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After years and years of being rejected, psychedelics are relishing a biomedical renaissance as many of them show great potential in treating many mental health ailments when used in controlled environments.
A recent study published in Scientific Reports found that shrooms can change people’s beliefs about metaphysics. However, most people have metaphysical ideas, even if they don’t know them. E.g., many have a spiritual belief in mind-body duality even if they don’t know the term.
Shrooms Change Perspective
These beliefs system is often connected with specific behaviours, with dualists taking less care of their bodies than physicalists, who argue that the mind is a part of their body.
Similar relationships between human behaviour and metaphysical beliefs can be unearthed elsewhere. For example, those who believe in free will are less likely to lie, cheat, and be aggressive.
Perfecting one’s understanding of metaphysics can be proficient with numerous approaches, such as meditation. Near-death experiences can also do the same. One regularly discussed but less examined method is the use of shrooms. Many narratives propose that psychedelics cause people to adopt a non-materialist view of the universe.
Although, it may just be that those already opened to idealism — the idea that reality is mental, not physical — and those people are more likely to try shrooms.
Shroom Psychedelic Studies
In their first attempt to confirm these effects, a team of scientists led by Dr. Christopher Timmermann from the Centre for Psychedelic Research through the Imperial College London looked at the metaphysical stances of hundreds of people before and after they used shrooms in a formal setting.
Entheogen use is accompanied by less belief in materialism and transcendental philosophy.
The recent study was done in two parts. The first part consisted of about 900 volunteers who signed up to be a part of a psychedelic ceremony and were asked to answer some questions — for example, on the belief of existence — to define their metaphysical beliefs.
After their shrooms ceremony, the participants were asked to complete the survey and do it again four weeks and six months later.
Shrooms Study Results
Generally, volunteers reported moving away from belief in physicalism or materialism—the concept that their universe is primarily physical rather than spiritual or mental—and toward other outlooks like transcendentalism, idealism, or non-naturalism.
The effects were seen at both one month and six months, and the results were most enormous for those taking the shrooms for the first time. Another significant change was the drift from forceful viewpoints toward more mixed or modest outlooks. Volunteers also had a substantial improvement in mental health.
The study was similar but had only 60 volunteers. Again, 50% of them were given escitalopram (an antidepressant), and the other 50% were given psilocybin. Furthermore, the results were very similar, with the shrooms group experiencing a different viewpoint from materialism to a more romantic, metaphysical, and supernatural ideology of the universe.
Caveat emptor: LSD may change your view on panpsychism.