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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 | Michael Pollan
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blurb
Graywacke
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Being more aware of the reading experience, the atmosphere around me and how I feel when I‘m reading. Thinking more about how the text connects with art and images. But also three of the books I‘m currently reading are with Litsy groups (with really fun conversations). Three at once! So, yeah, it‘s impacting my reading choices quite a bit too.

... And I get to share pet pictures. 😁

Megabooks That‘s awesome! It is fun to find people to discuss books with while you‘re reading them. And I enjoy the pet pictures too. Your dog is very cute!! 🤩 1mo
Graywacke @Megabooks yes, the book talk is terrific, fun and motivating. And Pepper, our 🐶, appropriates the compliment. 🙂 1mo
BarbaraBB I am glad you found this place too besides LT! 1mo
See All 7 Comments
Graywacke @BarbaraBB 🙂 I do love our LT group. This is a different experience, in really nice ways. 1mo
Liz_M I love being able to follow you (and other LTers) in both places. Almost enough to convince me to post more often myself. 😁 1mo
Graywacke @Liz_M it‘s fun, a different look at everyone. (And, of course, a little more activity here. 🙂) 1mo
47 likes7 comments
review
Angitron
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Pickpick

An interesting trip (ha!) through the world of psychedelics, going back to their history as a class of drugs studied at universities for their therapeutic potential, to their downfall and rebranding as a menace to society, to today where they‘re slowly creeping back into the halls of psychotherapy. It was a topic I didn‘t know much about, but I thought this was really well-researched and written. Fascinating and I learned a lot!

janerzy I‘ve been wanting to read this book! 2mo
Angitron @janerzy I totally recommend it! 2mo
17 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Catsandbooks
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5 stars I wanted to give up multiple times on this book, but I finished it. The second part was much better and my favorite parts were when he was describing his trips on different psychedelics. While I'm not wanting to try any of these substances, I do think they can be very beneficial for people suffering from addiction, depression, and other mental illnesses.

review
Lindy
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Pickpick

The subtitle sums up the contents: “What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.” Fascinating stuff. Made me want to try LSD, which the author did as part of his journalistic investigation into the topic. (I‘m so suggestible. I must be careful about what I read!) Anyway, the #audiobook, narrated by the author, led me down many internet rabbit holes.

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Lindy
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Convinced that trepanation would help facilitate higher states of consciousness, Fielding went looking for someone to perform the operation on her. When it became clear no professional would oblige, she trepanned herself in 1970, boring a small hole in the middle of her forehead with an electric drill. (She documented the procedure in a short but horrifying film called Heartbeat in the Brain.)👇

Lindy [quote continues] Pleased with the results, Fielding went on to stand for election to Parliament, twice, on a platform of "Trepanation for National Health.” 3mo
Lindy P.S. not an April Fools joke! 3mo
Lindy P.P.S. I‘ve updated my old blog post on trepanation: https://lindypratch.blogspot.com/2017/10/a-year-of-literary-trepanations.html?m=... 3mo
Tonton Yikes! 3mo
Lindy @Tonton I know! 3mo
26 likes5 comments
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Lindy
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RD Laing once said that there are three things human beings are afraid of: death, other people, and their own minds.

blurb
Catsandbooks
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Starting this for my local book club meeting next week!

Anyone else hate when the library puts the sticker right over the title? 🙄

Samplergal That sticker person certainly should be fired! 😂😂😂 yeah. It pisses me off too! 3mo
Catsandbooks @Samplergal it's like how am I supposed to take good pictures of my books?!? 🙄😂 3mo
27 likes2 comments
quote
Lindy
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“Mysticism is the antidote to fundamentalism,” (Pollan is quoting Rick Doblin, a pro-psychedelics campaigner.)

(Photo: Buddha seated on a snake deity, 12th century Cambodia)

saresmoore I like that quote a lot. 3mo
44 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Lindy
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This audiobook is leading me down fascinating Internet rabbit holes.
https://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world?ut...

Reggie Thanks for this, super interesting, and we all need hope. 3mo
Lindy @Reggie 😊🍄 3mo
33 likes1 stack add2 comments
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karajay
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Just starting this one. Im really excited to read it. I've heard great things! Have any of you read this one?

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SkeletonKey
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Pickpick

The most surprising thing I learned from this was that Timothy Leary was once taken seriously as a scientist, lol.

This book reminds me that there are two kinds of people: those who have and have not taken psychedelic drugs. Being the latter, it was hard to relate.

