Join us for a conversation between New School at Commonweal host Michael Lerner and author and journalist Michael Pollan about his new book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.
How to Change Your Mind explores the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs—and the spellbinding story of Pollan's own life-changing psychedelic experiences. This is the second in a series of two conversations between Michael Lerner and Michael Pollan on the subject of psychedelics. Watch the video of the last conversation from Michael Pollan’s April 2015 conversation at The New School.
This ticketed event is presented in partnership with The New School at Commonweal and the Mesa Refuge. Each ticket purchase includes a copy of the the book. Tickets are available in-store or on Eventbrite.
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About How to Change Your Mind
A brilliant and brave investigation by Michael Pollan, author of five New York Times best sellers, 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 the experience of 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 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 struggle and beauty, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives.
About Michael Pollan
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.