- Magic Mushrooms and Creativity
- Do Magic Shrooms Breed Creativity?
- Artists on Psychedelics
- Magic Mushrooms Improve Focus
- Benefits of Ayahuasca
More than 50 years ago, psychedelics – especially magic mushrooms and acids – became popular because of their alleged effects. One of the most outlandish claims was magic mushrooms are the key to world peace. There were also more grounded claims such as magic mushrooms are the key to stimulating creativity.
Is this true? Do magic mushrooms stimulate creativity? If so, how? This article will delve into the answers to those questions.
Looking at contemporary studies, it seems psychedelics can improve brain performance, remove inhibitions, lead to heightened self-awareness, and enhance spirituality. All of these traits are seen to contribute to the process of creating art.
Magic Mushrooms and Creativity
Back in the 1960s, San Francisco State College’s James Fadiman and Willis Harman observed 27 artists who took psychedelics and were made to finish a workshop about creative thinking and problem-solving. When asked how the psychedelics affected them, the participants said they felt less fear, no sense of reputation, a lowered sense of personal danger, and the blocks to thinking seem to be absent.
Each participant had heightened mental functioning. Among these mental functions were more focused creativity, and the ability to see problems from a new point of view. Under hallucinogens, the artists in the study were able to look at the bigger picture.
One of the participants also said he was able to have multiple thoughts at once and keep track of each of them. Another said he was able to use a different perspective to look at problems and he was able to have a better outlook of the finished product and how to get there.
Another artist said she was able to keep up with her thoughts. This improved sense of coherence is universal among the artists.
When it comes to how they work, hallucinogens basically make dreams and fantasies more intense through visual imagery, and auditory hallucinations. One of the participants even said his senses were unable to keep up with the images in his head but he was impressed with the ease of how ideas just seemed to appear in his head. It was just a great experience of being inspired to invent and create.
In another more current research, psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in shrooms, was injected to 15 participants. Afterwards, they were placed inside a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner where their brain activities were mapped. The MRI showed the psychoactive substance put the participants in a deep psychedelic state. This is highly similar to what people experience when they dream.
There’s also an ongoing study which explores how people on psychedelics can help people who are tripping have a way of coming up with unique uses for everyday objects.
Do Magic Shrooms Breed Creativity?
This brings back the first question. So far, the answer is yes. But how?
Basically, what these studies prove is tripping on magic mushrooms let people lose themselves. Magic mushrooms let people see new concepts, ideas, and understand abstract concepts in a different way.
When psychedelics, particularly psilocybin, enter the brain, the brain’s pre-existing networks which make up the personality collapse. The ego is broken down and people experience the world again through the eyes of a child, seeing the world from a new viewpoint.
Magic mushrooms also inspire creativity by increasing the rate at which ideas enter the mind. This is evidenced by the claims of one of the research participants mentioned earlier. However, no matter how many artistic ideas come to you, they will always appear clear, concise, and you won’t stray from the present.
Psychedelic mushrooms let artists uncover hidden facets of their abilities. Fortunately, creativity doesn’t disappear when you come down from your high. In the studies mentioned earlier, the researchers found out the creative influence from a single dose can sustain an artist for months to years after an intense psychedelic experience.
With that being said, magic mushrooms won’t give you more artistic skills. It’s unrealistic to believe magic mushrooms will enhance your technical proficiency. The execution of the idea is first and foremost dependent on the artists’ abilities.
Artists on Psychedelics
The American psychiatrist Oscar Janiger studied the effects of psychedelics on professional artists for over a decade. His study aimed to determine how artists view and draw their subjects under the influence of psychedelics. Afterwards, they were made to explain how they felt about their work.
One of the participants claimed he is able to see the subject clearly at first but had some trouble controlling the pencil. More than 2 hours after taking the dose, he was drawing in one flourish, without stopping. By the time the drug hit its peak, the artist says his perception of the subject’s face has changed.
Magic Mushrooms Improve Focus
Microdosing magic mushrooms also develops focus. Innovators from Silicon Valley swear taking imperceptible levels of psilocybin, which is less than 500mg of dried magic mushrooms, will not create a psychedelic effect but will greatly improve focus and heighten awareness.
A Canadian documentarian, John Andrew, endorses microdosing. He took small doses every day for 6 months 3 years ago. He began to feel more positive, more focused and he achieved a sense of clarity 4 weeks after he started microdosing. By the end, he felt he was maximizing his potential.
Finally, it’s also worth knowing psilocybin doesn’t just increase creativity in artists. It also contributed to the sciences by inspiring brilliant scientists to make groundbreaking discoveries. Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick and Kary Mullins. Crick was microdosing when they discovered the double helix structure of DNA and Mullins believes psychedelics were responsible for his success in inventing the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Countless celebrities – artists, filmmakers, writers, and musicians – whose bread and butter is creativity attribute their success to psychedelics.