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Purchase this item now Known for his writing on plants and food, Michael Pollan, in his latest book, How to Change Your Mind, brings all the curiosity and skepticism for which he is well known to a decidedly different topic: In addition to being a balanced piece of journalistic science writing, this work is also part memoir, as Pollan searches for meaning in life as he enters his early 60s.
Originally hailed as miracle drugs by psychiatrists, LSD, synthesized by the chemist Albert Hofmann in the Sandoz Laboratories inand psilocybin, a naturally occurring prodrug produced by a variety of mushroom species, became linked to the American counterculture movements in the s.
This association would ultimately sour public perception, ending the scientific studies of these compounds for decades. Advances in brain-imaging tools and other techniques have recently enabled more quantitative studies of consciousness, reinvigorating interest in psychedelic drugs as possible treatments for depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other afflictions.
How to Change Your Mind beautifully updates and synthesizes the science of psychedelics, with a highly personalized touch. Recounting a study in which 20 divinity students were dosed with either psilocybin or a placebo, Pollan notes that telling the subjects apart was not difficult: Brand further credits an LSD experience with having provided the impetus for a campaign he began in to get the U.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration to photograph the entire planet. A picture of a round Earth, Brand reasoned, would convey the finite nature of the planet and compel people to be better stewards of its precious resources.
The book also contains interesting accounts of scientists who had their own experiences with the mystical. Roland Griffiths, for example, was a successful researcher studying caffeine addiction at Johns Hopkins University when a friend introduced him to Siddha yoga at age Griffiths ended up switching his research program to the scientific study of psilocybin and went on to publish a landmark double-blind clinical study of the psychological effects of the compound in 1.
The raw travelogue, as he calls it, reveals his struggle with experiences of the spiritual, if not supernatural, as induced by exogenous chemicals. He cites other ways that humans have reached transcendent mental states, including through techniques such as breathing work and meditation.
Such experiences can allow a person to achieve balance between too much rigidity and too little structure in their thinking, he argues, which many believe to be the cornerstone of productive creativity.
More from Books et al.22 writing prompts that jog childhood memories My childhood memories are rich and varied. I loved visiting my grandma’s apartment, with its fringed window shades and faint smell of eucalyptus. Weekly writing prompts in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction for poets and fiction writers.
Studybay is an academic writing service for students: essays, term papers, dissertations and much more! We're trusted and chosen by many students all over the world! Mar 13, · The memoir Co. Aytch: A Confederate's Memoir of the Civil War, is a Civil War battlefield account that is neither beautiful nor romanticized.
It is a real life dramatization of the despair often faced by members of the 'losing' army in . Memoir Prompts and Topics.
Your memoir can be about whatever you want it to be about, anything about yourself that you would like to share with others. Twelve Years a Slave is an memoir and slave narrative by American Solomon Northup as told to and edited by David webkandii.comp, a black man who was born free in New York state, details his being tricked to go to Washington, D.C., where he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Deep webkandii.com was in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana before he was able to secretly get information to.