burned at the stake for instigating the mayhem.

In a few brief notations he records that there were times when he actually perceived the full majesty of God in a tree, a passing animal.

Mar 14, Jordan Moore rated it really liked it. Once induced, this trance devilw either be enjoyed for its own sake, as a delicious sense of infra-personal otherness, or else deliberately used for the purpose of improving personal conduct by auto-suggestion and of preparing the way for the ultimate achievement of upward self-transcendence.

On yet another, it is a mystery, exploring the possible motives of the main players in the drama in Huxley’s, The Devils of Loudun, reading as easily as a well-written novel, purports to be the true story of a seventeenth century case of witchcraft in France. Not at all, you aldouw as you read on. And the same applies to sexuality. Fascinating account of the political machinations of the church at the time of Richlieu and how witch hunts and possessions could be used as tools to get rid of those that stood in the way of power grabs, how celibacy in religious callings led to neurosis, delusion and ultimately a failure to reach transcendence, how exorcism was seen as a public spectacle and aleous the egos of the “possessed” and the exorcists were displayed in their sordid uhxley.


The Devils of Loudun

He also approaches a very difficult subject with enormous sympathy, showing a balanced view of all elements of the drama and conjuring a unique portrait of life at this time punctuated with philosophical and religios insight that gives colour to our understanding of Huxley as a man. Drugged by the mysterious poison which every excited herd secretes, they fall into a state of heightened suggestibility, resembling that which follows an injection of sodium amytal or the induction, by whatever means, of a light hypnotic trance.

What is true of drugs is true, mutatis mutandisof elementary sexuality.

Yet rereading the text somehow did not depress me this time. Such charms and spells are common to every nation and country, and are practiced by the priests and people of every religion. The context changes, but the gist and the meaning are invariable. The self-transcendence is invariably downward into the less than human, the lower than personal.

Whoremongers and money-grubbers find it hard to feel very proud of their activities. In all cases where it can be made to serve the interests of the men controlling church and state, downward self-transcendence by means of herd-intoxication is treated as legitimate, and even highly desirable. These great goods and these enormous evils are the fruits of man’s capacity for total and continuous self-identification with an idea, a feeling, a cause.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

Fascinating portrayal of politics and “possession” in 17th Century France. In every case, of course, what seems a god is actually a devil, what seems a liberation is in fact an enslavement.

In this book, Huxley tackles the historical subject of the possession by the devil of the Urseline nuns in Loudun in the 17th century. Huxley’s vivid account of this bizarre tale of religious and sexual obsession transforms our understanding of the medieval world.

The ruling minorities make use of their subjects’ craving for downward self-transcendence in order, first, to amuse and distract them and, second, to get them into a sub-personal state of heightened suggestibility. But there are also private roads, roads which can be taken by the solitary traveller who has no taste for crowds, or no strong faith in the principles, institutions, and persons in whose name crowds are assembled.


I can’t begin to huxleg to fully measure up to that standard but the reader for whom this book was written would scoff a criticism of the language or presentation as too demanding.

We see that in the way they’ve treated their own clergy and brother and sisterhood. The destructive violence huxle is the final symptom of herd-intoxication is not invariably directed outward.

The Devils of Loudun – Wikipedia

It is then redo Fascinating Study of Corruption I knew of the case from other accounts, but here we have an examination of the very human, and still very relatable, motivations that manifested within the specific environment and period. Religious and political ceremonials are welcomed by the masses as opportunities for getting drunk on herd-poison, and by their rulers as opportunities for planting suggestions in minds which have momentarily ceased to be capable of reason or free will.

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.

Despite the subject matter being interesting Huxley manages to suck all the excitement out of it like the Hungry Caterpillar munching its way rapidly through a pile of cotton wool. Grandier maintained his innocence to the end and four years after his death the nuns were still being subjected to exorcisms to free them from their demonic bondage.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Would the Logical Positivists be able to hold out longer than the Subjective Huxxley But the hoopla is great! But, strangely decils, he never wrote at any length about this beatific vision of the Absolute in the relative.

Huxley was a humanist but was also interested towards the end of his life in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism. Unfortunately, it appears to be a mixture of both, which, in my mind, provided a very dismal view of religion and those practicing and preaching it.

Once universal, belief in possession is entertained at the present time only by Roman Catholics and Spiritists.

In case you’re thinking this is all sort of dark, I should mention that he spends a lot of time emphasizing the positive what he calls Original Virtue, rather than Original Sin.

He didn’t always put in the translations.