Plant/Human Symbiosis and the Fall of Humanity

WIKI - CubensisTrevor Smith, Guest Writer
Waking Times

There are many mysterious anomalies about human evolution yet to be adequately explained. These include the human brains rapid expansion in size and complexity, why this accelerating expansion suddenly stalled roughly 200,000 years ago and our brains have been shrinking ever since, and why our rare glimpses of genius goes hand in hand with our species wide insanity.

“I believe that the lost secret of human emergence..the undefined catalyst that took a very bright monkey and turned that species into a self-reflecting dreamer..that catalyst has to be sought in these alkaloids in the food chain that were catalyzing higher states of intellectual activity.” — Terence McKenna

Tony Wright and Graham Gynn are authors of Left In The Dark– the book that presents Tony’s research outlining a radical re-interpretation of the current data regarding human evolution and, they contend, our recent degenerated state we call “civilization”. You can read the book for free hereDespite such a young and extreme proposal positive reactions are growing and include such minds as Dennis McKenna, Stanislav Grof, Colin Groves, Michael Winkelman and many others.

The following is a discussion with Tony Wright on these anomalies and more, followed by some further information on his theory.

Trevor Smith: After two decades of research and radical self-experimentation you’ve come to a synthesis between the ancient data and information coming out of modern science. Paradoxically this all seems to indicate a humongous problem, and simultaneously explains why we would be oblivious to it in the first place: we are all suffering from species wide neural retardation, and are now too deluded to even realize when faced with the mountain of evidence. Is this the general idea?

Tony Wright: Yes. It should be virtually impossible to find any supporting evidence for such a profound theory if there was no real problem with the development and structural integrity of our neural system in the first place. If there were only ancient accounts of the diagnosis, or any supporting biological data, or initial support from some of society’s sharpest minds, then it should at least ring alarm bells. That all those elements exist and in addition our collective behavior has long been thought by many to be insane indicates something really serious just doesn’t add up. If everything is fine then the theory would be a no-brainer to refute, and we should at least have no fear in thoroughly checking it out.

So during millions of years of evolution in the African tropical forest we developed a symbiosis with fruit, and your proposing that it is no coincidence the most complex tissue in the known universe evolved during a symbiosis with perhaps dozens of species of the most complex chemical factories on the planet. How did this occur?

I’m proposing that the accelerating expansion of the neo-cortex was due to a runaway feedback mechanism driven by our own hormone system in combination with the complex plant bio-chemistry provided by our diet. What has been overlooked is the profound effects of flooding our brains 24/7 for thousands of generations with this highly advanced molecular engineering formula. Fruit is essentially a womb-like developmental environment for the seeds and has very unique, highly complex hormonally active chemistry.  Our early development is dictated by the transcription process whereby changes in how the DNA is read dictate the type of structures that develop. Steroids like testosterone are the key players here, but by incorporating more and more of these DNA-reading plant chemicals into our diet we basically shifted from a typical mammalian developmental environment to more of a plant developmental environment.

Along with regulating gene transcription many of these molecules increase brain activity, modulate the endocrine system including the pineal gland, inhibit mono amine oxidase (MAO inhibitors), are antioxidants and also inhibit the activity of our own hormones such as testosterone and oestrogens.  Just altering the activity of these two hormones has a dramatic affect on many aspects of our development, physiology and neural structure. For example, decreasing they’re activity extends juvenility and the window for brain development by delaying the onset of sexual maturity.

All this coming together would have many interconnected affects and, being that this bio-chemistry would be present in the developmental environment it would dramatically impact what develops at this most sensitive and rapid stage of brain/endocrine system growth in the uterus.

This carried on after birth through breastfeeding, and then afterwards through directly ingesting this highly advanced molecular engineering cocktail we call fruit. Each generation would pass down a progressively modified neuro-endocrine system as a result. So after millions of years of ever more entangled co-evolution nearly all of the transcription chemicals present during our early development and on through life that were essential to our optimal design/functioning were lost and replaced by progressively worse substitutes irrelevant to our evolution.. all the way until we reach today’s ‘junk’ food. Ironically much of this actually has the opposite effect of fruit bio-chemistry on our hormones, causing the unique process to reverse.

