Sunday, June 21, 2015

On the Breakdown of Our Adaptive Capacity

Some time ago I wrote about how it is the unrelenting input of pain that taxes our ability to adjust and adapt, causing a breakdown of this capacity.  The result is a scrambling of our brain cells and a collapse of our ability to cope.  It can lead to early psychosis or mental insufficiency.  What does this mean?

Not only must we look at our clinical experience but the latest in brain science.  Rockefeller University, New York, and Cambridge University, England (E.Keverne, D. Pfaff and Inna Tabansky.  “Epigenetic changes in the developing brain:  Effects on behavior.”; See: One conclusion of their work was about methylation, how aspects of the methyl group are recruited to stamp in painful memory and imprint it.  When you block methylation you prevent the nerve cells from adapting to changes in their environment. It becomes maladaptive. New learning cannot take place without successful epigenetic programming.  And this makes me wonder when so many orphan children cannot learn well, are dyslexic and are slow to form sentences.  When there is day in-day out neglect, indifference and lack of love, the ability to adapt falters and damage occurs.  

The researchers noted that there is adverse effects on the feeling/hippocampus areas.  In short, chronic unrelenting pain overtaxes the native ability to adjust, and we see the results.  On the feeling level the person claims, it is all too much.  He gives up easily and cannot try hard to succeed.  It is not explained  verbally by the schizophrenic but he lives it.  He needs help to navigate his daily life.  He cannot adapt to new circumstances.  This is the extreme breakdown of adaptation.  This is because the adaptation mechanisms help us evolve and deal with different circumstances.  They are crucial for our evolution.  We can take minor setbacks, such as being left alone for a day or two, but being isolated for long periods damages our ability to adapt.

If we look for confirmation of all this in hard science, it is there.  The Dana-Farber cancer Institute discusses cancer in terms of the epigenetic switching mechanism.  (Dec. 8, 2014.  “Disorder in gene-control system is a defining characteristic of cancer.” (see: (See also Cancer Cell). Here is what they say: “The genetic tumult with cancerous tumors is more than matched by the disorder in one of the mechanisms for switching cells’ genes on and off.  The disarray in the on/off  switches , known as methylation is one of the defining characteristics of cancer.”  (Genes are recruiting methyl to help attach to the DNA—methylation). What I am positing is that Primal imprints are heavily responsible for this Epigenetic tumult and disarray as the entire adaptation process has broken down.  Tumors can no longer adapt in any normal way and show highly disorganized methylation.  In short, they cannot adapt nor repress effectively. Disordered methylation pervades the entire tumor.

The Dana-Farber group noted “the behavior of a cancer cell is dictated not only by genetics but also epigenetics,” and the derangement of the methylation process has a direct  bearing on the effectiveness of cancer therapy.  They partnered with Alexander Meissner (Ph.d) of the Broad Institute to find out how to measure this deregulation: “Using bisulfite sequencing , it allows the  the scientists to track the presence or absence of methyl groups.”  They the devised a simple measure, they call, PDR (percent discordant), to quantify deranged methylation.  I consider this a major step in epigenetic research as soon, we may be able to quantify physical and emotional damage to a human being and the degree of damage;  and finally the degree of resolution we achieve in a feeling therapy.  We are rapidly getting the tools to achieve our aims.

What am I saying?  That methylation is in the order of things; it is the key adaptive mechanism, and what I believe, is that in some ways it gets scrambled and can no longer do its job.  It has lost its cohesion.  Further, that the origin of so many catastrophic diseases begin their life in this disorganization, which is why it is so difficult to treat.

In my opinion, the dangerous time for unceasing pain which threatens the adaptation process is in the womb during gestation. Here the chronic smoker and drinker or pill taker, the continuous depression or anxiety states become inescapable for the fetus and he suffers.  It is ultimately imprinted and endures throughout life.  It is if he lived in a straight jacket for nine agonizing months, and could find no way to stop the input.  He goes to a doctor, and the doctor asks, “Any stress lately? “  Yes ,stress, but decades before anyone, including the patient can even remember it.  So he shakes his head and says, “everything has been OK for some time now.”  Those imprints are shouting in the only way they can, through the physical system.  Migraines, asthma, anxiety, depression, and on and on. He just cannot get comfortable in his skin, because just below that skin is a mountain of hurt and agitation that won’t let him relax. Why agitation?  Because the pain is sending a message to awareness that there is serious trouble down below. Alas, there is no one to listen.  And even if they could, they could not translate that message because, ALL IMPORTANT, it is not in English.  It is in a wholly different brain language where words do not exist.  We have to travel with the patient to the inner depths and see for ourselves. And there it is, the agony is right before our eyes. The suffocation, cannot catch one’s breath, the misery on the face, all answer the question, what trouble?  And the patient in a session never says, I cannot catch my breath, but we see it before our eyes.  When I am in that state my mouth closes and there is no force of will that can open it until the end of the session.  Why?  Because “force of will” is a higher brain function that has little effect on the deep brain.  This begins to sound like some mystic spouting booga booga insights, but it s far from that.

