Saturday, January 30, 2010

Epigenetics: The Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics

There is something we must immediately add to the theoretical mix: epigenetics; how very early events in the womb and at birth can alter the genetic unfolding. One genotype, a single genetic predisposition, can give rise to many phenotypes depending on what happens to those genes during gestation. So what we might imagine is genetic, is genetic-plus what happens to us in the womb. I was so surprised early on in my therapy when long-term patients reported that their wisdom teeth descended. Now I understand it better; the genetic unraveling toward its destination was deferred due to repression.

In the early nineteenth century, a French scientist named Jean Baptiste Lamarck decided that we acquired characteristics from experiences that our parents underwent. Russian communists applied this to agriculture but, no matter, it was a widely discredited theory … until recently. Now this avowed Marxist position may have been resurrected a bit. There is a new field called epigenetics that states pretty much what Lamarck believed. So what is the evidence? And what exactly is it? What Lamarck said was that individuals acquire characteristics as a result of their environment, and now, these characteristics can be passed on to the offspring.

Much of the work in epigenetics has to do with diet; a mother’s diet influences the offspring’s physiology. Epigenetics has to do with how genes are regulated and influenced by the experience of the baby. I believe it has more to do with the fetus who resides in the womb; that his experience is influenced forevermore by the mother’s diet but also by her moods.[1]

Has the genetic switch been delayed or was it premature? This can happen without making a radical change in the gene itself but rather in how it is expressed, whether it is shut off or on. What we are discussing is how a mother’s interaction with her environment can pass this on to her offspring. I think we need to understand that a fetus in the womb is always trying to adapt to his environment and that his genes will evolve and be expressed depending on that adaptation. For example, a mother who is very unhappy from her own childhood pain, and who has depleted much of her serotonin supplies cannot fulfill the young fetal need for his own serotonin supplies. (His own supply does not kick-in until somewhere around the half-way mark). He may well grow up deficient in inhibitory or repressive capacity and be an anxiety/impulsive case forevermore; this can evolve into attention deficit in his youth. This will happen when the fetal set-points are readjusted because of events during womb-life. There may be a continued inability to have a cohesive cognitive ability; to focus and concentrate. I think it is important that all this occurs while the fetal brain is rapidly developing and needs proper input to evolve normally. An anxious mother is so agitated that the neuronal input into the baby she is carrying is so extreme that he cannot adapt and integrate this input. Thereafter, this is the kind of person who cannot accept too much stimulation because the internal input is so great that anything from the outside, such as two term papers due immediately, can be overwhelming.

To get an idea of how early all this may begin, there is a study by the University of Miami School of Medicine that states that: “A review on (maternal) prenatal depression effects on the fetus and newborn suggests that fetal activity is elevated, growth is delayed, low birth weight common.” [2] It begins a lot earlier than we previously thought. As if to underscore this position, there is a study from Scientific American Mind, (Fetal Recall. January 2010)that is seeking out when consciousness actually begins. And they are quoted as stating that it begins in the womb. They introduced sharp sounds to the pregnant mother (a honking device placed on her abdomen). As they did it the fetus reacted significantly. But after a time the fetus stopped responding to it (Squirming. Heart rate stopped speeding up). He became habituated, got used to it, and it remained, therefore, as only a memory. He “learned” that the noise was no longer dangerous. And the memory endured.

Newborns of a depressed mother show a profile that mimics the mother’s prenatal state, including her physiologic state; this includes higher stress hormone levels, lower levels of dopamine and serotonin, and greater right frontal brain activity. What I think this means is that the right/feeling brain is forced to be hyperactive to deal with emotional push. It is, after all, the right prefrontal brain (orbitofrontal area) that maintains a history of our feelings and has a more internal focus. To summarize: Higher resting levels of stress hormones in the carrying mother can already have an effect on the later life of the offspring. It already presages the constant need for tranquilizers because the early imprint has lowered levels permanently. Then with even minor setbacks later on, the resonance factor can compound the pain level so that taking painkillers is a matter of urgency.

The concept of epigenetics has import for diagnosis. For example, one of my patients was told that she had a genetic vulnerability, very much like her mother had. It led to a diagnosis of a “very serious autoimmune disease.” If it were seriously genetic, as the doctors believed, then any chance to change her state would be close to nil. What this does is prevent us from seeing or investigating beyond the inheritance to factors that may have been equally important; what happened to the baby while being carried? Further, if there were something that altered the immune state while in gestation, perhaps one can relive and connect to it, thus affecting that imprint. Thus, it may be as a result of an experiencerather than inheritance that is ultimately significant. This patient did relive her traumatic birth, and, perhaps, that helped her make some progress against the disease. This happens, again, because in reliving, it is possible to gather up associated feelings and sensations that lie even below the later trauma but which may be related to it through frequency resonance. Reliving later events will usually bring up the earlier events and feelings that it resonates (triggers off) with. Earlier imprints will be re-represented on higher levels as the brain develops. Even though we are reliving something at the age of sixteen we are also dealing with the earlier part of the related feeling. That is why there is hope when we relive; we can attack imprints during gestational life. So when a feeling event brings up severe anxiety with it, it can mean that we are basically dealing with preverbal events where and when anxiety/terror is installed. The importance of differentiating between genetics and epigenetics is that we may be dealing with a reversible disease, not one that is inherited and cannot change. And indeed this is already being tested. In a paper by M. Szyf, (Dept. of Psychiatry, McGill University, Quebec. “The Epigenetic Impact of Early Life Adversity.” He reported on the reversibility of the epigenomes in animals. Using chemical agents they were able to reverse the changes caused by epigenetic events. This has great import for disease today; for certainly there may be genetic factors which only become manifest when certain traumas occur, but even after they occur we may be able to go back and change it. Hence reverse disease. Terribly important.

Researchers at Karolinska Medical Center, Sweden, have found that cesarean births can result in increased allergies, diabetes and leukemia risk. Mikael Norman states: “Our theory is that altered birth conditions could cause a genetic imprint in the immunecells that could play a role in later life.”[3] Their work, as is that of others, indicates that stress around birth affects the genes. The assumption is that the fetus is not prepared for an “unnatural” birth. It is different from a vaginal birth where the stress gradually builds and can be adapted to.

