Sunday, October 19, 2014

Alzeiheimer of the Heart

You know when in our young life terrible things happen, the pain is repressed and stored in the body.  Eventually, the body gives way and shows its damage; either in heart disease or (inter alia) Alzheimer's disease.  It is logical that the pain and its results end up somewhere.  And when it ends up in Alzheimer's it's not a surprise.  And what is that disease?  It is something the victim carries around and is unaware of.  He is as unconscious of his disease as he is of his pain.  And there must a connection between the unconsciousness that binds the two kinds of lack of awareness together.  Repression is the glue that makes the two adhere to each other. Of course you slip into unconsciousness because you are already unconscious.  The brain now just helps out a bit. It accommodates the whole process.

So what is it? Alzheimer's of the heart; a disease of the soul, which is already in place since childhood.  The person becomes ill without understanding that he is ill, and never can or will comprehend his dilemma.  Isn’t that true of all neuroses?  It is sometimes just happenstance that it becomes a mental disease and not that of the heart.  Those whose repression was mainly of feelings, who replaced those feelings with thoughts and ideas have the result of sweeping it all into the neocortex where Alzheimer's resides; using too much brain power in repression.  So thoughts and concepts take the place of feelings, but the force of those feelings is still there to drive ideas.  And that force eventuates in disease.  What is terribly tragic in all this is the unconscious factor; to drop into a disease without knowing it and losing all contact with humanity; first, your own, and then, with others.  Alzheimer's is a simple continuum of losing awareness, losing contact and eventually losing your life.  You die without once knowing what is happening to you; that is just terrible.

It also depends on many factors but it is often the place of vulnerability of organs and organ systems;  kidneys, liver, stomach, etc.  Repression means holding down pain, a counter pressure against the rising force of feeling.  Of course the body suffers.  Repression is not a benign force. It uses key chemicals in its service such as oxytocin and serotonin.  To say nothing of adrenaline and cortisol.  All those chemical changes wreak havoc with the physical system.  We already have evidence of this is a beginning study of Alzheimer's and very early pain. It is a study we shall begin anew soon.  But, in general,  those who lose touch with their feelings can treat others in horrendous ways because they cannot feel the effects of what they are doing.  So a well-known Republican can leave his wife who just came down with cancer, without a scintilla of remorse or regret.  His wants and needs take precedence over all else.  What matters is what he wants and only that.  Or a husband leaves his wife and refuses to pay alimony.  She has three kids, no skills, no money and is totally lost.  He has no remorse that he leaves his children to starve;  Why?  Repressed and alienated from feelings.  He is basically a robot, like an Alzheimer's patient.  There is no more top level connection to feelings that makes him aware of the effects of what he is doing.  Worse, he can never hold or touch his children because he cannot feel for or with them.  The beginning of many of the ills of society.  And why has conventional psychotherapy not changed in one hundred years, except cosmetically?  Yep.  No touch with their feelings, themselves and in their therapy.  They do not see the effects or results of their therapy because these results are couched in terms of ideas, healthy notions which they think signals change.  It doesn’t.


  1. Hi,

    It's unfortunate that my son & I are on the receiving end of this type of behaviour and if we dare express the truth of the situation the people we once thought were our friends back off even further (telling us we have a problem with acting the "VICTIM").

    I thought the "New Age" community I found myself in was a substitute for an uncaring family but in reality they have turned out to be worse. They are all influenced by Buddhist / Hindu ideas of Karma. As a theory karma is very convenient for any society to adopt because no one needs to really look within. OR, you can blame others and even yourself for a bad outcome and put it down to your karma. . . IE: you can resign yourself to be an "UN-touchable" because you "Deserve It". . . You need to "work through it" (Whatever that f*****g means).

    It all feeds perfectly into the self blame children develop to shield themselves from the full realisation their parents didn't love them and justifies the finger pointing some adults try on to avoid the blame they feel inside of themselves. IT'S NOT ABOUT BLAME. However, karma (as a theory) hijacks trauma and converts it into a covert form of BLAME.

    I really have a bee in my bonnet about this (if you hadn't noticed). I spent 20 years trying to co-operate with this bunch of brainwashed brain offs and all it did was expose my extreme vulnerability (as a traumatised single parent dad) to their need to cover up their own vulnerability. In the city I live in there is a very strong Buddhist community and one of the main meditation leaders is also a practicing psychotherapist. She mixes Family Constellations Gestalt, Feminism & Meditation behind the veneer of a trained knowledge of child development and the 4 stages. . .

    This quasi religious "therapist" has brainwashed my ex partner so that she can behave:

    -"without a scintilla of remorse or regret"-.

    I even hate myself for winging about all this. . . If I did not wish to continue with a relationship with my 11 yr old daughter who resides with this 'robot' (formerly ex-lover) I would simply leave this city of "New Age Freaks" and move far away. But I love my daughter and believe she NEEDS me. I am therefore bound to move within these old circles. I hasten to add NOBODY in this old circle supports my relationship with my daughter. They're all a bunch of seriously repressed neurotics hiding behind 'spirituality'.

    In particular this Buddhist, Feminist, Monk, Gestalt Cult Leader has obviously provided my dearly beloved with all the latest research into abusive domestically violent men and I only have to text my ex with some request for communication about our children or turn up to visit a neighbour next door and I am labelled a stalker. Whereapon my ex old friends are only too ready to rush in to "rescue her" and point out some failing of mine. . . If I press the point.

    Ultimately all these 'Ideals' and meditational practices are all DEFENSES against pain and the people who practice them do so without understanding the blinkers they have put on. Meditation and these theories are like a powerful DRUG. Thus they need not have genuine compassion for some-one who could really do with their friendship.

    But I keep telling myself: -"With friends like that, who needs enemies"?

    Paul G.

  2. Paul G,
    Very well described! I don't think it is 'spiritual' either. For me, this situation is something like a self sustaining pain 'monkey-passing'.

    1. Very well written Art., We cannot separate mind and body, we are a psychobiological unit.

      Our body processes both sufferings the same way.
      Very good, Art. Alzheimer disease is the end result of a process that began many years earlier. Repression of a pain in childhood, until the person is so well suppressed that he forgot completely who he was. Complete work of the unconscious.

      Muy bien señor, que Dios le guarde a usted muchos años. Miguel

    2. Miguel, muchos gracias espero yo que yo puedo vivir much much anos también, perro a 90 de edad quien sabes? saludo arturo

  3. Hi Nelsen,
    thanks for the feedback, it sure helps me cope with the alienation.

    Paul G.

  4. It's almost like the parents of today are teaching their kids to be "cold-hearted, bullies". It's not a good situation. Money makes the world go round, and I do believe that it is the crux of many problems with people. Some parents may not be teaching their kids anything, such as "love" and kindness; having a good heart and what that means in this world. Parents are too busy, earning money. Amost no one, "in charge" today, looks at the big picture. An upbringing even if the kid came out backwards and the cord wrapped around his neck several times; just to try with the kid, they just might possibly know, right from wrong, might know the basics to "survive" in tis world if they cannot get primal therapy right away. I blame parents, yes, to a certan extent, and money.
    Alzheimers is a stange, sad situation, and I heard that if one hasn't gotten it by the age of 70, they won't get it. Now I guess we can only depend upon medical research to possibly prevent Alzheimers. The Alzheimer's patient cannot help becoming "indifferent" or "cold".....
    The coldness, heartlessness in society should be worked on. It's gotten so bad, that I think it might be worth the money for education to spend on courses of "civilty, kindness, " starting in the grade schools; just to make sure that the kids know that it is wrong to feel nothing towards their "fellow man". We don't stick together, which is why we are an easy target for terrorists. There was kindness for a time in NYC, but that was right after 9/11. When that "wore off" , people didn't bother opening doors for one another anymore , and would just converse with their ipads, or be on their cell phone; not even being bothered to say "good morning", "have a nice day" , "sorry to have bumped into you". Parents should spend time with their children; quality time. Now it is almost no quality time for their children. I guess people now think it is the thing to do: to be rude and cruel to others. I'm not impressed with the way society and youth is going....sometimes the rudeness , cruelty, harshness , bullying among fellow man is so "harsh" severe, that I find it boring. No one that I have heard of recently has any interest in trying to straighten out the way people are today; it starts with the youth of today.