Epigenetic science can help explain all this:  it is the agent for repression and its failure to put away the pain and go on.  Certain switches turn on and off to accommodate the painful intrusion; when it gets to a certain  level there is a breakdown of its efforts and “normal” adaptation is no longer possible.  The result: abnormality in physical development and psychological adjustment.  The person can no longer be neurotically normal.  There is now serious pathology which endures.    I say “endures,” because the imprint lasts a lifetime and the person spends his life trying to get normal, seeing this doctor or that; mental hospitals and psychiatrists; all to no avail.  They will not response to  current treatment efforts because that is not where the damage lies.  It is locked up with the epigenetic switches which were overwhelmed early on and no longer function properly. They almost don’t know what to turn on or off.  They are as helpless as the patient because they are far out of reach of understanding.  Alas, he is condemned.

But wait!  There is a way out.  If he can travel back in time with us toward the buried vestiges of the imprinted pain and connect with the Primal feeling we can stop the condemnation.  Because then the epigenetic switches can be reversed and a salubrious state be achieved.  What does this mean?  That soon, we will be able to go back down the feeling chain from current to past imprints, observe how deep the pain is by its methyl traces and know where to go for the least dangerous pains first.  That it has all to do with feeling feelings in sequential order from current to remote past so as to finally resettle the methylation process; that is, to normalize the biochemistry and allow the genetic switches to normalize so that they can do their job of adaptation.



    Hi Paul,
    Last time you prompt us to search at wiki three conditions.

    I had a brief look, but I didn’t understand why they were so important. It could be my English though.
    Somehow they all can be briefed in the idea of self – projection, in one way or another. And they could also lead to neurotic parameters inside us.

    For example, concerning self fulfilling prophecy, it wasn’t clear if it’s true or a distortion of events, but it could indeed influence people.
    Personally, I know someone with cancer, who as soon as she learned about her disease, the tumor started to augment extremely rapidly. And when finally the doctors determined that it was a benign one, the tumor almost disappeared.

    Apparently, there could be a connection to the frequency of the feelings and their impact on our body. But, as I had already written, feelings are the quintessence of our existence and an intellectual approach to our inside problems will be proved futile. Trying to exert “unrelenting willpower” with our brains and deciding to BE a “strong character” will crumble under the first real 3rd line problem.

    Please, explain if there is anything more.

    - Yannis -

    1. Hi Yannis,

      I'm an amateur sociologist. That means I take an interest in our behaviour and WHY / HOW it arises and why/how it therefore manifests.

      Primal Theory answers many questions. All that stuff on the internet about 'manipulations' I perceive as a manifestation of the way our defences 'work' to throw internal pain 'out there' in order to avoid it. There's a lot of that going on around the planet and a lot of ETHICAL JUSTIFICATION for it going on too. What I am trying to expose is the fallacy and the fallacious arguments that seem to chronically be used by those with power and influence to deny the truth of the human condition and to project it 'Out There' onto others less fortunate than themselves.

      Pain, unlike money actually exists and it can't be eradicated or 'dismissed'; it can be passed around though, like the famous 'hot potato'. . . Nobody wants to hold it for too long do they? No, many would rather go to war (or send others to war more to the point) than hold their own 'Hot Potato' and face the pain within.

      If you occupy a position of responsibility in a family or community you can end up holding many hot potatos for other people. . . you can 'get burnt'; you can get very hurt. Others may say you deserved it and use fallacious arguments to keep you in pain and avoid the painful in themselves. This is very common but hard to protect yourself from.

      Particularly if you actually care. . .

      So, my aim is to try to develop an interest and education in ETHICAL DISCOURSE because people who ARE in touch with their own pain are vulnerable to serious abuse by others.

      These three things: Confirmation Bias, Straw Man & Self Fulfilling Prophesy have been used by the powerful to justify Genocide and the destruction of the environment.

