Sunday, April 17, 2011

Driven by Unseen Forces

When we do things we cannot understand we are driven by unseen forces. That much is clear. So when we believe in unseen forces, UFOs, for example, it is a logical extension of what drives us. When so much of life seems like a mystery; why we develop symptoms, why we act out in sexual rituals, why we get migraines or why we have high blood pressure, it is logical that we believe in mysteries, especially the mystery of life. So we go to church and they have answers for us. And they encourage us to pray to unseen forces and to obey unseen deities. And then we go to school and pledge allegiance to unknown entities, and of course, again a deity.

And then we grow up and want to run for office but we know that no one can ever get elected who does not believe in unseen forces; should you decide to declare that you don’t believe it is impossible to get elected.

So belief is pretty much decided for us. And what we can declare that we don’t believe is also decided for us; peer pressure is awfully strong. Wanting to belong, to be part of, is a powerful need, and sometimes we need to believe in order to fulfill that sense of belonging. So those who have no inner access are required to believe in mysterious forces, and that mystery is contagious among those with no inner life. And don’t think this is just in politics because when I talk about clarifying unseen and unknown forces in our unconscious the field of psychotherapy turns off, and this kind of believer becomes a pariah. It then becomes unsafe to believe in the depths of the unconscious unless we believe there are demons down there; an id, shadow forces and the like. As long as we keep it mysterious we are OK, accepted.

“Keep it unreal” becomes the motive, the slogan, and we fall in line. Psychologic truth becomes marginalized and the believers in mystery continue their hegemony. It is almost impossible for me to get an article in the N.Y. Times in or Psychological Journals because I eschew the mysterious. Now isn’t that a conundrum?


  1. "Being driven by unseen forces"; I see clearly the "driven" but I would say there are many unseen forces that affect us if we wish to be semantic. I am tempted to see it as believing. Other than trivial beliefs like:- believing my brother is at home; believing signifies we don't really know. I would like to take that further and say all I will ever KNOW is how I feel ... all other knowledge is circumstantial. I can live with not knowing ... the insatiable desire to know about it all is a gross act-out against rising feelings IMO, and not some intrinsic curiosity

    Taking the history of religion (way back further than Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Mohamed or Jesus;) we've been assuming unforeseen forces for quite some eons. None of it having brought about anything particularly conclusive. Nothing in nature seems to help in this matter either. How might it be possible to get humankind in general to accept 'NOT KNOWING'? I wish I knew!!!! Jack

  2. Art says: “It is almost impossible for me to get an article in the N.Y. Times in or Psychological Journals because I eschew the mysterious. Now isn’t that a conundrum?”

    It is! They like everything vague and undefined. They hate concrete answers of any type in any field. You aren’t supposed to have answers. Only the Times or Journal is allowed that, or maybe one of the networks. Shame on you, Art. How dare you try to supplant the great and powerful media Oz behind the curtain.

    Myself, I find that if you dig into history or cross examine law, you can run into problems as well. Same with Science. What I could show you in just geology alone, a subject one would think would not have too much politics or propaganda value, think again. But all roads of exploration and learning lead to the same basic results of enlightenment and these are not liked or appreciated by those who want to define knowledge and truth and make us accept and believe it as so.

    That great hidden orthodoxy fears independence more than anything else. We are supposed to be weak and crippled and want desperately to belong and be accepted. So we silence ourselves rather than forcing them to silence us. There is nothing quite so easy to rule as those who willingly accept being ruled.

    By the way, CBS Survivor has developed (for the 1st time) a cult control of a tribe. It is remarkable to watch. The team/tribe happily accepted the somewhat harsh rules which, oddly, do have a logical goal. But with one man in total control, it does not leave room for much competition.

    But most people who are in the grips of a religious group find breaking away from friends, family and acceptance too much of a barrier to overcome. It is this same pressure that makes us conform at school, at work, and everywhere else in our lives.

