Thursday, November 24, 2011

On Being Crazy and Creative at the Same Time. How Come?

There is an article in the May/June 2011 Scientifc American Mind on creativity. Here is what they propose: Creativity flows best when barriers are down. (Good). Creative people do not fit in very well socially. Both creativity and eccentricity are the result of genetic variations. (Not Good). That unfiltered information reaches conscious awareness in the brains of people who are highly intelligent and can process this information without being overwhelmed, leading to creativity and exceptional insights. Creative individuals are more likely to believe in past lives and other mystical and mysterious unsubstantiated notions. That they all have what is known as cognitive disinhibition. That their mental filters do not work properly. They may suffer delusions and hallucinations, which I think is another form of creativity where we create scenarios that come out of our deep-seated feelings.

If we can indeed create a mysterious scenario we may avoid cancer, in my opinion, because it means that there are leaky gates which allow feelings to push upward forcing new ideas. We need to study to see if creative people die of cancer versus the more likely possibility of strokes and heart attacks, because lack of creativity in my opinion often indicates massive repression and therefore great pressure on the cells.

And of course when you have leaky gates it means massive first line trauma and damage that can lead to strange and mystical ideas….unidentified flying objects, for example. The more unidentified the better. Vagueness allows all kinds of kooky interpretations. Leaky gates, you may remember from my writing means broken defenses and unfiltered input. What we have in the author’s schema is a group of correlations; they then try to put them together to draw scientific conclusions. But correlations do not delve deep down where generating sources live; and that is what we need in order to understand the phenomenon of creativity.

I use myself as an example. I always was interested in music but I was never really good. When I play in a mental hospital band and played alongside a great but crazy trumpeter I realized that I was never going to be as good as him. I was too anxious to learn properly. My gates were more than leaky; they were flooded. I was totally right brain where the origins of creativity and nutty ideas and beliefs reside. Later on, much later on, as I developed an intellect I could see and feel feelings and how they drove behavior. I had creative insights mostly because my gates were still leaky. And I also needed and finally had a working intellect. I could think and feel, and think what I felt. And that is one reason it led to primal. I had basically illiterate parents so I never had to be smart for them. And I wasn’t. They lived in their own world so there was no way I could be to get love from them. The good part is there was no neurosis I could adopt that would work. I was an anxiety case completely.

Creative people focus on their inner life. Non-creatives focus on the externals. They effectively lack an inner life, an internal access to their feelings. They are blocked off from their feelings and from creativity.


  1. Quote: "lack of creativity in my opinion often indicates massive repression".

    I agree. From my outlook totally creative people give off an aura like they're just waiting to die.

  2. Seal-crazy

    Yes Sir, that is why I survived. I was crazy and creative enough to dare to go to Primal Tharapy and Rolfing when my colleges and friends in the carrier sealed (sic) their gates and went on climbing the career ladder, making fortunes to bolster their egos. Most management tests categorized me as an overly creative person, which I could not understand then. Now looking back it is obvious that these tests were right on.

    The more I understand of your background, from where you are coming, where you got your psychologic experience and with all these years developing, giving and writing about Primal Therapy, the more I understand why I did not meet people with my own background who still were active in business and industry. You never developed an appeal or alternative entrance into Primal Therapy for these people, which I think could have been done. It could be done, for example, through the teambuilding activities so many companies are putting fortunes into. I can imagine negative objections from both, you and the businessenvironment.
    However, I know of excellent tools to work on the different values you, as well as many companies will put up why this would fail. Values are among those areas that have been subjected to extensive and in-depth research and that can be ranked from both internal personal views and external objective views, which with a positive ambition can be used to take us into new fields of human development, make people feeling better and adding new values to organizational functionality. By creating an entrance to the business world, with a great need to dissolve neurotic blockages, resources will be created to take PT to a new level. Suddenly, resources for all kinds of growth could be available including research and development.

