Thursday, October 27, 2011

All You Have to Do Is Lie Down and Feel It. Really.

All you have to do is lie down and feel it.....REALLY.

I was reading Arthur Janov's blog about MBCT...: Mindfulness - whatever that is , and Cognitive therapy : Just ignore patient's history and treat the RESULT of history, mix both and you have a new therapy.....REALLY ?

So : we are going to talk forever about what ails us. We are going to look at the crazy miserable person we have become - we are going to talk about it for hours, days, months, years, try to understand it, forgive and move on... REALLY ?

.......And we are never going to go to the origin of our behavior : all these arcane reasons : why we do what we do and how we become who we are : our history : all these minutes, hours, years of misery, of registering day after day that we didn't matter to the most important people in our lives, all theses instants when we needed a feeling of tenderness that told us we were OK, all these moments of silence when we needed THEM to be interested in us, their children, all these moments of utter despair for not being looked at with a smile, listened to with genuine interest, laughed with, accepted as a child human being, all these seconds of wretched pain for not being loved by the two most important people in our lives, day after day during all the years spent with THEM as we developed into adulthood....

..and none of it mattered ??? Or we can ignore it for ever and just deal with the surface result ?? ?

So, the surface, who we are now, isn't the result of all these seconds of agony, of our need for love, of the agonizing pain for not being loved ?

Yes of course it is , but since it is all buried, covered, deeply entrenched in the past, let's leave it there and not go back to it. It is the PAST after all. Let's deal with the present...

Except for : Every pain has been buried, by and in our brain. our physiology : There is repression" in and with every part of our bodies ( and we aren't going to feel it ").

All this unconscious burying, rerouting, denying, which built us into who we are, the result of which is taken at face value and dealt with forever....If we lived two thousands years it still wouldn't be enough to dig out every strand of the rerouting of the pain in our system, -all the defenses being mostly unconscious- that we had to erect in order to protect ourselves from the abject pain of not being loved.

So why bother, why even try ?

To this day, I don't even understand why people don't see that and why they persist in wasting their time, their lives really, trying to figure out, talking ABOUT something they don't have access to . How can we understand something we really don't remember ? ""Intellectual understanding of buried feelings "! It would be funny, if it weren't not so tragic...

It is tragic, because we have only one life and we are going to spend it trying to figure out, trying to understand, trying to explain, trying to forgive...WHAT ? What we cannot figure out (it is all buried), understand ( the millions of rerouted neurons in our brain), forgive (our parents for not loving us) etc.....But what about the rage and despair that they didn't love us, what about the impossible task to understand that they destroyed our real chance at our lives, the one and only one we have, and forgive.

Yes, in most cases, it wasn't their fault : they weren't loved either. Yes we can still understand and forgive. But so what ? What about the imprinted misery/ neurosis : the rerouting of the Pain into all theses automatic defenses : mirrors inside mirrors, blocking our past, rerouting all our feelings and our thoughts, keeping us unaware of our original needs, our history, who we were, who we were supposed to become and who we became, : unconscious, neurotic, lost, hurting, looking for something, always.... But looking for what : ourselves ??

This sounds like a tragedy, doesn't it ?

But the real tragedy is all this group of very important people, all these scholars representing a whole profession, parading onstage and telling the people, : we are going to help you have a better life with MBCT : We have concocted a little cocktail of a bunch of theories, ideas of what ails you and we are going to fix you : a little bit of this and of that ( if you talk enough, and understand enough, never mind the part that is unconscious : your history). We promise you luminous days, full of words, understanding and forgiveness.

And the tragedy is that all these poor lost souls, will believe it, buy it, go for it and lose their only chance at life..

Yesterday I had a Primal : What is that ? Feeling the hurt, the helplessness , the hopelessness of not being loved, the anger, the despair, the need... to be THEM, as a child.

I was in pain yesterday, so if I wanted to feel better I knew all I had to do was : Go lie down and feel it it.

..and once again: the miracle happened : after 2 hours of crying, becoming that hurt little girl again, being with THEM, looking at THEM as if they are with me now, talking to THEM, begging THEM to love me. I understood new things, new strands of my life that have been pulling me forever in some unreal behavior"", I understood a new piece of "Why" "All my life".......