    Bu Art talks about seeing the influence or control for what it is, something not quite so mysterious. It can be identified and overcome, even while suffering from primal pain. But it does take quite a bit of bravery/courage, which again, are hard to define since they depend upon, to some degree, having enough love and reinforcement to feel like you can stand tall and buck the trend. Why I can do it, I guess I had enough of what I needed to not feel so much need for acceptance.

    If we do not question and do accept this vague mysterious invisible force, the active orthodoxy in all its glory, then we embrace the mysterious. Many people are afraid to identify and admit the force or orthodoxy and want nothing to do with knowing about it. They prefer willful ignorance.

    Our battle at all times is with ourselves. Do we want to know, where ever knowing takes us?

    Part 2 of 2 to follow.

  3. I would say this, though, Arthur. God may be mysterious or seem so. But something does not come from nothing. While working on a legal case, I have been writing on the “laws of probability, statistics, and distribution, of which many experts either do not fully understand or prefer to ignore. Laws of distribution say that if you flip a coin enough times, it will result in nearly the same number of both heads and tails. We might encounter a few streaks here and there of 3 or 4 of one or the other in a row. But the more we flip or spin, the more those streaks even out, get compressed so that they vary very little after say, 100 flips. Vegas gambling operates by setting the odds of most games at just slight advantage in probability. Can’t remember the extact difference but its like 53 to 47 or maybe slightly less. The more you play, the more you will get the 47 and not the 53. Your best chance at success, is to blow every thing you got on something purely 53-47 odds. You might walk away with some good money. More likely, you will not.

    Now in all life, there is a pattern of random distribution and probability. Its distribution pattern is very strong and consistent. It does not vary or wander from its pattern, especially when it is repeated enough. As an auditor one time at LL Bean, we were taught that an accurate error rate could be obtained by checking and measuring at least 5% of the packages doing out. Less than that does not produce accurate measures of errors sent out.

    When a case shows a consistency in “errors” or improper procedure which far exceed the typical number of occurrences of errors by substantial margins, then we no longer have “errors.” It is now a certainty that there was/were deliberate choices made to create s specific outcome contrary to law or random distribution. Bear with me.

    Aristotle believed in a god, single, not the Gods of typical Greece. He reasoned that laws of the universe needed a motivating factor.

    But odds of life coming into being by accident, by itself, with no cause? And with great order and function? That is not how random probability and distribution work. It only leaves on other choice. Some suggest aliens left us here to colonize. Fine, but then how did the original “aliens” come about??

    Order cannot develop out of chaos and discord. Random probability only produces one limited unvariable pattern. Anything outside of that begs for explanations of another sort. The problems left for us are: if we were created, why have we not received communication from this creator? That is a whole other matter. If he made us, he ought to talk to us like parents do to kids.

    But patterns are everywhere but most do not recognize a fraction of the many patterns all around us. If you watch people carefully, you can figure out much about them. They give themselves away all the time and don’t even know it. You know that, Arthur.

  4. Do not believe
    that you understand something
    before you can feel
    what influences that you think
    you understand.


  5. Art,
    This is what I got in response from the New York Times when I read that you were always ignored. Perhaps many of us should write and bring about what we want to see in NT

    RE: HELP Article Archives‏

    Svara ▼
    Redigera kontakt
    Thank you for contacting the New York Times.

    We appreciate your feedback and we have passed it along to the appropriate department.

    If you need any further assistance please email or call 1-800-NYTIMES.

