Synthesizing LSD and splitting the atom both happened in 1938, and swept the world in the 1960s in the form of blotter acid and atom bombs. Coincidence?
In his 50s, perennial Powell's bestselling food writer Michael Pollan wanted to find out. Pollan is in Portland Saturday night to give a talk version of his book "How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence."
In it he famously describes an LSD trip he took as a middle-aged man in a safe laboratory setting. He saw his whole being a golden, spread across the landscape like butter. Par for the course, but what really got him was that he could never forget the image. And the feeling, now a belief, persists: His self is not the unitary ego he assumed it was, it is spread throughout the world. The fact that he can think this and still chomp his way through the restaurant world like a tenth sheet PacMan, writing books and stopping for selfies, should be of great interest to the bourgeoisie, not just the drug dabblers, microdosers and truth seekers of the Purple Room.
Listen as he delves into the new thinking about how psychedelics (LSD, magic mushrooms, peyote and ayahuasca) can change sane people's minds and also be used to treat depression as well as of end-of-life anxiety in cancer patients.
Pollan is best known for The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World. He will be in conversation with Dr. Nick Powers, professor of literature, poet, and journalist, and founder of the People of Color camp at Burning Man. His book, The Ground Below Zero: 9/11 to Burning, New Orleans to Darfur, Haiti to Occupy Wall Street was published by Upset Press.
How to Change Your Mind
Michael Pollan in conversation with Dr. Nick Powers
8 p.m. Saturday May 18, Keller Auditorium 222 SW Clay St
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