Sunday, March 30, 2014

You Think You Feel But You Don't

All the things you think are feelings are just that - thoughts. What you think are feelings: self-esteem, a sense of importance, feelings of confidence and strength. Are Nada.  Niente.

Now just think of what a feeling is.  You do not have to cogitate about it.  It just FEELS.  Importance, esteem are cerebral.  They have a different origin in the brain from real feelings which emanate from deeper down.   But when you think you feel it often feels like feeling, so the confusion is not surprising.  But we are discussing different brain regions with different functions; and the neo-cortex is in charge of self deception.  It is its ancient function—often, to keep from feeling the depth and horror of our pain.  One of its functions is as a structure of defense.

Maybe I am putting all those booga booga centers out of business, although I don’t think for a moment that it is possible; they are businesses built  on deceptions by those who know better, and for those who are so blinded that they cannot know better.  One reason is that this nonsense is in the zeitgeist. And secondly, it is much more comfortable to believe that we can feel importance or change our self-esteem with a few exhortations, or mumbo-jumbo; or that we can feel important when one’s entire early life was composed of those in charge of us, issuing orders and denigrating our every effort.  And this nearly always occurred when the imprint was the most forceful and enduring. It stuck in our system and controlled our lives; it determined a feeling of unimportance. It was lodged in the limbic system and made us feel unimportant … for life.  No exercise later on will change that. People or therapists later on, assuring us we are wonderful and important, will change nothing.        

Those early feelings live in every cell of our bodies; they are now systemic and organic.  Esteem is an IDEA, not a feeling, just like self-hate is an idea, not a feeling. Yet we can act like we hate ourselves but where does it come from?  All major ideas are cortical not limbic.  Our parents hated us and so we feel hated and not worthy of love.  That was an early experience. How do we raise that low self-esteem?  We feel how the parents treated us and make us feel like worms… worthless… not worthy of love. This is not a mystery.  Our feelings of low esteem, for example, derive from our environment even before we were born.  We were never treated as separate and cherished human beings; so we responded to our environment.  And we feel unimportant.  Because it was our reality — we were unimportant.  A child completely loved never has any use for higher self esteem. Oops, those booga booga workshops are screaming their lungs out.   Do I mean that being loved as a child stops anyone from being transported to some unreal state?  Yes. Why would anyone loved and felt important to his family  search out a center to make her feel important?  So clearly, it is for those who feel unimportant, and that comes from reality and is not neurotic.  It is a real reaction to real life events.   And once the imprint is locked in, there is only one way to change it; go back to the imprint. If you don’t, then you get such games as having people fall back into others’ arms to learn how to trust.
How about feeling hopeless? Again it can set up during birth when every effort failed to give us hope of not dying.  The hopelessness was imprinted systemically.

So were do we get hope again?  From dialectics;  from feeling utter hopelessness when it was imprinted early on.  Does anyone think a therapist or guru can change that and make us feel hopeful again?  We can fall over backwards into some guide’s arms but will that change a deep hopeless feeling? Imprints are predominant; they do not accede to anything or anyone.  They have endured for our lifetime.

Remember that anything that emanates from "on top" is not a feeling.  "On top" can trigger feelings and if we are not neurotic they will be real feelings.  So here is Janov’s law: we can feel higher, better by feeling again those early negative inputs that made us feel bad, but we cannot feel better by aiming high, reaching for self-esteems.  The dialectic rules.  History made us feel a certain way, and returning to history is the only way to change our feelings.  Those feelings were imprinted during our vulnerable history and allow no escape.


  1. Art!

    A very good and explanatory content of the overall emotional handicap!

    This must be the most complicated issue when it comes to convincing about what's thoughts versus feelings... what it is all about. It is not an easy thing to convince of emotions that just is alive in its "revelation" of anxiety and depression... are you then a professional in the sentence to be a psychiatrist or psychologist... you can just imagine the outcome... how would it look if they presented themselves as emotionally absent?

