January 14, 2019

July 27, 2017

Pretty much everybody likes to travel and how great would it be if you got to take a trip, and that trip offered some benefit to science? Apparently, it’s a thing, and a few lucky clerics got such an opportunity. Not to mention they availed it. The results from the research conducted on the trip are under evaluation right now.

It was a few scientists from the infamous John Hopkins University who took on the research project. They handpicked over twenty spiritual leaders. All of them belonged to a different denomination. The call for volunteers was issued last year. The applicants who got selected had to go through a detailed screening process and were offered strong doses of a psychoactive chemical called psilocybin which is found in magic mushrooms.

According to the Guardian, the participants were from different religious backgrounds like rabbis, Catholics, Presbyterians, and Zen Buddhists etc. The whole idea behind the research was to determine if the drug—psilocybin—had anything to do with the enhancement of religious fervor in people.

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Dr. William Richards is one of the psychologists at the John Hopkins University. He stated that profound mystical experiences with this drug are quite common. He said that if anything, this drug will be of some sort of interest to the clergy.

The research was conducted in two different sessions with a gap of a month in between. In each session, they were dosed with the drug. Both the sessions took place in a living room-like setting created at the University. Some of the participants were present for the session in a similar environment but in New York University.

Two guides were present at both the sites. After taking the dose, the participants spent some time wearing eyeshades lying on a couch. They also listened to religious music on headphones.

The participants will now attend a follow-up meeting after one year. The full analysis of the study will be revealed once that follow-up is complete. The identities of the participants are not being disclosed.

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Richards said in an interview that it will be too soon to talk about the results of the research study. He also said that depending on what the researchers are seeing, it sure does seem that the participants have ignited a deeper religious side in themselves. Richard was very confident about his hypothesis being correct.

This is not the first time a link between a religious experience and psychedelics is being studied. A similar research was also conducted back in the year 1991. The Harvard study was termed, “Good Friday Experiment” where a few students were given the drug to see if it alters their liturgy experiences during Easter services.

While the concept may be similar, the current John Hopkins study is still unique as it has, for the first time, gathered a group of religious leaders belonging to different faiths.

Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]


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