This book is guaranteed to shatter your illusions.
After sixteen years of groundbreaking experimentation and research the manuscript has finally been published
Left in the Dark expounds the most radical reinterpretation of existing evidence from the disciplines of evolution, ecology, neurology, psychology, anthropology and other academic fields, whilst also placing the ancient ‘Ages of Mankind’ mythology and related traditions within a scientific context. These universal traditions were once the only version of history we had, they describe the onset and progression of a neurodegenerative condition that really has left us in the dark. Often considered no more than the imaginings of a primitive mind and easy to dismiss as mere myths, they are in fact a more accurate natural history of humankind than modern science has thus far recognised. The book outlines the origin and nature of a condition that eventually left us virtually blind to its existence. Evidence is cited that supports such a scenario. A means of definitively testing its validity is proposed and most importantly what can be done to treat the condition and prevent its occurrence. While this may seem a challenging prospect it promises amongst other things the restoration of phenomenal abilities, exceptional immune function and most importantly a greatly enhanced state of mind and well being only rarely glimpsed by a tiny minority.
The revised 2nd edition of 'Left in the Dark' with a foreword by Dr Dennis McKenna is now available.
A neurodegenerative theory, such as the one outlined in Left in the Dark, which proposes that the development of our brain has become seriously retarded would accurately predict a number of major psychological symptoms.
For example making sense of who or what we are or recognising the insanity of our day to day behaviour would be virtually impossible.
Furthermore such a theory would predict that even if there were overwhelming evidence to support such a scenario we would be slow to understand the context, specific nature and severity of our predicament, even if it were pointed out in laypersons language…
Preview 'Left in the Dark' on Google Book Search
Buying your copy of 'Left in the Dark' direct from E.C.R. maximises funds for further research, signed and unsigned options available (In stock).
Rest of World
Colour Pdf £6
Book orders are usually processed and pdf orders emailed within three working days, shipping can however take two weeks or more depending on destination.
Alternatively buying your copy or download direct from Lulu.com also helps with funding.
Or buy from Amazon
us. uk. ca. fr. de. jp.
Wholesale trade and bulk ordering information
Left in the Dark is a printed by Lulu.com and distributed by Ingrams and Baker & Taylor.
For U.K. wholesale orders Left in the Dark (ISBN: 978-0-9556784-0-0) is also available from Gardners Books.
Unfortunately being a small independent publisher it has been impossible to achieve a distribution deal that results in wholesale discounts of more that 20%.
In response Left in the Dark is now being printed in the UK and is available directly from Kaleidos Press at wholesale discounts of around 40%.
For further information regarding wholesale orders contact Kaleidos Press at firstname.lastname@example.org
Graham Gynn and Tony Wright follow the implications of modern brain research to an astounding conclusion: that our culturally acquired left-brain dominance has cost us our sanity, and that ancient myths about a fall from grace actually record neurochemical events within our skulls. But if we have alienated ourselves from nature and our original state of wholeness, there may be a way back. This is a startling book that makes us rethink the most fundamental issues of religion, psychology, and philosophy.
Richard Heinberg - lecturer at the New College of California and author of eight books including Memories and Visions of Paradise and The Oil Depletion Protocol
At last - an innovative work of science which transcends scientific gobbledegook. LEFT IN THE DARK is a persuasive, profound breakthrough in our understanding of the human mind from our earliest beginnings to the present day – and possibly beyond. The authors deliver a clear, original and stunning message, which is of inestimable importance to every man, woman and child on this planet. Two earth-shattering hypotheses currently hold monumental, practical implications for the human race. Global Warming is the first, Quantum Physics, the second. If only a fraction of its conclusions prove to be true, LEFT IN THE DARK could easily be the third.
John Machin - international writer on nutrition, author and TV scriptwriter.
While most of us think of insomnia or insufficient sleep as a sign that our work activities or personal concerns are adversely impacting us, Tony Wright has actually made sleep deprivation into a way of life. This work chronicles Wright's research, and provides the rest of us with a glimpse into that really happens when the sandman forgets to call.
John Baker Professor of Anthropology (President, Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness)
A fascinating challenge to all our preconceptions about our early ancestors, this is a well-argued book, with some novel insights. Although Tony Wright is not an academic, this thesis is a substantial work of scholarship. Perhaps it takes someone from outside academia to come up with a breakthrough idea like this one.
