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Good Books

Left in the Dark

Left in the Dark by Tony Wright and Graham Gynn is a fascinating read that should interest anyone considering a fruit-based diet.

The Question:

How can we be the most brilliant species on the planet yet plagued by ever-worsening wars, societal strife, and interpersonal problems? Rates of depression and other mental disorders continue their rapid ascent, and more and more we complain of alienation from society.

Even the best of us often sense we're not all we could be. We get brief glimpses of inspiration coming through the haze, and wonder if we're not quite whole, or if there is something more.

Left in the Dark reminds us that life may not always have been this way. Whether it's the myths of the Greeks and Hindus or the stories in the Bible, humanity has a tradition that we were once better. We lived off fruit in the forest, and consequently we were stronger, resistant to disease, and free from sorrow.

From this benign state of perpetual wonder and joy we somehow regressed.

So what got us from there to here?

The Answer:

Left In The Dark CoverLeft in the Dark proposes a theory that humanity's  problems stem from the loss of our natural-fruit based diet.

Our closest genetic relatives, the bonobos and the chimps, eat a diet predominating in fruit, and are closest to us in intelligence. Fruit bats have a greater brain to body ratio than their insect-eating relatives, as do parrots, who also eat lots of fruit.

Research has sown that the greater the percentage of fruit in the diet of a primate, the greater the brain/body ratio skews toward the brain.

So too, the authors argue, it was fruit that created our large brain and opened the way to higher intelligence.

The chemicals in fruit, the book proposes, modify the way a genetic blueprint is read, eventually creating a feedback loop that made our brain ever larger over the course hundreds of thousands of years. 

For a period of about a million years, our brain expanded at an increasingly rapid rate and then, some 200,000 years ago, this expansion suddenly stopped and started to slowly reverse itself. So far, no one has come up with a good explanation about what happened.

Left in the Dark suggests that
, whether due to a meteor impact, shrinking forests, or simple population explosion, humanity was displaced from its forest home and  ventured into lands that could not supply the species with the fruit that made us the most brilliant on the planet.

Since that loss, not only have our brains ceased to grow, but humanity is suffering from a progressive neurodegenerative condition distorting our perception of the world and altering our sense of well being and self.

 The Nasty Result:

Deprived of the chemical loop that kept us going for so long, the book proposes the left side of the brain has become dominate over the right, with the result of such oddities as having a dominant side of the body, less-than-stellar memory, and various mental disturbances such as multiple personality disorder.

Some of the oddities of the world, such as brilliant idiot savants, may be dysfunction, but their dysfunction allows them to access the right side of the brain. The results are astonishing - brilliant paintings, incredible memory, and mental feats that defy our understanding.

For the rest of us, we sometimes experience moments of intense joy, insight, and feeling like we're connected to something divine. This leaves us grasping for more, but we can't find it. Left in the Dark suggests we can only reach our right brain through a left-brain filter, limiting out potential to reach these states.

This rather nasty situation, the book argues, does have an up side: we still have a huge amount of potential if we can tap our latent right side.

The authors suggest a fruit-based diet, meditation, and various other ideas for reconnecting with our right brain.

Left in the Dark is definitely worth the read. Pick up a copy here.

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