    John F
    Customer Service

    -----Original Message-----

    Sent: 4/18/2011 03:55:17 AM
    To: ""
    Subject: HELP Article Archives

    Comments:I am very surprised how such a well renowned newspaper as The New York Times can exclude science… science as Arthur Janovs Primal Therapy… ... a discovery that has to be seen as one of the most important discovery mankind has done. Who are the people at NT to”control" what applies in the paper... control is what you do if you hold science beyond your own values against another.
    Primal Therapy contains a science man through time made all effort to get an answer on. If we know what it means to keep our own values alive ... alive under patronage of methods to silence others ... then maybe… we could make room for Primal Therapy to allow the earth to become psychological round and not remain flat as a pancake.
    Frank Larson
    Ekensbergsvagen 98 nb
    11769 Stockholm
    Mob +46708442304

    Regarding:Article Archives
    More Specifically:Other Question

  6. Jack, if you want to know how to help people to let go of their false beliefs, you will have to study at the primal center.

  7. Dr. Janov,

    “So belief is pretty much decided for us.”
    Not really. As adults, we always have a choice.
    We can follow a collective obsession, or live among the like-minded.
    The like-minded, I must say, are tough to find. Because, emotionally conscious people make less noise and leave fewer damaging footprints.

  8. Unseen forces? Well, it depends on what you mean or what you define as unseen. How about unperceived? There are many activities carried on by spy agencies of governments. We do not see nor are we aware, and yet, they certainly are there and doing things. That we do not perceive it, see it, or know about it, does not put it out of existence. It would be psychosis to imagine that our banishing it in our heads would truly eliminate it. If we don’t want to see somethings, then we won’t see them. Its hard to see when your eyes are covered by your own hands.

    But I have seen that many unknown or unseen forces still are there and the longer we remain blind to them, the more danger we are in. If we ignore the unseen from within, and I am speaking of primal pain, then we could be in grave danger.

    There are patterns everywhere in the world that we can get on to or ignore. So far, you have ignored my 1st article on patterns. It may be you ignore this one, too. But many patterns reveal many things that might leave us uncomfortable. And then we run and hide. But good true primal patients do not run and hide from anything. In fact, we can tell good sincere brave primal patients from insincere cowardly running one by the fact they do run and try to ignore the very interesting patterns that could be discerned if we wanted to discern them, probably with a little help from that unique human property we call the intellect, so seemingly despised among those who say they respect and admire Primal theory and therapy.

    Easy to say but much harder to prove or demonstrate. Some are very afraid of unseen forces. But not I. Whether seen or unseen, I go after them all. I have never thought fear was all that beneficial to learning and advancing in life.

    But test of how good or how effective PT really is, is the measure of what we do with our fear(s). I have read it once this way: “Love casts fear outside” into the darkness (where it belongs)!

  9. Hi Dr.Janov,
    I wish to say something,people who have nice and fresh life becose they were gone throe primal therapy,and therapy throe them, know how much you don on your work field and that you are real psychological Tesla,and that what you and other primal people do is total new evolutionary current in world.So,can you imagine situation when Tesla bring on world incredible discover,what was reaction of environment..?-Noo!,fire from gods is real thing,the only right way to got light and heat-,and it s not,Tesla s work was genius and nothing can stop him on his own way,I think that HE WAS FEEL that do right thing.The fact is we are not all genius,but human beans have something,even in latent form-COURAGE for authentic and full life meal,need to fight for space with love and action,without using other for our neurosa- circle- dancing.

  10. A facebook comment:
    "The field of psychology is still NLP-ish, still paleolythic, archaic and juvenile in it's understanding of the nature of human nature. They think intellectual mind is all what they have to work with."

  11. An email comment:
    "Arthur, how does the UK psychological community perceive you? Your ideas do seem to be reaching the mental health proffessionals here. Recently, I went to see a NHS psychiatrist for re-occuring depression & anxiety, & was gobsmacked to be asked about birth trauma/lack of cuddles etc, & he grumbled about the limitations of insight therapies. Didn't have that approach 15 years ago. I am surprised you don't do a column in The Guardian or something. Thanks for replying in person the other week by the way. Your writing has helped me much. It sort of triggered creative output, 10 years ago. Ideas, feelings, came to life, in art, music, poetry, & I found my voice. Had your therapy been avaliable In the UK I would have applied for it. As it was, dynamic psychotherapy had to suffice, which was ok, it did help, tho obviously, depression & anxiety still here. Managed better tho' nowadays. Kind regards"

  12. And my answer: Hey I tell you what. You see if they would accept an article and I will write it. art janov

  13. Somehow my comments got bleeped out after the registering -your e-mail- and - password stage. After spending a half hour composing some comments, this is a drag, and it has happenned before. Can anyone tell me how to avoid this?!