There are experiments with pregnant primates. As a result of stress during pregnancy there is an adverse effect on the hippocampus (dealing with memory). It seems to shrink. And, as I have mentioned elsewhere, one has to wonder if this kind of stressful gestation can play a role in later Alzheimer’s. There is new evidence on this point: a study by Brigham Young University found that the size of the hippocampus was reduced when trauma occurred. (Neuroscience, Aug. 2009. See also, “Trauma, PTSD, Followed by Reduction of The Brain Involved with Memory.” Science Daily, Aug 27, 2008). It took a long time to discover this because there was no immediate damage; only after a long period did the damage show up. More importantly, again, there is no taking into account the unobserved trauma in the womb and at birth which, in my opinion, does permanent damage to the memory centers. It is not just an assumption; there is new research to demonstrate this: in a paper (reported in Science News, Jan. 4, 2010. “Acute Stress Leaves Epigenetic Marks on the Hippocapus), there is more and more evidence of this. A single trauma in rats can produce changes in their brains, and these changes are reflected in the memory centers such as the hippocampus. The changes that occur can also affect whether or not our genes are turned on or off. It is so difficult to differentiate between nature and nurture as causes because they are so intertwined as we mature.

A corollary of this is that as stress increases so does the mother’s level of cortisol. That, in turn, affects the brain structures. The investigators indicated: “If there is anything we all agree on it’s that the fetus is incredibly vulnerable and fragile, and that even subtle perturbations in the mother’s mood can have measureable effects on the fetus that last for years.”[4] One additional finding. Stress while being carried, later lowers IQ, as well as anxiety, ADD and depression.[5]

The thalamo-cortical circuits are finally established very late in gestation (thalamus to cortex and back). When amygdala-cortical circuits are in place it is then possible to have a mental appreciation of the pain we are in. It is before thalamic and amygdaloid circuits are mature that we can experience pain without acknowledging it. Thus pain can be laid down in a completely unconscious way, and most certainly there are no words to clarify or explain it. Can one imagine getting a patient to explain a gestational trauma? But he can describe a sensation of butterflies in the stomach, pressure on the chest and a churning sensation in the belly. We call it amorphous anxiety but these are part of the overall experience of fear and terror while we are being carried. Each is a fragment of a gestalt experience.[6]

There was a study reported in the British journal, Nature.[7] They noted that when the baby is under threat the amygdala signals to the prefrontal cortex triggering the expression of that fear in behavior. The cortex becomes the “decider.” What the investigators did was to train mice with a tone accompanied with a shock. When that was administered there was commensurate brain activity in the prefrontal area of the mice. But when the amygdala was surgically removed there was no longer any prefrontal activity; it could no longer signal fear to the top level. The same is true when we drug that structure or tranquilize it; it diminishes the force that mounts in the prefrontal area. We see from this research why so many of us have trouble sleeping; either falling asleep or staying asleep. And why some individuals cannot get into feeling. Lower level imprints voyaging or meandering upwards and forwards keep the person from traveling to a lower level of brain function. It literally jolts the person who has lain down for a few minutes trying to relax, into a hypervigilant state. There is too much going in that deeper level to permit entry. Lower level imprints are stimulating the frontal thinking/ruminating neurons to get busy. Thus in quieting the lower levels there is a sense of calm in the thinking area. A false sense, I might add. But the person reports feeling calmer. So much for subjective reports.

So when can a fetus feel pain? A better question might be: when can it signify pain? After the circuits are in place. Neuroscientist J.K.S. Anand explains this when he placed a needle/probe into a fetus (for amniocentesus). The fetus grimaced in pain and its stress hormone levels rose dramatically. The baby suffered; not only that but from our point of view, that suffering can be coded and registered in the memory system, thereafter lying in storage waiting its chance for connection. And this is what we in feeling therapy are about—connection.

There are some serious diseases out there that have been considered only in the domain of inheritance; muscular dystrophy is one of many. Perhaps the cures for these afflictions have been slow in coming because our emphasis has been on inherited factors rather than experience. If we don’t look at gestation as critical, our diagnoses are bound to be skewed.

There is a study by a Canadian group from the Douglas Mental Health University that found when child abuse exists there is a change in a gene (NR3C1) that affects how the child will deal with abuse. That gene was much lower in abuse victims who eventually took their lives. It would seem that childhood abuse had changed the structure of the gene so that it was less active. And these changes endured throughout their lives. It changed the way the whole stress apparatus functioned (the HPA). McGowan implies that the changes are stable and that they alter the gene’s activity leading to later illness and suicidal tendencies. When that gene is ineffective it cannot produce the kind of alerting, galvanizing chemicals that help one fight through things (glucocorticoid hormones). So the body behaves as though it were constantly under stress when there is none apparent. It is reacting to the imprint. What this research group believes is that mothers can affect the fate of their children even before they are born. The epigenetic changes could force the children to be depressed and suicidal later on. It will look like genetics but it will be more than that.

And to make matters worse, there is a study that indicates that a mother who is been stressed before she gets pregnant can also affect the life of her offspring.[8] This was a rat study by the Israeli M. Lesham. Those rats who underwent stress before pregnancy had offspring who were hyperactive. The females displayed symptoms of anxiety and were generally more nervous. In general a nervous mother is not providing a good soil for having children. We then say she is just like her mother. It is inherited. No it is not. It is what that mother does to her baby just by who she is.

Every day there is new information and research on this subject. A new study by Alberto Bucay of the Research Center, Halabe and Darwich, Mexico, is now suggesting that when parents are happy it can change the germ cells (egg and sperm) that will affect the offspring. He writes in Bioscience Hypotheses, reported in Science News,[9] that parent’s psychology and emotional state before conception can affect the child’s genes. For now this proposal is mostly polemical but it is intriguing. It is for all these reasons that epigenetics will soon be a very important area of study, something that did not exist when I was coming up in psychology.

[1] I discuss research into anise later on.

[2] Infant Behavior Development. July 29, 2006. Pgs. 445-455. “Prenatal Depression Effects on the Fetus and Newborn.”

[3] Healthday News. July 09

[4] Vivette Glover. Imperial College, London. Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition. July 9, 2009

[5] See:“Stress During Pregnancy May Lower Baby’s IQ” British research. Reported in the Globe. Canada Zosia Bielski.

[6] “Neuro-developmental Changes of Fetal Pain.” Semin. Perinatol. 2007,
Oct 31,(5) 275-82.

[7] Nov. 18, 1999
[8] Science Daily. May 13, 2009. “Trauma Experienced by a Mother Even Before Pregnancy Will Influence Her Offspring’s Behavior.”

[9] “Can Happiness be Inherited?” May 14, 2009


  1. In spite of understanding all your points Art I feel it is what I call scientific 'mumbo-jumbo' to the average Joe out there. To me, this is what is inherently neurotic about the pursuit of science in the first place. I understand your 'end point' in so doing, and would applaud that if I thought the scientific community was taking any serious notice of you (as opposed to their 'egos'). The pursuit of the genome and DNA prognosis has taken us so far away from the very factor that helps most other creatures and to some extent we humans have some modicum of: "instinct".

