Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's day post: The Difference Between Romantic Love and Sex

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Romantic love exists. Emotional attachment exists. Yet they involve different brain structures and different biochemistry than what drives pure, lustful sex. Once there is attachment or love, a separation can cause pain. Oxytocin helps to quiet this pain and can function very much like other neurotransmitters and inhibit suffering. To listen to my patients is to understand the terrible pain of a child separated from his parent; the cry of separation is an attempt to bring that parent back close again; it is true in nearly all animal forms.

There is a structure within the brain known as the cingulate cortex, which is responsible for that cry. This cortex is like an arc overlaying the limbic/feeling area and also deals with aspects of emotion. This area plays a role in maternal care and loving. The cingulated cortex is responsible for making the chemicals of comfort, and is also involved in inducing a sense of empathy, the ability to feel what others are feeling.

The cingulate cortex is endowed with endorphins, internally produced painkillers. When animals cry (as a result of separation from their mothers), these painkillers surge forth to ease the pain. When such a separation is abrupt and goes on for a long time, the baby’s pain becomes imprinted in the brain and remains. It is more pain than what a young body can tolerate.

Mother Nature knows that a baby needs two parents to care for him. Pair bonding is the result of two adults becoming attached, having sex, having a child, and loving that child. With the love these parents themselves received early in their own childhoods, they have the oxytocin and vasopressin that enables them to love their own child. Love is the foundation, therefore, for survival because when it is lacking, the child does not get the love he needs and he suffers, and the system becomes skewed and dislocated. Later, there may be disease and premature death as a deviated system is forever out of whack. A baby needs to be caressed and feel the sense of touch, which is the baseline of love. Without it, the brain changes and is less adaptive.

Alterations inside a pregnant woman, who does not want her baby, can affect the brain development in the womb so that the frontal cortex of the fetus becomes impaired. This has implications for later learning and adaptation. The mother's attitude, if not loving, adversely affects her fetus. It is one reason that we cannot be taught to love later on, though we can be taught to behave in a sociable manner. Love is not something to be taught. It is something we learn through our experience.

When the stimulating hormone, dopamine, and the repressive hormone, serotonin, are both at proper levels, there can be feeling and love. When serotonin is too high, there is too much repression and the ability to love is less. When dopamine is too high there is too much agitation and not enough cuddliness to allow love. A proper balance is needed among all the hormone systems. This is particularly true with oxytocin in females and vasopressin in males. After sexual orgasm, both of these levels rise by hundreds of percent in both parties, as if to say that attachment and closeness are part of sex or perhaps "should be," according to nature. It's nature's way of saying that sex should be taken seriously and is part of the syndrome of romance.

Constant random sex has nothing to do with love and is more or less a release of tension. It actually contradicts nature. However, there are two different brain/biochemical systems involved – one for pure sex and the other for attachment. We can be attached to someone and still have sex with someone else without love. There is evidence that in the latter case – sport-sex – the oxytocin and vasopressin levels are lower.

What are we to make of all this? That love exists and it is has physical effects. It can sculpt our brains early on. It is an intimate part of sex, and it ensures healthy development, both physically and mentally. Love is not an ethereal entity, but something we can measure. It may be a more accurate gauge of our state of being than all the protestations of love we might make. Love really does make the world go round.

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  1. Very beautiful. Its good to know that love can be measured. It certainly feels very real to me. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Art, 
    Your Valentine's day Reflection about love and sex was a emotional read for me after my latest article "Killing Softly". I hope you don't mind my transferring your poetic / romantic reality picture, of how Mother Nature meant it to be in its natural form, to my blog?
    Jan Johnsson

  3. "We can be attached to someone and still have sex with someone else without love."

    That's what every guy says when he cheats on his partner. And you might be correct from a clinical point of view, but ultimately, if a man can feel close to his partner, he can't have sex with someone else. His feelings won't allow it.

    Having sex is the ultimate expression of intimacy. It SHOULD feel wrong when you are having sport-sex. It is tantamount to saying "I love you" to a stranger. But of course, to a person who cannot fully experience, it doesn't feel wrong. For the neurotic, the intimate ACT triggers a pleasant feeling in the groin, and it's no big deal.

