Michael Pollan with Erika Gagnon, of Esalen Institute. His later-life investigations into psychedelics prompted a New Yorker article, a book and now a Netflix series. Credit…Netflix
By Chris Vognar
July 15, 2022, 10:00 a.m. ET
In late 2012, the best-selling author and journalist Michael Pollan (“The Omnivore’s Dilemma”) was at a dinner party in Berkeley, Calif. Among his fellow diners was a prominent developmental psychiatrist, in her 60s, who spoke at some length about a recent LSD trip. This pricked up Pollan’s ears.
His first thought, as he shared during a recent video interview: “People like that are taking LSD?” The psychiatrist went on to explain that the drug gave her a better understanding of the way children think.
“Her hypothesis,” Pollan said, “was that the effects of psychedelics, LSD in that case, give us a taste of what child consciousness would be like — this kind of 360-degree taking-in of information, not particularly focused, fascinated by everything.”