Weekly Wits

It’s all in your head

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Smack, crack, DMT, cocaine, LSD, mescaline, horse tranquilizers, nitros, valiums, opium, psilocybin and then of course marijuana; for some reason the very mention of this motley collection must have made a considerable number of you flinch, just like it did to your parents, their parents, teachers, interlocutors and so on. History shows that drugs have always been deemed ‘evil’ in civil society, and for understandable reasons too. They are known to be harmful, to muddle up your priorities and are apparently retrogressive in nature; and of course, they make one question the established status quo, and consequently disturb it. Yet, in spite of knowing this there has always been a sizeable faction, which has doggedly embraced this lifestyle .Why? Curiosity, rebellion, plain stupidity, apathy, frustration, the reasons are innumerable. The only way to really know for oneself is to be a party to the crime and indulge. Why are drugs derided and are made victim to such severe antagonism when at the same time they are purported to stand for love and peace? Case in point, Woodstock, isn’t it an impressive fact that such a large congregation of young people managed to live out three anarchical days of harmony and bliss amidst all the hardships? Our beloved leaders and statesmen cannot even bear to sit out an entire assembly session without chucking microphones and footwear at each other, and yet after all that inane bickering they are allowed to make rules, rules by which the rest of us are supposed to live by, but then these things have been going on since time immemorial.

      Drug use and abuse, there is a thin line that separates them, or maybe a fat one, it is tough to clearly demarcate Also, I must stress that it is not about how much of a thing you consume but rather how much of the thing in question consumes you. We, the younger demographic in particular, tend to treat everything as inconsequential and in an utterly callous fashion thanks to our naiveté and the cushy self-centred lives we have been accustomed to. As for the detractors, they would inevitably be ones who know nothing about drugs except for what they have been told by equally ignorant and dogmatic folks.

      If done in the right quantity and in the right environment, mind-altering substances can provide an unimaginably blissful experience The scriptures and wise men of old knew it all, and yet they chose to employ euphemisms, probably to keep the commoners devoid of this knowledge since their gullibility and functioning were essential for the workings of the corporeal world. Eventually came the new order, capitalism and commercialism further marginalized the whole phenomenon for it was redundant in this material world of ours. Drug abuse, just like any other excess is deplorable and tends to get get out of hand. Furthermore, substance abuse may severe the individual’s ties with reality, an enjoyable process but one which isn’t recommended because in the end when the stupor recedes, you open your eyes to the same dull world and its obtrusive ways, eventually becoming slaves to recreation itself.

Apart from the vagueness of the metaphysical and spiritual realms, it is in art, literature and aesthetics that drugs find their true value and purpose in the tangible terms of this world. Drugs enable one to think clearly from a different perspective and see the special in the familiar, which together form the basis of discovery and innovation. Hallucinogens and sedatives have served as the muse of many a gifted artist, the influence behind many a great musician, and the driving force of numerous literary figures. Beauty as they say is in the eye of the beholder, or rather the state of mind. As Huxley, Blake and many others propounded, drugs help us explore the fascinating but dormant recesses of our minds, an activity that can also be undertaken through self-deprivation and meditation.

      The whole debate is an endless one; are drugs bad, are drugs good? All I say for the sake of logic, is that one mustn’t let others judgments affect theirs, and not condemn things they know nothing about. As for the inquisitive souls, I would advise them to not get into things that they aren’t sure of since such endeavours could only lead to disastrous repercussions. Acquire adequate knowledge and suitable supervision regarding whatever you wish to try. Coming to those who think of themselves as enlightened, tread with caution for the path is a deceiving one because in the end, drugs are just vessels of recreation. They enhance your creativity, they fill you up with bliss but when you start centring your entire lives around drugs, you know you are losing it. It is here that one must exercise will and restraint, since life in all its totality is too precious to be wasted solely in the pursuit of hedonistic intoxication.

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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