    But I still want to believe that the professional phenomenon is operable by people who "flourishing" can tell about suffering they themself is extremely conscious about... something professionals stands extremely puzzled by!

    Given the opportunity... the full glare... eye to eye presenting what all is about... must be the ultimate opportunity to explain the emotional maze through the brain... even if we're talking about suffering as a prerequisite to getting well.


  2. Professorship an attempt to be loved!?

    We need to normalize the professional to be the symptom that is... if this is the case! I mean a professorship is a symptom... a basis for performance to be loved... an attempt to satisfy Mom and Dad's need to have a successful child... if that is the case! A try to appease mom and dad by performing... performing in hope to one day be loved... something that is NEVER going to happen!

    Who will succeed deprive a professional their role... a symptoms for being a child's desperate cries in need of love... who cries in need to once be loved... big and strong... unreachable ... himself as a professor defending his need?

    Maybe words like these... who in their quiet presentation about just being words... words that for the moment are not represented by anyone... words that can provide breathing space on the issue of need to be loved... loved in their role as professor! What a tragic discovery... but a "discovery of the most important content man has ever made"!

    For human life... we must love our children... bear the nature of love to make it possible... we can not be victims to be professional! We need to discover the word's scientific content to allow the reality of the child in all of us!


    1. "allow the reality of the child in all of us!" Sure, this mean we must also be strong
      in order for this to come about easily.

    2. coastbeach7

      We "believe" about reality to be the child in us!

      The sad story is... we believe much as technology proves to work and we're stuck in the neocortex!

      We think we feel which is the same as to belive that we feel! We believe in gods... we believe us about much and most of all we believe that we come to God when we die!

      What we think and belive has nothing to do with emotions for life... it's a mistake in the interpretation... which is due to a confusion from leaky emotions... emotions from the limbic system as neocortex trying organize to become of a social sense... sence that fails to be what is expected... it when to much are leaking!

      What we are in the social sense is more like a puppet than to be alive! The sad story... the missing story... we need only to teach the neocortex to know how to make use of the dialectic from when we were exposed! That is what we are taught to do at The Primal Center... a lesson that will prove to be "the most important discovery mankind has ever made"!


  3. Hi,

    I just got back from a holiday camping in my Landrover on the south coast of England. I deliberately went to the harbour regions of the Solent where I used to sail with my Dad. A very special place with many hidden creeks, "Swallows and Amazons" country for sure. I know the waters there but never explored the surrounding land. . . I parked up right by the beach on a tidal road where the water comes up over it. . .

    I was awash with feelings. . . and thoughts about feelings. This particular part of the South coast is one of several millionaires rows with waterfront properties into the millions. . . I felt the full force of my fathers guilt trip on me that I had wasted my private education and would never be able to afford any house at all let alone these amazing piles by the sea. . .

    But of course I am privy to these FACTS that Art tells us about above and consequently (in my Land boat) reached the parts that other therapies do not. I 'broke through' those layers of 'false low esteem' knowing full well they are just acquired defenses against those 'tides of emotion' which (without a little forward planning) could leave me swamped and 'all at sea'. . .

    But I had read the tide tables and also the books by Dr Janov so I was able to ride those waves of emotion and let go of a little bit of grief.

    And also I knew that to actually own one of these waterfront pads with reproduction tudor Oak framing and sleek black Range Rovers pared outside (yatchs on private jetties etc), I would almost certainly have had to sell my soul to the devil as a 'Hedge Fund Manager' or some such un feeling nonsensical and grasping profession.

    Along with my solitude I was also in communication with a childhood sweetheart (now living the good life in Malaysia working as a corporate coach) by mobile phone text.

    She told me she was attending a "positive psychology" course and I did not have the heart to ask her why she needed to. . . Particularly because I had told her much about my families traumas and 'informed' her of the work of Art Janov and the field of epigenetics.

