Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Joy and Tragedy of a Wide Open Gate


  1. Hi Art
    I understand so well. Few weeks ago I had to go for buisness trip to France, I asked my wife to take me to the airport, it was early morning and my mother come to us to take care of our son. I din't want this, but also didn't want to fight with my wife that I do not want my mother here. She started to convince me to take my father's jacket to "look good". I've told her that I have my own and I don't need this one, than she told me that she will beat me in the face so my teeth fall out. It was her goodbye to me. Whole my life she treated me like a dog, and destroyed me. I don't know how long I will live with this damage, but all of this it was to much for me. I feel my body is weak. Take care my primal friends.

    1. We will take care and so should you. Art

    2. Piotr my friend,

      I am so angry for you. People can be so stupid. I know how you feel having endured 50 or more years of my father and mothers narcissistic behaviour. They say they love you and treat you like shit.

      As Alice Millar said: "It's for your own good"_. NO IT ISN'T ! ! !

      Take Care Piotr and I will be in touch soon.

      I am hatching a plot. There's life in this old bugger yet.

      Paul G.

    3. Piotr,

      Quoting you:

      Whole my life she treated me like a dog, and destroyed me. I don't know how long I will live with this damage, but all of this it was to much for me. I feel my body is weak.

      End of quote.

      What you said above reminds me of how politicians and so much of the general public treat (their attitude towards) the less able and disabled people living on welfare, and disability pension.

      Their attitude is similar to your mother's.

      They say to the less able and disabled people and homeless people(actually berate): Get to work you lazy, useless bastard! You are living off my taxes!

      Such is the voice of ignorance.

      In fact it is those crazy ignorant people who do treat their children (which is actually abuse) in the way we discuss here.

      They are the cause of the problem.

      When in fact a child is naturally ambitious from birth. Ambition, curiousity, creativity and many more traits necessary for optimum survival (success) in life, are all natural traits of every being, if they are not damaged and blocked from abuse.

      In fact you cannot hold a child with a healthy (undamaged) mind down.

      Because his natural desire to survive, create, thrive, succeed,....his natural desire (will power) to "be his true self", "do things" and "have things" and fulfill his full potential, is very determined and very powerful. So much so that if you restrain him, he will break out.

      If you restrain him enough, so he can't break out, or beat him and damage him, you will break his "will" and he will become disabled mentally or physically or both.

      It concerns me that many politicians want to "get people off" of welfare.

      Yes, I know well, that there are people on welfare because there are not enough jobs.

      But a large percentage of those people on welfare, are on welfare because they are psychologically damaged from abuse. Their "wills" are broken and many other parts of their minds (their faculties) and bodies are damaged.

      They are unemployable.

      In fact, even those people on welfare who are still employable, if there were suitable jobs for them, are still damaged to some degree.

      If they were not damaged, they would be intelligent and creative enough that they would create their own jobs, ......they would invent something, they would make things happen.

      That is the innate nature and potential of a human being undamaged, not abused, but properly bread, gestated, born, loved and emotionally nourished and brought up right.

      It is certainly a crazy, insane, backward, barbaric world out there.


  2. Isn't it amazing, yet horrifying and deeply sad, how 'they' can soak one up in their world? Until you forget who you really are, how to dance and finally how to build your own world by your talents? I feel for you.

  3. Death has more to it than we can ever imagine!

    My anxiety has absolutely nothing to do with what is happening here and now... it only shows it self not to be able to be kept in place... of physical reasons. To land feelings in to awareness without ever having been there... it's something that takes time.

    Our need for love is sadly sick!


  4. Dearest Art,
    I was so transfixed to read about you and the rabbit I could not stop reading. And I just couldn't believe that someone so beautiful and feeling as you was beaten as a child, and yet it makes so much sense that you who needed to primal, would know the need for such a therapy. You are so real its almost unbelievable.
    I think that what is so powerful about your writing, is that you write with so much freedom of feeling that it begs one to feel, too it's that you speak of universal feelings for those who suffer.

    God bless you and France and all your staff, a thousand times.


  5. Part one:

    Another great story, Art.

    It is good to hear that you dealt with another piece of the problem.

    I fully connect.

    This happened(s) to billions of people, past, and present.

    I am acutely aware of what is going on.

    There are no two cases exactly alike, but the mechanism is similar.

    I have experienced similar triggers in my life.

    Before I did not have the knowledge, that I do now.

    I now know what is going on. But the triggers always happen in situations where I cannot stop and get into "self therapy" on the “open gate”.

