Sunday, October 16, 2011

On Curing Steve Jobs (updated)



What I write now are simply musings. But I wonder if there were anything that could have cured Steve Jobs. I want to offer a possibility. I use him as an example without fully knowing his early life but only as a means to explain why people get seriously ill so early. Let’s start from my hypothesis that events during life in the womb imprint trauma in the cells and foretell of serious disease later on. (read Life Before Birth for a fuller explanation). These events, a smoking, anxious mother, a drug-taking depressed mother, distort and detour natural cellular processes in the baby. It doesn’t show up for perhaps decades but it often will happen. The carrying mother’ state is reflected in the neurophysiology of the baby. And in Steve’s case it was not an auspicious beginning. His mother was impregnated by a Syrian, heavily objected to by the family; so much so that she had to give her baby, Steve, up for adoption. Can you imagine her state? Rejected by her family, carrying a baby that is a pariah to the parents. She had to be full of anguish. The bad part of that it is not a temporary affair that blows over when she gives the baby up for adoption. That torment can leave a mark on the cells of the baby which may stay a lifetime. That mark or tag has to do with changes in the chemical methyl in a process called methylation. Methylation changes how our genetic unfolding plays out; to me it constitutes the primal imprint. It endures and changes how our genetic legacy plays out. It, in effect, changes heredity through what is known as epigenetics.

But methylation affects many biologic processes, dislocating and distorting function. It changes heredity by turning off some genes that should be on and turning on those that should be off. Our development is affected.

There is new research that points out how the imprint can result in cancer and heart conditions later in life; not to omit Alzheimers and severe allergies. The imprint takes place as the brain is rapidly changing and evolving. Very few of us can avoid these implications. This may have been so in Steve’s case. The earlier the trauma the more drastic the later effects. In Steve’s case it may have begun when his mother discovered she was pregnant; from then on she lived as an outcast. And he suffered from it, a silent agony that was never recognized and never acknowledged. It became overt as he matured. And it was a mysterious disease; no one knew how it happened or why. Oncologists tried to suss out more and more about the disease so as to guess how long he might live. As the cancer went on there was no more talk of cure, just sustaining. But they will never find out the hidden mysteries involved in this disease by only examining cells. We need to look at the generating source; at origins and how it became engraved; for a good deal of current research and my own clinical experience point to womb-life as a serious culprit. How could it not be? A rapidly developing brain disrupted and distorted? It is difficult to suss out because there can be forty years between the primal imprint and the outbreak of disease.



For it is my opinion that under ordinary circumstances people should not fall seriously ill with mysterious ailments at a young age, and 49 is a young age. In fact, I believe that when it does happen that an illness overtakes a person it is almost inevitable that premature afflictions will take place later in life. And here we have a situation where it seemed the father was also banned or at least left with no contact with his son—ever. What we do not know is whether he went to an orphanage or a short time before he was adopted or not. Whether in those crucial days and weeks after birth whether he had love, hugs and caring; or was bereft of all that? If so, the suffering was compounded and the imprint embedded. Thus his future could have been foredoomed, an ineluctable force that eventually killed him. I must add that I am using this example only to indicate the factors that play into later disease so that we can all be more aware of the impact of early life.

I know that there are genetic cancers that may have a purely hereditary source. But it is also likely that there are many epigenetic cancers that come from imprinted trauma during life in the womb—methylation. To refine the notion a bit more, there are hereditary sources in later cancer that may only become apparent when the genetic tendencies are compounded with traumas in the womb. We know now that methylation has an effect on some tumor-suppressing cells so that the possible outbreak of cancer is increased. We also know that in our therapy there is a great enhancement of natural killer cells after one year of treatment. These cells keep on the lookout for newly forming cancer cells and move in to destroy them. They are not strong at the beginning of therapy when imprinted pain is at its height. Tumor suppressor genes can cause cancer cells to die by blocking cell growth. Imprinted trauma can interfere with their functioning so they are but a weak army fighting the overwhelming force.

