Sitting in his chair in the study, Edison stares at his new invention. He’s convinced the world will come running to his feet, begging for this new way to illuminate their homes, their streets, the buildings that will no longer need to use gas lamps or candles or fires to make them glow. But the world does not come to his feet, nor do they even knock on his door, at least initially. The wise people of his era find all kinds of excuses not to value this new invention. You need to string electric wires all over they say, or it could burst and cause a fire. It’s hot to the touch and children will burn their fingers. So he sits there, bulb in hand, scratching his head, muttering, “Now what?”

Psychiatry is woefully lacking in answers about schizophrenia. Besides the fact that it is an illness that starts in late adolescence and that reduces your overall functional expectations, the rest is controversy. Despite decades of research we’ve never found a schizophrenia gene. Despite theories about connectivity and abnormal brain networks we have yet to reveal a process in schizophrenia. We know that with each relapse their brains may deteriorate a bit more. Yet most workers in the field concede that it is not a dementia. Psychiatrists sit in offices day after day treating an illness they know little about, giving medications they don’t fully understand to patients who don’t believe they’re sick.

One reason for this is that there are many red herrings in schizophrenia. The obvious answers don’t enlighten us. It’s not a brain injury, a toxic ingestion or a virus. A major symptom is psychosis, or ‘craziness’ but we see that with methamphetamine use, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, alcohol withdrawal and many other conditions.

My theory explains it all.

Let’s begin. Darwinian evolution works on a simple principle, protoplasm+mutation x time=man. The crucible of evolution rules on the capabilities of mutations like Siskel and Ebert. Thumbs up to anything that promotes survival and thumbs down to anything that impedes it. Survival of the fittest lorded over mankind’s possibilities like a spell and with the largesse of time protoplasm simmered in a crucible that eventually yielded ever improving life forms. Evolution indemnified time so to speak, DNA being a powerful time enhancement project. Even with a detour like dinosaurs and massive body weight, evolution pushed ahead and course corrected to a new mantra… cunning. The brain began to enlarge with natural selection’s blessing, making its silent contribution to hominin survival. Still, the genus Homo and Homo sapiens in particular were far from the top of the food chain.

Then something happened. A sixth sense in the form of language arose, some say gradually others say like a tsunami. The Captain Kirk of the mind, the ego, garnered a huge promotion, being the word processor supreme. It organized words into sentences under the rules of syntax. Borrowing from Freud’s metapsychology, one can say that language was a boon to the ego, and as such, the post-verbal mind coalesced around this new flag. Words became the organizing principle of the mind, rendering post-verbal man a new reality and a shining beacon of mental complexity following the dictums of Werner’s development psychology. Symbol formation, the basis of all language, enlarged the left hemisphere to encompass all that language was. For the first time, humans were able to participate in their thought processes with the help of the ego and its language production. It was able to deliver, like a sixth sense, conceptual contents to the fore brain, resulting in a fertilizing effect and a euphoria unknown to primitives. We were gradually able to leave our primitivity behind and in so doing conquered the Neanderthals and Denisovans.

We went from the jungle to the disco. By neutralizing most of the predators that plagued us for millions of years we developed an expectation of survival. We conquered the other species of Homo and started civilizations, religion, education, science. The golden rule ruled and with it the superego, allowing us to feel joy when we did something good for others. Humankind created a whole new geodome of reality in which to live. The neurotransmitter dopamine, once the engine of mental vitality, had to undergo a suppression which allowed thought to emerge clearly in the mind without interference. By the end of adolescence it is in a state of controlled modulation, while still promoting our thinking and orchestrating coordinated movement.