    Anyways...this will be short and sweet: another fine article, very perceptive. I especially appreciated the comments on conformity and peer pressure, two aspects of the current human scene that irritate me to no end. The more conformist a group, the more unreal are its members, and the more prone to ostracise the deviant, in my opinion.I saw some moderate conformity in AA constantly, and, of course, most members there cling to this notion of a mysterious "Higher Power" that apparently saved their lives...However, this Higher Power did not save others.. but, hey, the ways of the Lord are mysterious: let us pray , shut our minds, and question nothing... for the critical connected intellect is a "whore", sayeth the Tertullians of the world from their aggressive precarious perches of "faith".

    RE UFO's: Some may well be hallucinations of bright lights during an upsetting birth experience, but there is considerable objective evidence, from films and mass sightings, that some strange not yet fully explained phenomena are indeed out there.

  14. Hi Apollo,
    "Entropy always increases because it rarely forms rigid, orderly structures".

    Therefore the existence of orderly patterns everywhere and most of all on planet earth is contrary to entropy, it is synergistic. This beggars the question: "What is the cause of synergy"?

    I recently did a very nice carpentry job for an engineer who said to me:

    "Don't believe in anything but don't lose your faith". Mmmmmmmmmm.

    Paul G.

  15. Art,

    You have to ask those who have undergone primal therapy for help. I do not know how many there are who you know has passed through PT... but you have to ask them. I cannot imagine a better way. Let's say you get one hundred that will help you / us. It could be an impact you might not imagine. Each of them from their place in the world writes the New York Times? It could have an effect you might not imagine. The only question is whether you want to ask them or not? They might all have a story to tell... a way to ask and above all to explain themselves?


  16. Sieglinde

    Belief is much more specific to us than we "belief". Why it is that belief is something we do to not feel? How should you feel that you belief when you belief to not feel? As Art says ... evolution is the key to explaining the matter ... evolution along with all pain we face.


  17. I didn't realise I can stay in the USA for as long as I long as I remain a full time student. While I've been looking at different options, I stumbled across this course offered by Stonebridge Associated Colleges:


    Primal Therapy Course - 6 Lessons - only £149.99

    Evolved from Cariel's Scream Therapy and Janov's Primal Therapy, this therapeutic approach enables the client through the act of ventilating to assert their right to the open expression of feelings and discover that he or she is constitutionally capable of such expression.
    On completion of this course you will be eligible to join the Affiliation of Ethical & Professional Therapists (AEPT).
    The Affiliation of Ethical & Professional Therapists is dedicated in assisting you as a member, in the promotion and growth of your practice. Your profile will be entered onto our website and each month you will receive a free e-zine full of business tips and valuable information.

    How low can you go? It looks more and more sophisticated the higher you go, until the qualifications are so impressive no patient would dare to challenge the credibility of the therapist. Bottom-feeders and rich doctors grazing happily side by side. I don't believe they are criminals. They are just children who followed their dream.

  18. Do you know why I write about what I "might" know something about? I feel little Frank when I am ashamed... I have got access to what evolution is the biggest issue people are facing... how I hid myself because of pain impossible to stand... how it was stored in time of the process my brain was developed… the evolutionary clock.


