“So if you made a conscious decision about almost stopping alcohol and painkillers because you want to feel healthier and less anxious – why do you add another drug like Cannabis instead?”
Well, the first time I got asked this I was thinking “Yeah, maybe she is right – I am just replacing one drug by another?”
But this got me thinking, can it be that we naturally are seeking these mind-altering feelings for a reason? Is it good or bad? Are we the only species on the planet acting this way? Why do we do it? And is it normal?
Are we naturally are seeking mind-altering feelings for a reason & why do we do it?
Well, actually yes! As soon as we discovered mind-altering plants and drinks thousands and thousands of years ago we have used it in so many ways… often during rituals by spiritual seekers, to help treat people medically with different ailments, as a way of celebrating life events, a way to overcome old, dark, and sneaky traumas and as a general mood enhancer for everyday life.
The morning coffee is a perfect example of a stimulating mood enhancer that many people swear that they could never wake up, work, or live without. Seeking euphoria and relaxation is also something we strive for on an everyday basis, we feel that we are in need of taking a step back from our daily, often demanding tasks and thoughts in order to be able to enjoy life with family, friends and ourselves.
This is done in many different ways and can either be through exercise, a glass of wine, lovemaking, some Cannabis, or other substances. When we feel ill we go to the hospital, and the doctor’s duty is to keep you alive at any cost, and unfortunately, due to scarcity of time, there can be very little attention towards the quality of our daily life and the side effects we might have to deal with – in the worst case, for the rest of our lives.
Medically, mind-altering substances are often used therapeutically as a way of enhancing our quality of life while we might suffer body pain, skin diseases, depression, and uncomfortable side effects of different treatments we might have to go through due to illnesses.
Is it good or bad?
Well, it’s neither bad nor good because it depends on the way you see it and the way you choose to use it. Some people argue that we shouldn’t use any mind-altering substances because it’s simply not our natural state and might lead us away from reality and our “life duties”.
I strongly feel that we shouldn’t constantly be high or drunk as I believe that it is important for us to know the way our bodies and minds feel while sober (even when it comes to coffee) But I also think that using substances responsibly can give us many good insights to ourselves and also the world around us.
For example, mind-altering substances have been used by scientists and intellectuals for centuries who claims that it has been crucial for them in their work… and no, they were probably not using it WHILE they were working, but in their spare time in order to open up their mind and get new insights that would drastically help them with their hypotheses, theories, research, creation, and so on.
Some of these names are Astrophysicist Carl Sagan who used Cannabis, Thomas Edison who invented the lightbulb used cocaine, Mr. Apple himself Steve Jobs used LSD pretty intensely between 1972-74, and the Nobel Prize-winning Francis Crick who reportedly discovered the double-helix structure of DNA in 1953 while under the influence of LSD.
Are we the only species on the planet acting this way?
Interestingly enough we are not the only species that are using different substances in order to enhance our mood, there are many others. During my research for this article, I found a lot of interesting animals that just love getting high, maybe even more than we do, and wow they are creative!
Have you ever heard of the elephants that hunt down the Marula trees, taking time to overeat its fruits and then enjoy hours of drunkenness from the fermented juices of the Marula fruits? They have been a big problem to a number of villages in India and Africa where the elephants are going directly for the beer supplies as they now understood that “where there are people, there is booze”.
Jaguars are another example of a wild animal that loves to get high. They go for the roots of the Caapi plant, the very same plant that is used in Ayahuasca and contains a variety of powerful MAOIs (chemicals that you find in antidepressants). Historians and scientists believe that it is probably thanks to observing the Jaguars that we ended up trying it ourselves, and now, we have Ayahuasca retreats all over the globe for people seeking a spiritual experience.
Another example is the Alaskan reindeers that love getting high on magic mushrooms or the horses that love their nutritious but psychedelic “locoweed”, or that bees generally seem drawn to fermented drinks but get kicked out the beehive if they try to get back when they are too drunk? These are only a few examples of different animals who love getting high.
Unfortunately, we don’t learn about these similarities between us and the other Earthlings co-living on this planet with us, and I think it’s sad that we get so surprised by it.
Is it normal and what do other people say?
What does the word “normal” mean anyway?
In the dictionary it says “conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected”
So who decides what is normal?
Well, the tricky part is that WE do. We decide what OUR normal is. Some people insist that it is not normal to heighten our senses, to eat shrimps or pork, or jumping out of a plane with a parachute. While others will say that chasing the high of adrenaline, dopamine and good food is simply part of the human experience.
Do you remember the feeling of spinning when you were a child? That was probably one of your very first experience of being high – and you probably enjoyed it a lot. I went looking into a great forum for philosophical questions to see what others saying about their relationships to get high and I could relate to it all…which means what, that I am either a crazy person that just wants to be high, or is it because it is normal?
We want to feel good in our bodies, in our minds, and with the people we love. But hey, I am not saying that you SHOULD take drugs because it’s more enjoyable, no, because some people have tendencies to abuse it or is even allergic to substances. I am PRO wellbeing, and that comes from listening and knowing your body and mind, and asking for help is key! Maybe you need a psychologist, nutritionist, personal coach, or doctor in order to get to know yourself better, so don’t be alien to ask for help. With this said, let’s dump the stigma and prejudices against substance use and get the wellbeing of the individual person.
Do you have any interesting information on other animals that I didn’t bring up in this article or any other thoughts on this topic? Please let me and the others know in the comments below.
Lots of green love.
Your Lady. S