Sunday, May 24, 2015

On Feeling Lonely Again


There is a news story today about a writer who says he has always felt lonely, and no one has been able to solve it:  he is at wits end.  I will try to help understand it.

I have to take him at his word and believe what he means to say by lonely is feeling all alone.    But feeling all alone, lonely, is not just a temporary state.  It is something that never seems to stop, no matter what he does.    So, I say to myself, “what makes someone feel lonely all of their lives?”  Since  I have been down to the lowest level of brain function, I have a good idea, and I shall share it.  Left alone a lot during infancy and childhood certainly more deeply embeds the feeling and compounds the pain. But it is not always what makes it linger.  It makes the feeling worst and more unbearable but the provenance is earlier, often much earlier.  I know this from experience, as well as from observation.

So what could it be?  What could make us feel so alone?  It could be just after birth.  When we enter this world, we are all alone, terrified in such a strange place, and no one is there; no one comes to soothe us.  We feel isolated and ALONE.    When you need a loving hand, when it is basically life and death; when it is as urgent as life itself.    The baby cannot see a kind, caring face because he is being weighed, and “handled” by white coats done too often with a slight indifference.  All is cold, unfeeling.  He needs his mother’s closeness NOW!

But mother is sick and cannot attend to him.  Or hospital rules demand that the baby not be placed right away on momma.  They have to perform all sorts of ablutions first.  Or that baby is soon put in some sort of basket or “holding cell.”  When he needs touch and kisses.  So what do we have?  A room full of crying babies.  And why do they cry? Because they are lonely and/or in pain.  Babies are humans. Do we cry for no reason?  Neither to they.
It is like asking if a crying baby should be picked up?  If a friend were in pain would you hug and hold him?  Of course.

I mention life and death because if the baby is immediately taken away for a time after birth, and placed by himself, the terror he may feel from the birth experience can be overwhelming.    Then at 6 months of life he is put to bed, left alone in the dark with no parents around and the “all alone” terror mounts again.  It is the compounding: feeling alone and terrified at birth reawakens the terror, and the system can’t take it.    Death sometimes follows; it is all far too much…….  Crib Death.  Crib death tells us the power of terror inside.  Or if he is placed  in an incubator, again all alone and terrified, he will carry the terror and aloneness for a lifetime.  Why for a lifetime?

Won’t he get over it?  No.  The feeling went on for so long and unrelenting, is so great and devastating that it cannot be fully repressed.  It lingers as a pure state, gaining heft later on due to missing parents who work or party all of the time.  He runs from being alone and makes up reasons why he needs to be with people and to keep busy.  He needs distraction.  He phones all of the time.  He needs connection to others, and this again, comes from the continual lack of connection early on to himself and to parents.  I mention “to himself” because terror during gestation already lays down the basis for disconnection from aspects of oneself.  That means alienation from the pain.  Those defenses are already in place in gestation.  He no longer has all of himself.

The critical period for fulfillment is the neuro-biologic time frame when needs must be fulfilled.  It is biologically circumscribed and allows for no deviation.    Fulfillment is urgent to calm and soothe the newborn child.  If not, then the feeling is imprinted for life because the child is becoming overwhelmed with the need for and lack of, hugs and kisses: but no one comes.

All the mélange of feelings involved in the imprint remain thrusting  toward the  top level consciousness for connection.  Why do they move forwards and upwards?  Connection means ultimate surcease and resolution.  The brain knows that.  Why don’t we?  Alas, it is not to be because the pain/terror is so great that it cannot be repressed. Nor can it be felt, integrated and be done with.

We carry it along for a lifetime; even in a crowd one feels lonely and all alone.  We find ways to handle it, and what does it involve?  Pushing it back and down.  The person often feels alienated, and distant.  He looks and acts as if he lives in another world.  He does, only he doesn’t know it.  He lives in a world of aloneness and loneliness.  He is dogged by those unrelenting feelings.  The feeling, so devastating is unyielding.  It is imprinted and embedded and has a life all of its own. It has hegemony even over what  is going on in current life.  So even in a happy feast he feels down.  He cannot feel happy until he really feels.  What? What is dragging him down: the imprint.

