Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My War Years

This is a dialogue about my war years:

Art: There was a guy called Larry Allred and the dangerous part of war was what I didn't realize until the last week, was he and I were on a troop ship with 500 troops going to war and going to Europe and  German submarines were everywhere shooting down and torpedoing our boats, but he and I never talked about it, we never even were afraid. And he was a tough guy, a very tough guy. So I got off the ship, I went to a commando center, in the south of France, and he became the Admiral's driver, in London. So I went to visit him and while I was there, I, it was just before and after the blitz, there were bombs everywhere and rubble everywhere. Anyway, he and I and his girlfriend slept together; we didn't make anything of it, it was just like, this was war and we were all just pals, you know.  It was a very different atmosphere. So I lost touch with him for a long time and one day, twenty years later I called, and I said, how are you doing Larry Alread? And I said, Larry, how are you doing? He said, Fine, da da da, and I said listen, I've got to go back to work now, but I'll leave you my number and you can call me. He said, I can't. I said, Why can't you? He's a tough guy now don't forget. He says, I'm blind. And instead of saying to him, why are you blind, was it the war, what happened? I just hung up I was so shocked.  And then I read his obit, two days ago, and that he had Alzheimer's, he died of Alzheimer's, but it didn't say he was blind and I don't even know if he came out of it or what. But he was my war pal, and we were, in all the battles that I was in, the worst was being chased by German submarines because they were after us night and day and we had warning signals, they had destroyers around us at all times, circling us, going this way while we were going that way, and you know, it was harrowing because they had blown up a million troop ships, you know, they were circling cause we were the guys that were going to fight them, so, and eventually I got ready to fight them with the Rhine crossing, we crossed the Rhine and  went into Germany to fight em, anyway, that's another story. So I lost Larry, and I never followed up, and a lifetime passed, and I never knew what happened to him or why, I mean, except that he died of Alzheimer's and then I don't know what happened in the war, we lived in, he lived in, he had an office at a very luxurious hotel in London because he was the Admiral's driver. But then we had a little place just outside of London, I forgot the name of it, but I used to live there, I forgot the name of it, and he had a gorgeous girlfriend, and they had sex, while I was sleeping, but nothing was ever made of anything, there was no morality, no moral stuff, it was just life is what it was.

David: You were trying to get through the war.

Art: Yeah, that was just my life with Larry, and here he's dead, most of my guys on my ship are dead and I'm still here, but life is short, man, and that's the sum total.

Art: Now Dwight Eisenhower, he used to say, he wasn't very bright, but about these things he was very bright, and he said you can never recapture the atmosphere of war, never recapture the atmosphere of war.  And it's so true because everything during the war was so different, so different, and everything had an urgency about it, you know, and I mean, I was in many many battles, and I never even knew I was going to die, I mean, until a guy who came aboard my ship to driver food and chocolate. , I was in the Aleutians where it was like 50 below, and we were chased by Japanese submarines, again would you believe, this time Japanese not German, and they would wait, we had iron gates on the battleship, we had iron gates in front of us so that Japanese submarines could not get at us. And then we had to wait for our dash time, so we could get out of there and try and come back to Japanese torpedoes and we had destroyers to help us pave the way and get us out of there, and then we chased the Japanese fleet all the way back to Japan. But before we did that we had two battles, one in Kiska and one in Attu, and I remember the one in Attu, the fog was so thick you could maybe see three or four inches before your nose but that was it. But we'd hear a bang and they were setting off canons, and then we'd hear a splash, but we never knew where it was coming from or where it was going. So the terror of waiting for each of their big bombs, you know, and not knowing where they were going, was very very disconcerting, to say the least. And then we got up there and they forgot to send us foul weather here, would you believe, so we're 50 below zero, I'm wearing towels to keep myself warm. And then what happened after that? We had two sea battles, oh we chased  the Japanese fleet and that night we came back and went straight down to the Pacific for a bunch of other battles we had. The worst one was Tarawa. That was a very famous one, we were the first ship in, and they wiped out a whole platoon of US soldiers because they were hiding behind certain barriers that we couldn't see, and then they opened up on the soldiers and hundreds of em died, and they were floating in the water, and stuff, you know, it was just terrible. But I wasn't old enough, I wasn't human enough, to understand where it all ends.