It was very interesting and I find myself angry that they aren‘t being used therapeutically. It would be nice to see if it could help some of my issues and I‘d LIKE to understand.

OwsleyKid Understanding is only a drop away 4mo
39 likes1 comment
blurb
SkeletonKey
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Current audiobook.

#24b42019

35 likes1 stack add
review
Graywacke
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Pickpick

It never occurred to me to read a book on psychedelics, nor that it would change my perception of how my brain works. Pollan has written an eye-opener, psychedelics for addiction, OCD, depression, anxiety and the healthy. Why? I need a longer post, but it seems our brains form mental tracks to protect us and then once they do, we can‘t escape them, hence obsessions and addictions. Psychedelics bury those tracks, momentarily. Recommended!

53 likes2 stack adds
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Kobe83

Nyt notable book 2018

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Graywacke
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One of Leary‘s original explanations in response to the initial fear and negative press he generated.

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Graywacke
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I‘m only about 25 minutes in, but I‘m already reworking my perspectives on reality.

review
alvingregorio
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Bailedbailed

Least favorite Pollan book. It didn‘t even feel like he wrote it. Not very convincing and boring.

quote
jdtchicago

A student of comparative religion and mysticism, Feilding has had a long-standing interest in altered states of consciousness and, specifically, the role of blood flow to the brain, which in Homo sapiens, she believes, has been compromised ever since our species began standing upright. LSD, Feilding believes, enhances cognitive function and facilitates higher states of consciousness by increasing cerebral circulation.

BarbaraBB Hi Jim, are you doing okay? Missing your quotes! 5mo
jdtchicago Hi Barbara, All is well. Just been on a reading hiatus for a while. I‘ll get back into it sooner or later. Thanks for checking in. @BarbaraBB (edited) 5mo
34 likes2 comments
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jdtchicago

Schwartz said that several of the early computer engineers relied on LSD in designing circuit chips, especially in the years before they could be designed on computers. “You had to be able to visualize a staggering complexity in three dimensions, hold it all in your head. They found that LSD could help.

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jdtchicago

(Grof did extensive research trying to correlate his patients‘ recollections of their birth experience on LSD with contemporaneous reports from medical personnel and parents. He concluded that with the help of LSD many people can indeed recall the circumstances of their birth, especially when it was a difficult one.)

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jdtchicago

Jesse‘s curiosity about psychedelics was first piqued during a drug education unit in his junior high school science class. This particular class of drugs was neither physically nor psychologically addictive, he was told (correctly);

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jdtchicago

For me, “spiritual” is a good name for some of the powerful mental phenomena that arise when the voice of the ego is muted or silenced. If nothing else, these journeys have shown me how that psychic construct—at once so familiar and on reflection so strange—stands between us and some striking new dimensions of experience, whether of the world outside us or of the mind within.

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jdtchicago

You‘re not seriously telling us that LSD is less harmful than alcohol, are you?‘ Of course I am!

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jdtchicago

In recent years, “psychiatry has gone from being brainless to being mindless,” as one psychoanalyst has put it. If psychedelic therapy proves successful, it will be because it succeeds in rejoining the brain and the mind in the practice of psychotherapy. At least that‘s the promise.

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jdtchicago

Yet the new research into psychedelics comes along at a time when mental health treatment in this country is so “broken”...that the field‘s willingness to entertain radical new approaches is perhaps greater than it has been in a generation. The pharmacological toolbox for treating depression—which afflicts nearly 1/10 of all Americans...has little in it today, with antidepressants losing their effectiveness...

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jdtchicago

Our task in life consists precisely in a form of letting go of fear and expectations, an attempt to purely give oneself to the impact of the present.

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jdtchicago

We don‘t die well in America. Ask people where do you want to die, and they will tell you, at home with their loved ones. But most of us die in an ICU. The biggest taboo in America is the conversation about death. Sure, it‘s gotten better; now we have hospices, which didn‘t exist not so long ago. But to a doctor, it‘s still an insult to let a patient go.

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jdtchicago

Mushrooms have taught me the interconnectedness of all life-forms and the molecular matrix that we share. I no longer feel that I am in this envelope of a human life called Paul Stamets. I am part of the stream of molecules that are flowing through nature. I am given a voice, given consciousness for a time, but I feel that I am part of this continuum of stardust into which I am born and to which I will return at the end of this life.

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jdtchicago

psilocybin was introduced to the West by a Vice President of JPMorgan.

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jdtchicago

psychedelic therapy creates an interval of maximum plasticity in which, with proper guidance, new patterns of thought and behavior can be learned.

