New Study Seeks to Find the Science Behind Spiritual Psychedelic Experiences


Written by Jennifer Sodini

Psychedelics (nee: entheogens) such as psilocybin, ayahuasca, 5-MeO-DMT, and LSD can serve as a key which open a doorway to the divine – and many who’ve participated in plant medicine ceremonies, or experienced psychedelic healing – report that these inner journeys allow a broader understanding of our outer world, and our relationship to the universe/each other.

If you’ve had a deeply profound spiritual experience with psychedelics, there’s a new study being held by Dr. Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to find the science behind these “doorways to the divine”.

According to

Griffiths and his team are currently looking for people who have experience with psychedelics to complete a survey and describe any encounters they have had with God, a higher power, ultimate reality or an emissary of God — note that “God” in this context refers to whatever understanding of God is held by the individual taking the survey, not confined to or excluding any particular religion, spiritual belief or means of worship.


The survey is designed to collect scientifically interesting information, but the research team also hopes it can be personally meaningful to the participants. “You may find this survey interesting and an uplifting opportunity to revisit and contemplate a precious experience,” the introduction states. “You may also find it meaningful to further explore some of your philosophical and theological beliefs. However, you may find it to be uncomfortable because it will prompt you to explain some of these deeply held beliefs. There is also a chance that you will be bored.”

During the survey, participants are asked about any religions or spiritual practices they currently follow or participate in, and then to fill in details about what type of psychedelic they used and how much. The survey also questions whether participants went into the experience expecting a glimpse of a higher reality, and if they have ever had a similar encounter before. Subjects then describe other facets of their journey, including how they interacted with the higher power and who initiated the encounter. At the end of the questionnaire is an open ended section for people to fill in any other information they wish to include.

Due to the sensitive nature of the information collected — since psychedelics are strictly prohibited by the U.S. federal government and still suffer from widespread stigma in mainstream culture — participation is completely confidential and the survey will not collect or disseminate any identifying information from the people who fill it out.

The results of the survey should help build on our growing understanding of how psychedelics help people get in touch with the divine. Griffiths was also the lead researcher for a groundbreaking 2006 Hopkins study that documented the mystical experiences and spiritual journeys that people described while taking psilocybin in a controlled environment.

“Under those conditions, a high percentage of people end up reporting a constellation of experiences,” he said of the work, “the most interesting piece of which is that it really falls into a category of something that psychology of religion people talk about as a primary mystical experience.”

The survey takes about 30 minutes, and is open to anyone who is at least 18-years-old, speaks fluent English and has had a spiritual experience while taking psychedelics.

Take the survey here:

For more information, contact

Originally posted @ Evolve & Ascend


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