In the video below, the legendary lyrical freak of the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, recounts the time he dubiously took a scoop of frosting off of a big, beautiful birthday cake backstage before a performance. Moments after relishing in the frosting someone walks in to inform the people backstage that the birthday cake editors had 800 hits of acid dropped in the frosting. In the middle-late sixties Jerry no longer enjoyed performing while tripping ridiculously. It was no longer fun due to the fact that once the tripper is tripping, there is no button they can press to make the trip stop. The tripper is in it for the long-haul (Keep Truckin').
Jerry began to enter a steep, slippery state of unwarranted paranoia. As his surroundings started to distort and disintegrate into visions of liquid and auditory roaring the paranoid notion that the place was full of ill-intentioned mafia gangsters trying to kill him began to take root. As he and the members of the Grateful Dead were walking out on stage Jerry remorsefully realized that he was going to die. As he came to this ultra-paranoid realization, he thought to himself the only thing he can do at that point was to play for his life. So on that dreadful night he played for his life and to his confused astonishment the mafia gangsters decided to let him live! From that point on, anytime he questioned what or why he was doing what he did, Jerry would simply play for his life.
Clearly, as this anecdotal evidence from a legend suggests, although extremely unpleasant, instances of extreme paranoia can be looked back on as animated life lessons. Despite how ridiculous it might seem to seriously consider the validity of paranoia (especially while in a dialogue with a schizophrenic), the exaggerated levels of these abnormal states of mind might offer us an experience that can be processed into elevated levels of understanding, empathy, motivation, even wisdom. These attributes can be invaluable tools for therapists, medics, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, and mental health assistants in the medical field, underground scene or at the festival scene (i.e. Kosmicare and Zendo Project).