Monday, April 11, 2016

What Lingers On (Part 2/2)

So my Primals for the split in my family were,  “Come back and get me.  I can’t make it without you.  Save me, please; want me.”  I never even knew where they sent my sister.   I was simply alone and abandoned, but I never KNEW it.  I felt it but it lingered on not articulated.   Feelings always precede ideas.   The facts were not there yet but the feelings flourished.   And were embedded deeply.  Those feelings drove me even though I never knew hat they were or what they were.  There they lain, unformed, un-delineated, unexpressed and unfelt.  That was my unconscious.   It all lay below knowledge; it had to.   Far too much to feel and accept except for 90 years later.    I will discuss how this drove my act-outs, later.   And it did. Feelings moved into cortical behavior, silently, stealthily and without my knowledge.  They infused my work, attitudes, interests and beliefs and still, I never knew it.   “Help me.  I am waiting to be rescued.   Please.”  I needed advice and to be told what to do and so became a good student reading book after book; from someone who never read a book before.  I wanted to know what the world was like, what happened to me and why.   With my psychoanalyst I never found out; they were too busy figuring out the meaning of my dreams.  Now I could tell them.

I never learned how to fix things because my mother was so afraid that if I got hurt she would have to take care of me.  If I got near an electric plug she would scream out of her anxiety.   I stayed away from all that and went to my head which worked OK because it was always driven by feelings near the surface.    My life’s leitmotif was  “Help me.  Show me how.  Save me.”  It was acted out in not knowing how to fix anything.   I was helpless and acted being helpless.  My act-out was “help me, teach me talk to me.  Explain explain explain.“ And when someone knew, I attached onto him.  I found ways to have people talk to me because I never felt worthy of anyone talking to me.  I became a shrink and people paid to talk to me.   Wonderful.  A terrific act out.   People did confide in me because I could feel their pain, not in so many words but in my empathy. Animals too.   A far cry for when my father let out my dog in the street and drove away.  And I do mean, “A far cry.”  How can anyone do that to a bewildered animal?

How could a rejected and neglected kid feel he had a right to be talked to and loved?  How could that kid feel worthy………..of love or anything?    He never did; always thought it was an accident.  He was very grateful for any act of kindness and gave away his prize possessions to feel loved by others.  I learned from my parents; how not to be, how not to do.  I did the opposite; that was my education from two inhuman souls.


  1. Show a picture of where we are in our brain alive for what our imagination can ally with to experience its consequences!

    To understand that the suffering we are experiencing is because of our fysiologiska capacity to repress emotions... it at the time impossible to experience them... which for us now is the catch-22 all humanity is suffering... it without the slightest idea that this is the case.

    So how do we introduce the right people have and they so well need and deserve to know about them self?

    Are there any limits in our attempts to give people their rights? No... except not to use violence!

    This is not for the whole world to know about it is for those who can understand the impossible and what it can achieve for what the whole world needs... need to know about them self... a process extremely important and we are in a hurry!


  2. You write: a far cry for when my father let out my dog in the street and drove away. And I do mean, “A far cry.” How can anyone do that to a bewildered animal?

    Is the answer: the same father who let the bewildered child alone and drove away?

    You write that when you hear of a caraccident you first look for animal victims.

    Do you think your feelings for animals are a reflection of how you felt as a child, vunerable en totally dependant on two inhuman souls?

    Thank you so very much for sharing your feelings and primals.
    It's helping me to accept my strong needs and accepting that I tried/try to fullfill these needs with the wrong persons and wrong acts, because the need is so strong and the hope is so strong that now my needs will be fullfilled. Your writing is helping me to pay attention to these driving forces in me in stead of (only) hating them.

