Erowid References Database
de Wit H.
“Towards a science of spiritual experience”.
Psychopharmacology. 2006 Jul.
People have long sought meaning and significance in their lives through a variety of spiritual practices including prayer, fasting, chanting, solitude, and meditation. Historically, some of these practices have included the use of certain psychoactive plants. A common theme of these experiences, with or without the aid of psychoactive agents, has been to free oneself of the bounds of everyday perception and thought in a search for universal truths and enlightenment. To a large extent, this type of subjective and uniquely human experience has enjoyed little credibility in the mainstream scientific world and, thus, has been given little scientific attention. However, it may be time now to recognize these extraordinary subjective experiences, even if they are, at present, not directly verifiable by objective measures and even if they sometimes involve claims about ultimate realities that lie outside the purview of science.
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