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How to Change Your Mind: What the New…

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us… (2018)

by Michael Pollan

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4041539,127 (4.36)9



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This will be a review in 2 parts. The good and the bad.

The good : Interesting history, good accounts of the author's experience whilst trying out some of these psychedelics. Very interesting discussion of the brain processes and structures that may underlie depression, addiction, ego and how psychedelics may be acting on them. An interesting history of psychedelics and an interesting philosophical perspective on existence, meaning and life.

The bad : A bit long winded and repetitive especially when discussing the history of psychedelics. Quite long winded when it came to the philosophical perspectives the author came away with as well.

Conclusion : For subject matter and perspective alone I would have given the book 5 stars. There is very important and interesting information here. I think if it had been edited better it would have flowed a bit faster without losing any of the information at all. So because it was a little dull in parts I gave it 4 stars. ( )
  muwaffaq | Mar 20, 2019 |
  anitatally | Mar 2, 2019 |
Pollan presents a review of mid-century psychedelic pioneers in the US and the research undertaken in the field before the 60s drug hysteria, investigates the world of underground psychedelic guides and goes on a few trips himself, and concludes that the psychedelic experience has the potential to change minds for the good. BC Musical Glass members with psychedelic experience recoiled at Pollan’s tripping blindfolded & recumbent with New Age music, advocating instead a whirl in the warm air under open New Mexico sky with the Grateful Dead, Archie Shepp or John Fahey (both the steelstring syncopation and the late-model electric noise versions). And probably something to smoke, as a kind of tether.

Treehouse Tornado Pale Ale
Collective Arts Life in the Clouds IPA
  MusicalGlass | Mar 2, 2019 |
When I read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma years ago, it changed my life. This book could be life changing for many people too. It is a detailed look at using guided psychedelic therapy to treat a wide-range of mental health issues, including but not limited to the fears of the terminally ill, addiction, and treatment-resistant depression. Clearly the mental health field needs to find some different solutions, because what we have now isn't working.

How to Change Your Mind is a highly readable and interesting account of the history, present use, and future possibilities of LSD, psilocybin (a word I never remember how to say or spell) and a few other more obscure drugs.

Like me, Michael Pollan eschews pseudo-science and new age flakiness, and thus he takes an evidence-based, factual approach to this topic.

I look forward to a future when I can visit a guided psychedelic therapy spa, although I'm not holding my breath. Maybe in Europe . . .

Recommended for: Everyone. The people who should read it most--those who think psychedelics are horrible, dangerous substances, won't be open to it though. Otherwise, anyone interested in mental healthy, philosophy, psychology, alternative ways of looking at the world . . .

Why I Read This Now: a few weeks ago I found out Michael Pollan, an author I adore, is coming to Vancouver. I thought it would be best if I read his latest book before the event. Yay, me, I finished it today and see him tomorrow night.

Rating: Because this isn't a topic that is particularly pertinent to my life at this time, and because I didn't need over 400 pages on this topic . . . 4 stars. ( )
  Nickelini | Feb 10, 2019 |
An engrossing read and comprehensive summary of what we know so far of the self and mind through the lens of neuroscience, psychotherapy, Buddhism and psychedelics. Too bad Pollan still seems close-minded to the idea of a loving God. The evidence is everywhere, and in everything.

( )
  jasoncomely | Feb 8, 2019 |
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MIDWAY THROUGH the twentieth century, two unusual new molecules, organic compounds with a striking family resemblance, exploded upon the West. In time, they would change the course of social, political, and cultural history, as well as the personal histories of the millions of people who would eventually introduce them to their brains.
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"When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction, and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these ... substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third"--… (more)

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