LSD may help us change our lives by spurring perspective shifts.
- Psilocybin trip may turn banal insights into "sticky" and "revealed truths" that change the way we live our lives.
- For instance, LSD may be able to help smokers cut their addiction. How so? By allowing them to have a perspective shift on its effects.
- Sometimes the insights made during psychotherapy, after years of counseling, can be made with an LSD trip in a single afternoon.
Michael Pollan explains what goes on during the mental fireworks of a psychedelic experience.
- If your ego had a "location" in the brain, it would be the default mode network, where much of your self-critical mind chatter happens. Taking psychedelics down-regulates this brain network.
- Researchers describe the effect of psychedelics as "letting the brain off its leash", or firing the conductor to let the orchestra play. Without the default mode network acting as a dictator, areas of the brain that don't normally interact meet, producing phenomena like hallucinations and synesthesia.
- An overactive ego may be what punishes those of us plagued with anxiety, addiction and mental health disorders. Psychedelics can have a beneficial effect by temporarily killing the ego, jogging the brain out of negative thinking patterns.
Why did government officials stop psychedelics from reaching mainstream culture?
- In the '60s drugs escape the lab and become a very important ingredient In the creation of the counterculture. Timothy Leary, a psychologist at Harvard in 1960, has something to do with this.
- In Cambridge, he starts the Harvard Psilocybin Project which focuses its research into learning more about this promising drug. Because of its medicinal properties, and apparent positive effect on mental health, Leary believed that everyone should use acid, or psilocybin.
- Richard Nixon called Leary the most dangerous man in America. He felt that LSD and other drugs were sapping the will of American boys to fight in Vietnam.
Michael Pollan explains the lost cultural and spiritual importance of cooking and eating meat.
Michael Pollan explains the lost cultural and spiritual importance of cooking and eating meat. Pollan is the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.
Michael Pollan is the author of How to Change Your Mind and seven previous books including Cooked, Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore's Dilemmaand The Botany of Desire, which received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best non-fiction work of 2001, and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and Amazon.com. PBS premiered a two-hour special documentary based on The Botany of Desire in fall 2009.