Waking Up with Sam Harris #127 – Freedom from the Known (with Michael Pollan)…


Date: June 19, 2018

01) Waking Up with Sam Harris #127 – Freedom from the Known (with Michael Pollan)


“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.

Michael Pollan is the author of seven previous books, including Cooked, Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, all of which were New York Times bestsellers. A longtime contributor to the New York Times Magazine, he also teaches writing at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. In 2010, TIME magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world. His most recent book is How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.

Twitter: @michaelpollan “

I’ve always had a natural detachment from modern concepts of “normal life”…or “life expectations”…

…Maybe it’s that I’m an INFP [Introverted Feeling Personality]…Maybe it’s that I’ve been ostracized from “normal culture”, due to my sexuality…Maybe I’ve spent such a large portion of my life physically ill, that my inability to function in “the normal world” has made me incapable of personally identifying with it…Or maybe my ability to come out of deep religious indoctrination, has left me with a unique understanding that societies own moral compos is broken…

…but I’ve always tended to recognize the negatives and the wrongs, which “normal and moral” culture imposes upon those who deviate from “the laid out plan”.

I reject various accepted “cultural morals”…and “cultural ethics”…because they reject the natural and good diversity of the human being…and in such, they are immoral and unethical in the ends they met out.

One such “moral” or “ethic”…is that of absolute rejection on illicit drug use.

It’s a complicated issue, yes…

…But as someone who has found no release in traditional, legal methods…I have found this topic to be intriguing and alluring…

If one spends a life suffering…who is anyone, to tell that person they may not explore this option?…

When things are so bad…that use of these substances might credibly improve a person’s quality of life…how do you deny them that?

…This is their existence to experience and get through…first and foremost…

…Their existence does not belong to the state.

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