Saturday, March 6, 2010

More on Resonance

We may often wonder how do we know what level of consciousness the patient is on during a session? What kind of access to lower levels does she have? We do know that as we descend down the chain of pain with patients to levels of consciousness that are very early and remote the vital signs deviate from normal more and more. So when a patient is feeling depressed and helpless in the present and her vital signs drop to 90/50BP, and 96.5 body temperature we can begin to understand that through resonance the current feeling has dredged up possible gestational trauma that accounts for the excessive readings.

This is because the closer we get to gestational life the more life-and-death events we are dealing with; and that in turn radically alters vital signs. Often, we cannot account for a serious drug addiction in a patient who seemed to be loved by parents throughout his childhood. Yet when we look at the gestational period and birth event we have a different view of how traumatized the patient was and is. If we ignore this period we will remain at a loss to explain symptoms and, above all, to treat them successfully.

Checking vital signs gives us more information as to where the patient is in terms of levels of consciousness (or unconsciousness). If she feels in the present, someone took advantage of her and didn’t let her into a class, her vitals are not going to be as extreme as when she dredges up very early first-line events. If, during the session, she has deeper access we will see a serious change in vital sign readings. It is one control we have of connection and integration. For if the vitals do not come down after the session it means either there is much more of the this feeling still left to feel, or the therapist made a mistake and did not help the patient to integrate.

We have measured vital signs for many years and have found that if the vitals descend in sporadic fashion after a session it usually means a lack of connection, and hence, abreaction; the discharge of a feeling without proper connection. It means a lack of cohesion in the patient’s brain which can lead to an abreactive style that keeps the person sick and neurotic.

The readings we get tell us unmistakeably what kind of trauma the patient underwent and when. If she is depressed and a depressive, chances are the mother might have taken painkillers or tranquilizers during the time she was carrying; and at birth there was a possibility that she was heavily anesthetized so that the baby was totally drugged and unable to struggle to get out. She was stuck in the “trough’ where the birth process had begun but for a number of reasons the baby could not complete the birth cycle. She was stuck in the helpless/hopeless feeling; vital signs toward the low end. She has been “born” with a passive, energy conserving mode (so as not to use up too much oxygen) and that is reflected in the vital signs, which are characteristically on the low side.

If the baby could struggle and get out she will more likely be in the sympathetic nervous system, aggressive and go-getting. Again, her vital signs will be on the high side, and when she descends down the chain of pain in a session they will rise dramatically as she approaches reliving birth and the trauma where struggle meant life. In the parasympath mode struggle could have meant death. This becomes an imprinted prototype and governs our lives forevermore.

If the carrying mother is addicted to cokes or coffee then chances are the newborn will tend to be hyperactive. And, moreover, if she is the anxious, can’t sit still kind of person there is a good chance that her baby will tend to be that way, as well. She will be the kind of person who is not daunted by a project no matter how tough; but she will not recognize obstacles that one must be aware of to react realistically.

We can’t win.


  1. Are 'connections' created from the beginning?

    I just had a thought on connection - that is, how the brain form associative links.

    When we remember something, we always associate that new memory with something we already know. That experience of association forms the 'master' memory. So, all new information developed in the brain is both a memory-experience of the new event, and also our stored past. So, if you have a history of banana's and someone introduced an orange, then you could not remember an orange outside the context of bananas - banana's will always be part of your future memories, be what they may.

    So, a young child that is emotionally locked into their birth trauma may memorise and experience nothing without their birth imprint being a part of that final memory, in some way. If I'm right, then our conscious attention must be based primarily in our past, and further experience could only be developed as a branch-out of that past.

    So, future memories do not occur in isolation only later to be linked to older material; they are created *with* and in response to older material when they are both experienced and formed. The associative link was formed there right from the beginning.

    Maybe this is how the brain wires itself together - the information-links just grow out, like a tree? If this is the case then no new information could be learnt in isolation to our past. It must be simultaneously morphed into the "super structure", as experienced and received.

    ---And maybe memories that "resonate" strongly with our earlier trauma's were simply very 'triggering' of our earlier trauma's when they were originally experienced, so then a strong linkage was formed? Resonance may have more to do with the experiential formation of memory, than the inherent structure of it?