    There is another way to put all this across. That other way is through 'feelings' and the other factor of feelings 'instinct'. It would seem that women are closer to their instincts than are men (sadly), and I am sure if women had real choice would only indulge pregnancy if and when they were ready and informed. Being informed of the pros and cons of pregnancy and child rearing could be the easy route if we could get beyond the ancient scriptural notion that there was any real wisdom in the ancient writings. The only way for women (and perhaps men) to know when they are ready for pregnancy and child rearing is if we were to permit the natural development of ones sexuality from birth through sexual maturity. Again, it is these ancient scriptural notions of replacing instinct with morality (righteousness/wrongteousness) that has inhibited this natural growth and development of our sexuality, which, I contend, would let girls/women know when their sexual activity was prone to pregnancy.

    Instead we experiment on animals and go through all this so called learning in the name of science. Little realizing that like with economics we have confused ourselves with all the mumbo-jumbo of economics that in the end no-one fully understands. We are so crazy ... but in denial of our craziness.

  2. Yes, the discovery that chromatin (the "histone code") can 'conserve' lifetime challenges and control the expression of the DNA recipe is marvelous, and important to try to take into account. [It is something with which to create an 'Enriched Primal Theory'. :-)]

    And of course, at a higher level of functural (functional structural) complexity, a nervous system does - through all the ways neurons can become conditioned - the same thing.
    (That is something you pointed out long ago.)

    All this is both interesting and important.

    What I also think is interesting and important is to try to _in detail_ define the essential difference (at a neurologic level) between effective primal therapy one one hand and ineffective (pseudo primal) and other psychotherapies.

    One should at least be able to, as a starting point for an increased precision of "primal theory", outline some conceivable but not necessarily apt hypotheses.

    For example, one might speculate like this:
    Sufficiently strong inhibition of symptoms of neurosis [i.e. of "act-outs" = the reflexively defensively blocked and re-directed (via unconditioned and typically also via conditioned connexions) excitatory output by neurons that underpin needs that have been too chronically frustrated or otherwise crucially 'negated' by predicaments or ordeals (or ditto stressors or environmental sources of stimulation (or inescapable adverse challenges) such that they as if "implore" (or, synonymously, as as if "demand" or "require" - as if does so in order to be survived) "Specific Hibernation" (in contrast to lifetime challenges adapted to by a generally consciousness canceling, generally behavior blocking, and generally metabolism muting state of "General Hibernation")] may force the excitatory output behind the symptoms of neurosis to be received and relayed through a previously available (but not until then fully activated) circuit; one through which a specific excitatory output will become "re rerouted" and dissipated and/or converted to deliver alternative pre-synaptic inhibitory feedback onto the same originally symptom driving excitatory neurons.

    All this does of course presupposes that there has to exist unused but potentially to be brought on-line by "primaling" Pain neutralizing (or 'CURSES dispelling') neural circuits.

    However, these circuits may well not have existed at the time a primal pain became imprinted within a brain [or, IOW, when a "CURSES got put" within the actention selection serving system because an animal spend any time spent involuntarily in a 'Specific Hibernation Imploring Type' of a circumstance].

  3. Interesting that while waiting in a doctor's office yesterday, my teenager saw the 1/6/2010 Time magazine article on epigenetics the same day your post was made. Their article had a lot of silliness and discontinuity due to poor reporting, but it did put epigenetics front page for the general public.

    My teenager was excited that you had been researching, writing, and talking about the subject for 40+ years, and wondered when your efforts would be validated. I told him that when the idea the pre-birth, birth, and early childhood leave an imprint on every person is regarded as "we knew it all the time", then Primal Therapy would receive its due.

    But that was yesterday's answer. Today I'm rereading the appendix to "Grand Delusions", and I'm in doubt, thinking that there are further steps to acceptance. What will it take?

    A patient in Virginia

  4. There are many scientists who believe the human species did not have enough time to evolve via random genetic mutation. The science of epigenetics might explain how we were able to evolve so rapidly.
    A pharmacist once told me that humans contain a lot of genetic garbage; genes that may have played a role in our ancient past but are inactive now.
    Some people can use "forgotten" muscles to make their eyes bulge out of their sockets (possibly a way of scaring off predators). Maybe the eye-bulging gene was shut down only in relatively recent times, so the gene's inactive status is not yet hardwired. It may be easily reverted during womb life when everything is in a more flexible state. Perhaps the so-called garbage genes are preserved in case they are needed in the future.

    For a long time scientists have believed the adult human brain cannot regenerate. Now they know it can, but very slowly. Wouldn't it be great if epigenetic research, stem cell research, and Janov's research all reach a point where immortality becomes a reality? We would all have time to learn from our mistakes.

    Is my hippocampus still shrinking? Aaaagh. I need more time.

  5. Art,
    You tackle interesting and fundamental issues here, but the tendency these days is to adhere to theories which have a strong basis in research (neurology and physiology). When you say you believe something is so, it just doesn't cut it, not like in the 18-19th centuries when philosophical theories were in abundance and in style. The future of psychology, I believe, lies in the creation of a positive/empirical/scientific theory which has deep roots in neurology, and branches up into philosophy/thought. You're searching for a unified field theory of psychology - why don't you promote more research into these ideas you write?

  6. Pbef:WHEW AGAIN! Listen, I am a lowly psychologist. We need a neurologist to do what you ask. i tried to get Jaak Panksepp to do it but he is not interested. Have you read my Primal Healing and Biology of Love? I tried to make a start there. art janov

  7. Delphi: If you only knew how many governments I approached, how many radiologists and scientists, how many neurologists, you wouldn't say that. NO ONE IS INTERESTED! AJ

  8. If we increase public awareness of Janov's theory/therapy, we might have a better ability to discover why the professionals are not interested. One in every 500 scientists might be willing to answer some questions. If we can identify the most common reactions to the initial marketing campaign, then we will know how to shape the next campaign.
    Cognitive Behavioural Theory is one big campaign, and a very successful one. It is advertised everywhere. The therapy doesn't work and is not scientifically proven, but look at how many people are interested in it. That is the power of marketing.

