Spiritual effects of hallucinogens persist, researchers report

July 1, 2008

In a follow-up to research showing that psilocybin, a substance contained in "sacred mushrooms," produces substantial spiritual effects, a Johns Hopkins team reports that those beneficial effects appear to last more than a year.

Writing in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, the Johns Hopkins researchers note that most of the 36 volunteer subjects given psilocybin, under controlled conditions in a Hopkins study published in 2006, continued to say 14 months later that the experience increased their sense of well-being or life satisfaction.

"Most of the volunteers looked back on their experience up to 14 months later and rated it as the most, or one of the five most, personally meaningful and spiritually significant of their lives," says lead investigator Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor in the Johns Hopkins departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Neuroscience.

In a related paper, also published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers offer recommendations for conducting this type of research.

The guidelines caution against giving hallucinogens to people at risk for psychosis or certain other serious mental disorders. Detailed guidance is also provided for preparing participants and providing psychological support during and after the hallucinogen experience. These "best practices" contribute both to safety and to the standardization called for in human research.

"With appropriately screened and prepared individuals, under supportive conditions and with adequate supervision, hallucinogens can be given with a level of safety that compares favorably with many human research and medical procedures," says that paper's lead author, Mathew W. Johnson, Ph.D., a psychopharmacologist and instructor in the Johns Hopkins Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

The two reports follow a 2006 study published in another journal, Psychopharmacology, in which 60 percent of a group of 36 healthy, well-educated volunteers with active spiritual lives reported having a "full mystical experience" after taking psilocybin.

Psilocybin, a plant alkaloid, exerts its influence on some of the same brain receptors that respond to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Mushrooms containing psilocybin have been used in some cultures for hundreds of years or more for religious, divinatory and healing purposes.

Fourteen months later, Griffiths re-administered the questionnaires used in the first study -- along with a specially designed set of follow up questions -- to all 36 subjects. Results showed that about the same proportion of the volunteers ranked their experience in the study as the single most, or one of the five most, personally meaningful or spiritually significant events of their lives and regarded it as having increased their sense of well-being or life satisfaction.

"This is a truly remarkable finding," Griffiths says. "Rarely in psychological research do we see such persistently positive reports from a single event in the laboratory. This gives credence to the claims that the mystical-type experiences some people have during hallucinogen sessions may help patients suffering from cancer-related anxiety or depression and may serve as a potential treatment for drug dependence. We're eager to move ahead with that research."

Griffiths also notes that, "while some of our subjects reported strong fear or anxiety for a portion of their day-long psilocybin sessions, none reported any lingering harmful effects, and we didn't observe any clinical evidence of harm."

The research team cautions that if hallucinogens are used in less well supervised settings, the possible fear or anxiety responses could lead to harmful behaviors.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

Explore further: Hallucinogenic drug psilocybin eases existential anxiety in people with life-threatening cancer

Related Stories

Hallucinogenic drug psilocybin eases existential anxiety in people with life-threatening cancer

December 1, 2016
In a small double-blind study, Johns Hopkins researchers report that a substantial majority of people suffering cancer-related anxiety or depression found considerable relief for up to six months from a single large dose ...

Researchers urge caution around psilocybin use

December 30, 2016
In a survey of almost 2,000 people who said they had had a past negative experience when taking psilocybin-containing "magic mushrooms," Johns Hopkins researchers say that more than 10 percent believed their worst "bad trip" ...

Growing research finds psychedelics effective in treating disease

September 1, 2016
Gordon McGlothlin, who took his first puff at age 12 behind his family's garage, tried to quit smoking for years, but no cessation technique worked until he used a psychedelic drug.

Single dose of hallucinogen may create lasting personality change

September 29, 2011
A single high dose of the hallucinogen psilocybin, the active ingredient in so-called "magic mushrooms," was enough to bring about a measureable personality change lasting at least a year in nearly 60 percent of the 51 participants ...

Low doses of psychedelic drug erases conditioned fear in mice

July 16, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Low doses of a psychedelic drug erased the conditioned fear response in mice, suggesting that the agent may be a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions, a new study by University ...

The band of psychiatrists who are looking to reclaim psychedelics for medicine again

January 12, 2016
At 6.30am on Thursday 29 October 2009, Friederike Meckel Fischer's doorbell rang. There were ten policemen outside. They searched the house, put handcuffs on Friederike – a diminutive woman in her 60s – and her husband, ...