All of this sounds complex but at its foundation it’s just really basic engineering principles: If you change the design (transcription) and construction materials that a system or technology is built from and fueled by, then the structure and functionality of that system will inevitably change as a result. This logic is obvious when applied to any of our technologies but paradoxically we haven’t applied it to the thing involved in generating our perception, which just happens to be the most complex piece of kit we know. Our perception is directly correlated with and ‘effectively’ a product of the extremely sensitive structure and bio-chemistry of our brain and this has changed out of all recognition in a very short time.  (more on this symbiosis)

Makes sense considering even the slightest alterations in the structure or chemistry of the brain can result in major changes in overall functioning, how we perceive the world, and our sense of self. The powerful effects of taking even a minut dose of a psychedelic being a perfect example of this sensitivity! What happened when we lost this symbiosis?

Even mild climate change can result in a shrinking of the forest. This would isolate and separate some symbiotic associations more easily than others but a big drying will affect even the most protected non seasonal niches. Eventually we left the forests and were separated from the highly advanced molecular engineering cocktail that we were immersed in for millions of years. The physiological structures most influenced by the symbiosis were the ones most vulnerable to exposure from the re-emerging basic mammalian hormone regime since it was these hormones that prevented their emergence in the first place.  The most hormonally sensitive parts of our physiology would be the most affected; such as our reproductive system, immune system and our highly sensitive neural system, especially during its early development in the uterus.

When the symbiosis ended and the archaic steroid regime re-asserts its influence the neocortex stalls and accelerating expansion turns into contraction. The complex neural architecture begins to erode and because the left hemisphere of the brain is more sensitive to steroids this side inevitably erodes at a quicker rate. Some genetic asymmetry and specialization was the primitive norm, and now one side is inevitably reverting back to the primitive type more quickly than the other.
The orthodox view suggests each hemisphere has its own specialized capabilities and that the characteristics of the dominant left hemisphere, such as conceptual and rational thought/speech, are some of our most advanced traits. The data indicates that the development of the brain and in particular one side of the neocortex is now incomplete, and paradoxically the most retarded side has assumed control.  With a loss of functioning we become less able to experience, understand and know, and with this comes fear. Fear is a powerful emotion that can mask all other mental functions and this played a part in suppressing the more baffling perceptions of the right hemisphere. When we lose any sense fear accompanies this and a growing sense of anxiety and the need for control arose as the left began actively resisting experiences it cannot categorize or understand since they are threatening to its very sense of self.

This has severely limited our perception and compromised many abilities. The evidence suggests those abilities as well as a wholly different sense of self lie dormant in the right side of our brain and is only occasionally glimpsed by a tiny minority of people. Unfortunately this also creates a paradox. The dominant side of the brain is assessing itself and so while the concept of specialist abilities appears initially to make some sense on further investigation all is not as it appears and this doesn’t hold up. I have proposed that the abilities and perception facilitated by the left side of our brain are a more primitive and greatly reduced or distorted version of what still remains locked away in the right. Instead of separate senses a unified and highly advanced system that perceives everything all at once without any problems was the norm. These glimpses of synesthesia for example (which some are actually born with) could be a relic of this unified and coherent perceptual capability now well beyond and frightening to the primitive neural architecture of the left hemisphere.

It’s interesting then that the myths of a previous golden age and humanities fall into dark times are found all over the world. Even the bible talks about our naked, forest dwelling, fruit eating past. This sort of theme is witnessed among Eskimos, Aborigines, Native Americans, Mayans and dozens of other cultures.  Many also talked of a “higher self”. Do you think our ancient ancestors knew what happened? How did they go about addressing the problem? Do we still get glimpses of these right brained states of consciousness today?

