What Hashish Did To Walter Benjamin

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What is it like to be high on marijuana? Can a cannabis high help to remember long gone events, to fuel our imagination, to work creatively, to come to introspective and other insights, to empathically understand others, and to personally grow? How much did cannabis inspire outstanding thinkers, artists and musicians like Charles Baudelaire, Rudyard Kipling, Walter Benjamin, Billie Holiday, Diego Rivera, John Lennon, Carl Sagan, Hal Ashby, and so many others? And how much did the marijuana high positively transform our society?

“What Hashish Did To Walter Benjamin – Mind-Altering Essays on Cannabis”  is a collection of 20 groundbreaking neurophilosophically inspired essays on the astounding positive potential of the cannabis high. The essays summarize more than ten years of Marincolo’s research and are written for a wide audience. This deep new exploration of the marijuana high as an altered state of consciousness addresses educated marijuana users and their relatives, medical cannabis professionals and patients, as well as neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers interested in the subject of altered states of consciousness.



“Sebastian Marincolo’s work is terrific and is going to make a big contribution to the field.”

Lester Grinspoon, medical marijuana expert and Harvard Associate Prof. Emer. for Psychiatry

“Marincolo’s research on the marijuana high is years ahead of others working in this field”

Joe Dolce, former editor-in-chief of Details and Star magazines and author of “Brave New Weed” (forthcoming, Oct. 2016) about the new world of cannabis.

“I agree with Marincolo’s argument about the connection between Benjamin’s meditations on hashish and his meditations on art in the Work of Art essay and elsewhere. I believe, as Marincolo suggests, that there are a good many connections with other areas of Benjamin’s thought as well (…)”

Howard Eiland, lecturer at MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, co-editor of Benjamin’s Selected Writings and author of a biography on Walter Benjamin




HIGH. The Positive Potential of Marijuana


Does marijuana have a potential to lead to introspective and empathic understanding? Can it help users to generate creative ideas and valuable insights? To see new patterns and to retrieve distant memories?

Writers like Jack London, William Butler Yeats, or Charles Baudelaire used marijuana as a source of inspiration, just like the musicians Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, or the Beatles. The world famous scientists Carl Sagan claimed that marijuana helped him to gain deep insights which he often used in his publications.

In seven essays inspired by neuroscience the philosopher and photographer Sebastián Marincolo delivers new and groundbreaking explanatory approaches drawing on recent interdisciplinary research from the philosophy of mind as well as from neuroscience and other cognitive sciences. HIGH. The Mind-Altering Potential of Marijuana features dozens of fascinating reports from marijuana users about their experiences with marijuana as a cognitive enhancer. Based on more than a decade of research also in close cooperation with Carl Sagan’s best friend, Harvard Prof. Emer. Lester Grinspoon, one of the world leading experts on marijuana, Marincolo develops groundbreaking new hypothesis and explanations of how cannabis effects higher cognitive functions. His fine art macro photography series of marijuana strains based on deep-focus-stacking technology brilliantly complements the unusual intellectual perspective on the positive mind-altering potential of marijuana. The book also includes a foreword written by Lester Grinspoon.


“It was not until some years after I began these studies that I initiated personal use of marijuana and I gradually began to discover its capacity to enhance some of my capabilities. I have now arrived at the point where I view this substance as a nature-given blessing. And I am thankful that Sebastian Marincolo has provided us with his timely “High. The Positive Potential of Marijuana” which, as the reader will discover, does much to illuminate this wonderful phenomenon.”

Assoc. Prof. emer. Lester Grinspoon, medical marijuana expert and Harvard Associate Prof. Emer. for Psychiatry

Marincolo’s book is great evidence that he has further developed a theory of consciousness taking a highly original path. Good philosophers are as comprehensible as possible – they have arguments and do not need to hide anything. It is wonderful to see how his photo art contributes to his research; the photos are magnificent. I have read the book and enjoyed watching the photos with much delight.

Prof. emer. Manfred Frank, German philosopher 

“In many places, Marincolo’s arguments profit from the fact that the philosopher has a specialization in the cognitive sciences. Also, Marincolo’s lovely photos of the plants are stunning; magic floral details, wet chlorophylic dreams.”

Arno Frank, journalist, in a review for the SPIEGEL-ONLINE, one of Germany’s biggest online news resources

Available in German.



