Johns Hopkins University has recruited priests, rabbis, and a Buddhist to test how psychedelic medicine effects religious experience.

Researchers from the John Hopkins University, in Baltimore, have recruited religious leaders from many faiths to take part in an experiment, in which they will ingest psilocybin, the active compound found in psychedelic mushrooms.

Despite many religious organizations frowning upon the use of such substances- the team has convinced Catholic, Orthodox and Presbyterian priests, a Zen Buddhist and several rabbis to take part. Although the team is yet to convince a Muslim imam or Hindu priest.

The aim of the experiment is to see if the use of such substances can give the participants more confidence in their abilities as religious leaders.

Dr. William Richards, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins University, has said: “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 the clergy.

After the medical and psychological screening, the participants were given two doses of psilocybin in two separate sessions, with a one month break between.

The religious leaders were in the company of 2 guides- in a living room like setting, lying on a couch. For the duration, they wore eyeshades and listened to religious music using headphones.

Their instruction is to go within and collect experiences,” said Richards, at the London Breaking Convention in July this year. “So far everyone incredibly values their experience. No one has been confused or upset or regrets doing it.

This is not the first time in which religious leaders have used psychedelics and/or substances thought to induce altered states.

In 1962, 1987 and 2002 there have been similar studies that have been outlined in the video below.

It is though in times gone by that psychedelics were actually used as part of initiation and ritual.

There is a theory of Cannabis being used as holy anointing oil by Jesus, the Ancient Egyptians using the blue water lily (and other plants) to induce altered states and the ancient Hindu Vedas using a plant called soma, which is suspected to be a hallucinogen used by the gods.

This merging of science and spirit inducing substances is an interesting development and we will keep you updated as we learn more. Please share this article if you agree.

Author Bio: I am Luke Miller the author of this article, and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook– Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here.


*This article was originally published at By Luke Miller Truth Theory.