Weed and Creativity: The Antidote to Social Alienation
There is a tendency in the West to consume. You might have noticed that the central organizing feature of social life is consumption. We come together to consume entertainment, food and substances. Realizing this can feel as though meaning is being hollowed out of our lives as we consume the products of distant, anonymous specialists. However, we can collaborate to create meaning instead.
Consume less, Produce more
We cannot feel existentially sated without creative expression, interdependence, and socially collaborative projects. One distinction made by author Charles Eisenstein is the difference between play–the production of fun–and entertainment: the consumption of fun. Eisenstein describes play as inherently creative, relying on joint-creativity. Play is unlike entertainment, where instead of making fun, we purchase it. We purchase films, sports, contests, music, and consume them together. But the creative dimension is nearly absent and the social dimension is also missing. You may have experienced the anxiety of knowing that your relationships are based mainly on consumptive activities like watching movies or going for dinner. For a productive alternative, try shooting a video, organizing a soccer game, or cooking a shared meal.
Weed helps us play
One poor use of weed is to mask the alienation we feel from a consumption-based culture. How can we solve the problem of consuming our fun by consuming weed? The answer is that weed expands time and lifts you out of anxieties you have towards the past and future, and places you in the present. There is immense value in socially consuming weed – but only with the proper intentionality. To cover up the lack of connectedness with weed only increases the severity of separateness. However, engaging in productive, creative and collaborative projects using weed to bend the borders of consciousness and increase the ease at which the creative forces are unleashed–this is still highly worth pursuing.
Life is better together
Presently, the extent to which community life is fractured and a culture of loneliness proliferates is unparalleled in history. And yet there lingers a hunger for authenticity, interdependence, creative expression, and conscious productive activity. In a society founded on anonymity and convenience, we should seek antidotes to alienation. To feel less dispensable, more connected, better understood, and more thoroughly expressive, we must seek avenues for loosening the conformity to mechanistic life. Smoke a joint, take out your video camera or soccer ball, and play together.