High. Insights on Marijuana

Is it true that a marijuana high can lead to profound insights, as many users have reported? In his now classic essay “Mr. X”, anonymously published in 1971, even the famous astronomer Carl Sagan claimed that he owed many invaluable insights for his publications to marijuana. The investigation High. Insights on Marijuana  explains in depth the different ways a marijuana high can lead to insights as well as to other mind enhancements, such as the enhancement of episodic memory, pattern recognition, imagination, creativity, introspection, and our ability for empathic understanding of others.

Countless fascinating reports given by marijuana users and cutting-edge research from various areas of knowledge help Marincolo to take our understanding of the marijuana high to a new level. His unusual study is a thoroughly accessible and entertaining interdisciplinary tour de force through the current cognitive sciences, evolutionary psychology, neuropsychology and the philosophy of mind. High. Insights on Marijuana offers a revolutionary new perspective on the mind-enhancing potential of marijuana and takes his readers to a voyage deep into the high mind.


“I’m loving it! Wow. What an amazing, important work! Your book is such a treasure – a unique resource. Such a definitive statement of everything I’ve been thinking when it comes to marijuana … I now understand the benefits that Norman Mailer, Carl Sagan, and Richard Feynman got from Marijuana.”

Jason Silva, filmmaker, gonzo journalist and founding producer/host for Current TV, the Emmy winning cable network started by Al Gore

“Marincolo’s writing and manner of thinking are excellent – I am enthusiastic about recommending his work.”

Michael Backes, author of „Cannabis Pharmacy – The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana











  Marijuana enhances our mind in a way that enables us to take a different perspective from ‘high up’, to see and evaluate our own lives and the lives of others in a privileged way. Maybe this euphoric and elevating feeling of the ability to step outside the box and to look at life’s patterns from this high perspective is the inspiration behind the slang term “high” itself.

Sebastian Marincolo


The Art of Cannabis

Fine Art Macro Photography Series
Limited Art Edition of 7 large format pieces each

Visualization of large framed photo on alucobond hanging on wall






 A marijuana high can enhance core human mental abilities. It can help you to focus, to remember, to see new patterns, to imagine, to be creative, to introspect, to empathically understand others, and to come to deep insights. If you don’t find this amazing you have lost your sense of wonder. Which, by the way, is something a high can bring back, too.

Sebastian Marincolo

Sebastian Marincolo

Portrait Sebastian Marincolo-groß

Dr. Sebastián Marincolo

Dr. phil. Sebastián Marincolo is a former student of the philosophers William G. Lycan, Simon Blackburn, and Manfred Frank. His research focuses on the philosophy of mind, neurocognition, and on altered states of mind. Marincolo has published various articles on the marijuana high, co-edited bewusstseinserweiterungen (“mind expansions”), an issue of the German internetzine “parapluie”, and published three books on the marijuana high: the study “High. Insights on Marijuana” (Dogearpublishing, Indiana, USA, 2010), the essay collection, “High. Das positive Potential von Marijuana” (in German, Klett Cotta/Tropen, Stuttgart, Germany, 2013), which contains his macro art series “The Art of Cannabis”, and the essay collection “What Hashish Did To Walter Benjamin” (Khargala Press 2015).

Marincolo also worked with marijuana expert Harvard Associate Prof. Emeritus Lester Grinspoon on a book project. For more than five years he was a creative director and consultant for one of the biggest foundations in Germany and has more than 25 years of experience as a freelance photographer. His art photography from New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Bali and other places has been shown in various exhibitions and art galleries in Germany and the U.S. He is currently living in Stuttgart, Germany, and works as a freelance writer, creative consultant and photographer.


New: Follow me on instagram: marijuana_insights

Sebastian Marincolo * Ecklenstrasse 15 * 70184 Stuttgart * Germany



Summit Recreational Retreat and Conscious Cannabis Culture presents two workshops with Dr. phil. Sebastián Marincolo:

Cannabis, Consciousness, and Personal Growth

October 1-2, 2016

Cannabis, Creativity, and Living Outside the Box

October 8-9, 2016

Come join dynamic, internationally respected cannabis researcher and author, Dr. phil. Sebastián Marincolo, as he shares his insights into the creative, cognitive, and many wellness-enhancing effects of cannabis. Dr. Marincolo has published articles and books on neuro-philosophy, altered states, and the positive potential of the cannabis high. His unique lens — of scientific acumen and personal observations — will expand your understanding of the full spectrum of what cannabis can offer through teaching sessions, guided cannabis journeys and stimulating discussions. Attend one, or both, of these illuminating and potentially life-changing workshops.