When you look at the ancient myths and traditions with all this in mind it becomes blatantly obvious that they all are attempting to describe and address through various techniques essentially the same thing- although both the myths and practices have become inevitably distorted over time from their original purpose as the condition progressed.  Of course our tendency today is to dismiss them all as “myths” but in reality they may be more historic account than myth, and this would be expected if the condition was progressive.  I’ve proposed that the origin of these ancient practices, such as shamanism, meditation, sleep deprivation, etc, were borne out of techniques to reduce the influence of the degrading left hemisphere and/or engage the abilities of the increasingly suppressed right hemisphere. If fruit was all that was needed to turn around the negative hormonal feedback loop that developed, our ancestors would have figured this out a long time ago. These practices would make a lot of sense if the general condition exists.

Most of us today don’t escape the confines of the dominant left hemisphere except in dreams and perhaps subconscious glimpses during meditation or similar practices. More direct experiences are possible through supplementing with neuro-chemical analogues found in various psychedelic plants for example but a combination of approaches works best. Many such as prodigies, savants, etc, all display abilities characteristic of more access to the right hemisphere. Although if you were to take all of these abilities and put them together with once in a lifetime athletic feats, and shamanic states of consciousness it may still be only a glimpse of a state of being that our distant ancestors considered “normal”. While there has been a catastrophic loss the idea that we all have a fundamental problem with our neural functioning that is entirely treatable is immensely hopeful given our current situation.


Food for Thought

There appears to be a mountain of evidence supporting Tony’s theory. For starters, we are learning more and more about the beneficial properties of fruit bio-chemistry all the time. One tomato for example contains 10,000 different phytochemicals that we currently know about. Many of these chemicals are transcription factors influencing the way the DNA is read and thereby influencing the structures that develop.  Is it any wonder then that this can affect brain size? That our brains are shrinking? That poor construction materials can possibly lead to brain damage? Or that what a mother consumes can have a life long impact on the child after birth? For millions of years this unimaginably complex formula was directly influencing what structures develop at the most sensitive stages of growth.

As the symbiotic relationship evolved the mammalian developmental environment was slowly infused with ever greater concentrations and complexity of plant hormones. This had a progressive impact on the way the DNA was read in turn resulted in novel structure and function.


Even if the neo-cortex could be built to the same structural specifications, the major part of its essential neuro-active operating environment was also provided by the chemical cocktail in fruit. There currently is no other coherent and contextual explanation for the accelerating expansion of the brain which suddenly halted and began contracting around the time we left the African forests.


In more recent times, the catastrophic loss of essential design specifications (transcription chemicals) and chronic neuro-chemical deficiency has been exacerbated by the use of increasingly poor quality construction materials.


Katherine Milton’s findings suggest that we have lost around 95% of the complex plant bio-chemistry and nutrients that were present during our evolution for tens of millions of years. When considered within the context of the design, development and function of most complex and chemically sensitive thing we know, these factors in combination can only result in a massive failure.

The Chemistry of Patriarchy

It sounds unlikely that our left hemisphere is a dominant yet damaged version of the right, however there is evidence from various fields to support such a seemingly wild notion. Simon Baren-Cohen has discovered evidence that the left hemisphere is more susceptible to testosterone damage and that higher levels of testosterone in the womb are linked to a lower level of empathy and less social skills. His theory is that autism is an extreme form of the male brain; the male brain being ordinarily less empathic than female brains in the first place. Estradiol is made from testosterone by the enzyme aromatase and plays an important part in the “masculinisation” of the brain, or in this case, the damage to the left hemisphere. So the degree of masculinisation is determined by the amount of testosterone available and the degree of aromatase activity.

The book elaborates: “As we have already seen (see Chapter Three for the link with oestrogen dependent cancer), the activity of aromatase is inhibited by plant flavonoids and, more importantly, by melatonin. Less melatonin leads to more aromatase activity, which in turn leads to increased masculisation of the brain and, at the extreme end of the spectrum, autism (which appears to be becoming much more common). Our ancestral fruit-based diet would have been rich in aromatase inhibiting factors – and in the past our pineals would have pumped more melatonin too. The degree of masculisation of the male brain we see today, therefore, may well be an aberration that has had huge consequences for us.”