    Just a thought. Hope it made sense.

  2. Art,
    How would an introduction of primal therapy in Sweden look like?

  3. As a psychology student I've been doing quite a bit of reading on stages of ego formation. The work of one cognitive developmental theorist called Robert Kegan who has an interesting take on depression which I think can be related to Dr Janov's also. He highlights an evolutionary process of lifelong ego development whereby a person's self-object balance changes. For an infant this means as it develops it changes from literally BEING its impulses and desires (a state of non-individuation) to HAVING (able to access and control) of its impulses and desires. In other words what was once the self has, through a process of interaction with the environment (in which the self is contradicted in some way), become part of the realm of the object and is experienced as separate from the self. To put it yet another way, we progress from being embedded in our own processes (self) to differentiating from them (object). Maybe this is what is occurring when people have primals. The they cease to be embedded in their own bio-physiological and psychological process and through integration are able to become incrementally more conscious of or able to objectify their context and differentiate themselves from it. (I realise I need to get round to reading Art's Primal Healing in which primals are probably explained in great depth - i now have a copy!) Now depression in Kegan's view is when this evolutionary process of rebalance between self and other is occurring and is a reflection of the disequilibrium that is felt during the process of self and other becoming rebalanced. i.e. a new identity organization structure emerging. This process for kegan is lifelong and not confined to adolescence (though the process is more dramatically observable at key points in changing interactions between the the organism and its environment). Indeed contradiction and conflict are, within limits, key to change according to Kegan. Therefore, primals too may encourage contradiction and conflict by encouraging one to sink into the self and confront pain thereby 'throwing out' of the self those elements that once one was and now experiences not as self but object.

  4. Paul: Hey, if you have it can you send it. I want to read it. art janov

  5. Frank: There is something in your mind about what you want to know but I don't get it. art janov

  6. Art, Again, I see your point for wanting some outer recognizable symptoms to validate progress with your patients, but I doubt the veracity for wanting to use that, as a demonstration of the validity of Primal Therapy. For those willing to look at it, I feel they already are convinced of the validity of Primal Pain and the ability to re-live that pain as a means to prevent it's impositions on us in order to live a half-way decent life. For the rest, nothing will convince them outside their own parameters. Your greatest achievement Art, I contend, is the formulation of Primal Theory. It is Primal theory that could save mankind from his neurotic madness. Primal Therapy, I doubt will ever have the reach to help mankind in general. I don't see a magic pill (LSD was our last great hope) and I don't see any general awareness arising out of yours, or anyone else writings. It is too great a conceptual leap for anyone NOT having experienced some regression into what it feels like being a child. All explanations at best will seem like gross exaggerations or, at worst, like you have an agenda to enrich yourself. You are right "We can’t win."

  7. Andrew,

    Great posting. Another way of putting is would be that association has more to do with network structures (including trees, as you mentioned) than they have to do with harmonics and other acoustical phenomena. So "resonance" refers to a kind of connectedness that may have everything or nothing to do with frequency. But is a good metaphor.


  8. Will,

    I don't know this Robert Kegan guy, but a couple of the things you said gave me some thoughts.

    One is that no doubt the human system is not going to develop properly without some outside stimulation, including some challenge at some point. It has been that way throughout evolution, after all. However, making depression out to be a normal consequence of development sounds off to me. If I had to boil parenting down to a single sentence, I would say something about the need to provide a continuity of experience for the young'ns (because a way of viewing trauma is as degrees of discontinuity, for example).

    When you use the word "object" it can be confusing in a context like this because there is psychology literature out there in which "object" is synonymous with parent or something. (One imagines a psychologist who cannot bring himself to say "mother", for some reason.)

    The part about discrimination sounds kind of promising. If we are to have "plasticity", then there is a need to discriminate the past from the present, and certain experiences are better at teaching that than others. Primal Therapy affords exactly that kind of learning opportunity. It would be interesting to hear this point discussed more. In my mind, when we put experience on hold (because of pain), it's not so much that we become locked in the past as it is that the past becomes locked in the present. In other words, it ain't over (past) until it's integrated, which means all that bad stuff is still happening to us.