    Just the other day I had a discussion with about five girls in a chat room. They all insisted that sex was completely separate from love. One girl didn't believe in love at all. They all agreed on one thing: sex is nothing more than a physical need.

    As I talked about the chemical connection between love with sex, they all (all but one) became increasingly irritated and I got irritated too. They accused me of "having issues" and a couple of girls said they were repulsed by the 'lovey-dovey' conversation. One girl said "Bring me a bucket, this guy is making me sick."

    Happy Valentine's Day

  4. I think loveless sex can be described as mutually assisted masturbation.

    Not that there's anything morally wrong with that of course.

  5. I think this is an article that should connect and be relevant to many people. We have become a culture obsessed with recreational, non-feeling, non-committal sex and see no point to emotional connection or pair bonding and deep feeling (the kind that causes pain when with-held).

    Every nation and political power has fallen when they leave behind family concerns. Breeding is a very important function and has to take place properly in order for society to continue and prosper. The world kids come into had to be a loving one that reinforces the child and supports it in its growth.

    As well, I think deep feeling love is much more meaningful and reinforcing. I’m not finding any fault with intense sexual urges but when its over, is there anything else to keep it going? And being that sexual urges can be so overpowering, conception is bound to take place often and without planning.

    Therefore, it helps if society reinforces coupling and pairing up as the thing to do so that if conception and birth should happen, the child will be care for properly. It really is not any more a religious principle that it is just survival of the human race.

    On playing around or cheating as some see it, I see this. I know betrayal or fear of loss can be very scary and primal. But at the same time, if kids have already been born into a relationship, I think it could be wise to stay together if the marriage was good before the affair. The playing father is still apt to look out for his kids (we hope) and may still very well love his wife intensely. Its just that he gets caught up in those urges and likes a little recreation, too.

    I am not saying it is good. It too, can cause pain. But so can divorce. Ask kids who have experienced it. Why make a little pain a lot more? I think that people tend not to give thought to choices and actions. They simply feel, letting the primal inside take over and eliminate the cortex entirely.

    I think society needs to give further consideration to the negative aspects of recreational, out-of-control sex and why it might be a better long term benefit to be more in control of our sexual choices and activity.

    Of course, I am aware that once someone is broken and out of control, it is not likely they will reform without PT. Yet, I do think behavior can be modified at least a little. But broken units are hard to fix, I know.

  6. Well, for those who have been burned by life, it is often hard to believe there is another way or some sort of healing. So they think that sex is just an urge or impulse. They is what they have experienced. And it even hurts to think there could be something else, since they may hunger for that something else but fear not being able to get it. They have given up and accepted a lousy world. Can’t hardly blame them if they do not know an alternative as we do.

    Arthur, I saw that the miners in Chile who were rescued several months ago are now suffering serious trauma over what they went through. It was a delayed reaction. Obviously PP at work, which most do not understand anyway. I also recall how Monica Seles, a tennis player of the 90s, after being stabbed in the back at a match, took quite some time to come back and was not quite as driven as before.

    Primal pain is so powerful and yet you can never predict its path or in what way it will affect your or anyone else. It does what it wants. Seles was a very strong athlete. There can not be any disputing this. Yet PP really took some air out of her. Any earth shattering event is going to have a huge effect. No wonder war causes PTSD. So does being trapped in a mine and nearly dying in the dark and having no control whatsoever.

    We suffer most when we have no control. Control is everything, isn’t it? Rape is so hard because there is no control. You are at the mercy of someone else and even your body is taken from you, so to speak. Emotions are baffling and overwhelming. Little wonder that most people run and hide from them.

    So I think those who run still deserve a bit of compassion and understanding. We have braved the truth to some degree and we can consider ourselves lucky that whatever we had or not from our parents and life, it was enough to allow us insight into PT. It almost seems as much due to luck and circumstance as it does personal merit or courage.

