brothercyst: GREAT MOMENTS FROM CHAPTER ONE OF "THE DEVILS OF LOUDUN"

Thursday, September 09, 2010

GREAT MOMENTS FROM CHAPTER ONE OF "THE DEVILS OF LOUDUN"

The Devils of Loudun is a lesser-known but excellent nonfiction book by Aldous Huxley.
"Descartes was ten years his senior; but long before the philosopher had started to vivisect those writhing automata, to which the vulgar attach the names of dog and cat, Bouchard was conducting a series of psycho-chemico-physiological experiments on his mother's chambermaid."
"But, unlike most of his contemporaries, he would accept nothing on authority. Lemnius and Rodicerus a Castro might say what they liked about the strange and alarming properties of menstrual blood; Jean-Jacques was determined to see for himself whether it really did all the things it was reputed to do. Seconded by the now-willing chambermaid, he made a succession of trials,only to find that, from time immemorial, the doctors, the philosophers, and the theologians had been talking through their mortarboards and birettas. Menstrual blood did not kill grass, did not tarnish mirrors, did not blast the buds of the vine, did not dissolve asphalt and did not produce ineradicable spots of rust on the blade of a knife."
"To be mistrusted by the stupid because he was so clever,to be envied by the inept because he had made good, to be loathed by the dull for his wit, by the boors for his breeding and by the unattractive for his success with women--what a tribute to his universal superiority!"
"The untutored egotist merely wants what he wants. Give him a religious education, and it becomes obvious to him, it becomes axiomatic, that what he wants is what God wants..."