All of these changes took place within the last fifty thousand years or so. Humans have been around for about six million years. The changes that accrued in such short period of time, language, thinking, complexity of brain structure, enactment of the Freudian metapsychology of id ego and superego, civilization, communal living, etc, all happened in lightening speed. Evolution had to make a course correction. No longer was survival of the fittest the mantra, but now survival of the most reproductive took precedence. The barge of evolution started shifting, loosening the reign of survivalism. Massive changes were set in motion, all by language and what it wrought. But it would not be surprising that some of us, in the midst of all this metamorphosis would be unable to leave the old ways. Just as they are about to leave adolescence, suppress dopamine and abandon our primitive past, primitivity reasserts itself. It rushes back to grab hold and with a vicious intensity reminiscent of the brutality and fear of our ancestors, recaptures the mind. This primitive organization causes a regression to childlike thinking and a resurgence of dopamine. The dreams of Neanderthals and our dreams are quite similar, except that layers of civilization induce us to disguise them. One could justify the view that schizophrenia is a waking dream.

Dopamine, as it turns out, is involved in many diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s chorea, attention deficit disorder, Tourette’s, stuttering, etc. Something about dopamine is crucial in our evolution. Every medication that psychiatrists use to treat schizophrenia blocks the receptors of dopamine. These drugs were discovered serendipitously, and they work too inconsistently and with massive side effects. They also lose traction over time and seem to do less and less for patients. Yet by blocking the dopaminergic rush that impedes the schizophrenic’s ability to think, they help calm the mind and restore somewhat the utilization of forebrain structures that is specifically usurped by the primitive organization. These forebrain structures begin to behave as if the individual was asleep and, in a state of relative sensory deprivation, create their own dream-like stimulation in the form of hallucinations. But the primitive organization that has taken control utilizes them to attack the ego, the outpost of civilization as it were.

Schizophrenia may begin gradually or abruptly. The primitive organization finds a way relentlessly to gain control of the individual’s mind. As sinister as a virus that thwarts the immune system, the primitive organization convinces the individual that there is not only nothing wrong with their new lifestyle, but everything right about it. The patient’s relatives see that the person is not the same, but cannot define how. Whether they’re running around a roof top claiming to have killed people with their minds or living on a church stoop expecting a helicopter to come down and rescue them, the thought that they might be schizophrenic does not occur to the newly attacked patient. Each schizophrenic responds to the takeover their own way. Most simply ignore it as preposterous. After all no one ever warned them that a primitive organization from our prehistoric past might suddenly overwhelm their psyche.

Each individual handles it in their own way. In a famous example, Judge Daniel Paul Schreber took the primitive organization as a masculine invasion and was able to sexualize the experience. Their thinking is altered and reflects the primitive organization’s roots in pre-verbal logic. Schizophrenics think by different rules comparable to children and hallucinogen users. They use autistic, idiosyncratic terminology that is rooted in their own mental experience not external reality. This reflects the lower state of excitation in the primitive organization which is one magnetic force that drags sufferers back to the old ways. All the gains of civilization are lost. Although schizophrenics are able to speak, their ego strengths are diminished.

Primitive organization theory explains the anthropo-parity principle since schizophrenia is now defined as an evolutionary glitch, not a genetic infraction. This also explains the lack of extinction, in an illness that is part of evolution’s course correction, not Darwinian evolution. The age of onset of schizophrenia is also accounted for as the primitive organization needs to develop before it overtakes the civilized brain and times its invasion to the moment just before dopamine is fully suppressed. Atrophy of forebrain structures is clearly due to their functional replacement by the primitive organization. Relative sensory deprivation causes the fore-brain to exude hallucinatory material to self stimulate. The use of dopamine blocking agents is due to the resurgence of dopamine by the primitive organization which counters the gradual dopamine suppression that leads us out of adolescence and facilitates clarity of thinking. Psychosis can be explained as a product of cognitive regression, coupled with the hallucinations generated by a a sensorily deprived fore-brain, and the brutal attack on the ego that ensues. Primitive organization theory explains what we call Schneiderian symptoms. Feeling that thoughts are broadcast out to others or are generated from someone else’s mind can be explained as a function of the replacement pre-verbal ego reacting to the adult word processing ego as a foreign entity. As humankind pulls away from its lengthy past primitivity, it will be less and less likely that individuals will be called back to it in this entropic way.

