Monday, January 2, 2012

On the Right and Left Brain. There Is No Cure Without Their Unity. (Part 4/10)

Let me reiterate: the feeling is experienced; the rape victim invariably creates the same bound hands together during a primal,(her father held her hands as he took her from behind), and she now sees what it made her do. She was hostile to men and became a lesbian. (This is from an actual case that we have filmed). She only felt safe with women. These are the insights that tumble out after a feeling. If she cannot have the insights, then perhaps there was not yet a connected feeling. Perhaps more was dredged up that has yet to be felt and connected. In other words, if there are no insights we are bereft of understanding the act-outs. It is as if to say there were no consequences from a disastrous feeling. And as I noted elsewhere, the earlier and feeling the greater the chance of a serious affliction later on. The valence or force of the imprint never lessens; the left side just covers it up better. So we see here how the obsession with the gas jet and the turn to lesbianism may have the same roots. It is behavior in an unconscious attempt to control a past harmful and traumatic feeling. So in a way, neurosis is the current way we control the past. The only problem is that in the present it remains out of context. It was appropriate to be afraid of father in the past but not normal now to be afraid of authority figures. It is logical but not normal.

So why are there attention deficits? Because the right which is charged with sustained attention is so loaded with pain that it off-loads some of its burden to the left. Now all kinds of inputs are coming in to disturb concentration and focus. The right cannot do its job. Remember that the very early trauma is lodged in the right and takes up space there, and above all, it constantly agitates because pain is driving it incessantly. It needs to connect with the left, and the neo-cortex but the gates stop it. Connection means the end of it as an agitating force. It means rest and relaxation; it means integration. No longer alien feelings but those who have found a home. So long as they are alien the system treats it as a foreign force and considers it as an invading stranger. When the feelings come too close to conscious-awareness the system goes into alarm mode; the white cells treat the feeling as alien and dangerous and the blood pressure and heart rate mount. The happens to almost every patient when they come close to deeply-lodged feelings. The left sounds the alarm when feelings come close and the system goes into alarm/panic mode; mobilizes to keep it all away, while gating swings into action. It stimulates evasive action, avoiding anything that will evoke feelings.

Those who had a harridan for a mother will avoid aggressive women in their lives. Most of us avoid whatever might set off alien feelings; and so in a way we are programmed. Those who had a tyrannical father may become obsequious in the face of male authority in order to stave off anger. The latent fear is already so high that the person cannot take any more. We can tell ourselves—the right self, not to be afraid but it is a weak force against a lifetime of terror; in the same way we can tell our selves not to eat chocolate when the imprint of starvation in the womb hidden on the right is importuning. The left is no match for the imprints on the right. They are always packing more power than the left, as they should; it is our emotional self. So we have an emotional self, an intellectual self and finally, a real self…united. It is that real self that can control things such as overeating or premature ejaculation. Why overeating? Because there is a history underlying it. He is eating out of his history. He is not only hungry now but back then—starving in the womb. He is trying to get fulfilled back then, as well. The same as trying to get love now to make up for no love as a child. Fulfillment is sine qua non; it cannot be forgotten so one is always looking for fulfillment in one way or the other. It is the left that takes need from the right and tries to find ways to get fulfillment, and it is always symbolic because the left side is basically the symbolic side. It wants more and more money because he cannot feel any fulfillment. The left brain sees the steak and the right brain rushes in with its history of starvation or deprivation to make the person eat for both times…..that is over-eating. The intellectual self has no emotional wallop by itself; that is why it is so weak in the face of powerful feelings. So there is sexual stimulation with the resulting premature ejaculation because the early pain is so heavy and the controlling left brain so weak.


  1. Art: I think with enough abuse you go from not just male (or female) haters, but to people haters alround. And some of them become environmentalists (of the type that believe humans are scum plague of the earth) as it provides a rationalization for their feeling.
    They then believe that all "right wingers" are basically evil self-serving liars, and in turn they buy all the emotive propaganda (hook line and sinker) fed to them by their in-group of which runs true with their base emotional bias.
    And then we end up with a world being run by pseudo-environmental policy (handed to them by the truly corrupt) that is seriously destructive on people and with all but no, or even negative, environmental effect!

  2. I didn't know the R side handled focused attention; I would've thought that left.

    We need R access as that is where the pain is stored.