  9. Art
    How on earth are you going to convince someone about something when it's so scary? They can’t coop with something they… them self avoid of fear and fear of handling it… some do it of excitement not because they feel or know... a tragedy for many… I will again suggest… hire someone skilled to lobby for this purpose... when I hear what you have done… which was not in off…more drastic action is necessary… I don’t mean you shall go over your head… look in to how this should be done… time is passing and someone will take over after you… with my catastrophic results… so in some meaning risks will may be what helps? I am sure you can do this with grate carefulness.
    Frank Larsson

  10. Frank try to get someone to write the letters for you as I do not understand what you are trying to say. art janov

  11. Art,
    I empathize with your frustration, and for what it's worth, I want to say that the seed has been planted, for me at least, and I am en route to doing this sort of research. Stick around a few more years, and maybe we can collaborate.

  12. Dear Arthur
    for a long time i have this idea. we can make a documantary or a movie about primal therapy. it could at least include Lennon's case as it will for sure, have much efect on the interest of millions. Right now for most who loved Lennon it is just a therapy that john had. so what? nobody focuses in it! With the power of a movie you can take advantage and make it obvious that pr therapy was the reason of john's big change(not only) and the songs he wrotte after it. songs that stayed in many hearts, but would not exist without pr therapy, right?
    I have been talking with a friend in Greece who works as a co producer for a big national tv channel. he finds interesting the whole thing. although he believes it would be difficult to make a movie he thinks a documentary could work and it is also easier to be made.
    Well think about it. can this be done in U.S?
    I would love to help and participate in such an effort with my dramatic case story.

  13. Athanasios: I am always open to all ideas. If you visit america we can talk. art janov

  14. Delphi: What means, "en route to doing this sort of research'?? AJ

  15. Art,
    I am sorry about my English and my nonchalance about how I write ... I have no one to help me so my attempts to be heard may be up to you… in no way I would be a nuisance for you… so… forgive me if what I write can be misinterpreted.

    How shall you convince someone about primal therapy… someone in position who is in the field of psychology? Someone who might is scared… someone who seeks relief and not cause?

    When I hear what you've done to show what primal therapy is… and NO one has listened… more drastic action is necessary… I do not want you to lose composure… but something new has to be done… in some meaning "risks" may be what help? I am sure you can do this with grate carefulness.

    I contend that there is a custom social anxiety... a socially accepted fear of what is normal... a symptom we are blinded of in our own passion... this is about the ones you try to convince in your eagerness to convey about an invaluable knowledge... do not “attack” those who have something to defend... Art… man walks over corpses to reach its goals… a tragedy for many…
    I will again suggest… hire someone skilled to lobby for your purpose... lobbying means... regardless of content to get someone to believe in what you convey... for you Art… only to have a deadline to prove primal therapy ... away from already established in the area.
    Time is passing and someone will take over after you… with my catastrophic results… I know you see your wife's knowledge… but life is finite even for her.
    You say there are 500 institutions which claim to exert primal therapy in your name... you should know what that means ... you know what you have to deal with ... you have nothing to lose... what if they were connected to the primal center… what a “heaven” sake.
    Yours Frank

  16. Art,
    En route means I'm studying for a B.A. in psych. At this time I'm aiming for starting a higher degree (M.A. or direct Ph.d) within 1-2 years. I intend to go into multidisciplinary research, in the lines of the neurological basis of fealings, and the connection between senses and experience (mind-body). But I'm sure the system will not make it easy for me, so there are no guarantees. It took me a while, but I eventually understood that in order to beat them, I have to join them first, learn to play by their rules and then turn the tables (old habits die hard). Wish me luck.

  17. Delphi: Buena Suerte. Bonne chance. Good luck. AJ

  18. Frank. better English. Those who do mock therapy are not the least bit interested in getting training to do the therapy right. They have taken the easy lazy way. And they are a danger fooling with human lives. art janov

  19. I read "The Primal Scream" in 1973 while living the hippy life in Ibiza (the Haight Ashbury of Europe). I couldn't believe what I was reading and was an instant convert. For the next 7 years, while planning to come and get the therapy, I promoted, proseletized, talked about and debated the merits of Primal Therapy, only to be labelled "Screaming Jack" They did have a point, but I began to realize that few were equally convinced or even convincable. I thought at least hippies were one step closer to consciousness than the rest. It was slow to dawn on me that only those with weak defense systems or perhaps having come close to having a primal on their own (deep depressives, panic attacks or nervous breakdowns) were able to comprehand the nature of 'deep feelings'.

    I fully understand all those on this blog that have ideas about promoting the Primal notion, but my experience tells me that will not work, however dligently or persistent we are. No-one has tried harder than Art himself. If there is a way IMO to change the mind-set, I contend it will have to come from first getting the public at large to acknowledge there is something wrong (amiss) with the way we humans are living our lives and then perhaps suggesting that our one major malady is 'neurosis': then, and only then, promoting the idea that we can (slowly) change child-rearing practices for the children of tomorrow. I have thought long and loud about just this (more than 20 years) and written and published a book about exactly this. Even so, few will read it, even after offering free e-copies of it. I don't fault my potential readers, the problem is in my presentation. However, I do feel strongly that Primal Therapy is only for the lucky few, but that the promotion of Primal theory and hence child-rearing practices, might allow us humans to return to our real nature (feeling-fullness). It may take a few generations

    The health care professionals, scientist, politicians even religious leaders have made up their minds long ago and there's no changing their mind-sets. I feel only a total global economic collapse will likely get the public at large to realize the old way is over, and we'll need to search for a completely new way.

  20. Wow, you have lost me with this epigenetics stuff. OK, I could have applied myself a bit more and studied this more carefully...The only thing I have to say at this point is that my guard went up when I read the reference to Lamarck..Lamarck? I thought he had gone into the rubbish bin of scientific history along with the theory of phlogiston in chemistry. Well ,I am willing to entertain any new ideas by Dr Janov because I have always admired his scientific acumen, clearly differentiating himself from the mystics and the beleivers .But , really, Lamarck? I have more problem entertaining that possibilty than Reich`s orgone. Reich left written accounts of his experiments for anyone to replicate and possibly debunk or confirm his orgone theory, did Lamarck leave accounts of his experiments?

    One last thing ,with respect to the discussions here about promoting Janov. If I sense an opportunity somewhere to promote Janov (with some important qualifications, mainly that I have not done the therapy), I try to do so. One clear opportunity came up last week after reading a very interesting new book by author Barbara Ehrenreich called "Bright-Sided" , which is about the "epidemic" of superficial "positive thinking" in North America , in business, religious, psychological and other circles. She was personally hit by these people after coming down with breast cancer 10 years ago, and had to face all sorts of annoying positive thinkers in cancer-recovery circles. Hit, you know, with their advice to be upbeat, avoid "negative " people, don't get angry, and all the rest of it. Well I wrote to her, and after congratulating her for the book, told her about what I beleive is the explanation for positive thinking, namely that most excellent chapter in "Prisoners of Pain": "Ideas as Opiates".That chapter is such an eye-opener, truly remarkable.Well, not surprisingly, I got no response, but I tried!


