Tuesday, February 2, 2016

REPOST: Philip Seymour Hoffman died 3 years ago

Philip Seymour Hoffman died on February 2, 2014. He died from an overdose of painkillers; e.g. heroin. He had been in plenty of rehab yet it didn’t seem to solve his problem. It wasn’t the drugs that did him in; it was the pain. He was simply the carrier. Since he was the carrier, killing the pain meant ultimately killing himself.

And what was he carrying? Here lies the rub. Because he was carrying around a load of pain from his earliest months; something invisible, not obvious and very well hidden inside. Yet this is the epoch to be treated as well as later pains, and it is precisely the epoch avoided in all rehabs and therapies. Why? Because it is not obvious and cannot be easily ferreted out. These pains from birth and gestation lay down a basic strata of pain upon which it becomes compounded throughout our lives, a due lack of love and harm continues. We can see the lack of love, the neglect and avoidance, which can be treated; but the greatest force of the pain is neglected. It is here during the beginnings of our neuronal development and adversity that our nervous system becomes rerouted and deep agony is embedded. It changes the whole system and installs serious pain, which can last a lifetime. So when he reverses and goes back to drugs it cannot be a surprise. The pain remains and is engraved. He carries it around all of the time, whether he is aware of it or not. And it drives him to seek relief no matter his efforts at rehab.

It is not he who has failed therapy. It is the therapy and rehab that has failed him, all the while going through the motions of getting well, yet never touching the basic cause of his pain. I am writing about first-line, brainstem imprints, which we have seen and studied for over forty years. When we see patients reliving lack of oxygen, the inability to exit the womb and dozens of our pains we know what is being laid down. These are far too powerful to be left in the hands of do-gooders with the best of intentions. It is science that we need; including the recent work of Moshe Szyf who notes that these early pains leave a trace, a marker that carries them forth inside of us. And what we hope to do through reliving is attack the trace at the source, relive the pain of it and reverse the imprint through demethylation. Take away the trace with its load of agony and its memory. In short, remove key aspects of the trace that spell constant, ineluctable hurt. Take the pain away, not the pain of later life, which needs to be dealt with, but the lower strata that produces the exacerbation of the agony.

What does it mean that he did rehab? I have visited rehab centers where they really care about the addict, provide the best food possible, swimming pools, a whole new environment. And it lasts as long as the stay. Yes, it can last longer as the exhortation and new ideology implanted can carry him along for a time. But the demon imprint never, never leaves. It is not more concerted effort he needs; it is science.

I have treated actors and I have found that the greater they are the more pain they carry. They can be anything to feel loved. “I will be anything or anyone you want so long as you love me, “ said one actress in therapy. And why are they so great? The emotions are breaking through at all times as they suffer damaged defenses. They cannot control their pain/emotions, which makes them great and in pain, a pain close to the top at all times. If they get away from it, they are lesser actors, an unavoidable law. So whether it is Brando or Hoffman, it is the same dynamic; I will be someone else so effectively that I will be praised for the performance. And why are the defenses so weak? Because they were damaged so early in life as to be defective for a lifetime. The defense system can only hold on for so long and then the biochemicals of repression such as serotonin give way. And what do we prescribe for those in pain? Serotonin, exactly what was depleted in the fight against monstrous early imprints. It is the weakening that makes defenses ineffective. And when there is later compounded pain on higher brain levels, the defenses suffer again. And the result? Addiction. The constant battle to put down the pain from early on, and the added neglect, lack of touch and love in childhood. You may get “love” from an audience but it is not the same as being hugged and loved very early on. But actors are willing to settle.

So let us remember; when we kill pain we are literally killing ourselves.


  1. This is going to sound arrogant... please don't unfriend me on facebook.

    The word "hi" means "I want to offer you my attention." It is usually used in a friendly context. Originally the word "hey" meant "I want your attention." It was not specifically friendly. So why did so many people choose to replace the word "hi" with "hey" (until the change became mainstream to the extent that everyone started saying it just to fit in). Perhaps it is the same reason why macho girls don't like to wear pretty clothes -- they don't want to be associated with 'that type of girl'. I notice a lot of young people don't want to be associated with affection. They wear hard-looking tattoos that represent the darkness in their lives and their ability to proudly live with it -- survive it, and not take shit from anyone. Affection is for girly boys and girly girls who are too weak to survive the darkness. Every time I say hi to a male colleague, I typically get the response; "hey" or "sup bro" or "how's it going". Still sort of friendly but they never say "hi". Many of the females still say "hi" ... I guess females are allowed to be more affectionate.
    Perhaps a more obvious rejection of affection is the use of the word "bitch" instead of "girlfriend". Was this hideous transition made possible by a common desire to display one's girlfriend as a piece of property rather than a true friend? Is it so embarrassing to use the word "girlfriend" or "partner" ?
    Is the world getting worse or is it starting to show a little honesty? Once upon a time, music was intended to be graceful and beautiful, sometimes explosive but never in a demonic way. Perhaps it was pretentious. Today's commercial music industry feeds the children a diet of mindless candy pop, pop rock, hard rock, death metal, gangster rap, drum 'n' bass, etc. and most of it has a distinctly unaffectionate emotion but it has a lot of energy. Does this mainstream music represent the real world? I hope not.