  3. Andrew: are you sure you believe that? art

  4. Art: Yes it was speculative, up to a point. It's just that I have followed politics in New Zealand closely and I have seen what kind of people *some* of these radicalized environmentalists are, and I am certainly aware of how they form and rationalize a lot of their policies. I didn't pull this assertion out of by butt as much as it appears. I know that political parties can become cults, for some people.

    I'll gave you a quote (and this is a very isolated example I know) from the NZ Green party (ex, but recent) leader: "I was abused as a child by my father, and I can tell you what it does to you. It makes you want to get even." [wording slightly different - not the meaning]

  5. Jacquie,

    In itself… the right brain manages to focused attention but that attention is read by the left and because the pain on the right is so overwhelming the left can only reackt on the intensity. That is because of ...when we were little we could not handel that owerload of pain… we had to suppress it and thus it is only the intensity that we perceive. This is what Primal Therapy is all about ... we have to approach the pain in a process of which the pain can be integrated so it does not make us get the symtos of anxiety ... depression or schizophrenia. Actually… a then fully correct response because of all the pain but the reaction was then life-saving but is not there anymore so now we need "only" to learn from the primal therapy... how to get out of this hell.


  6. These comments by Andrew Atkin are interesting to me, in the sense that it brings up an old question of mine: what part of the overall attitude of the average leftist political radical attitude is genuine feeling about injustice, and what part is neurotic? Janov offers a few examples in his books of radicals who he considered at least a bit neurotic (like that person who felt he (or she?) wanted to leave the USA because she hated it so much, but finally did not after therapy ). I suppose also that every case is different. But I have also noticed that most people on the Left have really deeply ingrained "idee fixe"s about the USA and Israel, for instance, which do not seem to correspond to the reality of what these countries are like (the divergence though is not wide, IMO). And they are impervious to any realistic argumentation. That assumes , of course, that I see things clearer than them, which might not be the case! Anyways, these leftist circles are another conformity into which I do not fit, although I deeply share a lot of their ideas. Gee ,it would be nice to fit in somewhere before I die!


    1. To Marco
      De Gaulle said something like "France is not the left, it's not the right, it's all the others" meaning all those who are not political.
      We could say the same about real peoples, they are not the left, not the right but all the others.
      We could also say real peoples or "normal" are not the left brained, not the right brained, but all the others, well balanced.

  7. Marco: So let me remind you: motivation is one thing but it does not invalidate the issue. If I am for the keeping the environment green because my father hated trees that does noting about the reality of what I am doing. There are as many attitudes and motivations about issues as there are people. but the issues may be real in every sense. Do not confuse the two. art

  8. I would say that I am left of centre politically in the UK. It is interesting what Marco says about the USA and Israel and left leaning people's attitudes to them. Is this to say that Right leaning people don't? Politics at each end of the spectrum put people in prison and worse!

    I have often wondered whether the issues between Arab and Israeli is like sibling rivalry. They are not too disimilar. There are also the issues about trauma passed onto the next generation and how a nation acts due to it's people's previous experience. Sadly the Jewish people have been scapegoats for centuries simply because they were blamed for the death of a young man who spoke his mind in a society where that was dangerous. What has changed in many countries. Life is about balance which seems especially pertinent when the Right and Left Brain is considered.

    Perhaps if more people were more balanced in thier Brain's they might be more balanced in their Politics.

  9. Dr Janov said in this post "Those who had a harridan for a mother will avoid aggressive women in their lives."

    Just had a thought about women, aggression and right and left Brain.

    Many physcologists tend to try and get their clients to be assertive because assertiveness is seen as a balanced response to situations ie asserting our own needs and also respecting other people's needs ie negotiation. Quite obviously such attempts are only going to be partially successful if the person has not felt their early unmet needs and can move on. I have tried to be assertive and it often raised early needs without me understanding what these were, thus causing anxiety.

    Aggression is needed sometimes to protect ourselves. However if we don't need any defenses because we are balanced then how often do we need aggression? Aggression is often used to protect an insecure self. Large boundaries which won't let others in for fear of hurt. Hurt People, Hurt People!