Each workshop: $299
Early Bird discount: Register by September 16 and save $50 off each workshop

Cannabis, Consciousness, and Personal GrowthSebas-pistil
October 1-2, 2016

“A marijuana high can enhance core human mental abilities. It can help you to focus, to remember, to see new patterns, to imagine, to be creative, to introspect, to empathically understand others, and to come
to deep insights. If you don’t find this amazing, you have lost your sense of awe and wonder. Which, by the way, is something a high can bring back, too.“

~Dr. Sebastian Marincolo

Cannabis users don’t often access the full potential of this plant’s positive effects. High quality cannabis strains can offer cognitive, creative, and spiritual benefits ranging from increased memory and empathy to faster pattern recognition and enhanced creativity.

In this workshop, come learn how cannabis can help you imagine — and take action on — new possibilities; understand, and avoid, sabotaging behaviors; and discover insights into your purpose; who you can be at your finest, and how to use cannabis as a tool to further your personal growth.

Dr. Sebastián Marincolo is your host for this entertaining and highly-interactive workshop! He’ll share his experience and insights, facilitate discussions and take you on cannabis-activated journeys. You’ll increase your understanding through first-hand experience of how to boost personal development with cannabis.

So whether your relationship with cannabis is new or seasoned, come register today for an amazing journey with this internationally respected expert. It’ll expand your mind, enhance your creativity, and unlock new parts of yourself.

Here’s Some of What You’ll Learn…

  • The science behind cannabis as an enhancement tool
  • 10 cognitive benefits of cannabis
  • Choosing specific strains to maximize enhanced effects
  • Applying lessons learned from deeper cannabis experiences
  • Breaking free from debilitating states such as fear, doubt, and insecurity
  • and much more…

Who Can Participate?
If you can answer yes to any or all of the following questions, then this was designed with you in mind:

  • Do you enjoy cannabis?
  • Are you new to or checking cannabis out again after all these years?
  • Are you curious to know more about its psychological benefits?
  • Do you have an interest in personal growth?
  • Would you like an expert guide facilitating your cannabis journeys?
  • Are you interested in connecting more deeply with yourself and others?
  • Would you like to learn how to enhance your personal growth with cannabis?

Professionals Will Benefit, Too…

  • Medical professionals along with their patients and relatives
  • Life coaches, counselors, and psychotherapists
  • Researchers and neuroscientists
  • Specialized cannabis growers/breeders

Recommended Cannabis Experience Level:  All levels welcome from novices to more experienced cannaficionados. Click Register to sign up for this workshop.

Cannabis, Creativity, and Living Outside the BoxSebas-leaf trichs
October 8-9, 2016In this workshop, come explore the dynamic relationship between creativity and cannabis. We’ll focus on using cannabis to specifically stimulate peak creative experiences.

When you need to continually think outside the box — and design creative solutions or approaches — cannabis can offer unique support. From writers and graphic designers to programmers and folks who simply enjoy being creative, come discover new ways that cannabis can supercharge your creative process.

Throughout history, highly-creative industry leaders have used cannabis to enhance their work. Some were musicians, like Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, and Bob Marley. Paul McCartney once said that marijuana caused a U-turn in the way the Beatles approached music and life… which profoundly changed what they brought into the world. Others leaders have been writers like Charles Baudelaire, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac; or painters like Diego Rivera and Amedo Modigliani. Even scientists and innovators —  like cosmologist and astronomer, Carl Sagan — used cannabis to think more creatively inside their linear industries.

“Cannabis helps produce the serenity, insight, sensitivity & fellowship so desperately needed in this world.”
Carl Sagan
A cannabis high can hyper-focus attention; intensify imagination; accelerate pattern-recognition; deepen introspection; and expand empathic understanding. Cannabis is an amazing tool that delivers profound insights, novel solutions, and uplifting, energizing experiences, AND there are specific ways to use it to achieve such results. It’s even possible to fine-tune the timing and type of creative support you receive from cannabis; however, cannabis of low quality — combined with a lack of knowledge of how to fine tune your experience — can actually interfere with and diminish your creative output.Dr. Sebastián Marincolo is your host for this entertaining and highly-interactive workshop! He’ll facilitate cannabis-activated journeys that will show you, first-hand, how cannabis can supercharge your creative output and problem-solving skills while steering your creativity enhancement in EXACTLY the directions you desire.

