In modern-day society, the use of psychedelic substances — which include everything from marijuana to psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”) to LSD to MDMA — is quite taboo. Individuals who partake are considered to be “drug abusers” or “unmotivated.” In reality, the contrary is true.
Many highly-successful people — such as those that follow — credit psychedelics with “expanding” their mind. Uninhibited by the collective consciousness’ imagination (or lack thereof), they went on to create incredible works of art and previously unimagined technologies.
From Steve Jobs to Susan Sarandon to Jack Nicholson, following are 7 thought-leaders who say they owe their success to psychedelics:
1) Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs is perhaps one of the greatest entrepreneurial minds of our times, which is why his use of psychedelic substances is well-known. At least for a time, the Apple co-founder took a lot of LSD. “Throughout that period of time [1972-1974] I used the LSD approximately ten to fifteen times,” Jobs said. “I would ingest the LSD on a sugar cube or in a hard form of gelatin. I would usually take the LSD when I was by myself. I have no words to explain the effect the LSD had on me, although, I can say it was a positive life-changing experience for me and I am glad I went through that experience.”
On a later occasion, Jobs found more words to describe the experience: “Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important — creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.”
Was he more successful because he experimented with psychedelics? He certainly believed so.
2) Cary Grant
The British-American actor, who was known as one of Hollywood’s definitive leading men, repeatedly used LSD with his therapist. According to Sociedelic, Grant said it brought him “much happiness.”
During a feature for Look Magazine in 1959, Grant professed his admiration for the substance. “At last, I am close to happiness,” he said. “I wanted to rid myself of all my hypocrisies. I wanted to work through the events of my childhood, my relationship with my parents and my former wives. I did not want to spend years in analysis.”
3) Frances McDormand
The Fargo and Almost Famous actress is quite transparent about her use of LSD. In an interview with the Daily Beast last year, she said: “I really, really enjoyed LSD.” Her only wish is that the substance was more appreciated.
She continued, “And I really enjoyed mushrooms very much. It’s unfortunate, I think, that drugs were not handled properly. Politically, they’ve been used to separate the economic classes. Thankfully, it’s all getting fixed now with the marijuana laws. But with LSD, because it was counter cultural, and because it was used as an experimental drug, it was not marketed properly. It if had been marketed properly, we would have it…. We needed a PR person for that LSD! It was very profound. Very profound.”
4) Jack Nicholson
The actor, who is best known for his roles in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Easy Rider, says the first time he saw God was on an acid trip in the 1960’s. He called the experience with LSD “life-changing.” Reportedly, he frequently took LSD while writing movie scripts for The Trip (1967) and Head (1968).
“I don’t advocate anything for anybody,” Nicholson once said. “But I choose always to be candid because I don’t like the closet atmosphere of drugging… In other words, it ain’t no big thing. You can wreck yourself with it, but Christ, you can wreck yourself with anything.”
In the 1980’s, Nicholson began weaning himself off harder substances. However, his appreciation for consciousness-altering drugs never slowed. “I still love to get high, I’d say, about four days a week. I think that’s about average for an American,” he said. “Last year on a raft trip I had a little flavor of the season — peach mescaline — but it was not like the hallucinatory state of the ’60s. This was just kind of sunny.”
5) Susan Sarandon
The actress and activist (who appeared at the Standing Rock protests in North Dakota) has admitted to using the Amazonian sacramental psychedelic Ayahausca and magic mushrooms.
She told the Daily Beast: “I’ve done ayahuasca and I’ve done mushrooms and things like that. But I like those drugs in the outdoors — I’m not a city-tripper… I like doing it in the Grand Canyon, or in the woods. You want to be prepared and not have responsibilities. It does remind you of your space in the universe — your place in the universe — and reframe things for you. I think you can have some very profound experiences.”
6) Francis Crick
When Francis Crick, the Nobel Prize-winning father of modern genetics, was under the influence of LSD, he discovered the double-helix structure of DNA. That’s a pretty impressive feat. Reportedly, Crick told his close friend, Dick Hemp, that he had actually “perceived the double-helix shape while on LSD” and that LSD use was common among Cambridge academics of the time. Many of them used it in small amounts as a ‘thinking tool.’”
Crick also told Hemp that some Cambridge academics were using LSD in tiny amounts as a “thinking tool” — to liberate them from preconceptions and to let their “genius wander freely to new ideas.”
7) Kary Mullis
Mullis is a lesser-known scientists, but his contributions are noteworthy. Mullis revolutionized the biomedical field by refining the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique that results in millions of identical copies of a single strand of DNA.
This achievement won Mulis the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1993. One year later, he confessed to California Monthly that he “took plenty of acid” in his youth, and called his experimentation “mind-opening.”
During an interview with BBC at a later date, Mullis claimed that his “acid binges” in the 1960’s and 1970’s played a larger role in his accomplishments than most realized. Said Mullis, “What if I had not taken LSD ever; would I have still invented PCR? I don’t know. I doubt it. I seriously doubt it.”
Psychedelics expand an individual’s consciousness, allowing them to realize the larger, more comprehensive landscape we live in. By diving into the abyss of the unknown via substances such as LSD, people like Steve Jobs, Karry Mulis and Jack Nicholson have “pushed the envelope,” so to speak, on what many have considered possible in this world.
If psychedelics were to be legalized and regulated, how would this world change? What innovations would be discovered and shared with the world? Questions such as these are why researchers at John Hopkins University have started testing the effects of psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”) on patients battling depression.
IMAGE CREDIT: franz12 / 123RF Stock Photo
I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here