A study confirms that the chemical in magic mushrooms can unlock spiritual feelings:
Notably, 61% of volunteers considered the psilocybin experience during either or both the [highest dosage] sessions to have been the single most spiritually significant of their lives, with 83% rating it in their top five. Consistent with this, 94% and 89% of volunteers, respectively, indicated that the experiences on those same sessions increased their well-being or life satisfaction and positively changed their behavior at least moderately.
Similar studies have come to identical conclusions although this one very helpfully analyzes ideal dosage levels. The potential for use to help the depressed, those with PTSD, and those with many other ailments is huge. If only we could get past our puritanism. Kevin Drum says "you may thank the War on Drugs whenever you like" for banning this experience:
So there you have it: a genuine mystical experience with long-lasting positive effects, no reported negative effects, no known medical side effects in healthy people, and with virtually no chance of a bad experience. Does that sound like something you'd like to try? Well, you can't: no matter how safe and beneficial it might be, psilocybin is a Schedule 1 controlled substance and you can't have any.
I tried a serious dose of fresh mushrooms when last in Amsterdam a few years ago. Yes there's a reason they activate the brain in precisely the same areas as those activated without drugs in the brains of those in deep meditation. They deepened my faith, brought me closer to lifting the veil my ego places over the beauty of God's creation, gave me uncanny perspective on my life, and had me pondering the Incarnation and praying effortlessly as I gazed into the rippling water of Amsterdam's canals.
I understand these miraculous things can be abused – which is why careful dosing matters. But that they should be banned is a profound sign of our culture's lack of faith in itself and what lies beyond us. It's a direct impediment to humanity's spiritual evolution. In my view, it violates the spirit of the First Amendment. If shrooms are for so many a pathway to the divine, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.