A preliminary survey of paranormal experiences with psychoactive drugs

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A preliminary survey of paranormal experiences with psychoactive drugs

David Luke


Quote:The occurrence of transpersonal experiences with psychedelic substances is well attested, and several surveys have consistently found a small relationship between paranormal experiences and the use of such drugs in general.

Isolated investigations of experiences with specific drugs exist, but no surveys have systematically examined whether particular experiences relate to particular drugs. In an online survey, 139 respondents were recruited through parapsychology or psychedelic interest groups and completed a questionnaire detailing psychoactive drug-use behaviour and the frequency of occurrence of a number of paranormal, shamanic, and mystical type experiences. Patterns of drug-induced transpersonal experiences reported elsewhere were mostly corroborated, particularly the proclivity for telepathic experiences with cannabis, out-of-body experiences with ketamine, entity encounter experiences with N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and plant-spirit encounters with a host of psychedelic plants. Several small correlations were found between drug-use frequency and experience frequency with certain drug and experience types, particularly those termed mystical.

As expected, alcohol and opiate/opioid-use did not correlate with any transpersonal experiences although, surprisingly, no sizable correlations were found for psi experiences and the use of any one type of drug, possibly due to the high rate of occurrence of psi experiences among both drug users and non-drug users with this particular sample.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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