Saturday, June 3, 2017

I Promise I Will Be Faithful: No You Won’t

Now why can’t some men and women keep that promise? Well there are many reasons but if we ignore the imprint then we are forced to look at the present for all the answers; whereas the current situation may provide only a few elements.

So what does that mean, the imprint? It means, say, for a man, that he needed love from his mother but all he got was indifference. That lack is imprinted, sealed by the unfulfilled need permanently. It lies on a lower strata so that no matter how loving the girlfriend is, he needs more. Why? Because the nagging, “I am not loved” lies below, agitating him to go elsewhere. And he will become known as a womanizer because he needs to seduce many women, all for the same ending, more infidelity. That, “I am not loved,” drives him every day.

With a woman who was never wanted by her father; that is, who left her feeling unwanted because he was so bound up in his own pain, she is a “sucker” for anyone who really shows he wants her. That need, “I am not wanted,” drives her and makes her give in immediately when a man looks at her and says he finds her beautiful. And yet, no matter how much a man wants her, she needs to seek out other men because “I am not wanted” continually drives her. She needs constant reassurance and assuaging.

A promise is a top level cortical expression; never a match for a deep-lying survival force. How do we know? Because when patients feel that need in all of its agony, they no longer have to promise anything; their body will do it for them. And when we see the huge amount of pain/force involved in experiencing the feeling we know how big a motivator it is.

None of this is conscious. The old need remains pristine pure but the person is never aware of it. The “promise to be faithful” sits on top of, “I can’t be faithful until my mother loves me.” After a sexual encounter, there is that nagging feeling of malaise, not being satisfied. And the person won’t be until he or she feels the real need in its exact early context. Every so-called fulfillment, every affair, after the time of the critical emotional window when need had to be fulfilled is, by definition, a symbolic fulfillment. That is why it is not really satisfying. Remember, that need in the first months of life meant survival as an intact human being. It had to be gated and repressed. Meanwhile, the feeling/need circulates in a sort of reverberating circuit seeking connection and never making it. If it were not symbolic, then one love affair should be satisfying.

That is why all compulsive behavior has to be repeated time and again. It doesn’t matter if its food, pain-killers or sex. Need dominates. It is a way of papering over pain. And because it is a temporary palliative, like a tranquilizer, it has to be done ad infinitum. Of course there are any number of other reasons. But many marital guide books cover those. It is just the imprint that is missing.


  1. But some people "play" on others needs; making matters worse in growing up. Manipulation may be in the minds of many parents; parents who lack feeling and just plain common sense-brain power, and if that is the case, possibly the parents find their child to be a "toy" that they can actually ruin by seeing their child's weaknesses and playing on those weaknesses (for some reason). Just common sense tells the normal parent to raise a child; don't play with their emotions just because someone played with their own emotions when they were also growing up. Life can be bad enough with just an imprint alone. Children suffer without guidance and then go into adulthood; many of them just lost because of an imprint created by parents (either on purpose or inadvertently) Children, of course, can come out all the better for all the wrong parenting done to them (whether on purpose or just plain ignorance on the parent's part), and they can turn out to be strong adults with emotions, compassion, and common sense. An imprint either created by a parent or for another reason an imprint exists; should be addressed, and not ignored. Just like Art said, there are any number of other reasons for infidelity addiction, use of pain killers and alcohol to the point of addictions and many other reasons why some people are so "needy". What is said in this article by Dr. Janov is interesting and informative. Thank you Art.

  2. 'Trying' is very romantic in my opinion. Even when both partners know that they can't love each other yet, they can still know that they want to love each other. 'Wanting to' is a beautiful thing. But when one partner decides to deceive the other, it only proves that the deceiver doesn't even want to love his/her partner, and the relationship should be terminated immediately.

    1. Hi Richard,
      Thank you for writing this. As they say in California, it resonates with me. Which means it articulates an experience I'm going through. Also I always like to find the positive way to look at something to have hope. And this view provides a degree of hope and beauty.

      There sure is beauty in the struggle for truth and love !


    2. Hi Richard,

      -"But when one partner decides to deceive the other, it only proves that the deceiver doesn't even want to love his/her partner, and the relationship should be terminated immediately"-.

      I think it starts with 'self deceit', which would not be possible without deep repression.