Males therefore appear to be the most damaged. Where this manifests in a greater degree of left-brain dominance it can be a disaster, as is evidenced by the abundance of fear and control in our male dominated society. Perhaps it is no surprise then that we live in such a patriarchal society where it’s the old men, chronically deficient in plant chemistry and suffering from years of testosterone driven over-masculinisation, who send the young to war and are currently running our society into the ground through they’re greed and lack of empathic understanding.

Could it just be a coincidence that we see competitive and aggressive behavior all over the place and the biological data seems to predict this sort of behavior in the first place? To make matters worse much of the food we now consume contains the very same hormones that would have been inhibited, along with others that have many detrimental effects.

If humanity were a single patient displaying the range of behavior we are collectively capable of and turned up at the neurology/psychology department of a prestigious hospital, what would they think of our mild to severe tendency for self harm and suicide? Or our oblivious destruction of the very environment that sustains us?

Treating the hundreds of apparently ‘distinct’ behavioral, psychological and perceptual symptoms without at least checking for a general/structural cause would be grounds for serious negligence and a raft of law suits even if there were no smoking gun regarding evidence/mechanisms for a developmental/structural cause? In our case the evolutionary data and biological mechanisms are equivalent to fairly complete cctv footage of a serious accident, and the myths and spiritual traditions of many disparate cultures are eye witness accounts which include, once the dogma is stripped away, methods to treat the condition. Shamanism, psychedelic plants, yoga, meditation, fasting and sleep deprivation are just some examples of these techniques aimed at regaining some of this lost perception.

Psychedelics and Other Clues

Psychedelics like ayahuasca seem to be a powerful means of re-accessing these lost perceptual abilities (any wonder our left brained society has made these things illegal?). It’s been said that  shamans for example who work with it enough can eventually bring in an altered state of consciousness willingly, without even drinking the brew. The beta-carbolines in ayahuasca alone are powerful MAO inhibitors with psychoactive properties by themselves (along with many other beneficial effects). We’re chronically deficient in not only a complex cocktail of plant MAO inhibitors but also the ones that our pineal glands would have produced in much higher amounts as well, given that flavonoids stimulate this gland. Pinoline is just one example.

Many other psychedelics can undoubtedly help as a partial treatment. Tony’s mention of synesthesia being a relic of this advanced perception makes sense in light of E.A. Serafetinides research. Serafetinides administered LSD to those who had undergone either left or right temporal lobe removal. He found the perceptual affects were virtually non-existent after right but not left temporal lobe removal– further supporting the idea that the left hemisphere is no longer capable of making use of such profound activity and that this is another psychedelic catalyzing access to the latent functions of the more sensitive right hemisphere.

Other research by Dr. Allan Snyder has found that by decreasing the dominance of the left hemisphere with magnetic fields the enhanced perceptual abilities of the right can be partially accessed. These include increased visual memory, drawing skills, and other abilities. He cites cases were autistic savants have damage to parts of the left hemisphere and how this results in a decreased ability to suppress the less filtered perceptions of the right hemisphere.

Just one example of this is Steven Wiltshire, who has astonishing artistic abilities coupled with a photographic memory. Oddly, he cannot add or subtract! His left hemisphere lost its linear processing but this decreased its dominance, opening the door to the rights more advanced abilities. There are many others like Wiltshire with similar stories.

Research into Alzheimer’s also supports the idea that we are chronically deficient in the chemicals abundant in a fruit, and that this is just a further symptom. Recently it’s made headlines that hundreds of dementia patients could be helped by a “drug breakthrough”. Dementia seems to be partially halted and reversed by drugs with the same sort of activity we see among these fruit chemicals ( A quick search on google reveals many fruit chemicals with the same exact properties. If this is the case then when we were flooded by an incredibly rich cocktail of flavonoids way beyond current research parameters then, relatively speaking, our reference points for dementia are invalid.