I have seen this in epilepsy where the attacks may be genetic but the level of imprinted stress puts the patient over the top, and frank disease erupts. And when we remove some of the pain/stress in these epileptics the seizures cease. We have normalized the stress level so that the system can tolerate the input without producing a symptom. Thus, symptoms are often a sign of overload; the body can tolerate just so much stimulation and then slops over into perhaps a migraine or high blood pressure.

We have seen this in some patients who were treated by untrained therapists who allowed too much pain to erupt, the patient becomes overloaded and she leaves with a headache. We know what the mistakes were and we move quickly to avoid that happening. In our therapy the patient can turn a seizure into what it really is, major very early trauma—or, the birth trauma, and we then find that the seizure was the primal turned inside out. That is, when early imprints are threatening they can become a seizure if there is that genetic tendency. That tendency may drive from many sources: genetics, epigenetics, a crash on a bike, serious high fever while being carried or in the first months of life.

Still we rarely see a cancer in our patients which may be due to the therapy and also because most of our patients suffer from “leaky gates.” They cannot repress effectively; hence, they suffer all of the time but there is no massive repression with no outlet, often the requisite for later serious disease. I believe cancer as a deep cellular affliction requires massive repression as we mature. What this means is that great early imprinted pain calls into being massive repression to deal with it. It is an automatic process.

So here we may have an anguished mother, no father which means the mother is all alone to face the birth, a birth that will force her to leave her child forever, and no warm, kind parent to make it alright. On top of that we have a child perhaps totally on his own for the first critical weeks of his life until he is adopted. Let me add that there are critical periods for the fulfillment of need as we develop. Once that timetable has passed nothing can make up for the lack of fulfillment. It can be ameliorated so as to keep the stress level low enough to avoid the symptom but nothing can erase the memory/imprint. That is the basic fact of pain; pain which remains and forever leaves a basic tendency: toward developing a symptom, drug taking or drinking.


There may be a way to deal with womb-life traumas. As our patient digs deeper and deeper into his unconscious he eventually comes to infancy in therapy. That reliving can trigger off still more profound and remote imprints, the first-line physiologic/cellular components of the imprint set down while we are being carried in the womb. The reliving of infancy trauma then incorporates the deep physiologic aspect which becomes resolved and integrated, as well. It may be how we can relive and eliminate those preverbal events. That is, we may undo the traumas that have lain inside us for decades; the traumas that may result in serious disease.

Steve’s having been given away may have been an harbinger of future disease; an ineluctable destiny. It is for this reason that if one has had a womb-life filled with sturm and drang the only way to avoid the unavoidable is to have a therapy that can ultimately dig down deep; a prevention, for once a symptom sets in with possible end-organ damage it may be too late.

Now let’s remind ourselves that these traumas are registered deep in the brain and create havoc, and they resonate higher up as we evolve and disturb our emotional and intellectual/learning capacities. All levels resonate with one another and form a single coherent entity, possibly through similar or identical frequencies. To trigger-off the top level can mean setting off the bottom rung of the memory, as well; and unless the person has deep access to himself, not a usual occurrence, the illness is being compounded; the pressure on the cells greater. The early force has been dredged up by some circumstance in the present but has no where to go so it remains to create serious damage and tendency to catastrophic illness. The more catastrophic the imprint the more catastrophic the affliction. The force is so great that until one relives the first line or observes it there is no way to explain how ineffably powerful it is. Once felt or seen no one wonders how it can create major illness.

