Michael Pollan, Sam Stern
July 10, 2019
Michael Pollan's keynote address from the Psychedelic Integration Conference at Esalen Institute, 2019, is part two of a seven-part series drawn from the week's lectures. Pollan is the author of six New York Times bestsellers: "Cooked," "Food Rules; In Defense of Food"; "The Omnivore’s Dilemma," "The Botany of Desire," and now “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence,” a masterful book written by one of the leading immersive journalists of our time. Historically, the field of psychedelics is controversial, and controversy naturally arouses a certain degree of suspicion and distrust, particularly for the uninitiated. But when Michael Pollan talks, people listen. And that’s because he consistently brings a beginner’s mind, armed with a healthy dose of skepticism, to the table. His speech at Esalen was much like his writing- articulate, lucid, and underscored by a palpable desire to effect positive change. A question and answer session followed Michael’s initial speech; to preserve the confidentiality of the participants, we’ve eliminated the questions, and only presented the answers. His speech was also edited for clarity and for pacing. So please enjoy the psychonaut you can bring home for dinner - Michael Pollan.