Psychedelics – Science, Spirituality and Therapeutic Potential

Psychedelic substances played an important role in most of ancient cultures of the world. For thousands of years, they have been used for spiritual and healing purposes within shamanic ceremonies and rites of passage such as those associated with the death and rebirth mysteries of antiquity. Until the second half of the 20th century, these extraordinary substances remained almost unknown to modern western science. The discovery of the psychoactive effects of LSD, made by Albert Hofmann in 1943, drew the attention of scientists all around the world and initiated their interest in researching the group of substances that induce non-ordinary states of consciousness. The mass expansion of their recreational use in the 1960s and the War on Drugs that followed basically stopped their research for 40 years. At present, the ice is finally breaking and psychedelic research is enjoying a worldwide renaissance. For current consciousness research, psychedelic substances constitute an extraordinary tool, similar to the role of the microscope in biology or telescope in astronomy. The non-ordinary states of consciousness induced by psychedelics help us to understand the mechanism of psychological disturbances and contain great potential regarding their healing. The „Psychedelics – Science, Spirituality and Therapeutic Potential“ track will present important figures from the field of both historical and current psychedelic research and therapy.

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