Why hegemony? (Hey if I never use good, big words, I will be dumbing down everyone, including me).  Because it is so purely gated due to its load of pain that it is ever-present, even when no one knows what “IT” is.

We need to know about one of my primary concepts; that once the brief critical period is over, no fulfillment can fill the gap.  No jollying him.  Every single fulfillment becomes symbolic and unfulfilling. And hence requires more and more attempts.  And then the person goes to therapy and gets hugs from groups members and feels soooo goood.  Alas, sadly,  it cannot last.  The system allows no substitutes.  It is either the real thing, a warm hug at the critical time, or nothing.

Yet, wow,  hugs to stop the aloneness feels so good; it is addicting.  Oh yes, so are drugs that ease the pain.  I reported on one of my patients who needed constant sex; nymphomania.  Only it was not that all.  She was not sex-crazed.  She was “being held” crazed.  She was obsessed as she should have been because she desperately needed touch. Not a cause for opprobrium.  (Oh my, those big words).  It was all compounded and made urgent because in her childhood she was never held or touched.

So years in therapy this woman was trying to feel loved.  Holy Sh…., is that the job of therapy?  The warm and fuzzy doctor is to no avail because he deals in ideas not emotions.  Besides, no one can love neurosis away.  Why? Because we can never abrogate the critical period. (Jesus,  Janov. stop with the big words!!    OK,  aj).
You see, biology knows little of compassion.  It says, “I know you need hugs but it is far too late.  Sorry.”  The critical period is attached to and depends on, the duration of the critical need.  It is often a short time.  A newborn does not have a great margin of error.  He needs love right away.  When he is hungry he needs to eat, and when he is lonely he needs love.  It cannot be given on our timetable; only on his.

We have found that any lingering feeling may have the same origin, or often, deeper.  Some patients feel empty or unfulfilled as a chronic state.  Look again at early life.  Because unlike most other feelings, those occurring so, so early stay with us for life.  That is to say, the memories are there to remind us what lies deeper, and needs to be resolved.  They are poorly gated, and therefore haunt us.

You know about my concept of resonance; how there is a linkage among all strata of levels of consciousness that ties similar memories  together and ties the ensemble to higher levels of brain function.  That is why feeling down and lonely in therapy, over time, can drag the person back to the times when it was traumatic.  Then begins the process of Primal Therapy; the voyage to the deep interior….where freedom and surcease lie.

What seems to rise for connection in therapy is the raw unadulterated feeling, bereft of its context and origin,  That is why it is such a constant mystery.  It has no adorned accouterments loaded with key information as to what it really is.  “I feel so alone all of the time.”  This is what I mean; no idea of where it all comes from.  And that  is why with connection the whole panoply of the feeling arises and helps us know what the feeling is all about and how it got started.  So what does connection mean?  As the patient descends to deep levels of consciousness over months in therapy he will arrive (add “she” if you want), at a weird sensation of being all alone, especially if he came in depressed and feeling all alone.  That feeling, when he has deeper access, will  carry him back to origins and will be resolving.  That takes time.  But the feeling is finally felt and is integrated; no longer hanging out there like some alien force cause damage.    Remember,  feelings carry us back, not admonishments from a therapist.  If we obey the doctor we are done for.  He can never know what is our unconscious.  He is not a fount of wisdom despite the warm and fuzzy demeanor, drenched with a security of his knowledge which too often is absolute.

Why resolving?  Because it is the raw feeling that climbs the chain of pain to bug us incessantly for life.  Feeling it fully over time, months, finally lays it bare, and puts an end to and depression.  Remember, it lingered because it could never be successfully repressed due to its load of pain.  Its time has come. Aah!