    They don't happen that often, once every few yrs in very different ways and in very different or varied situations.

    And I can't access it on my own, in my self therapy sessions.

    RE: having the meanness beat out of you:

    Last fall, I was talking to my brother on the phone.

    I was telling him, that I cannot handle myself in a fight. I cannot stand up for myself in an argument or when I am mistreated today, or being taken advantage of.

    And he says, I have the same problem.

    I asked him, you want to know why that is?

    He asked; Why?

    I said, because dad beat the fight out of us.

    He beat us into permanent submission.

    I think the adrenals shut down, or become dysfunctional to a degree, in direct ratio the type of, degree of, amount of, and intensity of the abuse.

    Like you, I have developed an alternative nice sweet, good natured, will never harm anyone, afraid of ever doing anything wrong, or upsetting anyone, smiling face, personality. It is a social veneer, to hide the pain.

    And when you said: You put up your hands up in defence, as if saying: "Don't hurt me any more.".

    You gave me words to identify exactly the way I am, and always feel. Thank you for that.

    Years ago, I was called "goody, goody two shoes, a few times. I was also called "smiley".

    That was embarrassing, humiliating, and more of an insult than anything else.

    What you wrote about your childhood and how your personality developed is so very similar in principle, to mine.

    My family was wanted, but dad wanted to bring up the best children possible and beat us, every time we did something wrong, to make us good. And beat us to work harder and not make any mistakes.

    The result was that he made mental and emotional cripples out of all 7 of us.

    I developed a multitude of functional disorders. I was beat up so bad, I had a difficult time walking a straight line all my life.

    I have learning disabilities. (Called retarded.) I did very poorly in school. They mostly just pushed me through.

    In high school, where I did grade 10, 11, and 12, it took me 4 years to do 3 grades.

  6. Part two:

    The interesting thing about that is that I did not realize that it took me 4 yrs to do 3 grades until about 5 yrs ago. I was recounting my life and was missing a year. I could not figure out where that year was. After going over my life by writing out every year of what I recall, a few times, I realized that it took me 4 yrs to do 3 grades. That was a shock to me.

    I also have ADD, and narcolepsy. I am more of a scatter brain.

    Narcolepsy began in gr. 10. I automatically fell asleep in my desk for about half a class in the morning around 10:30 for all the 4 yrs. And a full class in the afternoon, at 1 pm. As soon as I sat in my desk, I fell straight to sleep and slept sound the entire class, for all the 4 yrs. Still have narcolepsy today, but it occurs relative to the degree of stress I am under.

    I also would get lost every day in school, every time I had to find my class room, and when changing classes, and when going to the washroom.

    To find my classroom, I developed a coping skill, by identifying another student that I knew was going to the same class I was going to, and would covertly follow them. If I missed them, I would wonder the hallway looking for the right classroom, sometimes for the entire class, half crying, and sometimes only find the right class room when the class was ending.

    And it was a small town school, with only 400 students.

    If I left the classroom to go to the washroom, I would always get lost and spend a half hr or more, wandering the hallway, half crying, in pain from holding it, looking for the washroom. I would walk by it many times and not see it.

    I say that narcolepsy is actually unconsciousness from the pain and stress of abuse and beatings, and the stress and difficulty of dealing with life in general. It is a kind of “passing out” that is automatic, it is programmed in, like a loop circuit. For me it sort of follows the biorhythm cycle waves of the day, up and down, mediocre highs and very low lows.

    I also have many kinds of dyslexia. I get lost in familiar places. I have schitzotypal personality disorder. I am afraid of people and am a lightening rod for abuse and criticism. I am a target for bullies. I can’t do much of anything right. I have nervous and anxiety disorders. I have learned to block them, and dealt with some in therapy, but when I was in my teens, twenties and thirties, it was very serious. I used to hyperventilate. I was hyper self conscious, had zero self confidence, zero self worth and self esteem.

    Personality disorders occur when your natural personality is suppressed, invalidated, blocked or knocked unconscious and you are forced to develop, construct another one. I tried many different ways to construct an alternative personality, that people would like. But it is very fragile and breaks down under stress and I do and say the craziest, most foolish, most embarrassing things. I limit my time around people.

    1. David,

      I don't know whether to thank you for your post or cry for your suffering; both methinks. I was beaten and threatened with beatings as a child. Not to the degree you had been. But I so understand the following symptoms. wanting to sleep in lessons, not comprehending the content (cognitive deficits). Feeling lost, getting lost even in familiar places. Limiting my time around others (later having to pretend I am more sociable than I really am). Your words sound so familiar I almost can't believe I just read them.