    1. Anonymous, Art: I completely empathise with Art on this, and Art, your empathy for animals makes me want to hold you, if I might say, in my arms. The reason is that it finally proves to me that you don´t have a cold, scientific attitude towards animals. I did wonder, given your use of animal experiments in your writing, but I no longer do, and I would love to see you with animals, giving them what they need, making them feel safe, loved, taken care of. I feel slightly uneasy pouring this out, and I feel it is for the same reasons men in general feel uneasy when they feel they are being asked to show or allow tenderness, nurturing, experience of expressing my humanity is generally that of being humiliated or rejected by other men....and some women. The most important beings in my life are my dogs and puppies. Male or female, it makes no difference: they receive and give love freely, unconditionally. Every day I lie amongst them as they climb onto me, lick my face, show love with their bodies, their voices, their eyes. I don´t know what I´d do without them. Christ...I feel like someone is going to write an angry, cutting, humiliating response to this, like "Get a life, you sad bastard!". That is the sort of attitude my father had, I don´t remember it being articulated, but my present feelings, as I write this, remember something though my mind doesn´t....I remember always being made to feel there was something wrong with my "softness" after I reached puberty and couldn´t put on the tough, callous mask patriarcal society expects of males. So I got humiliated, ridiculed and rejected a lot. Now, aged 54, my few friends are non macho males and females, and mostly animal rights campaigners. What I see in animals in factory farms and on the street, is, I am sure, really the lost, lonely and vulnerable little boy I once was, and of course still am (though those animals are hideously abused and murdered and anyone who consumes them or their "produce" is responsible). When I lose it those who are completely "scientifically detached" when I tell them how their chicken breast was produced, from birth to murder, they often just contemplatively stroke their chin as if i am talking of nothing more important than the price of fuel. And that is how serious neurosis is. It takes a lot, as you yourself know from witnessing thousands of primals, dear Art, to transform a highly sensitive, feeling baby into an unfeeling computer. And it happens imperceptibly, almost invisibly, and by the time we are adults, few of us have any idea of the hell we´ve just been through. Gary

    2. There was a blaze on the hill near the houses, we all watched from the safe distance. The youngest was my niece, around 8 years old. So we were explaining to her what the airplane was doing, what the firefighters job was and how they will stop the fire to reach homes… and then, to our total surprise, with voice of a worried child she asked: “what will happen to the animals?”

    3. Yuko: I think it is because young children generally still relate naturally - to varying degrees - to animals. They have not yet become conditioned into seeing animals as nuisances, pests, vermin, commodities whose lives are worth nothing beyond what humans can exploit them for. It is only adults and speciesist societys "teaching" us otherwise which causes us all to stop treating them as our friends and equals. Gary

  3. Again!

    Together with the scientific content of what catch-22 shows about primal therapy... we can not lose in court! In order to get a job so I have to have experience but to get the experience I have to have a job... the catch-22! How should I understand my neurosis when I'm neurotic not to feel why!?

    Show a well explanatory picture of where we are in our brain together with a clinical process of why our imagination can play us a game without us understanding why we dont can feel causes... causes and consequences of why?

    To understand the suffering we are experiencing because of our fysiologiska capacity to repress emotions... is working that way... it in process of survival... but leaking sometimes (always) and we are suffering terribly... which for us now is the catch-22 all humanity is suffering... it without the slightest idea that this is the case... and we have the understanding and the scientific content to it! Did you hear that?

    A psychiatrist who do not perceive the physiological catch-22 can't do anything but obliterate lives!


    1. Frank, There is a new book coming out in 2 weeks, Beyond Belief,  reputation books, and I am finishing 2 others with my crack editor, Agustin Gurza,   The First Science of Psychotherapy...........and The Psychology of Everyday Life.    Art

  4. Art: you wrote: My life’s leitmotif was “Help me. Show me how. Save me.” It was acted out in not knowing how to fix anything. I was helpless and acted being helpless". Do you remember meeting me during a Primal Center retreat in 1998, you turning up laden with a load of food, fumbling nervously with a jar you couldn´t open, and handing it to me to open? I was astonished then that the same man who had performed miracles for over 30 years could still have such pain. Now of course I understand. I remember thinking then similar thoughts to those you express above. "Help me. I can´t do this." Gary

    1. Gary, And now I am in a position to help; I no longer feel helpless. thanks art

  5. Art: That´s good. Can I ask you how your pain manifested before you started primalling? Also, when your biography is due out?. Gary

  6. An email comment:
    "Dear Art!

    When I read this lines about your childhood, I feel so sorry you had to suffer so much. You are more than o.k., you are a wonderful person! I`m so happy, that you are here and you Art, you gave the world the best I ever read in respect of Psychology:
    You touch the source of everything which is so important: Feeling

    Our world is full of Primal Pain. Everywhere you look is war, terrorism, or people who damage other people, because they see money as more important than healthy or life! We know, that money can never be something like Primal Needs! But on the other hand, there is the chance to go through the pain and feel. Because all people in this world do have the same Primal Needs.

    So thank you so much for your intuition! For the impulse to see things in respect of Psychology from the real perpective and bring everything to the real point! I wish you the Best:
    to feel - there is nothing more important!


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.