Michael Pollan, author of the enormously popular “Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food,” has taken a surprise turn from what we readers have known of his usual topics and ventured into a very controversial subject matter: psychedelics, and their use in modern medicine and psychotherapy.
While we ourselves do not condone the use of them recreationally, the effects and potential uses of psychedelics are being researched in a whole new scientific light. According to his newly released book “How to Change Your Mind,” these drugs are beginning to be brought to the forefront as possible treatments for many conditions such as depression, anxiety and addiction with interesting findings and notable successes.
While not a lifelong advocate of these drugs, the author shares what his own skepticism was and takes us through his many studies and his own journey of discovery of what he found regarding psychedelics.
His 400-page book takes us into his research, delving deeply into the latest studies in brain science, and also introducing many of us to the mostly-unknown world of “psychedelic therapists.” Also, while it may seem controversial for a mainstream author, Pollan even relates his personal adventures into various altered states of consciousness, which is a surprising move and makes it a fascinating personal exploration as well.
Michael Pollan is the author of seven previous New York Times best-selling books. He has been a longtime contributor to the New York Times Magazine, and 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.
Many people who have already discovered “How to Change Your Mind” consider it a masterful piece of journalism, as well as bold in his willingness to approach such a taboo subject.
Cynthia Lynn and Ed Justus are owners of The Bookstore in Hanapepe.