Have you ever wondered what might happen if some of the world’s religious leaders took psychedelic substances? I know I have, and now thanks to the new pioneers of psychedelic studies, John Hopkins University, we can find out.
This study rounded up dozens of religious leaders from around the world to investigate the effects of psilocybin, more commonly known as “magic mushrooms,” on their perception, and specifically to see if the plant would trigger a spiritual experience or revelation.
Seriously, did you ever think you’d live to see the day where this was possible? The premise alone sounds like the plot to an epic movie, but yes, folks — this is real life.
A rabbi, a Buddhist monk, a nun, and Catholic, Orthodox, and Presbyterian priests are among the 20 leaders from numerous faiths and traditions who will receive a strong dose of psilocybin on two separate occasions in a comfortable, “living room-like” setting. Participants will spend the day listening to religious music while lying on a couch and wearing eyeshades, all factors chosen to enhance their spiritual journey.
These day-long sessions will be followed up by a series of questionnaires meant to determine if this psychedelic experience altered their spiritual thinking and whether or not it changed the way they perceive their life and work as a religious leader.
The search for participants began last year and the study is now underway, with results pending. Unfortunately, they haven’t yet found a Muslim or Hindu spiritual leader willing to participate.
“With psilocybin these profound mystical experiences are quite common. It seemed like a no-brainer that they might be of interest, if not valuable, to clergy. . . . It is too early to talk about results, but generally people seem to be getting a deeper appreciation of their own religious heritage,” Dr William Richards, a psychologist working with the study, told the Guardian.
“The dead dogma comes alive for them in a meaningful way. They discover they really believe this stuff they’re talking about,” he added.
More Studies Using Magic Mushrooms
Many other studies have also explored how spirituality and magic mushrooms interact, but this study, engaging religious leaders, is the first of its kind.
One of the most famous experiments conducted on this relationship between plant and faith is known as the Marsh Chapel Experiment, or the Good Friday Experiment, which took place in 1962. Under the instruction and supervision of Dr. Timothy Leary, half the participants in the study were given psilocybin, while the other half, the control group, received a placebo. The results from this study offered the first ever empirical evidence to show that psilocybin could deliver experiences that most people would define as “spiritually significant.”
In more recent years, there have been many more studies on using psilocybin to treat depression, smoking addiction, and alcoholism.
I strongly believe these substances were put here for a reason and can be used as tools to advance our consciousness or help us if we are struggling with a certain obstacle or issue in our lives. That being said, they are not need for your own conscious advancement, but if you are drawn strongly to them, they may be of assistance to you. It is wise to use these tools under direct supervision of a trained professional who can help you work through your issues, particularly since psychedelics remain illegal and considered a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
It is amazing to see these substances garnering more and more attention, as we are seeing, many years after they were originally banned from being tested, that they present real therapeutic benefit, and laws are slowly starting to reflect that.
Have you had a life-changing experience under the influence of psychedelic mushrooms? Feel free to share your story with us below!