Sunday, January 1, 2012

On Going Hunting

In the news today is a photo of two congressmen going out hunting with their orange uniforms and very large guns. I thought: is this fun? What fun could there possibly be to deliberately go out and kill an animal. Either killing a baby that will put his parents into a deep depression; yes they do get depressed; or kill a mama so that the baby will die soon from the same depressive malady that becomes deadly as it affects the heart and liver. Are they aware that they are killing members of a family, beings that have feelings, whose feeling brains are massive? What joy is there in the killing? Oh I forgot, those very big guns. I leave you to figure out the meaning.

There must be something atavistic about this ritual; perhaps it harkens back to the days when the best hunter was the hero who made sure of our survival. And maybe now they consider themselves heroes, macho, like Hemmingway, who measured his shark kills on a scale, in keeping with his loving bull fights, something so ineffably cruel that defies imagination. So again, what is it about killing, mostly a male occupation, that makes a leader of one country visit another, and the first thing they do is go hunting? It is all so Freudian and obvious. Is there any thought to whom they are killing and why? Nope. Just a habit. The quarterback Brett Favre loves to hunt deer with a bow and arrow. Putting an arrow through the head of a helpless deer that is fun for him. But wait, he also placed a photo of his penis on the internet. “I am a man, a tough man, at that.” Is there some relationship? Of course. I kill therefore I am a man. Ayayay. A play on the, I think therefore I exist. His motto is, I don’t think therefore I exist.

Anyone in touch with their feelings could not hunt. They would feel and understand about animals and their feelings and needs. It is a real feeling being; therefore, I would first teach all school children the veneration of all life. They would be in touch with their feelings so that before the impulse to hunt, they would say to themselves why I am I doing this? And the answer would come quickly. I feel insecure. I feel unimportant. I have hate inside me from own parental neglect. And on and on. Mostly hunting is a proof, of sorts, that I am a real person, a real man. And then what? They have to do it most of the time because it is an addiction that comes out of feelings and needs.

Of course there are strong cultural forces at work where hunting is part of the zeitgeist. And from the time the child can speak his head is filled with the glorification of killing. But there comes a time in life when we need to ask ourselves questions about ourselves; what am I doing and why am I doing it? Unhappily, that day never comes to a lot of us. We go through life dragging this body around and never demand who we are and why we act like we do.

I have watched baby chimps go into a deep depression and die after their parents were killed by hunters, and I think, how could anyone do that? I am sure there is always a good rationale but even paranoids have a seemingly good rationale for their murder—so and so didn’t pay up on his drug debts, or she left me for this other guy. But just for fun and for no other reason to call up a friend and dress up in those orange jump suits and go kill, that is way beyond me.


  1. Between the age of about 12-15 years I joined the dear stalkers club. I did it because I thought it would be exciting, I liked the idea of "free food", and I loved being in the outdoor environment. As for the personal 'joy' of the act of killing an animal, I think there might have been some form of concentrated rage being acted-out. I'm really not too sure. It was rationalised at the time by the fact that the animals would be killed off anyway (which was true), and the fact that the deer had to be culled back in New Zealand otherwise they would destroy all the bush because they had no natural predators (which is also true - the introduced deer had previously devastated much of New Zealand's bush, and had to be culled).

    But there were times when I felt really bad for what I had done. Like when I killed a goat and its baby was there crying for its mother. (someone took it away as his pet). That was horrible. For all the rationalisations I could not isolate myself from what I had actually done, and the impact I had on another animal.

    I got sick of it in the end. I didn't kill much overall.

    BUT! Remember, we eat about 5x time more meat than our bodies can even process, and we do it only for (injestive) fun. We force farmed animals into a life often way worse that what hunted animals endure. And we do because we only see the meat - not the death and often horrible life behind it all. The non-hunter, morally speaking, can be just as bad.

    May I include a link to my argument for vegetarianism?:

  2. Additional comment:

    I think hunting is also an expression of symbolisation and brainwashing. We are (or can be) brainwashed into see animals as mere 'its' rather than feeling beings because neurotics tend to see the world, and even life, through group-suggestion rather than their own two eyes. This is an effect of mass cultural repression, I believe.

    Taken to its extreme we can even see other human races as mere 'its' and feel no ultimate truth when we kill them off like parasitic insects. Ahhh...neurotics can be so deeply stupid and dangerous - especially in their "mobs"!

  3. I am sure that many people who go hunting (including Sarah Palin) would describe it as a Primal experience ie putting them in touch with their ancestors. The trouble is that if one looks at many tribes hunting practices, these venerate the animals they kill as cave paintings did. I think some tribes even leave small carvings of the animals in place of the dead one. A careful management of a respected source of food. Like many modern practices hunting would seem to be a distorted variation of the true activity. Many male animals go hunting for food and take the food back to the female who is nursing the cubs etc. Modern man brings home a wage packet instead. I am sure there is something missing by simply doing that. Rather castrating I would think. In the UK there is the whole issue of fox hunting where men, women and children chase an exhausted fox until it can be ripped apart by the baying hounds (most of which are shot when they grow old). Often the children are blooded which means they have still hot foxes blood smeared over their faces. I wonder what that does to the children. says a great deal about the Landed Gentry in the UK.

    1. We still venerate our kills. As I don't live in the U.K. I can't speak for fox hunting but the reason kills are photographed and prize specimens mounted is to remember the hunt and honor the creature's spirit. Believe me hunting is a humbling experience; I don't feel it is as distorted as you think.

    2. Humbling? Yes...especially for the hunted running for their lives.

  4. Dr. Janov,

    I’m not convinced that there is any “atavism” ( tendency to revert to ancestral type).
    Ancestral man killed only for food or if they felt threatened by animals.

    So far my unpleasant experience with these “hunters” points toward a perverted joy in killing – something –anything!!!

    Living in the NM, the biggest 'fun' is going hunting. I asked many time the same question:
    Do you need the kill an animal for food? - answer no.
    Did you feel that your life was in danger? - answer no.
    Were you in danger of contracting a disease from the animal? - answer no.

    I do believe they need to feel the power over life and death, because they feel very vulnerable (disconnected) and have no inner control over their life/feelings.

  5. Well, if hunting was for survival, then maybe we could justify it. In Maine, we do sometimes have too many deer and so licenses are issued to cull the herd. But no one really thinks of the harm they do to the individual “families” of the herd. I am not unaware of the fact that someone has to do the dirty work for the meat I buy at a grocery or meat store. I consider myself lucky I do not have to do the dirty work, but at the same time, I think it may be wrong that I do not have to be and maybe should have to do my own dirty work instead of making someone else do the nastier stuff and probably get paid less for it than what I was paid once upon a time.