    I think it is humbling to understand the situation as a whole. But I think we should be slow and careful to send men into dangerous conditions such as mines or war. Damage will be impossible to avoid. But prevention means thinking about things so as to prevent or minimize harm.

    Now the catch 22. Can we think without PT? fixing things with PT sounds great on paper but it is hard to undo some things, once hurt or broken. If we think and prevent, maybe this might be more enabling in the long run. I just think that make excuses for not using our heads is very poor mental and emotional hygiene. Primal pain needs to be approached from both ends. The end where we think and prevent some, and the healing by feeling to undo what is already done. By working from both sides, perhaps more can be accomplished.

    This was a great article idea, Arthur. There are lots of directions to go with it.

  7. Richard:

    Omg, I do not know that kind of girls. I saw that only in movies and read in books. That is "cultural-sexual liberation", They(that girls) could consider them strong, because they dont have feelings, because feelings are for whooses. And they must have that rationalisation, because they tried to love their parents, and that was painfully, now when they need to love partner, they expect in unconsciouns level that pain will emerge again. Instinctly, they avoid pain.
    Little advise for you: Dont get in to intellectual conversation with everyone, everytime , everywhere(if you do that)...because you cant convert the world, especially immidiatly(in one chatting), there are a lot of resistance, but that doesnt mean to quit. You are enthusiastic, and it seem to me with good perception, and energetic, curious, maybe crazily brave :))
    I hope you are doing well your therapy


  8. Hi,

    this is particularly in response to Richards' entry;

    I have been studying and applying developmental science to my life and relationships and it seems to me that there is a link from what Art is describing to the first two infant stages: Co-dependent and Counter-dependent.

    Thesed are also sometimes called "Merged" and "Separated", possibly Piaget was one of the first to document four distinct stages. Anyway, there is plenty to show that most of us (for reasons now explained by PT) are hung up in co or counter dependent issues (driven by the imprint), interestingly this shows itself in group behaviour.

    It has been said that group stands for parent and so men stuck in counter-dependency frown misoginistically at women stuck in counter-dependency, the women tch tch back. Each of the two "herds" are trying desperately to separate their sexual identities while maintaining sexual allure ; so the defensive denial of merged and warm loving feelings comes with the territory. Better still a Heroism and Heroinism is born with men saying "yes! I will surmount" and women saying "No, you won't"! It is a trajedy that when children are involved though, because the matriarchal herd has the primary monopoly, tend to freeze the men out who predictably stomp and rant (heroically). Some of the more dutiful men work till they drop of a heart attack, cancer etc.

    The issues of who gets to be primary carer in separations of the two parents is still dominated by combatative legal systems, themselves unwittingly falling into the counter-dependent trap of stoically expecting everyone to button up their grief over the tragedy (and it's early traumatic cause).

    It's becoming painfully obvious in my life that my struggle to be truly independent is best served by acknowledging my feelings and not getting hurt by those who still desperately try to be something they are not by holding their feelings down. It seems to be a hazard of the counter-dependent stage of development that feelings and beliefs get mixed up into a set of complex defences and loyalties. All this gets in the way of Primal Feelings.

    Once again DR Janov you have touched my heart where it really matters, thanks.

    Paul G.

  9. Hi, an afterthought,

    As a yet to be patient I wonder what inter-dependence could be like after Primal Therapy. Is that what buddying is about? I've done co-councelling here in UK but what I am consistently finding is that our first line stuff is Taboo, few want to talk about it, let alone feel it. . . . . . . . . . .

    To an extent, without first having explored the mainstream (or even 'traditional') forms of therapy, one could (and people obviously do) pass by Primal and not recognise it. The whole situation is bizarre because of the taboo about pain. Few want to admit they are in pain.

    But many admit to investing in its' avoidance.

    Earlier we talked about the act out. One of the greatest horrors is that our entire civilisation is almost entirely motivated by avoiding pain through inflicting it on others (foreign policy).

    Such is the hazard of our race being dominated by symbolic revenge design-ated in the neo-cortex. Read Alice Miller to get a fuller insight on this subject (Art's not the politician Alice could have been).