  21. Hi all,

    Over a year ago I was looking for someone local to do an evaluation of my adolescent son, who was exhibiting some very frightening symptoms. One doctor I spoke with, fairly young, had been educated at Yale. I asked her if she was familiar with Primal. She was not, but showed some curiosity when I did a quick sketch of it for her. We ended up not hooking up for the evaluation, but the conversation stuck in my memory because she was not the typical know-it-all with closed mind.

    I know there are others like that out there. One thing that occurred to me while reading over these many posts about the future of primal was that for there to be a future, there probably has to be a swell of interest at the university level. I still think the process has to be iterative and agile (borrowing terms from modern software development culture). The big design up front (xlate: big psychology revolution) is not congruent with the way most people approach things of importance these days. We want risk analysis and risk reduction. Art, is there a way to administer Primal Therapy more in tune with these leanings?

    I think Frank made the point above that someone who needs or wants therapy usually is not coming from the "that's a fascinating theory" point of view. They are distraught over relationship or other personal issues and want relief. Not cure, just relief. So it's really important that the righteous notions of primal therapy "winning" and achieving its rightful place (a sentiment understandably often expressed in comments here) do not displace the possibility for practical benefits, including especially the more meager of those.

    Hello to Delphi. Your situation sounds a bit like mine. Last year I decided I have to get a degree in psychology in order to make a difference. Long road ahead. Maybe we'll compare notes sometime.

    Art, in the anxiety series at one point you said "we need to get emotional". It struck me that much of what you write these days is all about the deepest and earliest imprints. You also pointed out that there is no emotional component to experiences at that level. Although it must feel like "old hat" to you, I wish more of your writing was on the interface between everyday life and emotion. I find the stuff on epigenetics and brain chemistry interesting in a sort of technical way, but it is your other style of writing that has really touched me over the years.

    'Night all,

  22. Walden: you all can do your psych internships with us. We do it. I know what you mean about my other style of writing. I know scientists really don't care but somehow I feel I have to put the therapy on a scientific basis, even though the professionals have an "I won't believe it even if you prove it" mentality. What I usually try to do is put case histories in my books (there are many in my Beyond Belief book), to make it apply to humans. I need your input to keep me straight. art janov

  23. quote "I will again suggest… hire someone skilled to lobby for your purpose... lobbying means... regardless of content to get someone to believe in what you convey... "

    Frank, I think we should lobby, but we should not pollute the truth. If we add imperfections to the truth, people will argue about the imperfections. If people want to argue, they should argue about important stuff, otherwise we will be arguing for a hundred years.

    If I owned the Primal Center, I would be tempted to be very aggressive. I might post some pamphlets to specific institutes, and the rest of the pamphlets would be delivered to a million random letter boxes. The pamphlets would be very similar to an anti-McDonalds campaign that happened here in New Zealand many years ago. The information in that student-funded campaign was shocking and everybody was talking about it. (although it didn't seem to stop people from eating McDonalds).
    Every time the Primal Center advertises itself, it should include shocking information about the dangers of bad therapy, even if it scares people away from primal therapy as well. I would check with my lawyers first. If the Primal Center can't cover the cost of legal battles, then it should be careful to choose wording which cannot lead to prosecution.

    The result would be a massive rise in awareness of primal therapy, and also a backlash as a large percentage of the public become haters of primal theory (not sure how this would affect the personal safety of primal therapists). People would begin to lose their trust in all psychotherapies and would opt for drugs instead. Initially professionals would snub the Primal Center because of it's cheap advertising techniques. But the Primal Center would also experience a huge rise in donations. Some of those donations could be used to sue mock therapists who make fraudulent claims.

    The Primal Center would be investigated by those who have suffered from the primal campaigns. Some of those investigations would provoke a deeper interest in Janov's research.

    Young people would be drawn into the new Primal Revolution (or whatever the reporters decide to call it). It would be like the seventies again...only this time the mock therapists would suffer financially.

    Despite it's tarnished reputation, the Primal Center would reach more students and professionals. The Primal Center would end up with more therapists, more money and more legal power. And maybe a few bullet holes.

    My book 'Primal Healing' arrived a couple of days ago. I will read it. Most people won't.

  24. Marco: get me her address and I will write to her. art

  25. Jack: To that end I am planning to write a research proposal to the French health minister. Not sure it will work but we can try. We might do it on telomeres because they tell us how long we can live. They work in see-saw fashion with cortisol. We have already shown that the cortisol levels of our patients diminish after one year of our therapy. We guess that telomeres therefore would stay long. art janov

  26. I see too much pessimisty coments about the future of primal therapy.From my experience I see good changed in the way society thinks about birth and feelings. It goes slow but no agresive marqueteen is going to help.We must be patient and above all help ourselves , in the long run PT will win. By the way I like the sugestion of changing the name from primal therapy to janovian therapy, at least in spanish primal don´t sound well.To finish I´m surprise to know that Art have writing some songs Like the colour of love, you make me feel small for all the things you acomplished. And the last question, but maybe for ethical reasons you can´t tell, but is true that steve Jobs haved done primal therapy? Any way I hope you still plenty of vitality to reach your goals.

  27. Art
    What do you think we should do? We who are eager that primal therapy will be disseminated through your knowledge? Do you have any suggestions? My a meeting ... perhaps a meeting to agree a strategy how to go about it... a number of us who are traveling around… a number of us that in a "conspiracy” surprises with its consensus on what primal therapy contains ... how it must be introduced by science and proven experience... a number of us... that would surprise and then perhaps be accepted? Commercial representative…possible to identify with?
    Frank Larsson

  28. Art. i bet that "being born again" (in the religous sense) also cuts down on the cortisols. So this hope and correlative scientific strategy of yours will get bogged.
    What is needed is an approach far more myopic than that of yours and your german collaborators.

    Did you notice that I did not mention any thing about a cannabinoid subsystem.The reason why I didn't was that I tried to avoid overloading your 3rd line. :-)
    Anyhow (jokes aside), the cannabinoid connection may well be worth considering!

  29. Richard,
    Absolutely I agree with you hundred percent… a therapy such as primal therapy must be protected ... it is among the most important tasks… we only must convince Art of lobbing.