    Part of creativity is to be able to put your mind in a new environment and the mind, by its innate evolutionary capacity, will take you to new levels. These new levels certainly don’t have to be money or power, but can as well, or better, be about quality of life and a healthy way out of the many crisis we are living with. The astonishing results of finding understanding and compromises between different values are that they create additional values.

    “In a sky full of people just some want to fly, isn’t that crazy”

    Jan Johnsson

  3. art, i think you are saying this:

    in the beginning you were overwhelmed and that's why you were unfeeling and intellectually undeveloped, but when you started to develop a non-neurotic intellect, you woke up and started to feel the present, and eventually your newfound awakeness enabled you to feel your anxiety in the past. yes?

    one can fully experience the present (feel) before and in between primals?
    that prospect is very appealing to me (even if it means feeling like shit...that's better than feeling nothing)

  4. Art

    That means… schizophrenia takes the whole thinking brain to relieve suffering ... because of the amount of pain that is leaking ... which “allows” us to be schizophrenic ... with the consequence that we may hear voices rather than overwhelming pain to be connected. A form of introspective "creativity" ... creativity for life-saving effects ... creativity of pain we cannot possibly be able to endure.

    To turn off the flow of pain in schizophrenia ... is thus a prerequisite for a primal therapeutic process to be possible. This is perhaps where we all are... depending on the amount of pain…"leaky gates" that creates creativity ... creativity to ease pain to save life... creativity of good and bad.


  5. Ohhhh!
    Got it I reckon and believe.
    Yes, now that really makes sense to me and thank you Art.

  6. Art, you've written before about creativity and neurosis/pain/faulty gates not necessarily being correlated?
    I'm a creative, I find it hard NOT to focus on my inner life.
    Something interesting to share, when I worked at a schizophrenic outpatient/drop in centre, I noticed all the art work by the patients markedly lacked perspective (visually). Their work was flat, uni at best two-dimensional. I found this fascinating.

  7. Art: In the sense that you are talking about creativity, I feel your are really talking about 'artistic creativity'. In my first book I defined "art" as 'the artificial stimulation of feelings' If I am correct (and to the best of my knowledge, no-one else has defined art), then by definition being artistically creative IS crazy (neurotic). No other none neurotic creature creates art ... they don't need to ... cos they feel. Only humans disconnected from their feelings need to 'stimulate feeling artificially'. I hate to say this for fear of upsetting you, but all the other 'mumbo jumbo' really explains nothing. Using neurosis to get through to neurotics doesn't work, as I feel you already know, yet you persist. Say it simply Art. That tactic just might get through. Appalling to neurotic scientists, thinkers et al has failed ... and by my reckoning will continue to fail. Only those with some element of feelings (those with leaky gates) are likely to get anything.


  8. I am completely iliiterate when it comes to what you are discussing but if you have ideas go for it. It is all I can do to write. art

  9. Whoops! I meant un-creative, in my original post. Sorry.

  10. jack, art is beauty (i don't mean art janov...but he looks good for an old man). every time you step outside and look at the sun setting over the ocean, and it makes you feel good, you are feeling beauty. if you wanted to analyse it, you would discover that beauty has a connection with many fundamental human needs...but like all feelings, there is no need to analyse; you simply feel the beauty and experience it's connection to your needs. people who can create beauty have a valuable ability to change their environment or identify a better one - one that is more suited to their needs. humans need to be creative to survive. without creativity we are at the mercy of an ever-changing environment. humans ARE beautiful (especially female ones)

  11. Oooops!!! was that directed at my comment Art: Seems I might have have upset you. I did make one spelling mistake that might have contributed to it. I wrote "appalling" when I meant "appealing"

    Of course, you are a prolific writer, but it is also my sense of you that your are a prolific thinker as well (I could be wrong), Being prolific in writing isn't to say that you are getting through, to the intellectual, scientific and health care professionals in the world at large, and to me that is a pity. However, maybe slowly you are getting through. I hope so, but see little evidence from what I see and read in the media.

    Your use of "illiterate", to me, had a Primal connotation. 'Not knowing what I was trying to get at' would have made better sense to me.