Insanity and Hope

If there was any indication at all that we had profound abilities locked within us then we should immediately look into this. Especially since it is precisely these sorts of enhancements in perception that are necessary if we are going to get ourselves out of the mess we’ve stumbled into.

As Einstein said- “ The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.”

If there were any evidence at all for widespread neural retardation would it not be a near certain candidate for the root problem behind our collective insanity and inability to live harmoniously with each other and our environment? If there is a structural problem with our neural architecture then this provides an absolutely amazing opportunity for a species scale ‘fix’ to our current state of literal insanity, and offers immense hope for our dire situation here on earth.

Even if there was only the slightest indication that this was the case then we should at least check to be sure. Not rigorously checking into such a profound possibility would actually be a symptom, and it should be very easy to dismiss based on scientific methodology.

The current reaction to this research is split, but the initial support leans heavily towards the more creative, innovative and intelligent spectrum of society who have been willing to scrutinize with an open mind. Even still, such broad initial support is a conundrum for such a radical new idea. Although the book is not well known as of yet, the Transpersonal Association of Estonia has selected it for translation. Meanwhile it’s being dismissed- often before even evaluating the evidence-by those who cite current or familiar paradigms… exactly as predicted if the condition is real.

The consensus among many striving to better our world is that we are collectively engaged in a tightrope act between disaster and a massive shift in collective awareness. Our ignorance is jeopardizing the continuation of not only our own species but countless others and the planet as a whole. We have the physical means to turn things around but it is a crisis of consciousness; and thus our own minds that stand in our way. We are glued into our conditioned behaviors and ways of viewing the world.

Without a fundamental change in the way we relate to ourselves, the earth, and our place in the cosmos, we will only see more of the same. History repeats itself and, as we have seen time and time again, attempts to fix any of the individual problems (symptoms) that arise from a deranged collective mind are doomed to fail in the long run unless the damaged equipment generating all these problems is addressed.

Major shifts in perception can be accomplished relatively quickly by combining various techniques. It’s straight forward: replace this plant bio- chemistry for the long term and diminish the influence of the left hemisphere while simultaneously engaging the right hemisphere. The trend is very consistent from those who’ve dabbled. The more one explores the more mind blowing and self-evident it becomes. Ultimately it comes down to a choice.

Look at the evidence, experiment and decide for yourself.

This only a glimpse at some of the supporting data. For more information see…

New book project

Terence McKenna ~

“You must cut through the aura of programming and cultural assumptions that surround us from the moment we are able to speak. The only way this can be done is by dissolving the boundaries of ego. Ego is a structure that is erected by a neurotic individual who is a member of a neurotic culture against the facts of the matter. And culture, which we put on like an overcoat, is the collectivized consensus about what sort of neurotic behaviors are acceptable…

…The goal can now be stated. What this is all about is a return to archaism with the lessons learned in history. Thats where we were happy. The fall was a fall..Into a veil of tears..Into a world of limitation, pain, suffering, infectious disease and so forth and so on. It’s a prodigal journey into a lower dimension that can now be ended by a collective cultural decision to commit to this Taoist shamanistic feminized cybernetic caring aware present kind of being.”

About the Author

Trevor Smith is a cognitive scientist in NY who has been heavily interested in how accidental and neurochemical alterations of our neural system precipitate changes in consciousness and development.

About Tony Wright

While a student at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and preparing a short dissertation entitled ‘The Genetic Manipulation of Plants’ the subconscious seeds of a revolutionary new theory were sown in Tony Wright’s mind. Over the next 20 years a mixture of scientific curiosity and radical self-experimentation resulted in the development of a simple idea that explains the emergence of increasingly anomalous traits in human evolution. From the rapid and accelerating expansion of our large brain to the mysteries of our mind and the origins of spiritual practice he has developed a new context in which we may understand who we are and has provided a framework for the reunification of the academic and spiritual science of consciousness.