      It's taken me nearly 7 years to fully integrate this 'fact' of love in my own life. It was not primarily to do with sex, though that old chestnut of excessive masculine demand was used as a weapon to disguise the real facts. It was almost entirely to do with Gender Power Politics and my ex becoming brainwashed by her 'therapist' (prior to that it was her parents). I knew we had to separate and that things would not end well. I could see my partner going down the route of gestalt and behaviourism and reducing every complex issue to a set of impossibly simplistic black or white questions which could never be answered or acted on. Certainly not by me alone.

      I had little of the power in the relationship, none by the end. My ex had all the money, the chief say in our business and the 'court order and primary care' of our kids. She would deny all this of course - implying I 'coerced her' - that is quite an old ruse but it always seems to do the 'trick'. For the three years of her 'therapy' I could see that her return from therapy sessions always resulted in me getting ultimatums based not on our actual business or relationship reality, but on the Gestalt, Buddhist / Feminist Ideal with a bit of 'child development' thrown in. There were also very 'neat' half truths about 'men' sewn into it, like a tapestry. I was watching a slow motion car crash as a passenger. Every question I asked about how to wind up our affairs, what to do with all HER kit, our current clients etc etc was met by -"I don't know - you solve it, it was YOUR idea". . .
      She would often speak with her hand over her mouth or refuse to answer questions. Even sticking her fingers in her ears.
      During that time she wasted at least a dozen opportunities to reconcile or build on situations. We lost one £75,000 contract down the back of the office desk - the client couldn't understand why we never responded, they wanted us to do the job. She seemed intent on diverting her energy and attention to setting up an opposing view designed to vindicate me and vilify herself. ALL costs were diverted to this end. Then the recession hit and we both HAD to act.

      How ironic that we executed the business premisses 'wind up' really well. It is a tragedy that tragedy so often brings the best out of people. Insane.

      Having just watched Theresa May's 'slow motion car crash' election here in UK with dozens of U turns and more caprice than an entire herd of goats I have finally realised on the emotional level it was not all my fault. . . Some people really are like that, predictably so. They will keep driving the car in all directions, or lose the keys; or drive toward the cliff edge to prove they can drive.
      But my point, your point is that we should have split up three years earlier rather than drag out a ridiculous 'Buddhist Inquisition' directed remotely by a feminist nun who had long gone, long left the scene of the crash, well, she wasn't even there. And isn't that exactly the seriousness of the problem with 'conventional' therapy? IS the conventional therapist remotely 'there' for you?

      My exe's deceit was that she had to find overwhelming evidence based on someone else's theory to make the split and it took her three years to do it, to be sure.

      Honestly, you really couldn't make this stuff up. And like Theresa May, for my ex, there was plenty more money where that came from after the split. And another bunch of willing 'cognoscenti' to massage her brittle ego once her transition into her new identity was made.

      I wish I knew 30 years ago what I know now.

      All best to you Richard.

      Paul G.

    3. I agree, but don't forget that the struggle is futile. False hope is a never-ending loop. Primal patients don't struggle; they lose all hope of ever getting the love that they needed. You see? Neurotics never experience feelings in the present; their 'feelings' are always distorted by their past. Neurotics can't love in the present; their attempts are always futile.

      But 'wanting' is beautiful. Some people want to be human. Humanness is beautiful. Some people don't want to be human. I say stay away from people like that.

    4. Hi All,

      Today I discovered why I couldn't stop 'trying' .

      Because It was too painful to feel ' you don't want me, no matter how hard I try.'
      I gave up trying to be born at the realisation, that my farther wasn't going to be there, because he didn't want me. So I had to be pushed into the world and resented it with a silent vengeance, just like I resented every day I had to go to work.
      I couldn't figure out what work would really be fulfilling for me in life, because I couldn't resolve that first imprint ' I don't want to move out into the world, because I'm not wanted'. How could I be me, when I wasn't wanted in this world? Hence I could never figure out what I wanted to do in life. I loved dancing, but it became an obsession to get love. I just wanted to be adored. So I tried everything possible to become a success. But I was never good enough because my imprint was ' I'll never be good enough no matter how hard I try!' was the feeling underneath ' I mustn't stop trying' because if I stopped trying then I would feel that the problem was me, because I wasn't wanted. So I tried to be something all the time, and obsessed with firguring out what I was going to be when I grew up. And I never could figure out that I just wanted to be me, until I stopped trying to be, and starting feeling how It really felt to be me.


    5. And when we can't relax we can't feel our natural sexual expression; including our femaleness or maleness. Being tense and driven or subdued, shuts everything down .

