How to Change your Mind

How to Change your Mind

What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

Book - 2018
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2018
Characteristics: xii, 465 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9781594204227
Call Number: 615.7883 POLLAN


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Apr 18, 2019

Although, there is way too much detail for me, the story of the research into psychedelics is fascinating. I probably would have complained if there weren’t all these details as well, because all the details show the seriousness of the research. As a person who just discovered that cannabis isn’t destroying me, but is managing my pain, I appreciate knowing reliable research is going on.

Apr 07, 2019

sometimes you read a book and think "what was the author smoking when he wrote this thing?" well, you needn't wonder such things while reading How To Change Your Mind, because Michael Pollan makes no secret of the fact that he smokes marijuana cigarettes. this book provides a helpful guide to the many strains of weed: there are "indicas", which some call "in da couch" for its sedative properties; and there are "sativas", which are named after adult performer Sativa Rose. Pollan suggests sativa for your next jam sesh, and indica for your next thanksgiving pig-out. he also recommends taking an edible before going to see eli roth's Knock Knock, now in theatres

Mar 15, 2019

NYT 10 Best 2018

DBRL_ReginaF Feb 06, 2019

Yep. NOPE! I'm sure it's fine. I'm sure it is. It's just not for me. The whole idea freaks me out and no matter how persuasive Pollan tries to make his rationale, I just can't.

Hillsboro_BrianS Jan 29, 2019

Pollan has crafted an entertaining and engaging survey of the history, science, and therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms. Along the way, he introduces us to many of the scientists. psychologists, spiritualists, and brilliant eccentrics who are paving the way towards once again putting psychedelic drugs back into the forefront of research into human consciousness.

Jan 22, 2019

June Bookclub Book

Dec 20, 2018

This was a very thought-provoking book and nicely intertwined some fascinating history (I did not know that Cary Grant had taken LSD dozens of times, nor that Bill W -- the founder of AA had also been enamored of LSD for the purported benefits in healing additions) with cutting edge neuroscience, and then topped it off with vivid descriptions of his own recent psychedelic trips.
I found the idea that psychedelics might have benefits for essentially mentally healthy people -- who would like to get, "unstuck" in life and experience more awe, love and connected-ness with others intriguing.
Perhaps the biggest take-away for me though, was the science suggesting similarities between the brains of meditators and those tripping. I found myself newly motivated to get back to a daily meditation practice.

Dec 14, 2018

Another fantastic book by Michael Pollan. This time instead of writing about how people interact with plants and animals for food, Pollan explores people's use of psychedelics medicinally, culturally, spiritually and recreationally. It is a well-researched, funny, informative and emotional look at humanity's longstanding, and oftentimes controversial relationship to entheogens. Part travelogue, part scientific history, Pollan charts the rise of psychedelics among the counter-culture of the 1960s and how this same love-affair was the chief reason the cutting-edge research around psychedelics in the treatment of depression, PTSD and alcoholism came to a grinding halt. Pollan knows how to mix a professorially air with a warm, friendly tone that draws readers in. The audiobook is also highly recommended, as Pollan narrates his own work.

Dec 04, 2018

Best book I've read in years. Very well researched and written, the book covers the history and use of psychedlics up to 2017. Pollan's analysis of current research results is insightful. I learned more about the human mind, psychology, and cognition than I did in college. Highly recommended, in more ways than one.

Nov 20, 2018

This is another wonderfully written book by Michael Pollan that I can't praise enough. It's a combination of all the topics I find most interesting -- the neuroscience of consciousness, psychedelics, mental health, history of drugs, and dealing with death. He also includes his trip reports, which he describes as accurately as possible in rich, elegant prose.

In particular, I really appreciate the fact that he approaches the subject of spiritual/mystical/transcendent experiences from a more scientific perspective, capturing the universal qualities of these experiences that don't necessarily depend on belief in the supernatural. Personally, I strive to understand the science of how these molecules affect the brain, and that understanding does not detract from the healing and the sense of awe that I've gotten from psychedelic therapy.

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