  • John Cook

    “For example, decreasing they’re activity extends juvenility and the window for brain development by delaying the onset of sexual maturity.”
    Have you noticed the shocking decrease in the age of puberty, particularly among girls, these days? It is apparently caused by the estrogen mimicking chemicals in out modern environment. The fact that the PTB don’t care about this is an indication that it is not an accident. It is clearly a deliberate attempt to lower the mental development of girls – I think this is a tragedy. Girls used to only hit the foolishness of hormone influence at fifteen or even later, now they are frozen at a mindless mental age of ten or so. Very sad.

  • Joseph Hill

    I lived on a piece of land out in south spain that Tony used to own and live on and apparently it was the place where a lot of the information Tony is presenting now was ‘channeled’.
    Fruits are amazing, go down to the mediterranean during fig season and gorge yourself on figs for a while and see how you feel! Or pomegranate season, or grape season, or orange season, or persimmon season etc. More and more these days fruit is what I really want to eat, however it’s not so easy to find back in England, which is why I am very interested to go to tropical africa – – these guys are on it regarding fruit.
    In these climes one of the best foods we can eat for its complex biochemistry is honey and pollen collected by our very good friends the honey bees, who visit 100’s of different varieites of flowers throughout the year. Truly natural super foods!!
    Last year, I was working picking apples in somerset, uk (lots of yummy apples!!), it was a bit rainy and I decided to go for an evening wander round the orchard, so I put on my plastic wet weather gear and away we go. Mid way round I spot a deer down one of the rows of apple trees, and we stop and gaze at each other. In my heart, I am really wishing that I could be close to that deer, to be friends, to play, to touch and have an intimate relationship – the feeling I have is that I am considered weird foreign, alien even, wrapped in my plastic waterproofs, with my wellington boots on. The deer runs off into the dark orchard. That is how the majority of us humans are on this planet, alien, doing weird, strange, dangerous things thinking we are so great with our plastics!!
    Barefoot on the earth planting and nurturing fruit trees and flowers is where it is at, and we if we were all doing that we wouldn’t have time or inclination for ‘technology’, we would be busy enjoying our birthright of free, ecstatic blissful living!!!!! Amen allelujah!!

  • nameless

    I do recall the bible saying eating fruit expanded our minds

    • Trev

      Yeah..Check out Richard Heinbergs book memories and visions of paradise..Its actual a universal myth, seen in virtually every ancient culture, that there was a time when humans lived in a golden age, garden of eden, etc etc. It wasn’t just referred to as a place where we were naked, ate fruit, and living harmoniously either..It was also a state of mind that they were referring to.

      They all tell the “story” of the loss of this, and there is profound similarities between these so called “myths” even between cultures on different continents. This is how things like yoga, meditation, and shamanic techniques emerged- along with frequent emphasis on a natural food. All of those techniques were developed in an attempt to regain access to a more sane state of mind. They work by basically quieting the left brain- thereby loosening its dominance- and by engaging the right brain.

      But again, I don’t mean to come off as sounding reductionist here. I’m just saying there is a huge relationship to consciousness/the brain, I’m not reducing these profoundly mysterious spiritual experiences to “merely” being some biochemical mechanisms within the brain in some kind of materialist fashion. Who knows? My personal experiences certainly don’t align with such a simple explanation.

      I think reductionist and materialism are just another symptom of our dysfunction and inability to perceive reality, if I’m honest. I actually remember Tony saying that reductionism is just an excuse for not being able to juggle a lot of different information at the same time (like savants).

  • Adam Evenson

    This is an important article with many fascinating concepts. The language and thought are complex, but capable of grasp. When I Awoke nearly fifty years ago I realized that the humanity around me was asleep and only dreaming it was awake even while ambulating through “normal” existence; that humanity in general is as insane as a strait-jacketed dingbat locked away in an asylum.