    I don't have the credentials to even get read


  12. Creativity

    Mr. Waddington is indeed presenting very private and limited values about what creativity is, who is creative and why someone may be creative. With a body gaard to the primal heaven like that no wonder that there is zero value added to PT through his navel-gazing.

    Art Janov had the genious to invent PT. He has not been equally creatively ingenious when it comes to developing an accessible therapy. A visionary inventor often needs creative people (see Steve Jobs and Apple) to grow and develop his invention. No doubt that Art’s own values and values from rejected, potential creative cheaters have put a lid on a Primal Treatment full of inventive skill and imagination.

    And critics from “Jacks and Jans” seem meaningless until a vision of how agreed-on-values is being worked out. It becomes a public fight with empty words, that can do damage as they come in print...

    Jan Johnsson

  13. Dr. Janov,

    You said what I coudn’t say...

    Creativity was and still is my primal survival instinct. I also was never good at something if I could not feel it. At the same time I felt how something should work but could not explain how (left hem. disconnect). One other most important disconnect was (no longer), I could read Music (notes) but not play them, however I played very well without sheet music.

    The same with fabric, wool, wood and metal. As an example: I see some cashmere yarn and see instantly the finished product.
    All this comes easy and from a feeling and most of the time I cannot explain it, only do it.

    Would this also mean that a “non-creative” cannot primal? If the answer is yes, how they get rid of their pain...

  14. Andrew Atkin: well said, I agree w/you..
    "From my outlook totally creative people give off an aura like they're just waiting to die."
    I see this too

    Art: could it be they're so in their (birth) imprint?

  15. You can also be jealous about what creative people can do and then turn it down by saying it is some kind of illness.
    A director of the free Academy once talked about the fear for the creative moment,that is that you always seem to postpone doing it.
    I experience it how difficult it is to get started,making drawings.

  16. Jack that was an answer to Jan, not to y ou. So drop all the paranoia. OK? your comments never upset me and always provide food for thought art

  17. Hi,
    There are so many really good ideas and insights arising out of this blog, I am finding it hard to digest the last lot before a new thread appears!
    Then, when I have insights (usually after a good cry) and something to say, it seems to be a mixture of threads layered from posts stretching back two or three weeks. . . Often I don't say what I'd like to because I've tried to respond too soon (so as to keep up the pace) before the insight has properly crystallised.

    To put things in context, over a long time I am training to be a facilitator. Inquiring into us Humans' strange behaviour and looking for the causes has been a central driving force for me. In this pursuit I have come under the influence of several ‘strong & influential commentators’; Art Janov was one of the first (through his first famous book) and possibly will be the last (through this exceptional blog and hopefully therapy at the clinic next year) a span of 30yrs, a real parabolic journey.

    Andrew, some of the things you have said have really helped me. For example, some types not having really 'solid belief systems but becoming influenced or controlled by other more dominant personalities'. I think you implied they can keep on moving on to new belief systems and new ‘dominating’ personalities. I was a bit like this and then I tried to become a leader!

    Andrew, what your comment has reminded me of is the way authoritarianism doesn’t work for us, it’s unsustainable. The hazard of becoming a ‘leader’ (for the leader) is in attracting those who can only react to commands, those who sub-consciously act out a dependency on a surrogate parent.
    No matter how hard I tried to apply everything “Non Authoritarian” about being a company director of a small ‘not for profit’ carpentry company, the teams I facilitated were often ‘dominated’ by a few dependent types because I could never illicit a clear response from them.

    At least the argumentative ones had opinions I could grapple with!

    I suffered under the delusion that I could lead these teams to a successful outcome. When the teams had a majority of initiative types, projects worked out very successfully but as soon as the dependent ones gained ‘influence’ things went terribly wrong.
    My presumption (that I could train & lead a ‘group of all leaders’) was totally thwarted by these dependent types because they could not / would not initiate their own insight into what to learn or why. Furthermore these ‘types’ are glad to see the eventual downfall of their leader / ‘authoritarian’ figure. Why? Because this reinforces their dimly lit belief that they can only become a real authority in their own lives ‘through the diminished influence or downfall of the ‘leader’ they were once dependent on before. Then as you say Andrew, they move on to another leader with a better belief system. . . and the whole charade repeats itself again.