    "Strange", I thought, when I opened up Janovs Blog on my return to this high rise part of Babylon. . . How synchronous is this post of Arts, because I was only just thinking exactly the same thoughts about my former beloved childhood sweetheart now allegedly brimming with positivity.

  4. The way things are now, in "this era", in this country, people don't give people a chance to really do what they call: "mentally feel". Seems like it is just "wiped away" habitually. Life is sad enough, but let's be realistic, we have thoughts, but barely at times throughout the day can we express them. Realistically, I feel constantly "stifled"; but that is what I have to do, in order to earn money, in order to survive. Can't trust hardly anyone anymore. The kids are taught almost to go out in 10 degree weather with just a t-shirt on to go to school; taught and encouraged agressively by their parents, for what? , to show how good their kids was raised to be agressive themselves, and to be "tough". To me , it shows nothing but unfeeling thoughts (stupidity). One must constantly go against in order to have some peace of mind. Even siblings can't be trusted, and one must just "go with the flow" even though one doesn't agree, just to have peace in the family.

  5. Art would you say that a good sense of confidence, self esteem or whatever could start much earlier in the womb. If confidence comes from being respected and respect comes from being loved, then getting all the right feelings etc from one's Mother in the womb must contribute. Obviously if one is loved and treated with kindness and respect from one's birth that will contribute. An anxious Mother by default cannot have been loved enough as a child and therefore that anxiety passed on in the womb is a warning sign for the child to watch itself in the world it will emerge into. It's fight or flight system will already be preprepared.

    I think over the past couple of months I have felt some very real changes inside me since I got in touch with what happened at my birth. There is a much stronger sense of peace. It's quite un-nerving sometimes as I am not used to it. I am actually thinking about things and working things out in my head at a conscious level directly linked to feelings. I am more relaxed and calmer on the whole. It feels great. I am sure there is a long way to go but what I feel is something deep beyond words. A quiet confidence maybe.

    I may be aware of speaking and talking about things but behind that is a feeling. Yes I can't speak a feeling.

  6. How do we prove that a door is unlocked if they refuse to check it?

    How will we ever be able to make the correct diagnosis if the starting point is not in conformity with what conditions make possible! I mean... it falls under the law of impossible to present a scientific content if the basics of it is missing... it's not hard to understand... but to understand that... that's the case... it's very hard for already established in the field of psychiatry and psychology in defense for their own operations... what a tragedy for suffering!?

    If we additionally not get the opportunity to meet up to report the content... it is more of a criminal case than other... criminal to the point of being a case of law!
    It is now through "!" proven... they refuse to listen to scientific facts!

    What makes us mad is not just by mental illness!


    1. Hi Frank and all,

      -"What makes us mad is not just by mental illness"-.

      I totally agree. In this respect it makes sense to look at the human race as a large colony of bees. Better still, Many large colonies of bees, some bigger than others, some enfrachised into richer resources, all competing / interacting alegedly etc. . .

      When we study bees (or other social creatures) we accept there is a high degree of "interdependence" going on between the individuals. . . We accept that there is a very low level of "individual free will". We accept that one bee outcast from the hive will not live long. Nor one monkey from the troupe. . .

      Yet when we look at humans we automatically analyse one individual almost completely separated from hir interactions with other (so called) individuals. We assume there is some merit in separating off 'individuals' from their environment.

      Each of our environments is also our history. Our history is our inner environment and as such (allegedly) autonomous and adaptable individuals we are assuming not only that we are masters and mistresses of our immediate locality ("Oh yes, I 'chose' to be in London because I bought a ticket to get me there"). . . but also we are assuming that our personal 'inner' history can be re-arranged by thoughts alone, (ie: I can "buy a ticket to mental health").

      Thus the power of thought allows the greatest of all errors in human thinking:

      FREE WILL.

      In my humble opinion the collective insanity of the human beehive is in it's automatic assumption that we are already masters and mistresses of our future destiny. . .