Recommended for you

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

33 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

DGBEACH
1.8 / 5 (8) Jul 01, 2008
Research project, eh Dede? -:)
Bonkers
3.8 / 5 (11) Jul 01, 2008
Thia accords with pretty much all of the accounts and experience i've encountered. Mushrooms make good citizens, and they weren't illegal in the UK right up till a few years ago when cretin Blair chose to pull the ladder up.
I would advise some careful planning, a day or two free afterwards, good friend(s) - no more than 3 all told for a first time. A similar but much more short-lived effect can be had from Salvia Divinorum, which is legal.
mysticfree
4.1 / 5 (9) Jul 01, 2008
From the article, sounds like this treatment could make for an great annual vacation. Image being medically supervised for a day or two and then back to the old grind of the daily world with a better sense of life ...
gmurphy
4.2 / 5 (11) Jul 01, 2008
anyone who's taken magic mushrooms will know what a transcendent experience it can be. Everyone I know who's taken them has generally had a positive experience, except when they take too much, then its just you and the badgers for five hours.
Eco_R1
2.1 / 5 (10) Jul 01, 2008
hey did anyone see my leprechaun?
PJS
2 / 5 (8) Jul 01, 2008
Badgers?! We don't need no stinking badgers!
Sean_W
2.8 / 5 (8) Jul 01, 2008
I got on fine with the badgers. They don't speak highly of you though, gmurphy.
Mercury_01
2.3 / 5 (4) Jul 01, 2008
LOL!
Amy_Steri
2 / 5 (11) Jul 01, 2008
How the hell can an "educated person" rate a trip on this drug as a "full mystical experience." They must be aware that there is no spirituality involved...just chemically induced hallucinations.
nflanders
3.5 / 5 (12) Jul 01, 2008
Trying mushrooms was probably the turning point for me in being a full on materialist, believing that humanity consisted of nothing more than physical beings, a collection of atoms demonstrating emergent properties of spirituality that was nothing more than an illusion, and the awakening that there are higher realms of existence. That was about eight years ago - I've tried them a couple more times, to great effect, but, realistically, it only takes being touched by a higher power once to have your eyes opened. "Transcending Experience" barely captures the nature of a trip in which you become a being of pure energy, soar through the universe, and understand how anchored we are in this plain by our simple forms of logic and causation. Hallucinations are not what mushrooms are about - you can get that through any other number of substance - it's the traversing into a different realm of existence and spiritual awareness that makes them unique.
nq04
3.3 / 5 (4) Jul 01, 2008
There is a new study underway at Johns Hopkins that is recruiting volunteers with a past or present diagnosis of cancer.

www.bpru.org/cancer/insight

It looks like the re-awakening of psychedelic research is picking up steam :)
Kairos
2.3 / 5 (7) Jul 01, 2008
Entheogenic experiences can be modulated quite profoundly by shamanic awareness... mantra, yoga, Qi Gong, drum, flute, string, binaural beats, environmental presence of natural form and function (which sort of boils down to sacred geometry and symbological input...), and so much more. Hermetic philosophy helps, too - - it is the difference between the "fear and anxiety" responses and the blissful awareness ones, aside from dosage levels, physiological state, and diet. Quite an alchemical thing, really. Hence, why so many 'fast' before their journeys. That can be a great idea for many.

Light and Truth,
Brendan Bombaci
www.kairologic.blogspot.com
menkaur
1.9 / 5 (8) Jul 01, 2008
some "therapy" is it ....
KB6
3.6 / 5 (7) Jul 01, 2008
Good luck getting this accepted by the powers-that-be when even medicinal marijuana use is still prosecuted.
ancible
3.9 / 5 (11) Jul 02, 2008
Amy Steri said "How the hell can an "educated person" rate a trip on this drug as a "full mystical experience." They must be aware that there is no spirituality involved...just chemically induced hallucinations."

Perhaps you have never taken hallucinogens before? I am an atheist myself and believe that the universe is not sentient, HOWEVER since most beliefs are tied to physical sensation (see to believe, etc.) the trip brought about by some of these very potent entheogens will feel very real.
Some even suggest (as usual for that saying, it means the author feels the same) that a mystical experience, divine or not, can be experienced by activating, amongst other things, the limbic system in the brain. Excellent research and reading out there on this subject. Have a good day Amy.
DoctorKnowledge
1.9 / 5 (7) Jul 02, 2008
ancible, Amy Steri is talking to an experience you apparently have not had.