    Alice also said that women and men are equally to blame for the way the future generation become distorted, we men do it through war and work and women do it in the home.

    People blamed her for being motivated too much by her own horrific childhood but many benefitted from her blog/web-site while she lived.

    The fundamental thing our neo-cortex needs to aknowledge is pain, yet the very thing it is most adept at doing is generating mirrors of defence to deflect it. What a bind.

    For me it is a great honour to be able to integrate this knowledge because it helps to de-integrate my intellectual defences. It's so true what Art has said in earlier entries: that belief systems are as powerful or even more so than drugs.

    To have this information about what is happening to me (and others) is therapeutic because I am able to channel my intention more effectively. Motive / intention is really important; desire can be such a powerful and misleading force. With real information like this I am faced with my illusions and the truth about my condition.

    This force will eventually get me to Santa Monica.

    Love and best wishes to you all this Valentine from

    Paul G.

  10. Richard: It is amazing to me that no-one truly characterized what is going on, in terms simple to understand. Indulging in sex with another whilst having a loving/sexual relationship with someone else, plain and simple: IT'S SEX ADDICTION. The reason I know all this is because I am/was a sex addict:- which means in turn that I was able to have sex with others (lots of them), because it was an excellent PAIN-KILLER. The prospect of an easy ejaculation or getting that ejaculation was such a huge feeling (high) of ecstasy, it kept the pain away ... brilliantly. I did, in my own neurotic way, LOVE most of the people, whilst I was with them. I indulged in this kind of sex and it lasted, for me, from my early teens until well past 75, and even now the prospects are still thrilling (to coin a phrase) I couldn't have wished for a more efficient pain-killer, BUT I did have to pay the price ... many; even though throughout of this period I had five long-term loving relationships. I am a gay man.

    Why I need to confess/explain all this is because I think it simplifies what is going on, and why it is so effective and pervasive; and just hope it might help other sex addicts, understand what is taking place. There is only one way to overcome this addiction and that (for me) is to feel the pain that drives the addiction, (no easy matter ... nor a quick fix). There was a great deal of pain driving mine. The remnants are still there but the need for a daily fix has abated very, very considerably. Jack

  11. Beautiful article. As one sensitive female statuesque acquaintance of mine would say: " All those hearts...that`s so sweeeeeeet..."

    But the poignant side to all this is that in a world so devoid of love and authentic communication, what we get as the consolation prize is...superficial sociabilty. Thus, Janov, above: "... we cannot be taught to love later on, though we can be taught to behave in a sociable manner". Thus the horrifying spectacle of the naturally open and sociable child being manipulated and even beaten into being...nice. A nice little sick twisted half-dead robot, ready to produce and keep the wheels of a mechanical unfeeling society rolling!

  12. An email comment:
    " me this has to be one of your most important blogs. My best to you and yours....for as long as I live. The first book, The Primal Scream subtitle The Cure for Neurosis all the way to Imprints changed my life. I have no need to primal anymore. Were I to write a book it would be called Love subtitled The Cure for Death."

  13. A facebook comment:
    "Some of us have thing's, that happen for some unknown reason, that is way beyond our control. Then we come 2 term's, but outsider's never really do.
    We just get on with life, the best we can. It's true, you have 2 deal with the card's that you are given. Do we all need a purpose in life? You say, love make's the world go around..... Well this glass is half empty."

  14. Dr Janov stated once that "you can give no more than what you received"... so unless you start to heal from your suffering it will always get in the way whenever you fall in love. So you can believe in love as much as you want and keep on falling in love with the same kind of person with the same issue over and over. And you must consider yourself lucky if your are able to cry and feel love for someone...No wonder so many people don't want to hear about PT. So for the average neurotic it means that your are bound to live lousy so called love stories until you are able to feel/to get the therapy. By the way I don't like Valentine's Day. It's like Xmas: it means nothing if you are kind to others this "special day"and behave like a lousy partner the rest of the year. Well I'm half serious anyway but just think about it.


