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A Good Trip Changes Always You for the Better – Book Review by Scott Ware

A Good Trip Changes Always You for the Better – Book Review by Scott Ware

Michael Pollan is the bestselling author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food Rules.

   It was always going to get personal.

    How can a respected author like Michael Pollan write a book called How to Change Your Mind; What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence and not sample psychedelics himself?

    He had to, so he did, and in case the title and subtitle don’t clue you in, his psychedelic experiences changed his life on many levels.

    Michael Pollan has joined the ranks of psychedelics enthusiasts for alleviating depression, anxiety, and also in self-discovery, which affects every part of your life.

    He does not, however, advocate for their recreational use without a ceremonial facilitator because the mindset of the participant and the environment you’re in are crucial to having a productive experience. So-called “bad trips” are usually a result of the “set and setting” being off, so it’s best to make sure you trust the people you’re working with.

    But even here, humans seem to be protected from grave harm. The extremely low incidence of injuries or deaths on marijuana is well-known, and it’s nearly impossible to overdose on mushrooms and LSD. 

    But Mother Nature’s plant medicine protection doesn’t extend to the possibility of a bad trip. If you come to it with a negative mindset or you are in a chaotic or disturbing environment, the plant medicine experience will likely reflect those things back to you. 

    Hold the plant medicine as sacred as shamans and many of our ancestors, and it will give you a mind and heart-expanding experience and show you more of life. 

    Pollan documents how the many people on their deathbeds are wholly appreciative of the relief of their anxiety of crossing over is alleviated when they take mushrooms. 

    One of the greatest effects of mushrooms is that it makes the person taking them feel a oneness with all of creation that is otherwise hard to get to—take a look at the disconnectedness in the world for an example of this. 

    Now it’s wonderful that certain plants are here to do that for us, but Pollan found reveals a biological reason for this when he was listening to Paul Stamets of Fabulous Fungi movie fame share his thoughts:

    “Mushrooms have taught me the interconnectedness of all life-forms and the molecular matrix that we share. (They) have intelligence, and they want us to take care of the environment, and so they communicate that to us in a way we can understand.” Why us? “Humans are the most populous bipedal organisms walking around, so some plants and fungi are especially interested in enlisting our support. I think they have a consciousness and are constantly trying to direct our evolution by speaking out to us biochemically. We just need to be better listeners.” 

    It was a lot a fun reading his actual experience, but his summation of it was particularly gratifying: “…you can put the experience in that handy box and throw it away, never to dwell on it again… yet though it is true that a chemical launched me on this journey, it is also true that everything I experienced I experienced: these are events that took place in my mind, psychological facts that were neither weightless nor evanescent. Unlike most dreams, the traces these experiences inscribed remain indelible and accessible.”

A review by Scott Ware, Publisher of Radiance Magazine and Radiance Multidimensional Media.

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