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Amazon Shop: Aldous Huxley, San Pedro, The Doors

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In Brave New World...
    #1151509 - 12/18/02 11:29 AM (15 years, 6 months ago)

The terms mescal and peyotl are used when Huxley is describing drugs used by the Savages. It becomes apparent that mescal is alcohol, but Huxley never specifically says what peyotl is. Is the fact that these two drugs' names are so similar to the natively used peyote and its active ingredient mescaline intentional, and if so, why are they not cacti psychoactives in the book? Is it possible that Huxley had merely heard of peyote use and deducted (however incorrectly) that it must be similar to alcohol?

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In the green

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Re: In Brave New World... [Re: Anonymous]
    #1152077 - 12/18/02 02:44 PM (15 years, 6 months ago)

Do a search for "The Doors of Perception" by Huxley. It was probably intentional both refering to cactus. Pretty sure Huxley knew the effects of peyote, but I'm not sure when both books were published.

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long hair, butno hippie

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Re: In Brave New World... [Re: Anonymous]
    #1164506 - 12/23/02 10:00 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Mescal referenced to as an alcohol is a distallate made from a certain type of agave, same thing tequila is made from (though tequila is distilled twice). In reference to it as a bean or seed, its a leguminous shrub, sophora secundiflora (i think). Pretty poisonous stuff, but was also used sometimes in native american ritual. I'm pretty positive that "peyotl" is just the (a?) native american term for peyote. I'm sure Huxley was aware of what peyote was.

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Re: In Brave New World... [Re: highwayman]
    #1180464 - 12/30/02 07:52 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Huxley most certainly knew what peyote and mescal were and their effects; one of the central objects in Brave New World was the use of drugs/substances as a source of control and pacification. The ammount of emphasis placed on "soma" (opiate I believe?) kind of shows you that Mr. Aldous probably put alot of thought and research into chemical substances. In fact, he even did extensive experiment with psychoactives later in his career  :smile: 

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Re: In Brave New World... [Re: Anonymous]
    #1183099 - 01/01/03 03:12 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Lots of research was being done with mescaline, even from the turn of the century. Heinrich Kluver categorized the various types of 'hallucinatory' patterns that subjects had. Huxley wrote BNW in 1932, years after such research. Disney [which we always guessed back in the day] had a leading mescaline researcher on staff for his classic 'Fantasia' in the late 30's, according to Stafford's Psychedelic Encyclopedia. Huxley himself first took mecaline in 1953, and continued to explore with psychedelics up to the moment he died on November 22, 1963 (same day as Kennedy's assasination), with his wife Laura giving him injections of LSD. He kew the difference between mezcal, and mescaline even when he wrote BNW.

γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself

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Amazon Shop: Aldous Huxley, San Pedro, The Doors

General Interest >> Music, Art, and Media

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