    1. Richard,
      I know how much things have changed. I find the youth of today, their type of lingo and "hardness" absolutley boring. Is it that they are doing it for affect, or is it that they can't deal with too many nice emotions because they were raised to be ignorant?

    2. What is wrong with kindness. A little kindness can go along way, and reflects off of the individual who is being kind. The youth of today, I'm not impressed with whatsoever. Acting so tough. Schools, and other leaders should try to change the youth of today. Do they think their lives are going to be so easy acting so tough and cool? Do they think they look good being "nasty"? I have to deal with them, but I know I don't have the power to even attempt to try to change them. Used to be , life was more interesting; a lot more humor, and love. According to todays youth, "Can't have that." Something is wrong in the household to have so many kids like this today. The parents should try to integrate kindness, and compassion in their teenager's mind and lives. Something is wrong with the parenting.

    3. Hi,

      where I live girls and women have for quite a while been wearing skirts over trousers or 'tights' / leggings. . . What does that say ?

      Perhaps now that women have a lot more 'freedom' in our post modernist societies they are faced with the 'need' to be both male like and female like simultaneously.

      But I am a man guessing about women and I should not like to assume any thing any more about any one. Though I do feel the need to point out that women keeping men guessing is an old old game that probably will continue to protect women against men's sexually prejudiced assumptions. . . mine included.

      Paul G.

    4. Hi Richard

      Interesting post. I think "Hey" has been grabbed. It's "Hey Dude". I think it is friendly. It's "Bill and Ted's Big Day Out". It's two guys trying to show affection without coming across as gay. I think it is quite American centric. The other thing that slightly freaks me out is the use of "Hello (your name)" at the beginning of an e-mail. That seems incredibly formal and cold. Saying hello is something you say to a complete stranger and not someone you have known for ages.

      There is one other phrase which I think expresses a great deal of pain at the moment and that is "Only two more sleeps" when someone does not use "Only two more days". The persons waking life must be so depressing and sad that they have to look forward to blissful sleep. it's as though they are racing through life to avoid the pain.

      It is so sad about Philip Seymour Hoffman. You could always see his pain and feel his pain. In some ways an Actor allows the viewer to perhaps experience their own pain at arms length. It's a means of projection of our own un-felt pain. Actors are almost an important outlet for society. Bread and Circus's even.

    5. Carrying on from my last comment it does seem like Society needs Actors. Society will place Hoffman on a pedestal (and he was damn good) so that his pain is kept away. Everyone will feel sorry for him and not blame him for his addiction because he was a success. Many drug addicts who live on the streets are demonised. Success is everything and success breeds immunity from ridicule though it is the desperate search for success which is such a powerful defence against the pain he felt.

      In some ways Actors are the unconcious sponge (and projector) for societies pain. They are almost like the acceptable face of Scapegoating. People can dump their own pain onto the Actor.

      I always found the reaction to the death of Diana the Princess of Wales one of the strangest happenings in the UK. Millions of people bought magazines with paparazzi pictures of this poor woman every week. She lived in a fish bowl that fed this insatiable appetite for gossip and news about her. In the end she died chased by photographers as she tried to find some love and peace. The wailing and gnashing of teeth by the very same people who bought the magazines was very ironic, in that in some ways they had contributed to her death. Sentimentality is such a powerful defence against pain. Peoples dreams were dashed. Diana was another sponge for other peoples pain.

    6. It kind of seems like people are becoming more honest or open about expressing their repressed pain, not to be confused with re-living of course. This expression as you point out takes many forms. As people become more knowledgeable about everything it seems to bring about a more progressive society as a whole.

      Some of these trends and forms of expression might be distasteful to some, but maybe that could be viewed as a sign or signal that these people are expressing repressed pain. Philip Seymour Hoffman was a great actor, as Art elucidated, maybe we should view that as a sign.

      I’m 52 and have recently discovered an interest in Heavy Metal music. I know now that the music gives me an outlet for my repressed anger/rage. It’s just a temporary relief valve - I know. Hopefully I can experience Primal Therapy one day.

    7. ZW: Hope you can too. best, art.

    8. Hello Richard,

      It is the need for the relief of suffering! If the music would be destined suffering so would the momentum be another and the society would not be able to proceed at a pace as it does... so the music causes a higher tempo and are geared more on tomorrow than today!

      We are in a time where anything can happen... ordinary people have gained access to a "weapon"... music that makes us live in a much faster pace than our system otherwise are capable. We alleviate the inner pressure with the help of music... which otherwise can take drastic ways... but also cause drastic circumstances! Music speaks to us in a very personal way!

      Your Frank

  2. Art!

    What you write is that the primal therapeutic process makes possible a harmony with what the physiological memory carries... a memory... necessary for room to our history... to room for what our consciousness contains... consciousness by what telomers makes possible... a process necessary to get its time... time in the name for what science will prove... so that no hocus pocus longer is possible... amazing!

    The telomeres must have the necessary time to grow to its length for what the physiological process requires... also to be proven psychological... a process to prove what the primal therapeutic process makes possible... possible for our emotional memory to fall into place... it is a content beyond what anyone will be able to defend against!

    It is absolutely incredible ... amazing... I sit here and cry for what you are about to prove... prove what I throughout my life have fought against... something present psychiatric and psychological methods never ever can live up to!