    The first thing I did when I Awoke those fifty years ago was stop eating animal flesh and hang up the cigarette addiction forever, which included alcohol and other toxic chemicals. Then, I began facing the world on my own, now sane terms. This freed me, at least provisionally at first, from the maximum security prison in which I had been confined by organized, but insane humanity, since my birth on earth in 1940, beginning with a mother that had busted right out of the “Mother Dearest” novel, and a social system rivaling “1984,” or “Lord of the Flies.” Ha, ha, ha.

    I am still breaking down the walls of that prison fifty years later while the opposition to my concepts of freedom gets uglier all the time. However, I am created to win this war against sanity and I fully intend to do just that. Thus, the world had best get out of my way lest I run over it and crush it out of existence. What say ye, o’ world? Can I get a big “Ten-four” on that issue? (Ha, ha, ha. No, but I may get a bunch more yowling and howling noises from the gubmit.)

  • Bonnie Camo MD

    If fruit is what allowed our brain to grow and develop, then why aren’t chimpanzees smarter than us? They eat a lot more fruit than we do. I think what allowed our brains to develop was seafood. After the forests dried up, the only hominids that were able to survive were those who lived along the seacoasts. They learned to wade into the sea in search of shellfish and algae which are rich in omega-3 fats that the brain needs. Trying to keep our heads above water selected for upright posture and long legs. Eventually we learned to swim, which led to losing our fur, for streamlined speed. Diving in search of prey required the ability to hold our breath, like sea mammals. Breath control is a prerequisite for speech. See Elaine Morgan’s TED talk on aquatic ape theory. I also think there were a lot more psychoactive, psychedelic, entheogenic plants around in ancient times. Most of them were wiped out by TPTB because it was too hard to control enlightened people. One plant they were not able to wipe out was cannabis, because it was needed for food, clothing and many other necessities, until DuPont patented nylon in 1937, the same year cannabis was outlawed in the US. Coincidence?

    • Trev

      Hey bonnie, thanks for reading it

      The aquatic ape theory is interesting and does at least point out some holes in the orthodoxy savannah model. Tony talks a bit about the aquatic theory (which IMO has been mostly debunked at this point by other people), and how our development in the forest would better explain these anomalies Elaine points out (hairless skin etc).

      It would be interesting to hear what you would think after taking a look at the book. As thorough as we tried to be, its hard to really understand the details of Tony’s theory by the mere interview alone.. and if the idea that we are dysfunctional is true then, perceptually speaking, it will be VERY hard for all of us to understand and face our condition without encountering heavy psychological resistance.

      Back to chimps… evolution is not so one-dimensional, its more like a complex labyrinth. Just because primates eat a lot of fruit doesn’t mean they should be more evolved than us (although there has been fascinating studies done on primate intelligence surpassing humans in some our current state at least!).

      Evolution works on much larger time scales, and species do not start off on some kind of equal footing. Our physiology (as the book and other places explain) indicates that we were eating a high amount of fruit for millions of years.. We are even more adapted to digesting it than chimps! When we were forced out of the forest by the climate drying or other factors the traits that were dependent on that symbiosis being maintained were the ones that began eroding.

      Our brains are the most complex and sensitive thing in the known unvierse…How could the brain somehow be separate or unaffected by the biochemical environment that was flooding us 24/7 and literally building/fueling our development on a sub-cellular level, for millions of years? This is what people who think it didn’t have an impact seem to be assuming. How could suddenly loosing all of that not result in drastic changes?

      How could the factors that led to primates developing such an unusually large brain be completely different from the factors that led to us developing an unusually large brain? There is already many connections between forest biochemistry- particularly fruit- and intelligent brains. Just see parrots, primates, monkeys, fruit bats, etc..Cetaceans and dolphins seem to have gotten there through another pathway.

  • No Bicycle

    Very interesting. I have always wondered how the complex neuro-transmitter mimic chemicals evolved in plants and fungi, that dramatically change, some would say diminish, brain function.