Tony Edwards - BBC Science Producer whose credits include Horizon, Q.E.D. and The World About Us
"If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinise it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence." Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)
Academic endorsements and readers comments
This is a totally new way of looking at the evolution of the human brain. It is so totally fresh, unexpected and hitherto un-thought-of that it will probably take a long time before evolutionary anthropologists and psychologists begin to take it on board; but it will make an impact, of that there is no doubt. It will be, it must be, taken very seriously in any discussion of human origins.
Colin Groves - Professor of Biological Anthropology at the School of Archaeology & Anthropology, Australian National University and author of several books including A Theory Of Human And Primate Evolution and Bones, Stones and Molecules
I've received and read ‘Left in the Dark’ and am a little overwhelmed by it. I find myself arguing with it, quoting it, extolling it, disagreeing with it -- a very provocative tool as we attempt to find clarity about what's happening to us, and in particular, what the "human-nature-relationship" (the heart of "Ecopsychology") really is.
Congratulations for a truly amazing book.
Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State University.
Author The Wilderness Effect and Ecopsycyhology in Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind.
Just wanted to say I am half way through your book reading it most carefully and with the greatest pleasure. It reflects many thoughts I have had myself, plus adds an enormous amount of extremely interesting information. Thank you for writing such a great manuscript.
Amanda Feilding Lady Neidpath Director of The Beckley Foundation.
If the key proposal outlined in 'Left in the Dark' is even partially accurate, then the evolution, development and function of the most complex thing we know (the human brain) is likely to have been a direct product of the most biochemically complex ecological system (the tropical forest). Moreover, if our disconnection from that ecology has affected the development of our brain and compromised our state of mind, it adds a whole new dimension to the task of defining 'normal' behaviour. The wholesale destruction of the tropical forests may, therefore, be more accurately characterised as a tragic case of self-mutilation than simple ecological catastrophe.
If we can stand back and gain a certain critical distance from privileging our habitual mind-lens or entrenched localized worldviews and cross into a more expanded and inclusive open global space across and between diverse worldviews astounding mega-patterns come into relief. In this dilated global lens we are able to discern a dormant tradition of Global Wisdom through the ages wherein deeper dimensions of science, knowledge and alternative narratives of our evolution emerge to the fore.
One such astounding mega-pattern is the emergent consensus that when we are lodged in certain “egomental” or “monocentric” habits of mind in processing our world, self and culture this adolescent technology of consciousness invariably generates personal and cultural dysfunctions and pathologies and produces existential suffering of all kinds in our human condition. In contrast, our great wisdom traditions teach that when we mature to more integral, holistic and dialogic patterns of world-making this opens higher dimensions of cognition and brings us into deeper encounters with the Unified Field of Objective Reality.
Left in the Dark (The Biological Origins of the Fall from Grace) by Graham Gynn and Tony Wright is a bold experimental journey into this largely uncharted frontier of Integral Science. The sub-title of this intriguing book- An investigation into the evolution of the human brain. A Journey to the edge of the human mind – hints at daring scope of this adventure. This powerful thought-experiment challenges the current dominant paradigms of evolutionary science and invokes a radical reconsideration and revision across disciplines in understanding our evolutionary drama- the generative development of our brain, our patterns of consciousness, our rational capacities, our cultural patterns, even our unfolding human form. This alternative thought-experiment sheds light on the great challenges faced by humanity in the 21st Century and opens possibilities for us to rise together in conscious evolution in advancing toward sustainable global cultures, for personal and collective flourishing. This courageous book deserves careful critical attention.
Ashok Gangadean Professor and Chair of Philosophy (Haverford College, USA) Founder-Director of the Global Dialogue Institute, Co-Founder of the World Commission for Global Consciousness and Spirituality
Author: The Awakening of the Global Mind
One the great puzzles of primate evolution has been the explosive evolution of the anomalous human brain. Another aspect of evolution usually ignored or overlooked by evolutionary biologists has been the certain impact of bioactive plant secondary metabolites, abundant in the omnivorous diet of foraging primates, on the evolution of human cognition, as well as physiological and neurological adaptations. The authors of Left in the Dark have proposed a stunningly innovative and challenging theory that neatly ties together these issues and provides plausible, rational, and scientifically insightful explanations for many of the most persistent mysteries surrounding the evolution of the human brain, cognitive and cultural evolution, and human brain anomalies. The authors also show how human interactions and adaptations to plant secondary compounds continue to profoundly influence individual human development, human behavior, and contemporary societal evolution. The authors have made an ambitious and well-crafted argument, and have done so in an engaging manner that will be comprehensible to any intelligent layman, and will also be of interest to anthropologists, evolutionary biologists, cognitive psychologists, neurophysiologists, ethnobotanists, and virtually anyone else who has ever wondered how humans evolved to be the way we are.