    It’s toddlers trying to find real parents, acted out in adult bodies, long after the imprint has been laid down. The whole class/political/economic system is based on this ‘False Jacobs’ Ladder’. Climbing the Greasy Pole of Success.
    I think you’re right Andrew, these types could well be in massive denied pain. To an extent I am one of them but I know I’m in pain and I can do something about it.

    Paul G.

  18. Art,

    I understood pretty well that you have a blind spot in your literacy, when you commented on my “Seal-Crazy”. However, it did make me remember a Danish song: “See me father, se me father! - Your father does not bother, so please try with your mother!”

    So yes, of course, I had been glad for a more participative reaction, but honestIy, you did not disappoint me. How could you ever disappoint me after what you have done for me?

    I have more than 40 years of experience in the following fields: as manager and consultant in business and industry, as a patient in Primal Therapy, in Physiotherapy, in team building activities using ability and value testing and as an amateur health-food specialist. I have a wealth of ideas cooking how to develop a selected package of tools to be used to solve management and organizational problems.

    The sad thing is that when I now feel ready for this, I’m old and have a long while ago left my carrier. The ideas are brilliant and will work, but they need qualified participants and for that I need help. I’m thinking all the time about it and these things take time and my time, like yours is running out.

    Your comments: “If you have ideas go for it”, are certainly appreciated. Writing is what makes you a Literate Champion!

    Love Jan

  19. sieglinde the therapy is very advanced now. it works for almost everyone except psychopaths. art's dog goes to the primal center.

  20. Richard: You seem to have a very convoluted idea about art and beauty. To me, it's all very simple ... you either feel (for the most part) or you describe it and critique other people notion of it. There is sadness, then there is anger and then there is fear. There are other states of being that I call pseudo feelings like sunset gazing and boredom. Meantime I am quite 'content' (whatever contentment means) with my feelings.


  21. This seems to ring true for me. I am a designer. When I was at college I was creative but at the same time rather deluded I think because I told myself a story of my childhood which I now know to be a false one created to protect myself from the truth. I was creative but in an unconcious manner. I am now 51 and a few years ago suffered a breakdown (not my first and what I call a breakthrough). I have discovered that I was sexually abused by both my parents as well as beaten to within an inch of my life by a great uncle when I was 3 (Recent X-Rays of my spine confirm great trauma). Many of my early college projects were, I now realise, my subconcious throwing clues about my early life into my concious mind. After all I had left home and so was no longer so controlled by my Parents so started to grow and become concious (the barriers dropping). I built a number of sculptures of falling railway sleepers tipping over and repeated like in a cartoon. What would a cut off broom handle used to distort my spine have felt and looked like to a small child. Huge and frightening. A railway sleeper used by a giant to do the same thing to an adult (What are Giants in mythology other than terrifying Parents to a small child). If you look at Anish Kapoors work I contend that much of his work seems to be an unconcious dealing with birth trauma and control as a child. I understand he spent years and years in therapy. There was a recent exhibition at the Royal Academy in London where a number of large works were on display. One used a compressed air cannon to fire a large red plug of wax at a wall. Another pushed a huge slab of wax through a number of doorways. Both these seem to suggest being pushed violently out into the world. Other works are huge polished amorphous silver forms etc which suggest a child having to reflect his world rather than be himself. A recent instalation in Paris was a gigantic series of red vagina like tubes. Perhaps he was building something bigger enough to feel in control of. As I have been dealing with the dreadful aspects of my childhood I wonder how creative I am now? Many talk about the melancholy of the Artist. I know my family was and is very violent when it comes to dealing with it's children and I am sure that would create melancholy. I would have thought that true conciousness is being aware of one's feelings and understanding them and working with them. Perhaps creative people are struggling to deal with feelings they don't have the skills or the neurological links they need to understand. I feel like that sometimes. I know all this stuff happened to me but I can't remember it happening. There are many clues that say it happened. The small terrified little Boy that I was and who is trapped in a forming Brain still throws out other clues and I seem to be relaxing the more I understand and feel. Is'nt that the basis of all this. To feel without understanding is to be as cut off from ourselves as it is to understand and not feel? Right vs left Brain. The painters, sculptors and jewellers in my family think they are in touch with themselves and yet are most definately not. Faux feelings abound. Sentimentality abounds, alcohol abuse abounds and so to too does so called manic depression, depression, ocd and schizphrenia. Damaged hurt children all.