      Thus any one presenting "Mental Health Symptoms" becomes an isolated specimen in society. . . Mental and Emotional Dysfunction completely challenges the (totally assumed and unaddressed presumption) of 'Free Will'.

      And you would really have to be mad to suggest to a 'sane' person that they have less free will than they think. If you try to do this you will become isolated and gradually you're mental and emotional health will deteriorate.

      It seems to me that the intellectual class / personality of citizen, those who predominantly live in their intellects, have a huge advantage in society precisely because their identity, their way of perceiving fits perfectly with this collective illusion of free will.

      This zeitgeist is now so well developed (mostly through the internet services) that successive governments can allow people to become increasingly dependent on outside services (ie: becoming systematically "DE-SKILLED") whilst all along believing this is generating "Progress", "Wealth" and greater individual autonomy.

      It's ok if you have cast iron gates isn't it? And surely that is why (particularly in England) most psycho therapeutic systems are entirely devoted to strengthening the gates through mind modification / belief / mantra systems of THINKING.

      It's enough to drive any feeling person completely mad.

      Paul G.

    2. Hello Paul!

      If only we could see the threat we as children were exposed to... to be life threatening... then it would much be gained!

      If we think we know that an atomic bomb is building a protection against attack from another power with nuclear bombs... we believe in suffering caused by pain... and agony has got its effect in order to be consistent with the reality... reality from when my dad threatened to beat me because I took a piece of bread from the keg designed our entire family... and I feel threatened for the rest of my life!

      A full horror experience a child never knowingly can carry around as a reference for what feelings tells about... and feelings pupate in protecting against when life-threatening experiences took place!

      What we not are able to be aware of... for what we experience here and now... for what happened then long time ago... then... when we were exposed... is of crucial importance. We can aspire to become professional in an attempt to protect ourself against this phenomenon?

      Your Frank,

    3. I think the collective agreement on self-empowerment / free will etc. comes from the majority of people who have an innate feeling of helplessness. Most people 'feel' (unconsciously) that there will never be any help from anyone - so you better help yourself coz that's your only choice.
      It is not totally intellectual. Ideas become popular when they 'ring true' with the deeper self. Unfortunately primal theory does not ring true as loud as God, ghosts and GO FOR IT, because primal theory doesn't always blend nicely with our defenses.
      A lot of people point the blame at governments or schools, but ultimately we vote for those things and accept them as they are... they would not act like domineering parents if we did not wish it. Everything in this world evolves from a feeling of helplessness. That's why I describe society as a headless chicken -- it continues to function but nobody really knows what to do.

    4. Hi Richard,

      a rant I'm afraid, I hope you like it, part 1:
      although I agree with your generic remark about peoples sense of helplessness driving the illusion of free will, my gripe is particularly with those intellectuals who exploit this sense of helplessness in others to justify their own independent caprice.
      It goes like this:

      -"they believe all people have a moral obligation to mind only their own business, yet (due to their paranoia) they are also collecting information on everyone else as well (as minding their own business). They really don't want you to know that; nor tell them you know that, because that is THEIR business (that they have information on you). But worryingly, they don't really want to comprehend the information they've got on you, they are just glad to have it "in-case". . .

      The moral presumption that justifies this paranoid stance is that all people are potentially a threat BECAUSE all people have free will. . . . IE: people might DECIDE to attack or rob or invade. . . "What If"? What if I am not prepared? What if I am not prepared for an attack?
      So their answer is exclusive private planning and lobbying and petitioning for laws to protect this right of each member to maintain their own privacy, which is surely their own ‘free will’ to act ‘independently’.
      On the face of it who could disagree with such a democratic stance?