  30. Frank: Not a bad idea to call a meeting in LA. I am not sure how many people would come but is a start. art janov

  31. Dear Doctor Janov,

    I've already sent you some words about the work of Dr Allan N. Schore but I think his work is in several ways complementary to yours (you could follow the link and read "The paradigm shift : the right brain and the relational insconscious" article and the followings and see for yourself what you think of it (see below).

    He stresses the importance of an interdisciplinary perspective to understand human brain and emotional life. He might be interested. Why not try if you haven't yet already? In 2001 he wrotes " just as the left brain communicates its state to the other left brains via conscious linguistic behaviors so the right non verbally communicates its unconscious states to other right brains that are tuned to receive these communications". It seems that he's writing about what happens and how it happens when someone is connected with someone else's emotions/feelings. It looks like some kind of commonground between his work and yours. At least he's talking about feelings and emotions which make a huge difference with a lot of neuro/psycho logical scientists...
    I can guess how discouraging it can be not to be listen to by the academic world of psychology.



  32. To all of you
    To all of you who are taking part of Janov's blog ... it looks like a great opportunity for a meeting… a meeting we should expect a lot of... a meeting where we present ideas... a meeting in which we are turning inside out on the ideas we bring with us… I will also tell you… as established in the psychological circles around the world ... you who follow the blog... as can see what the primal therapy contains ... you who understand what the Dr. Geffry. Carr and Dr. David. A. Goodman commenting on the first page ... you... contact Art and let this be a beginning of the revolution that primal therapy is worthy and scientific content. “Dr. Arthur Janov’s work is potentially amongst the most important of any research in any field over the past century”. If words could do it then it would be done.
    Art “words won’t do it” had been a great title on you last book.
    Frank Larsson

  33. Yann:
    This link does not work for me. have you got another or can you send me 5 pages open like that. art janov

  34. Yann: I took classes with him and read all of his books. His understanding is one thing, his therapy is quite another and still is close to Analysis. He does not make the leap from the left brain knowledge and the right brain feeling therapy. art
    I will read the article. He is indeed brilliant. He talks feelings but don't do them. I invited him to see our work. He did not reply.

  35. Frank, the problem with a smear campaign or a fear campaign is that it affects the personal safety of individuals. I share Walden's desire for risk assessment and risk reduction. The campaign would need to be carefully thought out.

    Art is currently working with a German Medical Clinic, so as we can see, some professionals are interested in his work. How did they become interested? Why? And why didn't Dr Schore reply to Dr Janov? Should we ask Dr Schore? This sort of market research takes time. Art and his team are very busy. The revolution will have to wait until others are ready to help. I am currently busy with a business project (important for funding my therapy), but I want to offer my help in whatever way I can when I eventually get to LA.

  36. Jack,

    I read you post about the difficulties of promoting primal ideas very thoroughly, and I agree for the most part. I think Art Janov has done a heroic job of writing about this subject, against the odds, and sticking with it for what seems a lifetime.

    Some years ago, as a software professional in "quality crisis" mode, I undertook the study of software process improvement, which bears some similarity to the subject now at hand. It is difficult to move people away from their comfort zone, even if they are comfortable with what is essentially disaster. However, I learned some things about "change artistry" in the process. It is that perspective that I'm trying to bring in here, because although it ain't rocket science, some of the crucial points are just not obvious to those who have not made a study.

    I hear you about child rearing practices, and I think a movement is afoot in that area generally (just an opinion I've formed in casually observing how parents of young children I know from work, etc., seem to be much more attentive than they were on average a few decades ago). But I also think it's not enough. In my own case, as a father I've done damage to my children in spite of all I know about Primal and Leboyer and everything. We really need adults to be able to shed tension on a regular basis as part of this equation, and if we cannot provide a therapy that targets that, then I think things will still progress, but just awfully slowly and with many setbacks. I envision a better track than that.

    I don't think global economic collapse will benefit our psychological health; it would probably be just another setback. People can introspect and learn about themselves only when basic needs are met, and that isn't the case when we're all starving and homeless...

    What I do see as the hope is the multitudes of patients currently in therapy, and among them, a significant number who can distinguish a helpful therapy from bullshit. I think that population is suffering in a well-engineered silence, and we need to find a subtle way to reach out to them. When I think about that, it strikes me that the more hyped versions of what Primal Therapy is are not the ticket. The message should be "here is how to be more relaxed and more human", not "here is how you might squirm like a salamander". The latter message we have to be very careful about, because a single utterance is enough to destroy an entire reputation.

    I hope the above helps explain to those of you who think I'm advocating a "watering" of primal therapy that, on the contrary, I am looking at a difficult problem in change artistry, and trying to advocate an approach that is more gentle to the uninitiated, and more in tune with the frequency bands they can actually hear. Without traction, there is no travel.


  37. Art,

    I would love to do an internship with you. Hope I get that far...


  38. Richard: If enough people are interested we can meet. I will need to hear from all those who are interested and can come....whenever. art janov

  39. Forgive me… Arthur and Richard.
    We rely on a better world… do you know how many around the world who are waiting for primal therapy? These people... unaware of primal therapy's existence ... suffering ... it is unforgivable that this shall stays as an intellectual tasks... a terrible life... an existence that seemingly not get to us... the launch of primal therapy with "strongly"… impossible to misinterpret is what needs to be added.
    When I mention Primal Therapy for others… just a few know about it ... I would say very few… they are the ones we will try to reach… with the message about what primal therapy contains… reach out to… with science and proven experience.
    It is not up to us… our self to become aware of primal therapy… it is up to those who know what primal therapy contains.
    Richard I think Art and his team already know what the German Medical Clinic need to know… you say” the revolution will have to wait until others are ready to help” that will not happened Richard… “others”... they want do something without conviction… they will not be ready by them self.
    Something more... much more needs to be done... we are dealing with people who do not understand... and want understand because of their own profession.
    I think Arthur would be busy if he could see what we do… if we make a point… Richard you have a very good idea about calling Dr. Schore and ask him why he didn’t replay… such a question my clear out mistakes… or prove denial…
    I do not think we have time to confirm that Arthur has done some incredible work as arguments against about what we must do... he has done it... I think we should… by all means… seek a breakthrough about primal therapy... how to launch it ... if we individually do our experiments and if it succeeds... get a consensus... strength needed at the representation at the meeting itself?
    It is not up to ourselves to do primal therapy… it is up to those who know… to show what primal therapy contains… give information about it… the others do not know.