    But on the extreme of morality, assuming evolution, I am not so sure I would go as far as saying that hunting was wrong when it was a way of life for early hunters and gatherers. It is the way of many animals as well. We might question the entire unfolding of evolution. Are we justified because we evolved that way? Or should we disown and reject what Evolution gave to us.

    God is an easier escape because as creator, He ought to best know what He made and why He made it and what is right and wrong. Evolution does not carry the same moral syntax and context.
    But society might like hunting since it makes it far easier to ask us to kill other people, perhaps reducing them to less important or justified than us, maybe even dehumanizing them.

    I really liked this statement, though: “We go through life dragging this body around and never demand who we are and why we act like we do.”

    To me, this is the value of an intellect. WE have the ability to ponder, compare, as questions, so why not use those abilities? We ought to ask who we are or why we act like we do. To not give thought to those, is to basically just accept life without question. Rephrased, we behave in a hypnotic state, practically a coma. The intellect is totally turned off and autopilot runs the show.

    You know, it could not hurt for people to give more thought to hunting. To attempt to be more compassionate and caring can only help. But those in power do not like such ideas. How are they supposed to get people to kill so they can boss the whole world into doing what they want?

    1. 1. Deer don't have "families" apart from about a year where the doe is raising her young. A buck is more like a serial rapist than a loving father.
      2. I give thought to my hunting all the time. Otherwise I wouldn't have found this page. I believe that people should always question what they are told: that does not mean they will automatically reach the opposite conclusion as before, though.
      3. Hunters obtain their meat for themselves. You buy it, as you said. That is the only difference. If I wasn't caring and compassionate, why does it anger me when my "civilized" nonhunting aquaintances freak out and try to stomp an insect or spider? Why did I feel terrible when I shot too far back and wounded that doe?
      4. "But society might like hunting since it makes it far easier to ask us to kill other people..." Your evidence? To the contrary, I feel like being taught handling rules for firearms and seeing firsthand what they can do would STOP people from killing without thought.

    2. DarkFox,

      I am on your side, not opposing it. Go to the bottom of this article’s posts. But as for rulers encouraging killers in numerous ways, including, but far from limiting it to, hunting; don’t doubt it for a second. It is not that hunting is the cause or even a large contributor to learning to kill, but it is one of many pieces that help. Our general callousness toward each other is perhaps the greatest cause.

      I support hunting rights, though I do not hunt. I am grateful for those that slaughter in my behalf for my meat. But I would agree that it might be better if we all had to do our own dirty work, instead of leaving it to others to do.

      Law enforcement should be everyone’s concern, and not just for a small hired force to do. Our world is a mess, for sure.

  6. Really, asking people to think about anything is quite the chore. They are born into a world controlled from top to bottom. Even their parents are usually all controlled and belong to groups that are controlled and right on up the hierarchy chain of command. How do we break that self-reinforcing cycle of implied threat?

    The threat being that if you start to question anything, you will be rejected, perhaps by mom and dad, but certainly by groups beyond that. So we remain dead intellectually, which is what hypnotists like. An active intellect is hard to get past. But if it is shut down and “sleeping” then we can be moved around by feelings such as fear of rejection, and a deep longing and deprived hunger for love and acceptance. It would seem to me that we need to look beyond our longings and see the long term broad term perspective. We have to stop being pushed around by our various fears and needs.

    Can we put those “feelings” aside, those feelings that represent denial and pain and then think? I say yes, we can and should. In the long term, we can come back and let pain rise for integration, but in the short term, we have to stop letting pain rule out lives and minds, shuting them off or steering them in the wrong direction. Pain is a double edged sword. We need to feel it to get rid of it and yet feeling it often causes us to react stupidly against our long term interests.
    What do we do?

  7. I live in Finland where hunting has become an all encompassing phenomenon for all men and even some women in the past 20 years or so. The kids are taught from very early on about the virtues of hunting. We have the third highest rate of guns in the world which is remarkable if you think we are only five and half million people. This country has gone hunt and gun crazy so bad that it is unbelievable.

    There are some primal and historical roots to this I believe since we are considered almost a matriarch. For the past 50 years men have been seerching a new identity when women have become very independent. The divorce rates are 50%. I belive men have had bad relationships with their mothers and have been oppressed by their viwes and go and pour it out on innocent animals. When I ask them directly: Is killing fun? They rarely tell the honest answer. Most of them just say they like to _enjoy_ the nature.

    Five years ago I came to a point in my own therapy when I became an animal rights activist and vegan. Like Andrew Atkin I became totally aware of the plight of animals in our society, in our world. It seems to me that people are capable of doing so horrible things to animals they would never do to each other. The examples are everywhere to see only we opened our eyes well enough to acknowledge that.

    We are going through a terrible mass extenction and self annihilation via climate catastrophe too, which I am afraid is already out of control. All this because we have lost our capability to feel and be compassionate to living creatures around us. The methane we pour out from factory farms is much more deadly than the carbon dioxide from aviation and cars. It is horrible.

    What is also terrible is that the mental health professionals in Finland know absolutely nothing about primal- and deep feeling therapy either. It is non existant. These hunters who are actually also killing themselves will never get help.

  8. I totally agree with Art. People should be aware of what goes on. I'm pleased that he wrote about hunters.

  9. qwerty
    I killed a baby viper on semi cold day some 10 years ago. She came slowly because of the low temperature towards a sunny spot in a parking by the woods, I recognized it was a venom snake and I wanted to kill her. I didn't find anything so I rushed up home to get a broom, when I got back she was already on her way back in the woods, but I could not let her get away, I had to kill her even if she did not pose any treat to me. She was slowly already on her way into the bushes and I hit the bushes and the baby snake many times. I the took the baby snake and left it near the house, so that other people could see it and get somewhat scared.
    I thought I was somewhat justified as killing a dangerous being, that it was my duty. Then in the years to come that episode came up inside and I felt so badly, even now I cannot condone myself for what I've done to an innocent baby animal, just looking for a warm spot on a sunny day on this earth.

  10. Hi,

    I learned to shoot competitively on targets with 303s in the cadets. I was in the school team and became very friendly with my "rifle".
    Later I had an air rifle which I fitted a sling to and one day out in the woods I aimed at a blue tit and knocked it out of a tree, I had to shoot it again to kill it.

    I knew what I was doing and I was half fascinated by my own mixed emotions, I could not stop the process of the chase in me. I felt sick and remorseful for a long time after and realised I would never do the same thing again.

    I have forgiven myself though. As Andrew says, most of us munch our way through plenty of dead animal, killed behind closed doors for us.

    I reckon its the adrenalin rush that hunters are addicted to. There is a way that adrenalin mediates the other emotions making them into a strange cocktail of awareness, passion and terror. There is a smidgen of terror in the eyes of even the coolest hunter; (for he knows the hunted, his quarry, may even turn on him. . . . . that is very exciting, if you're into "Reckless/ Dauntless acting out).