We need to dredge up the original trauma and all of its original reactions within the early time frame and within the critical period, and then we find resolution.  There is no other solution except to go back in time;  back to our early history where feelings will come up raw again, but now we know what it is and can make the final connection.  It needs conscious awareness, at last.




 

31 comments:

  1. Brilliant insights again Art! The feeling truly rules my life or lack of it. Pretty much spend 24 7 connected to the computer and television defending against feeling alone. Will try to connect with it a little more, now that I have a better idea what's going on inside.

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  2. I know this feeling (maybe it isn't connected at all). Last friday I had it. My wife left home and havn't told me when she will come back, I've get almost fired from work and all of this resonates. I know why, but still I can't get into this.

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  3. Hi,

    reminded of Jans long lost love I also contacted an old love of mine, now living on the other side of the planet; we have been communicating for the last two years having not seen each other for three decades. We were each others first lovers and even married. Here is a letter I sent her, written as a consequence of reading Art's post above. I'm sure my 'friend' would not mind this being posted here if Art feels it's ok. I have edited names etc; in three parts:

    Hi ***,

    Why mourn the loss of people who don't understand your commitment to some one they don't understand either?

    I mean, I also mourned the 'loss' of so called friends, but these were really just 'fair weather acquaintances'. . . What I then realised (am still realising) is that I have carried a secret and hidden loss since my early childhood; for my Mum. . . What I realised is that for 50 years or more I have repressed extreme 'separation trauma', probably originating in a difficult birth. For 50 years or more I have 'clung onto' relationships, ideals and things with blind faith and hope that these would somehow bring me the love I really needed back then when I was just a little little bubba.

    Castaway & marooned. . .

    Later, marooned in boarding school I was already long cast away. . . and so boarding school became the island of false rescue by a false family of elite corporate interest. . . Instinctively suspicious of that elitism I ran away from boarding school, I cast myself off that false shore, that 'quick' sand bank of despair and arrived back at the house of my childhood. . .

    Castaway & marooned. . .

    But it was too late, I was no longer a child and no longer able to make up for those terrifying losses and separations. And anyway, my tyrannical parents never really wanted to give what they never had themselves. . . So, they threw me back out onto a neighbouring sandbank where I discovered yet more false substitutes for that elusive love, that split off part of me which without access to would result in a lifetime of deluded adventures in so many directions with so many new questions and no realistic answers. A search for Mum without knowing it. . .

    Castaway & marooned. . .

    Out from this 'love lost' arose a sense of betrayal that my (elected?) substitutes could not be trusted because they didn't seem to respond to my intense unmet needs. Of course having been well programmed to settle for substitutes I did not then know my condition. I was in a kind of induced socially acceptable psychosis. . .Filled with substitutes. . . Motorbikes, drugs, alcohol, sex, dreams, religion, cults etc etc

    Castaway & marooned. . .

    And so now here I am having become washed up yet again on another shore, somehow so familiar. I feel like I have circumnavigated my own life, island hopping from belief to belief, from relationship to relationship and really the only people I have left are my children and grandson. One of them seriously disabled and rather like your O****r (never before has a boy asked for more) I hang on in there for him because without him there would be no continuity, no honour, no history, no remorse, no conscience and therefore no life worth living. We ARE our history; for better or for worse.

    Cast back onto a shore I once knew so well I feel angry that I don't even know how to unpack. I feel lost that I don't know how to live. I don't know how to be AT HOME with myself because I have spent 50 years or more searching for a love lost on a shore too far away. . . My stuff is all so untidy, all that history, all that paperwork from a life on the open sea, periodically washed up on a new shore with the same old junk. . . And here it all is infront of me. . . What a bloody mess and I have been so tired from swimming. I just fall back down on my bed and cry for the love lost and for the remorse and terror I experienced out on those waves and sand banks of despair. . .

