I’ve just finished The Doors of Perception + Heaven and Hell by Aldous Huxley. The book is incredibly detailed about what it means to really appreciate and understand something – anything- we come across. Huxley explored this after taking mescaline; the values and ideas presented were thought provoking and still are highly relevant, with or without being under the influence. I underlined and saved a lot of quotes from it – it’s very well written – and this one stood out the most. If you’ve thought of giving it a read, I’d recommend it. It’s heavy, it did require quite an awake and caffeinated mind to absorb but it’s short, inspiring and greatly illustrates what art does for us.
“Familiarity breeds indifference. We have seen too much pure, bright colour at Woolworth’s to find it intrinsically transporting. And here we may note that, by its amazing capacity to give us too much of the best things, modern technology has tended to devaluate the traditional vision-inducing materials. The illumination of a city, for example, was once a rare event, reserved for victories and national holidays, for the canonization of saints and the crowning of kings. Now it occurs nightly and celebrates the virtues of gin, cigarettes, and toothpaste.”