How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
نویسنده: Michael Pollan
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 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 inadvertently 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 suffering and joy, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives.
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Goodreads users review :
Admittedly, I am very interested by psychedelics but was very wary to pick this book up. It was the James Turell pictured on the cover that convinced me to go for it haha. Curious, interesting, and objectively presented, this book answered a lot of the questions I had about psychedelics and left me asking even more about existence, consciousness, and reality. Pretty cool, however, still not interested in trying it out. Kara Henry rated it: 5.0 from 5.0
The majority of this book was surprising to me. I was expecting science in an informative tone but the first half was primarily experiences written as a narrative. I loved that by the time I go to the last chapter I had a deep understanding for what the experiences were like and could better connect that to the science. I have never taken psychedelics but I feel that reading this gave me a new perspective on the mindfulness practices I do partake in. Very interesting content and I’m going to read some of the books he mentions here next! Alexandra Burr rated it: 5.0 from 5.0
An incredible journey into the world of psychedelics. Pollan gives what I believe to be a unique experience to the reader by laying the mycology and its importance to our world and then diving into the wild human history with mushrooms and other psychedelics. The latter parts of the book yield thought-provoking tales as he reclaims his personal trips and then wraps up with suggestions for how they can (and likely should) be implemented into modern medicine. A great read. Keith rated it: 5.0 from 5.0