Mood disorders also reflect a return to primitivity. Depression can be characterized as a return to a primal hibernation state of dread. Mania can be compared to a state of revery when a predator was vanquished. Both may result in excessive dopaminergic activity which impinges on concentration and expression. They respond to dopamine blocking agents. Other illnesses like Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s chorea, attention deficit disorder, Tourette’s disorder, stuttering, substance use and others revolve around dopaminergic alterations and reflect the transformation of dopaminergic functioning in modern humans. But evolution has left us with an imperfect dopamine system prone to errors.

Mental illness follows a number of principles. Foremost among the is a return of the primitive. All major mental illnesses, especially schizophrenia demonstrate this. The primitivity that draws us back has the advantage of entropy. Just as we regress in sleep to a lower state of excitation, aided by the paralysis accompanying that state, mental illness is swept magnetically to an entropic trough that threatens to entrap us all.

There are many other theories of schizophrenia and evolution. None of them have the encompassing nature of my primitive organization theory. T.J. Crow acknowledges evolution’s role in schizophrenia but ultimately falls back on a genetic explanation. My ideas inhabit the category of ‘byproduct’ theory in attributing schizophrenia to a byproduct of some other process, in this case a course correction of evolution itself. Some theories attempt to assert an advantage to schizophrenia which would make it less likely to become extinct. No advantage to being schizophrenic has ever been proven or genuinely endorsed. Burns blames schizophrenia on abnormal connectivity and a failure to achieve a social brain. This ill defined theory lacks the specificity or clarity of my own, nor does it account for the anthropo-parity principle, the central paradox of schizophrenia namely lack of extinction, atrophy of higher brain structure and so on. Some theories explain schizophrenic’s survival by labeling them ‘shamans’ who were leaders of past societies and spoke to God therefore making them holy men. This cannot explain their ongoing survival today.


To proclaim us organic curtsies to no reverent ideal, no brackish intent. In the mastodon of inorganicity, the organic is a minuscule flirt of molecules. Pulled from non living elements, the mystery of life exhibits no obvious purpose, and is not driven by a force different from the rules of physics that govern all substances. In what context can we possibly unearth living matter’s function? The leaden rock may sit undisturbed for millions of years. Yet, we living things perish in a hairs breath of time, a satchel of momentary existence which quickly grinds us back into earth’s abundant void. To what do we owe this mortal brevity?

Inorganic matter puts up no fuss regarding the laws of physics that govern the universe’s hotbed of stuff. In exchange for this obedience it reaps a tingly reward- infinite existence. Organic matter, deprived of this buxom relief must be then in another category. Exactly what puts us in that gruesome cadre is the fact that we oppose certain laws of nature, and, thus, pay a devilish bargain with immortality. For example, the 300 foot sequoia tree defies gravity unlike any inorganic substance. It may live for 1000 years or more, eventually succumbing to gravity’s wrath, falling to earth to be reabsorbed into the planet’s grotesque clay. Animals, including us, defy the law of entropy that seeks to promote disorganization and the lowest trough of energy possible. As the most anti-entropic matter on earth, Homo sapiens and especially the Homo sapiens brain, electrifies its paltry existence with energy, organization and success but then only fastens immortality by returning to the obedient elements. Thus, the sickly devil’s bargain exchanges opposition to gravity and entropy for immortality, which is only bestowed upon the rocks. The ungodly purpose of organic matter then is to do something that no other substance in the universe is ponying up to… defying the laws set in stone by Newton and others, but only for a cat’s whisker of time. We pay a price for defiance, nor is it crystal clear what it really accomplishes. But there must by necessity be some oblique force in the universe of in organicity that seeks to defy those laws so obediently honored by the immortal inorganic.


