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Magic Mushrooms Can Bring About Lasting Personality Changes

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    Magic Mushrooms Can Bring About Lasting Personality Changes By Christian Nordqvist in medicalnewstoday.com Taking magic mushrooms (psilocybin) can have a
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 5, 2011
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      Magic Mushrooms Can Bring About Lasting Personality Changes
      By Christian Nordqvist
      in medicalnewstoday.com

      Taking magic mushrooms (psilocybin) can have
      a lasting change on the individual's personality,
      making them more open about their feelings and
      the way they perceive things, researchers from
      Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,
      Baltimore, MD, USA, wrote in the Journal of
      Psychopharmacology. The authors explained that
      those who had mystic experiences while on psilocybin
      were more likely to subsequently exhibit certain
      personality changes, making them more forthcoming
      about their feelings, becoming more focused on
      being creative, curious, and appreciative about
      artistic things.

      Psilocybin is a psychedelic drug - a substance whose
      main action is to alter perception and cognition. Its
      molecular formula is C12H17N2O4P. Its mind-altering
      effects are similar to those of mescaline and LSD.
      It effects may include, an altered sense of time,
      spiritual experiences, perceptual distortions,
      and thinking processes. Psilocybin can also cause
      nausea and panic attacks. This psychedelic drug can
      be found in over 200 types of mushrooms, the most
      powerful coming from the genus Psilocybe, including
      P. cubensis, P. semilanceata, and P. cyanescens.

      Magic mushrooms are usually eaten. However, they can
      also be made into a tea beverage, or smoked.

      In this latest study, headed by Roland Griffiths,
      personality changes that occurred in those who
      took magic mushrooms were still there twelve months
      later. The authors believe that the psilocybin may
      well have a long-term effect.

      Professor Griffiths said:
      "The remarkable piece is that psilocybin can
      facilitate experiences that change how people perceive
      themselves and their environment. That's unprecedented."

      Magic mushrooms used to be used by Timothy Leary,
      a former Harvard professor of psychology. Leary
      founded the Harvard Psilocybin Project.

      Openness is one of five main personality traits
      that span all cultures worldwide, the other four
      are extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness and
      conscientiousness. Degrees of openness are fairly
      constant throughout an individual's lifetime. The
      researchers found that the other four personality
      factors were largely unchanged after people consumed
      magic mushrooms.

      The authors say their study is the first finding
      of a short-term intervention with long-lasting
      personality changes.

      The study involved 51 individuals who underwent two
      to five eight-hour psilocybin sessions, with a
      three-week interval between each session. During
      a session they lay down on a couch, wore an eye mask
      and listened to music through headphones while
      concentrating on an inner experience. Their
      personalities were screened at the beginning of
      the studies, and then during a two-month and 12-month

      Thirty of the volunteers had a mystical experience,
      according to the researchers' criteria gathered
      from a set of psychological scales. Their openness
      scores increased, indicating more focus on aesthetics,
      inner feeling, values, imagination and ideas. The
      rest of the participants, those with no mystical
      experiences, underwent no apparent personality change.

      The authors concluded:
      "The findings suggest a specific role for psilocybin
      and mystical-type experiences in adult personality

      Psychoactive mushrooms used by humans for thousands
      of yearsArcheologists have gathered evidence of
      the presence of psychoactive mushrooms used in religious
      rituals for thousands of years.

      Ancient paintings in Villar del Humo, Spain, show
      evidence of Psilocybe hispanica usage in religious
      ceremonies about 4,000 BC.

      Murals in southeast Algeria, in the Sahara desert,
      dated 7000 to 9000 BC suggest psilocybin mushroom use.

      In the Aztec language Nahatl, psychoactive mushrooms
      were called "teonanacatl" (God flesh). Mayan archives
      have data pointing to common usage of psilocybin
      mushrooms in ceremonies and rituals.
      This article is being shared for educational, non-commercial
      purposes only and thus is posted under the Fair Use Statutes.
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