  1. "You can never recreate the atmosphere of war." 1st Level Pain / 1st Line Pain.
    "War is hell."

  2. Replies
    1. Beachcoast, I will try to write more. art

    2. Art,

      hearing you talk about wartime London is intriguing because my dad was living in and around London just as the bombs began to fall, he was born 1929. My grandad on my mums side was a taxi driver in Chichester on the south coast. He drove several fighter pilots to their last missions from Tangmere. His daughter, my mum, was a teenager through the war. They witnessed terrifying things and are still back there without knowing it. I feel their unexpressed grief in ways which defy explanation. My parents were child survivors and had to watch others getting blown to bits. . . Much later with little pressure from them or even from the culture around me back in the 60's & 70's (liberal/affluent/middle class) when I was a kid, I started acting out some stuff from the 40's. There were hardly any references to the 'war' from my parents in particular, a few. There were a quite a lot of films which didn't really express what my parents experienced. There was no internet back then and not many people talked about it, but we all 'knew'. WW2 was still there boiling away under the surface. It came out in me: I bought loads of Airfix Models and built most of the RAF/ USAF airplanes in 1:24 plastic form. Some in 1:12 Then I built balsa wood model gliders. . . Then I got onto motorcycles (which nearly everyone including my Dad rode back in the 40's). I was therefore, during my teens in the 70's a melange of my parents unexpressed need to 'fix' on their hidden, their repressed past. Leading to more deeply ingrained traumas ?

      There is a kind of timeless un met need in the 'Home Counties'. . . Ohhh to be in Sussex (where there's still 30% woodland coverage by the way) look up and see Spits roaring overhead in the blue sky, blue sky thinking. . . I try not to indulge, all I can afford is a 40 year old Landrover, I even sold my chainsaw. . . but if I had a lot of money I'd probably buy a Spitfire. Why ? Epigenetics ?

      I think this is how a certain kind of programming happens where over time we give in to war and just put up with it; it kind of 'feels right', for whatever reason, somehow it 'co-opts' our creativity. We perhaps like to buy into it. Export it even. We somehow become 'militarised' without really knowing it. We capitulate to the warriors and perhaps even wish we were like them too. Children who grow up in this atmosphere of false calm learn not to feel victimised by the 'enemy' but re-assured by their (allegedly) cool, calm and collected parents; re-assured to carry on regardless. . . then we learn not to 'flinch', but instead to become ' survivors'. Survivors of all that stuff 'out there'. . .

      I think the greatest hurdle to jump when trying to promote Primal ideas is that set by people who have, in effect become addicted to 'Surviving' because their forebears were also epigenetically imprinted with all that surviving and all that 'ration al'. . . now it's passed on to us. . ? A chronic state of unconscious alertness, vigilance without flinching. Whatever you do, don't twitch or flinch. . .

      This is tricky and I'm looking forward to obtaining a copy of Beyond Belief.

      Paul G.

    3. I look forward to that too!


  3. Suffering means losing both connection and perspective. Past danger becomes present danger and future danger. It is real. Flattened. I guess our adaptive system, our immune system could behave differently when we develop the perspective of access. The enemy might become a friend we invite in house. Strange? It is not strange if he belongs there. An old pal from war days… from the past. New perspective rises. How important this could be we might see in our autoimmune responses.

    Strictly speaking autoimmune diseases are no. 3 cause of death i heard somewhere. But the connection with cancer and cardiovascular seems to be real too. First line leaking could be like living in a war zone. With not much time to rest, to regenerate. That one paramedic is trying but he is too busy… for the whole platoon under attack.

    When the war is real, it can easily become not only first line trigger but also first line trauma. It is new event but we can’t fully access it later without the access to birth or womb life maybe. The atmosphere of war might resonate with atmosphere in the womb.

    it is not an easy thing to call a war pal.

