Many have reported experiencing these deeply religious visions spontaneously or while under the influence of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin "magic" mushrooms or the Amazonian drink ayahuasca. Some of these experiences were described as encounters with God or an "ultimate reality," bringing sudden, striking clarity to their lives and existence in general. And interestingly, even if the encounter occurred on a psychedelic trip, researchers say the benefits are still the same.
"Experiences that people describe as encounters with God or a representative of God have been reported for thousands of years, and they likely form the basis of many of the world's religions," says lead researcher Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in a release. "And although modern Western medicine doesn't typically consider 'spiritual' or 'religious' experiences as one of the tools in the arsenal against sickness, our findings suggest that these encounters often lead to improvements in mental health."