  19. Hi,

    regarding my belief in God:

    When I first was reminded of Dr Janovs' Primal Theory and how the 1st line drives the 2nd through to the third; also how the 'valence' of the sensations and feelings 'resonate' into the different brain functions I realised how the absence of my Father in my Life is represented in the Lords' Prayer:

    "My Dad, always away at work,
    Hello!? (but I've only got your name),
    I know I'll get to be with you at home someday,
    I promise I'll do as you say,
    (At home as well as at work).

    Give me some time today Dad,
    Give me some feedback Dad (just a crust maybe),
    Please forgive me for being bad, Dad,
    I'll forgive everyone else too.

    Don't let me get lost on my own, Dad,
    Please protect me from Bad Things,
    Because you're in charge here at home, Dad,
    You've got all the power Dad,


    US MEN, DAD.

    There is a theory (originating in controversial research undertaken on unborn foetus carried out in Russia some time ago) that we all start out female and then some of us differentiate into males (6weeks)?

    Could it be that the Patriarchal aspect of our civilisations has become fixated on 'Escape from the Feminine' (down the birth canal) toward the light (at the end of the tunnel)and into the arms of a loving Dad. . . (Who should of course immediately put the babber back onto Mums' tum.

    I rest my case.

    Paul G.

  20. Chaos is an expression of our inability to understand the content and context and a moral issue… by pressure try to changes something we don’t like or understand.

    The expression of chaos tells “we don’t feel”
    Neuroses are a chaos and will so remain until we let Art prove primal therapies scientific process. Connective’s will never do... they have no ability to prove content and context… a terrible tragedy for the suffering... they will reamin in chaos.


  21. Apollo,

    You know fear was lifesaving and still are if it fulfills its duty to keep pain at place… pain to much to feel at one time. Thank “good” that fear is/was something possible to keep pain at place. We must become “friends” with our pain… friends with whom we were at time for the pain.


  22. Hhm, correct me if I'm wrong: I don't see any false beliefs anywhere.

    I've never seen an UFO but have a strong wish to do so.It would be like giving my life some healthy sense, compensating for a loss I can not articulate otherwise. Like Fox Moulder I want to believe, because it hurts so good.

    My problem with many primal guys is their focus on 'the real thing'. The real feeling, the real loss, the real me. I might not be the best candidate for a primal patient, because I'm not after that real core. I find it pretty much more important to be what I am. Neurotic in that case, ok. But being neurotic can heal, because if you ask yourself, what it is, you want from God or whatever deity, you end up being hurt.

  23. i have just woken up from a series of unhappy dreams. most of them involved people blaming me for things that were going wrong. everything was supposedly my responsibility. i didn't know things were going wrong until people came to me and showed me the 'disastrous' problems, (which were actually quite trivial), and blamed me. i had the huge burden of trying to defend myself.....explaining that it wasn't my fault.
    then came the most significant dream. i was lying on my stomach in bed (in the dream) with my face turned to the right. Everyting around me was going wrong (can't remember what exactly was going wrong). The worse things got, the more i instinctively relaxed. i was relaxing to defend myself. things got worse and worse, and pretty soon i was in a very deep state of relaxation. at the point when i was most relaxed, i was suddenly struck in the back by what felt like a giant pair of hands and i was violently pulled upwards. at that point i woke up.
    even while i was dreaming, i had an insight: when things go wrong, i do NOTHING. i felt it. it is a very fundamental defence in me. when i woke up, i still knew it. when everything is falling apart, i make sure that i don't. i ignore everything and focus on keeping myself together. it's a terrible defence because it slows me down. it takes me a long time to get things done.
    here's the curious thing.....i wasn't primalling. i was dreaming. in fact, none of the dreams felt traumatic....not even the one with the 'hands' (or whatever it was).
    it seems to me that my dreams are acting as an in-between...a sort of compromise between a primal and my usual unfeeling self. my dreams always seem to be very informative. whether they are actually helping me is another question. or maybe they would if i didn't forget about them so quickly.
    do dreams have a purpose, or are they just an accidental leak coming from unconscious memories?