  4. Dr Janov:

    First, thanks to you and all WW2 vets for saving the world from all those murderous psychopathic fascists.

    And glad you made it out of that war hell, so that you might eventually make a major contrbution to identifying the causes that make humans turn into such sick fascists.


    1. I agree Marco,

      I can't imagine how wide a gulf there is between Art's position in his 'industry' and others when he amongst so many who havn't really been through that type of hell, can still wax lyrical about those who have. It must be like watching the authorities drive on the wrong side of the road without them realising it, knowing full well they can't understand left from right. . . If they ever do realise the errors of their ways they're more interested in covering up and diffusing the chaos resulting from their delusions.

      Paul G.

  5. Art: There has not been a single year of peace since 1945. The arms industry which really began back in the first world war (1914 - 18) continued manufacturing arms after the SWW which have been used all over the world - one reason or another is always necessary, so the "bogeymen" of "communism" or the illegal" possesssion of nuclear weapons have been used as excuses for invasions, bombings....also, the products of the war industry such as nuclear radiation, mustard and chlorine gasses and nitrates/nitrites have all been redirected for use in industrial agriculture which has caused massive global soil erosion and poisoning and knock-on effects on human and animal health.

    My mother was a "war baby". She was born in 1939 and her mother had a nervous breakdown when my mother was three, in the middle of the war. She, along with her parents, lived 6 years of perpetual fear and terror. The interesting thing is how nobody who didn´t experience that war who has met them would even suspect there was anything wrong with them (though once, like me, you take the blinkers off, it is very clear). I guess you could say "If everyone was crazy, who would know the difference?" Likewise, the unbelievable pain of so many people who have lived the most horrendous childhoods is completely invisible to your average Joe. I wonder what a world would be like in which primal pain was the exception, not the norm. I guess so much of what is considered "normal" would be viewed as sick and pathological. gary

  6. Right-on, Vuko. And how easy, it seems when our body rejects itself, attacking itself, to reject others as a matter of course.
    To strike peace with my own body through access to feelings perhaps I can accept others too as allies and friends. A terrible split trying to heal that goes beyond health.

  7. Thank you Art, for paying the price for the freedom I was lucky enough to take for granted. I've recently been working with veterans with PTSD, (some as recent as Afghanistan) and what I continually hear from them is how thankless and meaningless their war experiences have become once they have returned to 'normal' life. I also notice how much shared trauma creates this incredible bond between people. There is gratitude for the protection the soldiers received from their mates and this sense of responsibility they have for each other, over and beyond any other thing in their lives. Even when they returned home. It's like they never experience the closeness to another person that their shared secret terror allowed them to have. I have been contemplating lately why this is. Also it seems that these people come back to supposed 'peaceful' civillization and find it empty and shallow. Their personal sacrifices and scars too, have become meaningless or futile, when they realize who and what they actually fought for - people alienated from true human closeness, nobility and those who wouldn't dream of paying a price or taking the risk of dying or being traumatized for something greater than themselves.

    I have also been reading scientific literature about how soldiers are more likely to experience debilitating PTSD when their system is already primed by childhood trauma. I'm really interested to hear, if you so desire about how you transmuted your experiences at war internally into a cohesive inner working model without being debilitated?

    1. Juliette, Oh my that is a big order but I will write about it in the future. I went to psychiatrists to get over my war trauma and all we did was analyze my dreams, as a proper analyst should do. art

