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How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
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How to Change Your Mind

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

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.



Description

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.


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Quotes


When the ego dissolves, so does a bounded conception not only of ourself but of our self-interest. What emerges in its place is invariably a broader, more open-hearted and altruistic – that is, more spiritual – idea of what matters in life. One in which a new sense of connection, or love, however defined, seems to figure prominently.
Is a platitude so deeply felt still a platitude? No, I decided. A platitude is precisely what is left of a truth after it has been drained of all emotion. To re-saturate that dried husk with feeling is to see it again for what it is: the loveliest and most deepest of truths, hidden in plain sight.

About the author


Michael Pollan, recently featured on Netflix in the four-part series Cooked, is the author of seven previous books, including Food Rules, In Defense of Food,

Reviews

How to Change Your Mind chronicles the unusual power of these substances, instilling a better understanding of their capabilities in helping to discover, heal and change our minds.”

BookPage

“This nuanced and sophisticated exploration, which asks big questions about meaning-making and spiritual experience, is thought-provoking and eminently readable.”

Publishers Weekly

“A trip well worth taking, eye-opening and even mind-blowing.”

Kirkus Reviews
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