    Your Frank

  3. Too bad.....heroin is now "out there." Supposedly so inexpensive and so easily obtainable. A person who does that now , after hearing the after effects, the consequenses about it, really should "wake up" and say "no , this isn't the way to go; don't even start this...they should seek help. I just think the actors/actressess or anybody who leaves themselves "wideopen" at all times, succumb or surrender to such a drug as heroin, because it's just that...."leaving themselves wideopen (they can't handle their own actions as they are playing roles.... they just leave themselves "wideopen" at all time; so much so, that they are "shredded". They need help, and advise....they need to be coached as they are reeling in the money from their fame. I heard , after his death, that Hoffman could play any role almost at anytime. A person like that, does leave themselves wideopen....even to "open" for themselves. Now they are talking about legalizing marijuana , and that does lead to heavy duty drugs such as heroin,. I don't agree with this legalization. I can understand medical marijuana, but legalizing it for everyone....no. One doesn't really know what is even in those bags nowaday, as one prepares to use marijuana. It may look like straight marijuana, but who knows.....it could have something "laced" with it. Not a good situation. Too bad and sad.
    Thank you Art for letting us know.

    1. Coastbeach7: The problem is, as I wrote. Where to get effective therapy? There lies the rub. art

  4. are we in constant representation mode consuming artistic representations to learn how to better represent ourselves...

    1. I honestly don't think we (as women) bettered ourselves with the woman's movement. In many areas, I think it "backfired" on us, and we were stupid even to try to change our "representation". I do believe in equality, but we (as woman) are not capable of doing (even thinking) the way a man does on a job. The only possible advantage that come out of that movement, is that maybe a woman will act more calmly in emergency situation.

    2. Hi coastbeach7,

      -"but we as women are not capable of doing (even thinking) the way a man does on a job" - ?

      That's quite a big statement in only a few words and I feel you really know what you mean but I don't quite understand, could you say some more on that please ?

      Paul G.

    3. Paul, It is like, some women cannot function as a man, nor can they think sometimes as logically or calmly as a man (for some reason....some women cannot be that way, they are not built physically as such). They get to caught up in what is around them, the people, what they say....some women cannot "filter" so that they aren't that focused. I think the woman's movement, to the extent that they carried it, is not good; unless men and women are living in separate worlds. It is a man's world , deep down. We, as woman, haven't made progress....we damaged a lot for women. (The women's movement, in a way, really "backfired").

  5. "The ambition, the drive, the wanting to be the center of attention, the wanting to succeed... They're all inside me somewhere." (Philip Seymour Hoffman at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/philipseym470677.html#0mBeBZvc3Oi0LtX2.99)
    One must face the fact that there is truth behind every word we talk, every dream we dream, every Lapsus Linguae we miss. No matter how many painkillers we take we are radically trying to transmit our helplessness in every possible way in order to attract whoever might incarnate the solution to the hidden secret within. Hiding the truth and suggesting we're in trouble at the same time is an illusion of balance that leaves you exhausted. Exhaustion and pain. That is really too heavy of a burden to be carried by a human being. So many lifes taken away by both man designed pain inhibitors and disinhibitors. What is the primal reason wa cause so much pain on ourselves generation after generation. There must be an intimate connection with an idea that is common to us all, a feeling that under some sort of censorship has become a taboo. What kind os repression have we endured that lead us to fear pain. I believe our ancestors down in Africa did not escape the pain. The Australopithecus simply took it as a natural thing, didn't they? Is pain fearing something deeply rooted to the advent of the Homo Sapiens and the cognitive brain. You are deeply commited to the healing of human agony. I know it doesn't help in the relief process but I wonder, did you ever think of a connection like that? Could the mistery of the sudden appearance of our species and the burden of the pain we carry ever since be explained in a that perspective? I deeply honour your effort as a visionary, and believe the trail for a new way of treating mental illnesses is set and we're bound to it as a species. I am optimistic in that regard from a wider perspective if I may say so.

    1. Lars, why not go further into it and I will publish it. art

    2. It'd be a hell of a work for it means unmasking the lie underneath the western judeo-christian mascarade with your loving and respectful approach to human suffering. I know you're not joking, so I guess I'll have to take your word.

    3. Lars,

      The need for my mother not only took my life... it also saved what is needed to discover that it is so... my intellectual ability to understand the nuances for how symptoms constitute needs! I moved from one room to another in order for survival... from the limbic system to neocortex which gave me time to discover that it is so!

      The understanding of symptoms for cause of suffering... must be on the agenda in the case of education in psychiatry and psychology!

      Your Frank

  6. An email comment: "
    Art Thanks for writing this....

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman is dead...

    I have been around addicts all my life... My father was an alcoholic, and also addicted to Meth... I also was an addict for a time myself, well on my way to becoming an alcoholic as a teenager, and using other street drugs daily until i was almost thirty.

    After I had primal therapy, I worked as a drug counselor and worked in a drug clinic in Santa Monica, for a while as a counselor, and for a time as the clinical director. I have also worked in one of the worlds larges detox centers. I also ran drug diversion for Crack users, for 5 long years, and was one of a handful of counselors to be certified by Los Angeles County Drug Abuse Program office....

    Just saying that, because I want to put it out there that i have known many thousands of drugs users, some sober, and many who have no intention of ever stopping. Also my fathers brother ran a hospital for alcoholics, and was a sponsor to other Alcoholics in A.A,. in the Bay Area.

    I have known lots of addicts who have died due to their addiction some of over overdose, some of medical issues, including my father who died of Alcoholism. Overdoses are common, though not always fatal. It wouldn't surprise me if Mr. Hoffman had previous non fatal overdoses.

    Its also been my experience that if you talk to people in the treatment community about, curing addiction, they won't accept it. Usually they are people in so called recovery themselves, who have tried counseling, only to become strung out on medication, or who have become emotionally overloaded as a therapist tries to work with their feelings, when they have damaged defenses. A sure way to trigger more drug use...

    They don't believe in a cure. Yet I myself have been cured.

    It seems like an impossibility to them....

    Addiction is a 24/7 obsession, it drives addicts every second of their life. They damage their defenses by using drugs in the first place. The more they use them, the more open they are to their pain inside. Its a vicious circle. Unless you have been an addict, its hard to understand just how all encompassing addiction is.

    So its no wonder, its hard for them to believe that a cure exists. That you don't have to go to meetings for the rest of your life, and that you can find a sense of peace, and experience real freedom. Yet thats exactly what happened for me.....instead of drugs I have feelings..... Instead of meetings I have feelings......

    Thank you...

    1. Great post! Do you happen to know where this person did therapy, Art? Was it with one of the early institutes?


  7. What will change the world? That is what the humans will undertake... we have everything within reach "Heaven and Hell"... the only question is how we will handle this!?

    If we look at what leaders in different areas performing... it looks extremely dark... they can in words express "divine" opportunities... opportunities that result in pure hell!

    Man... with all what will expresses... "on all sides and edges"... heaven and hell... hell because a defense against hell results in pure hell... as science for it does not let itself be proved!

    It does not matter what comes out of our mouths... if it anyway just let loose destructive behavior!

    How should a need... destructive... reconciled with what is flourishing... flourishing in human terms not to forget! As science of it also is destructive of its scheme... it against human needs ​​regardless of its content... it when the need for destructive behavior defends what is pure hell and death to discover... an equation that can not be solved by itself!

    We have telomeres that proves to grow when we connect to what once caused them to atrophied... withered in the bud for the task of human flourishing... something that make us endure pure hell!?

    We know until other evidence proves contrary... how science becomes science in just being part in a process far from the content of consequences... as the pharmaceutical industry shows... what neurotransmitters perform but never why! I mean... neurotransmitters are doing something and that's enough for what the pharmaceutical industry needs for their task... a task they defend with "both tooth and nail"... something for politicians to take note of when the economic issue for the pharmaceutical industry are more important than human health... which catastrophic tragedy! Who else can we sue?


  8. Emotions an impossible science in just thoughts! In just catacombs... there is only one thing to see and it's dead! What was missing is what the catacombs really talks about... the emotional... in an outcry... is what the catacombs talks of!

    What thoughts do possible or not! It is an issue for opponents to answer when the telomeres in their "pace and tone" tells about emotional state... a process of science around anxiety and depression etc!


  9. Is neurosis really an adaptation? We’re used to thinking about it in the negative, but from an evolutionary standpoint it seems like a survival mechanism. Other higher animals make use of imprints, which help them to survive. Example: When a mother Deer cautiously brings its’ offspring to a corn field and a gunshot rings out it will flee and create an imprint in the Doe which may prevent it from feeding in open fields. This adaptation may not be advantageous as most corn fields, let’s say are free of hunters. As a consequence this particular Deer endures harsh winters and draughts without the sustenance obtained from the rich bounty of corn fields, which it has imprinted as life threatening and avoids. This early imprint could prevent this Deer from thriving making it a poor candidate as a mate and may ultimately shorten its’ life expectancy.

    In this instance the imprint could be viewed as neurotic, but in other circumstances, from an evolutionary standpoint the power of the imprint could ultimately result in the survival of the species.

    The point I’m trying to make is that the imprint has been vital to our evolution, that’s why it’s so difficult to undo. We should recognize the importance of the imprint! It’s not a bad thing in the grand scheme of things. It only becomes a problem through socialization when expectations conflict with our imprints.

    So, it seems to me that the imprint, although an important part of our evolutionary development has become a hindrance for us as human beings. That being said, it seems important to understand that the genesis of the imprint is survival of species – a good thing!

    What am I missing? Surly there’s some positive examples of imprinting that help us as human beings? Yes / No?

    1. ZW, an imprint is not just a defensive reaction, it is also a memory that generates pain. So the reaction is imprinted and the pain is imprinted too..... not good. Because it is methylated in the unconscious with nowhere to go, it subliminally torments us for a lifetime. Yes, the automatic defensive reaction is merciful as it crudely prevents a lethal overload, but from a therapeutic point of view it is someting that needs to be resolved.

    2. Yes !

      Positive examples of imprinting are playing with your children in a constructive way using "toys" which reflect our natural environment. Do this from word go. Do not protect your child from the environment but guide your child through it, in it, as part of it.

      Thus the child learns how to engage with and in the environment in ways that tally with what it actually is. Aaaaaand, the child being a fragment of hir own environment thus learns how to engage with herself. Is this too theoretical ?

      We parents are also part of hir environment.

      Should I need to remind myself that all life (including us humans) is part of the environment ? What has happened to my consciousness that I need to remind myself that (like all other living entities) I am part of the environment ?

      So I have great sympathy for holistic education systems which reflect the need to grow as part of nature and not in conflict with it. Such as 'Forest School'.

      I am no particular fan of Rudolf Steiner but he was on the right track and the Free School movement is part of that.

      Children need gardens to grow in and plants to love and care for, thus they see and feel life as part of themselves and not separate from it.

      How simple that is and how much pleasure comes from simple things, like food and cooking and gardening and crafts.

      Paul G.

    3. ZW

      Neuroses is an adaptation... a phenomena that evolved as a defense against life threatening circumstances... it is the reason that neocortex has evolved... as a defense against feeling!

      If we are to compare ourselves with other animals so we must also solve the riddle of the reason that some can swim... fly and run... run as fast as they can further develop their life! Some eat others as lions and humans! We are just too different to compare... why some fared without psychological disability and others did not... we do not know yet... or do we? Nor do we have the emotional conditions ... emotionally handicapped as we are! I doubt that it will be a problem... but on our way to discovering ourselves... it's a problem to solve!

      To be compared to other species... so we must first get rid of our cognitive performances... to be able to analyze this phenomenon. If we do not feel we have not the right parameters for interpreting the content of developmental processes... this phenomenon must wait until we have the right conditions for it... until we feel what the limbic system really tell... it is our problem!

      You may are right in your concerns... but with my big doubt... as your questions declares obvious wonderings to explain our lives... our own life as we yet dont know... feels how it works!

      If I want to know something in a matter of this... I have to ask the right questions... if not... the answers will be wrong! Asking a hopeless question to one self... it is wrong as there are no answers in the matter!

      What is the first... must come first... if it still is the last for the question! If I so is a professor of defense against it!


    4. ZW, I feel, we as a specie are in balance between feelings and thoughts. If we have imprinted trauma in feeling centers in brain it helps us , somehow, I feel, but dont know precisely, to develop our skills such as rhetoric abilities, thinking in abstract, calculate, be more precise with our hands, and all that "helps" us to "progress" as specie. That "progress" imprint "allowed". So it is relative, in my opinion, depending from which point of view we watch: that assumed trauma which is imprinted in our brain can make us more thoughtful beings and less feeling, in the same time, more successful and less valuable as humans-humanitistics.

      But I know what one of the most brilliant brains in human kind said(Albert Einstein): "Try to be a man of value not man of success."

      Almost all is relative and is it good(positive) or bad depends on point of view.


    5. Paul and Nenad,

      There is no such thing as a positive imprint. "Imprinted" means "crudely programmed"... "inflexible"... "not adaptable"... "stunted and unable to develop to full potential". Bacteria are crudely programmed -- they are a single cell imprint. They do not adapt individually, instead they reproduce as fast as possible, relying on the probability that some of the mutants will survive. Not a good way to live. We are not meant to be joyless bacteria -- we are meant to be happy individual HUMANS with complex, adaptable bodies and minds. An imprint is a step closer to bacteria -- it is a dumbing down of the system, and it shortens our lives.

      Most people want to believe their pain has made them stronger and wiser and better, and they want to believe that all natural things are good -- they want to believe their natural pain and natural defenses are good and that there is no need for therapy. That's why I think it is important to avoid confusing terms and definitions. I know I sound like a bore, but I really believe we should try to be concise and accurate for the newcomers.

      Dr. France Janov's feet grew bigger. Why? Because her body was no longer stunted by an imprint - an imprint that locked her into a deep biological defense - a bad reaction that altered the way she used energy and nutrients. Imagine what it did to her brain. I have heard that female primal patients can grow bigger breasts as if they are finally able to complete puberty.

      To say it in less words:
      There is no such thing as positive "imprinting" but there is such thing as positive freedom - freedom to feel and develop properly, emotionally and physically.

    6. Hi Richard,

      Of course you're right.

      But why do you like to tell others what things are not ? I'm a bit like that too, constantly on the alert for errors, missing parts, lost members. . . I must always have all my stuff sorted and ready to deal with it all. Never un prepared.

      Always on the look out for errors. . .

      Paul G.

      Paul G.

    7. Hi Richard,

      you are very right to make this point. There is a sham we can all fall for which is to try to "add something to our stature". What you are saying is that we can't add anything to our stature. . . We can't make children into something, all we can do is allow children to be who they are, as they grow up.

      Very true and thanks for putting me right. It's a good thing you are so good at spotting errors. . . Boy oh boy I used to think I was best at that. . .

      Must be losing my grip. . .

      Paul G.

    8. Richard, Paul, Frank, Nenad:

      I got off on a tangent with the positive imprint reference when of course what we’re concerned with here is the imprint as a negative process.

      I know comparing humans to animals can be a bit sketchy, but I only do so in an attempt to better understand how this process works.

      So, is it fair to say that animals need the imprint to help them survive because they could be attacked or eaten by other predators at a moment’s notice? Humans though, at the top of the food chain, don’t need to fear for their survival on a constant basis. So, an imprint can prevent a person from reaching their full potential and create unnecessary stress for no good reason (Neurosis).

      So, is the pain from an imprint relative? I mean, is stress created in the body only when the imprint is being triggered? If you could avoid the triggers by living in a protective shell with all of your needs met would the stress be present? Or does the imprint continually look for anything that resembles or resonates with the original pain regardless of how safe you try to make the environment? In which case, a certain level of stress would persist in the body.

      Thanks for helping me understand this better. I should really start reading the blog entries from beginning to end as it’s possible that my questions have already been answered.

      Paul – I get your meaning on guiding children. I’ve been impressed with the writings of Jean Liedloff on the topic of child rearing.

    9. ZW, good question and yes it has been discussed extensively over the years in this website. In my opinion, from my own experience, it is difficult to know whether the unconscious stress is the result of constant triggering or whether it is just constantly pushing toward the surface while I constantly push it back. I think the pain certainly gets closer to consciousness when there is a big trigger. Whatever the case, the pain is always there, and it affects stress hormone levels even when it is far from consciousness.
      Nothing wrong with comparing humans to other animals. All vertebrates are made of the same stuff and they all feel pain. My brain behaves like a single-cell bacterium; crudely programmed to corkscrew into anything and everything without any real awareness.

    10. ZW, I think the imprint, for example, can make it more difficult to interact the way one might want socially. You may want to be free and easy when you are a teenager at a gathering, but are shy and afraid to put yourself out there. Was this person a timid baby (from a harsh birth), and was it compounded later in family life with being put down and not accepted, and therefore feels unworthy and not valued. And so, afraid of rejection again. I think imprints have many results and routes..They can affect the immune system making one more susceptible to illnesses. The imprints can make you so nervous that you can't concentrate on the task at hand, or you might get nervous tics. To get to the original imprint you have to confront it in the day-to-day activity of what's bothering you and go backward (in therapy). So I think it is more a question of who you are, what your imprints have made you become, rather than: what triggers you. Sheri

    11. Why neocortex a question for humanity?

      Experience has space in the limbic system alone through loving upbringing and becomes imprinted when we repress... if not loved. It also applies to the physiological process while pregnant... a mother must be in good health for her fetus to get the right opportunities... otherwise it becomes inprinted!

      There is a big difference between what is inculcated and what is the experience... experience is floating in a flourishing processess... from the limbic system to neocortex... while what is inculcated does not... but are wished for in the primal therapeutic process!

      What is inculcated becomes during a primal therapeutic process experience and will fill the purpose of conscious awareness!


    12. Paul and Richard

      Interested in seeing the debate about putting someone right or not as the case may be. Is'nt it about having a strong opinion. After all Art has a strong opinion about his therapy and so has often found himself on the edge of debate. What is wrong with having a strong opinion? If one is still open to listening and respecting other people's views and opinion's that's just confidence. I have had some strong opinions on many matters on this blog and sometimes found myself attacked for these. Those who are still defensive due to past pain may find strong opinions that differ from their own difficult to take on board because these opposing views attack the persons sense of self. If one's sense of self is based upon a particular philosophy or spirituality rather than an innate sense of self worth based upon confidence in one's own feelings then one's sense of self is going to be more easily undermined I would have thought.

    13. Richard – Interesting. Maybe there’s always at least some low level stress, but the more we’re triggered the more our stress level rises.

      Sheri – You won’t get any argument from me on the symptoms associated with the imprint/neurosis. I’ve struggled with most of the symptoms you’ve outlined. I was just curious if there were ways to minimize the stress, and avoid any possible physical problems down the road such as cardio vascular disease etc. Since I haven’t found a good option yet to undergo Primal Therapy, I hope to at least to minimize the stress by use of conventional methods.

      Frank - I can see the wisdom in your words. I like what you say.

    14. i think that the imprint is (only) self explanatory.
      both good and bad... or neither.
      patient ly waits for a chance to prove it.

    15. reply to myself:
      but what about the animals that do not primal?
      what about all species that are subjected to imprint but can't resolve it?
      imprint is i guess only bad for them.
      or it is called evolution of the species?
      but ...
      i don't know.
      aren't the newest part of our brain the ones that enable primal?
      what is the theoretically earliest age for child to primal?
      do we primal for animals'... health too?
      it is all just one organism.

    16. Hi planespotter & Richard,

      Yes, and I was being a tad sarcastic and self deprecating about my own compulsive perfectionism. But I think this issue about the imprint is important and it's so easy to imagine that good parenting is about 'doing' something to the child. Essentially I am really in agreement with Richards point and just intrigued about how with words I can so easily deceive myself. How the meanings of things can so easily be twisted to their opposites by the subtle or not so subtle change of words.
      This is also a disease of thinking, that I can make something or someone into something they are not.

      Paul G.

    17. Vuko – Yes, there is Primal for animals! Well, for dogs anyway. The Dog Whisper (Cesar Millan) of TV fame rehabilitates psychologically imbalanced dogs using methods that other Dog Trainers view as unorthodox and possibly more damaging. Sound familiar? Anyway, he gets dogs to face their fears, which evokes powerful emotions until their imprint lessons and they become calm and submissive.

      On an individual level I would guess that some animals fare worse due to bad luck when it comes to the imprint. On the whole though, I suspect that the imprint has helped in the evolution of species.

      It just doesn’t do humans any good since realistically we shouldn’t have anything to fear.

    18. ZW, i wish i understand better what you are saying. it is not an easy subject... prone to speculations. but provocative.

  10. What and how we do something in life tells a lot about us as humans... if we put up the necessary parameters for the content!

