Spirituality intensification

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Spirituality intensification is defined as the experience of a shift in a person’s personal beliefs regarding their existence and place within the universe, their relationship to others, and what they value as meaningful in life. It results in a person rethinking the significance they place on certain key concepts, holding some in higher regard than they did previously, and dismissing others as less important.[1] These concepts and notions are not limited to but generally include:

  • An increased sense of personal purpose.[2]
  • An increased interest in the pursuit of developing personal religious and spiritual ideologies.[3][4]
    • The formation of complex personal religious beliefs.
  • An increased sense of compassion towards nature and other people.[3][4][5]
  • An increased sense of unity and interconnectedness between oneself, nature, "god", and the universe as a whole.[1][3][5][6][7][8][9]
  • A decreased sense of value placed upon money and material objects.[5]
  • A decreased fear and greater acceptance of death and the finite nature of existence.[1][10][11]

Although difficult to fully specify due to the subjective aspect of spirituality intensification, these changes in to a person's belief system can often result in profound changes in a person's personality[5][7][12] which can sometimes be distinctively noticeable to the people around those who undergo it. This shift can occur suddenly but will usually increase gradually over time as a person repeatedly uses the psychoactive substance which is inducing it.

Spirituality intensification is unlikely to be an isolated effect component but rather the result of a combination of an appropriate setting[3] in conjunction with other coinciding effects such as analysis enhancement, autonomous voice communication, novelty enhancement, perception of interdependent opposites, perception of predeterminism, perception of self-design, personal bias suppression, and unity and interconnectedness. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of psychedelic compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. However, it can also occur to a lesser extent under the influence of dissociatives, such as ketamine, PCP, and DXM.


There have been a number of in-depth scientific studies which unanimously support the legitimate existence of the spiritual effects induced by hallucinogen usage.[1][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

Frequently, new psychedelic users rate their experience to be either the single most meaningful experience of their life or among the top five most meaningful experiences of their life.[4][6][10][12]

Any psychedelic or hallucinogen intentionally used for religious or spiritual purposes is known in the literature as an entheogen.[3][20] The ritualized usage of entheogens for religious or spiritual purposes dates back thousands of years and is well established throughout both anthropological and modern evidence.[3][4][5][12][15][17][21][22][23][24][25][26][27]

Psychoactive substances

Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:

Experience reports

Anecdotal reports which describe this effect within our experience index include:

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Gasser, P., Kirchner, K., Passie, T. (January 2015). "LSD-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with a life-threatening disease: A qualitative study of acute and sustained subjective effects". Journal of Psychopharmacology. 29 (1): 57–68. doi:10.1177/0269881114555249. ISSN 0269-8811. 
  2. Peterman, A. H., Fitchett, G., Brady, M. J., Hernandez, L., Cella, D. (February 2002). "Measuring spiritual well-being in people with cancer: The functional assessment of chronic illness therapy—spiritual well-being scale (FACIT-Sp)". Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 24 (1): 49–58. doi:10.1207/S15324796ABM2401_06. ISSN 0883-6612. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Trichter, S., Klimo, J., Krippner, S. (June 2009). "Changes in Spirituality Among Ayahuasca Ceremony Novice Participants". Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 41 (2): 121–134. doi:10.1080/02791072.2009.10399905. ISSN 0279-1072. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Griffiths, R. R., Johnson, M. W., Richards, W. A., Richards, B. D., McCann, U., Jesse, R. (December 2011). "Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: immediate and persisting dose-related effects". Psychopharmacology. 218 (4): 649–665. doi:10.1007/s00213-011-2358-5. ISSN 0033-3158. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Lerner, M., Lyvers, M. (June 2006). "Values and Beliefs of Psychedelic Drug Users: A Cross-Cultural Study". Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 38 (2): 143–147. doi:10.1080/02791072.2006.10399838. ISSN 0279-1072. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Griffiths, R. R., Richards, W. A., McCann, U., Jesse, R. (August 2006). "Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance". Psychopharmacology. 187 (3): 268–283. doi:10.1007/s00213-006-0457-5. ISSN 0033-3158. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 MacLean, K. A., Johnson, M. W., Griffiths, R. R. (November 2011). "Mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness". Journal of Psychopharmacology. 25 (11): 1453–1461. doi:10.1177/0269881111420188. ISSN 0269-8811. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Kometer, M., Pokorny, T., Seifritz, E., Volleinweider, F. X. (October 2015). "Psilocybin-induced spiritual experiences and insightfulness are associated with synchronization of neuronal oscillations". Psychopharmacology. 232 (19): 3663–3676. doi:10.1007/s00213-015-4026-7. ISSN 0033-3158. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Lyvers, M., Meester, M. (1 November 2012). "Illicit Use of LSD or Psilocybin, but not MDMA or Nonpsychedelic Drugs, is Associated with Mystical Experiences in a Dose-Dependent Manner". Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 44 (5): 410–417. doi:10.1080/02791072.2012.736842. ISSN 0279-1072. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ross, S., Bossis, A., Guss, J., Agin-Liebes, G., Malone, T., Cohen, B., Mennenga, S. E., Belser, A., Kalliontzi, K., Babb, J., Su, Z., Corby, P., Schmidt, B. L. (December 2016). "Rapid and sustained symptom reduction following psilocybin treatment for anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer: a randomized controlled trial". Journal of Psychopharmacology. 30 (12): 1165–1180. doi:10.1177/0269881116675512. ISSN 0269-8811. 
  11. Grob, C. S., Danforth, A. L., Chopra, G. S., Hagerty, M., McKay, C. R., Halberstadt, A. L., Greer, G. R. (3 January 2011). "Pilot Study of Psilocybin Treatment for Anxiety in Patients With Advanced-Stage Cancer". Archives of General Psychiatry. 68 (1): 71. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.116. ISSN 0003-990X. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Studerus, E., Kometer, M., Hasler, F., Vollenweider, F. X. (November 2011). "Acute, subacute and long-term subjective effects of psilocybin in healthy humans: a pooled analysis of experimental studies". Journal of Psychopharmacology. 25 (11): 1434–1452. doi:10.1177/0269881110382466. ISSN 0269-8811. 
  13. Cummins, C., Lyke, J. (April 2013). "Peak Experiences of Psilocybin Users and Non-Users". Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 45 (2): 189–194. doi:10.1080/02791072.2013.785855. ISSN 0279-1072. 
  14. Griffiths, R., Richards, W., Johnson, M., McCann, U., Jesse, R. (August 2008). "Mystical-type experiences occasioned by psilocybin mediate the attribution of personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later". Journal of Psychopharmacology. 22 (6): 621–632. doi:10.1177/0269881108094300. ISSN 0269-8811. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Bakalar, J. B. (October 1985). "Social and Intellectual Attitudes Toward Drug-Induced Religious Experience". Journal of Humanistic Psychology. 25 (4): 45–66. doi:10.1177/0022167885254008. ISSN 0022-1678. 
  16. Móró, L., Simon, K., Bárd, I., Rácz, J. (July 2011). "Voice of the Psychonauts: Coping, Life Purpose, and Spirituality in Psychedelic Drug Users". Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 43 (3): 188–198. doi:10.1080/02791072.2011.605661. ISSN 0279-1072. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Nichols, D. E. (April 2016). Barker, E. L., ed. "Psychedelics". Pharmacological Reviews. 68 (2): 264–355. doi:10.1124/pr.115.011478. ISSN 0031-6997. 
  18. Luke, D. (1 January 2012). "Psychoactive Substances and Paranormal Phenomena: A Comprehensive Review". International Journal of Transpersonal Studies. 31 (1): 97–156. doi:10.24972/ijts.2012.31.1.97. ISSN 1321-0122. 
  19. Luke, D., Kittenis, M. (2005). "A preliminary survey of paranormal experiences with psychoactive drugs" (PDF). Journal of Parapsychology. 69: 305–327. 
  20. Ruck, C. A. P., Bigwood, J., Staples, D., Ott, J., Wasson, R. G. (January 1979). "Entheogens". Journal of Psychedelic Drugs. 11 (1–2): 145–146. doi:10.1080/02791072.1979.10472098. ISSN 0022-393X. 
  21. Guzmán, G. (November 2008). "Hallucinogenic Mushrooms in Mexico: An Overview". Economic Botany. 62 (3): 404–412. doi:10.1007/s12231-008-9033-8. ISSN 0013-0001. 
  22. Bruhn, J. G., De Smet, P. A., El-Seedi, H. R., Beck, O. (May 2002). "Mescaline use for 5700 years". The Lancet. 359 (9320): 1866. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(02)08701-9. ISSN 0140-6736. 
  23. El-Seedi, H. R., Smet, P. A. G. M. D., Beck, O., Possnert, G., Bruhn, J. G. (October 2005). "Prehistoric peyote use: Alkaloid analysis and radiocarbon dating of archaeological specimens of Lophophora from Texas". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 101 (1–3): 238–242. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.04.022. ISSN 0378-8741. 
  24. Pettigrew, J. (1 September 2011). "Iconography in Bradshawb rock art: breaking the circularity". Clinical and Experimental Optometry. 94 (5): 403–417. doi:10.1111/j.1444-0938.2011.00648.x. ISSN 0816-4622. 
  25. Carod-Artal, F. J. (January 2015). "Alucinógenos en las culturas precolombinas mesoamericanas". Neurología. 30 (1): 42–49. doi:10.1016/j.nrl.2011.07.003. ISSN 0213-4853. 
  26. Wasson, R. G. (April 1971). "The Soma of the Rig Veda: What Was It?". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 91 (2): 169. doi:10.2307/600096. ISSN 0003-0279. 
  27. Rios, M. D. de (July 1977). "Hallucinogenic Ritual as Theatre". Journal of Psychedelic Drugs. 9 (3): 265–268. doi:10.1080/02791072.1977.10472056. ISSN 0022-393X.