      All projected pain. . .

      I may be wrong, maybe feeling your pain makes you less vulnerable to the projections and abuse by others BUT that's not my experience. . .

      Paul G.

  2. Hi Art,

    Reading this post, I had a flash in my mind.

    What you are trying to share with people is invisible. An open wound on my hand can be detected and alert me. Going to the hospital, the doctors will all agree that I need stitches and everything will flow according to our way of perceiving reality.

    But an open wound in our soul is beyond sight. It is like the roots of the tree. We know something makes the tree stand the way it does, but all we see are the log and the branches.

    I cannot convince someone about the efficiency of primal therapy. It is a living process; and I feel this process so natural, that it is like I try to convince someone that he should eat.
    However, if I were completely ignorant about your therapy or psychology in general, reading your blog or visiting your website, I am afraid I would remain only curious, with a little chance to delve deeper.

    All those new age approaches target to our way of reality perception. A person goes to his psychologist and complains about his being coward in his erotic relationship. The doctor advices him to do this and act like that. If the patient fails at the first time, they will try together another strategy. Finally, there will be results. VISIBLE RESULTS.
    The long – term consequences will be tremendous for that poor guy, but unconsciously the patient will accept the blame and will move on to another catastrophic relationship.
    The above recipe is the Recipe of Disaster. In my opinion, it will always fail, because feelings remain untouched. Besides, the objective is not to dominate upon your significant other. It is to BE well inside you first and then CHOOSE to live with him/her.

    I do know that there are amazing body changes (to the better) when someone has a feeling successfully. But these are numbers and conclusions and people WANT something RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.

    Thus, the above explains to me why, when I discuss about primal therapy, others perceive me as an extraterrestrial!
    HOWEVER, there is one argument in favor of Primal Therapy, a REALLY STEADFAST EPICHEIREMA that no one can controvert. Primal Therapy happens naturally. Like breathing, like eating.
    In a normal society, which would accept feelings and not get scared by them, there is no chance that people wouldn’t cry. There would be no chance that someone wouldn’t let himself feel his need, beg for it (it wouldn’t be a shame to beg), anyway…follow his feeling to the very end, whatever this feeling might be.

    All the other therapies need effort. “Living in the present”, “taking drugs”, “focusing on the good” etc. Primal Therapy just IS and just HAPPENS, in my opinion.
    And since, all of us (in one way or another)…
    …have met our darkest nightmares when awake,
    …have felt the spasms inside us, when we heard the bad news on the phone,
    …have felt our stomachs cringe and our legs paralyzed when the danger approached,

    …then there is no doubt that there are roots/feelings down there, stronger than anything we can imagine. And trying to “think” our way out of them is like riding a horse and taking a sword for a nuclear war!

    - Yannis -

    1. Yannis, this is truly brilliant. art

    2. beautifully and consistently displayed, Yannis.

  3. Hi Art

    This article reminds me of something Michael Holden said to me many times, "Cancer is insanity at the cellular level."

    1. Jim: Absolutely. I do miss him. art

    2. Art: That really touched me. In his Primal Psychotherapy Page article, Holden says that you asked him to leave the Institute cerca 1979, and I´ve often wondered why that was and if that was a painful action for you to have to take. What happened to the poor guy? It sounds to me like he got to pain of such intensity he couldn´t or wouldn´t access it, so he had no choice but to erect extreme defences; psychotic imagery? Do you know of his life since? Gary

    3. Gary: Holden was primaling on his own and refused my help for months. Meanwhile he gave all his money to TV evangelists and began convincing patients about his religion. I asked him to stop for months but he couldn’t. It becomes a fixed idea in his head that could not be changed. He was hurting patients and I could not allow it. I always loved him dearly and we had great times together all over the world. But all alone he got into feelings that were so devastating that he had to call on God each time to stop the feeling. It became his main defense. I had no problem with his believing but proselyting was a different matter. art

    4. Hi Art,

      I sense what you are saying about Michael Holden must have been at that time very distressing for you. To be so close to someone and to see them disappear (permanently?) into false beliefs is something I have also experienced; but in the context of you both researching and developing Primal together, well. . .

      No wonder you are so concerned about 'booga booga, charlatans and abreaction'. . .

      I miss my old pals too, but there's no 'going back'. . . I just can't believe what they believe. . .

      Paul G.