    (part 2 follows)




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    1. Art...those are not big words. Please stop apologizing for your normal intelligence to dumb uneducated people. Thank you.

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    2. Oh my (God), so overwhelmingly true. It's all about driving out one's rubbish.

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  4. I'm not ready to share...felt like I had everything taken away from me, when they took my umbilical connection, it was the last thing I had to hold onto...but now I've got my feelings, and they can't take that away.
    Janov's layed down a new imprint .One that gives me back myself.I don't have to be lonely to myself anymore. What a relief!

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    1. Katherina: May be you could be a therapist? art

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    2. Dear Art,
      had an uncontrollable smile on my face when you said, maybe I could be a therapist.
      I would like that very much. I've been secretly thinking about it , and working up to contacting the centre to find out about it. Hope to join you soon. Katherine

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  5. After reading this , I am so full of rage against the human race in general, and the medical establishment in particular. How come I got it immediately about the Leboyer method when I first heard it about it from a couple expecting a baby, and this was 40 years ago? But most people still don`t get it, including most doctors! And so we find out from Janov that some people might experience deep loneliness for life because of the insensitivity of doctors and nurses, and their parents, and the whole culture!

    Afer reading this I asked my mother how my birth went. She said she was given a spinal anesthesia, and they had to cut her open near the vagina for the delivery because I was so huge (10 pounds). This was in 1954. Great! Who the hell knows how this could have affected me ! Of course, she never questioned any of this, and still would not, like the typical North American housewife, with no curiosity and absolute faith in existing authorities.

    As far as loneliness, I have felt it all my life, but not constantly. It`s been like a monkey on my back, that could weigh upon me for months.I wonder how much of mine is due to my defenses, and how much is due to living in a brainless clued-out society composed of individuals who are mainly emotion averse. I know that if I can confide myself to someone the loneliness can be partly relieved in the here-and-now. But in my 60 years amongst this filthy ignorant fascist greedy human race, I have rarely met anyone I can confide in. World to me: we don`t "do" emotion, so shut up and suck it up and don`t bother us with your feelings, we`re busy!! The goal of the contemporary human race is to become as robot-like as possible,and to ravage the earth as much as is necessary to create the obscene Western standard of living for more and more people. And practically no one cares.

    If I sound bitter, yes I am!

    But to end on a realisticly positive note, I would like to share some lyrics from a song which I find so beautiful. Thank you to all the great artists , and to the great humane psychologists like Art Janov for making ot all more bearable.

    Lyrics from a song in the beautiful movie "Pitch Perfect":

    " Seems like everybody`s gt oa price
    I Wonder how they sleep at night
    When the sale come first
    And the truth comes second....
    Just stop for a minute and smile.
    Everybody look to the left
    Everybody look to the right
    Can you feel that music? Yeah!

    We`re paying with love tonight....

    We just want to make the world dance...


    Marco

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  6. Wow...wow...wow!
    What a roller coaster reading this one.
    First difficulties in letting in the sentences.
    Then big laughs from the comments
    (as if it wasn't difficult enough getting through already)
    and then a little one inside jumping around in joy.
    Finally someone said it
    the right way

    This is a masterpiece !

    Flemming D.

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  7. I believe that “feeling alone” is one of the severest traumas one could have. It could even be a rock – bottom feeling or THE rock – bottom feeling, along with anger and “death”. Perhaps, anger and “death” may derive from 1st line loneliness!

    Internet is overwhelmed by cats and dogs videos, especially those that have given birth. And how do those animals act? They just hug and lick their newborns. And breast feed them. And all of us say…“Oh! How cute!!”.
    But when it comes for humans to follow that natural instinct, they just don’t. And if they do, it is for a short time, as if the parents are donating for charity.

