Mahashiva Ratri: Night of the Great Shiva – II

……continued from the previous post


I felt as if I was living with insane people and once the effects of Cannabis wears off I will slowly slip back into a similar kind of insanity. A kind of insanity in which you take a ‘make believe world’ created by the ignorance of your mind as ‘reality’. It  felt very similar to the concept depicted in the film ‘Inception’ where they show a group of people asleep and a man in charge of that place tells Leonardo DiCaprio that this is the place where they come to ‘wake up’ to their ‘dream reality’. I felt  that I too would wake up to a ‘dream reality’ once the effects of Cannabis wear off.


I felt as if I had developed the ability of sensing subtle smells. I could ‘smell’ my younger son’s indigestion (it wasn’t very pleasant !!). At another point when I was roasting egg plants/brinjals, one of them smelt different and unpleasant. When I cut it open I found a small rotten patch inside.  This ability continued for the next few days and then slowly faded out.


Concepts and ideas would initially float in front of my mind’s eye, like a wave hitting the shore gently, rise and then fall back to be replaced by another wave….


At one point I was almost on the edge of entire being was being flooded with a blitzkrieg of attitudes and feelings….and just when I was about to have a panic attack, it lifted, like a cloud. As if this experience was to teach me the meaning of schizophrenia..what kind of a nightmare  the schizophrenic patients undergo !! I later remembered that during my regular visits to a schizophrenic friend I would often wonder what he was going through….and on Mahashiva Ratri day I got my answer !!


  1. Interesting report. Here are some critical remarks. An ESP is defined as: “extrasensory perception is perception occurring independently of sight, hearing, or other sensory processes”. Your experience was an ENHANCED olfactory experience. In my view, this is no ESP, just a typical high sensory experience which is more subtle because your pattern recognition ability is enhanced during a marijuana high. Many other users have reported similar enhanced experiences when listening to music, touching their partners, or looking at painting or nature, etc. (again, see my “High. Insights on Marijuana” or Harvard psycholgy Prof. Charles Tart’s magnificent study “On Being Stoned”.
    I am a bit worried about your schizophrenia comment; what you describe may be a state of confusion, disorientation and the beginning of a panic attack (which is understandable if you overdose), but I would not call that schizophrenic. We should be a bit careful with terminology here because many prohibitionists out there are trying to make us believe that there is a strong causal link between marijuana use and real schizophrenia, but it is easy to see that this cannot be the case. As the marijuana expert Harvard Prof. emeritus Lester Grinspoon argues, IF there was a strong causal link between marijuana use and schizophrenia we would see that reflected in the statistics of countries/regions where marijuana is used more often – but actually, studies show that there in those regions there is no rise in diagnosed cases of schizophrenia.

    I find your observation interesting that you enhanced sense of smell continued even after you high was gone for a few days. I made a similar observation with my ability to visually imagine things.

    • @Sebastian,

      Thanks very much for your critical comments, and the cautionary advise. Thanks to our religious beliefs, the citizens of some Asian countries enjoy a greater degree of personal freedom in certain areas of their lives than those of the West,!! While I agree that one needs to be careful with certain terminology which could be mis-used by some to clamp down legaly on cannabis use, I am not sure if I agree with your definition of ESP. What would you call the ability to see sound, or the ability to smell a desease or an ailment in a person before it has fully manifested itself to our “normal” senses ? But then having experienced the effects of Cannabis, you don’t need to be told that words and terminology are like cages which are used to trap rather than reveal meanings !!

      With regard to certain ‘mental’ abilities lingering on after the high has subsided, in my case, I feel that my ability to get an insight into human behaviour, attitudes, intentions etc. has increased over the period since I’ve started taking Cannabis, my hypnagogia has become more ‘intense’ and so has my intuition. I had these abilities to a lesser degree before I started using Cannabis. However I think it is a bit early in the day for me to make an conclusive assesments.

      Do keeping responding to my posts whenever you get time, I greatly appereciate it.

      • Hi Kabirvaani,

        my definition from “ESP” is actually taken from a dictionary and the expression “extrasensory perception” actually states that in a short form. If you use this expression in a different sense, I think that you need to explain that. Usually, examples of ESP would be clairvoyance, telepathy, or foresight.
        You have mentioned your enhanced ability to smell in your essay and I mentioned that this still could be seen as an enhanced sensory perception. Now, in your answer, you give two more examples: The ability to see sound and the ability to “smell a disease before it has fully manifested…”. As to the first, this is a so-called synesthetic experience – which I think is one of the most interesting effects of marijuana, even though the full blown effect is experienced usually only at high doses. This is also no a case of ESP. Here is a wonderful talk on synesthesia by one of the eminent neuroscientists in the field, V.S. Ramachandran; I am sure this is interesting for you:
        So, while synesthesia is certainly an interesting and special phenomenon, it can be interpreted in a scientific way without having to see it as an ESP. It is just a neurologically based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway- like seeing sounds or tasting tactile sensations.

        As to the “ability to smell a desease or an ailment in a person before it has fully manifested itself to our “normal” senses”, I would think that this is still an enhanced pattern recognition: you see/hear/smell/taste/touch subtle cues (normal sensory perception) and marijuana helps you to understand these subtle patterns better by enhancing you pattern recognition abilities. But here, if I understand you correctly, you would disagree and actually insist that these are real ESP’s and that marijuana enables you to perceive something extrasensory, giving you a “sixth sense”. If this is what you think, then I agree with you that this would be an ESP, but I would also state that there are good alternative explanations which explain the enhancement of your ability to “see” or “smell a disease” before it has fully manifested. To sum up, then, I agree with you that a marijuana high can actually lead to those enhancements in perception and cognition, but I would not interpret them as ESP’s given the usual definition of the term.

  2. Dear Sebastain (I hope I can use that epithet !),

    I agree with your line of argument, however I feel that it is just of question of well documented research and accessibility of this unique plant to more people before we come up with the discovery that ESP ability and long term-low grade use of Cannabis could be related.

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