    It's the same with motor racing. I nearly killed myself on motorcycles chasing other bikers on the open road several times and to this day I can't help the nostalgia. . . I'm glad I don't take those risks any more, but, I can see why some do, particularly middle aged old hippies like me!

    I don't condone hunting at all but if I had to put it on a scale of injustice it would fall well below what we 'humans' do to each other. It is the atrocities we do against each other and ourselves that 'inspires' blood sports.

    Paul G.

  11. Hunting and Bullfighting!

    In my layers of pain filled memories all the way down to the one being strangled and almost suffocated to death, is one, which has caused me many fits, anxieties and feelings of sorrow; when, at the age of 11, I killed a beautiful songbird with a slingshot. I was alone in the park close to my home when it happened, no one to impress. I just wanted to prove to myself that I mastered my homemade weapon. I immediately repressed the feeling of what had happened, and I hastily buried the beautiful bird in a little soil and put some leaves over... 10 years passed before, suddenly, I lived the memory in combination with a fit / hallucination, and I finally could feel the sorrow when I “saw” the little dead garden warbler and “felt” it’s still warm body.

    I never became a hunter, not even during the years when I had my own farm with a hundred acres of forest. I leased the hunt to hunters with a license, because it was a necessity to control the population of animals, such as deers and elks. Many critics don’t know much about nature’s balance, animal’s populations. Without hunters, the ratio of animals, available space, available food would be thrown off. As humans, we are supposed to be the intelligent part of the evolutionary food chain, which needs a certain equilibrium.

    You may be right that your congressmen belong to a minority, who goes hunting just for the fun of killing. What I, however, over the years have noticed is your, often documented, attitude towards neurotic, inclusive psychopathic, politicians. What a world it would be if all our politicians were running for office to serve, not to be served. A feeling politician (with a good communication between his right and left brain) never would forget his/her duty to serve the people he/she represents. I think that one important reason that we do not have politicians creating necessary values for us is that we do not think much about the values of our politicians when we elect them. We have the politicians we deserve. We are not doing our duty as citizens in a democracy. The politicians can / were never meant to be the parents many of us never had!

    Like Hemingway, who taught me to try to be honest when writing, I love bull fights. I’m not proud of it, but I cannot deny that being in “Plaza de Toros” in Valencia together with 25.000 other spectators when one of the top bull fighters is performing is an emotional “trip”. I agree with you; it is ineffably cruel. The bullfighter does not win every time, and the bulls are not taken away from a suffering family. These are poor excuses from my side. The bullfights will disappear with time. Even if I’m attracted to them, I vote for a ban of the bullfights. That is my duty in and for a democratic society and a tribute to my daughter who does not like bullfights.

    Jan Johnsson

  12. i agree, bullfights are grotesque; i've been to a few in my life, to my regret; as for hunting, i just don't have the stomach for it; on the other hand, i do eat meat; so i let someone else do the killing for me; which makes me a hypocrite perhaps.

  13. Growing up abandoned and rejected by my parents the only being that didn't have their back turned toward me was my dog. My parents got him when I was 4. After his cute puppyness wore off the rest of the family turned their attention to other interests. I didn't have any other interests, only a need for love that was like an empty cavern in my chest. When I cried at night I would be threatened and whipped because it would keep my daddy awake and he had to go to work in the morning. Jet looked at me with big soft brown loving eyes and kept me alive. My parents made him sleep in the basement so after they went to sleep I would sneak down there and curl up with Jet's soft warm body in his bed of straw or packing material or shredded newspaper. It was heaven for me, I was so needy and obnoxious but he didn't hate me for it. He loved me. I owe so much to animals....

  14. You said, “I have watched baby chimps go into a deep depression and die after their parents were killed by hunters, and I think, how could anyone do that?”

    I believe our primal ancestors were deeply in touch with the same observations as well as the same feelings.
    About 45 years ago, during the 1960's I volunteered to teach with the U.S. Peace Corps. I was stationed at a teacher training college reached only by traveling over 140 miles of poor roads, This village was nestled deep within the giant Volta Rainforest - the “jungle,” back then.

    In the smaller villages surrounding this regional village, most villagers had never seen a “white man.” What an opportunity to observe each other. Initially, upon first glance at me, some villager’s eyes would enlarge in shock - thinking I might be a ghost or some sort of spirit - what caused me to be so pale, and still capable of appearing alive?

    Over two joyous years, we observed and shared each others thoughts, feelings, joys and sorrows about the human condition.

    One lesson learned among many is that ancestral primal man is a deeply feeling human being. This observable “reverence for all life,” by such villagers was also remarked upon by Albert Schweitzer.

    Let me point out that I grew up in the most rural state in the union. I spent my childhood in the fields and woods and at the rivers. I thought I was close to the creatures of the woods.
    But here, among these villagers, I observed something else - much deeper. I sensed a deeper communion with all living creatures.

    Classes started near dawn and ended by mid day - because of the 110 degree heat. So during the afternoons, I often trekked with students or village friends into the rain forest. Sometimes we might come across a python - measuring 19 feet from end to end - and completely blocking our path. The villagers remained alert but calm, and patiently chatted as we waited for the very slow moving creature to move along. There was never an observable “desperate fear” or need to kill or harm this magnificent creature. I observed this repeatedly with different friends and on different occasions.

    One morning as I walked to class, I noticed a huge gathering of students - men and women - on the campus. I approached and observed that one of these huge pythons had come onto the campus grounds. I observed that no one threw stones or sticks! No intentional injury was attempted. The students were not trying to harm this creature. However, the students clearly wanted to make it leave the compound. So they tried various methods to herd it off the campus.

    Some of the braver and more athletic students would approach close and then quickly withdraw from the creature - hoping to make it feel uncomfortable with its intended direction of travel. This brought on applause by the onlookers. Others would approach daringly close and whooped and try to create spontaneous antics to dissuade the creature from coming further. The daring antics caused a great deal of laughter.

    Eventually, the python turned away from the compound - probably just out of a need to do some serious hunting for its lunch in a more favorable environment. Attempting to describe such scenes to “westerners” is difficult - it appeared almost as though these people were talking to a wayward “child of the rainforest” - and their overall behavior was simply trying to persuade this wayward child to change its behavior. There was a palpable reverence for this creature.

    Bear in mind, that these people possessed machetes that would have destroyed this creature in seconds - if anyone of them chose to use such tools.
    Food for thought

  15. Further food for thought.

    There were a few hunters in the village, but they spent little time hunting. They spent more time performing the hunters dance together and drinking palm wine than they did hunting out creatures.