When the primitive organization surges back in a first break schizophrenic episode, dopamine intensifies. This correlates to the onslaught of incoming stimuli to the perceptual system. Patients feel as if they’re being screamed at or bombarded by a horde of angry intruders. Unable to isolate a cogent brain space, the theater of their mind is overwhelmed. The reassertion of the primitive ‘paleo-cortex’ signals a regression of the mental organization with loss of structure, individuation of parts and hierarchical organization of mental functions. Since the brain regresses to the primitive organization in sleep, the forebrain acts as if it is in REM and sends out dream-like hallucinations. The addition of dopamine blocking agents can clear the brain space and restore some internal calm.

The primitive organization or ‘paleocortex’ enters into a battle royale with the ego, the purveyor of anti-primitivism. It is the ego that drags our minds away from childlike simplicity and toward a more differentiated, structured adult configuration. The primitive organization takes it as its imperative to degrade and berate the ego. To this end, it enlists the dream-like hallucinations and turns them into derogatory or self destructive invectives, including commands of a suicidal or self mutilating nature. The superego is unfound in this pre-verbal, pre-civilized mind set, thus offering no solace to the struggling ego. At this point dopamine has made a semi-successful reassertion. Intense positive symptoms ensue and this may go on for years as the ego resists being overwhelmed and dissolved by the more primitive organization. Antipsychotic medication continues to offer significant benefits.

Ultimately, however, under the endless pressure of the primitive organization’s tenacious, avaricious attack, the ego crumbles into a fragmented shell of its former self. At this point the person may experience a reduction in the virulence and intensity of the positive symptomatic bellicosity of the primitive ‘paleocortex’. They sink into a picture of avolition, alogia, anhedonia and low motivation with a collection of ongoing delusions and mild hallucinatory activity. This price, paid by the ego, such as Daniel Paul Schreber’s belief that he’d been turned into a woman, satisfies the primitive organization and brings the conflict to a stalemate. At the same time, dopamine makes a final plunge forward, finishing its dogged resurgence, corresponding to the residual picture we know as negative symptomatology. Antipsychotic medication loses much of its impact and there may also, at this time, be a fair amount of forebrain atrophy.


The rash of conspiracy theories and their virulence demands an explanation. The proliferation of these phenomena seems invasive. Why are there so many? Where do they come from? How can we explain them?

Undoubtedly the Covid 19 experience has place the nation, possibly the world, in a state of post traumatic stress, especially when coupled with recent civil disobediences and other catastrophic events including meteorological insults. All of this no doubt ratchets up the likelihood of para-psychotic phenomenon. Economic divestiture amplifies the coefficient of despair. Insisting that the Covid 19 virus is nothing more than a “Trumped-up” pseudo-illness designed to unseat the president is a means of relieving one of the concerns of such a deadly virus. There is no need to wear a mask or take infection precautions if one is convinced it is a fictional coefficient of presidential removal. One is neither susceptible to infection or capable of spreading an imaginary disease. A realistic fear of this virus is neutralized by the delusional denial.

The president has amplified the puddle of paranoia by interpreting scientific findings and recommendations as missiles. His refusal to wear a mask, for example, conveys an attitude of spiteful whim against those he interprets as enemies. But this doesn’t explain the enormity of the conspiratorial movements seen swirling around him. We can examine the case of Daniel Paul Schreber, an infamous schizophrenic who wrote a detailed memoir in the late 1800’s about his psychosis, later analyzed by Freud. Freud attributed his paranoia to a ‘father complex’ in which Schreber exhibited repressed sexual longings for his father, ultimately transferred to his doctor whom he was convinced wanted to kill him. These longings, denied by Schreber, but evident in his psychotic, paranoid phenomena, were out of the patient’s consciousness. Schreber projected the longings onto his doctor then reversed them into hateful impulses. He believed the doctor’s aides were trying to drown him and that swarms of bees had been sent to attack him and that God himself was envious of his ‘voluptuousness’.

