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  • How to Change Your Mind

  • What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
  • Written by: Michael Pollan
  • Narrated by: Michael Pollan
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,499 ratings)

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How to Change Your Mind

Written by: Michael Pollan
Narrated by: Michael Pollan
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Publisher's Summary

“Pollan keeps you turning the pages . . . cleareyed and assured.”—New York Times

A #1 New York Times Bestseller, New York Times Book Review 10 Best Books of 2018, and New York Times Notable Book

A brilliant and brave investigation 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 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.

©2018 Michael Pollan (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“Pollan’s deeply researched chronicle will enlighten those who think of psychedelics chiefly as a kind of punchline to a joke about the Woodstock generation and hearten the growing number who view them as a potential antidote to our often stubbornly narrow minds . . . engaging and informative.”—Boston Globe

“Pollan keeps you turning the pages . . . cleareyed and assured.”—New York Times

“Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics changed my mind, or at least some of the ideas held in my mind. . . . Whatever one may think of psychedelics, the book reminds us that the mind is the greatest mystery in the universe, that this mystery is always right here, and that we usually dedicate far too little time and energy to exploring it.”—Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Editorial Review

Michael Pollan embarks on a transformative journey when he tries psychedelic drugs. Follow him as he journeys to discover if they can be useful aids in the treatment of addiction and anxiety. This Audible audiobook will open your mind to a whole new understanding of psychedelics.

Legendary journalist and #1 New York Times best-selling author Michael Pollan is the writer and narrator of How to Change Your Mind. He makes a courageous inquiry into the medical and scientific revolution unfolding around psychedelic drugs. Before starting the book, Pollan had never tried psychedelics, but when he discovered that clinical interest had been revived for those drugs, he wanted to see firsthand what these remarkable substances actually do to us.

Pollan tells the story of his own life-changing psychedelic experiences in a captivating way as he shares what he experienced under the influence of these drugs. He convincingly maintains that our fears are out of place regarding psychedelics, most of which are not addictive. He doesn’t encourage drug abuse but rather believes that psychedelic-assisted therapy overseen by trained professionals can be personally transformative. It can be helpful for many things like treating addiction and relieving the anxiety of the terminally ill. Pollan is also the writer and narrator of Caffeine, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food which focus on food and bring reflection about the way we eat.

What listeners say about How to Change Your Mind

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Educational, enlightening, and optimistic.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It really opened my mind to a new outlook and procedure of use toward a d regarding mushrooms and psychedelics.

I would reccomend this to anyone interested in medicine, science, experimental use of illicit drugs, anyone eith depression / anxiety / substance abuse, or just curious about the world and our relation to it.

I just wish Michael Pollan would pronounce Saskatchewan properly. Like he isn't doing it wrong just not the way local Canadians do.

Anyways I am eager to delve deeper into his works, the world of mushrooms (magic and culinary), and therapeutic sessions of said mushrooms potentially in the future barring changes in legislation... or not.

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9 people found this helpful

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Judge not!

If you’ve already made your mind up about psychedelics or Maybe even more importantly, if you haven’t, and you need to read or listen to how to change your mind by Michael Pollan. This is important for you, for the world, for the future.

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6 people found this helpful

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A must read

My whole life I always saw psychedelics as hippie drugs and you just see a distorted reality. In reality it seems there is much more to them.

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4 people found this helpful

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I thank you Michael. What a great book

Loved it. Well read by himself very good and easy listen. I enjoyed it end to end as it was presented in a very easy manner

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With an open mind, this could change your life!

I'd recently been embued with a term I'd never heard before. "#TranscendentalResonance"; is a means to connect to a vibratory field of existence that transcends the sensory inputs we live amongst. This book is enabling a means of attainment of such a thing, by helping to remove the stigmas associated with the psychedelic plants and medicines we are presently party to. Please treat these potentially life altering molecules with the reverance and respect they deserve, for it is my, shared, belief that some time, (hopefully in the near future), they will be the gateway to our new evolutionary standard.

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An exploration into the ego filled with ego

Unfortunately, this book is repetitive if you begin at the first chapter your in the same place after all those hours of listening at the last chapter. It’s a small amount of science, mixed with a medium amount of navel gazing, combined with a large amount of cultural appropriation. The dismissive tone of this book toward Indigenous cultural use of psychedelics for over 10,000 years is followed by endless examples of appropriation by Western academics, “guides” and “centres” as they sit in drum circles, smudge, and seek that transcendent transformation from one dose of psychedelics. This book could have been so much more than an examination of Westerners endlessly talking about their trips, but that is where the author chose to go.

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  • Ed
  • 2020-09-07

Apprehensive at first, but glad I kept listening.

I will be listening to this again, especially the last 2 chapters. Lots of info and insight to digest. Would be shame not to visit this piece again!

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interesting, but elongated

The book was interesting but it could have been condensed, as it felt repetitive and longer than necessary.

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This book is fantastic, and the narration is clean

The only issue was that the audiobook was split into too many chapters (over 100, and 10-20 per written chapter). Otherwise it was sublime.

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This helped.

I’ve been reading and re-reading and re-listening to this on and off for months. It gave me the most tangible preparation, everything i needed to hear, on the day before my first significant psilocybin retreat. It’s the book i recommend to any and all who are curious about the topic, in a « if you’re going to read one book about it, read this one » kinda way. Total recommendation.

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