I need to acknowledge a number of funding agencies Buy blue meanies that have supported this research over the years, including Fetzer Institute, Templeton, the Council on Spiritual Practices, River Styx.
A number of other groups and private sector supporters.
- Our research has been done at Johns Hopkins. And what I’m going to focus in on is our work on psilocybin, although within the last year, we have now formed a Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.
- I’m joined in that Center by a number of very talented PhD and MD investigators, and we’re moving ahead on a variety of fronts. Mostly focused on therapeutics, but .
- We have this long abiding interest in implications for spirituality. So just by way of background, psilocybin is a naturally occurring tryptamine alkaloid.
It’s the principal psychoactive component of the Psilocybin genus of mushrooms. And psilocybin in the form of those mushrooms have been used for hundreds, if .
Not thousands of years, within various cultures, in structured manners, for religious, divinatory, healing purposes.
I’m going to just tell you a little bit about the historical use of psilocybin. And we can date that back. It goes back further, but it’s clearly documented to th century Mexico.
Where the Spanish missionaries documented the ritualistic use of psilocybin mushrooms among the Aztecs.
And then missionary campaigns were set in motion against what was viewed as pagan idolatry, and they attempted to exterminate all aspects of this mushroom-centered religion, really destroying mushroom stones and other artifacts and forcing .
The mushroom ceremonies into secrecy, so much so that some people thought that this was– that perhaps these religious never existed. But in , Gordon Wasson, a