Do Drugs Help Creativity?
Rockstars are known to be creative. They are also known to be wild rule breakers. This is not a coincidence. Sex and Drugs and Rock n Roll (thanks Ian Drury) swiftly become the catch-all description for rockstars. So, do drugs help with creativity?
Well, drugs have played a HUGE role is the creation of plenty of ground-breaking music, from the Beatles to Pink Floyd, house music, and psychedelic rock. But drugs have also killed plenty of musicians.
So, at some point, the drugs don’t work anymore. (sorry The Verve) But why do they work in the first place?
It's Not The Drugs man, It's YOU!
Personally, I don’t believe it’s the drugs themselves. It’s the risk-taking mindset of the people who use them. They take the drugs and filter those experiences through their skillset, creating music. Because they are rockstars, they don’t give a damn what you or I or mom or dad think. They just embrace the chaos, swim out into the uncertainty and go for it.
It’s no coincidence that one of the pre-conditions for creativity is a mindset that is open to ambiguity and complexity and that seeks out the new. Drugs are like a short cut to that state of mind. But not everyone who drops acid or munches a disco biscuit becomes a creative genius… why?
Well because you then have to DO something with that state of mind… filter it through something. Rockstars do it with music. Samuel Taylor Coleridge did it with poetry… Irvine Welsh wrote books.
The expression of these ambiguous, far from ordinary experiences is the key. They have been parsed and processed and served back up to the outer world in a new form. If you don’t do that, then you’re just getting your kicks.
So, when do the drugs stop helping and start getting in the way? Well, when you get addicted to the substance itself, when you mistake the drugs for the creativity that translates the drug experiences. Addiction is a terrifying demonstration of the human capacity for developing habits. In a creative sense, the fantastic becomes mundane, what inspired is now required and slowly, if left unchecked, the habit will destroy the person.
The Take Away:
Stepping out of the ordinary is what is important when you want or need to create new ideas, ways of doing things or new things in themselves.
Drugs work well for this. But if you get too involved with the drugs, they’ll also stop you from doing this. Of course, there are notable exceptions… very, very few compared to all those who conform to the rule.
So, do drugs help with Creativity?
Yes. And no.
Just changing your mind on a long-held personal opinion can have a similar impact in terms of new experiences. It’s cheaper, and safer!
Do you need inspiration or just help with getting Creativity inline for you or your team? CONTACT ME and lets talk!