I want to emphasize how we can relive something that happened while we were being carried in the womb. It has to do with resonance. There seems to be a specific frequency and/or chemical affinity between layers of the brain. When we relive traumas in our therapy we eventually trigger off the related first-line deeply imprinted early imprints that dislocated cellular functioning. So we relive something in our childhood, a rejection, which gathers up into the reliving process the prototypic early imprint and the whole thing is relived; more than relived, there is integration and resolution. That means that the damaging womb-life imprint is also integrated so that it no longer creates the tendency to disease. The question is whether that disease tendency is really gone and really integrated. Has the imprinted been reversed? We need to study methylation in our patients to see what kind of changes occur as a result of the therapy. We want to know if we truly can permanently remove aspects of our history, of our early traumas so that all critical imprints can be reversed. Can we remove all latent tendencies? That is the generating source, the origin that detoured cellular life can be removed. And I believe it is the only way to do it to conquer the disease; assuming it has not gone so far as to be fatal. Otherwise the cancer comes back time and again. Experts look to the properties of the cancer to figure out why when they should also look into one’s early life to figure out why. Maybe therein lies the answer.

Steve had an idea about all this; for in the Rolling Stone of October 27, 2011, he discusses all this. “In 1972 Jobs met a bohemian girl named Christann Brennan. They soon embarked on a big, messy teenage romance, taking LSD and talking about The Primal Scream, a book by Arthur Janov…… For Jobs it was away to live more fully……and a way to overcome the pain of being abandoned by his birth parents. Steve explained to me how both LSD and primal screaming opened up stored trauma in the medulla. He would repeatedly talk about Janov’s ideas in regard to how mothers and fathers would fail to love their children and walk out on them in so many ways, creating and perpetuating trauma.” He knew. But he could not know what was raging inside of him so profoundly buried into the antipodies of his mind. He was brilliant about so much in his outer world and so bereft of the knowledge of what was killing him.

31 comments:

  1. art if i create a webpage and publish a disclaimer in very small faded print at the bottom of the page which states that the webpage is an 'advertorial' and that certain parts of the content have been 'enhanced for illustrative purposes', i can take all of your yet-to-be-proven ideas and present them as absolute facts. i can even invent authority figures with fake names and addresses, and quote them. i can invent the most fascinating successful primal stories and the most horrific stories involving mock therapy. i cannot associate the webpage with the primal center.
    there is a little more to it, but basically, i can lie as long as my intent is to 'hold the reader's interest for the purpose of selling a product or service'. in my case the product could be an educational video for achieving inner peace and happiness (or some other cheaply mass-produced product) and dr. janov's primal therapy "the only cure for anxiety and depression" could be incidentally included in the video as long as i state that you are not associated with me.

    there are lots of interesting therapists out there. they don't know how to cure their patients but they do understand the wonderful world of marketing and they are kicking your ass.

    you and some of your blog readers are opposed to hype. they say it can only cause damage. tell that to the wealthy cognitive therapists and hypnotherapists and even the crystal ball therapists. people listen to hype!! have you seen what happens in facebook? if you invent your own 'famous quote', type it and frame it with a floral design and post it as a jpeg to all your friends - they will BELIEVE the message and share it with all their friends. one of them says you should "smile when you're sad..."

    scientists don't respond to hype?

    "What, are you kidding me?" (famous quote by Gerald Celente)

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  2. Different musings.

    What would have happened if Steve Jobs mother had kept him and married his father Abdulfattah “John” Jandali, a gifted, curious and enterprising Syrian immigrant and they both had given him all the love and care, he could have asked for? For sure, the symbol “Steve Jobs” would never have been a reality. Probably, I would not have been able to write this down on a sleek Apple computer. Furthermore, his father had not had the opportunity to father Steve Jobs’ talented half sister and author Mona Simpson (whoes father according to Mr. Jandeli never accepted that he married his daughter while he was alive).