    With that in mind, if the bad experience occurred when we lacked the mental development to discriminate "my body" from "your body", the it becomes plain that learning (via experience) to discriminate then from now also yields other kinds of discrimination (me from her). Fine discrimination also seems to be a cornerstone of intelligence.

    As Andrew would say "Hope it made sense".


  9. Art
    The introduction of primal therapy… how shall that be done... what are your expectations for the best result of it? You told me that you tried 30 years ago... what was your expectation then? How about prisoners... or?

  10. Art... I just want something to be done… as it’s now we are in a mad house… we compromise the knowledge with silence.
    How would an introduction of primal therapy in Sweden look like to best do its purpose? With whom would it be best to do therapy… people in general… with the “normal” symptoms… or? I mean if you could start give therapy to prisoners or any other group that would show good results? Do you have any suggestion? Could you be able to send a team of therapists for a start if you get suport from healt care in Sweden?

  11. Jack: you are probably right. But I don't do those measurements to convince others; I do it to confirm what we are doing with patients so we do not deceive anyone, especially ourselves. art janov

  12. Walden: So Life Before Birth will be out in the Fall and will discuss some of what you are discussing. AJ

  13. Frank you are too cryptic. I have no idea what you are saying. art janov

  14. Frank: Oh now I understand. I offered our therapy free to Sweden which could not be less interested, We can do pilot studies to see how it works on serotonin, cortisol and other biochemical factors plus psychologic ones. I have many ideas but I await Swedish authorities to show an interest. After all, I have many books out there they can read. art janov

  15. Andrew,
    You might know this already, but a brain (or our neural actention selection serving system) is modular to an extent that its cortical representation of fruits has (as evidenced by at least one discretely damaged brain) a distinctly different location than that of vegetables.

    I find it completely reasonable to imagine that anything we do (not excluding what we think and/or feel) that is different from anything else we do (or think) will be performed by a correspondingly different structural pattern (of course not at all necessarily a neat looking pattern) in brainspacetime.

    And, we can confirm by both objective (scientifically methodical) and introspective observations that what we think {become transiently cognitively preoccupied with}, feel {become transiently covertly and/or overtly emotional about} and otherwise do {by means of our "neuromuscular functures" more or less sporadically or regularly pay actention to in "neuromuscular ways") are prepared - prior to and during any particular actention module being energized to predominance and 'performed' by its 'cast' of neurons [BTW, what constitute an actention module is arbitrarily definable as long as the definition - no doubt an approximate one :> - reflects what is realistically possible] by an important organizing function carried out by inhibitory interneurons (most commonly GABA releasing ones).

    One can see this as Nature putting the principle of "lateral inhibition" to use in a most general way.

    To me, this not at all too far-fetched interpretation lends itself to a metaphorical view (far from a perfect philosophical fit but so what) of how any neural ASSS works. %-}

  16. Pbef (and everyone):

    I know what you said is probably clear in your mind, but making it so it can be clear in others is another challenge on its own - and it can be hard.

    Please everyone put the effort in to revise your posts, and think how you can be clearer. That's what I do all the time, as best as I can, because I know how easy it is to be hard to understand.

    I hope I don't sound patronising, but when writing you've gotta discipline yourself and try and put yourself in the readers shoes!

  17. Art, totally off-topic question (fine if you don't publish): with regard to logistical concerns for those coming to LA for therapy (where to stay longer term than 3 weeks in a motel, specific food needs, etc.) is there some kind of forum or place to go for these answers? Do we just ring the Center?


  18. Andrew and Walden, yes I think our brain tries to use past information as a platform for integrating new information. I talked about that in Pain-Killers and Overdose in November 2009. I'm thinking no one read my article about computational resonance....don't blame's pretty long.

    People who suffer damage from a blow to the head can remember the most insignificant things from ten or twenty years ago. This suggests that the brain stores a massive quantity of information. I think it is most likely that all that 'junk' information is there for a reason. I think it is being processed and used unconsciously...for the purpose of achieving the most subtle things, like holding a hot drink while you sit down with a magazine in the other hand. All those millions of memories are part of a giant, well coordinated symphony - a symphony we are intellectually unaware of. We experience the symphony as feelings. We know how it feels to sit down with a hot drink. We need to tap into many memories to do that....even traumatic birth memories. Birth memories are more than pain. They are precious information which enables the brain to form a very complex mental map of the body.
    Regardless of how much information is blocked from consciousness, the show must go on. Much of our learning continues unconsciously and automatically. There's a robot in the background, separate from our self. It makes use of all the developing unconscious connections which continue to resonate against our will.

