Drug use does not make a person lesser; irresponsible drug use does. There are a number of holistic, naturally occurring drugs that can be used responsibly and to useful effects by those who have a healthy amount of respect for them. Responsible drug use requires intelligence, awareness and good decision making, which highly intelligent people normally possess. The commonly observed traits of a responsible drug user are that they use experimentally, objectively and with restraint.
Not everyone uses drugs experimentally. This term is used mistakenly in many situations. Many people use drugs because of peer pressure, and others yet try drugs simply because they are bored. To legitimately use drugs experimentally indicates a particular level of intelligence. Experimentation, in the truest sense of the word, means you are using drugs in order to learn, putting yourself in the role of test subject. This is a trait of genius drug users.
Objectivity in drug use is another important way of approaching drug use like a genius does. Brilliant minds use drugs so long as they are increasing their intellect and perspective. The people who give drug use a bad name do so in part by using drugs for mere entertainment, or because they have become dependent on them. A brilliant mind is self aware and objective enough to recognize when this is beginning to happen to it, and will initiate restraint. People of high intelligence do not expect to be able to control the effects of a mind-altering drug. Instead, they experiment with them objectively and respond to them according to the effects that they have on them.
Lastly, a brilliant mind only uses drugs to the extent that they are useful to them. Drugs are highly unpredictable. They are known to effect different people in very different ways. A mind altering drug can have one type of effect on one person and a completely different type of effect on another. Highly intelligent people monitor their own reactions to drugs in order to understand how to use it, or how to discontinue it. For some, this may mean heavy use and for others it may mean sporadic use.
The idea that drug use solely represents an out of control lifestyle is a misconception. The stereotype that society holds to is that drug users are throw away people who are a detriment to society. Yet no one in their right mind would accuse Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Albert Einstein of these character flaws. Yet all of them experimented with mind altering substances. This should tell us something about why people use drugs, and what kinds of people use drugs. Through out history, a wide range of brilliant inventors, medical scientists, physicists and biologists have been known to experiment with mind altering substances.
Inventors, such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison historically accredited the ideas for some of their inventions to drug revelations. All three used drugs for a time for the purpose of expanding their minds. Steve Jobs in particular was quoted as saying that LSD was a great decision for him to use as it lead to the concepts behind numerous Apple products. These are three brilliant men who made enormous contributions to society and broke the stereotype of the useless drug user.
Medical scientists, such as Francis Crick, Kary Mullis and William Stewart Halsted used mind-altering substances as well. Many people do not understand that medical sciences require some element of creative thinking. So much is unknown about medical science that it often takes some imagination to align different possibilities in order to test them for accuracy. This gift of imagination and experimentation is what draws medical scientists to drugs.
It is widely publicized that throughout history, a number of our most brilliant minds have taken to experimenting with mind altering substances for a time. This certainly does not go in line with our North American war on drugs mentality, which informs us that only low lives use drugs. The truth of the matter is, experimentation with drugs is frequently a staple of an expansive, genius mind. Imagination and experimentation are essential to brilliance, and imagination and experimentation are often found in people who use drugs, at least for a time. Experimentation with drugs is a sign of curiosity, not of reprobate.
The reason that drug use and brilliance often go together is that the intelligent mind recognizes its own limitations and pushes to exceed them. A consistent measure of intelligence is the breadth of scope one possesses, and scope is often discovered by working at seeing outside of your own perspective. There are a number of cognitive-behavioral ways of going about this, such as reading material to inform yourself of things you are not aware of, engaging in conversation and social interaction with people who are not like you, and so on. Then there are more alternative ways of broadening your perspective.
One of the trademarks of mind altering drugs is that they take you to a head space that you could not achieve on your own. Many people’s experiences of using drugs involves accessing parts of the brain that are usually closed off, as well as thinking and feeling in a way that is atypical to your normal thought patterns. Brilliant minds seek these rare experiences as a means of breaking down the walls of their own limited perceptions. They seldom become addicts or substance abusers because they are self aware enough to recognize how their mind falters if they overuse the substance. Thus is the relationship that geniuses have with mind altering drugs.
People do not tend to think of brilliant scientists and inventors as drug users, but they would be mistaken. It is a common trend among intellectual minds to be experimental with substances. This has been a noted pattern through out history. This blog does not take a stance on whether it is right or wrong to use mind-altering substances, but merely points out that it has been an observable behavior in more than one of our greatest minds.
A number of inventors and engineers, including Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison were known to experiment with mind-altering substances. Steve Jobs even went as far as to say that his use of acid was responsible for the thought patterns that lead to some of his most celebrated Apple creations.
The geniuses of the medical sciences are also known to have had their share of drug experimentation. Medical scientists such as Francis Crick, Kary Mullis and William Stewart Halsted all had points during their lives when they dabbled in drug use. Francis Crick confirmed that he was on acid when he made important discoveries concerning the nature of DNA.
And lastly, a number of notable physicists and biologists, some of the most far reaching of the scientific minds, admitted to drug use at some point in their professions. Scientists such as Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman and Stephen Jay Gould are included in this list. Physicist Carl Sagan openly defends marijuana use and chastises governments who restrict the public’s access to it.
In all of these instances, the common denominator would seem to be that a high-functioning scientific mind, which is naturally linear and mechanical in nature, has a taste for, and even a dependence on, experimentation. Whether or not this experimentation is necessary for the progression of brilliance or is just an indulgence of a quirk is unclear.