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Artigos da categoria “Livros

Less

Publicado em 23/06/2022

I was reminded of an experiment that several of the addiction researchers I interviewed had told me about — the so-called rat park experiment. It’s well known in the field of drug abuse research that rats in a cage given access to drugs of various kinds will quickly addict themselves, pressing little levers for the drug on offer in preference to food, often to the point of death. Much less well known, however, is the fact that if the cage is “enriched” with opportunities for play, interaction with other rats, and exposure to nature, the same rats will utterly ignore the drugs and so never become addicted. The rat park experiments lend support to the idea that the propensity to addiction might have less to do with genes or chemistry than with one’s personal history and environment.

—Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind, Allen Lane, 2018

True

Publicado em 07/06/2022

(…) As the ancient saying goes, In vino veritas: “In wine there is truth.”
But that’s backward. The kinds of conflicts that normally keep our impulses in check are a crucial part of how we form our character. All of us construct out personality by managing the conflit between immediate, near considerations and more complicated, longer-term considerations. That is what it means to be ethical or productive or responsible. The good parent is someone who is willing to temper their own immediate selfish needs )to be left alone, to be allowed to sleep) with longer-term goals (toraise a good child). When alcohol peels away those longer-term constrainsts on our behaviour, it obliterates our true self.

—Malcolm Gladwell, Talking To Strangers, Little Brown, 2019

Needless

Publicado em 04/06/2022

Even in the case of minerals, modern physics (forget psychedelics) gives us reason to wonder if perhaps some form of consciousness might not figure in the construction of reality. Quantum mechanics holds that matter may not be as innocent of mind as the materialist would have us believe. For example, a subatomic particle can exist simultaneously in multiple locations, is pure possibility, until it is measured — that is, perceived by a mind. Only then and not a moment sooner does it drop into reality as we know it: acquire fixed coordinates in time and space. The implication here is that the matter might not exist as such in the absence of a perceiving subject. Needless to say, this raises some tricky questions for a materialistic understanding of consciousness. The ground underfoot may be much less solid than we think.

—Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind, Allen Lane, 2018

Don’t Come From Nowhere

Publicado em 03/06/2022

It is all to easy to dismiss what unfolds in our minds during a psychedelic journey as simply a “drug experience,” and that is precisely what our culture encourages us to do. (…)
Yet even a moment’s reflection tells you that attributing the content of the psychedelic experience to “drugs” explains virtually nothing about it. The images and the narratives and the insights don’t come from nowhere, and they certainly don’t come from a chemical. They come from inside our minds, and at the very least have something to tell us about that. If dreams and fantasies and free associations are worth interpreting, then surely so is the more vivid and detailed material with which the psychedelic journey presents us. It opens a new door on one’s mind.

—Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind, Allen Lane, 2018

Meaning

Publicado em 01/06/2022

Just because the psychedelic journey takes place entirely in one’s mind doesn’t mean it isn’t real. It is an experience and, for some of us, one of the most profound a person can have. As such, it takes its place as a feature in the landscape of a life. It can serve as a reference point, a guidepost, a wellspring, and, for some, a kind of spiritual sign or shrine. For me, the experiences have become landmarks to circle around and interrogate for meaning — meanings about myself, obviously, but also about the world.

—Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind, Allen Lane, 2018

Self-reflection

Publicado em 31/05/2022

The achievement of an individual self, a being with a unique past and a trajectory into the future, is one of the glories of human evolution, but it is not without its drawbacks and potential disorders. The price of the sense of an individual identity is a sense of separation from others and nature. Self-reflection can lead to great intellectual and artistic achievement but also to destructive forms of self-regarded and many types of unhappiness. (In an often-cited paper titled “An Wondering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind” psychologists identified a strong correlation between unhappiness and time spent in mind wandering, a principal activity of the default mode network.) But, accepting the good with the bad, most of us take this self as an unshakable given, as real as anything we know, and as the foundation of our life as conscious human beings. Or at least I always took it that way, until my psychedelic experiences led me to wonder.

—Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind, Allen Lane, 2018