  19. Art,
    Check out Nature Neuroscience (


    Now, here is a follow-up/response to my previous post and to What????!! :)

    I've (AEVASIVEly) enjoyed trying to paint the following metaphorical 'picture' of the ASSS [>~= the brain or CNS] and what it does:

    It (we - our brains) works as if it were a cooperative super-organization of sport organizations; One that runs different divisions of competitions [of which the lowest divisions being fundamentally important to all higher ones]. The the prize in every division is merely a temporary presence on each division's own podium.

    A peculiarity of this metaphor is that the participants in the very lowest divisions - those that are fundamental and vitally important to all other higher divisions - are 'as few as possible'.

    That is, there is only one participant in each of those (lowest) divisions!

    This means that the (e.g.) single participant/module "the vascular system", the single participant/module "the alimentary system", and the single participant/module "the pulmonary system" always win, and so, step onto their respective podium quite regularly. :)

    However privileged these important (for the entire super-organization) the contestants in those lowest divisions are, they can still be encouraged and discouraged by members of divisions above, and they can (as can contestants in all other division) be cheered-on and (more commonly significantly) booed by the ever-present 'audience' - i.e. by environmental factors of influence.

    In the divisions above the most basic and vital ones, the competitions for occasionally standing on the (respective) podiums are 'far fiercer'.

    Even though foul play is officially forbidden :-) it is 'traditional' (as in, mainly phylogenetically predetermined most of all through natural selection) that some of the contestants in these divisions are favorably weighted to make the odds of them winning very much higher.

    Other than so, the *only* method of competition within all divisions that have more than one competing member is "mutual inhibition" - but of course only inhibition between actention modules that when activated become functionally/adaptively incompatible.

    "The audience" (the environment) influences the outcome of the competition not only by its immediate (concurrent circumstantial) booing and cheering; It also influences the outcome by the booing and the cheering that it did just previously and for a long way back in the competing modules' and super-organizations' (i.e the individual neuromuscular animal organisms') past.

    Some instances of really helpful cheering', and some instances of 'significant but not too unpleasant booing', tend to be stored and affect future "actention selection" in a manner that can be described as 'ConsciousT'.

    In contrast, 'really bad booing' tend to become stored (and inertly kept stored) and to forthwith insidiously affect actention selection (or be co-motivating) in an 'unConsciousT' manner.

    I did not want you to think that I meant ConsciousT in a conventional (loose and clutzy) way - hence the cautionary/cryptic capitals! ;)
    (Apropos which, the T might stand for 'Tolerance'.) %-}

    [required cut - the rest follows]

  20. Here is an attempt at an approximate explanation of what I just meant by ConsciousT/unConsciousT:

    A memory (or "conditioned-in" neural state) recorded as a result of an experience, and the original experience 'itself', are each 'ConsciousT in character' if both eventuated without a near enough simultaneously locked-in/stimulated (respectively) 'accompaniment' of "specific/synaptic hibernation" (SH).

    I mean and use "SH" partly in the sense of an inhibitory synaptic function that minimizes the metabolic rate of a post-synaptic excitatory neuron that is by an adverse environment prompted to energize a maladaptive "actention".
    E.g. what a most centrally fear out-putting neuron in the amygdala might be inclined to do in certain immediate and/or past but conditioned-in situations.

    May be, in order to see what I mean by SH one must be able to accept the in this semantic context somewhat metaphoric logic of the word "hibernation".

    However, the logic is real enough to provide justification for the descriptive and in more ways than one defining (deservedly 'distinKtly' so) name of certain (not all) predicaments or ordeals that require SH.

    (SH is of cause a synonymous alternative to "neural repression" and "gating" of pain).

