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Anecdotally, psychedelics including Psilocybin containing truffles have been known to create a boost in creativity for many years. Writers, musicians and artists have been inspired to create some of their greatest works after psychedelic experiences. Aldous Huxley is famed for The Doors of Perception, the Beatles for their masterpiece Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the music of Jim Morrison.

Psychedelics have also influenced some of the most spectacular visual art we see today from the artists such as Alex Grey who is at the vanguard of the visionary art movement. Psychedelics have also inspired many of the beautiful south and central American tapestries and imagery. For example the artwork of the Peruvian shaman Pablo Amaringo.

The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo
The Visionary Art of Alex Grey

Now modern science is trying to get a handle on how psychedelics influence creativity. 

Recently researchers have started to conduct experiments by giving patients psilocybin containing truffles and evaluating how they do in set tasks. Results from one study (Prochazkova et al., 2018)  showed participants scored “significantly higher in both convergent and divergent (thinking outside the box) thinking tests”. In this study they stated that it was “the first to quantitatively show that microdosing psychedelics could improve creative performance.” The researchers theorise that psychedelics induces “a state of unconstrained thought” and “allowed participants to create more out-of-the-box alternative solutions to a problem,” 

  • Journal of Psychopharmacology (2018)
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Other psychedelic medicines effect on creativity have also started to be scientifically quantified  Ayahuasca has also been scientifically noted to enhance creative divergent thinking while decreasing conventional convergent thinking Kuypers et. al., 2016. Journal of Psychopharmacology. The authors noted “Ayahuasca increases psychological flexibility, which may facilitate psychotherapeutic interventions and support clinical trial initiatives”.

For me, it was like a flash. The first time I had acid, it just opened up something in my head that was inside of me, and I realised a lot of things. I didn't learn them because I already knew them, but that happened to be the key that opened the door to reveal them. From the moment I had that, I wanted to have it all the time

  • George Harrison, The Beatles

LSD “It has become popular in Silicon Valley as a way to increase creativity and productivity,”

  • Balázs Szigeti, Beckley researcher, The Guardian, 1 September 2018.

Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important—creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.

  • Steve Jobs

Psychedelic agents seem to facilitate creative problem-solving.

  • Psychological Reports Harman et. al., 1966 
"The transition from harsh city life to expansive retreat happened gently. Many times through the weekend I was being cared for yet I hardly noticed. Looking back I can see how the support the facilitators gave was skilful and nurturing but so unobtrusive. In moments that seemed uneventful, personal shifts were taking place. All the while I was being watched over in a way that was fully accepting of whatever could arise. On their own the beautiful house and its grounds, the wholesome food and warming fires are enough to give a magical experience. But the facilitators unconditional love and dedication to ones personal evolution make this a transformative experience. My heart is warmed from the loving friendships and the boosted creativity I have in my life now after this wonderful retreat. "
- Ronan, Dublin
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Interested in participating in a psychedelic therapy programme?

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