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How to Change Your Mind

Narrated by: Michael Pollan
Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
5 out of 5 stars (791 ratings)

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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of How to Change Your Mind, written and read by Michael Pollan. 

When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists and doctors as if the world might be on the cusp of psychological revolution. It promised to shed light on the deep mysteries of consciousness as well as offer relief to addicts and the mentally ill. But in the 1960s, with the vicious backlash against the counterculture, all further research was banned. In recent years, however, work has quietly begun again on the amazing potential of LSD, psilocybin and DMT. Could these drugs in fact improve the lives of many people? 

Diving deep into this extraordinary world and putting himself forward as a guinea pig, Michael Pollan has written a remarkable history of psychedelics and a compelling portrait of the new generation of scientists fascinated by the implications of these drugs. How to Change Your Mind is a report from what could very well be the future of human consciousness.

©2018 Michael Pollan (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic reviews

"His approach is steeped in honesty and self-awareness. His cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling." (Washington Post)

"An easy-going humane generosity...mischievous self-regard...as if Henry David Thoreau had had an encounter with Woody Allen and never been quite the same since." (Simon Schama)

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life changing

Life changing, revolutionary, witty and self effacing but underpinned by scientific study and historical exposition. This book is essential reading, an eloquent and entertaining starting point for further research and exploration. recommended for anyone wishing to progress in their understanding of cognition, and break through the rigid barriers imposed ruthlessly by age.

This book is also a glimmer of hope for people affected by mental health disorders, or find themselves lost in endless cycles (spirals) of rumination and fixation.

if your cynicism or skepticism is putting you off consider this:

The FDA(!) is one of the main institutions driving this research, forced into a more progressive stance given the terrible state of mental health care in the USA .

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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an absolute must.

at last a broad scope well researched and written review of important subject that we denied by the misguided establishment.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating and inspiring listen

I just loved this book. It brought the world of psychedelic research to life, a world completely unknown to me. And then the author's own journey with psychedelic medicines was also thrilling and relatable. The book has kindled in me a newfound interest in fungi of all kinds and left me impressed by the potential of these unique substances, and the insights they offer. A masterpiece of journalism and a brave and important memoir.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent and, punnily enough, mind changing book!

Like the author himself was, I'm a pretty staunch materialist and have always been skeptical about drugs. I've also been fed my fair share of propaganda against LSD and psychedelics, on the claim that it would make you go insane.

So I was pretty reluctant to read/listen to this book, but I was going to have to discuss it with friends so on I went.

It didn't take long for me to realize how insightful and fascinating this book is. Whatever your stance or intent re psychedelics, I'd say its well worth a read in a purely academic sense. The thesis idea surrounding the default mode network in our brains as the gestalt cause for overthinking, ruminating, and the ensuins mental pain, is in itself well worth the price and your time.

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Well told, while offering refreshing perspectives

With a super narrator, how to change you're mind tells the story of psychadellics in a captivating way that often offered me nuggets of "aha" moments, exciting insights into research and left me with the feeling of "hm, maybe it's time I try".
I warmly recommend it.

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loved this book from start to finish

It is so easy to listen to Michael Pollan, I learned so much from this book. If this is a subject that interests you I highly recommend listening to this book its amazing :)

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Fascinating

Brilliantly researched and evocatively written. A well balanced and thought provoking account of psychedelics. Highly recommended.

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Epic Book. Top Reccommenation

Brilliantly read, expertly researched and warmly received. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the subject matter. I've researched this particular field for many years, but never before have I seen the fascinating history and evolution of the subject laid out so well. Loved it from start to finish.

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Amazing book and thoroughly insightful!

I really enjoyed Michael Pollan’s first hand account of psychedelics and his honest thoughts before, during and after the sessions without sugar coating them. I also enjoyed learning about the history of psychedelics and how key figures played a role in them. Michael Pollan has clearly spent a lot of time researching this topic and has pieced it together very well. I’ve just finished listening to this book but will be re-reading it again straight away!

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Absolutely fascinating

Really well written and very interesting account of the historical and contemporary research. I really hope society gets over the stigma and puts these substances to their potential.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-07-18

A stunning summary of all things psychedelic

Michael Pollan has gathered a vast knowledge of psychedelic history, science and experience. He weaves this together in a deeply interesting and entertaining way. thank you!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • L
  • 02-07-19

excellent and educational

this was great book. I was interested then obsessed. then converted. having had a die from cancer I could relate and see potential for palliative reasons

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  • Jukka
  • 04-04-19

Intriguing

Some very interesting stuff about psychedelics written mostly in a quite objective manner. Interesting times ahead.

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  • Fernanda Calixto Cabral
  • 21-02-19

Amazing book!

Micheal Pollan writes about the history of psychedelics and his personal experiences with great detail and care. Very informative but also touching book.
I recommend it for anyone seeking ways to open the mind and rethink what the human conscious mean. Great read!

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  • Philomath
  • 10-12-18

What happens when the ego leaves

In a typical Michael Pollan engaging style the history and experience of psychedelic substances is brought to the forefront. From Magic Mashrooms, to LSD, MDT, and MESCALINE. These are chemicals produced in nature that tap in to the depths of the mind.

The author explains these hallucinogenics and the life changing experiences it produces in people that take them, for the most cases positive. They have been banned from scientific study for over 40 years where they went underground, but now are making a resurgence as an alternative in psychotherapy, and proving to have a wealth of benefits in studying the mind.

This book also shows the struggle between the science and the use of the psychedelic drugs for the study of the mind, and their use as vehicle for spiritual journeys ones that reveal the mind and consciousness as only one aspect of many states. The ego is always in control. As the author explains this “the ego” somehow deflates and in some cases fizzles away providing an experience of oneness with everyone and everything.

When Silicon Valley is micro-dosing for creativity one wonders what else this is good for. A well written book about a subject that has been taboo in society and science for far too long. A highly recommended read.

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  • Ursula
  • 22-10-18

A real education

This is a superb book, which deals with a subject loaded with preconception with scientific and investigative rigor, beautiful language, and an honesty and feeling that is very touching. well done to Michael Pollan on a subject well researched and artfully presented. and to the narrator on a great job conveying it!

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  • Jaime
  • 26-08-18

Well done. A must read

A fantastic, equally objective journey into psychedelics for our collective betterment. Bravo, Michael Pollan. The narration (by the author) is also excellent.

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  • Jerome
  • 26-07-18

Amazing book...I felt every bit of the experience.

wait wait wait wait...let me see how I can describe this....engaging, informative and extremely entertaining...🎤

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  • Mary Ann Cullinan
  • 25-07-18

A trustworthy and excellently researched book

Took away loads of new information, as well insights applicable for my own experiential journeys in this domain.
The author is a born narrator (as well as a compelling writer).

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-07-18

Well researched, interesting listen

Great overview of the history of psychedelics. Very well researched. Coming from the perspective of a materialst, The addition of the authors personal experience with these substances was intriguing. Only didn't get 5 stars because the later chapters felt like they were a bit repetitive.