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"What I really value about cannabis is the way in which it allows one to be taken by surprise by unexpected ideas." - Terence McKenna

Despite the dismissals of skeptics and cynics, there is no doubt that in the right hands cannabis can be of benefit in creative work. Perhaps if you have no imagination to begin with there will be nothing for cannabis to work with, but people engaged in a great variety of creative endeavours have reported that cannabis has triggered "unexpected ideas" that they have built upon in their work.

If you had the opportunity, you might ask some of the following, just a very short shortlist of the great many well-known creative people who have been willing to publicly acknowledge their appreciation of the plant: Carl Sagan, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Barack Obama ("When I was a kid I inhaled frequently), Stephen King, Bill Maher, Bob Dylan, Rihanna, Lady Gaga ("I smoke a lot of pot when I write music"), Ben and Jerry, and one more who must be included in this short list of "geniuses" . . . Willie Nelson.

Doubters might say something like, "Sure, it seems brilliant while you're high, but in the cold light of day, that great idea looks silly or incomprehensible." But the testimony of millions of creative people argues otherwise. Yes, of course, the amplification function of the plant can put an extra shine on things and skew perspective. But that's what editing is for. As legendary poetic bard and longtime devotee of cannabis Allen Ginsburg said, "If you write stoned, edit sober." Every idea isn't going to be a keeper.

A very successful non-fiction writer I know (I won't use his name since I haven't asked that permission) told me he always writes under the influence of cannabis. This gentleman is an excellent writer whose most successful book has sold over a quarter of a million copies. I asked him why he does that and he said that cannabis is a vaso-dilator. That's similar to the way Cannabis and Spirituality contributor Joan Bello puts it when she says that cannabis increases the supply of rich, freshly-oxygenated blood throughout the human organism.

Effective use of cannabis in creative work presumes several factors, such as the ability to keep one's mind focused on the object of attention. I think most people would also agree that not all stages of a creative project are enhanced by the presence of cannabis in the mindbody. Some of the more technical and linear demands can be compromised. Dosage is important too. Legendary singer/songwriter Neil Young, who acknowledged in his autobiography that he wrote many of his beautiful songs while high, said in reference to a particularly strong strain he was using at the time, "If you smoked a little, you wrote a song. If you smoked too much, then you were toast."

One more key factor worthy of mention in a mini-post like this is the inclusion of the heart. The amplifying, opening capability of cannabis can also open and tenderize the heart. Ideas and activity accompanied by love tend to be more energized and effective. Cannabis and Spirituality contributor and award-winning novelist and poet Floyd Salas put it succinctly and sweetly. "Writing and smoking pot both help me love. So I smoke pot and write. I smoke pot to write with love."

If you're curious to look into this some more, there are three chapters in Cannabis and Spirituality on the creative use of the holy herb.

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Cannabis and Creativity 823 Stephen Gray 31-Jul-17 22:50


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