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 your 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 transfom 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 Marincolos research and are written for a wide audience. This deep new exploration of the marijuana high as an altered state of consiousness 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. He is writing a book, as yet untitled, about the new world of cannabis.






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.”

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

“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




Alien Minds. Investigating Eliminative Materialism

(Doctoral thesis in philosophy, published under my real name Sebastian Schulz)

“Alien Minds” is a comprehensive discussion of the philosophical position of Eliminative Materialism. The roots of this doctrine go back to Paul Feyerabend, but it was prominently revived by Paul and Patricia Churchland in the mid 1980ies. Proponents of eliminative materialism argue that new findings in the neurosciences are beginning to show that our folk psychology as well as current scientific psychology based on our folk-psychological framework must be considered as radically false and will therefore be eliminated. Accordingly, our current psychological frameworks will be replaced by a new “psychology” which will be built on the new insights of the “materialist” cognitive neurosciences.

The critical refutation of this perhaps most radical philosophical thesis of our time turns out to be a tour de force through the recent philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and the philosophy of science.

Research sponsored by the DAAD (Deutscher Academischer Austauschdienst – German Academic Exchange Service) and a 2-year LGFG stipend (given by the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, for academic excellence)

Received an academic award by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft- German Reseach Foundation)



Who, Me?

Dr. Sebastián Marincolo

Sebastian Marincolo

I planned to live like Tarzan

is a former student of the philosophers Manfred Frank, Gianfranco Soldati, William G. Lycan, and Simon Blackburn, and has received numerous academic fellowships and awards from various institutions, including the DFG (German Research Foundation), the DAAD (German academic exchange service) and the Fulbright Commission. His research focus is on the philosophy of mind, neurocognition, and on altered states of mind. Marincolo has published a series of essays 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), and the essay collection High. Das positive Potential von Marijuana (in German, Klett Cotta/Tropen, Stuttgart, Germany, 2013), which contains his limited photo macro art series “The Art of Cannabis”. His third book on marijuana “What Hashish Did To Walter Benjamin – 20 Mind Altering Essays” appeared in fall 2015.

but then found that i am too dreamy

but found that I am too dreamy

Many of the essays on his personal blog first appeared in shorter versions in five languages on his expert blog for the renowned Dutch cannabis seed bank Sensi Seeds, the official provider of medical marijuana in the Netherlands. Marincolo also worked with marijuana expert Harvard Associate Prof.  for Psychiatry 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 for many other national and international clients.

thought it over on a bench in Central Park in New York City

thought it over on a bench in Central Park in New York City

As a freelancer, he has continued his conceptual work as a creative consultant. His field of work included corporate identity development, name and logo development, event design, trade fair concepts, concepts and project management for website design, radio, TV- and print advertisement campaigns.

Marincolo also has more than 25 years of experience as a freelance photographer specializing on documentary, art, travel, and macro-photography.

and then decided to explore the jungle of consciousness

and then decided to explore the jungle of consciousness

His art photography from New York City, San Francisco, 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 freelance as a writer, creative consultant, photographer and philosophical counselor.



Sebastian Marincolo * Ecklenstrasse 15 * 70184 Stuttgart * Germany


In the News

Sebastian Marincolo’s publications have received much regional, national, and international media attention. Positive reviews, reports, and interviews with the author appeared in various newspapers, magazines, as well as on radio and in television.

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SPIEGEL-ONLINE, online magazine, one of the biggest German news-websites.

Read the review (in German) here.

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TV-channel 3sat, interview in the public TV-magazine “Kulturzeit” (“culture time”), produced by ARD/ZDF, shown in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Watch the interview (In German) here.

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PENTHOUSE MAGAZINE (Germany/Austria/Switzerland, print run 120.000) (one of the biggest Croatian online news magazines). Read the interview (in Croatian) here.

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Russ Belville Radio Show in the U.S. Hear the interview (In English) here. (from min 31,00 sec)