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The Natural Mind: A New Way of Looking at Drugs and the Higher Consciousness Paperback – July 23, 1998

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Editorial Reviews


"This is an incredibly sane approach to the 'drug problem.' Somehow [Weil's] deep understanding of the dynamics and principles of consciousness [gives him] a very new and refreshing point of view." -- Alan Watts

About the Author

Andrew Weil, M.D., has degrees in biology and medicine from Harvard University. Author of the best-selling Spontaneous Healing and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, he traveled the world experiencing and studying healers and healing systems and has earned an international reputation as an expert on alternative medicine, mind-body interactions, and medical botany. He is the associate director of the Division of Social Perspectives in Medicine and the director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Rev edition (July 23, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395911567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395911563
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrew Weil, M.D., is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. His next book, "True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure," will be released October 9th, 2012.

View all of Dr. Weil's current speaking engagements here:

Combining a Harvard education and a lifetime of practicing natural and preventive medicine, Dr. Weil is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, where he is also a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health and the Lovell-Jones Professor of Integrative Rheumatology. Dr. Weil received both his medical degree and his undergraduate AB degree in biology (botany) from Harvard University.

Dr. Weil is an internationally-recognized expert for his views on leading a healthy lifestyle, his philosophy of healthy aging, and his critique of the future of medicine and health care. Approximately 10 million copies of Dr. Weil's books have been sold, including "Spontaneous Healing," "8 Weeks to Optimum Health," "Eating Well for Optimum Health," "The Healthy Kitchen," "Healthy Aging," and "Why Our Health Matters."

Online, he is the editorial director of, the leading web resource for healthy living based on the philosophy of integrative medicine. He can be found on Facebook at, Twitter at, and Dr. Weil's Daily Health Tips blog at

See a comprehensive list of Dr. Weil's information:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on January 23, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is one of life's unexpected pleasures to discover Doctor Weil's original trail-blazing book on consciousness now revised and re-released. This book is a genuine countercultural classic. Along with millions of others, I have watched with interest as Doctor Weil's writing career has progressed from his concern with drug use and consciousness into his current writings educating the American public as to the values of wholistic alternative medical practices. Yet, most of his new fans are unfamiliar with this earlier work. Remedy that one fast, friend! With the publication of this book in the 1970s Weil established himself as a singular and original thinker not bound by the traditional and nearly exclusively rational allopathic medical viewpoints promulgated in western medical education. In spite of his eminent credentials as a Harvard-educated physician, Weil debunks conventional wisdom as to drug use and the so-called drug problem. As Weil states in the book, contemporary society doesn't have a drug problem so much as it has a consciousness problem, one exacerbated by the increasing use of rational thought as the exclusively legitimate path to knowing and understanding ourselves as well as the world around us. Instead, Weil counsels the reader as to how the act of recognizing the role of one's attitude and personal intellectual/ mental approach to experience can positively or negatively affect the nature of one's perceptions, experiences, and consciousness. His viewpoints and insights regarding the relative properties and values of inductive versus deductive reasoning is worth the price of the book alone. Wow! I haven't had this much fun anticipating anything since my lady friend came back from her sabbatical in London. Now we won't have to haunt the old used books stores in search of old copies of Doctor Weil's work. Enjoy!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
An excellent book about the inner workings of the mind.This book is a must read for those who have read Dr. Weil'srecent books about health and self care.The natural mind lays the ground work for these latter books, and is as relevant now as when it was first written in the early seventies.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By peter d pipinis on January 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
'There is none who is worthy of my love or hatred'. - Krishna, Bhagavad Gita.

The Natural Mind by Andrew Weil is not so much concerned with drugs per se as it is with the nature of consciousness. Having obviously experienced profound mystical states of being, Weil outlines his 'conceptual model' of a world in which the 'limitless' powers of the mind have been freed from the restraints of non-intuitive, 'straight' thinking reponsible for virtually all our social problems and allowed, via 'non-ordinary', or 'stoned' thinking, to restore sanity, balance and health to our Western world.

It is vital to stress the overwhelming nature of attaining the highest levels of consciousness, through such methods as meditation. It is difficult to understand where the more visionary aspects of Weil's beliefs come from if we are unable to accept the self-authenticating validity of these experiences. They leave us - at least initially - with virtually no doubts as to the perfect rightness of the spiritual and psychological insights gained.

To my mind, the most valuable of these insights is emotional detachment from personal prejudices and biased thinking. The experience of highest consciousness permits us to look at social, personal and medical problems with a fresh perspective and find effective solutions, rather than continue using methods that have patently failed and too often only exacerbated them.

Weil shows how the problem of drugs has been so mismanaged that instead of facts (alcohol and tobacco, our two most damaging and addictive drugs, are considered safer than relatively harmless ones such as cocaine, and especially marijuana), we prefer to hear only the 'evidence' of 'experts' who pander to our fears and prejudices.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
This work explores the nature of consciousness. It isn't a book about "the drug problem" but a book about how to understand our minds and the innate drive to alter consciousness that motivates many to use psychoactive substances.
The most impressive quality about Dr. Weil's writing is his objectivity--he takes apart the notion of bias and shows the reader how to look at the world with new eyes. One of best books I have ever read.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Bridges on May 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
I first was introduced to this book when a medical student in l976 in Arizona. Presented is a very expansive look at all mind-altering substances used in all cultures, with new definitions of those socially acceptable and not in our own culture. This belongs on every library shelf. I very quickly learned to see the many new insights into behavior vis-a-vis effects of all substances on the mind. I happen to be a fan or Dr. Weil's contraversial health information, but for those who have no interest, this material is fairly unrelated and more of a contribution to our understanding of culturally prescibed and proscribed mind altering substances. As an abstainer from cigarettes, coffee, alcohol, chocolate and recreational drugs, I was better able to understand the behavior of the majority who do use the above. This is also an excellent book for parents of teenagers, to further understanding on this vital topic. We need, as a nation to rethink our policies on a lucrative industry which is not taxed due to not being legal and also to look at the consequences of youthful consequences.
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