A Gratuitous Grace: The Influence of Religious Set and Intent on the Psychedelic Experience

Psychedelic drugs, or entheogens, have been used for religious purposes among various cultures for thousands of years. Recently, these substances have caught the attention of Westerners for many reasons, including their propensity to induce mystical experiences. This study examined the relationship between religion and having mystical experiences. A total of 119 participants were drawn from psychedelic-related websites and asked to complete an anonymous online questionnaire containing items regarding history of psychedelic use, set and setting for psychedelic use, and a measure for mystical experiences. A majority of respondents were White males who displayed at least some level of post-secondary education. The findings indicated that respondents who used psychedelics for specifically religious purposes, as well as those who identified with a religion, were more likely to score higher on the Mysticism Scale than those who did not.


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