“An overactive ego is a tyrant.” – Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan (@michaelpollan) 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 where he is the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Science Journalism. In 2010, TIME magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
His newest book is How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, which will be available as a paperback in May.
And if you haven’t yet, check out “Trip of Compassion”, which is the most compelling movie I’ve seen in the last year. It documents one unusual approach to healing trauma that might astonish you, an innovative treatment involving the psychoactive drug MDMA (commonly known as “ecstasy”). As you will see firsthand, if the therapy is well designed, true rebirth and transformation can happen in a matter of weeks and not years. Find out more by clicking here.
Want to hear another episode that explores science and psychedelics? — Listen to my conversation with Paul Stamets, an intellectual and industry leader in the habitat, medicinal use, and production of fungi. Stream below or right-click here to download.
This podcast is brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is, inevitably, Athletic Greens. It is my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body and did not get paid to do so.
As a listener of The Tim Ferriss Show, you’ll get a free 20-count travel pack (valued at $79) with your first order at athleticgreens.com/tim.
This podcast is also brought to you by 99designs, the global creative platform that makes it easy for designers and clients to work together to create designs they love. Its creative process has become the go-to solution for businesses, agencies, and individuals, and I have used it for years to help with display advertising and illustrations and to rapid prototype the cover for The Tao of Seneca. Whether your business needs a logo, website design, business card, or anything you can imagine, check out 99designs.
You can work with multiple designers at once to get a bunch of different ideas, or hire the perfect designer for your project based based on their style and industry specialization. It’s simple to review concepts and leave feedback so you’ll end up with a design that you’re happy with. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade.
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Connect with Michael Pollan:
- How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan
- Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan
- Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
- In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan
- The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan
- Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education by Michael Pollan
- The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley
- Psychotomimetic Effects of PCP, LSD, and Ecstasy: Pharmacological Models of Schizophrenia? by Vibeke Sorensen Catts and Stanley V. Catts
- Psycholytic and Psychedelic Therapy Research 1931-1995: A Complete International Bibliography compiled by Torsten Passie
- Bogus Science: LSD and Chromosome Damage, The Vaults of Erowid
- LSD Users Stare at Sun, Snopes
- The Time and Life Acid Trip: How Henry R. Luce and Clare Boothe Luce Helped Turn America On to LSD by Jack Shafer, Slate
- The Blood Feud That Launched the War on Drugs by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis, Politico Magazine
- How Ken Kesey’s LSD-Fuelled Bus Trip Created the Psychedelic ’60s by Edward Helmore, The Guardian
- Thirty Years of Psychedelic Research:The Spring Grove Experiment and Its Sequels by Richard Yensen, Ph.D. and Donna Dryer, M.D., M.P.H.
- Johns Hopkins Psychedelic Research Unit
- Rapid and Sustained Symptom Reduction Following Psilocybin Treatment for Anxiety and Depression in Patients with Life-Threatening Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial by Stephen Ross et al., Journal of Psychopharmacology
- I Took a Psychedelic Drug for My Cancer Anxiety. It Changed My Life by Dinah Bazer, Time
- Psilocybin Can Occasion Mystical-Type Experiences Having Substantial and Sustained Personal Meaning and Spiritual Significance by R.R. Griffiths et al., Psychopharmacology
- Long-Term Follow-Up of Psilocybin-Facilitated Smoking Cessation by Matthew W. Johnson et al., The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- The New Science of Psychedelics by Michael Pollan, The Wall Street Journal
- Psilocybin with Psychological Support for Treatment-Resistant Depression: Six-Month Follow-Up by R.L. Carhart-Harris et al., Psychopharmacology
- A Double-Blind Trial of Psilocybin-Assisted Treatment of Alcohol Dependence, New York University School of Medicine
- The FDA Approved a New Ketamine Depression Drug — Here’s What’s Next by Angela Chen, The Verge
- A Dose of Anesthesia Could Blunt Traumatic Memories by Stephanie Pappas, Live Science
- Ego-Dissolution and Psychedelics: Validation of the Ego-Dissolution Inventory (EDI) by Matthew M. Nour, Lisa Evans, David Nutt, and Robin L. Carhart-Harris, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
- What Is the Difference between 5-MeO DMT and DMT? Choosing a DMT Therapy by Roger R., Psychedelic Times
- Ibogaine Therapy for Drug Addiction, MAPS
- The Brutal Mirror: What the Psychedelic Drug Ayahuasca Showed Me about My Life by Sean Illing, Vox
- Basic Cocktails: How To Make An Old Fashioned, Cocktail Chemistry