I know many people I consider spiritually deep, from many religions, and not a single one attributes their CENTRAL experience to drugs. Not one.

In fact, the opposite is likely to be true. Why would altering brain chemistry be necessary to do...well...anything? There's some gross defect in human brains that doesn't allow us to see reality clearly? And there just happens to be a plant that's a lot of fun to eat that fixes it?

And all the other mammals that don't take mushrooms -- they don't see reality, either?
KB6
3.3 / 5 (3) Jul 02, 2008
DoctorKnowledge: "And all the other mammals that don't take mushrooms -- they don't see reality, either?"
---
Indeed, there are many ways to see "reality." For example, just because a dolphin or bonobo doesn't experience the world the way we do doesn't mean they are out of touch with reality. They just have very different perspectives.
But do they understand the incredible predictive and utilitarian value of *empirical* reality? Not to the extent we do.
Mercury_01
2.8 / 5 (4) Jul 02, 2008
Those animals dont need an empirical outlook. They always are as they always are; in harmony with their surroundings. The trouble with humans is that over time, our empirical, left brained egos cloud our vision and get in the way of a meaningfull and appreciative human existance. Mushrooms can help you to clean out those cobwebs and connect with your surroundings in a real way. They can teach you many things about yourself and life in general. If the tripper is prepared to avert all the trappings and trials of the mind, he or she can be shown higher ways of thought and behavior towards one another. It is up to the seeker to take these lessons and apply them in thier day to day lives, though, and one could spend years making those changes permanent and sincere.
ricoperez
3.1 / 5 (7) Jul 02, 2008
i have been recently diagnosed with cancer and i'm also someone who's played around with psychedelic drugs in my day. Pscyhedelics enhance whatever mood you are in, and luring depressed people into that johns hopkins study seems to me as something exceptionally cruel. i couldn't imagine taking part knowing that i would be inducing a bad trip upon myself. As a matter of fact, that's the absolute last thing i want right now: to be in a psychologically vulnerable state knowing that a potentially fatal cancer was growing in my body. i'm predicting the outcome of this study right now: not helpful.
KB6
4 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2008
I'm not denigrating the experience at all. I think that both the transcendent mind and the empirical/logical mind are vital in their own ways.
The empirical/logical shows us what we can *do* in the universe while the transcendent gives us small glimpses of what we can *be* in the universe. But please don't romanticize the life of "primitive" man living in "harmony" with nature, just like the animals. The agonies of such an existence are the reason we developed our big, empirical, tool-making brains.
We are a species in transition. I see our present phase of scientific and technological development - particularly such things as nanotech, molecular biology and our first baby steps into space - as equal in significance to the time our ancient pre-human ancestors left the forests to make a go of it on the African veldt and evolve into humans. Being like the animals is fine - until you get sick, injured, starve, or torn to pieces by predators.
nilbud
3.3 / 5 (6) Jul 03, 2008
DK "Amy Steri is talking to an experience you apparently have not had."

For a start you use the "talking to" construction incorrectly, don't do it ever again you ignorant fool.

Ami Steri believes in fairies and imps and magic beings so her opinion is utterly worthless. There is no magic spirit realm or any of that horseshit.

Mushrooms are good but acid is better.
Mercury_01
4 / 5 (4) Jul 03, 2008
Suffering at the hands of nature is not harmony. Niether is dominating it. Both ar survivable, but not as good as balance.
DeeSmith
4.8 / 5 (4) Jul 04, 2008
Plausible explanation: study participants had their 'spiritual' neural networks strengthened. We're social animals and are naturally hardwired to function in groups. Group behavior is altruistic (equal weight between self and other in decisions and actions). If you suddenly felt 'connected' to the world, rather than simply functioning in a largely isolated and meaningless way, you would describe yourself as 'spiritual' ("in congregation"). It wouldn't be surprising, then, to admit to a feeling of increased satisfaction, to have this innate, hardwired need to be chemically reinforced.

