Cannabis, The Importance of Forgetting, and the Botany of Desire
November 12, 2002 UC Berkeley
Let this be a little amuse-bouche to wet your appetite for the writings of Michael Pollan, whom you may of heard of for his method approach to journalism, articles for the New York Times Magazine, or perhaps appearance in the ‘Food Inc’ documentary by filmmaker Robbert Kenner. What I like about Pollan is that he explores his curiosities so very whole heartedly. When he was writing his book on architecture ‘A Place of My Own’, Pollen took up carpentry, and when he was researching for his most recent book on psychedelics, he sought out the guidance of underground psychedelic therapists to take him on assisted psychedelic trips to explore consciousness first-hand.
This early Youtube clip of a talk at Berkeley University is a hearty bite of Pollan’s process, although the clip is not anywhere near as high production as his Netflix docu-series ‘Cooked’, or PBS documentaries ‘In Defense of Food’ and ‘The Botany of Desire’, his talks show you how excited he is about his process and discoveries. Such a direct communication channel like speech and word are far more rich resources for a creative person (like myself) to run with. What makes Pollan’s books so attractive is that they’re based on the most fundamental concerns of modern life: food, shelter, and consciousness.
If your antennae start dancing, let me direct your attention to ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’, a must read for every man and his dog living today, exploring 21st Century food consumption; ‘The Botany of Desire’, a fun exploration into idea that plants have evolved to cater to the four human desires in the name of survival; and his most recent and most personal work on psychedelics LSD and psilocybin ‘How To Change Your Mind’, a fascinating first hand exploration into altered states of consciousness, brain science, and the growing underground web of psychedelic therapists.