      Because my parents 'loved me' and sent me away to an expensive private boarding school where the education system was 'upmarket rote learning / brainwashing', I did quite well at 'passing exams and tests' but in reality my real education started ten years later when I got into wood crafts. Everything I have needed to 'integrate' (including walled off traumas) seems to happen because of (or rather 'around') my craft work. . . Yes really.

      Whatever happened to REAL 'Occupational Therapy'? I hear at the Primal Center patients are encouraged to get back into work sooner, no doubt because we are beings in need of 'occupation'. Which of course makes us no different from ALL other life forms on the planet. Yes, we have a purpose, a 'need' to perform tasks and what a crying shame they never knew at our schools how to keep us 'occupied'. . .

      Take Care David.

      Paul G.

    2. David: I have had similar experience in school, l learned in adulthood l have ADHD, plus Depression. I found out something interesting in my case, that high copper and low zinc, are attributed to my ADHD, and l am being treated for heavy metal toxicity. I am doing the protocol of William J. Walsh, PhD, he has a book on this topic !

  7. Something like this, to me, just a tragedy. I have to wonder if Art's father did act with rage on purpose or was it an act because he didn't know what he was doing to his child,either one is just plain stupidity. People do have common sense, many more so than others. Art you have many followers who love you. (We know that when you give Primal Therapy that you can't give love to your patients.
    If only the parent could see what he did to his son, just mutilating their child. The father creating a child, putting him under "utmost pressure", and putting him in "abnormal situations" (because the father acts abnormal); a child should never have to "deal" with that not until they are old enough to leave or old enough to "get a handle" on it. Something like this, the damage that was done by the parent, whether it was through inadvertence or done purposefully, is very difficult to "turn around and straighten out". People think, "oh, he'll get over it" but not for a long time, and maybe just cannot be repaired when one thinks of what he did to his son. "Inadvertence", that is not good. Sure the times were different, but common sense. The way Art was treated by his father, definitely, unfortunately, left an imprint; it just can't be shrugged at or shaken off. I have also thought about Art's father, and what the problem could have been with him to behave so poorly as a parent; sometimes I think maybe he had mental/physical problems that he just ignored repeatedly. A parent who acts like this (angry-rage alot), ought to thank God, that their son turned out so well in face of all that he has endured; seriously! By this time (now), a father might just possibly start looking at himself (why the so much "anger-rage" aimed at his son all the time) and wonder why he ever treated his son in the manner that he did. No common sense; possibly that was it.

    1. beachcoast7 really well said.

      -" I have to wonder if Art's father did act with rage on purpose or was it an act because he didn't know what he was doing to his child, either one is just plain stupidity"-.

      It's 'acting out' and it's uncontrollable unless the parent 'feels' hirself inflicting the pain. That is empathy and stops the act out dead in it's track. It is also the cure for stupidity, which is merely the outer manifestation of repression and denial. 'Cognitive deficits' is the scientific way of saying the same thing.

      If only schools would teach this. They almost do but not quite. When will the authorities have the courage to name the devil for what it really is?

      Paul G.

  8. "I never even knew how it shaped who I was and I never knew I needed to scream, "Do not hurt me anymore."

    Close behind my understanding awaiting hell mazes for me. But it is the little boy who already endured so much and he is within me and I feel my tears flowing.

    It's been hard for me to let go of my thoughts while fleeing from my father's madness then and within me now.

    Understanding has been of 99.9% for me... what so ever... as protection to not understand what I need to understand. It depends on what I need to understand how it was/is associated with life-threatening experiences!

    How do I know that I hold against when that is what I am... far from thinking of anything else. I mean... to be total of my mission to save my own life. It has no gaps more than suffering... and that is difficult to choose voluntarily as I cant let go of my understanding as defense against life-threatening experiences. It would have been fatal.

    I begin to know how to let go and follow without being disturbed by my thoughts!

    This is to all of you psychiatrists who prescribe pills... electric shocks and useless therapies for us to not remember how it feels to be alive.


  9. Art,

    -"I often joked I was an orphan with parents"-.

    How true that is when we discover the limits of our parents 'love' for us.

    The enduring insight I get from your own childhood experiences described here is precisely how naive we are 'surviving' what we didn't know we never had. . .

    Paul G.

  10. This writing is very good. Thanks Art for sharing this.


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.