  8. An email comment:
    "I liked your story about being in the war. Maybe one day, we will learn to live without war, but we keep inheriting the problems and often see it as a way to solve problems rather than many other, more complicated ones which would have more long lasting peaceful effects.
    Your story reminded me of my grandfather on my dad's side who was in the British navy in WW2. He got torpedoed by the Germans and spent the night in the sea before being rescued the next day. The family story goes that he had never touched a drop of drink before this happened but when they rescued him they gave him some rum to warm him up and get him over the shock and until he died, he was always partial to a bit of rum.
    He and my grandma ran the village shop in a small northern town all their lives after he came back. My grandmother, an illegitimate child of a stock broker and his mistress spent the first 13 years of her life in an orphanage being hidden away because a child out of wedlock in those days was a big crime. I think this scarred her for life, she never stopped talking about it.
    They both have died now, nice people, but just trapped by circumstance. My dad doesn't get my whole therapy thing, but when I angrily demanded an apology from him for using violence against me to control my defiant behavior did mention that he was circumcised at the age of 5 days old. (he didn't apologise and said it was his authority to discipline me in whatever way he saw fit)
    I never fitted in in England, at state school, I got bullied and kicked and taunted for playing the violin, getting good grades and being tall and lanky. In private music education, music, a home I always return to, my confidence didn't match that of all the private school kids, but it made me see that I could invest in myself and dream big, even if it is taking me a little longer than others.
    The boys never liked me, so escaping England to Abu Dhabi for a job in the sunshine, I wandered into men from different cultures, also circumcised like my dad. They didn't treat me too well, I'd been conditioned to accept abuse, but my journey through primal, and having the privilege to travel and educate myself is hopefully allowing me to change the pattern and if I ever have any sons, I might be in a better place to know what to do.
    Hopefully we might be able to break the pattern of turning to violence as a means of solving problems, I guess it's not easy, but we might not have a choice not to.
    People are getting the message - look how tenderly this man loves his son:

    Also, although primal is such a huge component of the changes I've made in my life (and still lots to go) I think that good quality education is vital. I'm at UCLA now and it's so fantastic, learning so much. For instance in a class on Armenian music, we learnt about the Armenian Genocide and how it affected the Armenians so strongly. I'm taking another class on African American Musical Heritage and it's humbling and very tragic to see how much violence was inflicted but how strong the human spirit is to endure and still be creative. Also taking an amazing class on Aesthetics of Protest music and learning about various ways that groups of people search for justice after atrocities. Let's hope we can stop all this brutality and work together as a human family.

    Look forward to the rest of the war story!

  9. Another email comment - Part1-:
    "DEMIAN of Hermann Hesse alias Emil Sinclair.

    While Dr. Janov has lately reflected on his “war life” and on the psychological motives of the terrorists who on a daily basis harasses the Middle East and who recently paralyzed an unprepared but certainly not surprised Paris, I have, as a complement to his Reflections read Demian, written by the Nobel Prize winner, in 1946, Hermann Hesse. (He wrote the book, under the pseudonym, Emil Sinclair, incidentally after WW1, when he had been in psychotherapy with his friend Carl Jung.) The novel invites the interpretation of my life in two, at least, development stages. The first stage extends from early childhood up until My Sturm und Drang / youth turmoil ended with that I, at 20, developed epilepsy. The second stage began when I read The Primal Scream, 1974, and was sucked into the Janov revolt against the, still, prevailing psychotherapeutic cognitive paradigm. Finally, I will enclose a passage from the novel Demian, which supports Janov’s analysis of the violence which stems from our, and especially from terrorists’, repressed pain.

    Demian - Stage No. 1:

    Like Sinclair, I came from a religious home with a surrounding world that was different. In this way, I got early the taste for being "bilingual" / split. I learned to live in a religious family while managing my "secret" secular values and ideals. To fall asleep with mothers prayers grinding in the ears and on the morning after willingly adapt to my friends' values and spice my language with blasphemous or obscene language. Because my relationship with my father was emotionally lousy and limited to his practical approach to diligence and work ethic, so I got myself in my early teens talented and respected substitutes / role models. Among them was my first “Demian”. He was named Torsten Tegner a legendary journalist and newspaper owner. He answered my letters and sent me his dedicated memoir books. His light still shines.