If we assume the presence of repressed, Oedipal impulses in the conspiracy devotees, we can surmise that their longings have been transferred to liberal, Democratic, deep state personnel as well as certain celebrities. The conspiracy theorists attribute to them a large sex trafficking ring, in which children are utilized sexually. This, of course, mirrors the very impulses they are trying to repress… a child’s sexual involvement with a parental adult. It allows them to revel in outrage against such imagined behavior and its supposed cover up. It also allows them to play the role of savior toward their ‘father’ the president. They are protecting him against attack, a sort of paranoia by proxy. They also, however, fear the wrath of the powerful, insidiously organized, imagined child sex traffickers. This is the same power a child attributes to its parents.

If we accept the above explanation as plausible, the only question remaining is why the repressed Oedipal wishes are threatening to surface at this time, requiring symptomatic gratification in conspiracies. One can only surmise that the intense stresses described above (quarantine, riots, massive fires, economic debility, and the potential removal of the father-like figure by election) has taken its toll on societal stability in some. Let’s hope that we don’t see a further breakdown in civilization’s cohesion as political and environmental casualties unfold. Civilization as we know it may be subject to a monolithic deterioration fueled by the energy of psychotic conspiracy. Perhaps the arrival of an effective vaccine will provide a measure of relief, but it seems like a long-shot.


Fifty-thousand years ago before humankind first adopted language there was no civilization, no modernity. We were mute, brutal animals, not at the top of the food chain, and shared the earth with other species of Homo, the Denisovans and the Neanderthals for example. Our primitive brains were, like children’s, at a lower state of excitation. Our minds, over those fifty thousands of years, became more complex, organized, and hierarchically structured. Mental parts differentiated and integrated into smoothly operating machines. By sacrificing this loss of entropy we gained civilizations, socialization and cooperation in mankind’s repertoire. By 10,000 years ago we had wiped out all other species of Homo. We had neutralized many of the predators that had plagued us for millennia- animals, weather, starvation, illness. We developed an expectation of survival. Evolution gave our new brains and new civilizations the thumbs up from natural selection as they improved our odds of survival enormously. We had made our devil’s bargain… while losing mental entropy we increased our chances of reproduction markedly. While Freud’s pleasure principle states that the mind seeks the lowest level of excitation, humankind increased its excitation level in exchange for security. We would learn to live together cooperatively, in less mortal danger and greater excitation in exchange for a marked increase in security. Indeed the world’s Homo sapiens population has exploded.

This bargain is now in jeopardy. A microscopic virus has placed us all in mortal danger, with the elderly leading in risk. Images of body bags in refrigerator trucks haunt the news and panic accelerates as one literally endangers one’s life by going to a school, store or place of worship. The bargain that has so confidently, in many respects, kept its word, is now failing us. We’ve returned to the risk pool of our ancestors, afraid to leave out homes, talk to our neighbors or shop for groceries. But this is what we accepted a loss of entropy for. As this bargain crumbles we may see, and indeed have already seen, civilization itself deteriorate. The lure of the primitive is always present, and, given an excuse, will re-emerge with agility. The goal now must be to move beyond viral inexpediency and solidify society on an even more intense footing than before. Once the bargain starts slipping it may be harder to reinstate than we ever imagined.


Assuming depression to be an evolutionary hibernation reaction, what helps to stabilize it? Obviously hibernation is marked by low appetite, low sex drive, low energy and lack of enjoyment of activities all of which serve to keep the animal in situ. These are core symptoms of depression, as is poor concentration, more likely related to dopamine excess. If again we assume that auto-receptors are turned off as neurotransmitters arch toward depletion a standoff ensues in which the two remain in relative downturn during the duration of the hibernated shift, about six months, and usually winter dominated as are seasonally triggered depressive phenomena. With auto receptors turned off, at least during the day, dopamine can surge, interfering with concentration, and, in manics, leading to linguistic deterioration.

