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."--
Publisher: New York :, Penguin Press,, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781594204227
1594204225
Characteristics: xii, 465 pages : illustration ; 25 cm

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liljables Sep 10, 2018

Michael Pollan hasn't disappointed me yet! His non-fiction is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, balancing in-depth research with insightful, often humorous personal insights. Now, I will admit that "How to Change Your Mind" didn't immediately compel me to make any changes in my personal life,... Read More »

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TechLibrarian Aug 17, 2018

The famous food writer Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, The Botany of Desire, Cooked, etc.) tackles a new subject, psychedelics. This book consists of three main parts: the science and the history of psychedelics (even how that name came to be), and a personal account of Pollan's own exper... Read More »


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LenoraDeslandes
Nov 05, 2019

Interesting history of psychedelics and insight into the different types and the experiences they elicit. However, kind of meh.

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bethgarza24
Oct 30, 2019

NYT 2018 Top 10

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peacebenow
Sep 19, 2019

This turned out to be a well researched, fascinating book. Michael Pollan's first hand experience made the book come together and I found it to be a comprehensive look at psychedelics today. I almost gave up part way through as I didn't understand the relevance of some seemingly tedious info and there are many names and studies to keep straight. By the end, this book really opened my mind. I understand the history, the effects, the multiple uses of psychedelics and why. I never seriously considered using these drugs but I now have a more open mind. I am happy that that many myths and untruths have been exposed. Learning about different levels of consciousness was so interesting. Great motivation to keep expanding ones mind, appreciate the wonder in life w/ all the tools available even if not psychedelics!

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brangwinn
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.

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dvonne
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

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bethgarza24
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.

d
danielpslavik
Jan 22, 2019

June Bookclub Book

s
ScienceMommy
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.
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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.
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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.

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