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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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7752619,605 (4.3)13
"A brilliant and brave investigation by Michael Pollan, author of five New York Times best sellers, into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs--and the spellbinding story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences 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 remarkable 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. Thus began a singular adventure into the experience of various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists. Pollan sifts the historical record to separate the truth about these mysterious drugs from the myths that have surrounded them since the 1960s, when a handful of psychedelic evangelists catalyzed a powerful backlash against what was then a promising field of research. A unique and elegant blend of science, memoir, travel writing, history, and medicine, How to Change Your Mind is a triumph of participatory journalism. By turns dazzling and edifying, it is the gripping account of a journey to an exciting and unexpected new frontier in our understanding of the mind, the self, and our place in the world. The true subject of Pollan's "mental travelogue" is not just psychedelic drugs but also the eternal puzzle of human consciousness and how, in a world that offers us both struggle and beauty, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives"--… (more)



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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Interesting; full of facts, yet with a personal touch. ( )
  victor.k.jacobsson | May 23, 2020 |
4.0 stars

I was skeptical. Really skeptical. But this book is lucid and illuminating and convincing. I read it in a great gallop and came away from it really excited about what humans will discover about psychedelics and what they'll help us discover about ourselves.

(Also, as a person with chronic depression, it's nice to know that someone's out there working on real solutions to the problem. I wouldn't be surprised if I benefit directly from this science in the future.) ( )
  the_lirazel | Apr 6, 2020 |
"Michael Pollan has applied his brilliant mind and fastidious prose to the mind itself, specifically the modes by which psychedelic substances temporarily obliterate the ego and engender deep spiritual connectedness to the universe. Michael walks the tightrope between an objective 'reporter' and a spiritual pilgrim seeking insight and sustenance from psychedelics...His success here places these drugs and what they do at the center of a potential revolution in medicine." Peter Coyote author and Zen Buddhist priest.

I found this book engaging and it prompted me to take up my own exploration. Psychedelics are not appropriate for everyone. If an individual has not done some inner work, these drugs can be difficult.

Jim Fisher ( )
  Consciousness_Cafe | Mar 29, 2020 |
Absolutely fascinating. ( )
  usuallymatt | Mar 21, 2020 |
great podcast ( )
  cortneycassidy | Feb 14, 2020 |
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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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Nella consistente letteratura generata dalla sua scoperta a oggi, l'LSD è sempre stato presentato come una via d'accesso privilegiata - e niente affatto spiacevole - a dimensioni della coscienza che generalmente ci sono precluse. Negli ultimi anni, tuttavia, la ricerca scientifica più avanzata lavora su virtù molto diverse degli «acidi», a cominciare dalla loro efficacia contro patologie infide quali le dipendenze, l'emicrania, le fasi acute della depressione. È una materia densa e al tempo stesso scivolosa, nella quale solo Michael poteva addentrarsi, affidandosi alla leggerezza, alla precisione e all'ironia della sua scrittura. Ne è venuto fuori questo personalissimo incrocio fra un diario di viaggio e la cronaca di un lungo esperimento, dove Pollan incontra una serie di uomini e donne straordinari - guru veri o presunti, scienziati serissimi, medici di frontiera -, e poi decide di provare in prima persona che cosa intendessero i profeti del lisergico per «toccare dio». Scoprendo la luce strana, violenta e terribilmente fascinosa che la sostanza più stupefacente di tutte sembra gettare sul mistero definitivo, quello che tuttora resiste nelle nostre, spesso affannose, ricerche: la mente.
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