In a pile of magazines here in our archive at Jot HQ we found a copy dated Summer 1964 of the magazine Tomorrow, which was devoted to ‘parapsychology, cosmology and traditional studies’. In it a review of Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception, which had originally appeared in Asia ten years before, reopens the dispute as to whether an artificially induced state of transcendence is equivalent in quality to a similar state achieved through a religious experience.
The author, Whittall N. Perry, an authority on Eastern mysticism, argued that Huxley’s claim that the consumption of mescaline had enabled him to change his ordinary mode of consciousness and so know ‘ what the visionary, the medium, even the mystic were talking about ‘was an example of the sort of ‘specious logic’ that has persisted among Westerners over the years. Huxley claimed to have attained some sort of Platonic state, whereas Perry argues that he had broken with Platonic teaching on the issue of Being and Becoming by elevating the senses over reason and intelligence through the operation of a drug.
The error comes from confusing the Archetypal and principle realm of Platonic Ideas with the ‘mathematical abstractions’ of modern philosophy, and is what Rene Guenoncalls “ a complete inversion of the relationship between Principal and manifestation” Continue reading