    6. Paul, I was agreeing with Katherina. As for your comment, I have no idea whether you should've left your wife. I was just making a simple point: 'wanting to love and be loved' is better than not wanting at all.

    7. Katherinanina,

      I can relate very well to your story.

      My case was similar, at least the net result.

      Love is an imprint.

      The ability to relate to people,

      the ability to form relationships,

      the ability to bond,

      are all learned from conception, possibly even before.

      It is all an imprint.

      All through our developing, formative years, we are all sponges and perfect recording devices.

      Our developing years are our role model.

      Everything is an imprint. It becomes what we judge everything against.

      If we don't get the emotional nourishment, to fulfill our needs, then we are empty and lacking to that degree.

      Then we are left neurotic and with a wanting that cannot be fulfilled.

      That is the short story.

    8. Thank-you,
      your words resonate

    9. Thank-you, your words resonate

  3. Hi All,

    slightly off topic but after a period of extreme overload (yet again) I wrote this for us:

    The Storm.

    I can sense a storm brewing below my horizon,
    though I cannot cast my eyes on nor smell it.
    It is like an electrical disturbance on my radar.
    It's not mere chance that it's so far away,
    it is an old storm still not blown out.

    I sense it circulates.
    Though my sea is still calm I know I need to prepare,
    to steer a certain course
    because the first time I was not ready.

    Now I am sure and I know I have little choice,
    I have to steer steady.

    An old shipmate had warned me before
    that I must meet it's full force,
    I must pass through it
    before returning to shore.

    I batten down and shorten sail,
    then I see a ruffle and the salt begins to smell.
    It is like a cold sweat on the ocean,
    an atmosphere and a silent wail.

    I am tense now and look about.
    Clouds catch my attention.
    Then I see a flash or two,
    was that lightening ?

    Quickly I tighten sail and head up,
    gusts whistle and slope the sea,
    sun hides behind looming sky.
    My heart contracts before this malignant gloom,
    pale faced I grit my teeth,
    sucked ever on into stacked up seas.

    Towering giants loom over me,
    white horses tumble past and with tiller under arm,
    hands braced tight on ropes,
    the first splash wets my face.

    But I am not drowned yet.
    I am downed into troughs,
    Then courage takes over from my fears.
    I lean into the swell,
    I approach my impending hell.

    I cannot tell if my tears
    or my fears were wetter or for how long.
    Was it for ever?
    but I got through to the eye,
    to the calm at the center.

    All around me are tall shadows,
    The wind dies and for a moment:
    A calm and time to reflect;
    surrounded by cloud the sun breaks,
    the wind shifts and I go about.

    O hell again!
    Here we go down into another squall,
    This time in reverse I am blown back!
    Toward the land behind me I am blown
    Right up against that wall.

    Glancing behind with rigid knuckles,
    I see breakers and white horses,
    “Where is my beach”? I scream,
    “where will I make landfall”?

    Blown back, blown back & back still more,
    Pointed to windward,
    Backwards I fall.

    Terror consumes me,
    Tumbling weightless and gasping for air,
    Hull crashed and sand grazing,
    Rolling over and over with lungs bursting
    I hear a voice gently calling:

    “you’re ok, you made it, you made it. . .
    We saw you, we called to you, we flashed our lights”-. . .

    No more frights and I am sobbing now,
    Sobbing and retching, coughing up and crying.

    I realise I was dying but lived to tell,
    Lived to feel, to eat, to drink and smell.
    To love and be loved,
    I passed through that hell.
    Sobbing and sobbing still more. . .

    I realised I had reached my shore.

    Paul G.

    1. Wow Paul that was pretty good. Obviously you've sailed before (literally).

    2. Thanks Richard, that was for you too.

      And yes, I have sailed before; too often in the wrong direction.

      All best,

      Paul G.

  4. The need of love is for us to feel the pain for what we needed but not for what love is!

    Love is not and can never be... it's a flourishing time as passes by together with someone else without the need of someone else... but the emotional memories has remain for what we needed because of pain to not get it and so we are lost for what need is!

    Need of love is the pain we do not understand and are confused about and love is lost in the labyrint to get it.


  5. You can never be in love alone... because in love can never be alone! If you think so... you're suffering.


    1. I don't know Frank. There are all different kinds of love, and all different kinds of needs one may feel. There is that "unrequited" type of love, which can be strong , but never lasts long with me(for some reason). One does suffer in unrequited love; it's frustrating for some. One could be having an affair for one reason, and the partner in the affair could be in it for another reason; just not on the "same page". Relationships last even when one partner knows one is cheating on the other...sure the person being cheated on suffers, but one would suffer being in love alone also; it's like how do they want to live, to be alone in love or stay with a partner who cheats because of love; I would rather be alone. Mental health is important, of course, as you know.