I think the theory holds together well! But it takes an interdisciplinary cast of mind to fully understand it.
I have to go over all that you have written much more carefully. You're onto something, no doubt!
This is important information that needs to reach a wider audience.
Can modern human brain research help us understand how we got into this huge environmental mess?
Left in the Dark offers a provocative and original answer to the most important question of our time.
Linda Buzzell-Saltzman is the founder of the International Association for Ecotherapy (IAE)
It will be a dia-biolical disgrace if the thesis in this book is not studied, considered and tested by all involved in the human sciences. It pulls together many strings of human evolution, anthropology and ecology into a net of intrigue, intuition and integration. It is a sane insight into behaviour that at various times in history has been considered insane.
There is worldliness about the prose and presentation that links experiential and historical evidence unrestrained by the tyranny of the double-blind, placebo controlled methodology. However, it is respectful of the need for scientifically acceptable evidence whilst presenting artistic and perhaps instinctive evidence featured throughout human evolution.
Tony Wright is from the tradition of researchers who have used themselves as experimental subjects whilst being able to apply objective assessment with rational thought. He is not confined to the standardised scientific tick-boxes but uses his brains, literally in the plural, to promote the right hemisphere as at least an equal partner or even director alongside the presently dominant left hemisphere. Perhaps we are all schizophrenic to some degree but the cerebral leftist minority may be more right than wrong!
It is an enlightening read that is timely in that it addresses nutrition, health and behavioural issues that are now receiving official consideration because of developing social problems for which conventional thinking and practice are not moderating, preventing or controlling.
Modern development of concepts such as sexual and racial equality, social inclusion, human rights and even terrorism may be better understood from a grasp of the theses that is presented here. We may be better able to save the world at the same time as improving health if we think and act more intelligently about genetics, hormones and medication. We do not need genetic modification, steroids, statins and fluoridisation of drinking water. We do need more nutritional gene support; more melatonin and more fruit. More research and practice as called for in this book is likely to bear fruit for our future.
C. Peter W. Bennett BA(Hons) in Human Sciences, University of Oxford; MA(Oxon, MBA (Aston), M.Phil. (Exeter) in Complementary Health.
Peter Bennett is a former Police Superintendent and founder of the Restorative Health Co. Ltd
Left in the Dark provides a revolutionary view of human evolution based on the effects of diet on hormones and consciousness. The loss of the effects of a fructiferous diet on human hormones is shown to have produced fundamental changes to human consciousness that has led to a loss of our connection with the natural patterns of the planet. The dietary understandings provided by Left in the Dark has substantial implications for understanding not only our loss of spiritual consciousness but also how our contemporary meat and carbohydrate diet propels us into the dangerous militarism and violence that plague our planet today.
Dr. Michael Winkelman M.P.H. PhD. Associate Professor, School of Human Evolution & Social Change
Arizona State University
Co-author of Supernatural as Natural A Biological Theory of Religion
You provide some interesting observations, and theories. Your ideas are complex, and appreciated. I need to re-visit them to be sure I clearly understand. But I am open to any ideas or thoughts about cerebral dominance since it seems critical to savant syndrome. I've come more and more to the conclusion that rather than there being right hemisphere compensation, there is rather release from the 'tyranny' of the left hemisphere. Your ideas about the right hemisphere actually being the more dominant one (at least potentially) set me to thinking that through more completely. You hint at something that I also have written about, or at least articulated: is there an inherent inability of the brain to understand itself. It can understand the kidney, the heart and other organs as we unravel some of their mysteries, but I wonder whether the brain can transcend itself to explain itself. I'm not at all sure about that. But we are a long ways from reaching that barrier; our exploration has barely just begun and we are at a level that the brain can easily understand. Your thoughts that rather than evolving, we may actually be regressing are interesting ones also. Anyway, I have your thoughts now in e-mail form. They are complex (at least to me) so I need to let the percolate among my own synapses now. I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for sharing them. I'll be back in touch.
Darold Treffert - M.D. Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry
University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison.
"It’s refreshing to read such an audacious and ambitious book, with so much food for thought."