  22. Paul: Thanks - it's nice to be appreciated.

    Those dependent types you talk about are curious. I think they're the opposite in type to, say, Art (I've met the dependent types that you speak of...I think). They're the ones who secretly don't care if the project fails because they're playing another game (act-out). So yep - be careful with them. Maybe give them direct orders (like a robot) and if they continue to piss around in their dissociated narcissism then it might be best to just let them go (away).

    ...but then I'm thinking of a particular type of person which might not be the same as what you're talking about, and it's a type that someone like me could never tolerate working with for if they were a subordinate - which may be part of my own neurosis, no doubt. I'm a moderate sympath (I believe) and I want it done NOW!

  23. Richard: Believe it or not I always took my dog to the clinic and she licked the faces of those who were crying which actually made the feeling deeper. She just died after 14 years, my pal Mimi. art

  24. Sieglinde: I have just finished a long chapter on right and left brain. I hope to put it on the blog one day. I think it will help clarify things for you. art

  25. Creativity has only one value for its meaning ... creativity... to hold senses for the meaning to relieve pain.
    We're talking about lust for life as sense of creativity… creativity without understanding of the origin of the word.
    When the lust for life disappeared… creativity become the meaning of lust… not the lust ... in both sense and act.
    Lust for life is not something an opinion can tell about… perception do not explain lust. If creativity fills the meaning of lust... so will also creativity "explain" lust out of the "sense" of what creativity explains?
    Creativity becomes a word to “explain” lust… in a perception of degree for its sense. I mean no one can explanation what another human’s beings sense is at. If it is of lust for life… then can no sense of creativity fill its meaning to explain lust.

    Love is obviously a suspect word when it is confirmed by the perverted for the meaning of their being ... but if we turn to the child's needs ... vital closeness for survival ... then the word love is stained on a different nuance for its meaning ... a physiological balanced picture of what the word love includes.
    Creativity means nothing more than to be a sense of driving power ... an effect that something must be done to be good enough.


  26. Richard,

    You are so right when you say: “sunsets and humans ARE beautiful (especially female ones)”
    I think the most beautiful view is a pregnant woman.

  27. Anonymous: I simply cannot imagine your life. My God!! art

  28. Sieglinde: I have to decide whether it should go in a book first. I am thinking. art

  29. Dr. Janov,

    May I suggest publishing an excerpt from the chapter on the blog?
    Thank you,

  30. Andrew: that makes sense too (your misspell), in that they lack vitality however as I said, I think creatives can also seem they're just waiting to die- in a totally different way.

    I was going thru my art stuff the other night, and just looking at it brought an entire, completed series to mind. I can hardly keep up w/my ideas.