  15. Hi ,only o n e comment :Monica Seles said she
    commpletely !! regretted to have consulted a
    pyschiatrist...! Yours emanuel

  16. Yann: One of my patients called christmas "PRIMAL FUEL" Art Janov

  17. Hello all. Off topic again:

    Neurosis and mind control:

    I just watched the documentary from this link. The history of mind control.

    It spoke about the use of Pavlovian positive and negative reinforcement. But all they were really proving (at first) was that humans learn by association (no s***!).

    But the thing is, I thought, was that the most radical way you can change someone is to change what the positive and negative reinforcements actually are - that is, change *what* people subjective experience as a positive or negative reinforcement. Excluding the use of electric probes into the brain, I think neurosis comes closest to that "model":

    With neurosis you create new (secondary) needs which in turn change the nature of the reinforcements. Not only that, but I think due to neurotic symbolisation the "reinforcements" become abstract and therefore flexible. For example, if a soldier desperate craves the positive reinforcements of "self esteem", they can come to crave medals. But, they will only crave medals if they have the belief that those medals really mean something in themselves. My point is that you could speculate that a neurotic could be much more easily controlled Pavlov-style, simply because they have a more symbolic (and therefore flexible) relationship to their needs due to the nature of their needs - and in turn a more flexible (and *externally manipulable*) relationship to their positive and negative reinforcements.

    Like you have said Art, we are "creatures of need". Needs must be the most primary controlling part of ourselves. They are *the* gateway to the positive/negative sensations. So again, the most fundamental way to change the man must be to change the need.

    Just wanted to share those thoughts.

  18. macor22 wrote: "in a world so devoid of love and authentic communication, what we get as the consolation prize is...superficial sociability"

    To wit: FaceBook!

    Look how FB has positively BOOMED in our era of instant electronic communication! Yet I often see a sad correlation between the number of "friends" someone touts on FB and how few they have in real life.

    Also, who in today's 144-character "Twitter Times" would waste(!) energy reading, much less writing, "War and Peace"? Speed and superficiality are the new drugs.

    Where I live there are many social "networking" events. Alas, there is also little REAL connecting. Instead it's like a giant, endless convention where people put on smiley-faces and "glad hand" others.

    I do it, too,

    Maybe the truth is we can only handle a few close friends. Maybe the deeper truth is we really only NEED a few. But if we were hurt too much when too young we might well prefer shallower "acquaintanceships." It keeps pain at bay.

    Many clubs are loud and dark...yet endlessly crowded. Perhaps patrons like things loud so they don't have to talk. Yet they still hope to meet someone they can transform into the warm, stable parent they never had.

    Or maybe that's just me.

    Being alone is no solution. We DO seem to need others. So where do relatively unneurotic folks congregate? In large urban areas the press of the crowd often leads to posing. It's less painful to act "unreal" than to be "real" and lonely. Or get rejected because others aren't ready to be THEIR true selves.

    As the King of Siam said, "It's a puzzlement."

  19. Dear Arthur,
    take a look at these videos. you might find what you want.

    if it doesn't open,
    just put the phrase "stem cell therapy" in the search engine of youtube

  20. Addressing Paul G, I would like to understand more about what seems to be a slightly of all intellectual defenses. In a world gone made, defenses will be essential for survival. I do not see why those should prevent going thru Primal Therapy. Defenses, if they are intellectual, can be let down, dropped, bypassed. But if one wants to avoid admitting that anyone could possibly make any sense of anything without years of PT, could still be hiding some defenses themselves. If they have not gone through PT, then I wonder if they might not be still more misled by intellectual defenses than they are yet aware of. Maybe those defenses are not as intellectual as they think.

    Reasoning should be something that can easily be countered if it is in error to begin with. But if one can not come up with why something is wrong, maybe it is not wrong. In the religious and political world, I hear this BS excuse that lies are stronger or more convincing than truth. I find this so absurd. Complete shameful heresy and an excuse to run from and deny truth.