Steve Taylor is the author of 'The Fall: the Insanity of the Ego in Human History'
"I have been following Tony Wright's research for over a decade. I believe he has uncovered the primary mechanisms of humanity's dangerous levels of left-brained dominance and how to correct our hemispheric imbalances in order to create a sane and healthy future for us all. His book 'Left In The Dark' is highly recommended."
This book challenges one or two assumptions that have hitherto been taken as axiomatic, and poses some intriguing new questions. You don't have to agree with the answers to find it a good read.
Elaine Morgan - Author of several books including: 'The Scars of Evolution', 'The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis'
They say "great claims require great evidence" and Left in the Dark proves to be equal to the challenge, providing sources that build a very compelling case, so much so that, given the amount of evidence, the claim can only be considered heretic in more dogmatic circles. The book provides a much needed boost to the field of evolutionary biology, presenting some of the most elegant ideas since B. Ehrenreich and N. Etcoff, while staying away from the common pitfalls of popularizations. It also draws from neuroscience, a promising field considered by many not to have delivered, and takes the best it has to offer to build its case. The case, namely that our early ancestors suffered changes in brain chemistry due to a change in their diet, is so well argued and supported by so many additional works, that serious researchers will simply have to take this work into account for future endeavors. Left in the Dark covers so much ground that it should be of use to physicians working on newly discovered mental illnesses, such as Low Latent Inhibition, which present a case of information overflow, as the clear emphasis on the behaviour of the two halves of the brain is quite revealing, when discussing, for instance, schizophrenia. It also draws from, but ultimately surpasses, J. Haynes' "Bicameral Mind" and M. Persinger's "God Beliefs," which is no easy task. Ultimately, this proves that the authors have that special attention to good research that once made Einstein proclaim we must "Know where to find the information and how to use it - that's the secret of success."
Theo Antichi (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
The most mind blowing book I've ever read. Its an idea essentially on the tip of many tongues (neurons?), but never seen surfaced and articulated in such a stunningly well thought out manner. I read this book years ago and have undergone a lot of experimentation and research, as have others I know, and the results are tree-fuckin-mendous! A must read.
This is an amazing book! I would think virtually everyone on the planet has something to learn from this book. For anyone interested in evolution, neuroscience, physics, biology, consciousness, mind, psychology, Gaia hypothesis, spirituality, healing, personal development, ego, modern culture and many more I would advise it's a must read. I'm certain the understanding of the evolution of our awareness presented in this book will have a profound effect on our collective development.
Among many extremely insightful observations, we can understand how our `irrational' mind functions at a higher level than our egocentric rational mind. We can also understand how we co-evolved symbiotically with the rainforest as one functioning whole but then humanity had to evolve into an individualistic competitive hierarchy in order to survive environmental changes.
The book is also incredibly timely, although we have managed to populate virtually the whole planet in this fashion, it is our view of ourselves as individuals in this competitive hierarchy, with each other and nature, that now poses the biggest threat to our collective well-being and survival. The time for our awareness to rediscover and manifest the true symbiotic relationship between our inner and outer world is NOW! This book is deeply helpful.
Lloyd Collins (UK)
Brilliant! If one word could sum up this super-star, divergent thinking behemoth of a book, brilliant would be it. Most people acquire a pinhole eye area of expertise in life, making it hard to get an accurate sense of the bigger picture of things. This book however, manages to use research from many different areas of scientific study, and ties them together in such a way, that once this thesis is understood, seems so obvious! After reading this book one has to wonder if there always was a Wooly Mammoth hanging out in every lecture hall of all the universities in the world, but everyone had to ignore because if they did not, most of their conclusions would seem fatuous.
George Niculescu (Ontario)
Loving your book Left in the Dark! Great work in general, keep on blazing your trail
This is a marvellous eye-opener. One can only hope that this book will become a word-of-mouth best-seller, because this is a message we all urgently need to hear and learn from.
16 years in the preparation, modestly and carefully written, honest and thoughtful - these are unusual qualities in public life these days. And more than that, Tony Wright has done something wonderful - come up with a perception that makes sense of the chaos of our behaviours and our theories about ourselves.
A good hypothesis ("theory") has the capacity to explain many disparate facts, and suggest ways forward, and this book has that in spadefuls. Wright has also managed not to fall into either an over-analytic, or "new age" mode. He also wisely does not go any further in his conclusions than the facts will support him and is clear where he is speculating and where he is not.
This should make the book accessible and acceptable to any audience, except perhaps a very sceptical reader requiring a fully referenced academic tome (not many of those looking here I'd guess). Nevertheless there is a very full bibliography (reassuringly full of original papers rather than just books).