    The reasons for Steve Jobs’ too early death are certainly interesting and yours, in itself, well-meaning desire to pedagogically show the consequences of lack of love and/or the effects a mother’s ingestion of drugs and pain relievers can have on a fetus. From a humanitarian point of view and because of personal experiences, I would like everyone to avoid the physical and emotional devastation that a fetus can be exposed to, before and just after birth. However, I cannot help but think that evolution has its own way, which changes during the journey. Reverse evolution in all the glory but the evolution that breaks stagnant, painful patterns are equally fascinating. Syrian-Arab genes mixed with other previously immigrated genes in an American environment filled with individual optimism for the future is a testament to the old adage “No Pain No Gain”.

    What I’m trying to express with my musings is that whether we would have been able to figure out the reasons for Steve Jobs’ cancer or not, so it is possible that his probably pain propelled cancer was a necessary price for the wearer of Syrian genes to be a decisive player in the evolution of the computer industry and its making and marketing during the last 30 years. We can only regret that he was not lucky enough to undergo PT.

    Jan Johnsson

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  3. An email comment:
    "A bit of medical information to put this in perspective...

    Jobs had a rare form of pancreatic cancer called pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer or "PNET" (pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor). It affects the islet cells.

    PNET has a strong genetic predisposition. Often, family members have a range of non-cancerous disorders caused by the same genes. I known nothing about Jobs's family history so I don't know if that's the case. Exposure to tobacco smoke, alcohol, and diabetes are also risk factors.

    Evidence suggests that epigenetic mutations are involved as well, but it's not related to early life stress, as are the epigenetic changes studied by Meaney's group. Epigenetic mutations can be caused by a wide range of things.

    Could primal have cured Jobs? I doubt it. Once pancreatic cancer kicks in, it's very tough to beat. It may have prevented his cancer, but who knows? Genetic cancers are almost destined to occur, no matter how healthy you live. Of course, only a well-controlled study would determine whether primal prevents cancer and I hope that happens someday.

    As for primal reversing epigenetic changes caused in early life: I think that's a stretch. There is a window of opportunity within which changes can be reversed (again, Meaney's work), but after that, those changes seem permanent. Again, a well done study on primal patients should shed light on this. Some day....I hope. "

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  4. Dr. Janov,

    If the person in question is not willing to engage, a hypothesis remains a hypothesis.
    Steve Jobs was not seeking PT, he chose to go to India to seek enlightenment, as soon as he found out that he has cancer.

    Sieglinde

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  5. To Art: Please post this as I wanted to tell Richard something? Thank you. It has nothing to do with primal therapy (of which I hold a mildly positive opinion of, personally)

    Richard: I just wanted to say that, yes, I think news media hype really sucks and it's damaging to many people only they don't realize it. Maybe it's a neurosis of sheeple! At least in primal groups everyone gets their say if they need to, but with the news media they don't care if you exist or not...it's only what sells the next hot story and many scientists sadly become unwitting sheep to the hype (as you implied).

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  6. Hi Richard,

    if you look back in the seventies you could see that Primal Therapy has been part of a hype called New Age therapies, Holistics or what ever...What attracts people to a new hype, it's usually because it's new and it fades away when a new one arrives (even if it's an old one in a disguise).
    Dr Janov's work is famous around the world (his books are translated in several languages). The first Primal Scream has been a best seller almost everywhere and initiated all the mock therapies you could thing about. Hype is not made to last.It's part of our neurotic state of mind that makes people believe they will change the world and/or themselves if they buy this new jeans or drink that beer or drive this brand new hybrid car.
    What is common in all this it's that nothing change on a deeper level. Dr Janov wrote a lot about appearance versus essence that's exactly what we are talking about. But you are right Hype is cool, it brings a lot of friends and money (which is and I quote Dr Janov) "is just catch up" for what we didn't received as children.
    Dr Janov's work will be acknowledged when a paradigm shift will be made in the psychology/psychiatric field (read about Thomas Samuel Kuhn and what he wrote about paradigm shift in science). The trouble is that it might take years or more...

