How to Change Your Mind : What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
by Pollan, Michael







Prologue: A New Door1(20)
Chapter One A Renaissance
21(61)
Chapter Two Natural History: Bemushroomed
82(56)
Coda
128(10)
Chapter Three History: The First Wave
138(83)
Part I The Promise
144(41)
Part II The Crack-Up
185(33)
Coda
218(3)
Chapter Four Travelogue: Journeying Underground
221(70)
Trip One LSD
237(17)
Trip Two Psilocybin
254(18)
Trip Three 5-MeO-DMT (or, The Toad)
272(19)
Chapter Five The Neuroscience: Your Brain on Psychedelics
291(40)
Chapter Six The Trip Treatment: Psychedelics in Psychotherapy
331(66)
One Dying
331(27)
Two Addiction
358(17)
Three Depression
375(15)
Coda: Going to Meet My Default Mode Network
390(7)
Epilogue: In Praise of Neural Diversity397(18)
Glossary415(8)
Acknowledgments423(4)
Notes427(12)
Bibliography439(8)
Index447


The best-selling author of The Omnivore's Dilemma presents a groundbreaking investigation into the medical and scientific revolution currently taking place in the field of psychedelic drugs, drawing on a range of experiences to trace the criminalization of such substances as LSD and psychedelic mushrooms and how they may offer treatment options for difficult health challenges.





Michael Pollan is the author of seven previous books, including Cooked, Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, all of which were New York Times bestsellers. A longtime contributor to the New York Times Magazine, he also teaches writing at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. In 2010, TIME magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.





*Starred Review* Pollan (Cooked, 2013) has long enlightened and entertained readers with his superbly inquisitive and influential books about food. He now investigates a very different sort of comestible, psychedelics (from the Greek: "mind manifesting"), and what they reveal about consciousness and the brain. Cued to the quiet renaissance underway in psychedelic therapy-including microdosing, the subject of Ayelet Waldman's A Really Good Day (2017)-to treat addiction and depression and tohelp patients cope with terminal illness, Pollan set out to understand the neurological effects of key psychoactive chemicals. Zealous mycologist Paul Stamets shares his deep knowledge of psilocybin fungi, held sacred for centuries in Mexico and Central America. Revealing how much more there is to the story of LSD than the infamous counterculture experimentation of Timothy Leary, Pollan recounts how the molecule was synthesized in 1938 in a Swiss pharmaceutical company lab by Albert Hofmann, catalyzing two decades of research, including the successful treatment of alcoholism, and inspiring crew-cut-sporting, revolver-toting Al Hubbard, aka Captain Trips, a bootlegger, gunrunner, government agent, and millionaire, to introduce nearly 6,000 people to LSD between 1951 and 1966. Then there's the impact LSD had on Silicon Valley.Never having tripped in his youth, and increasingly aware that our habits of mind harden as we age, Pollan decides to undergo some psychedelic therapy of his own, finding underground "guides" to oversee his experiences. Drawing on both spirituality and science, he shares the mysterious details of his inner journeys, and explains the neurological impact of psychoactive drugs and how they change lives. Pollan's complexly elucidating and enthralling inquiry combines fascinating and significant history with daring and resonant reportage and memoir, and looks forward to a new open-mindedness toward psychedelics and the benefits of diverse forms of consciousness. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





Noted culinary writer Pollan (Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, 2013, etc.) makes the transition from feeding your body to feeding your head. The lengthy disclaimer on the copyright page speaks volumes. The author, well-known for books on food and life such as The Botany of Desire and The Omnivore's Dilemma, has been opening some of the doors of perception with the aid of lysergic acid, its molecular cousin psilocybin, ayahuasca, and assorted other chemical tools. His journeys are timely, since, "after several decades of suppression and neglect, psychedelics are having a renaissance." For one thing, LSD and its kin have proven potent tools in treating depression, anxiety, addictions, post-traumatic stress, and other ailments. Through the use of neuroimaging technologies that were not available to the pioneers of psychiatric psychedelia, we can see that in interrupting ordinary patterns of thought and helping regroove the brain, these drugs are in fact mind-expandin g, as the "hoary 1960s platitude" would have it. Pollan traveled deep into the woods to undertake acid-laced spirit journeys with people who are off the grid, and perhaps a touch off their rockers as well; at the Esalen Institute, he learned the latest from a place that served a historic role in spreading the psychedelic gospel. As Pollan notes, there are risks in unguided forays into the dustier corners of the mind, but the old scare tactics of chromosomal damage and going blind after staring at the sun are just that—though, as he also writes, "once introduced into the culture, these urban legends survive and, on occasion, go on to become ‘true.' " The author's evenhanded but generally positive approach shoos away scaremongering while fully recognizing that we're out in the tall grass—and, as he notes, though credited with psychological evenness, he's found himself "tossed in a psychic storm of existential dread so dark and violent that the keel comes off t he boat," reason enough to seek chemical aid. A trip well worth taking, eye-opening and even mind-blowing. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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