    So often in the UK for example, a strong person can mean different things for men and women (not always of course). A strong man is powerful, silent and does not show feelings and a strong woman is often aggressive. I would argue that these are weak people. True strength comes from feeling and understanding one's feelings and thus be more able to deal with the problems of life. A truly strong woman and Mother will be able to accept the assertion of feelings by her little children and accept they are learning and experimenting rather than trying to dominate her and control her. The same with a Father. A weak father would perhaps not want his Son to succeed because this would remind him of his own failure while a strong Father would say "Go for it". A sly manipulative Passive Aggressive Father like mine would say "Go for it" and then do everything in his power to undermine that success in the background.

    When trying to deal with an aggressive person who is weak deep down, one is often advised to "give them space and treat them gently". In that situation one then has to sacrifice one's own needs. It is only if that aggressive person can deal with their own pain can they be dealt with, because essentially they are no longer aggressive on such a regular basis as they are balanced in terms of their Brain.

    The rightful promotion by feminism of the strong woman is often distorted by the media and some feminists as aggressive which I would argue is detrimental to Society because it means that a Mother may think that for a male child to learn respect for her (and thus respect other women in his life) she needs to be aggressive towards him which can only do the opposite.

    I understand that if a Mother respects her Son and his assertiveness from birth he is more likely to develop a good musculature (due to pheromone releases by the Mother) and thus be the truly powerful male of the species. He can develop that physical power because his emotional power is respected (and his Mother is not frightened of it) and he naturally respects his Mother and other women and they actually get the real powerful male rather than the forced powerful male who bottles up his feelings and works hard in the gym to develop over blown muscles. Just look at the male Gorilla. This huge and incredibly powerful Silverback is there to protect his troupe but is also the most incredibly gentle creature.

    Many women desperately want a powerful, thoughtful and gentle man and yet they are so out of touch with what is perhaps the correct system. In a truly balanced family the Father can be aggressive (as can the Mother) in the protection of the children and home while at the same time not needing to be aggressive towards each other. The children see the aggression towards others who may threaten the home and learn the appropriate use of aggression. In the broken system everyone has a sense of what is needed but don't know how to get there because Fear gets in the way. Fear of their personal Pain I suppose.

    1. The thing is about assertiveness training is that it is part of cognitive behavioral therapy and they don't know that the conscious will to do something is never never as strong as the lower level feelings and first line sensations that have been imprinted from conception on and drive us inexorably beyond what the will can provide. art they need to study their neurology and not be do-gooder cheerleaders.

    2. Absolutely Art. CBT and the 'skills' they impart provide no more than a little buffer that may be a sort of crutch to help with functioning when one can't see through the fog, until, and only until one can get real Primal healing. CBT is the cheap accessory of psychotherapy - superfluous and demeaning to humans. In the case of your primal therapy Dr. Janov, it is the utter respect for the individual that shines through for me, the allowing and acceptance of the natural unfurling of of each person's life/story and pain. Over-the-counter prescriptions of how to behave (CBT)do not touch the pain. They can get you all dolled up and prettified, seemingly ready to face the world, as you smile through your hurt, possibly gaining you more acceptance (so what?) but making you less real. Confining and controlling not freeing and liberating. That's why I'm on my way to L.A. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. Jill

    3. Jill I have always lived by the notion of chacun sa vie, each one his/her life. I believe totally in self determination. Too many of us are trying to fulfill our parents' lives and we cannot. We still struggle for approval and find those who cannot give it to latch onto. see you soon art. I am undergoing stem cell therapy soon and if I am OK I will begin a series of lectures at the Center for the public. That is only if they heal my throat.

  10. Hi planespotter,

    I have many similar insights. I feel women have been manipulated into developing their own 'gender apartheid' by the same small elite of super powerful men on the planet that also manipulate us much less powerful men.
    There is this myth that men are the aggressive, dominating sex and of course on the face of it, that appears to be true. Undeniably true statistically, if you just look at things on the surface.

    I feel women have been duped by the ruling (male) elite. This elite group of psychopaths have practised an authoritarian 'divide & rule' strategy to gain global domination. Promoting the 'nuclear family' unit and feminism and other 'isms and schisms' is part of that strategy.

    Divide & Rule.

    This system of power holding is pretty ancient in the evolutionary progression, pack dogs, herding animals etc. Again, on the face of it all this 'power over' others looks like a male trait but hiding behind the overt ruthlessness is a strong matriarchal need to generate & maintain wealth and health in the herd, in the pack or in the family or in the clan.

