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The Natural Mind

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Below, you will find three concepts that Dr. Andrew Weil presented in his book, The Natural Mind: A Revolutionary Approach to the Drug Problem. My aim within this paper is to simply discuss my reactions to these three concepts after having read Dr. Weil's commentary. Likewise, the opinions of other drug experts are included for your perusal.

Using Drugs to Alter Consciousness

Dr. Weil posits that if an individual or a society is to experiment with drug use purely on the bases of wanting to alter consciousness, s/he or the society should look at the South American Indians and take notes as to their success at doing so. In the eyes of Dr. Weil the Indians from the Amazon region are admirable because the drugs they use are:

* purely natural,

* used during rituals,

* encouraged because people who have used them educate others about them, and

* used for positive reasons.

Here, Dr. Weil argues that there are social benefits to drug use whereby drug abuse is not the result under the aforementioned terms. Researchers from the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research add merit to Dr. Weil's claim. "Unfortunately, word of the supposed benefits of using a drug usually spreads much faster than information about the adverse consequences" (2010).

My reaction to this concept is most likely an average response. I say that because I found it very hard to come to terms with what Dr. Weil is suggesting here in The Natural Mind, as would most Americans who read the book. I am certain that Dr. Weil's argument to me would

be that I am a 'straight' thinker. Although the book did a great job of trying to get me to see things a little differently and from another angle, I still have difficulty identifying with appears to be Dr. Weil's tenets here.

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