Tag Archives | Magic Mushrooms

Jesus Was A Mushroom

This must have been a mind-bending moment for many viewers. Ancient texts scholar and The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross author John Allegro informs the public know that, Jesus was, in fact, a mushroom. Why don’t I learn facts like this from television today?

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Study: A Single Magic Mushroom Trip Causes Long-Term Positive Changes To Personality

Dutchban6-2006-2In a John Hopkins study, a majority of people who took a single dose of psilocybin were more imaginative, sensitive, and tolerant towards others for months afterward. In other words, psilocybin needs to remain illegal because it’s a threat to society. Via MedPage Today:

Many individuals who took a single dose of psilocybin — the active ingredient in what the drug culture calls “magic mushrooms” — showed alterations in personality characteristics, largely for the better, that persisted for more than a year, a prospective scientific study showed.

Participant…tended to show increases in the personality dimension known as openness, according to Katherine A. MacLean, PhD, and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University. Openness is generally considered a positive characteristic and includes such traits as aesthetic appreciation and sensitivity, imagination, intellectual engagement, and awareness of feelings in themselves and others.

The findings were consistent with previous studies and anecdotal reports from psilocybin users, who have said the drug changed their interactions with the world long after the acute effects wore off, MacLean and colleagues said.

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Drugs And The Meaning Of Life

Does the altering of consciousness, through means chemical or otherwise, lie at the very heart of existence? Author and neuroscientist Sam Harris, usually known for ripping religion to shreds, delves into the meaning and value of drugs in an essay via SamHarris.org:

Everything we do is for the purpose of altering consciousness. We form friendships so that we can feel certain emotions, like love, and avoid others, like loneliness. We eat specific foods to enjoy their fleeting presence on our tongues. We read for the pleasure of thinking another person’s thoughts. Every waking moment — and even in our dreams — we struggle to direct the flow of sensation, emotion, and cognition toward states of consciousness that we value.

Drugs are another means toward this end. Some are illegal; some are stigmatized; some are dangerous — though, perversely, these sets only partially intersect. There are drugs of extraordinary power and utility, like psilocybin (the active compound in “magic mushrooms”) and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), which pose no apparent risk of addiction and are physically well-tolerated, and yet one can still be sent to prison for their use—while drugs like tobacco and alcohol, which have ruined countless lives, are enjoyed ad libitum in almost every society on earth.

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Researchers Extol The Medical Benefits Of Magic Mushrooms

10704200_e19ddddf2aNot only that, but the researchers at John Hopkins say they’ve found the perfect dosage. Sadly, this looks to be one of those cases in which society lags behind science. Via Yahoo News:

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have been studying the effects of psilocybin, a chemical found in psychedelic mushrooms. Now, they say, they’ve zeroed in on the perfect dosage level to produce transformative mystical and spiritual experiences that offer long-lasting life-changing benefits, while carrying little risk of negative reactions.

The breakthrough could speed the day when doctors use psilocybin–long viewed skeptically for its association with 1960s countercultural thrill-seekers–for a range of valuable clinical functions, like easing the anxiety of terminally ill patients, treating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and helping smokers quit.

The Johns Hopkins study involved giving healthy volunteers varying doses of psilocybin in a controlled and supportive setting, over four separate sessions. Looking back more than a year later, 94 percent of participants rated it as one of the top five most spiritually significant experiences of their lifetimes.

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Museum Offers Ultimate Magic Mushroom Trip

Psilocybe mexicana. Photo: Cactu (CC)

Psilocybe mexicana. Photo: Cactu (CC)

What’s the price of magic mushrooms where you live? Probably not $1,400 per trip, but if you want a fully immersive experience, head to Berlin for Belgian artist Carsten Hoeller’s new exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, as reported by Reuters (one thing to note however, “magic” mushrooms are generally considered to be psilocybin mushrooms, not fly agaric, as Reuters says):

The installation, which includes a floating hotel room on a platform shaped like a mushroom, gives guests an “opportunity to dive into the world of soma,” the museum said.

Soma is a mythical drink with powers to heal, enlighten and provide access to the divine, according to the beliefs of Vedic nomads in northern India during the second millennium BC.

It is no longer known what soma was made of, but research suggests the fly agaric mushroom, more popularly known as “magic mushrooms,” may have been the ingredient responsible for its effect.

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Magic Mushrooms Confirmed As Cancer Drug

Psilocybe mexicana. Photo: Cactu (CC)

Psilocybe mexicana. Photo: Cactu (CC)

The shamanic use of sacred plants has long demonstrated some amazing mental health benefits. Now a new study reports that magic mushrooms, a/k/a psilocybin, are beneficial for terminal cancer patients. Anne Harding reports for Health.com/CNN:

Terminally ill cancer patients struggling with anxiety may get some relief from a guided “trip” on the hallucinogenic drug psilocybin, a new study suggests.

The study included 12 patients who took a small dose of psilocybin — the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” — while under the supervision of trained therapists. In a separate session, the participants took a placebo pill, which had little effect on their symptoms.

By contrast, one to three months after taking psilocybin the patients reported feeling less anxious and their overall mood had improved. By the six-month mark, the group’s average score on a common scale used to measure depression had declined by 30 percent, according to the study, which was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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