This isn't a metaphysical retreat center in San Francisco, or the Manhattan office of a New Age therapist-cum-shaman. Lundahl's first psychedelic experience is taking place in the heart of the Behavioral Biology Research Center building at the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus in Southeast Baltimore, in a room affectionately referred to by both the scientists and the volunteers as the "psilocybin room." She's taking part in the first study of its kind since the early '70s -- a rigorous, scientific attempt to determine if drugs like psilocybin and LSD, demonized and driven underground for more than three decades, can facilitate life-changing, transformative mystical experiences.
"And then ... we enter the archetypal realm. Visions of Christ, or Buddha, or Greek gods ... imagery from the Book of Revelation, that sort of thing. What's fascinating is that they often experience things far outside of their life histories, Christians seeing the Buddha, or someone seeing Egyptian or Hindu or other unfamiliar iconography. Certainly not the stuff they learned in Sunday school. It's fascinating -- almost as if there's a universal cache of knowledge they're tapping into."