    SH should (IMO) be compared with "habituation" - a word that has been printed with an *ironically* large frequency (in brain and behvioral science books and papers.
    It is ironic because it is most commonly meant in the sense of an automatic neural function that stops us from wasting attentional resources on nothing more important than some continuously repeated irrelevant and typically also trivial sources of sensory stimulation.

    So, what is survived primarily thanks to the "SH function" is, specifically, "SH imploring type predicaments" [or ditto situations, ditto stressors, or ditto sources of stressful (or distressing) sensory stimulation in the surround/environment of animals.]

    In the same stroke - and more significantly - the same (concEPTualized) logic implies that SH blocks excitatory signals that threaten to motivate fatally futile or self-defeatingly stressful or distressing focuses/paying of actention.

    "Actention modules" are what every individual animal's "repertoire of actentions" consists of. [In the case our own species, such a "repertoire" manifests as a long and in parts unusually wide range of neuromuscular and mental activities.]

    Partly as a result of that I became 'encouraged primal theoretically' (and also, but more indirectly, primal therapeutically) to recognize

    1. that the general functional principle of lateral (mutual) inhibition between functionally and adaptively incompatible actention modules has had to become supplemented combines with the SH function (as well as with the habituation function),

    2. "the principle of frequently and significantly "naturally selected from" overlap between (on one hand) evolutionary and lifetime opportunities and (on the other hand) SH-imploring type stressors come CURSES (=primal pain)"

    did I eventually come to think in terms of "ambiadvantageously adaptive/evolved mutations" and to use this partly concEPTual thought to contrive the acronym AEVASIVE as an evolutionary psychophysiology type explanatory philosophical take on "neurosis" as well as on normality (of us human animals).

    [The "actention selection serving system" can be written as any of three entirely pragmatic textually terse strings of capitals. The "AS" (that can be found right in the middle of AEVASIVE) is one of these.]

  21. Erron: Yes contact the office they have all that info. Other patients also help out a lot. art janov

  22. Pbef: Can someone translate this for me? AJ

  23. Good Lord Pbef! You have sent my attention deficit disorder into overdrive! hahah

    If I was to guess...are you attempting to illustrate the functioning of unconscious vs conscious memory in relation to trauma?!

    My mother threw a solid object at my face when I was young. I physically remember this. When a woman moves her arms suddenly around me, my excitatory neurons go bonkers, glutamate, G.A.B.A. and Acetylcholine spike. I get physically tense and get ready to cringe. Mal-adaptive.

    My endocrine system is too dam stupid to realize the fact that not every woman is the same as my mother. I am not, but I don't get a say when it comes to my gut instincts (unfortunately)

    An adaptive example of a memory would be learning to ride a bicycle. The event may have been exciting/terrifying, but it formed an adaptive function within my cerebrum. Now I can ride a bike. Adaptive.

    It occurred to me a couple of years ago that Primal therapy can't remove all of the negative resonance of a persons memories. Nor does it have to. The endocrine and CNS will only allow enough to be removed/relived to allow the system to purge maladaptive resonance.

    E.g. You activate ballast pumps on a sinking ship and clear enough water to set sail. You can't remove every drip of water from the entire ship. If a person had no negative emotional resonance, they would cease to be human I think.

  24. Hi Andrew,

    It occurred to me a couple of days later that in your first post (way above) you used the word 'connection' as a synonym for 'association'. In the context of things Primal, it's important to keep a clear distinction between what Art means by 'connection' and the rich web of associations that exist whether or not 'connection' does.

    I find myself a little bit weak in trying to explain this well. As a start, you could say that a 'connection' is an accurate cognitive representation of some particular vertical slice (thinking of your 'tree' motif) of experience. Accurate in the sense that it is sans the displacement that neurosis inserts in order to reduce apparent pain. But thinking on that further, I think Primal phenomena, including 'connection' probably occur uniformly among the components of the triune consciousness. What that implies is that 'connection' can also exist as a phenomenon of the limbic 'brain' in relation to slower structure. Specifically, we need to be able to link our need for 'momma' (with all the crying that accompanies that) with any hurt that is registered strongly on the first line. That is also a kind of 'connection'.

    Please, Art, can you comment on this?

