The LSD era is long past, but the use of psychedelic drugs to boost personal enlightenment hasn't lost its appeal to some researchers. Case in point is the study published online this week in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
Johns Hopkins researchers reported in 2006 that the hallucinogen psilocybin, otherwise known as the sacred mushroom, caused a profound mystical experience in the majority of a group of 36 volunteers who took the drug in a laboratory setting. Two years later, the researchers re-interviewed the volunteers and found that the spiritual effects of the experience appear to last for more than a year. "Most of the volunteers looked back on their experience 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 research Roland Griffiths.