Another Take on Brain Chemistry

We started the week off with an unusual post about how big pharma companies may be using drugs to harm people.  We close the week with an equally weird post:  Time magazine reports that researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that, used under proper supervision, psilocybin (the “magic mushroom” drug) does not appear to have any significant negative side effects and may provide people with profound and lasting spiritual experiences:

[Hopkins behavioral biologist Roland] Griffiths’ study involved 18 healthy adults, average age 46, who participated in five eight-hour drug sessions with either psilocybin — at varying doses — or placebo. Nearly all the volunteers were college graduates and 78% participated regularly in religious activities; all were interested in spiritual experience.

Fourteen months after participating in the study, 94% of those who received the drug said the experiment was one of the top five most meaningful experiences of their lives; 39% said it was the single most meaningful experience.

Critically, however, the participants themselves were not the only ones who saw the benefit from the insights they gained: their friends, family member and colleagues also reported that the psilocybin experience had made the participants calmer, happier and kinder.

Maybe DuPont (not to mention Timothy Leary and Carlos Castaneda) was right.  Maybe we can live better chemically.  Or to crib Shakespeare,    there may be more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy (or theology).

You can read the whole article here.

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