  5. Hi again - just one comment if I may about the comment about the 'New- Age Community' - yeah I have had a bit of experience of this myself - every town has a N A Community or two - they do have their darker side and it's best to develop a way of dealing with it - I do think it can be done - from Bill

  6. A comment by Frank that got deleted accidentally:
    My memory impossible for what I was exposed!

    It's not so easy to be exposed to death and be so afraid of being loved that it is associated with death itself and additionally discover its true meaning! I was five year when my dad threatened to beat me when I took a piece of bread from the keg... bread of "love" from my dad... bread for my survival but in the same time being threatened to death.

    The reaction against death... repressing experience... a process of survival depending on its deadly cause... seeking necessary deputy as experiences for survival for what ever symptoms mean!

    What could "I" do except repress what my dad did? This is a vocabulary equation in its true sense for what repressing caused me!


  7. An email comment:
    Art: Oh why oh why is what you write not so obvious to the whole of humanity? It boggles my mind (yep! a mind game I know) to think that it is all now brought into light, ever since "The Primal Scream" ... and yet, as in the show last Friday, the psychological world for the most part is adamantly hanging onto those old ways of mere analysis by talking it all out in the forlorn hope that awareness will bring about change.

    I just hope for the musical you wrote that it might get a run on Broadway and revive that unbelievable excitement that your first book brought about. I sincerely hope that now a theatrical performance might revive that moment of 1970 ... then take it to London and then onto Paris and the hope (yeah another aspect of neurosis) that the world will begin to sing your songs ... songs of great feelings, songs of great great expression, songs of great meaning ... that we all had in those early days of life. Meaning that only babies know ... if they are loved.

    I love you Art (not the character/personality because of that I do now know you), but that part of you that brought about your work. Work that to this very day at age 90 you so vigorously pursue with such energy and devotion. I asked France as I left the theater last Friday to take great care of you ... for all our sake's. I sort of know she will.

    Jack Waddington

    1. Jack, I missed your comments! I'm so glad to read you here. Your words always move me so deeply. I don't know why and it doesn't matter. Feeling is sufficient! Thank you.


  8. Now... listen to this! I sit on my couch and read through what television program to be broadcast. It shows an image from a horror movie! Shivers... tingling throughout all of my body for what the picture shows... and suddenly I'm back in the room where I found myself as a kid under exact same experience as now... a horror experience in its true shape!

    That my memory awakened in this way... to a picture now... a picture that got me to experience horror. I feel I opened a memory I already repressed as a child. I know it... I've been back there a numerous times without experiencing this horror. That I linked the horror now with what happened a long time ago depends on the experience by the way I "worked" my self forward to it.

    That I worked my self forward to it... allows me to experience it... a hell... but no longer a terrifying hell... an experience of consciousness that makes me no longer bound to it. I mean... now I know where my experience of terror is coming from... so now I know what to do about it!

    It's like the escape not find its meaning anymore... it's more a satisfaction of consciousness for what it caused me... so the shivers and tingling are now telling of what instead of tying me in horror!


  9. Dr. Janov,
    You laid it out again.
    Repression and unconscious, society’s biggest illness.
    We are surrounded by the unconscious ones, who have no problem lying, cheating and manipulating like a psychopath. How many have we met who fit this picture? How and why is this receding emotion produced? Is there a genetic pre-condition, or has trauma induced the gap to their emotions.
    They have no problem using their children as an outlet for their frustration or to make him/herself feel better by repressing their own pain.
    The unaware can be cured by education/coaching but the unconscious cannot breach the gap that has widened due to repressing pain for years. Nevertheless, they feel the need to be “normal” and reach for everything (drugs, alcohol) that can make them, at least for a few hours, feel better. They use catharsis and find entertainment when someone gets hurt (America’s Funniest Home Videos). They claim ownership, believe they have a right to beat woman (Ray Rice) and continue making millions and empower themselves to criticize the ones who care enough to stop them.