    The prize, which I paid as a rebel, was loneliness and suffering. A pain that I acted out by constantly talking, analyzing, fantasizing and daydreaming about how my emotions were satisfied. During sleep, I had overwhelming nightmares in which I fell and lost balance. My life until the 20s was an emotional turmoil at a high cost. (“It was no way to be!” as Art Janov says.) Although I do not wish someone the same painful experience I would not want to be without it. As Sinclair puts it: "A bird fighting its way out of the egg, and the egg was the world, and the world had to fall into pieces." "I looked for Abraxas the uniting of godly and devilish elements”.

    Demian - Stage No. 2:

    After I read The Primal Scream, Arthur Janov became my Demian and inner guide. He opened up a new world. He furthermore stated that it largely existed within me. (“The memory remains in order to be experienced and liberated. We have the mechanism/organism for our own liberation inside us”.) I was convinced that, if I could release it, I could get free from my epilepsy. From that time, I had a double agenda and in everything I did, there was an LA-stay included / programmed.

    Nothing revolutionizing happened during my 2 years in Primal Therapy. At least not on the surface. On the contrary, I was disappointed with the atmosphere that surrounded The Primal Institute. There was an aura among therapists and patients, which reminded me of the religious nonconformism that I grew up with and which I soon become allergic to. However, since I had paid big money I kept in touch but went on the backburner. My idealized picture of Arthur Janov was never disturbed because I, during these years, only saw him a few times at group meetings. Despite my limited attendance at the Primal Institute, the ideas of re-living repressed pain, which Art Janov sown in my mind, grew ever stronger.


  10. Part 2:
    ”During my LA-years it was Vivian Janov who acted “Demians mother”. She had impressed me already by my strange impromptu interview (during a honeymoon trip to California in 1977) and would, moreover, later also help me with contacts in Boulder, Col., which would have important implications for how my therapy developed. The name, in Boulder, I was given by Vivan led to that I got my first contact with Ida Rolf and her Structural Integration. This experience would dramatically alter my therapeutic worldview in which The Primal Principle plays the same psychological role as gravity does in physics. Art Janov proceeded as my distant guide and he has, then and later, never forbidden that I skipped shafts, although he may have grumbled. Curiously, he never showed interest in my holistic experiments / successes. Probably he had too much unrelived pain to free himself from, thus he continued his life long quest, especially in patients, thereby maybe mirroring a kind of “authority” he inherited, while growing up, from insensitive parents. That reminds me of striking similarities to Alice Millers attitude.

    The fact that Art Janov as the inventor of The Primal Principle was a true non-conformist in the psychotherapeutic world, did of course my own position being an outlier, not only to the cognitiv paradigm but also to The Primal Inventor, at times uncertain. Time, however, has so far given me the right, at least about my own fate. My holistic therapy options do not change the fact that with Art Janov, as my “Demian”, it's been an amazing journey. This journey has been more important than my destination.
    Passage from the novel Demian:

    “It was nearly winter by the time I was sent to the front.

    In the beginning, despite the sensations aroused by the constant gunfire, I was disappointed in everything. Earlier I had thought a lot about why it was so extremely unusual for a person to be able to live for an ideal. Now I saw that many people, all in fact, are capabel of dying for an ideal. Only, it mustn’t be a personal, freely chosen ideal, but one held in common and taken over from other people.

    But as time went by, I saw that I had underestimated people. Even though military service and their shared danger made them so much alike, nethertheless I saw many, the living and the dying, approach the acceptance of destiny in a splendid manner. Not only while attacking, but all the time, many of them, very many, had that steady, distant, almost obsessed gaze that is not directed at goals but indicates complete surrender to the prodigious. No matter what they chose to believe and think - they were ready, they were useful, the future could be formed from them. And no matter how inflexebly the world was clamoring for war and heroism, honor and other outmoded ideals, no matter how remote and unlikely every voice that apparently spoke up for humanity sounded, all of that was merely superficial, just as the question of the external and political aims of the war remained superficial.