    5. Art: Of course you did the right thing by asking him to leave to protect your patients. My understanding is that once opened up, patients are vulnerable to manipulation as if openness to their inner pain also, especially during the initial period of several months when it all comes pouring out, also makes them much more vulnerable to external influences. Is that he case? Gary

    6. Gary: Yes, that is exactly the case. art

    7. Hi Gary & Art,

      perhaps one of the worse manifestations of abreaction is when you feel suicidally useless for being stuck in abreaction. . . (Nobody else to blame but yourself, you're even a failure at feeling, so what's the point in carrying on).

      From personal experience of exactly this I can say it's no joke. The worrying thing about our common future is that persistent denial of feelings over long time spans in society leads to the belief that those people who DO feel are trying to SUBVERT people who don't, (think of all those accusations of "crocodile tears"). . .

      And this thing about 'denial'; it's not only possible to railroad people at gun point but also at the point of a set of moral prerogatives in which guns become unnecessary.
      Being surrounded by people in denial can make me feel suicidal. . . It's not just the lack of empathy, which generally is the absence of something from others but it's also the cognitive / moral presumptions. . . IE: it is the expectation that you be something you're not.

      In the wrong hands Primal Information could be used to drive people to suicide. . . Well, I read in isolated cases it's already happened.

      Paul G.

    8. Hi Paul
      Thanks for this & your other posts; I always find them feeling and insightful. And a relief, for precisely the reasons you give; living in a feeling phobic world.
      Lack of empathy is often more than indifference IMO, it is thinly masked cruelty. Along with accusations of "crocodile tears", people in therapy are often accused of "false memory syndrome", crying children treated with anger, children trying to alert people to their distress patronised or "corrected", (children are untrustworthy or silly), animals exhibiting psychopathic behaviour in zoos laughed at or drugged. And my God, if you knew how abattoir animals are abused....The common factor; lack of empathy.
      I am one of those people in my expat "community" (of which I´m not really a part) who stands for justice and compassion, not just for myself but for children & animals, or indeed anyone being abused or suffering. Rarely do I find straight empathy, and almost never, positive action. Reactions are mostly defensive and include denial (the most common - eg that what I say about the hideous suffering & murder of factory farmed animals is not true, they are lying), making me into an idiot, or mockery, which i can´t abide. Or blaming the victim if the denial doesn´t work. eg children deserve it because they are "bad", she got raped cos she dressed provocatively. What does she expect? Lack of empathy.
      You can show people incontrovertible proof of something awful, and there are so many massively awful things now, especially since 1945, and they will find a reason not to feel empathic, or get involved. A new agey woman I know said she wouldn´t watch Animal Rights vídeos of factory farmed animals because she "didn´t want that entering her energy field". In reality, maybe she DID care but found it too much. There are hundreds of thousands millions of people fighting for animals, for childrens rights, against vaccinations, against the many manifestations of the NWO however, who DO know what goes on, who DO care, and they have to be effective in their work without letting it all get to them. I´m one of those people. It isn´t easy, but knowing there are feeling, sensitive caring people like you really does make it easier for me Paul.
      Whilst you can sustain some semblance of defenses to cope with all the suffering you´re aware of, you can function, stay sane. You´re right about misunderstood and misapplied primal info. Someone like me would be vulnerable in the first few months of primal therapy because I know too much about the world and that would be added to my already existing primal load which includes having no one to turn to. Ever. So I´d need a lot of caring and support to prevent overload. I was at Arts center 1998-9 and found the size and impersonalness of LA overwhelming; again read overload.
      Since joining this fórum I´ve been struck by Art´s humility, his genuine admiration of and empathy for others, but also his complete lack of desire to control or advise. And it is very real. You could be in a new age cult where you are feeling suicidally depressed and noone will be able to help because they long ago had to seal away the simple feelings of love and empathy which are their true selves, and with it the knowledge of the real nature of humans and animals. So they can believe virtually anything, however crazy, and do most anything, however crazy, the only brake on behaviour being the moral injunctions and control necessary in a sick society and the guilt that would consume them if they act to hurt someone. Guilt is not useless. And maybe it is a twisted expression of empathy. Gary

    9. Hi Gary,

      -"thinly masked cruelty"-, I have tried and failed before to formulate the words to explain cruelty; here I go again:
      Cruelty is a projection. It is the misplaced defense of 'attack' against a perceived (or actual) enemy preemptively or as 'punishment' (revenge) after an attack on you has been perceived (rightly or wrongly) and / or actually taken place.

      Somehow, the defenses evolve to include fellow humans as a potential environmental threat and the system begins scanning every one for the signs learned in gestation / infancy. . . Or even triggers built into the brainstem such as fight / flight.