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jdtchicago

I have no doubt that all that Hubbard LSD all of us had taken had a big effect on the birth of Silicon Valley

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jdtchicago

The biggest organism on earth is not a whale or a tree but a mushroom—a honey fungus in Oregon that is 2.4 miles wide.

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jdtchicago

By the early 1970s, when I went to college, everything you heard about LSD seemed calculated to terrify. It worked on me: I‘m less a child of the psychedelic 1960s than of the moral panic that psychedelics provoked. I also had my own personal reason for steering clear of psychedelics: a painfully anxious adolescence that left me (and at least one psychiatrist) doubting my grip on sanity.

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jdtchicago

Was it possible that a single psychedelic experience—something that turned on nothing more than the ingestion of a square of blotter paper—could put a big dent in such a worldview? Shift how one thought about mortality? Actually change one‘s mind in enduring ways? The idea took hold of me. It was a little like being shown a door in a familiar room—the room of your own mind—that you had somehow never noticed before...lay waiting on the other side.

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jdtchicago

I think of childhood as the R&D stage of the species, concerned exclusively with learning and exploring. We adults are production and marketing.

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jdtchicago

Few members of AA realize that the whole idea of a spiritual awakening leading one to surrender to a “higher power”—a cornerstone of Alcoholics Anonymous—can be traced to a psychedelic drug trip.

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jdtchicago

Compared with other drugs, psychedelics seldom affect people the same way twice, because they tend to magnify whatever‘s already going on both inside and outside one‘s head.

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jdtchicago

I‘ve begun to wonder if perhaps these remarkable molecules might be wasted on the young, that they may have more to offer us later in life, after the cement of our mental habits and everyday behaviors has set. Carl Jung once wrote that it is not the young but people in middle age who need to have an “experience of the numinous” to help them negotiate the second half of their lives.

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jdtchicago

early computer engineers relied on LSD in designing circuit chips

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jdtchicago

all these disorders involve learned habits of negative thinking and behavior that hijack our attention and trap us in loops of self-reflection. “What started as a pleasure becomes a need; what was once a bad mood becomes continuous self-indictment; what was once an annoyance becomes persecution,” in a process he describes as a form of “inverse learning.

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jdtchicago

I know of one Bay Area tech company today that uses psychedelics in its management training.

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jdtchicago

Habits are undeniably useful tools, relieving us of the need to run a complex mental operation every time we‘re confronted with a new task or situation. Yet they also relieve us of the need to stay awake to the world: to attend, feel, think, and then act in a deliberate manner...If you need to be reminded how completely mental habit blinds us to experience, just take a trip to an unfamiliar country. Suddenly you wake up!

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jdtchicago

After more than half a century of constant companionship, one‘s self—this ever-present voice in the head, this ceaselessly commenting, defending I—becomes perhaps a little too familiar...over time, we tend to optimize and conventionalize our responses to whatever life brings. Each of us develops our shorthand ways of processing everyday experiences and solving problems, and while this is no doubt adaptive...eventually it becomes rote. It dulls us.

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jdtchicago

Self and Spirit define the opposite ends of a spectrum, but that spectrum needn‘t reach clear to the heavens to have meaning for us. It can stay right here on earth. When the ego dissolves, so does a bounded conception not only of our self but of our self-interest. What emerges in its place is invariably a broader, more openhearted and altruistic—that is, more spiritual—idea of what matters in life.

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jdtchicago

A happy brain is a supple and flexible brain, he believes; depression, anxiety, obsession, and the cravings of addiction are how it feels to have a brain that has become excessively rigid or fixed in its pathways and linkages—a brain with more order than is good for it.

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jdtchicago

participants ranked their psilocybin experience as one of the most meaningful in their lives, comparable “to the birth of a first child or death of a parent.” Two-thirds of the participants rated the session among the top five “most spiritually significant experiences” of their lives; one-third ranked it the most significant such experience in their lives.

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jdtchicago

Fungi constitute the most poorly understood and underappreciated kingdom of life on earth. Though indispensable to the health of the planet (as recyclers of organic matter and builders of soil), they are the victims not only of our disregard but of a deep-seated ill will

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jdtchicago

Psilocybes gave our hominid ancestors “access to realms of supernatural power,” “catalyzed the emergence of human self-reflection,” and “brought us out of the animal mind and into the world of articulated speech and imagination.”

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jdtchicago

You go deep enough or far out enough in consciousness and you will bump into the sacred. It‘s not something we generate; it‘s something out there waiting to be discovered. And this reliably happens to nonbelievers as well as believers.