      So, they would know all about privacy because they have been collecting so much information on the subject. They occasionally meet with other like-minded paranoiacs and share information about privacy. They are experts with mountains of information at their disposal on the subject but they are not going to share it with you. After all, it's all "Private".
      Some of them further enhance their "advantageous presumption" by including 'Higher Moral Reasoning' into their banks of information about the morality of free will. Thus they make 'free will' a religious prerogative and particularly for those "in the know", ie: those with plenty, plenty of information about privacy and individual 'free will'. Furthermore, by adopting a pan theistic moral overview (ie: believing that belief is in itself a valid thing and need no examination) then 'rubbing shoulders' with any one (of any belief) becomes possible whilst also collecting information on them (reconnaissance).
      Thus forms an elitist system of belief that "Castes" people 'up' or 'down' in a Jacobs Ladder of unexamined Morality based entirely on that presumption that all individuals have equal choice and ability to exercise 'Free Will'. . . . Therefore whatever befalls some one, they must have brought it on themselves. . . eventually innocents go to the gallows because of it and whole countries and races of people get totally stuffed in short order (not to mention the bio-sphere and it’s ecology).

      We all do this to a certain extent I'm sure; but I am particularly rankled by that certain type of "Jobsworth" you get in local and central government bureaucracies. Not only them but certain types in education and training and health administration. . . and not only them but also the thousands of would be clerics in the 'Moral Majority', who never quite made it into these institutions but become consumers of this great Religion called "Free Will" that those institutions hand out (like candy).
      This is the collective conspiracy we buy into. The way I see it is that it's not so much the psychos (who are obviously 'tipping the scales' to their advantage) but also this vast caste of morally influential but completely unaccountable 'professionals' (so say) running our countries and institutions. These are the elite intellectuals who believe in nothing in particular themselves but they do believe in belief.

    5. Hi, part 2:
      This surely is the disease of 'belief'. If you believe that belief is purely a private moral prerogative whilst also believing in free will then you are really just hiding your own extreme hypocrisy and alienation whilst trying to still belong. But it’s a pornographic type of belonging though, you’re not really relating, you’re just ‘enfranchised’. You’re just f*****g the system. You are maintaining the extremely tricky right to remain only a 'neutral contributor' or a 'good tax payer' in society with good jobs in government.
      This is really why societies are headless.
      We allow an elite intellectual cast who believe in free will to collect information on us and deliver it back at us in ways that reinforces our paranoia about belonging. It's driven by fear and it's these key unaccountable beaurocrat/intellectuals who are the culprits.
      This kind of thinking is very infectious and gathers whole "Moral Majorities" with voting power and large administrative centres generating many, many jobs with consequential large budgets to spend on development. But who do they collaborate with? There are people who think like this in strategic positions in government and shot through every administration there are these paranoiac civil servant jobsworths who virtually never get elected making serious decisions based on information on us that we don't know about. . .
      It's worse than a headless chicken because a headless chicken pretty quickly flops over.
      This is like a kind of progressive, slow brain cancer or dementia. It’s driving people backward into ever more primitive ways of being. Like a "return to Victorian morality" or medieval/feudal clericism (we’re all accountable, except the people telling us that). To be honest, it’s these intellectuals who appease the psychopaths. It’s a lot like the priests and monks praying for the souls of the kings 1000 years ago.
      They say things like “well, we need these high flyers or the economic system will crash”. These intellectuals always have a glib answer to everything and never understand a sophisticated explanation of anything at all. But they will always be able to pull out a piece of information on you that will give them what they need to withdraw their support. Better still get some underlings to do it for them. Then you are axed, your reputation in ruins and that ‘department’ is shut down and the ‘professionals’ involved have ‘moved on’.
      Paul G.

  7. The sad story is... we believe much as technology proves to work and we're stuck in the neocortex!

    We think we feel which is the same as to belive that we feel! We believe in gods... we believe us about much and most of all we believe that we come to God when we die!

    What we think and belive has nothing to do with emotions for life... it's a mistake in the interpretation... which is due to a confusion from leaky emotions... emotions from the limbic system as neocortex trying organize to become of a social sense... sence that fails to be what is expected... it when to much are leaking!

