“One good way to understand a complex system is to disturb it and then see what happens.”
Why I chose this book:
To be extremely honest, I’m not sure how this book ended up on my reading list. But nonetheless it had a great reviews and Michael Pollan is the author of the first book required to read at Washington State University (my alma mater), The Omnivores Dilemma, so it seemed like a great fit. (if you recommended me this book, please let me know so I can give you credit!)
I want to be very clear, I am not advertising, condoning, suggesting, or telling you to try psychedelics but I will talk about what was mentioned in this book and share a few opinions. As the title says the book explores the healing and hurtful properties of psychedelics in the realm of addiction, depression, daily life, and coping with death.
Pollan has a fantastic analytical and apprehensive take on psychedelics which is why he is the perfect person to write this book. Psychedelics have effect of relinquishing power from your ego, and the ego isn’t a fan of this. The ego really good at performing activities of natural selection and getting comfortable with certain patterns. This is why psychedelics might be a great way to get out of an addiction or depression as these can become patterns in our neurons, which when introduced to psilocin or LCD can be scrambled temporarily in an effort to create different neuron paths.
Pollan writes, every person that goes into this journey will have a different outcome which can be tough to bring to mass market. I would argue that the pharmaceuticals we see on TV commercials that have side effects such as heart attacks, strokes, paralysis and so on might be inconsistent for users as well. He recommends psychedelics might be worth looking into with a guided psychiatrist (psychotherapy), if you are looking to get out of a depressive state, quit an addiction, find solidarity with death or just want to shake things up a bit.
I would recommend this book to anyone that is curious about the world of psychedelics or want some background on the patterns of addiction or depression especially if you or a loved one might suffer from it.