Monday, April 29, 2013

The Mind and the Brain

So where is the mind? Is it identical with the brain?  There are some writers in neuroscience who inadvertently believe they are identical……the brain secretes the mind.  Others think the mind is separate and acts on the brain. This debate has gone on for the millennia.    It is rather important since there is new research that claims that the reason there is depression or anxiety is because of changes in dopamine or serotonin.  In short, it is all in the brain.  And these afflictions result from alterations in chemical production in the brain.  That is why they will never find the answer because it is not in the brain; it is in the mind.  It is how the mind affects the brain where the answer lies.

There is a book on the subject that seems to go off into mysticism but is worth reading. (Brain Wars, by M.  Beauregard. Harper One Press). He believes that the mind affects the brain and that they are not identical, yet, unless I missed something, there is not a good definition of what the mind is.  I think he equates it with the neo-cortical mind.  So for him the mind is thoughts and beliefs. For me it is much more than that; there are several minds, each interacting with the others.  And consciousness means that all levels work fluidly with each other.   You need the contribution of each level to make consciousness.

The distinctions about brain and mind are important; when neglected they lead to some strange conclusions in psychology.  If we think there is no mind then all we have to do is study neurology to find answers to many neuroses.  No unconscious running things.  All we see is behavior and if we change how we act and think (our attitudes) then we can get well.  Neurosis here is all a  matter of “unhealthy attitudes.”  Change the attitude and, voila, we get better.

This problem lies under the rubric of reductionism. Everything is reduced to the basic brain function.  There are no different levels of reality; only one, the apparent, observable one.  So they keep it simple, too simple.  Yet it is often equated with true science—putting the facts together.  No leap beyond the facts, no imagination, no thoughts of what could be.  Science for them is confined of what is observed.  Since there is no mind in their scheme there can be no interaction between mind and brain.  And when I use the term “mind” I mean all levels of consciousness.

So either we are strictly neurologic machines or there is something else going on that helps us understand who we are and why we act the way we do.  I opt for something else going on.  You see when science is so strictly confined to facts we can only produce correlations—things goes up when that goes up therefore……….There is not a lot of room for a deeper analysis, a flight of imagination, soaring into what could be.  It becomes statistics-bound.   It can be counted while feelings often cannot.  This close adherence to facts has in some ways bound psychology and constricted what it could discover. It could not find the truth beyond facts.  Scientific reductionism is the bête noir of psychology.

So we have mind which is produced by the brain but seems to have its own existence that can affect that brain; the interaction between the two.

Is the appreciation of beauty, the smell of the rose identical with the brain? Is the judgment of someone who is interesting identical with the brain?  Or does the ensemble of brain function give rise to all this?  And once it gives rise can it affect the brain that gave life to it?  If you take hypnosis it is clear that thoughts introduced to lower brain levels can affect the brain so that a hand put in cold water seems hot.  Or that a coin put on the hand and told it is very hot can leave burn marks.

Another bit of evidence: the placebo effect, giving neutral, benign pills to those who are told in their minds that it will kill pain and it does.  And the thoughts use the same pathways in the brain that the pills would use.  Thoughts affect brain function.  If we think something might help, even God, then it can help.  The mind can be deceived. Can the brain be deceived?   What happens is that what is in the mind can activate the brain to produce natural painkillers.   It can think it is in pain and change brain function to deal with that imagination.  And there may not be any pain at all except what the mind has been convinced exists.    Also,  a dentist may drill teeth because the person has been suggested that she will feel no pain…..and she does not.  So where is the reality?  In the drill?  In the mind?  Does it hurt if the person cannot feel it?  No.  The mind takes precedence as it does in so many situations where people believe what they are told rather than what they see before them.   At a burial one can see the body float to heaven even after watching it go into the ground.  Does reality take precedence?  I think not.    Is the mind deceived or is it the brain?

It is the mind that believes something so strongly that the brain registers the belief rather than the reality.  PET scans show that infusing a belief into someone that their pain is being reduced will show increased activity in regions known to block pain.    The mind here controls the brain. Can the brain control the mind?  Yes.  Those with sham knee surgery could walk more easily later on even though they had incisions but no surgery.  Their minds controlled it all.   The evidence is overwhelming.  It is also true that the brain controls the mind.  If we are low in dopamine we will have certain personality traits controlled by brain function.   But the mind can cause an increase in dopamine output if it is convinced to do it.  Thus, they are mutually interacting entities.
The brain can interact with the mind, just as the mind can interact with the brain.  Expectations of the mind can activate nerve networks to enhance dopamine production.
How could we ignore the mind and explain the human condition?

One of the interesting findings reported in the book is that attention deficit children have a high amount of theta waves in the frontal lobe. Why is that? My guess is that there is first line intrusion, long slow theta waves from the brainstem are suddenly found in the frontal area.   And that it is this intrusion that distracts and keeps the child from concentrating.  There is an input from imprints going back very far into the remote reaches of the brain that surge into present-day life.  The problem here is that it can lead to, change the mind you can change the brain, philosophy which then slops over into cognitive therapy.   So what mind are we dealing with?  It is clear to me that it is the lower levels of consciousness that directly affect the brain.  We see this in therapy when patients get down into first line their ideas change radically; they are trying to strangle me.  Deep hypnosis that allows a body to go rigid and not feel the pain of surgery must affect the brainstem.  I have seen hypnosis where the body is so rigid it can be placed like a pipe between two chairs and kept there with no fatigue.

What Beauregard points out is that in a quantum universe there is no mind-body split.   It is one.  The mental and physical world merge but that, how and where we observe, can change the object we are observing.  He points out that in neurofeedback one can control seizures by mimicking certain brainwave patterns.

We have to believe that mental activity is not identical to brain activity.  There is a mind that seems to rise above brain function to interact with it.  I do not think that we can equate mind with awareness because mind is so all encompassing and in all its complexity  affects the brain.  That is why deep childhood and womb-life pain can, in my opinion, affect brain function decades later producing Alzheimers disease.  We will never see that in studying the brain alone, but we will see it when we study the humans that carry that brain.


  1. Hi Art ,
    Your entry is really mind-boggling!!
    But still I do n o t know what the MIND "really" is..!

    A German psychotherapist wrote in his book "that all mental ,visual auditory input is beeing layed..down between! the atoms(sic!) and not in..
    the neurons themselves..

    In this way the mind is.constructed ..and the brain.
    I know this is not the answer the question!

    Only introspection(by the way :who or what... for that matter.) does this intospection?

    For me the mind is enigmatic and question thereafter an aporectic one !
    THANKS for this enlightening article!
    Yours emanuel

  2. if the brain (and body) gives life to our feelings
    what is giving life to the body (brain)? what is organizing the matter so the matter can support life? my conclusion is that love for life is at the begining of life wether is a stone or human brain.
    but is there love without matter?? what if matter is love?!

    nobody saw the begining of life. we see that every single living cell comes from another living cell. and we know now that healing can only come from life. from connexion of matter with the meaning of matter. from knowledge that everything has a purpose, a cause and the only "instrument" that knows it is a living one. no paper or display can contain it.

    what is going to happen next is a mystery but can we begin to believe that it is not out of the big picture, out of law, out of love. a tiny bit of trust at the time and who knows? to be open for new things is good. a neccessity for survival.

    everything has a purpose and everything is connected. mind can't control the brain if there is no tissue and moleculs that alow it.

    does "nothing" exist?
    that is the question! )

    1. Vuko, you are reaching beyond the limits of a human's capacity for understanding. Some people reach beyond their limits, and then, to avoid disappointment, come to the most ridiculous conclusions; extremely complex conclusions that are very difficult for others to understand and criticize.

      Let me break it down. The human mind is capable of understanding a mixture of only three things:

      1. The past, present and expected location of matter
      2. The past, present and expected feelings in oneself or other entities
      3. Real or abstract symbols that represent 1. and 2.

      You can instantly recognize the image of a man who is pointing a gun at your face (a real symbol that represents the expected location of the bullet) and you can use words (abstract symbols) and screaming sounds (real symbols) to describe your feelings.

      The human mind cannot understand anything other than 1, 2 and why do we keep trying? Many people try to explain the birth of the universe, but logic says it cannot be born from nothing. Many people describe consciousness as an illusion created by mechanical processes, but logic says consciousness does exist, therefore it cannot be an illusion.

      So FORGET IT! We need to come out of our numb intellects and reach out to those who can feel love and pleasure. Nothing else matters.

  3. sorry Art, few revisions:

    if the brain (and body) gives life to our feelings
    what is giving life to the body (brain)? what is organizing the matter so the matter can support life? my conclusion is that love for life is at the begining of life wether is a stone or human brain.
    but is there love without matter?? what if matter is love?!

    nobody saw the begining of life. we see that every single living cell comes from another living cell. and we know now that healing can only come from life. from connexion of matter with the meaning of matter. from knowledge that everything has a purpose, a cause and the only "instrument" that knows it is a living one. no paper or display can contain it.

    what is going to happen next is a mystery but can we begin to believe that it will not happen out of the big picture, out of law, out of love? a tiny bit of trust at the time and who knows? to be open for new things is good. a neccessity for survival. or we have to prove everything. on paper. and the proof will resonate with ... money?

    everything has a purpose and everything is connected. mind can't control the brain if there is no tissue and moleculs that enable
    it to happen.

  4. Art, I think it's a bad idea to define the mind and brain separately. It creates an unnecessary opportunity for confusion. Instead, I prefer to emphasize the importance of consciousness.

    If the patient is not fully conscious of both the present and past, his mind/brain will not be convinced, and will not allow present reality to make a permanent update to the memory of the past. Simple!

    Why do we need consciousness to provide authentication? Why can't we just combine the old recording with the new input, like unconscious robots? No one can answer that question. Consciousness is necessary, and it is the most magical thing in the universe.

  5. I apologise for any headaches caused by my inefficient writing style. I am trying to improve in this regard. I want to add to my previous comment on consciousness:

    I consider the mind and brain to be the same thing. I can't understand Art's way of separating them. Please read on:

    The mind reserves a portion of itself for the processing of conscious information, and a portion for unconscious information. When the conscious portion grows to full capacity, we have full consciousness with no room for unconscious broken links in the program. At this point, the experience is authentic because there is no room for 'trickery'.

    Neurosis cannot exist within the realm of consciousness. The mind is designed to process information truthfully according to present and past reality. As the truth spreads throughout the mind, so does consciousness. Consciousness is the result of proper functioning. Conversely, as more and more of the mind functions improperly, we become more and more unconscious.

    Undoubtedly some, if not all of those 'improper' unconscious broken links are generated automatically according to nature's Plan B when the heart is overloaded. They are not random chaotic bugs in the program. These 'improper' connections are proper in that they provide an organised defense. But they are not proper -- they don't allow for proper brain function/full consciousness.

    Let me give you an example of proper conscious processing:

    The unconscious reaction to forceps cannot be updated until that REACTION (anxiety etc.) and PRESENT REALITY (the lack of any real damage coming from forceps) are processed together, and with no room available in the mind for unconscious improper processes. During a primal, the blood pools into the sides of the head because, unlike an UNCONSCIOUS reaction to hypnotic suggestion, the lower mind is reacting properly/consciously to the memory and present reality. The blood is not pooling into the sides of the head as a reaction to real or suggested damage -- the blood is simply following orders from the now-fully-conscious properly functioning lower mind. The expanded lower mind is brimming with ALL available proper information, as it should, and as a result, has pushed away the improper connections/unconscious defenses. Some of that proper information includes pain signals coming from the traumatic memory, and some if it includes painless signals coming from present reality. The expanded/normal lower mind is restoring proper communication with the nerves in the sides of the head. As a NATURAL reaction to PROPER communication, the blood pools into the sides of the head to feed the nerves so that they can become sensitive to present reality. The lower mind is feeling for present reality -- feeling for damage -- feeling the lack of damage AND the pain signals coming from the traumatic memory. Because none of the information is trickery, the lower mind can recognise the authenticity and say, "Oh I see! The pain signals have become unnecessary."

    Feeling in itself does not lead to healing. It is the restoration of proper communication that leads to healing.

    I am proposing that neurosis does indeed begin (automatically) in the lower mind (lower brain). Those deep deviations are well organised and simple compared to their result in the intellect. And those deep deviations are naturally restored when they are forced into proper alignment by the enormous flood of proper information coming from the memory and present reality.

    This is just a hypothesis that may or may not clash with Art's findings.

    1. RIchard: I wouldn't know where to begin on your blog. Some good and some off. It seems like a jumble of ideas. art

    2. Think of the brain as a cluster of wiggling squirming lightning bolts. They don't dance and bend so wildly in the brain stem but as they travel upwards, they spread out and form millions of tiny branches that twist and bend wildly.
      When a victim feels a sword plunge into his stomach, the pain is life threatening, so you will see a lightning bolt bend very slightly off it's natural course in the brain stem to form a false sensation (the "gating"), and then the intellect, now having no proper foundation to ground it's thoughts, will have lots of tiny branches that are telling wild lies. A subtle detour from down below has caused blatant chaos up above.
      Any abnormal deviation, anywhere in the brain, will be an unconscious process. Only proper, natural processes can generate a conscious experience. Errors cause consciousness to crash. The slight error in the brain stem has caused the victim to become unconscious to his bodily sensations, and the resulting wild errors in his intellect are ruining his ability to make a good decision.
      Later, when his stomach has healed, he can access the memory of the sword in his stomach, and bring the old pain onto consciousness for the very first time. That means no wild deviations in the intellect and no subtle deviation in the brainstem.
      How do we correct those deviations, wherever they may be?
      We do it by tracing back along the tell-tale course that the lightning bolt traveled until we arrive at the very original deviation in the brain stem, and then even that deviation will correct itself because the dominant force of past and present reality -- the truth -- ALL of the truthful information -- ALL of reality -- FULL consciousness -- is leaving no room for anything other than proper processing.
      The more information your mind processes properly, the more conscious you become. The opposite is a trance in which much less information is being processed properly.

    3. the feeling allows the proper communication which is then materialised through our
      acts, acts of our body. the same body that alowed the disconnection... then connection and finally
      liberation. the healing is a process... of restoration of the meaning of our body: to support life.
      we start using our hands, lungs,hearts,penises and vaginas,our eyes... our atoms in a different way for purposes that are yet to be discovered.
      the neo cortex (the feeling destination?) will eventually after long time be able to develop few (or one?) principles out of so many changes, after so many coherent actions. will conclude what is the meaning of life. and will be able to write it on paper or better carve it in stone so someone in the future might be triggered to find out what does it mean.
      someone who forgot it .

  6. Art says: “This close adherence to facts has in some ways bound psychology and constricted what it could discover. It could not find the truth beyond facts.”

    Art, could it be that this was the intention. Maybe they do not want us to understand or perceive the mind. After all, ignorant people are much easier to control and take advantage of. Just saying ;-)

    I grant that I am cynical, but honestly, with what you show, how can any sincere honest person not see that the mind transcends the brain and is like a unrelated function of the brain, so to speak. Reality is what the mind makes of it. That some deny or continue in their dogma, is only evidence that they are in denial and fleeing from what they fear.

    There is a lot more one could reveal from what you draw our attention to. But I will refrain. Needless to say the mind is a very powerful thing, but also a danger to itself in many ways, blocking its own healing in the process. How strange indeed.

    1. Apollo: Exactly. Reality is what the mind makes of it, not the brain makes of it. art

    2. Art, can you immagine human mind without human body?
      just think...

      and my question is: who is the maker?
      and what is making?

      they are both making love.
      only together they make sense out of selves.
      on every level which is again only one.

      so stop the split, please.
      let connection happen and let some sense come from our lives.

    3. i mean let every part of the brain and body do what knows best and likes best. what is made for eventually.
      let matter find it's meaning. finally!

    4. can you split the body of rose from what she is communicating.
      the color, mmmmm the smell, ahh the thorn.
      it is like those petals are made to keep the sweet smell inside..

      i'll enjoy her. not split her. and watch for the thorn. reality.

      how we came to splitting life?
      and forgot to connect it.

  7. The labyrinthine scheme of defense against suffering!

    When we "only" suffer so much that a "professional" task along with pills and religion keeps us ignorant of our suffering... we act like a steamroller... we run over all that science provides through defense for whatever we do not have to admit... must admit to discover what science contains.

    The fact that we are suffering from an convincing symptom by schizophrenic or "professional" symptomatic reactions has no connections to consciousness... consciousness that should awaken the feelings of why... why a "professional" roll as defence against feelings... feelings speaking the truth about the "professionals" and schizophrenic symtom?

    "Professionals" and schizophrenia a symptom as defense against what caused it. What a tragedy for the humanity!

    Consciousness... a word to explain the indefinite form... a state of unconsciousness... impossible in it self to explain why... consciousness a defense against what awareness then contained... an evolutionary process for survival. Now "awareness" through what neo cortex can perform... what an opportunity!


    1. Frank: So, does the brain feel pain? No. Does the mind? Yes I think it interesting that the brain itself cannot register pain. Therein lies the difference. Art

  8. Dr. Janov,

    Am I wrong when I say the MIND is left frontal cortex – ergo, it can be deceived and be tricked into believing in all kinds of phenomena.

    It is the mind that believes, concocts ideas and spins the web of catharsis, whether it is God or other avenues to escape the deeper layer of the brain where pain and need is anchored.


    1. Sieglinde: Interesting. Let me think about it. In general, mind is the whole brain at work. Art

    2. Dr. Janov,

      The mind is hosted by the brain. The mind can “express” what we feel.

      A child’s mind can be religiously and otherwise manipulated.

      The brain reaps the wrath of abuse and neglect and hosts the pain - which, vice-versa influences (again) the mind. Mind is responsible for our “wants” while the brain signals only “needs”.


    3. or maybe the better way would be the other way around.
      from trust in life to connection with the meaning of it.
      stop the all time analysing job. for a moment.

      to make the meaning of dissection.

      Art, while you read scientific reports do you enjoy them partially
      or the way they make (if they make) a bigger picture visible.
      the joy of connecting them. and trying to figuring out why they don't.
      just thinking now how love will remain the mistery for reductionistic science forever. science need feelings
      and proofs. and lack both.

      but people maybe not need every proof to survive.
      feeling could be enough.

    4. Hi vuko,

      -feeling is proof-, isn't it?

      Paul G.

  9. it is interesting how both disconnected and connected wisdom look the same
    when put on paper. choose the same font and size or now just copy and paste it if you want it to look identical. when you sit in front of a person talking there is so much more information.

    you often say about how long time is needed to learn the techniques of good primal therapist. i think the longest to master could be the ability to be unreservedly focused on patient and observe is a basis of all hopefully right moves... they will or not make in a session.

    i think i finally sort of understand what is intrusion. when one level is forced to speak the other level talk and thus we are nowhere. aren't we all more or less living in intrusion mode all of the time?

    1. Hi Vuko,

      Yes I think so, I really agree. Also I had the insight that acting out is inevitable.

      I mean, I can freak out at somebodies stupidity (with a valence over and above the circumstances) and the person observing can say: "Oh, he is acting out". . . and so is that casual observer. . . Most likely.

      Acting out is our dismal lot until we make a true connection to the 1st line. What does 'wisdom' look like after contact with our 1st line?

      No matter how sophisticated we can be about grief and loss and about anything it will always be "About" and not what the pain really is.

      I get it Vuko, I get it and there are degrees of it too. Society and culture and 'organisation' are really just an expression of the layers of historic imprinting on a huge social scale.

      What is free will?

      Paul G.

    2. Hi Paul,
      i think we need patience to heal. to not ask to know what we are not ready to know. to avoid intrusion. Art is repeating endlessly that there is a good reason why we don't know.

      it is top priority, i think. and the heviest task for a therapist.
      lets help them and us if we can.

    3. to Paul and everybody,
      just keep that first line at bay. do not be too smart.
      because we can't be smart before we know.
      don't let the stress get over the top.
      find something, somebody, this blog...
      something that makes sense, makes us feel good and loved.
      and survive.
      no matter what. not too smart.

    4. That's really helpful vuko,

      Paul G.

    5. Advice, you sound like a primal therapist. The intellectual part of me sees beauty in cleverly built machines that run smoothly. Sometimes I try to tinker with primal theory without destroying it. I'm just oiling the squeaky bits. I never believe in any of my contributions because I know I don't really know. And in my sleep I am reminded of what is most important. But politicians and scientists adore beautiful, smooth-running machines even when the results are disastrous. My advice to you: don't give up on the intellectual. Give him some yummy food for thought. Don't provoke him. Seduce him. Perhaps the average politician will never undergo primal therapy, but he might force others to do so.

    6. Richard: Lost your last comment. Please send it again. art

    7. Richard: Not to worry about politicians. They will never come close to primal. art

  10. The feeling is nothing like flying around in your body ... it speaks volumes of the physiological "sense"... it's just a matter of that we interpret and how we do it.

    Feeling and thought are in the same sense a process ... none is without the other. We are just under unfortunate circumstances out there in the world to misinterpret the contents as a result of cause ... effect and consequence for survival.

    Cause ... effect and consequence of survival more than an integrated state as it should.
    We talk out of sentences about understanding the context or feel it.

    Again ... a clear indication that the neo cortex evolved more for survival than being part of the physiological process for life in its infancy!

    We needed neo cortex for survival and need neo cortex to begin our life. A contradictory sentence for intellectuals... to think right about the psychological processes!


  11. of topic:

    Dr. Janov,

    Genetic Mutation Linked with Typical Form of Migraine
    Research by UC San Francisco Team Opens Door to Potential New Treatments

    Migraine is a genetic mutation = CKIdelta.

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and a professor of neurology at UCSF. “It’s our initial glimpse into a black box that we don’t yet understand.”
    More at:

  12. In and Out of My Mind

    To understand The Primal Principal, The Triune Brain and Evolution in Reverse have been irreplaceable basic facts. Along with other important factors in a holistic treatment program, they lifted my understanding and made me dare to undergo a revolutionary change in my life that The Primal Therapy has meant. It has been a 40-year process that changed my way of thinking, feeling and reacting. During the therapeutical process, the health status could, always, be measured against stable regularities, like the vital signs. My vital signs (pulse, blood pressure and body temperature) have, over the years, changed for the better and are excellent. The improvements over the decades have been made spasmodically depending on the undeveloped PT treatment methodology, which at times gave the chance a too wide margin.

    We belong to a psychotherapeutic world that are part of an increasingly technologically advanced Neuroscience, which academically has become departmentalised in some 20 new “galaxies” without strong coordination and few practical common applications. Therefore, a part of Art Janov’s important contributions has been to, with metaphysical methods, combine his clinical experiences with advances in Neuroscience and in a comprehensible way explain this to his patients / readers.

    A few weeks ago I read Robert Whitaker’s book, “Anatomy of an Epidemic”, and I was fascinated by two interviews / stories about how two people were determined, as a last resort, to break out of a mad psychiatric medicine program that had accelerated to increasingly disastrous results, and destroyed the lives of the patients and their families. The stories surpassed my own terrible experiences when I took myself out of heavy epileptic medication 15 years ago.

    What began as an intellectual reading experience on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the Spanish mountains, suddenly turned into an increasingly more emotionally dominated experience. I was numb, frozen, and I could feel that parts of my brain were struck dumb. After a while, I realized that I was going out of my mind. I was moved 15 years back in time to my then dramatic primals. In reality, this meant that I had moved almost 73 years back in time.

    During tre days and nights I was lying in bed with high fever, faint hyperventilation, with the head clamped as in a vise (only interrupted by regular birth primals / birth pains). I was not awake but could not sleep. I was out of my mind. Just like 15 years ago I got shingles / chickenpox around the chest. During three days, my daughter gave me water, tea and broth, and after another couple of days the fever dropped, the primals ceased and my breathing became normal. I was back in my mind but mentally tired and with great need for sleep.

    Seemingly a scaring story that I feel is a necessary re-living of repressed pain from my birth process. The deep physical, mental and emotional satisfaction I feel when the ink flow out of my pen is completely in harmony with my needs. Tanks to The Primal Principles and a sufficient understanding of the interactive communication within the Triune Brain, I have the tranquility that makes it possible to interpret an “old man’s” disease like an unborn fetus struggle for life.Tank you, Art Janov!!!

    Jan Johnsson

  13. Vuko!

    We are not forced when we "choose" to communicate... something we can not understand because we EXPERIENCE us forced... the nearest road to "freedom" is to communicate!


  14. Hi,
    There are people who have reported 'out of body experiences'.

    The model of brain / mind encompasses this as does the theory of originating causes by extreme pain and trauma.

    What I want to know is how one person's mind can corroborate another person's out of body experience; ie: one person actually observes the other leave their body and float up to the ceiling. . . Both parties even having a conversation about it whilst it is happening; ie: both 'conscious' of the phenomena simultaneously.

    Enter all those 'theories' of 'soul' and 'life after death' or life and existence 'separate or independently of the body'.

    Also experiments done with an awake party entering into the dream of an asleep party and corroborating the experience independently. . .

    One thing's for sure, human consciousness constructed out of three interconnected brains and three aroused and aware 'minds' does indeed facilitate a unique experience in the universe. Possibly the only variety anywhere in the universe. . . Are we alone in this? . . . This 'reality' is mind boggling and scary. . . such a short life in such a long and massive universe.

    Paul G.

  15. I have seen a few people here get a little disturbed maybe by this supposedly new notion Arthur suggests. It is not new, for one. Art wrote 27 articles or so, on Hypnosis and perhaps some might benefit from a review of those. Art had pointed out in this excellent series that the “mind,” through hypnosis, could literally defy its normal programming and logic, where hot could be cold and black could be white and up would be down and no rules of reality seemed to apply. Art even questioned, rhetorically, what reality was in view of this.

    For me, what is interesting is that we can voluntarily submit to another person and they can, with skill, go in and completely reprogram the stem, no less, assuming it is the stem that controls autonomic reactions. I believe it is. In fact, sometimes we can reprogram ourselves as well, by denial, repression, etc.

    The physical brain can be reprogrammed. The “mind” them becomes altered. The danger, of course, si that if we severe ourselves from reality and venture off into the imagination, we might have a hard time getting back. Is there a point of no return? If not, then it still might be a severe struggle. Perhaps now we can see the difficulty in coaxing a human mind to let feelings rise, when that seems most undesireable, as well as dangerous, even for some with some training to aid it.

    There are many fascinating facts you might not be aware of. Ever wondered about something and wanted to know more about it, and then one day, months later or even years, certain associations suddenly dawn on you? Believe it or not, there are operations that go on without your knowing it. The stem handles many such things. But also other parts, too. So if you have a strong craving to know something, the inner unconscious mind will set aside an operation, we could call it an agent, as Marvin Minsky does or did, to watch for patterns or information related to what you want to know. This “agent” watches and compares at all times, and we never know it is happening. What it “dawns” on us, that is the effect of this agent telling us and we think its just an insight we made. We did, but with help from an operation that works without our knowledge. This is part of what gives the “mind” its incredible power to learn and discern.

    It is also possible for a hypnotist to create these sort of agents who then find something or trigger you to do something. And you would never know it. Feel helpless? Scared? You should be. We can take wrong paths and propaganda can also seduce us to take wrong paths. So now I ask, which way is up?

  16. I had another thought. If you watch a video display on a computer, that display can present fascinating sights and sounds that will produce effects. The computer, on the other hand, just processes silicon switches, completely impersonal and uses the same power, regardless of the program, although what we process might cause a greater or lesser load on calculations. But the program determines what will be displayed. New programs can be added, deleted, ran, or stopped/closed.

    The function between what a computer produces is vastly different from the instructions (programs), memory and microprocessor as well as chips that enable printer, display, and other outside connections. Our minds are the sound and displays put out; or information taken in by microphone, keyboard, modems, scanners, cameras, video cams, etc; and processed to be printed, viewed, or the like.

    Dishonest scientists, say I, prefer not to tell you about the “mind” vs the brain. They would have you believe it is all just sparks in synapses and that anything can be solved with drugs or electronics. They want you to believe in the “Matrix.” They want you to think reality is illusion and that illusion is the reality. 1st step to doing that is to deny your own personal reality, your gut instincts. Do not trust yourself. Trust the good doctor (psychiatrist) or politician. 2nd, do not think or reason. The hardest mind to overcome or reprogram is the one that insists on thinking for itself. No one can be hypnotized who refuses to cooperate and will not turn off their mind and critical thinking and stay on conscious charge.

    It is my person opinion as well as that of published authors, that hypnosis should never be allowed to take place. It is said that hypnosis is benign and no one can be made to do anything against their will. This is a patent lie say I and others who would know even better than I do. And when “meddlers” are done, you will never know a thing happened unless they want you to know. They can keep you from knowing. You can even keep yourself from knowing as has been demonstrated in PT many times. Just a word to the wise!

    1. Hi Apollo,

      The most common & widespread 'hypnotism' seems to be in the 'rote learning' (mantric?) capacity of the neo-cortex itself. If I get ripped off enough times repeatedly, after a while I'll willingly pay the higher price and 'believe' I'm getting the good deal.

      If I get hurt often enough through a punch on the cheek maybe I'll 'turn the other cheek' (and make it into a perverse religion of forgiveness).

      If I 'count enough sheep' before I go to bed I may well 'fall asleep'. . . . .

      I'm told that if you draw a line on the ground and then hold a chickens beak to it for a minute or so the chicken believes it is tied to it and will not move. . .

      Are we so different from the chicken?

      Paul G.

    2. Hi Paul!

      Yes, toe learning as you call it, I call it conditioning, is a sort of hypnotism, really. Our “trust” in parents, teachers, media, “experts” in various fields, these are all almost like a hypnotist, not because of what they do, but because of our attitude. We give them trust and priority so that their words go into our minds with added emphasis and acceptance so that their ideas become our new reality. Only a shock when one of those sources ends up becoming a betrayal or treachery, do we suddenly wake up and begin to question that so called “reality.” Most people would probably do better to get their proverbial teeth kicked in frequently, so that they might “wake up.”

      A dull unquestioning intellect is a dangerous thing to possess. I suspect we are not normally so different from the chicken, unless something turns our world upside down, that is. What makes most people vulnerable or susceptible to being hurt or taken advantage of, is their “trust” in other people, that all are the same and act the same and can be trusted. Many rapes happen because trust is too common. Bad business deals happen the same way.

      That would be my view, for what it is worth.

  17. freedom = communication = reality

    every cell must do it's own job in that same direction.
    intrusion is interfering the communication.
    intrusion is noise.
    because one fre"}{"ncy is disto!@$ng the me{{age
    that the OT^%R frequ}|ncy is try": to }><(*_+

    1. "freedom = communication = reality"

      Vuko I think you are probably right. Without proper communication, reality is lost and instead, our internal and external environment becomes nothing but a subjective interpretation; nothing but a creation of the mind.

      Reality is not just in the mind. It is not just a conscious experience. Reality is real moving atoms joining and repelling to create mechanical systems which will lead to death when overloaded. Likewise, the brain probably evolved with mechanical backup systems that are able to override the conscious experience when things go wrong.