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  7. Hi,

    I got talking to an old friend who unfortunately has recently qualified as a Reiki Master. I say unfortunately because I now feel like one of his patients instead of a friend. Anyway he's been reading up on Janov and when I said I want to go to California for the treatment and suggested he might, he said "how long does it take" I said it's a life long work but starts in the clinic for a month or so.

    My friend concluded that he did not have all his life and was seeking enlightenment in 12 months first ? ! ? ! ? ! He's been on so many workshops. . . .

    Paul G.

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  8. i read the RS article today; Steve was such a beautiful, and troubled, young man; it breaks my heart to look at his early photos; yet he went on to accomplish so much; which speaks volumes for the human spirit.

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  9. Hi,

    I read the Primal Scream back in the 80s and knew there was something wrong with me. But you all must realise that when the 3rd line is 'informed' in this way about the truth of the 2nd and/or 1st there can be no guarantee that the poor (newly informed) individual has the foggiest idea about how and or why to proceed.

    It's still all words isn't it?

    More-over, she may easily be persuaded that all psychotherapy has a common aim and go for the first therapist who smiles and listens, as did I. Not a bad start but. . . . . . .

    Art has said that when there is a lot of 2nd line trauma on top of the 1st that this must nearly always be worked through first. As far as I can see I am certainly in this situation.

    I suspect so are many others, 2nd line neglect, abuse, confusion, grief, loss and wanting. All piled up on top of 1st line terror.

    For the foreseeable future I am going to continue to be expressing the traumatic grief of my boarding school incarceration (years and years of it) and the way that links with earlier 2nd line abandonment episodes.

    At least my body work therapist helped me get to that, shame he isn't equipped to take me further. I am on the verge of telling him about it actually. . . what do you think?

    Paul G.

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  10. Paul G: I will soon write on Dan Siegel psychiatrist at UCLA and his teachings of mindfulness; a collection of greater bullshit I have not seen. art

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  11. Hi,

    I've heard a bit of your opinion about mindfulness as a therapy and I'd sure like to know more because it seems part of a common misunderstanding about the difference between 'Inside' & 'Outside'. Hasn't it been plagiarised from a Budhist concept, partly to do with observing the way our attention 'moves'?

    I must say that these concepts are about how we attend in the external world (3rd line behavioural). If you're learning to be a carpenter or bus driver or chef then mindfulness is useful but it really doesn't relate to our inner brain functioning much does it? Tell us more Art.

    Paul G.

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  12. Paul G: I am writing about it today and it will be published soon. it is proof that psychology has been overtaken by booga booga and left science far behind. art

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  13. An email comment:
    "Yes, I agree with you, not on the brain kind of explanation you give, as I know nothing about the brain function. I do know about uncovering trauma. I often wonder how wealthy people like Steve Jobs and the many rehab-hopping, relationship-hopping actors and famous personalities who could afford your Primal Therapy do not take advantage of it.

    So many reside in California and must know of it. Perhaps one reason is that we have no personal accounts of primal patients themselves. Why is that? And as long as the unconscious if ignored, people will continue to suffer.

    Thank you for your blog."

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  14. And my answer:
    Many don't know about it cause I have not been public nor have I don the media. I tried once or twice: Charlie Rose who never answered our letters. And others but I think it is too radical to be accepted by the mainstream press. art

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  15. Another email comment:
    It is paragraphs like the one I highlighted in red that make me never miss ANY of your posts...the ones I feel pertaining to me and the ones I find consolation in. I do, however, believe that the body fabricates (or attracts) its own triggers automatically. When the time is ripe and when the physique, as well as the psyche can handle it, the first line imprints are reversed in an organic fashion WITHOUT personal intervention. Well...that is my own theory (taken from my own personal experience), unless you have stated this somewhere in your other publications.

    Thanks for this!