Here’s Some of What You’ll Learn…

  • The science behind cannabis as an enhancement tool for creativity
  • The specific types of cannabis to avoid in being more creative… and why
  • Choosing specific strains, dosages, settings, and consumption methods to stimulate and maximize the enhancement of creative tasks and activities
  • Discerning the different creative phases and which cannabis strains are best for each one (for example, what’s good for generating article topics might disturb the actual writing process)
  • and much more…

Who Can Participate?
If you can answer yes to any or all of the following questions, then this was designed with you in mind:

  • Are you drawn to cannabis for enriching inspiration, insights, and mind-expansion?
  • Is it time to bring your creative output and personal growth to the next level?
  • Would you like an expert guide facilitating your cannabis journeys?
  • Would you like to learn how to facilitate cannabis journeys for yourself?

This Workshop Is Also for Creative Folks From All Industries…

  • Creative professionals of all kinds including musicians, painters, writers, video artists, graphic designers, copy text writers, advertising professionals, art directors, creative directors, brand experts, etc.
  • Counselors, life coaches, psychotherapists, and medical professionals who are considering working with any kind of creative therapeutic techniques, such as art therapy, dance therapy, guided visualizations, hypnosis, EFT (emotional freedom technique), etc.
  • Researchers in the field of creativity and the nature of the psychoactive properties of cannabis, including physiologists and neuroscientists
  • Specialized cannabis growers/breeders who want to create specific strains and products to enhance creativity

Recommended Cannabis Experience Level: Experienced cannabis users / cannaficionados. However, even novice users can benefit from attending this workshop. For creative professional and others interested in enhancing their creativity. Click Register to sign up for this workshop.

Here’s What Each Workshop Looks Like…
For 2 days on two weekends, Dr. Marincolo will lead group and individual sessions as well as guided exercises, cannabis-activated journeys, and stimulating discussions. He’ll share exciting insights from his research that you can apply to your own cannabis journeys, innovative journeying tips and techniques as well as give individualized advice based on your growth goals. You’ll also receive informational handouts; and a suggested reading list. And, you’ll receive bonus coupon codes for purchasing Dr. Marincolo’s books in your Welcome packet.On Saturday evening, October 1 and 8, there is an optional gathering at The Retreat for participants to relax and enjoy further conversations in a casual setting with your fellow participants and Dr. Marincolo.The workshops will be held at Summit Recreational Retreat. We’re only 30 minutes from downtown Denver and Denver International Airport. For your convenience, we recommend Uber or Lyft for your transportation needs.Might we mention that although every time of year is beautiful in Colorado, Autumn is especially so with golden aspens blanketing the Rockies, crisp mornings, amazing sunsets, and generally mild sunny days. If both workshops beckon to you, consider making this a vacation. Come for the week. Enjoy a leisurely drive through the mountains, find your way through a corn maze, visit Denver’s incredible museums, or take in the grandeur of Garden of the Gods. There’s any one of a number of fun and inspiring activities, along with a fabulous choice of restaurants and a fantastic high life to keep you smiling, inside and out.Workshop times (both weekends): Oct 1-2; Oct 8-9Saturday: noon – 5pm   Dinner break – participants’ choice of local restaurant
Saturday: 7pm – 10pm  Optional casual hang out time with Dr. Marincolo and your fellow participants at
Summit Rec Retreat
Sunday: noon – 5pmOrganic refreshments and healthy drinks will be provided during the event. Bring additional food you may need to fulfill your specific dietary requirements.Please Note: This is a BYOC (Bring Your Own Cannabis) event — please bring your own vaporizer if you have one. There will also be a Volcano vaporizer on site for your convenience. Plan to visit a dispensary, prior to the workshop to purchase a minimum of 2-3 grams each of 2 *different* strains of sativa flowers, or a sativa-dominant hybrid. For the purposes of this workshop, please avoid purchasing an indica strain or cannabis edible or concentrate, such as wax or shatter. Feel free to purchase these products if you wish to use them outside of the workshop.

Once you register, your Welcome packet will include venue address, recommendations for nearby hotels, high-quality dispensaries in the Denver area and local strain recommendations to purchase.

For more information, see

If you have any questions, please contact Karen at, or call The Retreat at 303.841.7050.