You go online surfing social media and you may come across different ads or techniques to relieve stress and anxiety. Some do yoga, jog, archery or plain just find any extracurricular activity to positively occupy their time; whatever floats a person's boat. One preferred method popular amongst the sub-cultures would be the use of hallucinogens and psychotropic drugs, LSD, Marijuana etc. There are even unconventional methods that individuals use to simulate the effects of drugs using nothing more than common food grocery supplies! All these acts are with the intention of somehow achieving a higher state of consciousness, a glimpse into the another plane of thought - Opening the Third Eye.
Now while that may sound tripping and downright ridiculous to me, I do nevertheless find it fascinating from an artistic perspective. I was first introduced to the very concept of psychedelia and visionary culture from researching painters that identified as Psychedelic artists. Prime example being Alex Grey, Maya Hayuk or Katherine Tromans; with Alex Grey being very outspoken of his usage of LSD and support for its legalization on the grounds that his entire career was possible because of the drug, including a broad number of other artists like Grey himself including his wife.
Despite artists, musicians and appreciators of this culture varying on what draws them to Psychedelia, there are some consistencies. Primarily, the modern Visionary culture continued on from its movement of counterculturism from the 60's and 70's in the United States. The early Psychedelia movement was based on an amalgam of Eastern faith and old world shamanism that initially began as a political movement. This movement's people sought world-peace and to establish a collective against a technological supremacy (kinda like today). At the same time, they wanted to test the limits of the human imagination. So very much like people today, the early visionaries employed techniques to stimulate their minds: psychotropic drug use, meditation, sleep deprivation, sensory stimulation like music or the visual arts. The Visionary Movement gave women the courage to become more outspoken and actually inspired female artists like Barbara Kruger to take up themes of this movement against the establishment that boasted feminism.
But when it comes to myself and how I interpret Psychedelia, let me say this, I do not use drugs to stimulate my senses to gain substance to paint or relax, I was exposed to pot one time, but it didn't really stick to me. Nor do I have an interest in messing with my head with hallucinogens to trip out. I have no hatred toward those that do engage in such activities, it's just not for me. I find it a lot more worthwhile, fulfilling and a challenge to be able to tap into your inner-self through focus, blocking out external stimuli and just daydreaming. With this in mind, I view my way of 'Opening the Third Eye' as a more responsible way. This is possible with me because of one thing, being able to tap into the correct hemisphere of the brain. If you are more keen to the visual arts and music your preferred hemisphere is the right side of the brain, like me. If you are more into reading and literature than the left hemisphere is your preferred. It didn't just happen, though. I didn't magically tap into my Right Hemisphere overnight, it took years of taking high school, college art classes and leisure time of my own to find my rhythm in painting. And it certainly beats the hell out of sitting quietly while on a mat chanting while meditating like a wannabe monk. Forget all that nonsense.
If a person is truly interested in exploring their inner-self, making music/art from Psychedelia or plain just looking a recreational hobby just know there are more responsible alternatives to drug usage. Though, if a person wants a quick and safe way to trip out, I would recommend booking an appointment for a Sensory Deprivation Tank. Unless you're afraid of water, the dark, or closed spaces, it is absolutely no harm and lets you hallucinate from sensory deprivation. Open Your Eye...just do it safely.
About the Creator
I'm an artist who paints, write, draws comics and make jokes at just how messed up things really are. I believe if you can face the horrible truth in life then you can find happiness much easier.