If Wright's ideas are taken up and used in research, and in public and personal life as they deserve, I think there might be much satisfaction from being able to say in 20 years time - "yes I read that book when it first came out ..."
Andrew Morrice (Somerset, UK)
I read this book and flipping LOVED it!!! I SOOOOO resonate with Left in the Dark!!!!
I just wanted to let you know how much sense your book made to me and to wish you the best in your endeavours. On the night of 18th September 1995 I had a mind-blowing experience after being awake for 30 + hours - the result of jet lag rather than any attempt to bring on a transcendental event. I spent the following years trying to work out what happened to me, but one thing I was convinced of was that part of my brain had shut down. During the experience I could not focus in, dissect, analyse or process in a linear way. I could only be/know in a universal/holistic way. I knew everything about everything all at the same time - including that everything is one! A more detailed account of my experience is posted here
I just wanted to say that I really thoroughly enjoyed your magnificent book!
I am truly inspired
"I read it from cover to cover, I am as excited about this as I was on wednesday (I actually woke up on Thursday, started reading about 10am, and finished it by about 4pm). Look forward to speaking to you."
James Kettless (Penzance)
Simply put, 'Left In The Dark' has the potential to alter the course of mankind. Whilst that may sound like a bold claim, the information contained in this book reveals a radical new perspective on the destructive path that we as a species have been pursuing for millennia. This book answers fundamental questions about why we are the way we are, and what we can do about it.
Essentially, the authors propose that the move away from the tropical fruit forests fundamentally altered our internal biochemistry in a way that lead directly to what amounts to a neurological condition that is now being exhibited by our damaged but dominant left hemispheres. The main symptom of this 'fall from grace' is the compromised state of consciousness humanity currently displays, which manifests as virtually every destructive behaviour ever exhibited by mankind. Luckily it seems, the right hemisphere is not nearly so damaged, and acts as a repository for our incredible lost function that is there for everyone, if we can only learn how to access it.
Provocative and thought-provoking in the deepest sense, this book represents a rare opportunity to gain a radically different and universal perspective on reality. Indeed, it is so universal that it explains a broad range of hitherto anomalous neurological, physiological and sociological conditions.
The conclusions relegate virtually every effort of mankind to misguided and ultimately futile attempts to deal merely with the overt symptoms of the underlying neurological dysfunction. The only thing worth pursuing, therefore, is access to our former levels of neurological function, the loss of which has created such tragedies of humanity as war, disease, tyranny, and unhappiness. The answer is to address the root cause, rebuild our neurological function and access our right brain to restore our ability to perceive reality from a more enlightened perspective. Interesting side effects of this process will be a deeper experience of life, more profound feelings of love, empathy, connectedness, and eventually, perhaps, even a state of perpetual ecstatic bliss.
This book IS the answer we are ALL looking for - the road map to paradise on earth. If only the research presented in this book were more widely utilised, perhaps we really could one day return to a world without suffering. Buy this book. Read it. Change your life accordingly. This is the only rational response to an increasingly insane and disconnected world.
Adam Living (UK)
Dear Graham Gynn & Tony Wright, I wish to offer my fullest thanks to you both for your book publication ‘Left in the Dark’. It is truly a wonderful hypothesis and most satisfying from beginning to end. I do hope that you and your professional colleagues will be able to continue your research and studies, and later produce an incontrovertible account for all persons on earth.
C. W. Morley (Donnington, UK)
Left in the dark is not a book. It is an adventure into the depths of the mind, body and soul from a different yet somehow intrinsically familiar perspective showing us how things became what they are today. Different because the book takes the reader on an exciting journey that is off track when it comes to the usual landscape of today's scientific theories, and is right on track when it comes to the science of tomorrow. Familiar because for me personally it weaves togehter almost everything that I've been interested in: evolutionary biology, spirituality, the brain chemistry, the feeling of Flow, raw and living food and the strong feeling I've always had that this is not how life was meant to be lived (ie the modern civilization).
Reading this book was a long "aha!" and the feeling of putting all the strange pieces of the puzzle together into a beutiful Vision of Man and Nature.
I talk about this book with most of my friends and recommend it to everyone. I hope for many coming editions updated of this Master-Piece (of the large puzzle of Existence)
Keep it up!
Pierre Durrani Järna Sweden
But now I've gotten to the point where I want answers. Especially now, as we may be in the process of extinguishing ourselves. The recent surge in interest in a global awakening or shift in consciousness points to the urgency for solutions.