    There was simply no market for viable meat - which could perish in this heat within hours. Consider a physics and caloric point of view. How many calories are expended to stalk a great distance, chase down, successfully kill prey - and then transport back to the village, the meat that would perish rapidly - was possible a huge net caloric loss! There was huge risk of caloric loss in being a hunter. A daily diet of meat made no practical sense.

    In the village marketplace you rarely came across meat - except on holidays. Instead, in the marketplace you found an abundance of vegetables, beans and fruit - which by caloric comparison - were so easily picked from the rich and abundant rainforest. Next to my clay home was a huge mango tree, several pineapple bushes and several banana trees. Why would any sane person pass by these fragrant and abundant foods and waste huge energy stalking a difficult animal?

    By the way, I published a short article on my life in West Africa in the "Journal of Primal Therapy," Summer 1974. Page 74.

  16. Planespotter wrote: "In the UK there is the whole issue of fox hunting where men, women and children chase an exhausted fox until it can be ripped apart by the baying hounds"

    Sounds very much like what happen to Gaddafi but we in the West imbued by our own propoganda don't seem to have much problem with that. Anything can and very often is justified

  17. So horrible I could barely read..
    When I was 6 my uncles were culling lambs at the farm (cutting their tails off). I stood behind a nearby tree yelling obscenities at them. I couldn't forgive or face them, ignoring them at the dinner table and not speaking for a long time. Thinking about this, to my parents' credit they didn't force me otherwise.

    I really hear you re animals experiencing depression, and agree w/you *how*.. could they not think of the consequences, that they are removing a family member? So sad..
    I cannot even kill a spider, removing them from the bathroom in a plastic container, placing outside.

  18. Man who killed my grandmother and her father was my grandfather,he was great fan of hunting..,at the end he change poor animals with human beings,so,my mother and my uncle become sad and alone like little chimps you mention doc.Now,when I try to discover more about my family,my mother tell me that my grandfather was so ruthless,with womens especialy..,important is that his mother beat him without mercy even when he was adult...So,all life is III Newton's low(action and reaction),we must absorb and neutralize bad actions from our childhood;that's how my mother decided to be totally different then her father.Even with all her will and fight for honor personality he left her broken heart,she doesn't even know how deep...
    That's why I am attracted with rabbit life philosophy:big ears-many useful informations,a lot of love for wonderful femails and always good suit,and I must say here:"Fuck you crocodile grandfather,you didn't do anything to help your self,I didn't see my beautiful nanny, and my mother still cry.."

  19. Jim RM: I don't have any of those articles. Do you have a link? You did not put your last name so I cannot tell who you are. art

  20. Jim RM: great comment. and thanks art

  21. hi jim, i enjoyed your comments. ancient humans were in love with all animals? you're dreaming. your volta jungle people were complying to tradition - not deep feelings. snakes do not show any emotion at all. they do not elicit a compassionate response from a typical human.
    jungle people hunt because they need the iron and vitamin b12 and don't know how to get enough of those crucial nutrients from plants. the cheap energy spent in the hunt (glucose) is payment for the precious nutrients obtained from the meat.
    in primitive cultures, meat is seldom left to perish. it is shared in small pieces among many people. python meat is delicious and is in fact a delicacy in many parts of the world, but obviously it wasn't on the volta people's menu.
    man is a savage beast, equipped with spears and small canine teeth, but his digestive tract is primarily vegetarian. he has been neurotic for many thousands of years. he abuses his children and other animals, and invents religions to justify the suffering. 'respect' shown for a slain animal is nothing more than a religious ceremony. the hunter never shows much compassion. when was the last time you watched the discovery channel?
    primal therapy does not take us back to the way we were. it takes us back to the cause of our suffering.

  22. An email comment:
    "Dear Mr. Janov,
    i have been reading your books and working in primal therapy for 6 months now (here in Germany with Willi Maurer) and i agree with most things. Especially because i am actually going through the feeling my feeling brain can relate to the writings.
    Prior to this training i have been a wilderness guide and lived in the woods for a whole year imitating the Native Lifeway of the hunter-gatherers in the Northwoods, Great Lakes Region.

    In this post(On Going hunting) i can see how your perspective might be narrow and limited, since you and most civilized people have never been in a true intimitate relationship with the plants and animals around them. From studying, visiting and imitating native cultures it is clear that hunting is an evolutionary, biological need for the homo sapiens. I have been out hunting with the hadzabe in tansania and i have been trappin small animals, because i needed to eat. That is the source of the hunt. It is to provide the clan or the circle. If you take a good look at society you will see how especially male persons will seek out anything that is somwhat similar to a hunt.(adrenalin, community, challenges). There is a whole industry devoted to satisfying this hunting instinct.

    Another factor that is unknown to most people is that the hunter, if he is not neurotic is actually the guardian of the animal he is hunting. The wolf is not deer´s enemy but his companion, in a way. He is keeping the deer population strong and healthy. Since traditional hunters were in touch with themselves (well taken care of in their primal stage) they knew about hunting for the weak and they knew exactly which impact they would have on the population at large.

    I added a link to an article that might be helpful to understand the ancestral instinct of hunting and how it has been an important part of human survival and then became what you describe in your post.

    Greetings from Berlin"

  23. Anonymous wrote

    "Sounds very much like what happen to Gaddafi but we in the West imbued by our own propoganda don't seem to have much problem with that. Anything can and very often is justified"

    Yes those pictures of Gaddafi found in the drain pipe and what happened to him were horrific. He was quite mad through his life and the look of confusion in hos eye's in his last moments said a great deal about his madness. He was very attached to an English Nurse who came back to the UK when the war broke out. Like many dictators he believed that all his people loved him just like his Parents did in his Eye's. Ironically he was (and perhaps liked to be) refered to as the Desert Fox.

  24. Jim, your comments on your stay in Africa are fascinating and charming; i'd also love to read you Journal of PT article; perhaps you or Art could copy it to this forum, or provide us with a link; cheers.

  25. To "Greetings from Brazil":

    Not only do humans hunt when they are desperate for food, they will even resort to cannibalism if they must. It's all perfectly natural. With enough desperation everything comes down to law-of-the-jungle.

    And indeed, I think that's the most likely essence of where our original repression has come from (before it spreads inter-generationally as neurotic parents make neurotic children - which is where Art is expert).

    If it's as simple as an instinctive desire to hunt and kill, why then do our instincts contradict themselves? Why do so many of us feel bad, sometimes tremendously so, when we take a higher life?
    I don't think it's quite as simple as you have suggested.

  26. To the Person from Berlin,

    You are right: A hunter is supposed to be the guardian of the wild. But I’m not talking about the guardians in my posting, I talk about neurotic or even psychopathic people who need to act out and kill for entertainment.

