Psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, Cannabis, DMT, Ketamine and others of its group, have been giving a high for generations to drug addicts. These drugs have again jumped into the limelight, but this time for a different reason.
A new study used volunteers to find out the effects of LSD, ketamine and psilocybin, a psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms, on the brain. Using brain imaging technology, the study gathered evidence of heightened levels of consciousness in the brains of the volunteers.
The Telegraph quoted Prof. Anil Seth, co-director of the Sackler Center for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex, as saying, "This finding shows that the brain-on-psychedelics behave very differently from normal. ... the psychedelic state appears as a higher 'level' of consciousness than normal, but only with respect to this specific mathematical measure."
So, what was the experience like for the volunteers? According to The Guardian, the volunteers experienced a myriad of sensations and feelings that ranged from floating in the air to time distortion to finding inner peace. The possibility of such heightened state to inspire the legendary rock stars, known to do drugs, cannot be ruled out.
Giving credence to this belief is the first LSD-tripper, Albert Hoffman, a Swiss chemist, who was the first to try this drug, 74 years ago. Although panic stricken when the drug took hold, he eventually started enjoying these trips and perceived many surreal images that overwhelmed him by "exploding in colored fountains."
Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris of the Department of Medicine at Imperial opines, "The present study's findings help us understand what happens in people's brains when they experience an expansion of their consciousness under psychedelics. People often say they experience insight under these drugs...."
Are the psychedelic drugs a short cut to the spiritual enlightenment and awakening as mentioned in the Hindu scriptures? Not by a mile, but it is on record that such psychedelic drugs have provided inspiration to artists for creating great art and music.