Sunday, October 2, 2011

On Hijacking Sex - Part 2

I have written about hijacking before. When there is sexual excitement the lower brain levels are activated along with whatever strong imprints live there. The strong stimulation resonates with the early imprint and reactivates it. It now joins the sex act and forces the run-off of sex via the imprint. It merges seamlessly with the sex act, the build-up and final release so that the person can no longer tell which is which. In the same way that some emotional stimulus in the present activates deep brain structures, and again there is the run-off of sex through the imprint.

Example: a man had a depressed mother who never smiled nor showed any joy. He needed some show of recognition, some bit of joy to see him, some piece of emotion that meant he was important to her. What stimulated him in sex was staring at pictures of nude women showing joy at the sight of their nude man. Here was the merger of primal need and sex. The only way he could discharge the tension was through the ritual that fulfilled his need symbolically. Sexual discharge relieved the tension of his need. Otherwise how could he get relief? The only way was to feel the need exactly for what it was, relive the pain and discharge the feeling in a real way…. A primal.

Another man, and I should say, men, because it is so frequent, had to dress up in women’s clothes and masturbate; or have his girlfriend dress up in a bra and panties and masturbate him. Why? His mother was left by his father when he was five years old. She left for work every day, but left her clothes on the chair in the bedroom. He started out rubbing her clothes all over his body; a way to feel close to her. Later, as he became sexual he would either dress up in women’s clothes, or use them to masturbate with and find relief through sexual discharge. Again the merger of need and sex. Relief through a symbolic channel. Sex looks real but for the neurotic it becomes symbolic channel for relief. As excitement in sex builds so does the need for symbolic channels. And the very early imprint is so strong that it drives the obsession. It becomes compulsive; he can’t stop, not because he is so sexual but because he is so needy and needs to relieve himself through sex.

So when a therapist tries to treat sexual compulsion as a sex problem she may be way off; treating the wrong thing; treating the symbolic outlet instead of the need.

When a young girl is shushed a lot and quelled from showing great enthusiasm it affects sex because her sexual expression is also suppressed. As her enthusiasm in sex builds so does the repression; the result is abortive sex, lack of climax, and frustration. In short, sex is an expression of all of ourselves, not just the sex organ. It is at the core of our being. And altering sex life and sexual neurosis means that a lot of later pain has to be relived before we can significantly affect sex. Check out your own fantasies and rituals and see how it tells you what needs were fulfilled early in your life.


  1. Hi,

    -"When a young girl is shushed a lot and quelled from showing great enthusiasm it affects sex because her sexual expression is also suppressed. As her enthusiasm in sex builds so does the repression; the result is abortive sex, lack of climax, and frustration"-.

    Is not this condition likely driven by terror in the 1st line imprint? Perhaps the fear of being consumed, of suffocation and perhaps invasion? All pre-verbal.

    In earlier posts Art discussed different states of consciousness and love is surely one of them.

    From having been passionately in love (with another) and given and received love and care in the past I feel that neurosis in myself and in the other was temporarily removed. I say temporarily because from what I have learned from Arts' science is that there is no 'loving' way around the imprints we receive. No amount of love and attention will normalise early trauma and/or neglect. Specialist therapy will.

    Though temporarily ones' condition may seem to evaporate through being in love. This sadly means that intimate relationships for us neurotics are so often only a temporary act out. The love will not last without access to the imprint, without re-living the terror.

    This is a bitter pill to swallow when the love disappears to be replaced by antipathy and separation.

    Of even greater concern is the tragedy of the one party (who initiates the split) who may never discover that what was wrong was not the relationship but the individuals' own neurosis, both of them.

    From what I am learning I feel broken marriages are often as much to do with ignorance about the imprints and the true source of neurosis as they are about actual incompatibility. More-over there are personality attractions and repulsions, it is possible to find some-one more suitable, some-one whos' personality is more compatible to your own but what depth of love is possible when personal inclinations are the compass for finding a good relationship?

    I don't completely trust the idea of compatibility because in the end it is the two individuals who find out the 1st and 2nd line facts and not by the divinations of a 3rd line ideal (such as a dating agency).

    On that note, how about a Primal Dating Agency!

    Paul G.

  2. in the western world it is culturally acceptable for a man to hug and kiss a well-acquainted woman on the cheek during a greeting, but usually it would be considered too sexual for two men to greet each other that way. what started this bias? is it the result of a mutual agreement between the sexes, to promiscuously fornicate under the veil of acceptable tradition? or is it the woman's insistence on hugging and kissing which forces men to be less possessive? or maybe this cultural phenomenon came from the neurotic male's desire to parade his trophy; "sure, you can squeeze her, feel her face against your lips....but don't go any further than that.....she's mine."
    in facebook you can see many girls rubbing their bodies together in a joking manner - laughing for the camera. do they feel the softness of each other's legs and breasts? it seems like they don't. young guys and girls press their faces together when they take a photo. it wasn't like that in the eighties. is the world improving? are we becoming more physically intimate? more loving?
    if you look at porn from the seventies and eighties, you will notice that they included affectionate scenes, whereas today's porn is focused primarily on 'the animal'.
    i don't know where the world is going. maybe nothing is changing. girls are growing bigger breasts (fact). i thought this might be a sign of improvement; more love means better hormonal development....but now scientists are saying the increase in breast growth is caused by steroids in meat.
    hey art, i dare you to give your opinion:
    is the world getting better?

  3. Paul: Not a bad Idea. I can't tell you how many people have met, fell in love and married, in our center. Feeling people usually want to be with other feeling people. However, we are not a dating agency. art

  4. Richard: BETTER AND WORSE, but that is a long story. Science and medicine have leap ahead in the most spectacular way and that is wonderful. But half the population is on some kind of tranquilizer or pain killer. It depends on how you slice society. art

  5. Hi Art & All,

    I'm really glad you said that because I was (yet again) beginning to feel guilty for having feelings! Your words have brought me to mine. Thanks.

    Actually I contest your statement that the Clinic is not a dating agency. . .

    Are we not making an appointment with ourselves? A Date to be with who we really are.

    That's why I'm coming anyway.

    Paul G.

  6. Paul G:The most interesting date you will ever have is with yourself, you new self, the one you discover who is the best conversationalist ever. art


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.