      Cruelty is conceived very early on and lies dormant until needed. Thus, to a larger extent cruelty is always thinly veiled until overtly manifest in the 'Consequences'.

      I think the biggest problem for people with emerging Primal feelings is in "integrating new defenses" that work to protect against the old (veiled) zeitgeist which of course is still "OUT THERE". . . No, I'm not denying that MY neurosis makes "OUT THERE" seem so bad, nor am I denying that ridding myself of pain helps me get current needs satisfied more effectively. What I am trying to get to is the universal problem that cruelty is an inevitable consequence of un addressed pain.

      Paul G.


    By Richard Atkin

    Here's a letter I wrote to my American friend. It's a story about a bunch of Americans who tried to adapt. They wanted to be free from the miserable Los Angeles rat race. They didn't want a 30 year mortgage for an ugly house in an ugly part of town. They wanted to feel the subtropical sun on their sandy feet as they relaxed in the shade of their self-built verandas. They wanted time to look up at the stars and imagine what new things they could do tomorrow. They didn't try to create a paradise. They just wanted TIME and FREEDOM. They wanted to feel?? The dutiful cops destroyed any chance of that.

    Hi Alia :) Are you still liking NY? Any news about your life? I have been looking at how to live cheaply in Southern California, and have come to a horrible conclusion.... I think the council members have rigged the whole area so that "bums" cannot actually afford to live even on the remote outskirts of SoCal let alone anywhere close to employment.
    I was thinking of buying a cheap rural property - just raw land - and living "off the grid" like many people do here in New Zealand. I would just buy a super cheap prefabricated house for about $20,000 which included its delivery to the land. There are rural chunks of land for sale on the fringes of SoCal for only $3000 to $5000 for a huge 2.5 acres. Use a quiet diesel generator for electricity, have water delivered by truck and stored in a large tank, and use a septic system or even a compost system for sewerage. All of these things are very cheap options and there are thousands of people in NZ who live like that...totally clean and perfectly legal.
    I did some more research and was horrified to discover that the LA County council has recently changed the laws and set up a sort of "hit squad" to go around prosecuting all the rural people who are not living according to the laws.
    I am NOT allowed hauled water (water delivered by truck) until I have spent $15,000 to $16,000 on an attempt to build a well. If the well is unsuccessful (does not yield enough water) and the cost of hooking up to a very distant city water supply is prohibitively expensive (of course it is) then I CAN have hauled water but my tank must pass lots of inspections.
    At this stage I can't afford a well building attempt with the risk of failure.. Even if my well is successful, I am NOT allowed to rely on a diesel generator for electricity (not even a super-quiet one enclosed in a sound-proof box). Also, I am NOT allowed to rely on solar or wind energy. I MUST be hooked up to the city's power grid. In these rural areas, it costs $40 for every foot of power line extended from the nearest power pole to the home. The resulting cost for power connection is typically $60,000 to $70,000.
    Recently the LA County "hit squad" searched for anyone living off the grid. Every off-grid home owner had their house searched. They received a knock on the door -- when they opened the door they were greeted by a team of cops with guns drawn. Most of the home owners were frightened and let the cops search without a warrant because these 'simple country folk' didn't know they had the right to ask to see a search warrant. Of course the cops didn't have a warrant but so long as they were invited to enter, they could do so legally.
    Many of these rural home owners had been living off-grid for decades, with no health / sanitary problems and no surrounding neighbours to complain about any visually unappealing buildings etc. They weren't disturbing anyone at all.
    All of them were prosecuted and ordered to comply with state laws. Of course none of them could afford to do that. All of these off-grid dwellers were evicted from their homes and forced to rent elsewhere. Their homes have become worthless because they cannot be legally sold under the term "residential dwelling".

  5. Art!

    Unbelievably incredible... amazing for how a few words presents a science without precedent! Words as not are allowed for their content!
    Unbelievably incredible... amazing for something that can not possibly find its way... blocked by just words constructed in neucortex as defending against its scientific content... what a tragedy!