  24. Richard: I don't know about these people. find out more. aj

  25. A facebook comment:
    "The field of psychology is still NLP-ish, still paleolythic, archaic and juvenile in it's understanding of the nature of human nature. They think intellectual mind is all what they have to work with."

  26. Another facebook comment:
    "I suffer hideous migraine but am an all-out atheist and not terribly interested in politics. People find the 'mysterious'/the unknown exciting, as I think; I agree with you; that they don't have access to themselves/inner life and all the exciting things that are going on there. Feeling is exciting. Life is exciting. Getting your posts is exciting :) Thank you for them, Jx"

  27. Marco, as soon as you have finished typing your comment, you should 'copy and paste' the text, but don't paste until you are signed in. It's a quick way to back up your work in case the window is refreshed.

  28. don't know my name,
    Just to say some words about your comment,respectly: patient go to hospital,he is very heart,broken leg,damidged brain,some trafic accident..and all that conditions are very painful.Doc. and his staff do all analysis ,scening,mag.resonance,rendgens,but let him to go(somewhere)where they only can contact him by phone,and say him all results and state of his health,but,he stay ill,he know everything about his illness but nothing changes.That is point,essential,he stay ill.Surgical intervention,medicaments,rehabilitation,are influences who are able to give cure and health.For that reason,patient MUST BE IN HOSPITAL,it's not enough just to "be on line",with God,spirits ore what ewer.Some usual human society attitude is:"I have problem,so it's push me to think and wish solution for problem".Normal man think:"I feel,I have problem,what are my abilities to solve this,now!Ore,if it's open problem ,impartially,when and how I will?"Civilization make locomotive from person,primal therapy make one unique comet(term from Michael Onfre).It's attractive to have courage to be your self,to feel your self,ma by,as first,to "know your name"?:)

  29. Richard

    Dreams are real to the point where the intensity is in harmony with reality. Focus on other things in our dream is solely due to loss of connection with the reality… reality that the intensity contains.


  30. Vukasin: I will print this but next time you must get someone to help your english, otherwise it is not fair to the readers and not fair to me to have to edit all this. art janov

  31. Hi Vakasin!

    I liked your mention of Tesla, perhaps the most brilliant scientist-engineer to have ever lived. What he discovered was amazing by any measure. Equally amazing was how he was bitterly oppressed and suppressed by big business and finance so that for years, no one even knew who he was. Yet, the majority of his work is present in nearly all our technology.

    But I do believe Tesla, a man of many neurotic peculiarities, was full of primal pain. But his intellect could still proceed unhindered and it was amazing what it could turn out. This type of man is proof, Prima Facie legal evidence of the intellect functioning in spite of the primal self and its feelings.

    Also you speak of courage, and despite the somewhat broken English, your words and ideas come across loud and clear. Courage is really what should be much further considered in PT. Courage is hard to pin down in the whole mind. But it is there. We might say it is the willingness to confront fear or face it, even resist it.

    In a battle between long term thinking, acting and strategy and short term immediate impulse thinking and strategy, we ultimately have to face down many unpleasant things in ourselves and the world around us. We need courage to face this kind of truth. We accept PT because it answers what the problems are and offers to relieve us of the pain and suffering we feel.

    Courage is vital. But where does it come from? I say it is a struggle deep from within the primal forces of pain, whereby the aide that will accept that fear must be overcome in order to progress and solve the pain, will gain control and direct the intellect/cortex to find the real solutions, not the fake distractions and lies. If the other side prevails, it moves the intellect to spin its wheels and deceive us, granting a sort of anesthesia but at a price.

    Hope you write more. I’ll read it!

  32. Hi Paul!

    What is the cause of synergy, you ask? Can I add order, complexity, etc? Much of what we see on earth looks like DNA. DNA to me, is nothing more than a program language. It seems to replicate and sustain its language and means to keep it going. It avoids entropy by doing work. The minute the work ceases, it goes back to random disorder.