    There is quaintness here and this is also a question of mine. It needs to exist a being – alone – environment to come face to face with the “I feel alone” or “I am alone”. But I was told by the therapists that when one faces the being – alone – feeling, there should be someone with him (preferably experienced), so that our system won’t “collapse”. I mean I cannot imagine a “better” situation for feeling what lies underneath, when the room is dim, the phone doesn’t ring, your significant other has abandoned you and you are all by yourself, PROVIDED that the feeling is ready to be felt!

    And one more thing.
    There are people that crave for an intimate relationship with someone.
    And at the other end, there are people that cannot even imagine being too close with someone else.
    Most of us have witnessed these two categories (in my opinion, both neurotic), the variations and know where we belong.
    The first group is SO close to their feeling, while the other has advanced ramparts, not to let anything come up to consciousness.
    I realize why I have met all those people in my life and why I have chosen those specific ones to stick to. But realization is not enough. I cannot (and no one can) play it cool. Either you are cool or you try hard enough, but you will never be.

    Either you are true to your feelings and accept what you are and feel the loneliness or you will have to strive through the labyrinth!

    - Yannis -

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  8. Loneliness... a faith of "Mecca"... that is what you perceive loneliness to be... it is what you believe it to be! To be alone is an ever going state for whatever applies. You are even alone in your need of love... need is where you are looking up for an interaction with someone else... and has nothing to do with loneliness. Loneliness was the reason to seek love and still is because we never left our need of mom and dad.

    What are we really feeling... or should I say experience when we do perceive us to be alone? We experience that everyone and everything is connected with us in a way that is not going to break. We are affected to obey our own perception of how we interpret the content from the limbic system to be... or should I say what is no connection at all in terms of how the neocortex keeps the limbic system at a distance. I would (or Art says) say that it is the neocortex that reacts to the limbic system who searches its roads up in our system to make itself known... something that the neocortex doing everything to close the door to... it due to ignorance for how the neocorx perceiving the content from the limbic system. And we suffer alone for the rest of our lives ... without seeking out what needs we had and do believe we have.

    I believe that the science of how our system works is a critical factor for how we can move forward in our understanding of tying it to its cause of why we suffer and thus a part of our therapy... and then we have the same word for what now Art uses in his description of recognizing our condition!

    I have many to times heard that I use what Art says ... which would mean that I use his rights to the words of science... it of what science tell us about. Think about it!

    I love you for what you have done Art!

    Your Frank

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  9. I too resonate++ w/this piece, altho it's not straight forward (for me). I suffer abominable compulsion in (intimate) rel'ship, particularly @the start, and 'withdrawal' where I truly feel it will kill me, if that person leaves/ends the involvement. I've just gone thru this (again), the suffering was terrible. Being w/'that' person makes me feel so alive.. On the other hand, I'm truly independent (somehow, I *don't think this is a defense..) I very easily live (&travel) by myself, remain single for years, *don't need constant contact: of any kind, feel fulfilled in my interests/passions &just being w/myself.
    I was put in an 'observation bay', w/other babies, for 2x days, after birth Art, altho nothing was wrong w/me: it was hospital protocol. Just writing this, there is a stab in my heart and I feel (sense, haunt) how that near killed me. I don't remember it: Mum tells me. She's defensive when she recounts it (she was 22yo) and also says how she came to look @me constantly thru the window (so sad) and how, amongst all the (yes, crying) babies there, she knew instantly which one was me. I have a terrible sadness writing this, my chest is like a sponge wringing &I can 'hear' 'Falling', the 'Twin Peaks' (David Lynch) theme song.

    On another note, I learnt this from your piece:
    "..comes from the continual lack of connection early on to himself and to parents. I mention “to himself” because terror during gestation already lays down the basis for disconnection from aspects of oneself. That means alienation from the pain. Those defenses are already in place in gestation. He no longer has all of himself."
    I didn't know defenses were possible during gestation? That we can therefore arrive already disconnected as a result of *this (as well as birth)?
    Terror.. I never thought of myself as liking horror movies yet I connect w/those that do and I do like psychological thrillers and love anything dark. I like hard rock &metal music.