    For instance, in NM you can participate in a seasonal hunting-license lottery. As more than one person told me, they don’t eat what they hunt, they go to have fun, track and kill. Another “hunter” told me that he cuts out the tenderloin from a deer and sells each for $80 and leaves the carcass to rot.
    A man from CA shoots coyotes just because he hates them - he cannot explain why he hates them. Just before Christmas, an yearling antelope was found on the side of the road, riddled with machinegun bullets. There are endless, cruel stories about shooting animals for “fun” and there seem to be very few who preserve and respect the wild.

  27. Hi,

    Hey Jan, I used to manage a small piece of ancient coppice woodland in UK (1,000yrs old). It was for public use, part of the environmental revolution that we all signed up to after the Rio Summit in the 90s'. The local residents had claimed it as theirs though, rode their horses through it. . .

    Parked their Range Rovers down the lane. . .

    We had the lease well wrapped up in proper woodland management protocols and put months of voluntary time into re-coppicing the ancient stools (which were overgrown and shading out any new growth since pre-war times) and protecting the re-growth from deer grazing (high fences & so on).

    In the end, I made a social gaff by mentioning that we might bring in some local kids to camp and use the mowed grass meadow as a temporary football pitch. . . for the kids. Y'know, for the kids. . .

    My partner at the time sort of saved the situation by running "forest school" workshops for inner city kids. . .

    In the melee that ensued I was singled out and blacklegged by the "Range Rover" brigade who walked their dogs through, whos' nice teenaged daughters rode their horses through, whos' children swung in the trees through,

    In Uk Jan, the kids don't even know that the cow came before the milk bottle.

    That the chair is made from trees, that the world revolves around carbon and we need to plant more trees and build a global culture based on woodland economies. . . .

    Of course, all you adults out there know this don't you?

    Do you?

    Paul G.

  28. I totally agree with Dr. Janov. In our present day world it seems children and animals are the only beings that if you give them love, you get it straight back, unconditionally. When I was still very young and couldn't really talk yet, some of the conversations around dinner were about what people would eat for Christmas and I was horrified to learn that people would eat deer, rabbits, horses, all kinds of animals and I was thinking: where the hell did I end up now! One of my older brothers would love to bring that kind of stuff up to be buddy-buddy with my dad and he knew it scared the crap out of me. So, instead of this beautiful world I thought was awaiting me, I learned that people would kill each other in wars and one of the scariest things was that there were people that even killed themselves. I could not understand. While people had created all these interesting and beautiful things, in my mind. For each other, I thought. A tap with running water you could shut it off by turning a knob, a window that did not let rain or cold in but you could still look through. A door handle that if you pushed it down the door would open and you would be in a different space. These were fantastic things that people had created for people.

    Life is not unfair because it is my life goddamned. After having to hold back my feelings and not being able to express my feelings I did not buy the thought that I was a marked man for the rest of my life. There had to be a way to still be able to resolve these repressed feelings otherwise that would mean that life isn't fair after all and that is impossible. It's my life.
    So many people just don't have a clue, it's the saddest thing. I knew I would get very sick later in my life if I had to keep swallowing and swallowing my feelings with a father who was a lunatic and a mother who had no backbone. It's a long story but it shouldn't have been. As I said in a previous comment, I got lost. Now it all seems more an abstraction than anything else.

    But I did make a promise to myself a long time ago, that I couldn't live without myself, my essence and I would try to retrieve my self, my essence, because without that, life did not mean anything.

    I still haven't been able to give myself back to me. And I have been so lost and still am. I love myself and life so deeply somewhere, I know it. I love people, I love animals, I love nature, I love forests, I love castles, I love other cultures, I love the earth and the moon and I still haven't found what I'm looking for. It's all too much. Maybe I will never find myself again.

    I used to be upset about the fact that I didn't remember that I was born, it really did upset me because I WAS born. But now I know through dreams, nightmares and also memories. I didn't make this up, but it all seems so far away. I could go on but I stop now. I'm tired and I go to bed and see what tomorrow will bring. I'm just sad most of the time.

    Joop from Holland but in Culver City.

  29. Andrew: If not so simple what is your answer. Never enough to say, "it is not simple." You need to explain what you mean. art

  30. Art: I mean for the human animal it's not as simple as "we have a desire to hunt and it's natural".

    Human instinct for hunting is clearly polarized by the desire to respect other life, and the instinct (assuming the pure desire to hunt exists as in fact an insist, and not just a neurotic act-out) may be responsive to environmental conditions, and I suggest it probably is.

    So, I doubt we are a hunting species by default - it's just something we do when we have to.

  31. If animals are feeling creatures (which anyone who's owned a pet knows is the case), why do THEY kill each other?

    (In case you've not seen it, watch this "funny" youtube clip to see both canine emotions and human cruelty: )

    If being a carnivore is "bad," why do humans have incisors and not just molars?

    And, if you've ever watched "The Secret Lives of Plants"...and believe legumes have feelings, too....well, what can "good humans" eat? Moreover why do some plants eat meat?

    "Primitive" people respected their prey, often making them totems. They did not mock them or mount them on walls for kicks. It was also more of a "fair fight" back in the samurai challenging each other individually. Today obese folks on safaris who "kill" with high-powered rifles is like killing humans remotely by drones...for "sport."

    Contrary to popular belief, it takes a LOT of training to make men into killers. It's why even after bootcamp, combat vets fire over enemy heads and/or suffer PTSD.

    Humans have an aversion to killing. The exceptions are rare, mentally-disturbed murderers and military operations that remove the results of launched mortars, missiles, etc. from soldiers who use them. Like artillery units and such where no one person feels responsibile for resulting deaths.

    Anyway, it's amazing (in a bad way) to see how America makes HUGE deals out a handful of its citizens dying, but thinks nothing of the millions it slaughters. We destroy Iraq for no reason at all, then blame Iraqis for having a destroyed country.

    God help us when the great-grandchildren of our victims come here with suitcases filled with bombs, mini-nukes, anthrax, etc. seeking vengeance.

  32. HI Art

    You asked for a link, I don't know of one. Have not searched for one.

    A couple months ago,I just happened to be reading some old books and journals that sit high up on my book shelves - and stumbled across it.

    I also presumed that you would have a complete library of those journals - and you would only need to go to your bookshelf as easily as I did.

    In the same issue, you published an article that runs from Page 5 to page 50, "The Nature of Pain and its Relationship to Levels of Consciousness."

    Is there a library of your journals in the Institute? If not, what a loss to all of us - and to future historians. Your work has always been pioneering, probing, and always glimpsing the next larger connections - even in those earlier years.

    I want to get the full article to you. It is four page long - and still filled with a lot of pain, as it was written near the beginning of my therapy.
    I spoke largely of their tender child rearing ways and the special care given to all infants and children. The men extended the same care and tenderness to the infants and children. Even then I realized that the men in this village expressed more open tenderness to children than the average western mom expressed to her own children.