    Going a bit further, what this would mean in terms of therapy is that if someone jumps from a third line experience of something in the environment that seems menacing straight to a first line anxiety, and does not spend any time at the level of emotional consciousness, then the 'connection' is not what it can be, and our organism is not at rest yet on that particular slice of experience. There is more to feel, and more to "know".

    Hopefully this makes some sense. Please give feedback.


  25. Pbef,

    I have a sense that you understand certain brain mechanics better than most of us. I took a look at the article you referenced on research into extinction, and why it doesn't work as well as hoped in PTSD cases. I could not make the connection to your posts here, unfortunately.

    Could you try once more to summarize a single main point, maybe following these suggested guidelines:

    1) Absolutely no acronyms or unconventional spellings

    2) No parenthetical expressions

    Tall order, maybe. What do you have to offer those of us who would like to know more about how Primal Theory interfaces with current state of the science in neurology? How does hibernation relate to garden variety human neurotic repression? I kind of got your sports team analogy. Can you be very clear about how that works as part of a neurotic repression mechanics, and how it works outside the scope of what we call neurosis?



  26. Art
    What makes us feel ... see and hear is physiology. Experience of what we feel... see and hear is psychology. Experience do not need to be in par with what we would have felt … see and hear if the conditions of our lives been the right ones. We must look at the fetus and the child's circumstances in order to understand the psychological wonderings. We must have the right knowledge ... science of the physiological content.
    Psychology is what floats around in the air… it has no basis and can never get unless you look at the physiological content... look at what has been stored in the cells... the nerve cells that have information and maybe keep it until we opened the door by primal therapeutic approach.
    It's just fantastic unbelievable that my cell contains everything I have experienced... everything I felt… seen and heard. There are no words for this ... it is in my cells
    Frank Larsson

  27. Walden: Hey all this is explained in Life Before Birth coming out in a few months. Can you hang on? Don't forget horizontal connection. across the corpus callosum. art janov

  28. For Walden (with minimal use of acronyms, no deliberately unusual spelling, and with absolutely no parantheses _of objectional or offensive_ shapes and colors):

    It is a difficult task that I have been set. I take it to be that my task is to provide more detaild information about my explanatory philosophical terminology. Luckily it seems I am permitted to use my not by vain intent nearly etymologically pioneering term "ambiadvantageous"; However, I still have to explain the whole thing without placing it into the elastic platform terminological and characteristically acronymic semantic context that I contrived "ambiadvantageous" to be one of the most important terms. ;-)

    Here goes:

    People's psychophysiologies were partly shaped by selection pressures that promoted ambiadvantageous mutations/traits and behaviors - did so according to a corresponding sub principle of Darwin's super principle.

    Add the following to what I previously have posted, and to what I tentatively aimed to convey with the previous paragraph:

    Our modular actention selection serving system has two major "switching stations" (so to speak) - that is 2 that I know of and interpret that way.

    One of these two main "centers for neural implementation of actention selection" (alternatively so to speak) is situated in the basal ganglia. It is devoted mainly, but not only, to switching between our 'instinctive' behaviors - those that are 'innately hardwired' or in our postnatal process of development regularly acquired irrespective of cultural differences.
    Output from situation-assessing sensory-motivational neurons evolved before our mammalian ancestors started to become endowed with a capacity for symbolic thinking is (by my approximate estimation) the main input that is received, summed up, and acted upon, by neurons in these areas.

    The other more recently evolved hub for switching between different modules or "contents of ~consciousness~" or, in other words, for most directly switching between different actentions, is located (as likewise approximately referred to by the article I gave a URL-reference to) in the medial prefrontal cortices.
    What is being sensorially selected and switched between in this more 'highly evolved hub' is our most culturally varied/sophisticated behaviors (of our entire repertoire of actentions).

    N.B. The "~ ~" signs did not alter the spelling! :)

    A major functional characteristics of any brain (that I know of) is the generalized principle of lateral inhibition - or "center/surround excitation/inhibition". (Paul Bush used that expression in an Internet-based brain science document of his.)
    This function - one of mutual inhbition between actention modules - is carried out primarily and most rapidly by GABA-ergic inhibitory interneurons.

    However, this particualr behavior organizing (actention selection implementing) brain function is of course _complemented_ - not complimented! - by other brain functions.