    Truth is absolute. Logic and reason will always be right nearby. Some may fear the intellect. Fine. But fear sounds like a primal emotion to me. Intellect in no way threatens recognition of PT and though I can not prove it, I doubt it can stop PT from taking place. Is that not what drugs are for? If there is a failure, is it usually the patient or always the patient. I can believe usually. But I have a more difficult time believing always. If we fail to help someone, could we have made an error we are not aware of.

    I just get this sense that the intellect is so despised by many adherents of PT. Blamed for people failing to progress in PT. I can see how an intellect with strong controls and gates could be a problem to relax at the proper time, but then what if the patient does not feel so secure and free. Why that might be Primal Pain misleading them and giving them an excuse to run and bail out. But it might also be true that maybe the person administering has still got some residual Pain that might be hampering them as well.

    But that good solid thought and reasoning should be made the scape goat for so much seems truly wrong. Funny but most religious, political, academic, scientific, and business oriented institutions also hate the intellect. I would be concerned if I found myself in harmony with these monster or madness.

    The intellect is a threat to nearly anyone who wants to manipulate while a liberator to those in mental and emotional bondage and slavery. So if you don’t like my ideas, or want to insinuate them as avoidance of pain, you should be able easily defeat them on intellectual grounds with reason. Authority is not a reason, Never was.

    Belief systems are not intellectual defenses. They are emotional defenses. The 2 have no relation in many cases. Get facts straight or face the music.

  21. Jack, I really appreciate your candid and courageous admonitions. I agree that Sex is an incredible high and addiction. But most people like to present sex as something totally controllable and moral in quality and indicates sinister intent when sought or enjoyed outside of strict defined boundaries. Hence, someone deemed unfaithful is also deemed morally reprehensible, offensive, and also having no good excuse or reason.

    It has always been a bitter pill for me that people who claim to love and follow Jesus can be so removed from his real message of understanding. He once is said to have said, I came to heal the sick, not the healthy. He had compassion for “sinners” and people looked down upon and found great fault with those who were self righteous and did look down on others.

    It is easy to throw rocks at drug addicts, sex addicts, food addicts, etc. Very easy to call them degenerates, monsters, gluttons, anything but good. But I think we can both agree that understanding of why people behave as they do, as we accept in the theory of PP, is the only productive way to help. Anyone can throw rocks. But to actually seek to understand and help as best we can, this takes a higher form of principled caring.

    Or put by that Jesus guy, “I want mercy and not sacrifice.” I think we can agree with idea even if we do not believe in the authenticity of the said man. You seem to appreciate the mercy and understanding aspect.

  22. Art,
    "Primal Fuel"? I am a patient waiting to happen, but from what I have gathered I would say "OH....MY.....GOD....YESSSSSSSS" and every damned year a triggering and enormous coconut!
    PS and I am very much with you Yann on this one

  23. Athanasios: thank you so much. I am looking into it. art janov

  24. Andrew: Either change the need, which neurotics do, or fill the need which loving people do. Neurotics change the need into wants and try to fulfill the need thru the wants. I want power, applause, money, etc. It is secondary reinforcement. But all of us who were not loved will settle for that. art janov

  25. Apollo: Even if I disagree with some of what people say I still think I have the most intelligent readers. art

  26. Trevor -- I really liked your observations. Friendship and social interaction are interesting topics. I think people are scared to relate on a serious or deep level so they keep things superficial. But as well, we are no longer tied to the ground, so to speak. We once lived in an area and farmed and stayed put. Our whole lives were spent with the same people so that we got to know them well, whether we liked that or not. But as well, we were dependent upon each other and often needed each other to survive.

    But now we move so often that we never have a chance to form any roots. Almost as a defense, we avoid any roots so we don’t lose anyone or get hurt. Long ago, I had belonged to a religion called Jehovah’s Witnesses. They use shunning like the Amish and Mormons do. And they use it often and often for little to no legitimate reason. But what would happen is that people would tend to keep distant from each other in order to avoid feeling loss when someone might get booted. They were superficial as well.

    I think the way our society is structured is sort of designed to keep us apart. How many know any of their neighbors? I know none of mine. If we need help, we have the government and insurance, right? We depend on employers or our businesses for survival. Who needs neighbors or people? I am being facetious, of course.