    The mother chooses the father. . . Now that's controversial isn't it?

    This 'sick patriarchy' that all we real humans despise is generated by the mother complex in the ruling male elite. It is like the hyreme mentality whereby the more wives you have, the more cattle you have, the more power over other minorities you have. . . Well, that makes you a very attractive male to yet another codependent female.

    Old school feminism has put women into the same system merely to compete with men. Hopefully the modern feminists realise that CO-Opperation with men is the key, not competition with or combat against.

    It is men who are manipulated to compete with, to murder, machine gun and bomb other men, not women. It is men who are at war with other men. . . all because a few sick patriarchs can and do 'divide & rule'. . . This sick patriarchy has gotten women to join in the onslaught on men!

    Many women do not realise how manipulated they have become when they act out a counter dependent attack on their former male lovers and friends.

    It is women mothers (as well as fathers) who indoctrinate their daughters (& sons) into the same sick patriarchy. There will never be enough wonderful (un-neurotic) knights in shining armour to go around. Women will have to settle for men as we are. . . Warts, neurosis and all; just as we men will have to accept our capricious (neurotic) women as they are. Women (as well as men) must learn to recognise and then ignore the sick patriarchal propaganda that encourages all of us to develop and entrench a false self based on competition, conflict and 'gender protectionism'.

    Paul G.

  11. Hi Paul

    I would say that it has always been chicken and egg with regard to who causes abuse. Both sexes go around blaming each other when in fact that word is so destructive. Blame is about avoiding responsibility. Until each sex can really see how they cause abuse rather than blaming the other we are always going to be in this cycle.

    I would suggest that by saying there is some kind of Patriarchal conspiracy to dominate the world is to blame men and I for one am sick of being blamed for stuff.

    From a personal perspective my Mother abused me because her Father abused her and probably because his Mother abused him ad infinitum. The fact that none of them remember the abuse means that they repeat the abuse. Who is to blame? I would say who is responsible? The adult and Parent.

    My Mother was terrifed of her Father and for that reason most probably had to repress me as a man so she could feel powerful in her life, while also wanting me to be a man (but in her own image). She has spent her whole life forcing people to love her and being the dominant person she could never be as a child and she still is a child. So is my Father.

    Just as Dr Janov describes the balance of left and right Brain to be the position of real sanity then so the balance between the sexes might also be part of that jigsaw.

    The widely held view that a Matriarchal Society would be kinder and less violent that a Patriarchal one is to my mind a myth simply because the people who think this see themselves as in some way superior to men. Why should they? Who do they think they are to believe that. So long as the vast majority of women hold onto the right to beat their children they push violence into the society. So long as it is seen as legitimate for women to be able to slap men round the face in the media (and men take it like a man) and at the same time to rightly condemn men for violence towards women we are faced with very real and damaging hypocracy.

    In my greater family I am surrounded by women who spend much time bemoaning the weakness of their menfolk while not recognising that they would probably find a man who actually turns round and says "hey back off and treat me with respect" a threat to their neurotic dominance. I have done that and they have cast me out of the family. A Pox on all their houses! I found that if I stood up to them and pointed out how they are wrong and bullying then they simply burst into tears and everyone runs about placating them and saying what a Brute I am. The sad fact is that the terrible fear of recognising how they may have damaged the next generation by leaving thier babies to cry out etc etc is so devastating to many women that they will preserve the status quo at all costs. As my Father said to me not so long ago with a tired look in his Eye "Give women what they want ********** it's easier" while not recognising his part in all this.

    I have had older female members of my family start contacting me and talking to me and then within a very short time they are slagging off their men. I had one old woman very upset saying how she never see's her Son and her Daughters have told her that he says she has ruined his life?. What did she want me to do? Probably say "There, there never mind you poor thing" She did ruin his life and what is she wanting to get from me? A man to talk to, to listen to her like she wanted her Father to do, but he did'nt because he had emotionally withdrawn from the family because his wife walked round with his Balls in her handbag.

    Such women let down their more enlightened sisters just as men like my Father let down men. Both sexes are responsible and yet none have got the courage to face what needs doing. The Pain is too great.


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.