    I have much more to express today, than I did way back then. And much clearer memory of events.

    Any suggestion on how to transmit four pages of the Journal to you or to the Institute?

    As a newbie to blogging, I am cautious about stating my full name on a public site.

    You might remember who I was if i add a social comment. I was a very close friend of E Michael Holden and his family. Since his demise, I miss him terribly. I am still in touch with the rest of his family.
    By the way, Michael's daughter also joined the Peace Corps. She also loved it.

  33. God,

    Wow! I finally get to talk to God, huh? My lucky day!

    God: “primal therapy does not take us back to the way we were. it takes us back to the cause of our suffering.”

    The immediate cause of our suffering, or the original cause of our suffering? Just wondering. Being a mere mortal, I wondered about world wide suffering as well as my own personal selfish suffering. Any plans in the works for us down here? You have been kind of quiet lately.

  34. To Jim RM , only a veneration of "my" brain`s remembering capacity : it was a deep experience to read Your article in 1976 ... was the tribe`s name not EWE ? It quickly came to my mind Yours emanuel

  35. BTW JIM I have no copies of the primal journal. I would like to get them and copy them. art

  36. Jim RM: Now you have intrigued me and would like to know who you are. Send info private to my office manager Roz and I will forward this letter and ask her how you can transmit 4 pages. I would like to know how the Holdens are doing. I know his son is a paramedic.

  37. apollo, my child, i cannot helpeth those who believeth in me, for i exist only to provide hope. if i was as powerful as the books written about me, i would put an end to ALL the suffering in the universe.

    it is difficult to help others when sometimes your wrong decisions seem right, and right seems wrong. if you want to know which thoughts are right, you will have to connect to your right brain.

    listen, my child...
    primal therapy will taketh me to my mother's womb - my sister's tomb - and there i shalt resolve thy feelings of doom.

    apollo, you can do unto thyself whatever you wish. you can swim in circles like a stubborn goldfish. for i am but a god, just a heavenly belief...
    who am i to judge, if you never seek relief.


  38. It's the Journal of Primal Therapy; Volume II, Number 1, Summer 1974. Page 74 through 78 and it is titled KPEME. Nanti Yui, walk well, Jim.

    Joop from Holland but still in Culver City

  39. Joop: How can I get it? I have none. Art

  40. Aren't those articles at The Primal Institute?
    I received their newsletter for many years &they would publish these articles in them, written mostly by their staff I think.
    If so, could you not approach the PI Art?


  41. " it was a deep experience to read Your article in 1976 ... was the tribe`s name not EWE ? It quickly came to my mind. Yours emanuel "

    Emanuel. 1976? You do have a venerable memory.

    Yes, I lived among the "Ewe" people - pronounced "Eh' Vay."
    Even today, sometimes i will overhear their "Ewe" language in public - as when shopping at a store and usually around the fresh produce section.

    I will approach, and greet them in their local language. At first, their eyes will light up as though I am a CIA Agent. Then, their mouths drop in a wide grin and they respond. It's a joy to meet and befriend these people, now so far from their home and so far from such a primal way of life.

    My wife and i befriended one such couple who often visited our home. They named their newborn child "Essenam" Which means "the wanted child." I once again witnessed how deeply they pour out love for this child well before its birth. In the article, i describe the tender bonding rituals which surround the birth of every child - and which occur throughout the entire first week following the birth.

    You said, " was a deep experience to read Your article in 1976."

    If the act of reading just a quick summary article proved a "deep experience" for you. Then imagine what living among such people for two years, being surrounded by so much genuine feeling, might do to you.

    As you realized from the article, when i said farewell to these people, I experienced my first "deep," out of control crying - primal - which brought me into a series of memories stretching from my teen years and back into my childhood.

    Very deep indeed. Very primal.

    Thankfully, Art's lifework gave me - and anyone who can hear his message - the tools to bring each of us back home to this much saner, and much more beautiful, primal world.

    Thanks for the comment.

  42. Art,

    I can send you a photocopy of the article if you tell me where to send it. I have copies of all of the journals of primal therapy.


    I remember when I first read the article way back then, it deeply affected me. Thank you, and thank you again for reappearing in my life! Lovely to see that some people have continued to benefit from primal over the long term…


  43. Joop said
    " Nanti Yui, walk well, Jim."

    Thanks. "Nanti Yui"

    1. Jim you write well and should write your story. art

  44. Hey God!

    Or do I mean Richard, I have a mate who's in the Quakers, he asked me to do a talk on Primal.

    I am about to take up his invitation having at first totally baulked. I need to do more research.

    The founding fathers of the Quakers very nearly got to Primal; that's why they quaked, is it not? Art?

    The Holy Rollers is just a 20th C 'ab-reaction' version; shake, rattle and role play.

    The Quakers use a system of community building which would inevitably end in true feelings if their belief in Mr GOD did not stand in the way.

    Mr GOD gets in the way. The Quaker methodology allows free association and insight in the group meetings and originally 'quaking' resulted.

    The stirring of anger long repressed, the rising of empathy to it. The arrival of a feeling long held down, the body and child responding.

    I hear the Quakers came to America and did very well indeed. Well, I mean financially. They set up Barclays and Lloyds too.

    The origins of our current global system of "sharing" may once have nearly got us to a Primal Revolution;

    if belief in God had not got in the way.

    I hear that some Northern Sufis once believed that God does not exist on Planet Earth because it is all too dense here!

    How to penetrate through that density to the God that exists in us all? Fragments of an Unknown Self.

    Paul G.

  45. Jim: please send to the office/clinic PRIMALCENTER 209 ashland ave. Santa Monica, Calif 90405 thanks art

  46. Jacquie: I can try but i doubt they have any art

  47. The Primal Institute wouldnt've kept backdated issues, of their own newsletter?
    They were very good articles, I used in my university courses over the years.
    Anyway, I am very glad someone here has all the issues (haha) &can send them to you

  48. Art - I have many of the PJs back in the UK. Will find a way of getting them to you when I return in late Feb.

  49. Jacquie: me too. I have not been with the Primal Institute in over thirty years so I have no access to them. art

  50. Hi Art I have 4 issues of the journal ...
    are You interested !ß PS. I have lost
    a l l the newsletters of some 10 1? Yesrs ...Yours emanuel

  51. Raindog said,


    I remember when I first read the article way back then, it deeply affected me. Thank you, and thank you again for reappearing in my life! Lovely to see that some people have continued to benefit from primal over the long term…"

    I am so pleased to hear this. And now, several such comments have been expressed.
    When I actually wrote that article, I was truly embarassed by the fragmentary nature of my thoughts. Hence, the Journal stayed way at the top of my bookselves - just yellowing and collecting dust.