    Art: so lovely to hear about Mimi. She was lucky to have a life w/you

  31. Sieglinde: OK let me think cause it is 80 pages right now and I have to decide how to do it. art

  32. This below … what you writes about… how the mind works "creates" words such as creativity ... word of cognitive effect to relieve suffering. What's there instead? Nothing but pain to relate to what the cognitive effects causes... pain makes it impossible to be aware about the consequences… so I am giving it a name lust… lust to what possible can explain why creativity is a chosen word because of pain … we are not creative… we have lust… lust in life… lust to live. The “meaning” of creativity is to keep painful memories of lust at a distance from conscious awareness.
    For what reason would we be creative... for whom or for what purpose? The word creative is a consequence of pain… how we in pain look at what is done... done in relation to what could be done... I mean my not as effektiv as "we" expekt

    Lust is hard to explain when creativity is needed to not experience what the painful lusts tell us about.
    Lust in life… if that is what we by our self’s experience… is hard to accept for suffering so they will like to have us under control… the word creativity will be used as a moral tool… make you to “understand” that pain is what life is about… it is of a “moral" value function for the task ... he is doing so good ... he is creative ... and we fall prey long before our brain has perceived what impact this may have. We will grow up in pain and can’t do nothing about it… more then be creative to get a symptomatic satisfaction for need for love.

    "So the mind works but the body is a wreck. The engineer functions very well at work while his body is preparing itself for cancer. Or the mind does not work, as in attention deficit disorder, but the body still gets migraine; or the get the idea. Part of us can be more damaged then the rest of us. But all three parts need to work well and in harmony for us not to get seriously ill."


  33. An email comment: "Janov, your last paragraph "Non-creatives focus on the externals. They effectively lack an inner life, an internal access to their feelings. They are blocked off from their feelings and from creativity. " makes me think that that's the root of fascism and in a milder form consumerism? Do people with this lack of an inner life have to attack others who do have one in order to self-preserve?
    Thanks for this article today!"

  34. There is also a kind of looking down on what we did as a playing child.
    An artists just plays as a child and it is totally unimportant if he had bad childhood or not for the appreciation of the result.
    (I was looking for the right word and I found it,´pathologize´.)

  35. Art, have you read THE ARTIST'S WAY by Julia Cameron? Like the late Alice Miller, I love her stuff. Maybe you should contact her....

    She talks about the danger of fledgling creatives showing their work to soon to others, especially those who might be "blocked creatives" themselves. She says it's like bring your baby to a baby-killer.

    I also like her belief that being creative is both natural, healthy, abundant (endless, infact), and almost a "duty" for us to indulge. That's both inspiring and scary for those of us who got hammered for being who we are deep down.

    I remember one summer feeling very stuck. I was sitting on the roof of an apartment building under blazing sun. I was surrounded by superheated parking lots below (not a good neighborhood). I was reading a "tough love" book about famous creative people and got more and more depressed. It seems most died unhappy and young. I think that was the point of the book.

    Some time later I went to the library with my girlfriend. I wanted to see an exhibit on "creatives." Once again, I saw most died young. I was soooo depressed.

    I sat down at a table, stunned. My gal-pal said, "Wait here." She came back later with a copy of "Travels With Charley." She said, "Read Steinbeck. He didn't die unhappy or young."

    HE died at 66, which I consider "middle-aged" now...but not matter.

    Her act was so kind, her insight stellar. I dared to believe in my artistic self again.

    After that I read Cameron. I learned about the need for support ( something I didn't get from my own family). I saw how the world is filled with blocked creatives whose own artistic bents were quashed. How they now unwittingly seek to quash others.

    Daring to be creative is both risky, brave, and rewarding.

    I also understand (too often only intellectually) that creativeness is endless and ongoing. The challenge is to treat the process like the TVA. That is, operate dam "gates" to control the flow of energy so one isn't flooded or faced with drought.

    I work now to fully own my creativity. It's hard because too many times those I trusted most caused me to doubt myself. But I keep getting back on the horse because I know that not cto reate is to choose death. That creating, like loving others and enjoying life, renders us "timeless." So I disagree with those who think creatives "await death." I think those are blocked-creatives.

    Also, look at the long, productive lives of Picasso and symphony conductors who meld physicalilty to their passions.

    Cameron wonders how much MORE Van Gogh could have done if he'd been supported more. Safety, not hunger, supports creativity. As Julia wrote, fill a big warm house with kids and kind caregivers, provide support and art supplies, and watch music, painting, dance, etc. explode!

