Science Confirms Bill Hicks Theory on Religion

Spiritual effects of hallucinogens persist, researchers report

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.

I remember running into this study a while back. And personal experience has confirmed it rather well, both in the insight and the lasting impact of the insight.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about here, a fellow Texan Bill Hick nailed the whole concept in this bit. you can just listen..

A number of cultures have realized this curious confluence of psychological substance and religious experience.

The U.S. made some serious moves towards this attitudes a couple of generations ago, but then the religious and experimental aspects of the culture became set at incompatible angles because of an idiotic war (speaking of the 60’s obviously) and a historic opportunity was lost.

UPDATE/Bonus:

O.k. I just found this funny. It was linked on the YouTube page. Here’s Bill Cosby on lysergic acid diethylamide (lsd, acid)

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