And if so, does it matter? In a new book, philosopher Chris Letheby confronts the nature and implications of the mystical experiences people often have while taking psychedelics.
There’s an “elephant in the room” of psychedelic science, according to an opinion paper published in May in ACS Pharmacology and Translational Science.
The elephant, in this case, is the issue of mystical experiences and their role, often presumed to be causal, in how psychedelics act as a valuable treatment option for those with depression, addiction, end-of-life anxiety, and more. “In scientific journals and throughout the halls of any psychedelic conference, researchers and therapists teach the importance of mystical experiences for the efficacy of psychedelic therapies,” the authors wrote.