  36. ``Creative people focus on their inner life. Non-creatives focus on the externals.`` I find this very interesting.
    I think the essence of creativity is to leave one`s own personal touch on reality and reframe things that are already there in a novel way. If someone is overly focused on the externals, reality becomes flat and colorless, something to be accepted as what it is, not something you can play with.

  37. frank, i GUESS you are saying this:

    real creativity is driven by 'lust' (feelings) whereas neurotic creativity is a purely intellectual act, and because of this confusion the word 'creativity' is often defined and used inappropriately

  38. I just read many of these articles, some I breezed over because i really didn't understand the intellectual thought that went into them. However, I do know that creativity as a child for me was just a tool to try to cope. I escaped through drawing, playing by myself while using my imagination and so on. Because the pain that was flooding through me was "I am alone, mommy won't help me, Mommy doesn't love me", which stemmed from an earlier pain, a terror were I can't make it and I'm dying. Today my creativity is still present but it has taken new forms as a way to attempt to control the "leaky gates." The more I confront these early feelings in Primal Therapy the less I find myself acting out the terror by trying to find ways to hold it down. I understood Art's blog perfectly as it resonated deeply with me..

  39. Terry: What I write should not be complicated. It is taken from the mouths and observations of patients. art

  40. Hi Dr Janov

    Just had a thought about this subject. There is a major post graduate art school in London which has a department specially to cater for it's dyslexic students. Of 700 students over 300 tend to have the condition. With your newer pieces on right and left brain I would be really interested to hear what you think about this? Dyslexia must be to do with poor connections between right and left in perhaps right brained people? And off topic I have a God Son who has been diagnosed with Asbergers syndrome. His Mum had a very difficult birth and he spent three weeks in a incubator. I have often said to his Parents that his birth and the stay in the plastic bubble must have had a profound effect on his view of the world. Have you ever treated anyone who has had the Asbergers label dumped on them?

    Happy New Year

  41. frank would you like to answer this? (planespotter's question) art

  42. My layman's understanding of Asbergers and Autism is informed by Alice Miller's theory that these so called conditions are deeply repressed feelings. In the 1950's and 6o's it was blamed on so called "refridgerator Mum's" ie cold unfeeling women not unlike my God Son's Mother, so wrapped up in her own neurosis she has no time for anyone else's feelings. It is sad that while women have rightly fought for equality SOME of them have also divested themselves of taking responsibility for their offspring passing this over to the medical establishment to the detriment of the world. I am sure that my God Son's time in his Mothers womb and the plastic box afterwards has effected him greatly. Sadly his Mother is such a screw up that she is too scared to look into her own head and thus find room for her Son's feelings and personality. My God Son is a very intelligent and observant young man daily ridiculed for his scattiness by his Parents. He looks out at the world from behind a long fringe (almost like a curtain) having never felt welcome to join that world. I think he has always been very frightened of the world. He took a long time to learn to talk and was bullied at school (bullied child at school = bullied child at home). I try to be as supportive of him as I can via Facebook. I feel so sorry for the poor kid! I suppose he reminds me of myself at that age and I am damned if he is going to go through life without knowing that someone cares about him.

