Changing Consciousness with Psychoactive Plants – with Michael Pollan and Jules Evans

From The Royal Institution.

Humans have changed their consciousness with plants for millennia; from the legally and socially acceptable consumption of coffee and tea to plants that are criminalised, such as the opium poppy.
Michael’s book "This is Your Mind On Plants" is available now:
Watch the Q&A:

In Michael Pollan’s new book, ‘This is your mind on plants’ the renowned science writer asks: Why do we go to such great lengths to seek these shifts in consciousness, and then why do we fence that universal desire with laws and customs and fraught feelings?

Join Michael in conversation with writer and philosopher Jules Evans as they discuss these plants from several angles and contexts, and shine a fresh light on a subject that is all too often treated reductively—as a drug, whether licit or illicit. Michael will argue that by putting these plants into our bodies and letting them change our minds, we are engaging with nature in one of the most profound ways we can.

For more than thirty years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in our minds. Pollan is the author of eight books, six of which have been New York Times bestsellers; three of them (including his latest, How to Change Your Mind) were immediate #1 New York Times bestsellers.

Jules Evans is a practical philosopher. He researches ideas from different eras and cultures, then tries them out in life, and interviews others to see how ideas have helped or harmed them. From Stoicism to CBT, from Aristotle to ayahuasca, Jules searches for the best wisdom to help people suffer less and flourish more.

This talk was recorded on 5 August 2021.

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