In an increasingly crowded and resource-short world, you WANT people to be more altruistic and less greedy and self-centered. You WANT them to 'do the right thing' without the need for legal controls (mostly ineffective at stopping antisocial behaviors). You WANT them to be responsible citizens, so that they are not coddled into expecting the larger society will pay the costs when they act out in immature and irresponsible patterns.

Spirituality doesn't need drugs to be reinforced, when you use long-established practices to strengthen social bonds. But what if you distrusted the dogma behind religious beliefs (the trappings of spirituality)? Maybe regular practice of meditation and healthy lifestyle over time would suffice, but you also might feel encouraged to experiment with "chemical shortcuts".

On its own, I doubt hallucinogens would 'reinforce' absent patterns (eg., lack of spirituality).
aussiecarter
4.8 / 5 (6) Jul 04, 2008
To those people prepared to take these drugs for science, I commend you. To those authorities that allow it, well done. There is a taboo towards such powerful drugs in society. Although given the free choice many people make towards their usage, there is obviously some benefit. Researching into these effects can only enlighten the world to the true positive and negative effects.
Evan
4.5 / 5 (2) Jul 04, 2008
DoctorKnowledge, you said:
Why would altering brain chemistry be necessary to do...well...anything? There's some gross defect in human brains that doesn't allow us to see reality clearly? And there just happens to be a plant that's a lot of fun to eat that fixes it?

All of nature works systemically, endless relationships of energy and chemistry. Your perspective is as absurd as stating that because we must eat food and drink water to maintain the body there is something 'wrong' or deficient about us. If nutrients and oxygen and light are necessary to maintain physical health, why is it such a leap for you to suppose that mental or emotional health might be increased by exogenous sources?

You also said:
And all the other mammals that don't take mushrooms -- they don't see reality, either?

Regular, non-destructive drug-taking behavior is observed in all classes of animals from insects to primates. Is the drive to alter consciousness a defect? or an elegant attribute to evolution? "Animals & Psychedelics" is a very fascinating book, I recommend it.

As for whether "true" mystical states can be invoked by outside sources (such as entheogenic substances or repetitive audio-visual stimulation), or whether they can only arise from sensory deprivation (such as extended isolated meditation in cave or monastery), one might wish to research the anthropological data that clearly and extensively reveals the diverse shamanic, natural & psychedelic roots of human spirituality.

This is incredibly fascinating stuff any curious intellect is going to really enjoy discovering.
MonsieurX
5 / 5 (3) Jul 05, 2008
I've never forgotten any of it even 20 years after. I dont do it anymore but it was definitely one of the best things i dared do... I dont think it is good for everyone but it's definitely one of the better "drugs" out there that shouldn't be outlawed. It should however be done responsibly...
itistoday
2 / 5 (5) Jul 05, 2008
You people are morons. There's nothing to debate here. Go try some from your local dealer. You'll be fine.
DoctorKnowledge
not rated yet Jul 05, 2008
Evan, I'll get a copy of "Animals & Psychedelics", thank you.

A number of times, I've seen robins getting blitzed on fermented pyracantha berries, apparently having a really good time. (So was I, watching them.)

I agree with the drift of your statement that "all nature works systematically". However, when the circumstances that evolved a species change, that system can fail utterly. Dodo birds were did not evolve to cope with human predators -- now they are dead. (There are many other related examples, as I surmise you already are aware of.) Humans did not evolve with a dependence on mushrooms. Since the effects on the human body are radically different than things the human race did evolve with (grain, red meat, alcohol), and since humans have had most religious experiences without mushrooms, it will have to be conceded that they are not necessary for spiritual enlightenment.

There's something else, however, that you seem to be touching on, which is the observation that creative people are likely to take risks. That, in my experience, is true. However this article isn't advocating that mushrooms are important for artists and other mental risk-takers. It's saying that your father, and your dentist, and the wacko down the street who thinks the Illuminati are controlling the government would all be better off taking mushrooms.

I'm pretty sure that my father and my dentist would be seriously traumatized by mushrooms.
nq04
4 / 5 (1) Jul 06, 2008
Hi,

I just wanted to let people know that there is a new psilocybin study underway at Johns Hopkins University that is recruiting volunteers with a past or present diagnosis of cancer.