    As the article shows, when I actually lived in Kpeme I was so deeply affected emotionally by their authentic love of life, their powerful connection to feeling, that I felt "fragmentary."
    I was gently pulled in by the siren call of their way of life. However, my pain kept me staring and wondering, as if a child with my nose pressed to the window glass - watching but always unable to fully participate - unable to connect to my real self - as they were so fluently doing.
    Despite my stiff and awkward emotional skills, they poured out love for me anyhow.
    Unknowingly, they were trusting the naural course of the primal process - and I eventually came around and experienced my first full fledged primal right on their shores.

    When I read your comments, and from several others, I realize all of us must have been at the Primal Institute at the same time period.

    That wonderful time period of my life at the Institute helped to create a major turning point, ended some high risk and highly symbolized behavior, and gave me the tools to heal and heal and heal. The journey has sometimes been difficult. But the primal journey has always rewarded me with a more and more real, more and more primally fluid life.

    For Art's therapy to have dragged me back through the ambush patrols of Vietnam, to the joy of an African people, to the horrors of my childhod and then my pre birth is truly a testament to the robust nature of his theory and its practice.

    And consider what Art speaks to in his own unbelievable childhood. What unique stories all all have to tell and no longer repress. And no longer be unconscious of the fact that we are repressing.

    Sometimes, by comparison, I wonder how are all of those people who engaged in cognitive therapy in the 1970's now doing for themselves? What a horrific lifetime difference.

    I am deeply grateful for the phenomenal difference Art has made in this precious journey.

  52. An email question:are u vegetarian?is meat eating now regarded neurotic or sick?

  53. And my answer:
    I am not a vegetarian but if I had to do over, I certainly would be. Art.

  54. A reader's poem:
    I listen what you talk my friend,
    I know you want just best for me,
    well,don't be mead,
    but,it's better to give advises to someone else..

    There is no feelings in me,
    and for who I can do good,
    I'm thirty five and like hundred,
    I'm just shape of life..

    We all need courage for tears,
    We all need soul to move on,
    And,I don't have it any more,
    Sadness find me too soon,
    And I can't do for,
    I prepare my self to leave..


  55. Jim: It is letters like this that make it all worthwhile. Don't need money and riches, just appreciation and the fact that I helped people's lives. art

  56. Jim: You know Eisenhower said it: you can never recapture the ambiance of war. To that I would add we can never recapture the ambiance of the early days of primal. Those were heady days full of optimism and hope. It took many years to develop it all and make it a reality. There were 60 people in group when john Lennon sent us his primal album and I played it and everyone collapsed in a heap, moved beyond expression. Of the psychological establishment sending investigators all of the time to investigate that I was making people scream and cry and therefore making them sick. We certainly did not know then what we know now but the theory was right just from the start. And now 45 years later we are still refining our theory and practice and do not waver. Art

  57. Jim: You know Eisenhower said it: “you can never recapture the ambiance of war.” To that I would add “we can never recapture the ambiance of the early days of primal.”

    Those were heady days full of optimism and hope. It took many years to develop it all and make it a reality. There were 60 people in group when John Lennon sent us his primal album and I played it and everyone collapsed in a heap, moved beyond expression.... We certainly did not know then what we know now but the theory was right just from the start. And now 45 years later we are still refining our theory and practice and do not waver. Art

    What a magnificent story. In the early days, even as you pioneered your scientific probing, you were not only deeply affecting so many lives before you - healing, re-connecting, and opening wide the doors to a deeper more meaningful life journey - but you were also diligently sculpting the profound theory that has emerged. May I suggest, somewhat as Michelangelo saw his vision emerging in the grain and texture of the basic rock before him. So too, you never stopped the scientific sculpting of your theory.

    I knew Michael Holden as my closest friend. I listened to his jokes and neurological comments almost daily - I enjoyed reading your joint venture “ Primal Man, the New Consciousness.”
    But, generally, I could only follow your work from a distance - stand in the galley and watch the grand vision emerge.

    Speaking only as a distant onlooker, I could still observe from the galley that you were so scientifically careful as the gorgeous vision emerged, so careful so as not to let the scientific chisel chip off the wrong way - and thereby destroy the robust, cohesive, fundamental truths of Primal theory. No inviting “act outs,” no tempting “abreactions,” and no symbolic blemishes stayed in the rock. Inexorably, the blemishes were chipped and polished away.

    Ultimately, you have polished and created a masterpiece for each of us. A vision that invites each one of us to take a unique primal journey into a real life for each one of us.

    Sometimes, I imagine what future, perhaps more enlightened generations, might say when they fully, unwrap and finally discover the full power and beauty of this work - “the Pieta!?”

    Sadly, Primal Theory has been here, reaching out with broad, open arms, all of these gorgeous years - helping so many. And Primal Theory has been so close that thousands from other languages and cultures have reached out and touched it.

    But, to the millions in need, your work remains viciously “cordoned off” by the adamant priests of the temple of “cognitive behavior.” Sadly, for their most highly symbolized high priests - the Cardinals and Bishops of “act out” - the holy grail which they so desperately seek, remains elusive. Always, enshrouded just beyond their limited ability to see and to hear and to feel. And tragically, always so close. Their “act out” is their primary disease.

    I hope you never tire from your life’s work. Because of your deep and profound commitment, it is incredible to observe, the masterpiece is still unfolding.

    1. No need to worry, Jim. My passion and commitment is unabated and will always be there. How could it not when people like you are around? I miss Michael terribly. One day I will write my memoirs about him. art

    2. Jim RM,

      I can’t help think that you are missing the boat when you do not recognize the sinister intentions of the elites in keeping Primal Theory/therapy in solitary confinement where no one will hear it scream. They know what they are doing. They are keeping the human mind and emotions crippled, disabled, and imprisoned, right where they want it all. We can not fix problems we can not admit or still attribute to innocent misunderstanding.

      We need to call an ace an ace, and a spade a spade. If we do not identify it as it truly is, we, too have failed.

    3. Apollo: not sure what you mean exactly and what to do? I try to tell it like it is. art

    4. Art,

      The only difference I would make is that I would never suggest that PT being ignored was innocent. It has been deliberately suppressed. One only need examine their motives and goals to realize that they do not have our interests at heart. they have their own interests at heart and those are opposed to ours. We are suppressed and enslaved, at least mentally. And they want it to stay that way.

      To fix that, as Jim RM and others suggest, means to admit the real agenda going on. And we both know that will not make any friends. the Media supply our info, our "food" for the mind. Our voices need to be numerous enough that it starts to make a dent on that prevalent media message. At least if there were agreement among primal fans, it would be a start. But if even we can not agree, well, it was once said, A kingdom divided against it self can not stand.