- The Psychedelic Toad, Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia S2 EP1
- The Rotating Mask Illusion, eChalk
- Maria Sabina and the Psychedelic Revolution by Robert Bitto, Mexico Unexplained
- Bach Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor by Yo-Yo Ma
- Depression as a Disease of Modernity: Explanations for Increasing Prevalence by Brandon H. Hidaka, Journal of Affective Disorders
- Psychedelics Panel Invited to Mainstream Healthcare Conference by Adam Snider, Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), The Mayo Clinic
- Discovering a New Form of Communication in the Brain, Case Western Reserve University
- Marcus Raichle on the Default Mode Network, VPRO Labyrint TV
- fMRI Brain Imaging: Classic Hallucinogens vs. Mindfulness Meditation by Gary Weber, Science and Nonduality Conference 2012
- The Science of Psilocybin and Its Use to Relieve Suffering by Roland Griffiths, TEDMED
- The Entropic Brain: A Theory of Conscious States Informed by Neuroimaging Research with Psychedelic Drugs by Robin L. Carhart-Harris et al., Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
- MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD Set for FDA Approval by 2021 by Rich Haridy, New Atlas
- FDA Approves Psychedelic Magic Mushrooms Ingredient Psilocybin for Depression Trial by Kashmira Gander, Newsweek
- After Dropping Bannon, The Mercers Are Looking Into Dropping Ecstasy by Cale Guthrie Weissman, Fast Company
- Molly at the Marriott: Inside America’s Premier Psychedelics Conference by Casey Schwartz, The New York Times
- LD50: 50% Lethal Dose, The MSDS HyperGlossary
- Tusko: The Elephant who Died on LSD, Audible484
- The Grateful Dead Dosed Everyone with LSD, RockTalk TV
- Could Psychedelics Become an Accepted Treatment for Mental Health Problems? by Guy Kelly, The Telegraph
- Powerful Hallucinogen Eyed as Treatment for Alzheimer’s, Chronic Pain, MAPS
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5): The Latest Edition of the DSM Makes Some Controversial Changes by Marcia Purse, Verywell Mind
- Stan Grof, Lessons from ~4,500 LSD Sessions and Beyond, The Tim Ferriss Show #347
- Like Cannabis, Investors Are Shoving Millions into a Growing Psychedelic Industry by Reilly Capps, Rooster
- The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
- What Do Babies Think? by Alison Gopnik, TEDGlobal 2011
- Two Kinds of Consciousness by Alan Watts, AMP3083
- Do Psychedelics Expand the Mind by Reducing Brain Activity? by Adam Halberstadt and Mark Geyer, Scientific American
- Shortcuts to an Infant-Like View on the World by Shaoni Bhattacharya, New Scientist
- Magic Mushrooms As Therapy for Long-Term HIV Survivors? by Emily Land, BETA
- Have More Died from Opioids in Two Years than in Vietnam War? by Douglas Soule, Politifact
- “Trip of Compassion” — The Most Compelling Movie I’ve Seen In The Last Year by Tim Ferriss
- Fantastic Fungi
- The Heffter Research Institute
- Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal by Tom Shroder
- The Secret Chief Revealed by Myron J. Stolaroff
- The Healing Journey: Pioneering Approaches to Psychedelic Therapy by Claudio Naranjo
- The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys by James Fadiman
- American Society of Ketamine Physicians Directory
- Michael Pollan’s Psychedelic Resources Page
- What are psychedelics? [08:05]
- Why are so many declaring a renaissance in the field of psychedelic research, and what caused the dark age preceding it? [10:46]
- Psychedelic applications Michael finds most promising. [16:30]
- How do the effects of these substances linger long after their physical presence in the body? [22:33]
- What compounds have most captured Michael’s curiosity, and why? [28:41]
- Have any of Michael’s psychedelic excursions had a lasting effect? [33:37]
- Michael describes his guided high-dose psilocybin experience and brush with ego death. [36:00]
- What is the opposite of spiritual? [46:25]
- What kind of pushback — and support — has Michael received since How to Change Your Mind was published? [47:34]
- While some medical professionals decry psychedelic therapies as unquantifiable by science, Michael points out a lot of currently accepted treatments are equally mysterious. [52:25]
- What is the default mode network (DMN), and what are the pros and cons of having an ego? [55:45]
- A look at the path forward for therapeutic access to psychedelics: from federal approval to financing. [59:50]
- While current press seems positive about the merits of psychedelic therapies, what can we do to avoid a ’60s-style public backlash and subsequent dark age? [1:05:28]
- Are psychedelics physiologically safer than Tylenol? What are the psychological risks? [1:07:49]
- What progress has been made in the acceptance of psychedelics as a topic of mainstream discussion since How to Change Your Mind was published? [1:11:32]
- Psychedelics are not a panacea: a look at what they’re good — and probably not so good — at treating. [1:14:12]
- In this field of study that’s so woefully underfunded, where might a potential investor best allocate their funds? [1:18:11]
- Two recent documentaries anyone interested in this field should see. [1:25:27]
- Worthwhile resources Michael recommends. [1:27:03]
- How to find a guide for whatever journeys you may decide to take. [1:29:24]
- Parting thoughts. [1:34:06]
Posted on: March 21, 2019.
Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.
Who was interviewed? Here’s a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.