    "Now let’s remind ourselves that these traumas are registered deep in the brain and create havoc, and they resonate higher up as we evolve and disturb our emotional and intellectual/learning capacities. All levels resonate with one another and form a single coherent entity, possibly through similar or identical frequencies. To trigger-off the top level can mean setting off the bottom rung of the memory, as well. When we relive traumas in our therapy we eventually trigger off the related first-line deeply imprinted early imprints that dislocated cellular functioning. So we relive something in our childhood, a rejection, which gathers up into the reliving process the prototypic early imprint and the whole thing is relived; more than relived, we know that there is integration and resolution. That means that the damaging womb-life imprint is also integrated so that it no longer creates the tendency to disease.""

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  16. In the first article by Dr Janov about Steve Jobs, he writes:

    "So goodbye, Steve, you changed my world and you never knew me. But I am indebted to you for my life today." I don't mean to pry, but what relationship did you have ,Dr Janov, with Steve Jobs? That Rolling Stone article shows that he got it about your therapy in 1972, yet the Wikipedia article about Primal Therapy states:

    "Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs briefly practiced primal therapy.[89] A source states that Jobs "grew bored and disdainful of Primal Therapy.'" Perhaps I have overstepped the bounds of discretion here, so please forgive me, if so. Anyways, it's so strange how so many people can be so outwardly "successful", but perhaps not so internally.I wonder if there is also a certain type of defense particuliar to us nerdy scientific-techie types (in my case, former science type, since I dropped all that at 17 to waste another 30 years studying the "human sciences" to find out that all these psychologists and psychiatrists and sociologists and theologians and polly-sigh types don't know what they are talking about basically ).

    I have to add here that the death of Steve Jobs got some heavy fear and panic going through me, because I am exactly his age, and I often think of Dr Janov's observations that many neurotics start to break down in their 50's. I too may be one of those since I am now developing a potentially serious disorder of the peripheral nervous system called POLYNEUROPATHY, characterised by tingling , burning, numbness in the limbs, awkward gait, clumsiness, spaciness, slight eye trouble,etc.. The two main known physical causes are diabetes and excess alcohol consumption. Since I drank a lot, all that alcoholic poison may now be taking its inevitable toll. So, "thanks" MOM, for all the HATE you bestowed on me in that good old blunt sadistic Italian FASCIST way. You wanted to destroy me: you may have finally succeeded!

    Marco

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  17. i must take issue with your assertion that Jobs was "bereft of the knowledge of what was killing him"; he knew very well, and he faced his demise, and eventual death, with exemplary courage.

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  18. Marco: I have no idea where Steve got his therapy but it was not with us. That is what helped create a bad name for us...all those charlatans pretending to do Primal Therapy. art

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  19. Grumpy: I mean the cause of it. art

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  20. "And my answer:
    Many don't know about it cause I have not been public nor have I don the media. I tried once or twice: Charlie Rose who never answered our letters. And others but I think it is too radical to be accepted by the mainstream press. art"

    not to beat a dead horse, Art, but i remember in the early days, when Primal Scream first came out, you were a guest on Dick Cavett, which i saw, and really liked; i also heard you and Dyan Cannon appeared together on Johnny Carson; wish i could have seen that one; a few years later i saw you going one on one with Tom Snyder on his late night gabathon, which was excellent actually; also a segment with the tv physician Dr. Art Ulene; but nothing since then; or if there was, i missed it.

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  21. Grumpy: My God how on earth do you know that when I cannot remember any of it? Incredible. art

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  22. One thing I do remember because the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth died today. He was Martin Luther King's associate, and I brought him to Palm Springs to help me organize the Black garbage workers there in a place called section 14. It, and it was a collection of shacks, was going to be destroyed for luxury homes and we tried to stop it. Dr. Shuttlesworth used to say to me, hey Janov sitting on your money? When I was living in a cheap track house and had $200 in the bank.

