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A bestseller in its original edition, The Natural Mind was Dr. Andrew Weil's First book and the philosophical basis for all of his resulting beliefs and tenets on health, healing, and the mind. Now completely revised and updated for the twenty-First century, The Natural Mind suggests that the desire to alter consciousness periodically is an innate, normal human drive. A landmark in his career, and in America's approach to the drug problem in general, The Natural Mind is essential reading for anyone interested in Andrew Weil's philosophy of integrative medicine and optimum health.
Andrew Weil, M.D., has degrees in biology and medicine from Harvard University. Author of the best-selling Spontaneous Healing and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, he traveled the world experiencing and studying healers and healing systems and has earned an international reputation as an expert on alternative medicine, mind-body interactions, and medical botany. He is the associate director of the Division of Social Perspectives in Medicine and the director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Table of Contents
|Preface to the 2004 Edition||vii|
|Preface to the 1998 Edition||ix|
|Preface to the 1985 Edition||xi|
|1. What This Book Is About||1||(13)|
|2. Why People Take Drugs||14||(19)|
|3. Is Anything Wrong with It?||33||(30)|
|4. What No One Wants to Know About Marijuana||63||(22)|
|5. Clues from the Amazon||85||(16)|
|6. The Solar Mind: Straight Thinking||101||(28)|
|7. A Trip to the Moon: Deep Thinking||129||(34)|
|8. The Only Solution to the Drug Problem||163||(11)|
|9. Where to Go from Here||174||(5)|
1. What This Book Is AboutThis book is an exposition of a theory that can help us. It is not a primer of pharmacology or a program for social reform. Rather, it is the germ of a new way of thinking about drugs and consciousness - a way that creates possibilities for solving a problem that divides us bitterly in our nation, in our schools, and in our homes. I have been actively interested in drugs that affect the mind for the past ten years, and during that time I have had many opportunities to write this book. I have declined to do so until now for a number of reasons that are pertinent to the ideas I intend to develop in these pages. Before I discuss them, let me state briefly why I now wish to write. The growing presence in our midst of chemicals that seem to alter consciousness raises questions of the utmost importance for us as individuals and as social beings. Examples of these questions are: What do these drugs tell us about the relationship between mind and body? Are they legitimate tools (in any sense) for changing the mind in a direction of greater awareness? How can a society come to terms with the individual urge to alter awareness? These questions are important because they bear directly on the nature of consciousness, which is, ultimately, the only problem worthy of total intellectual effort. It is the concern of all the worlds philosophies and religions, other problems being less precise statements of the same thing. All of us are working on the problem of consciousness on some level, and the conclusions we come to determine what we think about ourselves and the universe, how we live, and how we act. The complex phenomena associated with drugs in our country seem to me to be significant pieces of evidence to be taken into account in this process - clues to help us in our work whether we use drugs or not. It would be useful to have this evidence presented clearly and unemotionally. In directing attention to matters of consciousness, I am not ignoring or minimizing the very real problems associated with drugs. Our news media are full of documented reports on the tragic consequences of the misuse of chemical agents in search of highs. But having acknowledged the reality of these problems, I propose to find solutions to them by looking to the positive aspects of the drug experience rather than to the negative ones (which are visible all around us). By positive I mean simply "tending in the direction of increase or progress" rather than the reverse, and I will attempt to justify this methodology in the course of the book. During my years as a drug expert (a role I now cheerfully abandon) I have sat through a great many conferences about drugs attended by all sorts of people, but I have never heard the important questions given the attention they deserve. Instead, I have listened to pharmacologists arguing over changes (or possibly no changes) in the chromosomes of rats exposed to LSD, to users rambling on about
Excerpted from The Natural Mind: A Revolutionary Approach to the Drug Problem by Andrew T. Weil
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