Recently I got very interested in a smart use of psychedelics. First, thanks to the people I deeply respected that advocated for it or used it - Tim Ferriss, Steve Jobs, Aldous Huxley, Aubrey Marcus, Gabor Maté, Joe Rogan to name a few. I then looked into the science behind it (mainly psychology and neuroscience). I also had my personal experiments.
I listened to Michael Pollan on a TV show, then on a Tim Ferriss podcast and then heard about the book at a meditation event I was attending, which bumped it on the top of my to-read list.
The book is mainly in 3 parts: the history of psychedelics, his own experience and the science. The first part is good to know so you have more context but wasn’t the most exciting, Probably necessary though.
Then in part 2, it is very interesting to read about his own experiments. I liked it because as a Western rational mind, I could relate to his stories and doubts. Michael Pollan has a healthy skepticism and he doesn’t extrapolate grandiose conclusions too quickly. He has a very healthy way of thinking and he takes us on the journey on how he changed his mind.
In part 3, he uses neuroscience to explain the scientific process of what happens when you change your mind as he did.
There are now plenty of resources to get more information about the science of psychedelics but I find Michael Pollan’s book a great reference. The book didn’t really change my mind because I’m already pretty aware of the power of these substances. However psychedelics did. And the book will probably change your mind if you still think of psychedelics only as a dangerous drug.
To get a good teaser, you can have a look at this conference he did at Google: