Tony Wright was a student of plant biology at a university in Scotland when he became interested in ‘the human condition’. Over the course of two decades, self-experiments into consciousness developed into serious study. He became convinced that the mental state we regard as ‘normal’ – even perhaps the pinnacle of evolution – is in fact a degenerated condition. The human brain, he suggests, is not what it once was. In his 65 minute interview, Wright explains his theory that the human brain co-evolved with fruit in the tropical forests, and that since humans left that environment, we have suffered a lack of flavonoids and other biochemicals, allowing the left hemispheres to take effective control of our brains, with disasterous consequences.
To underline some of Tony Wright’s points, and provide connections to other speakers, his talk is juxtaposed with material from other episodes. We begin with episode 465, a reading of Charles Eisenstein’s Ascent of Humanity about the Pirahã, one of a few tribes who still live a traditional life in the tropical forest, whose language and culture is singularly unaffected by modern man. Could they, perhaps, still have a healthy balance between brain hemispheres?
Radio episode featuring input from Charles Eisenstein, Tony Wright, Iain McGilchrist, and Michael Pollan.