How to Break on Through to the Other Side

Eric Scheske
I AM Catholic
Published in
3 min readFeb 21, 2022

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The Doors released their first single in 1967: “Break on Through (to the Other Side),” a tribute of sorts to Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception.

Huxley had been trying to break on through to the other side for years. He put together a splendid book in the 1940s called The Perennial Philosophy, which looked at the conclusions of “empirical theology” over the millennia when it comes to the “macro” issues of our existence: God, truth, charity, suffering, etc. Think of the appendix to C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man, then expand it by about 500.

It seems Huxley was always knocking on the door, trying to get through to something else that wasn’t part of everyday experience.

When he read about Dr. Humphry Osmond’s experiments with mescaline in Canada, Huxley, then living in Los Angeles, wrote to him about trying it. When Osmond was later in Los Angeles for a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, Huxley brought him to his Hollywood home and Osmond administered the trip, which lasted from about 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM on May 4, 1953.

It was, said biographer Nicholas Murray, the most famous “English literary drug taking since DeQuincey” took opium.

Huxley later wrote about the experience in The Doors of Perception, which became a standard text among the 1960s…

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Eric Scheske
I AM Catholic

Former editor of Gilbert Mag and columnist for NC Register and Busted Halo. Freelance for many print pubs. Publishes here every Monday+. Paid Medium Member.