    For example:
    [the rest follows - must be posted separately]

  29. Walden:

    I stuffed up, badly.

    This is the URL I thought was of interest and relevance to my (SEPTIC-humored) concept of 'the ASSS'.

    Anyway, I think almost all of these articles on the home page of are interesting and generally very relevant.

  30. Will (up at the top): ayayay nothing to do with me. AJ

  31. John,

    I was scrolling all over the place looking for what turned out to be yours. "Primal therapy can't remove all of the negative resonance of a persons memories. Nor does it have to." Now that strikes me as true, and it also strikes me as being at odds with some of the implicit ideas floating around having to do with emptying a tank of pain. Setting realistic expectations could be a very good thing. Thank you.


  32. Hi Art Janov,

    I was thinking again on how the brain might integrate itself. I noticed you said in your Primal Healing (I'm getting through it) that the imprint comes with date and time stamped in, or something to that idea. I think it's a curious possibility that the brain [might] use time-codes to integrate the components of memory.

    So, for example, if a component of a memory is triggered (by whatever) then that memory's time-code may be "broadcasted" throughout the brain elecromgnetically, via what you call 'resonance'. So the first component of the memory calls out "Attention all memory components laid down at 10.32pm, 24th second, March 7th 1982" (but in the brains own time-sequence language of course), and then all memories with that same time-code become triggered to form the experience of the complete memory.

    I think this idea is tangible, because memories are recieved together in time, so it makes sense for the brain to maybe utilise time-codes to integrate components. It's certainly possible(?).

    At the end of the day, we don't know what information may be communicated through the waves of the brain, nor its language, but I think the idea of time-codes could be a good hypothesis to start with...maybe it's even testable with rats.


Review of "Beyond Belief"

This thought-provoking and important book shows how people are drawn toward dangerous beliefs.
“Belief can manifest itself in world-changing ways—and did, in some of history’s ugliest moments, from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the Jonestown mass suicide in 1979. Arthur Janov, a renowned psychologist who penned The Primal Scream, fearlessly tackles the subject of why and how strong believers willingly embrace even the most deranged leaders.
Beyond Belief begins with a lucid explanation of belief systems that, writes Janov, “are maps, something to help us navigate through life more effectively.” While belief systems are not presented as inherently bad, the author concentrates not just on why people adopt belief systems, but why “alienated individuals” in particular seek out “belief systems on the fringes.” The result is a book that is both illuminating and sobering. It explores, for example, how a strongly-held belief can lead radical Islamist jihadists to murder others in suicide acts. Janov writes, “I believe if people had more love in this life, they would not be so anxious to end it in favor of some imaginary existence.”
One of the most compelling aspects of Beyond Belief is the author’s liberal use of case studies, most of which are related in the first person by individuals whose lives were dramatically affected by their involvement in cults. These stories offer an exceptional perspective on the manner in which belief systems can take hold and shape one’s experiences. Joan’s tale, for instance, both engaging and disturbing, describes what it was like to join the Hare Krishnas. Even though she left the sect, observing that participants “are stunted in spiritual awareness,” Joan considers returning someday because “there’s a certain protection there.”
Janov’s great insight into cultish leaders is particularly interesting; he believes such people have had childhoods in which they were “rejected and unloved,” because “only unloved people want to become the wise man or woman (although it is usually male) imparting words of wisdom to others.” This is just one reason why Beyond Belief is such a thought-provoking, important book.”
Barry Silverstein, Freelance Writer

Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

“Life Before Birth is a thrilling journey of discovery, a real joy to read. Janov writes like no one else on the human mind—engaging, brilliant, passionate, and honest.
He is the best writer today on what makes us human—he shows us how the mind works, how it goes wrong, and how to put it right . . . He presents a brand-new approach to dealing with depression, emotional pain, anxiety, and addiction.”
Paul Thompson, PhD, Professor of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine

Art Janov, one of the pioneers of fetal and early infant experiences and future mental health issues, offers a robust vision of how the earliest traumas of life can percolate through the brains, minds and lives of individuals. He focuses on both the shifting tides of brain emotional systems and the life-long consequences that can result, as well as the novel interventions, and clinical understanding, that need to be implemented in order to bring about the brain-mind changes that can restore affective equanimity. The transitions from feelings of persistent affective turmoil to psychological wholeness, requires both an understanding of the brain changes and a therapist that can work with the affective mind at primary-process levels. Life Before Birth, is a manifesto that provides a robust argument for increasing attention to the neuro-mental lives of fetuses and infants, and the widespread ramifications on mental health if we do not. Without an accurate developmental history of troubled minds, coordinated with a recognition of the primal emotional powers of the lowest ancestral regions of the human brain, therapists will be lost in their attempt to restore psychological balance.
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D.
Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University

Dr. Janov’s essential insight—that our earliest experiences strongly influence later well being—is no longer in doubt. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, immunology, and epigenetics, we can now see some of the mechanisms of action at the heart of these developmental processes. His long-held belief that the brain, human development, and psychological well being need to studied in the context of evolution—from the brainstem up—now lies at the heart of the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy.
Grounded in these two principles, Dr. Janov continues to explore the lifelong impact of prenatal, birth, and early experiences on our brains and minds. Simultaneously “old school” and revolutionary, he synthesizes traditional psychodynamic theories with cutting-edge science while consistently highlighting the limitations of a strict, “top-down” talking cure. Whether or not you agree with his philosophical assumptions, therapeutic practices, or theoretical conclusions, I promise you an interesting and thought-provoking journey.
Lou Cozolino, PsyD, Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University

In Life Before Birth Dr. Arthur Janov illuminates the sources of much that happens during life after birth. Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, non-verbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.
Gabor Maté MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future. I’m not sure whether primal therapy works or not, but it certainly deserves systematic testing in well-designed, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trials.
K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System

A baby's brain grows more while in the womb than at any time in a child's life. Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies and offers insight into healing our early primal wounds. Dr. Janov integrates the most recent scientific research about prenatal development with the psychobiological reality that these early experiences do cast a long shadow over our entire lifespan. With a wealth of experience and a history of successful psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Janov is well positioned to speak with clarity and precision on a topic that remains critically important.
Paula Thomson, PsyD, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge & Professor Emeritus, York University

"I am enthralled.
Dr. Janov has crafted a compelling and prophetic opus that could rightly dictate
PhD thesis topics for decades to come. Devoid of any "New Age" pseudoscience,
this work never strays from scientific orthodoxy and yet is perfectly accessible and
downright fascinating to any lay person interested in the mysteries of the human psyche."
Dr. Bernard Park, MD, MPH

His new book “Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” shows that primal therapy, the lower-brain therapeutic method popularized in the 1970’s international bestseller “Primal Scream” and his early work with John Lennon, may help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, normalize blood pressure and serotonin levels, and improve the functioning of the immune system.
One of the book’s most intriguing theories is that fetal imprinting, an evolutionary strategy to prepare children to cope with life, establishes a permanent set-point in a child's physiology. Baby's born to mothers highly anxious during pregnancy, whether from war, natural disasters, failed marriages, or other stressful life conditions, may thus be prone to mental illness and brain dysfunction later in life. Early traumatic events such as low oxygen at birth, painkillers and antidepressants administered to the mother during pregnancy, poor maternal nutrition, and a lack of parental affection in the first years of life may compound the effect.
In making the case for a brand-new, unified field theory of psychotherapy, Dr. Janov weaves together the evolutionary theories of Jean Baptiste Larmarck, the fetal development studies of Vivette Glover and K.J.S. Anand, and fascinating new research by the psychiatrist Elissa Epel suggesting that telomeres—a region of repetitive DNA critical in predicting life expectancy—may be significantly altered during pregnancy.
After explaining how hormonal and neurologic processes in the womb provide a blueprint for later mental illness and disease, Dr. Janov charts a revolutionary new course for psychotherapy. He provides a sharp critique of cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, and other popular “talk therapy” models for treating addiction and mental illness, which he argues do not reach the limbic system and brainstem, where the effects of early trauma are registered in the nervous system.
“Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” is scheduled to be published by NTI Upstream in October 2011, and has tremendous implications for the future of modern psychology, pediatrics, pregnancy, and women’s health.