      We are, first and foremost, machines. It's very difficult to kill a baby. Fill it with alcohol and nicotine, suffocate it and crush it for hours and days....the machine will not die easily. Life comes first while the conscious experience gets pushed aside.

      I chatted with a woman who circumcised her newborn a few days ago. He was one day old. She said her husband held him while the doctor did the circumcision without anesthetic. She said her baby, just like her three other sons, showed no sign of distress.

      So what happened? A newborn has virtually no intellect, no beliefs that will help to repress the pain. I suspect a mechanical backup system kicked in, and that override is no different, in essence, to the intellectual override we see in adults. The normal, automatic interpretation of reality is distor!@#ed in favour of an ancient, neurotic interpretation of reality -- one that is used by a lizard caught inside a bird's beak.

      The baby grows from that neurotic lizard. The intellect develops neurotic ideas based on the unreliable information coming from the brainstem. It's not that brainstem is totally fact it is pretty close, but it doesn't provide all of the appropriate information. The traumatic memory is always perfectly accurate, but the brainstem can't afford to interpret it accurately until the entire system is strong enough to lie on a bed at the primal center.

      Only then will the disto#%$d message be bent into proper shape by the full force of the memory and present reality.

    2. Hi Vuko,

      Yesterday for me was a moot point in case.

      Last week I had a whole two weeks of working with an extremely repressed and ineffectual manager on a frame erection. This particular project was also very dear to my heart as it was a 'not for profit' transaction between two 'not for profit' organisations using a salvaged and re -erected frame from my now closed down yard. It will be used as a community learning centre. After nearly 4 yrs of extreme recession and near bankruptcy something positive has come out of this. So the project was loaded with moral and ethical expectation.

      As th! job proge263d and as I beq123 to find out just h+w repressed the manag%$ really is I noticed h^ would persisten)(y intrude w:;. totally incongr0987654321ous suggestions, questions and remark1.

      By thew 4th d?? I was so @@@sed and so fuck123 up, I could no longer ?on?entr?te and I had to ask the tw*t to shut the f**K up and leave site.
      His 'contribution' when the crane was dangling 1 ton frames into exact position was so dangerous I could hardly believe this man had any employability at all. . . If I had not acted as I did he would have killed one of us and blamed someone else, me most likely.

      It's interesting how Art talks about how a repressed therapist can really damage a patient. Now I can see better how 'symbolic 1st line intrusion' into the 3rd line relations between a manager and some-one following their lead can begin to totally undermine the performance of those doing the following.

      Consequently, after that week and a busy weekend starting moving house (again) and facilitating my daughter's birthday party on Sunday, I spent all of Monday (yesterday) screaming for my mum and dad on the floor coughing my guts up till almost suffocating, feeling like I will die horribly for ever and ever and ever without end.

      I'm alright now. Today I will reverse the 'intrusion' by working in my agent's workshop. My agent is a good manager and respects my skills and judgements, even when I'm wrong.

      Paul G.

    3. Hi Richard and vuko,

      I got into the theory of "Word Bastardisation".

      Very interesting. Check out the roots of words that begin with 'd'. . . particularly 'de' or 'di' or 'dis'.

      So often the 3rd line can only de-scribe something by de-veloping a symetrical opposite or the 'reverse' side. Me telling you this is de-volving. . .

      Oh to have grown out of my contrary nature.

      Paul G.

  18. Just in case you all did not get enough, I was watching this on Discovery's site:
    They have hooked an mechanical arm/wrist/hand and hook it to the brain of a woman who then learns to control it in the very same way we learn to walk. she was eating in 3 days and getting far effective at very precise control, nearly indistinguishable from a real arm. Robots can balance like people. And this is only what we are being shown. We do not know if they are far ahead of this or not. Military tech is often 30 to 50 years ahead of any public or industrial commercial tech.

    If they can come near to or match physical functions and performance, you can be very sure they will not be far behind in mental emotional models as well. Again, they may already be quite advanced in this. We would have no way of knowing. What we do not know and can not predict is what the final outcome of all this will be. But you can be assured that those privy to much great info, may have a pretty good idea of where it is all going. If we can dream it, it will soon be a reality.

    but we will not be offered a glimpse until they are sure they can give us a glimpse without fouling up their great plans.

  19. Hi Apollo-

    "Welcome my son,
    Welcome to the machine.
    Where have you been?
    It's all right, we know where you've been!
    you've been in the pipeline,
    filling in time.
    Provided with toys and scouting for boys,
    So, welcome to the machine.

    Paul G.


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.