- May 30, 2017
- 7:00 pm
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
There's a quiet revolution underway in our understanding of how psychedelic drugs work and how they can be used to treat depression, addiction and other disease. Meanwhile, from shamanic circles in the Amazon to underground tribes in cities across the U.S., a new generation of consciousness explorers have embraced sacred plant medicines as a means to promote psychological and spiritual growth.
The stories behind this cutting-edge medical research and religious exploration reveal the human side of a psychedelic renaissance. Author and journalist Don Lattin has been telling psychedelic stories since 1977, when as a 23-year-old reporter he published one of his first major investigative articles on the front page of the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle/Examiner. That early story detailed the horrors of secret U.S. Army drug tests that employed LSD as a chemical weapon to psychologically torture and interrogate prisoners. He has been telling the stories of psychedelics ever since.
Over the past forty years, Lattin has written dozens of articles and four books that chronicle the socially and spiritually beneficial uses of psychedelic drugs and sacred plant medicines. His new book, Changing Our Minds: Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy, is an engaging look at the stories and recent history as well as future prospects for using MDMA, psilocybin, and ayahuasca to treat mood disorders and cultivate religious insight.
Join Don Lattin for an evening of stories about his recent experiences as a psychedelic journalist and participant observer in a dizzying array of therapeutic treatments and shamanic circles—a journey that took him from a high-tech research lab in Switzerland to a mind-blowing encounter with the dried venom of a Sonoran desert toad.
Don Lattin is an award-winning author and journalist. His five previously published books include The Harvard Psychedelic Club, a national bestseller that was awarded the California Book Award, Silver Medal, for nonfiction. His feature articles have been published in dozens of leading magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle, where Lattin worked as a staff writer for twenty years.
His new book, Changing Our Minds: Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy, explores a new wave of scientific research and spiritual exploration into the beneficial uses of psychoactive plants and chemicals. Lattin profiles neuroscientists, psychotherapists, volunteer research subjects, and ordinary people looking for safe and sane ways to cultivate psychedelic insight. At the end of the book, Don recounts his own journey to find an alternative treatment for depression, a trip that took him from the South American jungle to the wilds of western Marin County.
Lattin's previous works include Distilled Spirits, which blends memoir with a group biography of Aldous Huxley, Gerald Heard and Bill Wilson; and Following Our Bliss: How the Spiritual Ideals of the Sixties Shape Our Lives Today.