For more information visit:

http://www.bpru.o...insight/

Thanks,

NQ
snwboardn
4 / 5 (1) Jul 06, 2008
psilocybin has a way of altering your state of mind to where you are completely sympathetic to everything around you. People, animals, trees the universe... It's like somebody hits you with something and all of a sudden everything makes sense. It's quite the impressive experience from poisoning your body.
MongHTan,PhD
not rated yet Jul 06, 2008
RE: [b]Psilocybin for pain managements[/b]

I thought this article has generated a few insightful comments, to which let me respond and summarize in kind, as follows:

1] Posted by ancible 07/02/08 01:09
Amy Steri said "How the hell can an "educated person" rate a trip on this drug as a "full mystical experience." They must be aware that there is no spirituality involved...just chemically induced hallucinations."

Perhaps you have never taken hallucinogens before? I am an atheist myself and believe that the universe is not sentient, HOWEVER since most beliefs are tied to physical sensation (see to believe, etc.) the trip brought about by some of these very potent entheogens will feel very real.

Some even suggest (as usual for that saying, it means the author feels the same) that a mystical experience, divine or not, can be experienced by activating, amongst other things, the limbic system in the brain. Excellent research and reading out there on this subject. Have a good day Amy.


I thought Amy has every right to be skeptical; however, this was a well-controlled study whose subjects were all
healthy, well-educated volunteers with active spiritual lives reported having a "full mystical experience" after taking psilocybin.


This is because the researchers needed a normal baseline reaction of this hallucinogen on the healthy "spiritual" people first, as a control observation-narration, before they would plan to recruit cancer patients, as they concluded below:
"This is a truly remarkable finding," Griffiths says. "Rarely in psychological research do we see such persistently positive reports from a single event in the laboratory. This gives credence to the claims that the mystical-type experiences some people have during hallucinogen sessions may help patients suffering from cancer-related anxiety or depression and may serve as a potential treatment for drug dependence. We're eager to move ahead with that research."


Nevertheless, for the common experiences of our "spirituality" or "religiosity" within the limbic (subconscious or autonomous or reactionary or involuntary) system of our brain, please see the "Theory of Memophorescenicity" or "The question of God, Mind, Spirit, Self, etc" in "Neural Buddhists" (TalkingPhilosophyUK; June 1) here: http://blog.talki...ent-8806 a so-called "transcending experience" that is also observed by nflanders 07/01/08 20:23 below:
Trying mushrooms was probably the turning point for me in being a full on materialist, believing that humanity consisted of nothing more than physical beings, a collection of atoms demonstrating emergent properties of spirituality that was nothing more than an illusion, and the awakening that there are higher realms of existence.

That was about eight years ago - I've tried them a couple more times, to great effect, but, realistically, it only takes being touched by a higher power once to have your eyes opened. "Transcending Experience" barely captures the nature of a trip in which you become a being of pure energy, soar through the universe, and understand how anchored we are in this plain by our simple forms of logic and causation.

Hallucinations are not what mushrooms are about - you can get that through any other number of substance - it's the traversing into a different realm of existence and spiritual awareness that makes them unique.


And the many other spiritual or entheogenic experiences by other means as observed by Kairos 07/01/08 21:32 below:
Entheogenic experiences can be modulated quite profoundly by shamanic awareness... mantra, yoga, Qi Gong, drum, flute, string, binaural beats, environmental presence of natural form and function (which sort of boils down to sacred geometry and symbological input...), and so much more. Hermetic philosophy helps, too - - it is the difference between the "fear and anxiety" responses and the blissful awareness ones, aside from dosage levels, physiological state, and diet. Quite an alchemical thing, really. Hence, why so many 'fast' before their journeys. That can be a great idea for many.

Light and Truth,
Brendan Bombaci
www.kairologic.blogspot.com



2] Posted by ricoperez 07/02/08 14:41
i have been recently diagnosed with cancer and i'm also someone who's played around with psychedelic drugs in my day. Psychedelics enhance whatever mood you are in, and luring depressed people into that johns hopkins study seems to me as something exceptionally cruel. i couldn't imagine taking part knowing that i would be inducing a bad trip upon myself. As a matter of fact, that's the absolute last thing i want right now: to be in a psychologically vulnerable state knowing that a potentially fatal cancer was growing in my body. i'm predicting the outcome of this study right now: not helpful.


I'm sorry to hear that you're diagnosed with cancer; and I hope that you're well under the good care of your qualified oncologist(s) already!?

