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Mysterious experiences reduce fear of death

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What do near-death experiences and the influence of psychedelic drugs have in common? They both reduce people’s fear of dying.

According to forskning.no, researchers from the American university John Hopkins University in a recently published study investigated the similarities between the experience of being suspended between life and death and being under the influence of psychedelic drugs.

The results showed that both groups had a remarkably equal effect in their relationship to death.

The researchers had collected 3,000 participants for the study, a third of whom had had a near-death experience, while the remainder had had mystical experiences associated with taking LSD, psilocybin, DMT or ayahuasca, which were originally used by shamans in South America.

Here, 90 percent of all participants – both those with near-death experiences and psychedelics – were found to have experienced a reduced fear of death. The event had also led to them being more curious and having a more positive attitude towards death.

The two groups also responded equally that the experiences had had a spiritual or personal impact and had given them psychological insight.

But the group that had had near-death experiences without psychedelic drugs more often reported that the event had been the most significant in their lives. And the same group had also more often had the experience of being in contact with the dead.

According to forskning.no, the study showed that both types of experiences change one’s attitude towards death, and it is possible to use psychedelic drugs to help people suffering from fear of death.

However, there are some important caveats to the study’s findings. The researchers had recruited participants through online ads seeking people who had had abnormal experiences that changed their views on death.

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Therefore, it is not certain that the participants in the study are representative of all people who have had a near-death experience or taken psychedelic drugs.

Source: forskning.no.

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