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The Natural Mind: A Revolutionary Approach to the Drug Problem
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The Natural Mind: A Revolutionary Approach to the Drug Problem

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  248 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The best-selling books of Andrew Weil, "the guru of alternative medicine," (San Francisco Examiner)offer a comprehensive blend of traditional and alternative methods that help to achieve better health in the modern world. A bestseller in its original edition, The Natural Mind was Dr. Andrew Weil’s frst book and the philosophical basis for all of his resulting beliefs and ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 9th 2004 by Mariner Books (first published 1972)
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Dr. Weil believes the root of the nations drug problem is the failure of our culture to recognize the importance of altered states of consciousness. He believes drug abuse is clearly a problem that needs to be corrected, but that culture misunderstands the nature of the problem.

First, it seems to me that Dr. Weil is addressing drugs like cannabis that our culture has declared war on for its counter-cultural symbolism. Drugs like pain killers, caffeine, alcohol, tranquilizers, and tobacco are al
Dr. Weil's points in this book align with his holistic philosophy of health: drug abuse is the symptom of a problem, not the problem itself. The author makes the point that drug use has been inherent in every society, and that the society's attitude toward this usage will determine whether or not it is detrimental. Societies that surround drug use with a rich set of norms and customs tend to see less problems, and vice versa. Our society's banishment of drugs has made the pacifying effect of nor ...more
...the mental steps required before a human being commits violence against another human being appears to be definition of hte other person as "other" or "different." pg 116

drug dependence - far from being an isolated phenomenon caused by particular substances - is simply a special case of a very general problem-- reliance on external things to produce or mantain desired internal states (including highs, health, and freedom from anxiety about manifestations of nature). pg 124

pg 175 Chemistry, by
Jan 14, 2009 Zach added it
Someone left this book on my floor (accidentally?) at a party. At first I thought maybe it was just some lazy pot-head propaganda (you know like some dude keeps a copy of it on him at all times, and then drops it as he's climbing out my window onto the roof), but i read a good bit of it and it is actually pretty great. Is this yours or what? Who does this book belong to?
Tim Peever
I was skeptical of this book at first, because when doctors put their faces on the covers of their books, they are often promoting some kind of fad that doesn't have a lot of scientific basis. That isn't what's going on in this book at all, though. He has a valuable perspective that can be insightful for anyone, regardless of their personal relationship with drugs. Speaking for myself, I've started to re-examine the reasons that I use various drugs (both in general, and in the moment). Additiona ...more
I read this book ages ago when it had its original subtitle: An Investigation of Drugs and the Higher Consciousness. I don't know if Weil has revised the book or not.

Nov 09, 2007 Rachel added it
Recommends it for: beginners, parents
My mother gave me this book to read. Weil manages to approach the subject with extreme amounts of common sense, draws on info from everywhere, the streets to the amazon, says what drug-takers have known forever (or at least the smart ones) where it's all in your head basically - he describes an attitude to drug taking, which is evidenced in small tribes in the amazon, that makes drug-problems a non-entity, placing them firmly in the developed world where we have gotten ourselves all bunged up, t ...more
It is very easy to dismiss the content of The Natural Mind, as Dr. Andrew Weil was literally on drugs when he came up with the ideas, and significant portions of the book were spent on justifying use of recreational drugs. However, underneath the biased agenda lies many fascinating insights that I also had encountered in my own experience, including the unease with the solutions recommended by allopathic medicine, the limitations of retrospective studies, and the benefits of accepting the ambiva ...more
This book should be required reading for anyone who votes, or thinks, or breathes, or, well, just about anything else, really. It's not that I agree with everything he has to say (although I do with quite a bit) so much as the way he approaches issues and thought processes in general is good brain exercise. He's pretty funny, too... although most of Weil's later work has to do with holistic health and not drug-related issues specifically, this book definitely made me a fan of his.

(p.s. I read th
The unconscious mind is just as real as "normal" consciousness. Becoming aware of the unconscious mind can be useful in many ways. While drugs can usually get you to a state of altered consciousness, in the long run it is better to get to these states without the aid of drugs. Any altered state of consciousness is never from drugs, it is from yourself. Humans have a natural drive to alter consciousness that begins in children (like when they roll down hills, which i still like to do).
Erik Graff
Jan 03, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: psychology
I found this book to be challenging, particularly as regards the subject of heroin and heroin "addiction". Weil's claims ran counter to much of what I had thought I knew about these matters, but his credentials, evidential references and general tone compelled me to reconsider. I came out of this knowing that I knew less than I had thought I had known. That doesn't often happen. I was impressed and strongly recommend this book.
Jul 22, 2012 Gerry marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction
Andrew Weil is Amazing. One of the Greatest Minds of our times. Why can`t we all find a Doctor like this ?
He is always my Go-To guy in reference for Health and Nutriton related topics. Also a Professor at Harvard.
I LOVE Dr. Weil.
Excellent common-sense approach to drug use and abuse in society. This helped confirm many of my own ideas about the natural human drive to seek altered states of consciousness and the damage done by the misguided the War on Drugs.
This is absolutely a must read. The author seems to go off the deep end at times, but manages to maintain valid points and a rationality that I found oddly clairvoyant. Anyway, read it, decide for yourself
A rare classic about accurate information about altered states of consciousness -- set and setting is the foundation of any experience. Anyone interested in investigating altered states should read this one.
Malcolm Alexander
This book should be required reading for anyone who has ever considered America's approach to the "drug problem."

I have read it several times and have purchased copies for friends to read.
A.Jay Wagner
The Natural Mind: A Revolutionary Approach to the Drug Problem by Andrew T. Weil (2004)
Aug 24, 2009 David marked it as to-read
Shelves: to-read-sci-med
"remains one of the sanest books on drugs" -- Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire
Dror Rosenbach
One of his best books...
Theresa Barkasy
Theresa Barkasy marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2015
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Apr 01, 2015
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Jason Schofield marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2015
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Andrew Thomas Weil, MD, is the founder and program director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. He is the author of many bestselling books, including Spontaneous Healing, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, and others.

Learn More:
More about Andrew Weil...
Spontaneous Healing Spontaneous Happiness 8 Weeks to Optimum Health Eating Well for Optimum Health Healthy Aging

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