Articles Published in Media Outlets

Equipment for Living: Losing and recovering oneself in drugs and sobriety

In December of 1934, an unemployed stockbroker named Bill Wilson checked himself into Towns Hospital in Manhattan. He had a habit of consuming more than two quarts of whiskey per day, and his wife had implored him to get help. The doctor gave Wilson an extract of belladonna, a plant with hallucinogenic properties, which at the time was an experimental treatment for alcoholism. That afternoon, the “room blazed with an indescribably white light,” Wilson later wrote. A vision of a mountain came to him. “I stood upon its summit where a great wind blew…. Then came the blazing thought, ‘you are a free man.’”

Michael Pollan on What We Can Learn From Psychedelics

In his new book, “How to Change Your Mind,” Michael Pollan turns his attention from food systems to the history, and current renaissance, of psychedelics. A growing body of research suggests that psychedelics may in fact have health benefits and help people cope with depression, anxiety and addiction. Pollan joins Forum to discuss his journey into the world of psychedelics and what studying them has taught him about the power of the human mind.

Michael Pollan Drops Acid — and Comes Back From His Trip Convinced

With “How to Change Your Mind,” Pollan remains concerned with what we put into our bodies, but we’re not talking about arugula. At various points, our author ingests LSD, psilocybin and the crystallized venom of a Sonoran Desert toad. He writes, often remarkably, about what he experienced under the influence of these drugs. (The book comes fronted with a publisher’s disclaimer that nothing contained within is “intended to encourage you to break the law.” Whatever, Dad.) Before starting the book, Pollan, now in his early 60s, had never tried psychedelics, referring to himself as “less a child of the psychedelic 1960s than of the moral panic that psychedelics provoked.” But when he discovered that clinical interest had been revived in what some boosters are now calling entheogens (from the Greek for “the divine within”), he had to know: How did this happen, and what do these remarkable substances actually do to us?

Freedom From the Known

In this episode the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Michael Pollan about his new book How to Change Your Mind. They cover the the resurgence of interest in psychedelics in clinical practice and end-of-life care, the “betterment of well people,” the relationship between thinking and mental suffering, the differences between psychedelics and meditation, the non-duality of consciousness, the brain’s “default mode network,” their experiences with various psychedelics, and other topics.

The Joe Rogan Experience — Michael Pollan

Listen to the whole interview with Joe Rogan here.

Two books to help get your head around the psychedelic

What was countercultural is being embraced by a maturing scientific mainstream. In what may prove to be a book of great importance, Michael Pollan, one of Time magazine’s hundred most influential people in the world, and the author of foodie bestsellers including The Omnivore’s Dilemma, investigates this reawakening to the marvels of psychedelics.

Andrew Sullivan: Why we should say yes to drugs

Pollan, who writes seamlessly about his own experiments in psychedelics as well as the exciting discoveries in mental health now opening up before us, puts this perfectly: “Love is everything … A platitude is precisely what is left of a truth after it has been drained of all emotion. To desaturate that dried husk with feeling is to see it again for what it is: the loveliest and most deeply rooted of truths, hidden in plain sight.”

Author Michael Pollan on Recode Decode

Michael speaks with Kara Swisher about his new book.

Michael Pollan on psychedelia: ‘Everything I once was had been liquefied’

The writer Michael Pollan is best known for his advice, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” His bestselling books (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Cooked) have served up large helpings of food for thought — about the health claims of packaged meals, the iniquities of industrial farming, and the joy a home-cooked family dinner can bring. In his seventh decade, however, Pollan has become fascinated by a new subject — psychedelic drugs.

The Ezra Klein Show: A mind-expanding conversation with Michael Pollan

This is a discussion about how to expand your mind — how to expand the connections it makes, the experiences it’s open to, the sensory information it absorbs. And, more than that, this is a conversation about recognizing that our minds are narrower than we think, that there is a lot we’re filtering out and pruning away and outright ignoring.