Cannabis

Cannabis as a Tool for Artistic and Spiritual Creativity: One Man’s Story

At
this point in my life (50), my attitude towards cannabis is completely different
from when I was a young man. As a student in London I was greatly interested in
the  psychotropic effects of Cannabis and
was an avid reader on the subject as well as the topic of spiritual development
– I read everything from Timothy Leary to works by Osho,  Aldous Huxley, Celtic and Hindu mysticism.

Luke Eastwood
Photo credit: Gearoid O’ Duinnin

My
friends and I, very irresponsibly, experimented on ourselves through smoking
cannabis (and occasional other psychedelics) to unlock our creative,
intellectual and spiritual capacities, or so we thought. In truth, there was
little in the way of control or self-discipline employed and for some there
were significant and dangerous side-effects from excessive use. The mental
illness of a friend from psychotropic drug abuse had a sobering effect on both me
and most of our circle of friends.

At
this time I was heavily involved in music, attempting to find my own voice and
creativity, at a time when music was morphing from rock to dance music at the
beginning of the 1990s, and a huge amount of original new music was being
produced, in London and Manchester. Cannabis was instrumental in helping me
stop being a derivative and highly unoriginal musician and discover my own
‘sound’ and develop the mental bravery to try new things. This culminated with
a trip to India in early 1995 to learn some new instruments and collect sounds
on a portable DAT machine, that I could use or copy in my music under the name
‘Children Of Dub’. I learned how to play the Dholak and the Bansuri, but due to
time and money constraints I was unable to learn the Sitar as I had hoped to.

LukeEastwood albumcover

The
influence of the trip can be heard on our first album ‘The Silent Pool’ and
some subsequent records. As well as this, my encounters with the Hindu culture,
notably the Sadhus that study the Vedas whilst under the constant influence of cannabis,
fascinated me and led to some startling spiritual experiences myself. What was
immediately apparent was that this was serious spiritual devotion and not the foolish
recreational chaos of typical Western use.

The Journey by Luke Eastwood

Later
on, I abandoned use of cannabis and all drugs, including alcohol for some time,
in order to reflect on what I wanted both from my music and life in general –  I felt that excessive cannabis use had
damaged both my judgment and my short-term memory. Much later on, I took a
break from music but continued to pursue my own spiritual development through
yoga, meditation and study of Druidism/Druidry. Very occasional and specific
use of cannabis proved to be useful in this respect, and it provided some
inspiration for my writing – such as my book ‘The Journey’ which explores many
of the great questions of human existence.

I
have been lucky – I have benefited creativity from Cannabis with few negative
effects, despite my former recklessness. It is a powerful psychoactive tool,
but as with all tools it needs to be handled with great care and
responsibility.

Children Of Dub’s new album “5th element” was released on 3rd March. You can discover Luke’s music and writings at lukeeastwood.com

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