    And:
    "..he is being weighed, and “handled” by white coats done too often with a slight indifference. All is cold, unfeeling. He needs his mother’s closeness NOW!"
    I have an incredible image of this, from a c-section, from my birth photography. The baby is receiving a Vit K injection from the paediatrician (straight after delivery) and is *howling in pain YET is *still reaching up, w/both little arms, to the doctor to be HELD. He is met by a bemused smile. It was all I could do to photograph it and hold back my own tears, as you can imagine. (I *must get that work out there..)

    Yours, Jacquie

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  10. Also want to say this is the realest group of people I know, on this forum. I read all your comments. Jacquie

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  11. Marco; you wrote: "As far as loneliness.... I wonder how much of mine is due to my defenses, and how much is due to living in a brainless clued-out society composed of individuals who are mainly emotion averse". Absolutely brother. Mine certainly started very early: I´m guessing, knowing my self obsessed mother, in the womb, then post birth, then inadeqate early nurturing, then an agonisingly lonely childhood where my parents were never there, even when in the same house as me. By the time I reached adolescence, the world I was supposed to go out into and explore with fascination was but a terrifyingly lonely desert and my very late pubertal development (17) - which may have been party a terror of leaving a childhood I´d never had - marked the onset of years, decades, of desolate, aching loneliness, feeling all alone in the world. I feel my adult life has added extra layers to my loneliness that need to be felt before I feel my early childhood pain. The world hurts and damages you. Noone understands feelings yet all implicitly acknowledge them by universal taboos against any strong feeling: not just anger or sadness but also strong joy or love or empathy. Feeling itself is universally guarded against as a threat in a feeling phobic world. "Don´t cry, calm down, have a drink, a fag, a joint. But don´t get excited or upset. "Chill". Your father just died? Hey that sucks man, but it happens to us all" ("Don´t feel"). I´ve lost so many frends because their most staggering. insane insenstivity was intolerable to me. My beloved cat died and the following morning my "friend" completely ignored me when I was sobbing uncontrollably, like my behaviour was so off the scale...but actually he just didn´t give a shit. Or his partner who wrote to her 27 year old son who was thinking of pushing drugs for a living to "fucking grow up!" yet who as I perceive it spent his entire childhood denying all his feelings about everything, including her leaving his natural father for one who clearly disikes him - the guy I just mentioned. And noone sees any of this. Ít´s like the smell of shit is everyhere around us and noone but me can smell it and everyone talks about everything but what they FEEL and should someone get triggered in the emotional minefield we call human communication, the mine is immediately neutralised with cigarettes, alcohol or dope. "So keep your fucking loneliness inside you and don´t bother me with it" is the message. Because everyone is full of loneliness and we all keep our own loneliness firmly sealed inside us inside our outer shell, instead of opening the shell and letting our lonely selves meet and love each other Instead of holding each other. Our cafés are full of peope but they´re not connecting in any real human way. We live crowded together yet rarely meet and nurture each other. And as we get older our outer shells get stronger and imprison our loneliness more. And the loneiness starts to destroy us from within. Because life is drawn to life, and if it doen´t get it, it eventually starts decomposing the body which houses it. So we get old prematurely. Or we give up the battle and cancer eats us up. or our hearts harden through resentment and neglect. We primal people must not only stick together, and resolve our conflicts between ourselves, but must be sensitive to and respect each others feelings, to hear & accept each others pain, and to nurture each other. Or we wil repeat the same mistakes of the sick world we live in. And maybe by so doing our primal pain itself will start to rise in a place of safety. Gary

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    1. Gary,

      too true, too true. . .

      Paul G.