Regarding the Johns Hopkins researchers above, I think they did caution in this (of normal volunteers) and future (of cancer patients) studies as follows:
Griffiths also notes that, "while some of our subjects reported strong fear or anxiety for a portion of their day-long psilocybin sessions, none reported any lingering harmful effects, and we didn't observe any clinical evidence of harm."

The research team cautions that if hallucinogens are used in less well supervised settings, the possible fear or anxiety responses could lead to harmful behaviors.


It certainly looks like this (of cancer patients) study will and must be undertaken with upmost precautions, including your rightly premonition of the adverse drug reactions, such as potentially bad trips, etc. However (with unforeseen "fear and depression" aside) the drug may help "optimistic" or "spiritual" patients ease or dull their otherwise disease-related "physical" pains, psychologically.


3] Posted by DeeSmith 07/04/08 17:24
Plausible explanation: study participants had their 'spiritual' neural networks strengthened. We're social animals and are naturally hardwired to function in groups. Group behavior is altruistic (equal weight between self and other in decisions and actions). If you suddenly felt 'connected' to the world, rather than simply functioning in a largely isolated and meaningless way, you would describe yourself as 'spiritual' ("in congregation"). It wouldn't be surprising, then, to admit to a feeling of increased satisfaction, to have this innate, hardwired need to be chemically reinforced.

In an increasingly crowded and resource-short world, you WANT people to be more altruistic and less greedy and self-centered. You WANT them to 'do the right thing' without the need for legal controls (mostly ineffective at stopping antisocial behaviors). You WANT them to be responsible citizens, so that they are not coddled into expecting the larger society will pay the costs when they act out in immature and irresponsible patterns.

Spirituality doesn't need drugs to be reinforced, when you use long-established practices to strengthen social bonds. But what if you distrusted the dogma behind religious beliefs (the trappings of spirituality)? Maybe regular practice of meditation and healthy lifestyle over time would suffice, but you also might feel encouraged to experiment with "chemical shortcuts".

On its own, I doubt hallucinogens would 'reinforce' absent patterns (eg., lack of spirituality).


Good observations; however, any hallucinogen would enhance or modulate whatever moods one is in, at a time when one is taking it, as Ricoperez explained in 2] above.

Furthermore, as also posted by Evan 07/04/08 23:54 on the general human condition and our spirituality:
As for whether "true" mystical states can be invoked by outside sources (such as entheogenic substances or repetitive audio-visual stimulation), or whether they can only arise from sensory deprivation (such as extended isolated meditation in cave or monastery), one might wish to research the anthropological data that clearly and extensively reveals the diverse shamanic, natural & psychedelic roots of human spirituality.

This is incredibly fascinating stuff any curious intellect is going to really enjoy discovering.


Absolutely, please also see more relevant discussions here: http://www.physfo...pic=6365&view=findpost&p=347410 .

Thank you all for your kind attention and cooperation in this matter -- Author "Decoding Scientism" (work in progress since July 2007).
MongHTan,PhD
not rated yet Jul 06, 2008
The above 2 links didn't work. So here they are:

in 1] "Neural Buddhists" here: http://blog.talki...ent-8806 and

in 3] More discussions here: http://www.physfo...pic=6365&view=findpost&p=347410 .

Thank you all for your kind attention and cooperation in this matter -- Author "Decoding Scientism" (work in progress since July 2007).
soundhertz
5 / 5 (2) Jul 07, 2008
It's great (and rare) to see research like this, on the money and unbiased. Many decades ago psychologists touted the wonders of LSD, virtually unanimous in their assessment that this was indeed a welcome tool, remarkable for the mindset it would create under controlled conditions, allowing for victims of psychosis to face calmly what they never could before, and healing well and quickly.

LSD became both a primogenitor and a casualty of the '60's. By 1965 it was outlawed - Schedule 1 - and the mental health professionals were suddenly without a crucial tool. No amount of discussion or careful explanation with the authorities worked. And so there were/are many patients uncured to this day who would have been cured with this beneficial tool.

Psilocybin, which must become psilocin within the body to work, has very similar effects as LSD, but is far easier to measure doses accurately since the dosage level is in the milligram range. It may even be a better choice than LSD since while the state is not quite as hallucinogenic, it is even more introspective.

I hope that this use of psilocybin is discussed. The best application of research like this is in the effort to heal.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.