Why all my life, again, another huge piece. ...

Why ..I have been who I am, why I react in this way each time, why I get hurt so easily, why I could never do this, why I always did that, why I couldn't love, why I pushed love away, why I couldn't feel good, why I didn't sleep well, why life was miserable and so why I didn't care about it, why the sun on my skin left me indifferent, why beauty didn't touch me, why others misery didn't mobilize me , why, why, why my life could be so meaningless at times....,.,.

WHY : and it is so incredibly simple really : Today as I am writing this, I marvel at the miracle it is : I can go back there, not in thoughts, not by some exercise, not by talking a pill or chanting : but having "access" : whenever I want I can go back there, go back to the moments, the images, the sensations, the memories, the needs, the despair that little girl felt. It is all there, buried in me : all I have to do is let myself FEEL IT.

I still marvel at how my brain, my body have kept pristine, alive and real, all these instants where I felt I wasn't loved, how the memory of each second was buried but stayed in me.

How I had to NOT TO FEEL IT to be be able to go on, and so repress this unacceptable fact that the people who should have loved me most, nurture the best part of me, whose love should have made me grow, develop, allow me to feel joy and warmth, feel that all was well in this world, DIDN'T.

Who I was ? : Tragedy : my one life, : miserable, drugs, drinking, failed relationship, successful, so what ? .... a life that belonged to someone else ...literally..So why live : suicide attempt : five minutes later : over....

No, a reprieve, New York, a book :
"We are creatures of need"
I have needs ? I should have been loved ? It is not all my fault ? THEY just couldn't ? I am not bad, doomed, crazy forever. I can kiss my psychoanalyst good bye ? There are no reason for anything and certainly, no more reason to try to follow the myriad of ways I have been rerouting all this pain that made me a stranger to myself. ? You mean it is possible to undo all this misery, not to be stuck in my past forever ? You mean I can have a life, MY life ? it is all in a book.

........ I will know who I am, I will BE whom I really am, I will feel good, I will sleep well, I will be able to love really and may be to be loved. I will be able to feel my life in the present because the past will be gone, I will remember it but it won't pull the strings all the time..I will be free from it ...ENFIN, at last ?..

You mean, it is possible ? ... I left my job, my car in a street in Paris, left my key with a friend, flew to Los Angeles..

...and yes it is possible...It all happened and it is even better that I could have imagined : When I hurt, the past is always more powerful than the hurt in the present, so all I have to do is :


Each time, I go back there, that little piece of me, repressed, buried, comes alive, I feel what happened, I become that little girl hurt again, I understand one more piece of who I am. I come out of this incredible trip in the past, and then : I am completely in the present light, happy, alive, myself at last .

I still marvel at the fact that once I feel that old pain, my old needs, all the different ways I unconsciously denied them, avoided them, all this tortuous behavior to keep them away, all becomes clear : How my unconscious becomes conscious, and how I know now and forever : who I was, and who I had to become, and now finally : who I am.

...and I want to thank the man who figured it all and put it in a book . I thank him for my life.....forever.

So what I don't understand is why would anybody want to waste their life doing : What is it called : MBCT ?

France Daunic Janov


  1. Oh it is so nice to have an article from Mme Daunic Janov, to see how she thinks. (Bienvenue ici parmis nous. Je suis resident du Quebec et j'ecris le francais aussi.)

    She writes: "It is tragic, because we have only one life and we are going to spend it trying to figure out, trying to understand, trying to explain, trying to forgive...WHAT!?" Yes it is tragic. Most of us, especially intellectuals, have the reflex to try to figure out about ourselves what cannot be figured out. This seeking of explanations is OK for the external world, and those mechanical parts of our bodies. But our emotions seem to need the undiminished capacity to feel and to have insights, a different kind of mental process than figuring out. And most of us -well at least me - are unequipped for this feelingfullness. My first reflex when I have a psychological problem is to try to figure it out , to speculate, read psychology books, etc.. And now that I know that does not work, but yet no liberating insights and feelings are forthcoming, one is left in a sort of limbo.What to do?! The only here and now part solution seems to at least be able to share one's emotions, confusion, perplexity. The liberating answers might not come, but at least you can get some stifling day to day feelings off your chest. All this assuming you have someone who will REALLY listen to you. But personally I usually have no one to really listen to me. So I wander along alone and perplexed usually. And I don't think I am the only one.


