In a survey of hundreds of individuals who stated having skilled personal encounters with God, Johns Hopkins researchers document that more than two-thirds of self-identified atheists shed that label after their come across. Moreover, the researchers say, a majority of respondents attributed lasting fantastic modifications in their mental fitness—e.G., existence pleasure, purpose, and that means—even a long time after their initial revel in.
The findings, published online in PLOS One, add to the proof that such deeply meaningful stories may have recovery residences, the researchers say.
The examine turned into designed to systematically evaluate reviews of spontaneous God come across experiences with those associated with the intake of psychedelic substances along with psilocybin-containing mushrooms or the Amazonian brew ayahuasca, each of that has been associated with triggering nonsecular reviews.

“Experiences that human beings describe as encounters with God or a consultant of God have been said for thousands of years, and they likely shape the idea of among the globe’s religions,” says lead researcher Roland Griffiths, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “And although modern Western medicine would not generally keep in mind ‘spiritual’ or ‘spiritual’ reports as one of the tools within the arsenal in opposition to illness, our findings advocate that these encounters often cause improvements in mental fitness.”
For the new take a look at, scientists accumulated facts from 4,285 people from around the sector who replied to online commercials to finish certainly one of the 50-minute online surveys approximately God come across stories. The surveys asked contributors to recollect their unmarried most memorable come across enjoy with the “God of their expertise,” a “higher energy,” “closing fact,” or “a factor or consultant of God, which include an angel.” They additionally asked how respondents felt about their revel in and whether and the way it changed their lives.
Of the overall participants, 809 had been folks that responded to the non-drug survey, while three,476 responded to the psychedelics survey.
About seventy-five percent of respondents in both the non-drug and psychedelics corporations rated them “God stumble upon” experience as the various maximum significant and spiritually massive of their lifetime, and both groups attributed to it fantastic modifications in existence satisfaction, cause, and which means. Most individuals mentioned vibrant memories of the come upon revel in, which frequently worried communicating with an entity having the attributes of:
attention (approximately 70 percent)
benevolence (approximately 75 percentage)
intelligence (about eighty percentage)
sacredness (approximately 75 percent)
eternal lifestyles (approximately 70 percentage)
Although each agency pronounced a reduced worry of death, 70 percent of individuals inside the psychedelics institution said this alteration, in comparison with fifty-seven percent among non-drug respondents. In each organization, approximately 15 percent of the respondents said their experience changed into the most psychologically tough in their lives.
The most commonplace psychedelics suggested to were related to “God” encounters have been:
Psilocybin, or “magic” mushrooms (1,184 members)
LSD (1,251)
Ayahuasca, a plant-based brew originating with indigenous cultures in Latin America (435)
DMT, an evidently happening substance discovered in certain flora and animals (606)

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