Sacred Intentions: Inside the Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Studies

Sacred Intentions: Inside the Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Studies

Sacred Intentions: Inside the Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Studies (City Paper)

My article hit the streets and the Intertubes today. (UPDATE: The City Paper link seems to have been lost in their website reorganization. The Alternet version is still up, although it lacks the fantastic photos).

My gratitude goes out to the researchers and the study volunteers for their trust and openness. There’s a lot more of this story to tell, and I look forward to doing so.

The Magical Mystery Couch in the Psilocybin Room

One of my favorite sites, The Daily Grail, has a nice writeup about the article.

UPDATE: Thanks to those visiting by way of Alternet, also one of my favorite haunts. If you care to, please digg and/or reddit either the Alternet or City Paper version.

Michael Hughes
Written by Michael Hughes

Michael M. Hughes is a writer and performer. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

3 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    October 20, 2008

    I read this fascinating article on AlterNet and read also every single post that followed it. I found it exceptionally well-written and sensitively presented and the comments the most adult and openly respectful of the transcendent and transformative experience I have ever read on AlterNet. I have read and posted on AlterNet for years and know that most articles so bold as to even mention the sacred or the mysterious usually end up in an orgy of religion-bashing comments.

    I am not a religious person in the traditional sense, although I take solace in reading the wisdom teachings of all the world’s great religions. I lean toward Eastern philosophies because they respect the animals as sentient beings and also because the Buddhist and Sufi friends I have known express in their lives the kindness and compassion of their teachings.

    Although I have never experienced the psilocybin experience, the descriptions I have read through the years have similarities to certain experiences I had as a young woman after rejecting organized church religion. These spontaneous incidents had a transformative effect that was permanent, that elevated my consciousness and opened my perceptions to realities beyond the ordinary senses. They changed my life.

    Now at age 85, I accept that my earthly days are drawing to a close. I have reached the summing up stage and wonder what lies beyond the veil. I was once assured on a very deep level that there is no reason to fear either to live or to die, that in some mysterious way we are all connected as part of an inseparable whole.

    I know that children and young people must be protected from unwise experiments with mind-altering drugs, but I do not accept that adults must be treated like chldren by other controlling adults and protected from themselves. To be curious, to experiement and to sample all kinds of earth experiences is part of being a natural human being. The important thing to remember, if I understand what all these people are saying who have found the psychedelic experience illuminating and transcendent, is to approach it in the right spirit, in the right setting and in the right company with reverence as a sacrament. It should be treated as a natural right.
    I would probably do it myself if offered the chance.

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