    Frank Larsson

  40. Frank: Your english is much better. I think I know what you are saying. But how to implement it. Those who feel are usually not interested in convincing others and struggling for its recognition. They are content just to live and enjoy life. art

  41. Art
    I know and understand that... what could be more satisfying than live a life in harmony after years in anxiety? Maybe if they had their own children… they would be more active… you cannot encourage them… they may not feel called? I cannot think of anyone better than those who feel and have their own understanding of what primal therapy contains… we may hope that someone take part of your blog and by this feels invited… they should be very helpful… but it is also as you say ... you have to burn for this task... we want give up.
    Frank Larsson

  42. Walden, I appreciate your response, but I would like to take you up on the matter of "promoting Primal ideas". The 'promotion of ideas' is in and of itself the problem. We are forever in 'reasoning mode' as opposed to 'feeling mode'. I'll attempt to make analogy, though an imperfect one. It's like trying to promote the idea of 'sight' to totally born blind people. On what level and by what mechanism can we get them to accept a notion of seeing, when they don't, and haven't, experienced sight. All the blind can talk about are the advantages/disadvantages of walking sticks for the blind as opposed to guide dogs. They can never get into the realm of 'seeing'. For us neurotic humans without descending into the realm of feeling (that facility we had for the most part at birth) is like we are wasting time and effort in the "promoting therapy". We need to think way outside the box and attack the problem by suggesting that had we not been (to use the analogy) made blind at birth we would have been a whole total different creature and that we might, just might, be able to stop the process of "making our children blind" at birth. This is not a complex rationale from which we might try to get across a message. It merely suggests stepping one further step backwards, 'out-side-the-box'.

    At birth, for the most part, we were feelingful, but because we were entering a world where caregivers were not feelingful, we were getting traumatized in such an overwhelming manner that all we had to resort to was shutting down. Now Primal Therapy is attempting to revive our natural feelings, like we had a birth. Alas, that prospect is so inordinately frightening, we none of us are willing to go there ... except the desperate and those, sort of knowing, the alternative is a third class life ... at best. To me, the only discussion is how we might suggest to the average neurotic out there how to 'least' damage your/their children.

  43. All my adult life I’ve only really wanted to do 2 things:

    1) do proper PT in LA with Janov trained therapists
    2) spend the rest of my life doing whatever I can to somehow support/spread PT’s influence (therapist, publicist, writer?)

    Whether the last is a neurotic pipe dream or not I don’t know: I probably don’t have the finances to come and stay in LA long enough to train as a therapist. At any rate, this year I intend making the first wish come true: I’m coming to do therapy as soon as I can drag myself away from current contractual work commitments (if the Center accepts me as a patient, of course). Three months to go. After that, I hope to have cleared my head enough to spend the rest of my life doing work that is more positive and helpful.

    It’s always been a problem that post-primal folk seem to be so content they melt into the background, but it’s also the best thing you can say about PT: it makes people happy enough to just live their lives without feeling the need to push their views on others.


  44. Art,
    Can you write your invitation on "what's new" on the front page... it is not certain that they enter at your blog ... is there any other ways you can go ... for example to send the invitation?
    Frank Larsson.

  45. Frank: I cannot understand your letter. art janov

  46. I am sorry Art,
    Can you… on your front page “what’s new” write an invitation... so that those… not taking part of your blog ... can see what my is coming… arrange a meeting on how to best launch Primal Therapy?
    Frank Larsson.

  47. Dr Janov,

    I have one idea how to promote Primal therapy and theory. It is not, maybe ingenious, but still can work in my opinion, especeally on long terms.

    Short stories and novels can be the form. Content: short stories and novels of yours patientes , truth stories like you have on yours website(Andreas), primal stories, fictionate stories abuot teenagers and kids who suffer beside their parents, families, school teachers, friends...for example:one smart kid, smarter more than his ages tells us about him...talks with an older friend who is primal therapist. Imagine and write something. You have expirience with patientes and illnesses. You can collaborate to some writer on dramatization and dynamisacion.

    I'm telling this because it was wonderful in Primal healing when left brain talks to right, like two characters in novel.

    Beletristic and literrary-artistic works can better be received in wide public, i think...
    You can imagine some altruistic people , and philantrophic in yours stories. Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Nietzsche were promoting their philosophy thrue belletristic. I came to this idea because i am writer amateur.


  48. Frank I have to think about it because bringing people here from thousands of miles should be carefully thought out. art janov

  49. Nenad: I think someone is writing Primal People their stories, but I am not sure. It is a good idea. Where are you? art janov

  50. Art,
    Of course it should be carried out with a thoughtful approach... first… you should perhaps listen to those who want to come with restraint on the invitation... that you will contact those that you consider helpful. It will be very interesting ... you might have a different address for those interested ...there are perhaps those who initially wants to be "cautious" I mean those that are already in the psychological field and a little insecure about to rethink about their business?

    I want to say one thing… it’s surprising that so few in the psychological field do not see... know and understand… at least wondered what primal therapy is about... there is may a whole bunch that do but is too uncertain about it… yes of course there are reasons ... but why do they never present their arguments… arguments about what they do not understand? They my do understand that primal therapy is wrong… and that may be the problem… so… a round tables might be a target?
    Frank Larsson

  51. Dear Dr. Janov
    As I have waited for you to include the altered genes epigenetics in your writing, and I appreciate that you have, I ask myself now what are we doing with all this knowledge?

    The ones who could change the course of this seemingly unavoidable destruction of humans are not interested. Governments who should prevent the ongoing violence, instead suppress scientific information because it will not contribute to financial gain/power.

    Pregnant woman who never felt their own pain remain in an abusive relationships, because this is what they know since childhood. Mothers continue having children by c-section, refuse to breastfeed and shove off their newborns to babysitters.

    Society keeps on living in denial. How many mothers know that their child is not receiving what it needs, and still keep on damaging the child, because they were damaged too.

    Child molesters are locked up in prison and will be released a few years later. Everybody knows that prison has never changed a child molester’s behavior. Is it the one who is damaged who will protect the perpetrator.

    Mothers don’t recognize the symptoms of depression their children display because they are depressed themselves. The latest article “Sweet-toothed children ‘may have depression’”
    And so continues the cycle.

    What are we doing with all this scientific information if everybody is ignoring it? Each scientist is cooking their own little soup instead of joining forces to implement their findings.

    It is the “damaged” human being who creates the next generation of “damaged” human being!


  52. Hello Jack,

    I understand where you're coming from, but I'm sorry the premise is backwards. "On what level and by what mechanism can we get them to accept a notion...". In the state of Maine, they have a saying "You can't get there from here.", which applies.