    We must not forget that there are forty percent more psychopaths among society peaks than the rest... it just genetically... what else lurks we know nothing about yet... an extremely important observation to take into account when WE add any investigation into the matter... it when you look at what politicians... military... merchants and religious leaders can get to in order to defend what own opinion speaks for... more than to reveal content!

    But who would not want to know about being a psychopath after all what love talks about... psychopath as blocking the phenomenon of love?

    Methods for this are not unheard if they should be target for what the physiological facts tells of cause!


  11. Hi,

    I just recently discovered and watched 4 times a very good documentary on BBC i-player called: "Easter Island, mysteries of a lost world" by Dr Jago Cooper.

    It's on for another 24hrs so you had better be quick.

    Dr Jago explores the myths that the 'last island to be colonised in the world hosted a society that self destructed.


    It's well worth a viewing. . .

    Paul G.

  12. Like so many others, I was quite affected by Hoffman`s death. It was very touching also to read the accolades by Hoffman`s fellow artists. One aspect of his death that was not emphasised however by any of the comments was the fact that Hoffman shot up and died alone.Except by one fellow heroin addict, the English comerdian Russell Brand. Here is what he wrote in the newspaper The Guardian:

    "The reason I am so non-judgmental of Hoffman and so condemnatory of the pop cultural tinsel that adorns the reporting around them is that I am a drug addict in recovery, so like any drug addict I know exactly how Hoffman felt when he "went back out". In spite of his life seeming superficially great, in spite of all the praise and accolades, in spite of all the loving friends and family, there is a predominant voice in the mind of an addict that supersedes all reason and that voice wants you dead. This voice is the unrelenting echo of an unfulfillable void."

    And here is what our good Dr Janov wrote in The Primal Scream:

    "People don`t put needles in their arms every day of their lives because they are weak or stupid.They are sick with a sickness a real and as painful as most so-called physical ilness."


  13. Hi,

    It's worth mentioning that Russel Brand 'de-toxified' from class 1 drugs and alcohol by taking up Maharishis Transcendental Meditation and yoga routine. Twice daily.

    The TM movement now cart him around UK to give talks about TM as an aid to rehab. Nevertheless I have heard Russel say that he is powerless to his addiction without TM, without his 'routine'. . .

    Of course the TM people need no more than his 'confession' to convince themselves of the efficacy of TM as their highly marketable Panacea.

    I gave up TM for my real feelings. Well, I have discovered it's a bit more complicated than that because now I can't stop my mantra in my head when certain sensations / feelings get too strong.

    Which would probably explain why the Primal Center want to know if patients ever did TM and for how long.

    So, TM purchasers beware. . . TM is even more addictive than heroin.

    Paul G.

    1. Paul: Can you write something about TM and how it works and does not work for the blog? thanks art

    2. Hi Paul

      I just wondered whether TM is a bit like an obsession or a compulsion. If OCD (sorry for using this acronym) is the minds way of masking off and preventing physcosis and the deep seated pain below that then perhaps the repeated mantra's of TM also do the same thing. Thus if one starts to dismantle one's obessive defences the pain rises, so the mind looks for a solution and if repetition releases endorphins then perhaps it is a drug addiction to stem the pain?

      I remember when I was about 9 I went to Catholic High Mass at Christmas with my Father and my Uncle. It was like nothing I had experienced. The chanting priests and swinging incense burners were mesmerising. My Brain started to develop this great sense of warmth during the mass and I felt very relaxed and calm. This lasted some hours after leaving the church. I can imagine that troubled Souls would find this sensation very addictive. Oddly the next time I felt anything like this was the first time I tried Sushi in my 20's. Perhaps the protein rush from the raw fish released something in my head. Dopamine perhaps?

    3. Hi Paul: Well I just hope Brand does not relapse like Hoffman, a distinct possibility and he knows it. He`s kind of a strange eccentric, very erudite yet weird and showy; I think there is a real depth of soul there (from his books and that above mentionned article) which may ultimately save him,a depth usually obscured by strange antics and shallow show biz.

      Re: TM, I can`t beleive I spent good money 35 years ago to get initiated into TM, with presenting flowers as an offerring and the whole stupid "spiritual" bit...To some creepy asshole teacher who wanted to use the money to open an ashram, and was also into Amway... Such were the times...How embarrassing..


    4. I just got off alcohol at the age of 61, mostly by using the Holosync meditation tapes for 3 years. This is the same meditation process Jon Christie suggested (many years ago now) might be a way for overloaded folks to get their pain down to a level where PT is ‘doable’ for them. Am I cured? NO. My body is still wracked with pain, I am on Cortisone, and I still suffer from depression: it’s like the highs and lows are evened out and I just feel kinda pointless and empty, most of the time. But it’s a least better than the destructiveness of booze.


    5. Hi Marco,

      did you take a piece of fruit too ?

      I was told not to smell the flowers because that would be like taking a bite out of a piece of fruit before giving it to someone to eat.

      These types of 'explanations' are incredibly seductive aren't they ? Also all that "Be Here Now " bullshit from Baba Ram Dass alias Richard Alpert.

      It's all cognitive bullshit wrapped up in a wafer thin spiritual package.

      I can't believe that I used to believe in it. . . yes I can because I now realise too well how much pain I was holding down and how effective these types of 'reasonings' are.

