Recommended Books August 2018

Spirit Vine August 2018, Recommended Books

How to Change Your Mind

What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

by Michael Pollan

When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third. Thus began a singular adventure into various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists. Pollan sifts the historical record to separate the truth about these mysterious drugs from the myths that have surrounded them since the 1960s, when a handful of psychedelic evangelists inadvertently catalyzed a powerful backlash against what was then a promising field of research.

A unique and elegant blend of science, memoir, travel writing, history, and medicine, How to Change Your Mind is a triumph of participatory journalism. By turns dazzling and edifying, it is the gripping account of a journey to an exciting and unexpected new frontier in our understanding of the mind, the self, and our place in the world. The true subject of Pollan’s “mental travelogue” is not just psychedelic drugs but also the eternal puzzle of human consciousness and how, in a world that offers us both suffering and joy, we can do our best to be fully present and find meaning in our lives.

The Cosmic Hologram

In-formation at the Center of Creation

by Jude Currivan

Our understanding of the Universe is about to transform at all levels, from the tiniest Planck scale to the vast reaches of space. Recent scientific discoveries show that the information that upholds all of our modern technologies is exactly the same as the universal in-formation that underpins, pervades, and is all we call physical reality.

Exploring how information is more fundamental than energy, matter, space, or time, Jude Currivan, Ph.D., examines the latest research across many fields of study and many scales of existence to show how our Universe is in-formed and holographically manifested. She explains how the fractal in-formational patterns that guide behavior at the atomic level also guide the structure of galactic clusters in space. She demonstrates how the in-formational relationships that underlie earthquakes are the same as those that play out during human conflicts. She shows how cities grow in the same in-formational ways that galaxies evolve and how the dynamic in-formational forms that pervade ecosystems are identical to the informational structures of the Internet and our social behaviors. Demonstrating how information is physically real, the author explores how consciousness connects us to the many interconnected layers of universal in-formation, making us both manifestations and co-creators of the cosmic hologram of reality. She explains how Quantum Mechanics and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity can at last be reconciled if we consider energy-matter and space-time as complementary expressions of information, and she explores how the cosmic hologram underlies the true origin of species and our own evolution.

Concurring too with ancient spiritual wisdom, the author offers solid evidence that consciousness is not something we “have” but the fundamental nature of what we and the entire Universe are. With this understanding, we can each transform our own lives and help co-create and in-form the world around us.