    Energy goes in and order results. Energy stops and so does the order. But how did the language and its ability to defy entropy get started. Did it create itself? How does that happen? The programming languages we have come from orderly intelligent (perhaps arguable) purposeful minds. Using the evidence at hand, the only time I have ever seen order come about is when it comes from intelligent minds. Show me the anomaly at work and I will change up my ideas. Hard science rules always ;-)

  33. Frank Said:

    “Belief is much more specific to us than we "belief". Why it is that belief is something we do to not feel? How should you feel that you belief when you belief to not feel? As Art says ... evolution is the key to explaining the matter ... evolution along with all pain we face.”

    Maybe Art could help me out here. I read this book “Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings” and in it, the word “intellectual” was footnoted as being from the French “spiritual.” Spiritual and spirit are often used in the Bible to indicate the intellectual mind, rather than feelings. Aristotle said law was reason, free from passion/emotion.

    The intellect can be corrupted by passion and emotion, i.e. primal forces of feeling, or the intellect can ignore the corruption and contamination of the intellectual process, similar in some ways to the scientific method. That would require that the primal forces cooperate and allow the intellect to proceed without interference from within the primal self.

    I was not aware that anyone was saying that we do not feel. But just as we can hold feelings back, temporarily or permanently, to give our cortex time to think, so in this way, we can, with help from within the primal self, contemplate matters without undue influence from the “reptile” within us.

    Most of you focus on feeling, which is what healing must proceed on. But you fail to admit or recognize that we still must think and use our brains in day to day life and can not just throw away our thinking entirely and forever, as if it was some great subversive enemy. Nuff said!

  34. Hi Paul!

    I will say this about primal pain revealing why we think or do as we do or had done. It may well be that some believe in God for stupid reasons and I see it all the time. It could well be that were I to feel my pain, I might find that many of my actions started out with stupid reasons that are no longer valid or supportive of beliefs or whatever it is they motivate. On the other hand, even though the former reasons do not justify current beliefs, there may be other reasons for what that belief is still justified. I might throw away the belief, only later to take it back with more reasonable and logical reasons.

    Or I might even have progressed to the point where there is more than one reason for why I believe and act as I do. Some things may no longer support it while others still do. So I discard the useless one and keep the good ones.

    But to eliminate all belief in any god when many brilliant scientists who man y of you worship, have all believed in a god. Einstein believed. Tesla Believed. Newton Believed. Honestly, I could probably go on and on. Was Newton Irrational? Einstein? I doubt it. In fact, I marvel that some are so irritated with whether I believe in a god or not. What does it matter to you? But if you say it is irrational, then show me the flaw in my reasons and in those of the great minds I mention. Could it be that the lack of tolerance among those who object to God may indicate some interesting things as well?

  35. Another off-topic insight I want to share:

    I have a relative who thinks that 'connection' is the event of sticking your nose inside someone's personal life and getting all the information. But that in itself is not "connection" I don't think - that's just information. Connection is an experiencial event coming from the interpersonal expression of personalities and experience. Shared experience is what leads to connection, and then maybe attachments. Giving personal information is what happens sometimes after a connection, but it does not create it in itself. Knowing someones history is not the same as knowing who they are as a person; the latter again comes from shared experiences.

    My point? This is the sort of thing you CAN'T explain to a severely cut-off person - because they DON'T experience other people (let alone themselves). So they will never know the difference nor what the hell you're talking about. And these are probably who many of the people will be in the sciences who Art is trying to communicate with, to explain what he knows.

    I get the feeling that this might be part of the reason why there is a communication problem with Primal Theory? You're trying to explain the colour blue to people born blind? You're talking an alien language to them.

    Just a thought.

  36. Apollo,

    If there is a God, then he obviously doesn't believe in divine intervention, so we might as well just believe in ourselves.

