What psychedelic drugs illustrate about religion, death and consciousness

Puff the Mutant Dragon

The last sixty years have witnessed what may well be the greatest unplanned mass experiment in the history of neuroscience. Thousands of people have deliberately experimented on themselves by taking chemicals that altered their experience of reality — chemicals like LSD, mescaline, psilocybin and DMT.

I’ve never experimented with these myself and don’t plan on it; I value my brain’s unimpaired function, thank you very much. But I find this mass experiment fascinating because of the chemistry of these chemicals (see previous posts) and what they reveal about consciousness. There are several things we can learn about life, consciousness and our religious beliefs from the reported effects of these drugs. Please note that these are not scientific conclusions; I’m not claiming they are because they aren’t. These are just my personal opinions, a chemist musing about life and consciousness if you will. But they’re also what seem to me like…

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