  6. Art: Not forgetting that a *lack of methylation in the white brain matter; where creativity is 'handled'; leads to greater creativity. Lack of methylation here frees up the pathways that handle association, the cornerstone of lateral thinking. And yes, a creative, flexible, adaptive nature is at the root of survival. Jacquie

    1. Jacquie: OK fess up. Who are you and what do you do? art

    2. How it is... but not why and how it works!

      "White matter (white matter) to the main body consists of neurons axondel... which because of myelination seen as white. This is mainly information transport between nerve cells in the gray matter (in the cerebral cortex and nuclei) with each other. If the brain were a computer network so would the gray matter be actual computers and the white matter should be the cables that connected the computers and made it possible for them to communicate with each other.
      What provides the white matter its color is a fat... myelin... which is embedded in the axons. Myelin layer... which consists of so-called glial cells... increases the rate of nerve impulses mediated through axons by an increase in conductance". Maybe worth knowing?


  7. While many people grapple with chronic depression that drags at them constantly, they have no idea regarding its origin. I participate in a blog or three where survivals of 'religious abuse' gather to share their thoughts and feelings. One individual there is a good example of early damage: there are constant depressive symptoms without any known cause. This becomes a fine basis to insert the generic Devil, who is guilty of causing all pain and suffering. Religion then offers the perfect out, eternal Denial. (I refer people to your work for valuable perspective, to give them a way to honor their own pain and not further bury it in symptoms.)
    Thank-you for taking time to write this blog, Art.

    1. Brian: You are always welcome. Thank you for reading it. art

  8. Hi Art

    Who would have thought that Science would come up with a whole new world of genetics; Epi- genetic, bringing Primal Theory the missing piece of the puzzle?

    Art, this must be an extremely exciting time for you! Finding your way through the labyrinth of the human mind (and its sicknesses), all the way down to a physically visible measurable imprint, is a major achievement in Science ! – it could be argued to be the greatest in the history of mankind.

    I feel so lucky to witness this chapter of Primal Therapy. This could open many doors for Primal Therapy, and with a new kind of precision refine the therapy.

    I'm not really into Latin, but it is normal in a situation like this (ha ha) – and I found this:

    Vincit omnia veritas !

    (truth conquer all !)

    Flemming D.

  9. Fascinating as always Art. I seem to be experiencing this again having perhaps prematurely thought my anxiety levels had dropped. Well they have compared to two or three years ago but I can identify with much of this piece. It does'nt take much to get me obsessing etc though generally it only takes a day or two to fathom out why and feel my way to feeling better.

  10. If one has a lot of money all the time, then perhaps the pain can be "masked better". One can "mask" all they want, and it works sometimes to help oneself. Stamina and endurance for me : having stamina and endurance sometimes helps to "mask" the frustration if one cannot receive Primal Therapy at a certain time. I know it's not permanent feeling, but I like to know how other people feel (the people who didn't have a birth trauma or something else where one feels the need for primal therapy). When I was younger, I used to "pretend" I'm "normal" (ha, ha...that is a joke). One really wants a cure, and that is Primal Therapy. This is a good writing ; very informative.

  11. Paul
    Thanks for that. The word "cruelty" like "laziness" or "greed" are moral judgements sympomatic of lack of feeling understanding. Such labels accept that people, or animals, or nature, are naturally like that. The idea that "nature is cruel" implies evil as motivation but suffering & pain in nature are not "evil", they are based on survival need. I have studied nature and never seen a desire to see another suffering.
    And the unbelievable abuse of animals in abattoirs? If you are right, they must be perceived by their abusers as a threat. I don´t believe these people are necessarily cruel therefore, but stressed by the nature of their work. Did you know abattoirs have an exceptionally high employee turnover? Maybe they just can´t stand the pain they have to inflict? (As Dr Douglas Graham says: our very psyches are repulsed by every aspect in the creation of meat for human consumption. - ie we´re not carnivores). Communities centred around abattoirs also have unusually high incidences of serious child abuse and domestic violence and alcoholism/drug addiction (
    The title National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children also implies a lack of examination of the keyword "cruelty". OK I don´t believe cruelty really exists. If you look into it, you´ll see that ultimately it is not in our nature. The NSPCC title reinforces a pseudo religious myth about human nature and fosters a view of enraged & sadistic parents which only encourages the sort of condemnatory and punitive mentality in the gutter press and society at large.
    As Art well knows, the "cruellest" people become benign in Primal Therapy, unable to imagine hurting anyone or anything else. Let´s try to find another word for cruelty, because it is cynical and useless. Gary

  12. It seems that the importance of the carrying mother's health is being more widely recognized by doctors as a mother asks in a question to a syndicated newspaper column: "Ask Dr. K". She asks if her diet and avoiding stress can have an impact on her baby decades later. The doctor says definitely yes.


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.