Of course, without understanding the who, what, when, where, how and why of human development, how can we possibly know the real solutions to our pressing problems?
Left in the Dark may provide the answers, or at least a good shove in the right direction, for leading humanity back to paradise.
Hi all! Amazing book Tony, currently re-reading the preview while I await the hard copy from amazon.
This is what I wrote to my friends...This book is about why we don"t care about this book. If he's on to even one thing he is on to so many relevant things. How our brains have reacted to the radical change downward in the quality of the fuel source we provide it is the subject. "We are what we eat" is not just a physical reality, but a behavioral ... See Moreone as ...well. Why do we use such high intelligence in such low and destructive ways ? There is no blame,religion, or philosophy here. This is only speculative science. Watch the video first. The read is hard. 49 minutes. Worth it ! Trying to eat clean is hard. Trying not to eat S&*T is even harder, until you finally convince your rational mind that you don't want to have S*@T for brains and your decide to give your brain the fuel, via eating, that it was used to getting for millions of years. What a difference a bite makes. This book is really groundbreaking in my opinion. Thanks Tony !!!
Dear Graham and Tony,
I really want to thank you for this absolutely amazing book, Left in the Dark. I just finished reading it and I have to tell you it has created a revolution in my thinking. In part I think so much of what you said resonated with me because I already 'knew' so many of these things to be true but previously had not known how to justify or articulate my innate knowledge. Your logical arguments were just what I needed to even more deeply trust this 'knowing'. I read the book very slowly, digesting as much as I could, and spending time researching many of the points you made and new information you introduced me too. It seems to me that the importance of your work lies in the hope it so strongly implies, that we are in fact potentially much more than we've been led to believe.
Pippa Anais Gaubert Austin, USA
Your book is fascinating. Brilliant work.
Markus, Helsinki Finland
For all our amazing achievements, we all know that actually we are doomed to languish in our own spent packaging! With every natural system in decline, we are still singing praise to our species. Surely, surely, this must say something about our mental condition.
What Tony Wright has managed to do is create an analogy - a working, repeatable, ongoing model of our failing humanity. Every ancient script says it. Every cancerous growth says it. Every creature falling into extinction says it. Climate change says it...
We are quite simply mad. And who would have thought that we would have the opportunity to know it, and maybe even fix it before the next big bang.
Let's hope so...
D. Earl "Dao Earl" (Devon, UK)
This book is exactly what I hoped it would be - a completely out-of-the-box accounting for the evolution (and de-evolution) of human consciousness. I'm not convinced that the authors' main thesis is correct - there's really no way to prove it - but they provide many fascinating observations along the way. In fact, this is one of the few books I know I won't have to re-read years from now because the story really stuck. Their view of human consciousness - in particular the inhibited role of the right brain - aligns nicely with other books on the subject, especially "My Stroke of Insight" (required reading for any student of the human brain).
Chris Esse (Los Angeles, CA USA)
This book makes so much sense of so much that I have to recommend it to anyone interested in exploring the origins of consciousness among human kind. The author (Tony Wright) however goes further than this and asserts that we have experienced a fall from grace, or a neurological banishment from the Garden of Eden. Through a diet that has featured less and less fruits, vegetables and nuts over centuries, a problem that has accelerated in recent years, the author argues that we have lost contact with our right, non-conceptual hemisphere. That is, the side of our brain that sees things holistically and which appears to offer many powers that lie dormant owing to our inability to access them. As a result of this, it is argued, we are suffering from a degenerative affliction that becomes worse with each passing generation and which contributes to our propensity for violence and a feeling of disconnection with what is around us.
I read this book twice and interviewed the author (read the interview here) and found each and every sentence to be of tremendous interest. I have a long fascination with ancient spiritual beliefs and practices and found Left In The Dark offered so many well informed answers to age old questions. In particular I recommend that readers of Julian Jaynes' work on the origins of consciousness read this as offering a possible explanation for how humankind reached the point where the bicameral mind was lost (as Jaynes argues).
Left In The Dark is well researched and the information is presented in a digestible manner that does not require the possession of any extensive background knowledge. The book raises many interesting questions and offers some startling answers.
Very highly recommended.