    But I also think neighbors hide from each other. Everyone is afraid of anyone else knowing anything about them. They feel lots of guilt and shame and would rather not have anyone know them. Government and media help fuel fear so that we don’t want to be with others for fear we will get hurt. I do think the fears are exaggerated a little but some is legitimate.

    It’s a tough puzzle with little to no solutions based on how we are organized and laid out.

  27. Andrew,
    I have read quite a few things on mind control myself. I have not yet viewed the link you gave but have it bookmarked. But what I can say is that I do believe sinister forces in dark places have used the reverse of primal therapy to deliberately traumatize people and cause them to split and fracture over and over again, making them perfect candidates for mind control or even Manchurian candidates.

    It is a very dark world we live in. for most, we will hopefully avoid contact with “monsters” but they are out there but then , so is the truth out there as they used to say in the X Files. But truth is hard to swallow and packs a lot of fear for many so they do not pursue it. I have an addiction to fear and trouble. I can’t resist them. If I smell trouble, I go right for it.

    But as well, I think subtle forms of mind control are built into our society. We are constant being pursued so as to manipulate our minds and control us. It gives us another level of challenge. But PT, were it to be popular, would be a very serious threat to such manipulations. That is why it is generally ignored. And given our natural inclinations as humans, it likely will continue to be ignored. Gravity never lets up and neither does human nature. Hence the battle we all fight each day.

  28. Apollo: All someone has to do to control your mind is to latch onto your need; like a dog with a rag doll, he can shake and t wist it to any thought he wants. hence all the cults. AJ

  29. I agree Arthur, that need is all they need to exploit. Most religions keep their membership and keep it loyal and obedient by threatening to ostracize and shun them. Most only stay or remain for social contact and belonging. So they put up with BS so that they can belong. Myself, I could not stand that. It was too much.

    But I do note that governments, big business, and employers are also very good at using our needs against us. Making something as simple and harmless as growing a plant and smoking it to be a big felony, or convince us that its only for our own good when they fine us for not wearing seat belts. Employers offer us a light elevation in status to get us to climb the ladder without much real reward in return. After all, we don’t want to be losers living on the wrong side of town and driving a loser car, right?

    Everywhere there is pressure to conform and go with the flow. We are conditioned by public schools. Our kids can be snatched from us for little to no reason. No laws need to be broken to do so. Law and justice are illusions. Its all designed to keep our minds spinning and not having enough time or peace to give some thought to anything. And people have often been likened to sheep, easily led and directed. Perhaps a little too subservient but at the same time, not reprehensible. The shame is on the shepherds, called wolves in sheep’s clothing in some places, those who use their intellect a little more and enjoy leadership roles who manipulate harmless sheep, to the benefit of the wolves and the detriment of the sheep. I find fault with all such wolves, whether religious, political, social, or otherwise. They all ought to know better.

  30. Hey Art,

    yesterday i read a book The problem of Puer Aeternus - Marie-Louise von Franz - she disscus in her book great problems of puer male who are non growth, have non obligations in life, never get married, never get strong relationships with other people, have complex of Mesiah, they think they are great artists, philosophers and so on.In fact hey live in fantasy world which has nothind to do with eart - concrete real problems in life.
    I just must ask you something, because your theory and experiences in biology and neurology are enlightened.So this tipe of people ( Puer aeternus tipe ) must have a hell on this eart, because they cannot face reality, some of them can be caught all theirs life in this non solution situation.
    I ask you: maybe Puers wanna do somethnig good, they go to therapy, but maybe they have a problem in ( 1. and 2. line ).Maybe they are so biological caught, have so much pain, that they cannot function and be emotional normal.
    They cannot stay in one position for a job, cannot stay in relationship with just one person, they cannot stay down on eart.
    Can be this a problem of hard birth or even pre-birth problem?
    And you think that this tipe of peope have a solution?

    Thenx Art, i admired your blog and your work.Tnahx again.



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.