The recreational use of drugs has been much maligned, and, for the most part, with good reason. I do not deny the harm that drugs cause, nor do I promote their use. But, I believe that psychotropic substances have the potential to provide us with more than a quick thrill.
Cocaine and amphetamines are little more than feel-good drugs, but if we consider the hallucinogens, then there is something deeper and far more interesting going on. Out of all the mind-altering substances available, ketamine raises more questions than most. Notable medical professionals have dedicated entire tomes to its particular variety of cerebral warping. The spiritually fixated have championed it as the doorway to another realm and it has been said to provide out-of-body experiences like those reputed to occur when a person is close to death.
I take my influences from everything around me, as I’m sure do most writers, and, at times, those influences come in a pharmaceutical form. Whilst creating the Delta Function universe I had some truly inspiring experiences combining ketamine and THC. Some of those experiences have made it into the novel. The people of Delta, one of the planets colonized by humans exiled from Earth, have developed a method of manipulating physical reality using an engineered drug called konnon.
The ideas I propose in the novel came directly from the visions and thought-modes I experienced whilst taking ketamine. To those who’ve never had the inclination to indulge their curiosity, or for those who’ve never been curious, I imagine my words might seem preposterous, deluded or perhaps even dangerously irresponsible, but I’ve found my experiences on ketamine to be wholly positive and inspirational; I can’t say the same of other drugs I’ve tried.
I’ve altered, amplified and extrapolated the chemically induced notions that poured over me as I rode the magic ketamine-carpet. I took thrumming, drug-fuelled glimpses and moulded them into a cohesive plotline; the core premise for the Deltites’ superhuman abilities came directly from my hallucinations.
Writers abusing substances is nothing new; Hunter S. Thompson was renowned for excessive drug and alcohol consumption, William Burroughs was a heroin addict, Philip K. Dick was purported to use LSD (though having researched the man, this may not have been the case), Aldous Huxley, Jack Kerouac, Tim Leary, the list of celebrated authors reported to have chemically subverted their minds goes on. I can’t say that drug abuse makes a person more or less creative, all I can say is that, coincidentally or not, many of my favourite writers were wreck-heads.
I have had many unpleasant, even horrific experiences whilst taking drugs, especially hallucinogens, and I would in no way recommend that anybody try them, in fact, I’d say you’ll almost certainly live a happier, healthier life if you steer clear of drugs and alcohol entirely. But the hypocritical adage, ‘do as I say, not as I do,’ comes to mind.
In the next post I’ll be looking at the mathematics of the infinite, and how this perplexing pursuit made its way into the very title of my novel, thanks for reading, Dom Carter.
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