  2. wow. keeping it real :D

    i like you France

  3. D'accord.

    The shear simplicity (my favorite word).


  4. Magnifique, France! Vraiment magnifique...
    Merci beaucoup.

  5. Very well written France ... more!

    Why not demonstrate for what you write about ... with placards tell about the quackery we are subjected to by the “caring” authorities... in text eloquently explain about causal... effect and consistency. A convincing representative presentation… no one can avoid?


  6. An email comment:
    "This is warm, this is so comforting, this is encouraging...this is beautiful.....

    How I wish I could meet you one day...Africa is so far away (sigh). You and Art have given me hope, however gruesome the reality of the process still is for me.

    Thank you France!!"

  7. Very touchy telling.


    So real to me.

    I hope I will meet you Drs Janov, one day.

  8. Well, Marco, its not so bad having no one listen to you. At least you know you are on the right track when that happens. Many a good philosopher, scientist, prophet, and others have been ignored, tormented, even executed. The orthodoxy does not appreciate truth and insight. Why, you might influence others with your pesky observations, heaven forbid.

    Rather than be sad about it, enjoy it. Your in an exclusive club now. Most people do not have the guts or courage to take the path you’re on. Your opinion of yourself is all that matters. If you can live with yourself, you are doing well. If I wanted to be accepted and liked, I’d go have a lobotomy and stick my head in the wet sand before the tide had washed in.

    Marco, does shalom777 mean anything to you? Just wondering.

  9. Well, Art, did I strike a nerve or something? Did we speak before giving good thought to something? I had a feeling that post might be ignored. It was a little hot to handle, I admit.

    But it did give me another insight. They happen quite, ya know. Its nice to have a fairly good gating system in place and a stem that is used to holding off feelings to let the intellect have a say in what the response should be, rather than letting the emotions and impulses have their immediate way before giving good thought to a matter.

    I think developing a good gating system makes it easier to admit pain and let the stem believe it can now send up pain, believing it can be now handled. But it must be hard to get pain to come up, as a therapist, when the whole world still continually touches off primal fears and sense of danger. No wonder you have so much trouble getting patients to feel. The world continues to set off all the alarms, making the stem believe it is not safe or OK to let pain come up yet.

    Defenses and protection are necessary in a world gone mad, are they not? Are we not still in danger after therapy? Well, I just think there are more things to be worked out in the Grand Unified theory of psychology and life. But have no fear. I am hard at work on it. You can count on that. Hey, we all need a little help once in a while. What are friends for, right? Just here to help. Honestly!

  10. Art. On the death and dying blog you said “If you want some advice from someone who had it (past terror), don’t think about death because it is inevitable and think about life if you can. If your history forces you to focus on the past terror then you have to get rid of it, reliving that past fully. It is the best I can offer.”

    When I read that I thought it was so beautiful, so simple and so human. Yes it made me feel a feeling of hope which perhaps was not your intention, for I want just to live, not in hope, for hoping is putting life a little on hold, no I just want to live and face the future, face forwards and leave the inevitable to its own devices and inevitability.

    And France it was so nice to read your blog. I hope you will write some more. There was so much in what you said but let me quote a couple of lines that filled me with a lovely feeling I find hard to put into words.

    “You mean it is possible? ... I left my job, my car in a street in Paris, left my key with a friend, flew to Los Angeles. . . . . and yes it is possible . . .It all happened and it is even better that I could have imagined . . . . and I want to thank the man who figured it all out and put it in a book . I thank him for my life.....forever.

    You made me feel good France and made me smile, for myself, for the world, for whatever, it does not matter really. It only matters you made me feel and smile.

    Regards to you both,
    Scotland, U.K.

  11. Thank you France.. yes, it is great to hear from you. Very raw, gave me goosebumps. Your description of the child (yourself) in the situation felt like being in an insane jail. And yes, I do not understand why people go on with talking therapies either, why they do not get it. First pages of The Primal Scream, I knew some brilliant, humanitarian had found the answer. Thank you Dr Janov..

