John Gay: The Psychedelic Experience
When were you first introduced to psychedelic culture?
For most of my youth, I was interested in psychedelic art and imagery. I had posters on my wall of mushrooms and drippy peace signs. I would try to have fun and make my own trippy designs when I drew and painted. Growing up in south Georgia, we weren’t really exposed to any mind-altering substances.
When did you first try psychedelic substances?
However, in my first semester of college my good friend brought home LSD and I got to try it. It changed my life and the way I saw nature. We quickly found out about magic mushrooms that grew around our area.
Was there ever a time that you thought using psychedelics might be a problem?
Me and my friends would go pick them out of the fields and have had some of the most profound experiences. After about three years of consuming psychedelic mushrooms for fun I realized I had been abusing the experience.
Do psychedelics ever inspire your art?
I’ve had some very scary experiences and some beautiful experiences, but I knew I needed to respect them. After these experiences it really started coming out in my art and played a huge role in my developing as an artist and what I wanted to portray in my art.
Where did you go from there?
I began doing a lot of research on the fungus and its ancient role in our history. Revered as a sacrament in many cultures it has played a huge role in stories around the world. It traces back to Greek and Sumerian times.
What is your general impression of psychedelics?
It is the root to our modern-day story about Santa Claus and his reindeer, it’s been in stories like Alice in Wonderland and even the yard gnome is always depicted with it. It plays a role in a lot of religions but is in my opinion left out due to modern day knowledge and translation issues in text.
Do you think psychedelics can help people advance in their lives?
The one thing that always struck me was the fact that humans really believe we are an advanced species, but we have yet to give plants, fungi and animals any credit of being advanced but if a tiny mushroom can make a person question their reality, maybe we aren’t that advanced and maybe should do more research.
Do you think more people should have access to psychedelics?
Humans have a receptor in their brain for every natural psychedelic on this planet.its like a key to a lock, that key only works for that lock. So our brains are able to react to the chemical. We have a lot to learn about magic mushrooms and their role in our future.
What makes you feel so passionately about this?
I believe they are a very important key to our evolution and our understanding of what we are and how to connect and understand our nature. It really does make you appreciate your earth mother and also helps with understanding yourself. Its a powerful tool and we should all be able to experience it without consequences.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I hope we can learn to appreciate this ancient species on our planet and learn how to be able to use it properly with a positive purpose to help people and nature.
Read Psychedelics and Creativity next.