    What we are in the social sense is more like a puppet than to be alive! The sad story... the missing story... we need only to teach the neocortex to know how to make use of the dialectic from when we were exposed! That is what we are taught to do at The Primal Center... a lesson that will prove to be "the most important discovery mankind has ever made"!


  8. I knew my thoughts, my imaginary esteem, were Nada!

    I didn’t believe my thoughts of self-esteem and confidence. I knew they were fakes to save my neck. However, the more I got to understand how self-esteem, a sense of importance and “feelings” of confidence / strength work, the more I’m impressed by the role of the neocortex (the 3rd line) as an illusionist and director of our lives. In a way, it has an intelligence of its own and it, easily, deceives most of us in the present cognitive paradigm. Even when we try hard not to be deceived. It is an evolutionary reflex for the human species’s short-term survival.

    Without epilepsy, caused by a religiously misled mother, I would never have been able to make my journey through the different brain regions. To live with my epilepsy, although I was chemically “lobotomized” with Tegretol / Carbamazepine, I had to walk a constant tightrope between thoughts and feelings. I was forced to develop all sorts of survival neuroses and created a hollow facade of “self-esteem”, “confidence” and “strength”. However, messages bottom up informed me that I was unable to fool myself. I was constantly conscious of my forceful epileptic stigma, which with careless living could explode and erase every ounce of cerebral esteem.

    From the beginning, I did not know that my epilepsy was an imprint of repressed pain. I could though feel it, smell it and my thoughts created many lies about it. I was a good actor and I could pretend desperate feelings of “self-esteem”, “importance” and “confidence”. I could never lie to myself about my inner truth. I was a hostage of my birth trauma = pain = imprint = epilepsy.

    Please remember an epileptic stigma consists not only of convulsive symptoms. It has a corresponding negative psychological effect through the degrading disgrace it meant (especially in the past) to show epileptic symptoms. Often epileptics was placed together with mentally severely disabled. It took 40 years for my parents to get over the shame of my epilepsy when I, after two years in PT in LA, dramatically broke the silence and began my recovery.

    Early repressed feelings live in every cell of our bodies and in my case with the birth trauma which turned into epilepsy they even had influences of systemic and organic nature. Not only did my cortex create ideas / neuroses, prosthesis for my survival, my whole body became rigid, fingers and toes did not develop fully and I lost my sense of smell. The whole of me was in a state of cramp. I developed allergies not only to cognitive therapists and Cipramil, but to a number of food substances in my daily environment. In combination with the Primal Principle, Structural Integration and Rolfing has accomplished miracles with my body, my movements and my physical / mental sanity. I had the good fortune to first be treated in Ida Rolf’s center in Boulder, Col., in 1979 and I have later found a talented Spanish Rolfer. He is also a professional cellist who has a deep understanding of psychotherapy (he is a natural primal therapist!).

    Since I passed the critical number of hours re-living repressed pain and dissolving my neuroses, I understand how crucial these neuroses have been for my survival. My lifestyle and my attitudes have changed and since the latent threat, that my imprint / epilepsy previously constituted has been eliminated, there is no pain that produces energy that propelleed the former neuroses. I need them no longer, so they have stopped developing their automated stagings. This can sometimes surprise me (eg that I am sincere straight out) and my realization that I cannot manipulate my feelings brought me immense relief, which, certainly, is beneficial for my vital signs, and a consequence that I cannot delude myself meant that nor can I delude others.

    Jan Johnsson

    1. Very well explained Jan. Bravo! art

    2. Hello Ake!

      You make me jealous! I know what I have to do... but it is a question of money... money I do not have.

      My envy of others in cases of what primal therapy makes possible I am struggle in attempts to establish it here in Sweden which would provide me with many other possibility for what you gone through Ake!

      Your Frank

  9. Well said, Jan. I don't know about rolfers and natural primal therapists but I like the way you write.


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.