《How to Change Your Mind》這本就更有趣了，作者探索現代醫學界如何以迷幻藥治療瀕死癌症病人、上癮者和憂鬱患者的實例，探討這些藥物如何壓抑人腦中的「常態模式網絡」（Default Mode Network, DMN），讓人暫時失去「我」和「自他二元」的概念，得到精神上的解脫、靈啟和重生。書中並提到對禪修者的腦部掃描研究，也觀察到同樣的現象：「常態模式網絡」受到壓抑。這點真的很有趣，佛法一直說「我執」，說這個「我」是虛幻的，但這個說法實在很難讓人理解或認同。這本書點出創造「我」的概念的正是腦中的DMN；它因應人類的生存演化而產生，但卻主導著我們的生命，讓我們陷入自我中心的僵硬思維模式，失去與他人和自然的連結。所謂修行、禪坐，其實就是為了壓抑這個DMN的作用，讓它不要叨叨不休地對自己說故事、悔恨過去、擔憂外來、創造一個堅持自己是單一、恆常、獨立的「我」；避免讓DMN主宰我們的生命，讓我們陷入不必要的痛苦。這本書讓我對佛法和禪修有了嶄新的認識。
It's as if we made entering gothic cathedrals illegal, or museums, or sunsets!' When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists and doctors as if the world might be on the cusp of psychological revolution.
It promised to shed light on the deep mysteries of consciousness, as well as offer relief to addicts and the mentally ill. But in the 1960s, with the vicious backlash against the counter-culture, all further research was banned. In recent years, however, work has quietly begun again on the amazing potential of LSD, psilocybin and DMT. Could these drugs in fact improve the lives of many people?
Diving deep into this extraordinary world and putting himself forward as a guinea-pig, Michael Pollan has written a remarkable history of psychedelics and a compelling portrait of the new generation of scientists fascinated by the implications of these drugs. How to Change Your Mind is a report from what could very well be the future of human consciousness.
In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.
Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.
Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.
Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.