V. Cooper (http://www.martial-arts-insight.com/index.html)
The authors present a complex model based on the hormonal and metabolic effect of frugivorous diet. It describes a similarity and interaction between the antisteriodal effect of fruit diet (weak) and the pineal gland (much stronger). According to the authors, the consecutive hominid lines are offshoots of a proto-hominid line where an enhanced pineal activity kicked in (the critical junction), and was maintained by the fruit diet until they stayed inside the rainforest. Changing to meat, later grain, and cooked food - with its steroidal effect - started a slow reverse process on the brain. The so-called "acceleration" (early onset of puberty in industrialized countries) is not the result of the better diet, and it is not in the good direction as thought. On the contrary. The book presents another total flip-over (the kind I like): hemispheric lateralization comes from degeneration (see below).
I cannot argue for or against the anthropological part, but the physiology of bipedalism in a flooded forest floor, and the neuropsychological components of the book made sense to me.
--The idea of non-DNA, but transcription dependent inheritance is sound. It means, the library is unchanged but the what, and the when of the reading changes, while passed down matrimonially from the mother to the female fetus. Sounds as a powerful explanation why the chimp and human genome has more overlap than the chimp and other primates despite the obvious phenotypical differences.
--Turning hemispheric specialization upside down is heuristic, and my favorite part. It is not an evolutionary step; it is the result of steroid induced neurodegeneration. Explains well some peculiar features of lateralization. The same thoughts are drifting the book toward spiritual waters. The idea of being under the dominance and tyranny of the degenerating side of our brain may sound decadent to some readers. Nevertheless, just look around. Don't be misled by the hightech glitters. Technology is evolutionary, and adaptive only if keeps balance with the environment.
--It sends a powerful message: for better health eat what you may find in a rainforest (or related plants). Not even grains, corn, or potato.
--The book carries some features of conspiracy theories: i.e marshalling more evidence pro than con, and stitching them together without balancing the weight of the evidence.
--The explanation of lack of evidence is not evidence (rare fossilization in the humid rainforest), yet has some point on the bias of current theories.
--The authors try to grab too much, which is impossible without letting a good deal to slip through their fingers. E.g. the passages on baldness are funny, and a gynecologist would probably jump out of his skin at the chapter on reproduction (which also has some good points).
Wiesenmayer Eva (Hungary)
As someone who practices yoga and aspires to a very healthy lifestyle, I have found this book to be the missing key, the scientific proof of how our diet is of great importance. Left in the Dark is rich with scientific information on the enormous effect that a nutrient-rich plant based diet plays on our brain/body function and development. Strong evidence suggests that our species evolved from this diet over a long period of time, and that human existence was a blissful, harmonious experience.
Clear, understandable evidence is provided on how our departure from this original diet in our distant past has altered, and even reversed, the evolution of humanity, leading to much of the dysfunction that we live in today.
I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone and everyone, as it provides ground-breaking and lucid conclusions of the origin of mankind, the current state of humanity, and the brilliant potential that we have within us.
I think this book is a must read for anyone with an interest in how the body and brain work in relation to food, especially the raw food diet. Absolutely inspiring and a book that sets a new level of understanding who we are. We as a species truly do have the possibility of a radiant future, if we but take conscious control of our evolution.
Devan K. Gangadean (Jet Pilot)
Hi Tony, the book is brilliant. I've recommended people the world over read it.
If you have ever wondered about the seeming incompatible dualities of human nature--how as artists, families, and lovers, we could be fooled by the doublespeak of advertising, politicians, or turn a blind eye to suffering for personal convenience--the theory put forth in Left In the Dark not only illuminates a concrete, evolutionary reason as to why humans behave so anomalously so, but offers hope to heal this schism, too!
The ideas in this book pervade every science, every aspect of human life. Both the problem and the answer lie in every single one of us, and the book does a splendid job of objectively addressing the problem, and offers a host of solutions to work toward healing our fractured perceptions of reality.
The book also includes a wonderful list of extended references for continued reading, which I found extremely rewarding.
I highly recommend this book to everyone! The science was explained in relevant and digestible terms, and the information was presented in a way that blew my mind, keeping me eager for the next page until there were no more pages to turn.
You sir, are an inspiration.
I've ask myself many a times, why humans are so stupid.You've helped me figure out some things. I completely agree that our ridiculous modern diets are the main cause for our stupidity. It looks like a viscous cycle that feeds itself doesn't it? But what's really crazy, is how many people don't like to admit or even realize how fucked up of a world we live in. They would rather escape to their fake realities of their couch and electrical appliances. Then party it up fuck like rabbits. Such a waste of time, energy, and life. I admit I am one of these people, but I'm working on it. At least I see what I've become and don't like it. Some don't even realize.