    To answer you question literally, the "level" is the level at which they are right now, whatever level that may be. In most cases, the "blindness" analogy will neither apply nor result in any traction whatsoever. Average Joe goes to therapy because of anxiety he can't control or because of behavior he can't control, or both. We want to avoid big conceptual discontinuities ("think of your problem as one of blindness..."), because they only lead to religion.

    Continuing to answer, the "mechanism" is to offer support of whatever feeling levels do exist today, without holding up any standards involving birth primals or other distant and therefore irrelevant concepts. People in this forum have a huge problem with modest goals, I've noticed.

    Finally, on "getting them to accept a notion", I think this part is wrong-headed and unnecessary. Yes, I realize you're not talking about a campaign to convince people; it's more like lighting a candle, but my answer is the same. This results in false motivations to do therapy. It all needs to stay grounded in present struggles. We have some of this false motivation going on in this forum. I cringe a little bit when I read that so-and-so can't wait to get "cleaned out". You are going to meet disappointment when you pursue a goal like that one.


  53. Mr Janov,

    I am in Serbia.

    Some year ago, I was on website, and I read poem 'primal scream'. The poem is written in '75, and glorifies yours therapy. That is good for that time.
    We need more advertisment and public.
    Dr. Janov yours work really influenced my life and writing.
    Some people likes scientific stuff and books, some do not.Who likes have biology of love, Primal healing, soon life before birth...and many more:)in future.
    Some people likes stuff where they can find sense and meaning of life. They read heavy philosophy, and even they like some parts of Primal scream like unreal I, and real I.Sometimes they read everything just to contentrate, to kill the pain.reading- killing pain, I suppose .
    We also , in my opinion, need some fun, a little bit.
    We or you or someone can write for example fairy tale.
    Some boy get lost in woods.He is smart, and he is anxious all the time , he suffers anxiety and he knows for the primal therapy. Bird on a tree see him sad.Bird has magic to met people, and want in that time to help the boy.The bird asks boy who do you want to meet, you have 3 wishes. he sais primal therapist David :), mother, and father. David healed after year does he healed describes you or don't, and he send boy to parents,but boy dont love any more parents because he realised from distance of year that they neglected him all the time, they fight all the time, he gets new friends, and start to live alone for own life........something like this can be structure

    Or you can write only Primal stories truth in order to promote the therapy.


  54. In terms of promoting Primal Therapy,I just wrote another major author about Janov and other psychological writers.There is a new book out by Jeremy Rifkin, a pretty well-known Big Picture writer about major trends in our civilisation, who just came out with "The Empathic Civilisation", a book that uses "object-relations" psychoanalytic theorists like Fairbairn, Winicott, etc.. to make the case for the view that Man is basically good under all his present neurotic distortions.That is just common sense , although I can understand (but not agree with) the pessimists like Freud and Hobbes. Anyways, not to repeat myself, here is the letter to Rifkin: (I got no response as usual!)

    From: "marco ermacora" Add sender to Contacts To:

    Dear Mr Rifkin: I hesitated before writing you because I only read a bit of your most recent book on the empathic civilisation. I turned right away to those psychologists (or other theorists of human nature) that you use as inspirations for your conclusions; in your case the "object-relations theorists". I am not too familiar with them, but enough to know that I always found them congenial.

    If just reading the above is enough, I have to say that I agree with these conclusions for two reasons 1) I think they are just common-sense conclusions, although I understand why pessimists like Freud and Hobbes came to their ideas, considering most of the depravity of human history. 2) the 3 people who have had the most impact on my life come to the same conclusions after deep and profound work with people all their lives as psychologists. They are: Wilhelm Reich, Alexander Lowen, and Arthur Janov (and to a lesser extent, Erich Fromm and Karen Horney). All have written fascinating profound books, and I would recommend at least reading one of each of their works. For Reich: "The Function of the Orgasm", his scientific biography ( Reich was one of the major Freudians, who then broke with Freud over major theoretical differences with Freud in the early 30`s). For Lowen: "Bioenergetics" (he worked with Reich and then founded his own Institute, no major differences with Reich). For Janov: "The Primal Scream" and Primal Man" (both brilliant).

    One last thing: one of the difficulties in coming to these "optimistic" (and realistic!) conclusions is that it is so difficult to get through to the essential goodness of those who have neurotics natures leading to cruelty, greed, exploitation, indifference, despair , bourgeois superficiality, etc... And since those people have always been the majority, many theorists have come to pessimistic conclusions about human nature. Neurotic trends in people are deeply encrusted and are very hard to change, as these psychologists show in their case studies.

    I hope your book enjoys a wide reception. I will read all of it when I have time. Good luck. Marco Ermacora

  55. Nenad: Hey you write the fairy tale. I do science. art janov

  56. From my school days, the question of how Evolution is occurring haunted me till today. And at present, some information make me think about what we have learned in our schools, colleges and universities. We all are well aware about the variation of human being worldwide. What is SURPRISING, an Anglo-Saxon US citizen and the dark, dwarf busmen of Sahara cab just have 0.01% genetic difference in maximum, NOT MORE. SO MUCH DIFFERENCE IN APPEARANCES LIKE SKIN COLOR, HEIGHT, LENGTH OF INTESTINE, HAIR COLOR AND MANY MORE WITH JUST 0.01%. In contrary, Chimps of two neighboring forests can have more genetic difference than that and one can very very hardly (probably can not) distinguish them from their outer features i.e. which chimp belongs to which forest.
    Another example are the American Indians, who are spread all over the Western Hemisphere. As per latest genetic studies, it has been concluded that during the last Ice Age, just some families, just enough to cross the danger line of inbreeding, has entered Western Hemisphere through the now non-existent Alaskan land bridge. But, the features of native Indians all over the Western Hemisphere were markedly different. Those who lived in the open plains of North America were tall, muscular and those residing in the hills of Andez, Rocky have muscular legs and bigger lung capacity, something which we know as "genetic". In short, such variety in features has been created in such a short period and I am curious to know whether this can be possible with modern "genetics" theories i.e. what we are learning now as "genetics".
    Another point is the genetic difference between humans and Chimps. We are just 1.5% different genetically, in some cases even sub-species have higher genetic difference between us and chimps. But we all know that how markedly different we are from our nearest relative species in many ways. AGAIN SO MUCH DIFFERENCE WITH SO LITTLE GENETIC CHANGE? STRANGE!

  57. Anonymous: Listen, in my Life Before Birth (which can be ordered now ( I have a chapter on epigenetics. It discusses what you are discussing. art janov


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.