Could psychoactive mushrooms play a role in spiritual growth? Pastor Dave Hodges, the founder of Zide Door Church in Oakland, California, certainly thinks so. He regards these mushrooms as a medium for “connecting with your soul.”
Zide Door Church, identifying as nondenominational and interfaith, is rooted in Oakland and emphasizes natural hallucinogens called entheogens. These substances promote spiritual development and an understanding of a higher power. Predominantly, the church employs mushrooms containing the psychoactive substance psilocybin for spiritual explorations.
Hodges recently appeared on “Jesse Watters Primetime” to discuss the spiritual practice of using mushrooms and to share his encounters with the divine during psilocybin-induced experiences. He contended that consuming hallucinogenic mushrooms at any level can forge a connection with the soul.
Hodges details his approach, saying, “I do really high-dose work. And at those levels, you get what can only be described as spiritual visions and interacting with what you are beyond this body.”
He recounted a profoundly spiritual moment when he felt “ripped” from his body, passing through “heaven, hell, and everything in between,” eventually finding himself in a space of pure light where his sense of self dissolved. “Nothing existed. There was but this one consciousness. And that’s the consciousness that I call God,” he explained.
However, the use of mushrooms remains illegal in California. Hodges has found himself battling for the right to use these substances under religious protection laws.
He described a recent raid on their church, where authorities confiscated approximately $200,000 of their sacrament. Hodges drew attention to a video of police entering their church like “some sort of a cartel.”
Zide Church maintains that psychedelic mushroom experiences are rooted in ancestral practices and integral to our evolutionary journey. They believe in a convergence between science and spirituality, suggesting a relationship that has “shaped” human history.
Hodges elaborated on his understanding of existence, stating, “While in the rest of what I was shown is that God created everything to experience itself, It divided into all of us. God experiencing itself in every way possible, you, me, everybody listening to this, the chairs they’re sitting in, the TVs they’re looking at, it is all.”