Sometimes you think of things someone said, even years ago, and you get upset about it. At least I do. Many years ago, a pretentious shitty poet proudly uttered that he "don't need drugs to write poetry because my mind is great enough" or something. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting anyone needs drugs to make great art, or any art at all. Drugs don't give you any extra talent, that is for sure, but the idea that you can experience what drugs could give you without drugs, that is pretentious, and naīve. It's also dangerous. let me explain, if you think you can experience the same things on your own as people experience on LSD, then you probably also believe you can know what depressive people go through by just imagining it, or that you can be acquainted with schizophrenia the minute you start using your "great mind" to imagine what it's like to hear voices in your head and see things that don't exist.
No matter how great your imagination, those things aren't about it. You can't quite imagine what chocolate tastes like before you ever taste any; much the same, you can't imagine what it's like to have schizophrenia until you have it. And still similarly, you can't imagine what it's like to be on an LSD trip before you get on one. Now, what I'm arguing here is that I can't stand those holier-than-thou phony fuckers. Coincidentally, that person, the shitty poet, also kept himself from reading the poetry of the great poets of our History because he didn't want to come across things he'd want to write himself, or something. I already wrote a chapter on writers who don't read, and you know what I think of people like this; in short, writing isn't about exposing your glorious ego to the world, nor is it about showing anyone anything about yourself in the name of your awesome greatness. No. If you're afraid of finding something that already exists, you tend to forget that other people do read, and they may very well come across the things you didn't want to see. Anyway, this is ridiculous and I don't have the moral stamina to write again about this massive, steaming pile of horse-dung.
You have to be aware of your limits as a human, and as an artist, if you're interested in doing the best you can. Thinking that you're beyond LSD because you have a great imagination only proves that your common sense is of a much more mediocre kind. It only shows you have no serious knowledge and experience of altered consciousness states. And by altered consciousness states, I mean as much LSD trips as being drunk, as having depressive disorder or schizophrenia, as I mean anything else. They are different, naturally, from drug to drug, from mental illness to another, but your consciousness is not in its right state and that's the common denominator of all of these.
The point is that some worthless assholes among us think they can empathise with everything and everyone simply because they have a great esteem of themselves and an ego that can vie with the Titanic, and fail just as badly.
If everyone was forced to bad trip at least once in their lives, as part of an educational program, perhaps people would have a better understanding of depression and of why some of us can no longer sustain the pain of it, and choose suicide as a last solution. The educational bad trip. That's an idea. Also, with a lesson like this, you'd make a lot of people keep away from drugs with a very good reason. I know it's brutal, but you'd better have kids bad tripping in a safe environment, with medical people and all, rather than have them bad trip with their friends in all illegality. Right? [Don't take this too literally.]
I'll say again that I don't suggest you take drugs to improve your art. It won't give you talent that you didn't have to begin with. It won't turn you into a genius. Think of it this way: if you suck at painting, and go visit the most beautiful flower-gardens in the universe, it won't make you paint better flowers at all. It's only up to you to capture what you see. You can have the most beautiful drug-induced vision ever, the drug won't give you the means to translate that vision into a creation of yours. And may no one ever say to me that artists who use drugs are "cheaters" because that would really make me reach for my sawed-off shotgun and severely add to your anatomical lead ratio. The crappy poet would think so, if he didn't think his imagination was way beyond any chemicals and any state of consciousness. He'd think that you're not allowed to use drugs because it'd be cheating, the same as he thinks that reading great poets makes you a cheater because it enriches your own poetry. Well guess what, Mr. crappy poet from hell and below, that's how we evolve, as humans, together. The reason why we're great is that we "stand on the shoulders of giants" as someone clever said, except he was wrong. We are dwarves indeed, but we're not standing on the shoulders of giants: we're standing on the shoulders of other dwarves. It's dwarves all the way down.