      To be fair, you do tell a lot of it like it is. And it could be costly if you started whispering that word, that 4 letter word, "conspiracy." It really is 4 letters to some. It would not be fair to ask you to risk it all, but yet, nothing come but through risk. We are being controlled and it could not hurt if more knew that.

  58. Arthur Janov wrote:
    I am not a vegetarian but if I had to do over, I certainly would be. Art.

    Do you mean if you had your life over again? I wasn't quite sure.....

    I gave up dairy products a few years ago, as I feel that the way that cows and calves are treated is even worse than animals in the meat industry, although I became a veggie when I was 9, quarter of a century ago, or so.
    I feel much better now; less cognitive dissonance; no longer paying some guy to take a calf away from its mum, to suck the life out of the mother.....

    anyway, you might like this article on the difference in MRI scans on veggies and meat eaters...quite technical, but I get the drift.

  59. Hunting: Lets examine some of the reasons: Deer Hunting, Deer hunters will either be hunting for meat, some because they like venison some because it will help keep their family going for the next year. They will shoot the first doe,a yearling or a young buck that they see as it is usually the best meat. The next is for a Trophy now these hunters are looking for a big old buck that has made it through years of hunting seasons one that has passed his genes and made the species better for it. They become "Trophies" by age these hunters spend their money to hunt these animals and are content to go home with nothing. Now I keep hearing and seeing everyone that has a problem with hunting spouting off about "BIG GUNS" with reference to Penis size. Brett Farve likes Bow hunting because it is a challenge you have to be close to a animal to make a clean kill, you spend weeks in the woods or a tree stand waiting for the right shot and NOT a head shot. You have NO computer, no backup audience reading what you have to say and cheering you on just you and your skills against a deer that lives and breaths in this environment and is not about to leave it's guard down. 99% of the time you loose and the deer wins but that my friend is HUNTING.

    I hunt because my grandfather, my father and my sons all hunt, I do not need to hunt. I want to hunt, I love venison and my genes were passed on to me as the "BIG BUCK" in the woods passed it on to his future generations. Every fall a story plays out the end is already written it has NO other end, no matter HOW you read it in the end we all die. The deer: of old age, shot by me, tore apart by wolves or coyotes, or dies of over-population in a bad winter.

    1. Well said Anonymous. This guy makes these claims, yet he has no evidence to back them up, and in fact people like you and me are proof against these claims.

      I am a proud hunter, I was not abused or anything as a child, I am not compensating for anything, and I honestly feel we have far more veneration for life than a number of people I have seen.

      I once was confronted by someone at a school about my hunting. I asked them about the beef they eat, and their response? "Deer are smarter than cows." Not to mention how 95% of people I know completely lose it at the sight of a simple harmless arthropod, creatures that fascinate me and have my utmost respect (like all life forms).

      I'm not some kind of hypersexual freak despreate to prove their manhood for realizing life and death are two sides of the same coin.

    2. Hi DarkFox!

      I relate to your post and agree that Art might have been a bit harsh and broad with the strokes of his pen. I believe we are all animals, in the neutral sense and to suggest hunting and eating are wrong seems to defy all nature.

      But I want to say this in Art's behalf. Though he went too far for you and men, and some others, much of what motivated him seems to be a genuine care and feeling for all creatures, especially Those vulnerable to human mistreatment and abuse. He reacts to animal pain strongly, eve as I am sure he does for human pain. I can find nothing but praise for that aspect.

      that said, this whole long topic has been great for a wide variety of opinions and ideas and gave me lots to think about on both sides of the issue. "In a multitude of counselors there is wisdom!"

      Hunters are usually well rounded normal people. The attacks on them were unreasonable.

      I do note this, however. Those who abuse animals often abuse people, too. And people who have no regard for other people, will often have no regard for animals, either.

      the odd thing is that sometimes we all speak rashly, even in the primal community, and disregard feelings of those who we disagree with, though that is never merited. Let us all hope that we can be objective and recognize our mistakes and readjust our ideas accordingly.

      for myself, since God permitted hunting and herding, so will I. I am grateful that I do not have to slaughter what I eat, but maybe that is not such a good thing, either. and if one believes evolution, then hunting is just the natural order of things. All hunting (killing) should be swift and merciful, as is possible.

    3. Please inform me as to what great joy there is in killing an animal. Is it sport? A very strange sport where you have to kill to enjoy. art

    4. I do not understand the joy in killing entirely. I do not hunt nor wish to. But I know some love the thrill of challenging themselves, as well as saving money on meat. Some get a thrill or feel challenged by climbing Mt. Everest, even risking their lives to do so. I do personally love athletic competition or even doctrinal competition in religion or science. Brain damaged? Me? Probably! Listen, some are so twisted as to find rape exciting and challenging. Some like to rob for a thrill. Some love the thrill of killing people. Lots of kinks in everyone. Some love to win at sales and business. They can never get enough of it.

      In a perfect world, maybe hunting would not exist but the world we have had for at least a few million years if not close to 600,000 years, has been one of one species hunting another. It does seem to be the order of things.

      As I said, I am glad I do not have to slaughter my own meat. I take no joy in it, but no guilt, either. But really, if I am going to eat meat, I should have to do my own dirty work sometimes. I am lucky that is not the case. But I am not going to pretend some righteousness which I do not deserve.

      My vegetarians have this high and mighty attitude that they do not eat meat. Yes, they have the luxury of buying their food at a store where all varieties and choices of food are available. No al have that luxury in the world. How many would still be vegetarians if they lived on a savanna plain?

      I deeply respect the compassion you feel for animals. But I also respect other factors that affect our diets and the entire scheme of evolution, if that is your understanding. But as I see it, the most important animal is the human being, for in us there is far more depth in that we can accumulate a lot of knowledge and understanding and that a lifetime represents a lot of work and investment. To lose a life is to potentially lose a lot and it is that vanity and sense of loss and waste that is difficult to bear.

      In animals there is not as much there. They still have feelings, but little in the way of intellect. They accomplish little in their short lifetimes. They seem to some (like me) almost as if they main function is just to perpetuate the system of life and its ecosystems. But we are quickly about to branch off into philosophy and even religion, so I’ll cut it of here.

      I just say that we should live and let live, and let hunters cull herds as we have to do here in Maine. If we did not, they would soon create big problems for us. It’s a matter of us or them. That’s fine for animals. But us or them sucks when applied to humans vs humans.

  60. This blog appears to have at least a vauge basis in psychology, a branch of science. So let's see some experiments or case studies. Oh, that's right, you're just repeating what PETA told you. I will believe you when you can show me some hunters who actually feel the way you describe, because I sure don't.

    Also I will have you know that hunters don't kill "mamas with babies." The most I would do is shoot a doe with a yearling, whom she would drive away herself in a few months anyhow. Most of these animals are more like serial rapists and baby farms than actual family units.


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.