    Deep down, something was evolving. Something like a new humanity. Because I could see many people, and a number of them died alongside me, who had gained the emotional insight that hatred and rage, killing and destroying, were not linked to the specific objects of that rage. No, the objects, just like the aims, were completely accidental. Those primal feelings, even the wildest of them, weren’t directed against the enemy; their bloody results were merely an outward materialization of peoples inner life, the split within their souls, which desired rage and kill, destroy and die, so that they could be reborn. A gigantic bird was fighting its way out of the egg, and the egg was the world, and the world had to fall to pieces.”

    Jan Johnsson

  11. Dr. Janov,
    This line triggered; “He says, I'm blind. And instead of saying to him, why are you blind, was it the war, what happened? I just hung up I was so shocked”.
    You just hung up because you were so shocked.
    I freeze when I’m shocked, my brain shuts down or disconnects and I look to others like I’m spaced out. First, I cannot react at all. When I slowly come back, grasping reality or try to recall what I heard or saw, I run or walk out of the room, away from the place I receive the bad news.
    David told me I’m a runner.
    Until today and after many primals, I can’t find out where and how the imprint originated and how old I was.
    What I know now it is the endocrinal part of brain that freezes for a moment and the serotonin and oxytocin receptors submerse and cannot receive the hypothalamic output of hormones.

    1. Sieglinde,

      If only I knew what I know now I could have acted differently with my ex partner (the love of my life) who frankly fits your description almost exactly.

      It's such a shame that for her she seems to have re arranged her life in such a way as to only relate with every one, still the same way but with extra cognitive finesse. She has made entirely 'cognitive adjustments' to perfect her tendency to deal with conflict by freezing, backing off and avoiding. That's not what I'm saying you're doing; and that's really rather the point, I have learned (felt even) to perceive beneath mere behaviour & symptoms. It's hard to use words on these subjects without sounding terribly judgmental. Unfortunately she hasn't learned to see beneath behaviours and symptoms. She now needs and relies on her complex intellectual / word / cognitive barrier even more to get by. The whole sorry 'affair' still breaks my heart because our daughter is stuck between the two of us and I'm the only one who can see what she has actually 'inherited' from us. I'm the one feeling ALL the remorse. That is for sure.

      Take Care Sieglinde, as always your posts help.

      Paul G.

    2. Paul,

      isn’t cognitive behavior also an early imprint?

      Didn’t we learn very early to suppress our feelings and obey commands?

      If such orders were in addition enforced by punishment (beating) the child learns very early: What I feel is not important.
      Over time the child’s survival mode kicks in and learns to override its need, or pain, to avoid punishment.

      Wouldn’t it be marvelous if children were allowed to be conscious, connected to their feelings... We would not have, terrorist attacks, nor the extremes of violence.

      Remember, the imprint of our life becomes cognition, and is later used as an escape from a hurtful feeling deep down.

      When we override and repress our feelings and pain, the hypothalamus produces more adrenaline and it becomes the stress factor that changes our genes.

      30 years ago I would have said damage done in childhood is permanent, now I call it “mission possible”, but not easy!


    3. Sieglinde,

      indeed, thanks for your interesting point regarding 'cognitive behaviour' being another imprint, that's helpful. As children, some people become wall flowers (shy). Powerless to act or intervene in conflict going on around them. As small children, perhaps they try to hide, to merge with the wallpaper. Thus by proxy they end up traumatised as witnesses. They carry a latent imprint which forces them to take the back seat in their own lives, so to speak. Later, maybe they act out their powerlessness in a relationship by relying on the others initiative. Eventually indecision becomes depressing and they become victim to their own latent tendency to withdraw, observe and keep still. Life passes by with little reward. . . Maybe they find a therapist or guru or some such role model (substitute parent) who can teach them to use their cognitive function to make plans and act them out when really they are actually more deeply defending themselves against their own paralysis. Thus 'planning & scheming' (collecting & collating information) can become BOTH the cognitive expression of AND defense against the original paralysis; which perhaps originated in the terror of being trapped in the birth canal. . . My insight (inspired by yours) is that ideas and thoughts relentlessly keep on subjugating & replacing feelings. Then we risk becoming semi clones of those parents and carers who failed to meet our needs or violently abused us (or both) in the first place.

      The (re) cognition, the ideas, the planning, the 'behaviour' becomes the act out and the symbolised script for the unexpressed trauma and the unmet need.

      I know Art has said all this before, but I don't think it can be repeated too many times: This, in my humble opinion is what CBT or any type of word / idea philosophy / therapy does, it deepens repression by wrapping it all up in yet more 3rd line stuff; micro & macro beliefs about the present and the future (& the past) to distract and to curtail feelings.

      Such a shame, such a shame. . .

      Paul G.

    4. Sieglinde!

      To be or not to be!

      The memory in our neocortex can change from day to day... what I mean is that a truth one day could be changed to be another truth the day after. No... neocortex does not store memories for what there is... it stores in a sense of what it's needed to solve the problems of memories from the limbic system (it would not have to be so... but that is how it is).
      Neocortex can remember... remember what happened yesterday... but it is not resistant (it floats... is possible to change). Emotions is an experience that is not possible to change only we understand its nature. What we must understand is that emotional memories are experiences in time and room without possibility of change... and not a design for what a thought can be provoked... to change an experience for how the neocortex saved our life from life-threatening experiences... may I say what a fantastic system for a similar sense as above... a vocabulary equation hard to understand... but possible to emotionally experience.


    5. Paul, part I
      I have devoted 3 chapters in my upcoming book to “latent imprint”. You used the absolute fitting word latent, that brings the present behavior in connection with methylated genes, created by all parents plagued by emotional ignorance.

      There is one other aspect psychoanalysts and physicians permanently overlook - behavior connected to physical pain.

      The idea of latent imprint came to me when my husband was diagnosed in 2008 with latent TB. TB was most common in the south. Many children died in the 1910-30 with what was called at the time consumption and others who survived were never treated. His latent TB created the fertile soil for his subsequent 4 different cancers, because he developed in some sections of his 23 genes a twin string gene.
      How many children live with undetected and undiagnosed physical pain? We don’t know yet but what we know is they react aggressively because physical pain drives up adrenalin. High adrenaline contributes not only to inflammation and consequently to gene methylation, it influences concentration and comprehension. Inflammation is in addition one of the main the culprits for epigenetic gene alteration. Here we have the perfect pattern we can see observed in many neurotics or the permanently depressed, because they must repress first their physical and later imprinted emotional pain.

      Let me present my personal experience and findings. My DNA shows (epigenetic) reduced serotonin and oxytocin receptor, which is related to inflammation caused by permanent pain (high adrenalin secretion).

      As a child I could not stand up for long nor walk uphill or long distances or ride a bike or a horse. Nevertheless, my mother forced me to do all and if I cried she beat me. Her fervor and emotional detached statement was, “I can see no reason why you can’t do these things”. So what can a child do? Repress the pain, compensate and learn (cognition) to invent shortcuts, - ergo imprint.
      Later in life I had to face the ignorance of physicians.
      After I was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation in 2008 and had a decompression surgery I was told by the neuro surgeon, you are okay now, go and live a good life. But, my symptoms and pain were still there and in March 15 my legs became sporadically numb, the pain unbearable and my cortisol unbelievably high. Being used to pain, ridicule and insults, I did not like to face the neuro surgeon again who told me “you are okay now”, though I did.
      He ordered XRays and MRI of my spine.

    6. Paul, part II
      Finally, the physical pain I had since childhood (in addition psychological pain to the effect of my stark childhood abuse), imprinted me, controlled my behavior, caused depression and/or aggression and reduced my serotonin and oxytocin receptors, has now many names:
      1. severe lower lumbar facet arthrosis with aortoiliac atherosclerosis with degenerative mild spondylolisthesis
      2. degenerative mild spondylolisthesis
      3. Partial loss of normal T2 disk signal at multiple level, sparing L5-S1
      4. L5-S1servere right and moderate left facet joint arthropathy.
      5. Small cystic appearing lesion measuring 6 mm greatest axial plane dimension with in the ventral aspect of the right neural foramen may reflect meningeal cyst or small synovial cyst.
      6. Mild to moderate right neuoforaminal stenosis.
      Most of these findings are congenital.