  12. Hi Apollo,

    -"Its nice to have a fairly good gating system in place and a stem that is used to holding off feelings to let the intellect have a say in what the response should be, rather than letting the emotions and impulses have their immediate way before giving good thought to a matter-.

    There's two separate issues here, 1: The gating system & 2: the effect of that on our 3rd line reasoning.

    Apollo, you aught to define these as separate because you have breezed over the main psychoanalytic importance of PT. Which includes the scenario that if there is trauma (and the gating system works) we may 'appear' normal but still exhibit neurotic affect (including complex 'belief' defences). Secondly, if the gating system is leaky then that would be the only cause of distorted intellectual appraisal (which I posit is an incomplete view).

    I feel that your reasoning (in this case) is characteristic of the way the 3rd line can always make a case for redundancy of the 2nd & 1st line by assuming that there really is a way for intellectual reasoning to act separately from the 2nd & 1st line and that separate reasoning be superior.

    This is the seduction of intellectualism. that prior to feeling, thought will always be more reliable, more accurate and more important.

    In short, you still believe you can think your way out of an emotional or instinctual problem.

    You may never rid your self of this delusion.

    That's my personal experience of intellectuals and also 'intellectualised' personalities, like mine. I may never rid myself of the defence validating it's own self perpetuating and (true) self defeating posture.

    But I don't believe it any more. I don't believe my rational mind could ever be 'reasonable' without first having full access to my 2nd & 1st line trauma.

    As Art said: The horse pulls the cart and also the horse attends to you.

    Paul G.

  13. this looks like another job for captain cognitive-correction (going to retire soon)

    apollo, your right brain cannot get through to your wrong brain but some of your comments are half right. for example: "Hey, we all NEED a little help..." that one is pretty good.

    other comments are a bit dodgy: "Defenses and protection are necessary in a world gone mad, are they not? Are we not still in danger after therapy?"

    When you can feel, you will be better equipped to handle any real-world danger. You won't over-react or under-react.

    this comment is a shocker: "If I wanted to be accepted and liked, I’d go have a lobotomy" said the left brain.
    the U N C O N S C I O U S right brain says "I'M HURTING! I NEED LOVE!"

    read france's post again

  14. Hi Marco,

    -"So I wander along alone and perplexed usually. And I don't think I am the only one".

    No Marco you are not the only one. You don't have to be an intellectual either to feel like that.

    whether or not you're more or less inclined to live in your head all people do to a greater or lesser extent anyway. That's how fixations work, in the 3rd line. That's why people answer to the adverts and flock to shopping malls rather than live in small 'neighbourly'and therefore sustainable communities. . .

    Using your head to work it all out is ok; just don't come to premature conclusions, or, late ones!

    That's why our so called governments can manage so many of us like bytes of memory. . .

    Society needs to be de-fragmented like our hard drives.

    Paul G.

  15. Nenad: Thank you Nenad. May be one day, we will all meet. I hope so too.

  16. Hi Paul: Thanks for your message and understanding. Funny you mentionned shopping malls in your post. I just went to a shopping mall for the first time in years because I absolutely had to buy some winter boots. Usually I do not frequent such palaces of superficial image and consumption. I tell you , without exageration , that I have rarely felt so alienated from mainstream society, as I did walking through that mall.The stores (mainly upper class oriented), people, and workers there are in a parallel universe. It utterly depressed and saddenned me.There are no small neighborly communities in my city, that is for sure (except for my city's bohemian district, which is getting yuppified anyway). All this does not help my feeling of loneliness.Amazing...everything in our society has to be utterly transformed, from our cities and their scale (see the works of Paul Goodman), to our psychotherapy (see Janov).The image I have of what could be and should be, is so different from what is...


  17. Shitburgers! What hope is there if the only cure for what ails us is to go to CA and have enough money, time, and commitment to spend 2 years learning to be locomotive-breathing salamanders?

    There are 7 billion humans now. Most (all?) are neurotic. So LA is the only place in the universe to get "cured"?


    When people "do" Primal Therapy, are they also employed? If not, how do they survive per food, shelter, transportation, etc.?

    It's like we have to become nuns and monks, renouncing the world. Only we must also pay our way instead of getting Church stipends. Do we ignore Lutherans who also promise "redemption"?