  37. Apollo: Hey this is also to someone who wrote that I put down belief. I don't. I think it is necessary. It is my job to explain how it happens and what happens in the brain when you believe. I hope my book BEYOND BELIEF will come out in the next year. art

  38. Frank

    Belief is often used as excuse.
    Many are waiting for God to make them feel better. They say they don’t need therapy.

    Others shove off their responsibility to a God, so they can’t be held responsible.

    No child is born with a God-gene. Belief is a learned experience, also a manipulated imprint. Ergo: believe in a God is a co-dependency, not a true feeling.


  39. RE; Dr Janov's comment to Apollo:Yes, it is true that Dr Janov has never put down belief, and gives an astonishingly convincing explanation of irrationnal beliefs and how those fit in someone's neurotic patterns.That respectful yet critically insightful stance is much to his credit. But, I must say that I personally find it difficult not to role up my eyes in ...disbelief, when I hear some people talk of their beliefs in God , miracles, and Mystery, with such enthousiasm and committment.I heard such talk again last night at an AA meeting, and this irrationalty never ceases to amaze, irritate, and bore me. Now, some may be wondering why I even go to those meetings given my atheistic scientific stance: because I have few places to meet people, and most AA people do have a decent rational side, IF you can get them to stop mouthing off about their Higher Power, usually an impossible task given their God obsessions.

  40. An email comment:
    "Arthur, how does the UK psychological community perceive you?
    Your ideas do seem to be reaching the mental health
    proffessionals here. Recently, I went to see a NHS psychiatrist
    for re-occuring depression & anxiety, & was gobsmacked to be
    asked about birth trauma/lack of cuddles etc, & he grumbled about
    the limitations of insight therapies. Didn't have that approach
    15 years ago. I am surprised you don't do a column in The
    Guardian or something. Thanks for replying in person the other
    week by the way. Your writing has helped me much. It sort of
    triggered creative output, 10 years ago. Ideas, feelings, came
    to life, in art, music, poetry, & I found my voice. Had your
    therapy been avaliable In the UK I would have applied for it. As
    it was, dynamic psychotherapy had to suffice, which was ok, it
    did help, tho obviously, depression & anxiety still here. Managed
    better tho' nowadays."

  41. A facebook comment:
    "And in case the above turns out as bit hazy. Or in case some people think i´m in favour of arbitrary rage and anger. Here i´m going to put some great lines by Arthur Janov. " If healing is to occur, losing control is crucial: not in the sense of mindless abandonment to insane impulses, but in the sense of a total(yet survivable) loss of repression so that the rage felt is enormous, the terror really terrrifying down to the bones of personality structure.Losing control over one´s neurosis is the way to rediscover the natural self-regulation wich exists within any organism.""

  42. Hi Macor22

    It has often been said and so, that religious people are often their own worst enemies and do not represent that which they believe, very well. No doubt about it.

  43. Belief without a basis on facts and reality is pointless. Because none here have ever encountered beliefs based on actual facts and reasoning and I am not sure they even want to find any.

    But my big beef here at this blog has been the role of the intellect, not God or religion. But God and religion are nice distractions if one can not address the intellectual issues that exist outside of healing therapy.

    Do as you all will. I think I have found the problem(s). It will be for me to address elsewhere, where I have freedom though I am sure it will interest no one anyway. I don't think too many people care about Primal Therapy, either. Its just easier to run and hide rather than deal with what one does not like the feel of or where it might lead to.

  44. Hi Frank,
    I don't see any reply on your subject. And I kind of feel sorry for your childish argument. May I suggest you a way? Get through your anger (so it looks to me according to your words). I'd say you have a really good starting point, a quite visible clue from where you can have a deep look at your unsatisfied child. Did you suffer from excess of control?. So you are outraged about the editing process of the NYT. Why not let yourself plunge into that pool full of rage? That would be a wise conclusion, and a superb starting point to your cave full of anger. From the bottom of my heart.


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.