As I was reading this book I said to my husband this is one of the best books I have read and I read a lot! I finished the book and still feel this way. It just made so much common sense!
It is well written, easy to follow and hard to put down. A Damn good read. I have passed the book on and hope that the message it has to give is spread far and wide so that further research can be done.
Thank you Tony and Graeme for all your valuable work - I wish you well in continuing to help us all make sense of "life" so that our world can only be a better place for future generations.
Janet New Zealand
Stunning 'And Simple’ What an incredible book. Literally, mind-blowing. The central idea explains everything about people that ever puzzled me or niggled the back of my mind.
If you have any unease about 'progress' - any concern for the ecological future of the world - if you care about the next generation - if you wonder what it means to have a moment of intuition, or a 'spiritual experience', or 'know' that someone is looking at you - if you are wondering where humanity went wrong - read this book. If this idea is right, the mess that we are in is not our fault, but we still desperately need to fix it.
In our lifetimes we will probably never know for sure if the theory contained here is right or wrong. But just realizing that this MIGHT be true, changes everything for me. I can see what I was doing right, what was wrong, what is important and what needs to be dropped. The description may make this book sound academic and perhaps difficult - but it is NOT. The idea is very well explained in simple terms, all the supporting arguments are clear and the scientific theory is there if you want it. Any reasonably intelligent person could follow it easily.
Most of us are floundering through our lives, trying to act for the best without ever knowing exactly what the best is. We are always half-conscious of something lacking but we either have no idea what it is or we chase after things that, when we get them, turn out not to fill the gap after all. Other people seem to be complete - but to ourselves, we don't - and we never quite feel we fit in. Want to know why? Expand your universe - read Wright & Gynn's explanation.
I only wish this was more widely distributed. It should be in Amazon etc.
Listen to interview with Tony Wright about the book on New Zealand radio.
Part 1 here: part one.mp3
Part 2 here: part two.mp3
A truly seminal piece of writing . . . ties together very succinctly diverse esoteric ideologies with a solid underpinning of factual observations from the fields of neurophysiology, psychology and much more.
I look forward to seeing where practical application of some of the ideas mentioned can lead us.
EXTRAORDINARY. I would have rated this book ****** if I could work out how to do it!
Function. Diet. Chemistry. Psychology. Sociology. Anthropology. Creativity. Ecology.
This book manages to explain the link between all of these and more and the effects our tragic inherited loss of function has and is increasingly having on us. It takes us to the edge of our potentiality and exposes the inherent key for profound and sustainable change from the inside out.
It is fascinating and engaging reading, written in digestible sections with a balance of scientific information, explanation, personal experience and the odd lacing of dry humour to highlight the message.
It gave me a real sense and explanation of hunches I've had in my work and life, with lots of new ground as 'food for thought'.
With deep thanks,
Ruth Boulton Music Therapist
Left in the Dark sheds LIGHT on what can only be described as perfect sense about our human nature. The ideas are cutting edge and could transform society if were were to implement them in our day to day lives. It provides hope that humanity isn't destined for disaster. The choice, however, is always ours. Will we seek to honour our biological needs or go on suppressing them? I fully endorse the authors' intentions, research and conclusions, and can't recommend the book highly enough. It should be mandatory reading for anyone involved in medicine, psychology, biology and nutrition. EXCELLENT and gripping.
Veronika Robinson, Editor The Mother magazine
When I first read left in the dark I was awe-struck. Through a true piece of right brain inspiration he has possibly stumbled on the single most important discovery ever made: that our left brains are a damaged counterpart of the right. Not only that but he explores in detail the possible biological causes as well as consequences theological, social and individual. He also poses some enthralling ideas to remedy the situation.
As a supposedly rational atheist I have often had trouble reconciling my 'spiritual' experiences with my world view. Tony's book gave me a way through this. A year on from my first reading of left in the dark I am still grateful for the insight it has given me into the human condition. I hope and suspect that this is the starting point for a revolution in the way we think about ourselves - not as the pinnacle of evolution but simply as a species that made it this far (and by the skin of our teeth at that).
Oh and did I mention it is beautifully and entertainingly written? Good luck guys:-)
I have read many books, and done lots of research in the realms of, spirituality, and human physics... How we and the universe works, left in the dark is one of the best books I have read. It is full of riveting content and is hard to put down, the fresh ideas and conclusions speak loudly, and "ring true" the book is also superbly written and very accessible.
A must read book.