    I think the depth and extent of the author’s vision of a complex symbiotic evolution is new. However, to invoke this as a complete explanation for consciousness evolution is wrong. Yes, it appears the envisioned mechanism provided the physical basis for a metabolism to support higher consciousness, but the actual biological mechanism for consciousness evolution was documented by Gopi Krishna in dozens of books from the 70’s to the 80’s: namely Kundalini. Krishna was categorical that dosing the brain ** artificially ** with these neuro-transmitters (eg. LSD) created at best a foggy higher consciousness, an insignificant state compared to the real thing.

    • dimitri

      Thanks. This needed to be said, especially about the artificial dosing of the brain. Too many currently are jumping onto this obscene chemical expansion of consciousness bandwagon. Most are probably just laying the groundwork for “research” funding while denying that this funding has strings attached, one of which is ongoing interest in mind/behavior control by TPTB.

    • Trev

      Hey No Bicycle, thanks for taking the time to read it.

      The author never implied that this was an explanation for consciousness. I understand how this could be interpreted as being a somewhat materialist/reductionist theory at the surface, however Tony personally thinks the brain is like an instrument or violin, and our consciousness is the sound. Of course, this is just a crude metaphor which dimly approximates the ineffable and mysterious thing that we call “consciousness. He is not saying that we are merely our brains or neuro-chemical makeup.

      He doesn’t outline anywhere a biological mechanism for consciousness itself. But, obviously, the precise structure of our brain does have a monumental impact on our state of consciousness, and any change to that system- like say loosing the unimaginably complex biochemical intake provided by the forest environment- will result in massive changes in our consciousness.

    • Trev

      I know Tony is not opposed to the idea of kundalini/chi/prana/life force/energy/etc. All of these are similar conceptual frameworks that describe a previous state of enhanced functioning/energy awareness… whereby humans were much more in tune with the natural harmonics of the universe.

      Its interesting you mention Hinduism…It, like countless ancient traditions, even documents this ‘fall of humanity’ occurring in distinct stages (Yugas). It also dedicates many texts to praising the mysterious Soma; which many researchers have shown is most likely a psychedelic consisting of things which mimic ordinary brain chemistry (brain chemistry we are now chronically deficient in).

      So saying a psychedelic experience is not “the real thing” is completely fallacious…I’m not exaggerating here: we are all on drugs, all of the time. Our nervous system is quite literally made of and fueled by chemicals which affect our consciousness. We even have incredibly powerful psychedelics already within us; such as DMT, 5-MEO-DMT, etc etc..But yes, consciousness itself could very well turn out to be something that is not limited to our bodies (who knows?). I personally don’t think we ARE our brain..But in any case, whether you alter your own consciousness through meditation or yoga, etc, internal chemicals (aka “drugs”) are still heavily involved in mediating this.

      Our culture does not understand psychedelics, and sadly there is a plethora of misinformation surrounding them. They are plant chemicals that interact with the human nervous system- just like the ones in our food, and just like the ones our brain produces. The only reason they work at all is because they fit like a key into a lock. The mystical experience is no more in the drug than the cosmos is in the telescope. They are tools which, when used wisely and carefully, have been shown throughout history and through scientific experimentation to be extremely beneficial to humans.

      They are not addictive, toxic, or anything like that. Look into the breakthrough research showing they can help tremendously with things like PTSD, addictions, depression, creativity, and psychological problems of all sorts. In one study over 60% of people said one experience with the sacred mushrooms led to them having one of the most spiritually meaningful and opening experiences in their lives.

      • Adam Evenson

        Trev, thanks for pointing out what a chemical factory the physical human is. At any time, one’s body chemistry can cook up any kind of chemical imaginable, including, why not LSD or an LSD kind of experience? If one wants to pray for something, one might pray that one’s body chemistry forever mix fortunate chemistries with which to exist as a being, because I don’t think it is entirely within the scope of humanity to control what kinds of chemistry one’s body concocts at its own behest, without conscious thought intervening!

  • Ivanod

    Fascinating!!! Can’t wait to read the book!

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