      It's all about avoidance. Like Zen koans and the zen master can point to the flag fluttering in the breeze and ask: "what is moving" ?

      Aaaand the answer is : "Mind is Moving". . .

      So what ? When I was also stuck in my head that sounded really clever eh ? Because it is also true. . . Wow, another noble truth. . .

      Jesus Christ all that stuff is such a load of conceited cognitive bullshit. I fell for it. . .

      Paul G.

    6. When I was in my twenties and full of angst I searched for anything that might help, conventional therapy, self-help books, and yes the teachings of Zen and Eastern spiritualism. Finally, by accident I picked up a copy of the Primal Scream and that was it!

      I realized if there was anything to be gained by following a spiritual path it would have to happen after the pain of neurosis was resolved. I’ve seen many people who claim to follow a spiritual or religious path yet continually commit “sinful” acts – the imprint still at work - unchanged.

      I wasted a lot of time and money on books and conventional therapy! If we could put a dollar figure on the cost of Neurosis how much might it be? If you consider the costs of incarceration, divorce, addiction, disease, the loss of productivity due to people not living to their potential, etc.? The cost must go into the billions…more even….wow!

    7. Hi ZW,

      The problem with that book the Primal Scream is that it appeared at a time when absolutely every one and their dogs were writing books of a 'New Age' / Self Help variety.

      So the Primal Scream never stood out any further from the crowd than the readers consciousness allowed. By this I mean that on paper the Primal ideas and words seemed no more or less relevant than the spiritual ones. Except perhaps for those whose suffering kept them "AWAKE". . .

      Actually for quite a long time now various spiritual people with authority in their various movements have let us know more or less overtly that for those people with serious neurosis / psychosis spiritual development is not possible.

      This is quite a common 'belief' and allows for the most presumed hierarchy of worth ever known to wo/mankind :


      It's very seductive because it allows anyone to assume what their own unresolved neurosis drives them to. These assumptions help people hold down pain and shift the potential for resonance away from themselves. It's just another class system.

      -"They are not so spiritual as Me"-. . . .

      As long as you wrap this up in pseudo science (esotericism) you can make your 'infantile' judgements sound really "grown up".

      I fell for it all too.

      Paul G.

    8. Well ZW,

      It's all the more terrifying because so much 'turnover' pays our bills. . . We are all enfranchised into the inefficiency. Most 'jobs' nowadays are non essential. But society demands we do them 'or else'.

      It's worth remembering that when human societies first got proper agriculture together many people, possibly the majority of people had a lot more time on their hands but virtually no 'wealth'.

      Since then much grain has flowed over the counter. Clerics learned to 'account'.

      Now there is this image of emerging societies from the distant past which is largely based on the scribing of the medieval period. This is the period when most modern societies started writing things down. Like who owed what to who for what and why. So, we are prejudiced by that view of development. IE: the feudal view. Pre feudal times people had time on their hands. All our modern societies have this notion (based on the medieval religious view of original sin) that idleness is evil and 'productivity' is good. The bloody Christian Normans brought this to England and forced everyone into servitude.

      Now it's exported around the world.

      I feel it is a corruption of the impetus to bring people together to serve a collective rather than to remain in a 'subsistence state'.
      I mean it's good to collaborate but do the people need coercing into it ? Do we all need to be so bloody busy all the time ?

      Paul G.

    9. Paul – “Spiritual MateriaIism”. I agree.

      Paul - Yes, and the problem gets worse when you consider the depletion of natural resources that has gone on. The sooner the world transitions to a more sustainable model the better in my opinion.

  14. Art!

    One disturbing result of research at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden... they found that Litiun extends telomeres... which would explain that the shortening of them rely on aging!? What to say... what are they otherwise for? To keep us young?


  15. Paul!

    Not so ..(to quote Art..) In my case at least...
    I remember when I got my "Puja" (ceremony) from a female instructor (admiring her ability
    all those SANKRIT words)
    ;I was so tired (as usual in my "grown-up" (that`s me?) I could hardly look straight..)

    And missed the following weekends (those were inclusive by my payment of 400DM)
    inspite of the promise of gems of "wisdom of acting right" and the like
    BECAUSE I did not even could concentrate ( I know "they" or M.Maharishi do not call it
    concentration..) on my (?- not so.. again!!) SHIRING -

    Oh Lord (or whoever deity of hindi heaven is concerned about my betraying this sacred?? MANTRA. Please do forgive Me

    All joking aside :As Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti once said "one could as well use "coke" to
    trancendental areas ..)

    I do regregt those 400DM till my passing to those areas!!
    P.S: A friend of mine got his "heritage" to psychosis outbreaking by this mesmerizing
    pseudo boon!! Yours emanuel

    1. Hi emmanuel,

      I think some other scientists did a parallel study by getting people to repeat simple words or numbers in their head and achieved the same "bliss response".

      How they measured that I do not know.

      It's so subjective though. I do 'believe' the particular sounds of the various mantras are personality linked and if you do keep up your routine you do end up with a 'connection'. But whether it is a connection that aids feeling and Primalling or gets in the way, I don't know.

      I suspect it gets in the way because of the way it 'lulls' your senses. Literally lulls me blissfully. . .

      So what does Art think ? Art, why is TM in the questionnaire ?

      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.