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Date of Publication: May 25
Year of Publication: 2023
Publication City: Basel, Switzerland
Author(s): Alexander Irvine, David Luke, Freya Harrild et al.
Objective: To explore the perceived influence of psychedelic experiences on participants’ relationship with the natural world.
Method: A total of 272 participants reporting previous use of psychedelics completed free-text response requests via an online survey. Thematic analysis was used to explore group participant responses.
Results: Participants who described a pre-existing relationship with nature reported that psychedelics acted to re-establish and bolster their connection to nature. Those reporting no previously established connection to nature described psychedelics as helping them bond with the natural world. Underlying both of these were reports of transpersonal experiences, of which ‘interconnectedness’ was most frequently linked to shifts in attitudes and behaviours. Participants were also asked to reflect on previous psychedelic experiences that took place in nature and reported a range of benefits of the natural setting. Conclusions: These findings suggest that psychedelics have the capacity to elicit a connection with nature that is passionate and protective, even among those who were not previously nature oriented. More research is needed to explore the potential implications of psychedelic use outside laboratory-controlled settings in order to enhance these important effects.
Keywords: psychedelics; ecopsychology; transpersonal; nature connectedness; ecodelia