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  12. Art: I wonder why you don't post my comments, some times. Are they too personal or not relevant (enough)? Perhaps if you could give me feedback: jacquie.moran@gmail.com It's disappointing as I want to engage the forum and I put effort into what I think about and write, here. K.Regards, Jacquie

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    1. Jacquie. I try to post most comments except when they are far off message. When they are all about you and do not add to the general information on the blog. This is not a message board. It is my blog to inform. If you help that I will post every time. When you send a letter that is strictly personal I cannot publish it. art

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    2. OK, thanks Art. I hope my writing *isn't too personal altho I often relate to myself, to make sense of what you've written. I hope I do contribute. Your blog is fantastic, for us All. Thank you. Jacquie

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    3. How interesting Jacquie. By wondering wether your comments are relevant enough or not you have just expressed freely your deepest insight on your Truth. Was your father a distant figure in your early days? Someone who would not care about what you had to say?. Still looking for him? Looks like so to me. Otherwise. Know what? I remember each time my brother and I thought of a valuable present on my father's birthday we both always came to the same conclusion: An old book will please him! One day I secretly ripped and took away with me an old map from a local library book. It is so far the most exciting thing –in terms of blood pressure rise– I've ever done. It took me a while to realize the deeper reasons behind that: My father had been showing more interest in old litterature than in me over my younger years, but my helpless need to be proven relevant to him made me commit such mistakes. The minute I became aware of that my whole Life unfolded suddenly before my eyes as fast as I had never imagined. The day I dared express my contained sadness –through some sort of a primal via a local therapist– regarding his disdain which had by then turned into open rage, I cried so that I even feared I could drown in my own tears. And I ffelt the release I had been searching for such a long time. My father would never be the same to me anymore. I mean, I stopped worshipping him and started seeing him as a victim of his own past. His genes still are within me but the memory I carry along in them is less disturbing ever since. I love reading old books but I can't wait for the moment to share all the knowledge contained in all those pages with my little daughter. Hugs, Lars

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    4. Lars: I don't feel like I'm looking for (Art's or anyone else's) approval; I know that my comments need to be relevant to be posted. I just don't want to 'waste' my time writing, if they're not posted (for the most part).I write to contribute, to be a part of this forum &yes, to express my experience. I don't like wasting my time. Jacquie

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    5. Ok then, my comment was not pertinent and you don't need to consider for a minute the insight I suggested. Understood. What ever the case, both your comment and mine have been considered, as you can see, relevant enough to be posted on Arts blog. Yet both exposed personal cases. I guess Art thought our dialogue might be constructive in the overall scheme of his blog. You see? Sometimes relevant things show up when less expected.

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  13. Art,
    some hours ago I felt that loneliness ,after I got notice ,that (a black haired(?)...Turkish Lady
    did not work in a shoe shop (my mother hd black hair)
    I could only stand it for minutes and the comforting thought (there are dozens (and more for that matter ...Germany.

    As a child my mothers`leaving meant leving for good!!(in my mind..)
    Yours Emanuel

    P.S. I l o v e Your big words!!!(The English language is soooo rich why not enhance our wisdom(yes I think words help to clarify reality...

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  14. at some point i felt like i was left watching earth from few thousand kilometers with no way to get closer... that is the meaning to be "alone". the danger of it. abandonment.
    maybe it is easier if it is felt connected. without anxiety.

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    1. Vuko: That feeling being far away from earth usually means being far away from you. art

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    2. Yuko: in psychiatry we call it depersonalisation; as the name implies; it's exactly as Art describes. You can help by doing anything that gets you connected w/your feelings, as they are 'you'. Jacquie

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    3. depersonalization is also interesting... and unpleasant.

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    4. Yuko: extremely unpleasant-- as is 'being far away from you'! Actually, what you describe is 'derealisation'; relating to your surroundings; but it has the same base as depersonalisation: anxiety.. Jacquie

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    5. Jacquie, thanks for understanding. i am on my days off from work and your advice is making slightly more sense. will see...
      Art, i thought that it speaks about extreme loneliness but you might be right. it is maybe much more about extreme anxiety. thanks.

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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