  43. This is a larger follow up survey to the short one I did on 14 Australian artists ( 28th Nov 2011 posted under ' How to Measure Progress in Psychotherapy '), with regards to Arts' opinion that perhaps artists tended to die more from cardiovascular disease than cancer because their leaky gates allowed feelings to push upwards forcing new ideas as opposed to lack of creativity & massive repression leading to cancer.
    This survey looks at the cause of death of 72 world artists who have died since the beginning of the 20th century. Of the 72, 31 died from heart problems & in this group, at least 20 died from cardiovascular disease - Heart Attack:- Matisse aged 84; H. Moore 88; Bacon 82; Schwitters 60, after a number of strokes; Chagall 97; A.Calder 78; B.Newman 66; Y. Klein 34; L.Bourgeious 98; J.Bratby 64; T.H. Benton 85;M.Beckmann 66; P.Heron 79; P.Guston 66; E.Keinholz 66; Miro 90. Stroke:- Rivera 70, also had cancer years before; Motherwell 76; Y.Tanguy 55. Arteriosclerosis:- Kandinsky 78. (Also, but not included in the 72 are Gottleib 70 & E.Paoloizzi 81 who had strokes 4 & 5 years before dying ). 6 died from Heart Failure ( though heart attack can cause heart failure):- Dali 85; P.Nash 57; J.Beuys 64; J.Cornell 69; Dubuffet 83;- Rauschenberg 82, died of heart failure after a decision to come off life support. 2 died after surgical complications for a heart condition:- Wesselmann 73; J.Hoyland 76. 2 died from a ' Heart Ailment ' & 'Heart Problems:- K.Appel 85; A.Reinhardt 53 & 1 died from Rheumatic heart disease:- F.Kline 51. ( Giacometti 64 died from pericarditis - as might follow bacterial pneumonia - & chronic bronchitis, so I have put him under Pneumonia )
    10 died from various forms of cancer:- K.Noland 85; S.Spencer 68; C.Still 75; M.Louis 49; Magritte 68; L.Rivers 78; D.Heubler 72; K.Malevich 56; J.Olitski 84; S.Le Witt 78. Of these, 2 - Heubler & Le Witt- could be classified as conceptual artists - the term conceptual does imply left brain rather than right brain.
    The 3rd highest category was Suicide with 8 (9?):- Rothko 66; Kahlo 47; Gorky 44; Kirchner 58; de Stael 41; R.B.Kitaj 74; M.Gertler 47; B.Buffet 71. (Basquiat 27, may have siucided or died from a heroin overdose ).
    6 died from Pneumonia:- Lichtenstein 73; Munch 80; Klimt 55, had stroke 2 weeks before dying; Mondrian 71; C.McCahon 67, complicated by dementia; Giacometti 64.
    Of the remaining 16:- Pollock 44; D.Smith 59; Modigliani 35; K.Haring 31; B.Hepworth 72; Signac 72; Derain 74; E.Hesse 34; Warhol 58; D.Flavin 63; D.Judd 68; Klee 60; Man Ray 86; Diebenkorn 71; E.Schiele 28; A.Kaprow 78 - there were variuos causes of death eg. car crashes, tuburcular meningitis, aids, death in studio fire,septicaema etc. Kaprow apparently died from natural causes after a long illness. This begs the question what is dying from natural causes ? L.Bourgeious died from a heart attack at 98, but was it also natural causes ? Dali died from heart failure at 85 - one supposes when one dies from natural causes one is also dying from heart failure.
    So in summary out of 72 artists, at least 20 died from cardiovascular disease & 10 died from cancer. Again it does seem to give weight to Arts' premise. However cardiovascular disease is apparantly the biggest cause of death worldwide. Perhaps this suggests that more people in the world community - regardless of occupation - are to some degree in touch with their feelings rather than being totally repressed.

    Len Gibbs

    1. Art, with regards to the above survey. I have wrongly equated dying from natural causes with dying from old age, a common mistake I understand. According to Wikipedia :- " death by natural causes, as recorded by coroners & on death certificates & associated documents, is one that is primarily attributed to natural agents : usually an illness or an internal malfunction of the body. For example, a person dying from complications from influenza ( an infection ) or a heart attack ( an internal body malfunction ) would be listed as having died of natural causes. Old age is NOT ( my emphasis ) a scientifically recognized cause of death, there is always a more direct cause although it maybe unknown in certain cases & could be one of a number of aging associated diseases eg. cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, cataracts , osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, hypertension & Alzheimers disease ".
      This all begs the question what is dying from old age ? Maybe it is relative to each person ??? It seems with age we are more vulnerable to aging aassociated diseases - perhaps because of natural wear & tear on the bodily system , perhaps also the still residing subconscious stresses are also playing a part ? Some people may simply die from natural wear & tear WITHOUT any " aging associated diseases " or subconcious stresses !



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.