Graham Gynn and Tony Wright: Left in the Dark (The Biological Origins of the Fall from Grace): An Investigation into the Evolution of the Human Brain. A Journey to the Edge of Human Mind, 2nd edition (Kaleidos Press 2008)
This book review summarizes the contents of this book and provides some additional information on the topics covered. If you would rather read the whole book in free pdf form, there is a download link at the bottom of this page.
This is quite a long book summary, so here are quick links to the different sections of this review:
Summary of Key Ideas
Activating the Right Brain Hemisphere - The Pineal Gland/ DMT/ the Third Eye/ the Subconscious Mind.
The Human Golden Age/ Atlantis/ Paradise
Fall from Paradise/ 'Left in the Dark'
The Right Hemisphere Self vs. the Left Hemisphere Self - The Subconscious versus the Conscious Mind
The Optimal 'Golden-Age Diet'/ Raw Food Diet/ Rainforest Diet
Main hypotheses in the book:
The authors have been researching the differences between the left and the right sides of our brain. Where the left brain hemisphere is commonly been accepted as the dominant one, Graham Gynn and Tony Wright have made discoveries regarding the less-known abilities of the right brain hemisphere. By various ways of shutting down the left hemisphere (e.g. with drugs, meditation or sleep deprivation) they have found out that the right hemisphere is capable of many of the same functions as the left, and much more. They say that speech recognition, for example, has recently shown to be a skill of the right hemisphere as well, where previously this skill was attributed exclusively to the left brain. In addition, enhanced memory, improved moods, expanded consciousness and blissful states of mind are some of the abilities Gynn and Wright attribute to the right brain hemisphere.
The experiments of Graham Gynn and Tony Wright also seem to confirm that a raw food diet affects the right brain capabilities in a beneficial way.
Various scientists in recent cutting-edge brain and psychological research, as quoted in the book, are finding out that the right brain may be capable of seemingly super-human feats if the suppression of the controlling, logical left side is lifted.
(At this point I would like to invite you to watch the movie 'Limitless', which was inspired by the DMT, the chemical produced by our brain and associated with opening the 'third eye' and stimulating the pineal gland.)
Graham Gynn's and Tony Wright's findings are fascinating and the book is worth a concentrated read, whether you are a raw foodist or not. It does definitely require an open mind, however, as the claims are quite wild, to say the least, and sometimes the assumptions made by the authors are quite far removed from the research quoted. The book provides much food for thought, however. The experiments Gynn and Wright have embarked on themselves and the results of those experiments add to the interesting flow of imagination presented in the book - for example:
"To Investigate some of the issues around sleep and enhanced body/brain function, a pilot study under Professor David Collins took place in September 1998 at Manchester Metropolitan University. Two subjects [including Tony Wright] stayed awake for five days and four nights while being tested and monitored round the clock. One further element to the experiment was that the two individuals had for a number of years been maintaining an almost exclusively raw food diet, rich in fruit. [...] It was expected that the longer these two subjects were deprived of sleep the more they would exhibit decreases in co-ordination and functional ability, however this did not occur. In fact some abilities actually increased as the experiment progressed. [...] The overall results [...] show dexterity, strength and co-ordination increased rather than declined." (p. 19, Left in the Dark)
The ideas they put forward for WHY many of these experiments gave the results they did are less convincing, in my opinion. They postulate that since we don't eat a 'primate diet' any more, which would consist primarily of fresh fruits, we don't get the 'steroid inhibitors' we need from fruit. As a result our body gets an overdose of steroid hormones, which - over generations - would cause gradual damage to the left side of the brain. This, and other negative symptoms occurring as a result of less-than-optimal diet, the writers see as a fundamental reason for the devolution of the human and the cause of many of our problems today. Basically Graham Gynn's and Tony Wright's conclusion in the book is that we are all brain damaged.
Although it is quite easy to believe that our bodies and brains don't work optimally if we don't eat a nutrient rich diet, the idea about hormones and steroids specifically is harder to agree with. For one, this would mean that men's brains are more damaged than women's, just because they have more testosterone - which I like to believe to be a natural hormonal difference between the sexes. There are many other details in the theory which I personally could not stretch myself to agree with. But in a way I appreciate a book more which dares to make suggestions and wild ideas - it is a refreshing read and leaves you free to disagree. But every time I read the book I find it inspiring and fascinating, with new insights at each read. So in my view, take Graham Gynn's and Tony Wright's ideas with 'a pinch of salt' but also, dare to study them.
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