Following decades of dormancy, clinical trials with psychedelics have returned to U.S. medical schools. A key focus evaluates the clinical effects of a psilocybin-generated mystical experience in medical studies. Psilocybin is the hallucinogenic compound found in many species of mushrooms. Subjective features of mystical experience include unity, sacredness, transcendence and a greater connection to positive emotions including love.
Two trials conducted at NYU School of Medicine will be reviewed: The meaning-making effects of psilocybin upon persons with end-of- life existential distress and a study evaluating the effects of psilocybin upon religious leaders. The history of psychedelic research, implications for enhanced well-being, consciousness research, and religious studies will be discussed.
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