A reader suggested that I expand my emotional horizons by taking MDMA, the pure ingredient in the drug ecstasy. I told him that it was an interesting idea, but that I sort of already manipulate myself into feeling other emotions via film, music, art, etc., and I wasn't sure if it would be all that different. I certainly don't plan on becoming an ecstasy abuser, so I wouldn’t really know how expanded my emotional horizons would be with that drug. It was an interesting question, though, and reminded me of something another reader had asked, whether sociopaths like music and what effect drugs have on a sociopath. My response:
I don't know if I can speak for all sociopaths, but I love music. I was raised in a musical home and am a classically trained musician, and have participated in many popular music groups. I would imagine that other sociopaths would like it as well, depending on how open they are to exploring their emotional side. There's no doubt that music is manipulative, as is film (primarily because of the music in it?). The whole purpose of music seems to evoke some feeling or sensation in the audience. Music makes you feel things, if you let yourself get caught up in the experience. It can be a good way to learn about other people, allowing you to experience emotional experiences the way other people experience them or the way the composer/lyricist experienced them. Music is like a drug in some ways because it forces you to feel something different, which is another one of your questions. When I am taking mind altering substances, I feel like a detached observer noticing the differences in my brain chemistry, realizing that I now feel happier or sadder or whatever it is I am feeling, as if the feeling is being forced on me. I don't really like it. I don't feel like it is a welcome freedom from my inhibitions because I don't have inhibitions. If anything, it is the opposite of freedom; someone is playing with my mind, playing with me like a puppet on a string. Maybe that's just me, though. I could imagine that certain sociopaths or certain substances might be used more like the way I use music.Okay, no sex I guess, just drugs and rock'n'roll.