      Instead of wondering why children perform badly in school, being aggressive or depressed, become addicts, society and medical professionals must ask why, instead of blaming, sending the child to church or to see a guru.

      As I type this response the AP News ticker announced: 14% babies born in the US are born with an opiate addiction.
      PBS News: “childhood asthma has reached epidemic proportions, new research shows that stress, abuse and neighborhood violence may play as big a role as physical conditions in causing kids who never had asthma to develop the life-threatening disease. While some stress is helpful in facing challenging situations, too much for too long can trigger the adrenal glands above the kidneys to overproduce cortisol and adrenaline. Those chemicals, in turn, can kick the immune system into overdrive and can fuel an array of health problems, including, according to new studies, asthma.“

      In my opinion, if blame is needed, then we need to blame the ignorant, asocial and self-indulgent emotionally dead adults.

    7. Dear Frank,
      the neo-cortex is not an isolated part of the brain. Remember very early trauma experience, such as neglect, can be even imprinted in the brain stem. In addition, we have prenatal trauma that plays a direct role in gene methylation.
      To retrieve memory of trauma, the whole brain is involved, just as trauma travels down it mast come back up the same way. May I suggest reading:

    8. Sieglinde,

      thanks for your remarks about inflammation and aggression. It makes sense and is helpful. The degree to which you have investigated your own condition should be an inspiration to the medical profession as well as other patients but I suspect most doctors and medics are intimidated. You are a survivor, as are many others on this blog.

      Paul G.

  12. Hi Art

    I have always tried to understand what went on back then. Feeling a big gratitude to all who fought against the darkest of darkness. Finding out that you was one of those fighting that hard surprised me. OK, you had written about the war before, but I had misunderstood it as if you had just been in it for a short time. When I read this blog of yours, I got very affected and saw it all vividly as a movie, and then I saw this little story. I tried to reject it as too silly, but it wouldn’t leave me alone (so don’t blame me - ha ha) and I realized that it might be a part of me trying to say THANK YOU !, somehow.

    A very old wave

    It had been a long day and a man and a boy vent for a walk. “come, let us walk down to the beach and look at the ocean“. The boy lightened up and said “All right !” with enthusiasm in his voice. He was five years old and in his beginning of conquering the world with questions. One question led to the next. And the man had lived a long life and had a lot to tell, so they were a perfect combination.

    “Where are the waves coming from?” the boy asked as they got down to the beach. “It’s the wind that blows on the water and that makes the waves” the man answered. The boy stopped and looked like he was feeling very smart. “or from ships!, or from big fish!, or from meteors!, or from earthquakes!, or from lightning’s!, or from…..”. “Or from wars” the man added with a quiet voice. They stood silent for a moment looking out at the sea.

    From far away you could faintly hear a radio playing an old tune by Glenn Miller, and somewhere else a young man shouting to someone “ are you OK?”.

    “look far out the sea, can you see the wind is blowing a white top on the waves ?” “ Oh yeah ! “ the boy answered while he was squeezing his eyes so he could see far. ”Out there they look very dangerous and then they travel all that long way to the shore and end their journey with a splash”. Again the boy’s imagination took him. “What if the waves cannot find their way to the shore and then they will travel all the way around the earth again and again? Then they can become very very old”. “Well… yeah…. I guess so” the man answered.

    Suddenly the wind got strong and a wave grew big thundering towards the shore. They both stepped backwards in surprise. Then the wave broke and hit the shore in a mighty crash with a sound so loud it felt like an explosion. The boy ran away from the shore screaming in fear. The wind stopped just as sudden as it had arrived and the boy turned around. “Oh! that wave scared me” he shouted and ran back to the man. The man was quiet and looking out towards the horizon standing frozen like a statue. The boy reached out to hold his hand and held it a little tighter when he looked up to the man’s eyes.
    “Why are you crying?”

    Flemming D


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.