    I"m not saying feeling feelings is bad. On the contrary. But I question there being one and only one Way. It's like Hawthorne's short story, "The Birthmark." The protagonist got so obsessed with "perfecting" his love that he killed her with cosmetic surgeries. Similarly, I get heebee-jeebees when I hear Primal is the one-and-only Way. And like talking cures, there will be endless "sessions" to reach endless "depths."

    Now maybe that's just my neuroses talking. But isn't that what ALL questioners of One True Ways get told? "Your questions about the Church are just more proof that the Devil possesses you!"

    I agree that crying beats simply talking ABOUT sadness. But sometimes just watching The Three Stooges helps, no? Plus we ARE capable of making mountains out of molehills.

    If you tell people there is only one cure, the rest being bandaids, they will probably think they have ever-more levels to reach before living "fully.". Yet we have bandaids for a reason: They work! They act like scabs, allowing healing to occur. Not every illness requires amputation.

    So...will someone one day say, a la Freud, "Sure, the Janovs added to our collected knowledge, BUT..."?

    What is "good enough" living? When does Primaling become obsessive? How is Primal different from religions that urge us to "come to Jesus" lest we remain damned forever?

    Do Primal folks laugh? Does Art ever ask neurotics to pull his finger?

    Agreed: expressing feelings eases tension. What seems iffy is saying our minds are so constructed/damaged that there is just one place in all the world to be cured. That's like a mechanic saying that only he, in all the world, can fix our car. Then adding that it will cost a lot and take a lot of time.

    Maybe I'm just in a feisty mood today....

  18. Trevor: The difference is that we have spent over 40 years using science and perfecting what we do, revising and changing. And we do it to make the therapy better and more efficient. A cult does none of that; they have a catechism which they repeat ad nauseum. I wish it were not so that we are the only place to have correct therapy but it seems to be so. art janov

  19. Hi Trevor,

    I just want to add some precisions to Dr Janov's answer to you. And that is to clarify what Primal Therapy does and how it works. It might answer some of your concern and misrepresentation .

    Primal Therapy is a process. Once our access to old painful - repressed feelings is restored, the beauty of it is that you no longer need a therapist. It is neurosis in reverse, as a natural process. We need a therapist at first to gain access, for him or her to block the defenses in place since the onset of the pain. Then knowing how our defenses work , we learn how to deal with them and how to get to our feelings, on our own. It is a natural process just as it was for our system to defend us in the first place against destructive pain as children, dying from lack of love.

    So, once we have "access", things that happen to us in the present, "trigger" the old feeling, we "lie down and feel it". It is that simple. As time goes by and we keep on doing it, we get better, and as more pain has been felt, we have to do it less and less.. Not to say that it is not very hard and painful at times. But it is the price to pay to get well and go back to the origin of who we were. And there is no way around it. It is that simple.

    France Janov

  20. Dr. France Janov,

    Your writing struck “C” core (first line feeling) and it took a few days to find words for it.

    It felt like being hungry and getting fed.
    You used the word I couldn’t find.
    Thank you, Sieglinde

  21. Ah, Trevor

    It is nice to hear from you. Haven't seen you in a while. I have been dubbed Capt. Cognitive now, for daring to find some fault with the holy religion of PT. And now joined by another apostate, no less. I appreciate that I am not the only one who has escaped mindless obedience and repetition. Why some here are experts, even though they are half crazy and have never had PT.

    As you might appreciate, one must have PT and be all primaled out and then they are infallible and reasoning can not fail them. No, its true, Trevor. They wouldn't say it if it wasn't.

    But to be fair (someone has to be), I would agree with Art in that legitimate and effective PT is only available through him. Good evidence that the establishment fears what PT can do for people. It is the best way, but not the only way and it seriously ignores developing a strong power of reasoning, which can hold our lives in the balance. I call it priority 1. PT is Priority 2 if you can make room for it.

    To ignore the intellect and powers of reason, and dismiss the world rather than question it, is a slight to anyone who would listen to such a message. To work on feelings without attention to reason, why that is like washing and ironing our clothes (and body armor?) and then walking out into the street naked without them. The results are not that good, unless you like brush in's with the law, that is. I prefer to avoid it, myself.

  22. Hi Apollo,

    I say old chap, nobody is saying the intellect is bad and reasoning rationally is bad.