We attempt to break the stalemate with antidepressants which flood the synapse with neurotransmitters and reignite the auto receptors. This tones down dopamine so that the individual can think again, fertilizing the frontal areas with conceptual activity which stimulates BDNF, VEGF production. The latter have a euphorigenic effect which is seen with ketamine. Manics use sleep deprivation to keep the auto receptors off all through the night which floods the brain with dopamine and can lead to a stimulant like psychosis. Dopamine blocking agents then calm the storm. Efforts to stabilize depolarization are successful, including anticonvulsants, lithium, and ECT, all of which hyper-polarize nerves.

Lithium has an antisuicide effect, mood stabilizing property and antidepressant impact. Research has shown that communities with higher natural levels of lithium in the water supply have a lower suicide rate. Bipolar disorder used to be treated by sending wealthy patients to European mineral baths which were found to have a higher lithium content. Could it be that Pleistocene era Homo sapiens evolved in an environment of higher lithium content in the water? Our central nervous systems are accustomed then to a higher lithium level which makes us all relatively lithium deficient. Some react to this deficiency with depression, mania or psychosis. In essence lithium is a neuroactive protovitamin. Some nervous systems are able to handle the relative lack, others are not. By stabilizing the depolarization dynamic, the auto-receptors are turned on, neurotransmission is protected and dopamine is suppressed by the activity of the auto-receptors.

We need to be aware of the Pleistocene environment we evolved in. Deficiencies may lead to variable levels of vulnerability to psychopathology. Perhaps we should add lithium to the water supply of all people, but some might develop hypothyroidism or kidney problems if the level is too high. Yet, a slight increase in lithium consumption might have a marked effect on suicide prevention.


The old saying that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny refers to the fact that changes an embryo undergoes in the womb reenact the developmental stages animals went through during evolution. However, Homo sapiens have gone through enormous changes over the past 50,000 years largely due to language. Once born, we progress from a state of relative disorganization toward more complex, organized and differentiated brain functioning. We learn socialization, cooperation, contemplation and can participate in our own thought processes, a feat impossible before language. We also go through something Freud called the Oedipus complex, mastering primitive impulses which each of us put our own stamp on.

These changes mirror the complexity of civilization that has occurred since the adoption of language some 50,000 years ago. As civilization formed we learned the benefits of communal living and neutralized age old predators. We coalesced into government run metropolises. We created laws, education, science and religions. All of this was due to the cognitive advances born of language. Taboos were incorporated into our minds as repressions and in some cases neuroses.

The child recapitulates Homo sapiens’ startling advances as it matures. Some fail at this, resulting in mental illness, a return to the primitive. There are also, no doubt, neurotransmitter transformations in all of this, specifically the suppression of dopamine which can aberrantly result in illnesses as diverse as schizophrenia, Tourette’s, Parkinson’s disease, stuttering, attention deficit disorder, Huntington’s chorea, substance use, and more. The implications are staggering and, if understood, offer a rich soil for intervention.


Obsessive compulsive symptoms mirror the relationship between thought and muscular activity. Tourette’s often accompanies OCD and responds to dopamine blocking agents. If a tic is an involuntary motor symptom which is slightly modifiable by the individual, a compulsion is a voluntary motor symptom which arises not from a physical imperative but a cognitive, conceptual one. For example, “I must recheck the front door or someone will break in and steal everything I own.” Instead of a physical sensation, a concept makes it difficult to resist. Thus it is analogous to a tic but perhaps on a different neurological tract. Acetylcholine, in concert with dopamine, is responsible for tics and other involuntary movements such as extrapyramidal symptoms and akathisia. Most likely acetylcholine is responsible for the conceptual imperative in OCD. Acetylcholine may well be the motivator behind all thought, but is compulsively insistent when dopamine is overbalanced.

Our ability to think, which arose since language, is analogous to muscular activity. When dopamine surges, as in schizophrenia, there is a conceptual flood that swarms the thought platform. Antipsychotic medications help restore the dopamine/acetylcholine balance, and quiet the schizophrenic mind, as well as manic intensity and helps with depression’s concentration difficulties. These universal dopaminergic perturbations lend further proof of the importance of the course correction imposed on evolution by language.