On the subreddit r/LSD, a user recently posed a question to the 249,000-strong community of dedicated psychonauts: “Is God real?”
“It’s nearly 5 a.m. If you’re still up and reading this you’re probably tripping as well,” writes u/deftones_lover. “Anyway, is God real? What happens when we die?”
The post garnered a slew of responses from users who used the forum not so much to answer the questions, but to recount their own encounters with God — or some version of a higher power — while under the influence of psychedelics. Throwawayuser626, for instance, chimes in with, “Personally, I don’t believe in God still, but the experiences I’ve had on heavy doses of acid and shrooms are something beyond human comprehension. It does make me ask myself if this is the afterlife that I’m seeing.”
Inf4nticide, who identifies as “agnostic-leaning-toward-atheist,” says that during one trip, God revealed himself and forced the user to make an unexplained life-changing choice. “I realize that I was tripping,” Inf4nticide writes, “but certain aspects of it were simply too real to dismiss.”
Another user, Neosapian, describes meeting a “warm female presence” who dispensed some truths about human nature that shifted the user’s perspective long after the trip ended: “For months, I felt a calm glow of acceptance.”
It’s easy to dismiss these stories as nothing more than the philosophizing of high people. But as it turns out, encounters with the divine while using psychedelics could be more than just fleeting hallucinations; they might actually have something to do with the therapeutic benefits of tripping.
“One basic implication of this study is that this link between perceived oneness and life satisfaction occurs independent of your religious affiliation.”
Research into psychedelics has ramped up in recent years as scientists study the potential of long-illicit drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA to treat everything from…