    What I am saying is that reasoning without connection to feelings is faulty. . . . distorted.

    I know my reasoning is changing the more I feel.

    Y'know some kids (and I was one of them) were told not to feel but just "get on with it" we were told to "shut up & stop asking why"? and for some 'types' that's ok (because for them it lets them off the hook), they don't have to reason or think. . .

    But for those of us who as children could think and reason (and still do) then of course being able to reason and think things through is good. . . It's just that reason is influenced by feeling, not the other way around.

    The horse pulls the cart and attends to us.

    Paul G.

  23. France your comment to Trevor was very well put. it goes nicely with Art's explanation "On Reliving" in the left menu. i will add your comment to my arsenal of short, brilliant explanations (including my own) and post it to many people

  24. Greetings Paul!

    Paul: “I say old chap, nobody is saying the intellect is bad and reasoning rationally is bad.”

    I disagree. 1st, the intellect is said to subvert and derail PT. so therefore, avoid the intellect. 2nd you bring up next.

    Paul: “What I am saying is that reasoning without connection to feelings is faulty. . . . distorted.”

    Ah, there is the canker that gnaws! Restated: people unconnected to feelings can not think or reason properly. They are intellectually dead in the water. This I hotly dispute.

    Consider that certain drugs only work in a percentage of certain types of cancer patients. In other words, they work for some and not others cause other factors affect the effectiveness of the drug. The drug is not a failure, but does not help all.

    It is the same with powers of reason. There are many, most especially those substantially disturbed by rumblings from the 1st level, who can not reason well at all. Too much disturbance from below. For these, PT is the only option. But for others not so damaged by pain, reasoning is well within their grasp.

    Who can or who can not? There are ways to determine that. Objective standards can be applied, just as we do in science, law, etc. Art strongly seems to assert, to me, that no one can think well without PT. I say BS! So if you need PT, get PT. But I say that learning about the world we live in is not light matter.

    Our world is saturated with danger and troubles, many of which can kill you or get in you in serious trouble if you are not aware of them. We trust mechanics to fix our cars and charge us fairly. They often do not. We depend on doctors to know their stuff and genuinely treat us effectively. But they often do not. We trust scientists to teach us correctly but they often do not. We trust politicians and bankers to make decision in our best interests but they clearly do not. We got to stop trusting and start demanding explanation for all things, in great detail. We trust too much and think too little.

    We are heading for very serious trouble and PT patients have not a clue, it would seem to me. Based on that, I would say PT does not help theta thinking and analytical process and seems to discourage it and make it worse, causing them to run from it, retreat, and hide. Most unbecoming of cowards. I offer one more part for consideration next.

  25. Our world persecutes those who think and reason. Our world seeks to suppress and hold back knowledge and thinking. They fear people knowing and being educated. They like to control and manipulate and having us being dim witted and thinking poorly makes it much easier for them. So when you say or Art says we can not think; ah, the elite jump for joy. My prediction is that Janov is on the verge of becoming a much bigger phenomenon since his anti-intellectual stance aids their cause tremendously. He is, perhaps unwittingly, their best ally. Because Art says it is useless to think if you have not had PT. I can see the confetti raining down on NYC streets for him!

    Art blames the intellect/cortex for PT going awry. This is why I hotly dispute that assertion. It has nothing to do with PT failing. But I’ll leave that for my own published work on my own website. But thinking is a matter of live and death. If you do not learn the “skills,” and most prefer not to, then they doom themselves to self mass annihilation. Just watch and see. No more than 10 years ought to answer this one. What a shame if I should prove right! And I will!

    Thinking skills do not come natural or easy. And they need passed on to each new generation and that, too, fails more often than not. So rather the our species growing and accumulating knowledge collectively and growing with time, it seems, instead, to be shrinking to where we are near retarded idiots enslaved to TV, cell phones, iPads, and other distracting idiot devices.

    The call needs to go out urgently to arm our intellects with critical thinking skills that will help us solve and find the real sources of all our problems, which are those in rule who dominate over us and keep us blind and ignorant. Wake up or soon it will be too late to wake up, if it is not, already.

  26. Thanks for sharing it dear, like it.. and i want to tell you that i am study about Psychology, and finding some relevant answers.



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.