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  23. "Grumpy: My God how on earth do you know that when I cannot remember any of it? Incredible. art"

    your appearance on Cavett is clearly etched in my mind; Clint Eastwood was also on the guest panel that evening; at one point Cavett asked you a loaded question, how wouldn't artists being cured of their neurosis lose their creativity? you just shrugged and responded, "Do you have an easier question"? touche! the perfect comeback; one which i still use, when asked questions for which there is no easy answer.

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  24. Hi,

    -"how wouldn't artists being cured of their neurosis lose their creativity"-.

    This is one hell of a hot potato.

    There's a famous film director whos' name I can't remember whos' arty films I can only vaguely remember (some are repulsive to me, remember the one with the half cooked chicken, ah yes "Errasor head or some such sh**e). Anyway, he took up Transcendental Meditation and wrote a book about the impact it had on him.

    Interestingly, in the forward to this (forget-able) book he tells of how he went to see a psychologist and when asked if the treatment would affect his creativity the psychologist remarked: "well, probably it would". As a consequence this famous director of 'arty' movies decided to take up TM instead because the TM people said TM would definitely enhance his creativity.

    Well, there you have the best example of flattery you can get. If you don't get the tremendously complicated implications of it I'll spell it out:

    1. Most 'modern art' is a reflection of the (so called) artists' own neurosis (more or less obliquely admitted).

    2. The artist has literally put the 'expression' of his neurosis on a peda-stool for other lesser mortals to revere and appreciate.

    3. The viewers of this 'art' are gratified because the said 'expression' provides an external focus of attention (awareness only, not conscious) for the 'issues' that are (fundamentally) neurotic in us all. . .

    4. Thus 'art' becomes the toilet for the collective projections of all unconscious worshipors of their own un-addressed and un-examined neurosis.

    5. We are offered a very serious but well veiled choice here arn't we? Get real and live an essential life filled with good feelings and sincere relationships OR stumble around in a sewer of SYMBOLS which merely reflect the nightmare we are all trying (subconsciously) to avoid.

    Arrrghhh! My blood boils sometimes.

    By the way, since I came to my true feelings I have designed and made ever increasingly better and more aesthetically pleasing Oak frames and my other music and percussion 'expressions' have improved also. Ironically I am less and less propelled to put it all on a peda-stool and shout: "HEY - LOOK AT ME"!

    As you can see, I have a large bee buzzing around in my bonnet about all this.

    Paul G.

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  25. Hi Art,

    let's try this one for size: I remember seeing a film about John & Yokos' 'love in'. They were in bed protesting. Any-way you were there too!

    Yes you were, I'm sure. . .

    Paul G.

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  26. Paul G: Whenever you think like that remember John Lennon who wrote the Plastic Ono Band and the Imagine. Did he lose his creativity? art I have only seen it help. My wife became a painter as a result of the therapy.

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  27. i commend you for you social activism, Art, with Rev. Shuttlesworth...Paul, the director you're alluding to is David Lynch; and the John/Yoko bed-in for peace was in '69, prior to his short-lived PT involvement..

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  28. Hi,

    Nothing to live or die for,

    Paul G.

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  29. An email comment:"
    Dear Art,

    According to Walter Isaacson who wrote an official book about Steve Jobs, Steve was a very emotional guy...seems like ideal Primal Therapy material. You praise Jobs so highly I'm wondering if you at all attempted to entice Steve to "try" PT once he told the world about his pancreatic cancer. I don't know if PT has been able to "reverse" actual diagnosed cancer or not. But I know you said at one time you were no longer going to name "diseases" that Primal patients have cured; because it made PT sound too much like a panacea. Steve apparently engaged in both "magical thinking" as well as being the hard nosed engineer.

    As for Primal Therapy's "Time", it seems like the whole Occupy Wall Street movement is an ideal moment to advance the cause. Every hierarchal structure is under attack. And as you've vividly pointed out, the whole Therapy Industry is going in the whole direction and needs a good shaking up.
    "

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  30. And my answer: I never try to entice anyone into therapy. The enticement is the sense we make. art

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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.
Editor