    1. I know what you mean, Sieglinde, about some TV shows. I can't watch "Survivor" anymore with the sanctioned deceit and dirty tricks in the name of competition. And where everyone ends up hating each other all for the pursuit of money. Leaves all with a bad feeling. I prefer more cooperative entertainment like "The Middle" or "Modern Family" where at least the families try to help each other and care about each other. Even though they may clash there are warm human feelings. And it's made plain what the civil and right thing to do is even if they fall short. I agree about American videos, it was once the most violent show. I just can't laugh at other people's pain either. Sheri

    2. Sheri, I barely watch TV, my husband loved these programs. Now I have an antenna that gives me the local channel and PBS. PBS has a less insulting program. Sieglinde

  10. Parts of my insight on the way to be healthy!

    The search to feel safe and secure serves no function other than to be a misleading... in order to distort what happened in my history... the reality... the experiences I had around my parents and things that led me to be insecure.

    Otherwise... being with what is does not lead to uncertainty and insecurity... I expect nothing else than what there is... it is far from experiencing uncertainty and insecurity due to the emotional memories of what they were. If it does... I know what I have to do!

    Well then... I have all the madness around me in everything that happens to me... but it is not worse than I can handle it and it depends on my own experience of what "madness" contains... what I have learned from my history!

    I learn... it may in time of my therapy be more or less sensitive and I must "hide" my self... that is what I do!

    Finally I have LEARNED what experience is and where and what it leads to... that is the only thing that has become conscious experience to me! I must let go to the child I was... recognize my self for who I am... to make it possible to experience the one I was... here is where it all begins!


  11. Hi,

    Aaaand I had this insight this afternoon which is quite simply that people become subservient to their repression. That explains it; and that also explains why people actually don't have free will.

    Because they (we) fall under the influence of our own need to remain "functional" above the pool of pain. It's like putting the blinkers on.

    Paul G.

  12. Hi,

    I've been trying to get my head around how to disseminate Primal. I now regularly bring the subject up in social situations when the opportunity arises. I have discussed Primal directly with doctors, social workers and people involved in other caring professions. This is relatively easy because of their role in caring. They may not agree with the ideas but they do see the reason behind my introducing it.

    But with people who are not in caring professions a more subtle approach is required I think. Evolutionary psychology seems like a good place to start. Firstly it feeds into peoples general interest about our motives. People are interested in that because we humans are so frequently confounded, bemused and generally provoked by each other's behaviour. Why do we do the things we do ?

    Also evolutionary psychology refers to our ancestors and who isn't interested in them? There are more of them than us for starters, so they must have a great influence on us by sheer weight of numbers.
    If there is a prerogative to spread the word then we have to also decide whether we are merely messengers or examples of the theory; I am inclined to take the latter. One has to own an idea before spreading it; one cannot merely 'pass it around' as if it is just a packet of sweets you found on the bus. Thus I am drawn toward an intentional approach. I feel that if we are allowing true feelings to surface in what ever way they can (with or without a bonafide Primal therapist) then we are inevitably 'living examples' of what we are trying to spread. This kind of makes us into evangelists but we are not trying to sell Janov as a guru.
    All this makes Primal ideas uniquely interesting in social situations and I do feel we can allow ourselves to be different with others. Neurosis has been criticised for trying to make itself stand out in society; narcisistic tendencies etc etc. . . Thus we MUST all conform and pretend to be normal etc etc. But this concept of 'acting out' normality needs to be challenged and that itself is not new in the field of performing arts is it?

    So, having felt like an extra in the film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" where I have to keep my head down and pretend to be un-feeling I am now beginning to let my feelings show. Remember that for me I was brainwashed to hide my feelings completely at boarding school. Gradually over the last 4 years this 'avoidance' has diminished quite considerably and I just don't care what people think so much.

    People have said: "Oh, Paul don't be so negative"- so I make a joke and make them laugh about themselves. . . Humour is very important and Primal does add a very different colour to humour.

    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.