    2. Hello beachcoast7,

      Yes it's a matter of hell to come to what real love is!

      The need for love is no love... love is experienced when it exists! Why the question of love has become so great is because it does not exist. What we miss from when we were too small to perceive what love was physiological that needed its time to develop into perception went lost why love become a need.

      Otherwise... there is no way to be fooled in love... if so... we fool ourselves. If you love someone based on what love is and your partner lives with what love is then you will feel what love is. Without love... no love.

      But still... this is just words for what real love could be to us who do not feel.

      Your Frank

    3. Frank,
      I understand what you are saying...but to me, there has to be some spirit; some attitude to "carry on" in this world. I guess you don't feel emotionally; that is too bad. Some kids aren't loved by their parents...others are watched closely (loved) , shown by either their parents or other adults as to how to "carry on" in this world; shown how to "rise above" when need be. I believe in love still. I know relatives who have gone through a lot , who have never given up (which shows great mental strength).

  6. Hello everyone.

    There are some other crucial points, I believe.

    When men feel the mother-neglectfulness, it usually triggers 1st line traumas (breast feeding, caress, early touching etc), since there is also the "female" coordination.
    When women feel the father-neglectfulness, it is probably 2nd line. Hence, easier to handle and much less severe.

    On the other hand, nature seems to boost polygamy. More partners, more chances for fertility, stronger offsprings.
    But even in this case, there is a thick and easy to distinguish line. The non-neurotic body does know when to stop and when it uses sex for neurotic cause; this is not a lesson to be taught. And after that point, someone (man or woman) will decide upon getting married or not and focus on the family and its responsiblities.

    The main problem is the interference from religion and/or society. For several reasons, people tend to judge sex and everything around it, no matter how liberated they claim they are. And this is what makes our relationships much more complicated. We have even created the appropriate words for each case: “bastard child”, “whore”, “wanker” etc…

    Most people are taking for granted that sex is supreme and had put it on a pedestal. Well then, I would like to see those “wise” people in that situation that they will have to decide between “40 days no food” and “40 days no sex”.

  7. Usually, one should abide by their "gut" feeling...and if it was a feeling of survival withing the first few months of life in order to be a person...well,I honestly believe that the good parent tends to what happens the first few months and carries it through the child's life , even into adulthood. I'm not saying "babying" their child...but if they see strong points in the first few months with their child who, after going through a birth trauma, the good parent will carry those instincts of the child and make it good; because basically in the 1950's, the parent didn't know how to treat their traumatized child. They can only observe the child closely...that was all they could really do in the 50's; observe and give unconditional love. Sure they will read up on the traumatized birth and the child's emotional characteristics and brain....but the parent should never give up. If one has a good parent who constantly watches and is constantly "there" for their child (yet not "spoiling" them whatsoever...this child might be "o.k." and 1/2 way decent, before sending their child for primal therapy. Seems like so many things against the traumatized child that one has to work on what positive attributes this child might have and hopefully it is physical and mental strength; the ability to feel and show emotions. To know how a connected individual feels is also important for a child that went through birth trauma. The total cure is getting Primal Therapy; that is the most important.

  8. Yes, although faithfulness is just a symptom, and the driving need for love could have many different consequences, such as alcoholism, joining cults, marital violence etc
    My parents were forced to marry after my mother got pregnant at 19 with my older sister. I came along two years later, born to two emotional toddlers, and my mother began an intense 10 year affair with a neighbour when I was eight, ending when he died of a heart attack 10 years later.
    My mother only told me a few months after he died ("Officially", my father still doesnt know, and my parents are still together now, in their 80s.)
    Not having primalled, I cant make solid associations between my life now, and not having a mother when I needed her, or a father for that matter, but...
    Until I started reading Arts books in my early 30s, I felt intensely alone, desolate, and adopted extreme libertarian beliefs about "open relationships", having as many partners and sexual "experiences" as one liked. I looked upon "close" relationships as for "squares", and "prudes". Or for people frightened of life. I adopted a radical Gay ideology in which the nuclear family was evil.
    I never connected my pain with my life and beliefs. Never knew that my parents not having a real loving relationship was odd, and that it might explain, for example, my intimacy phobia, contempt for "closeness", and feeling desolate.
    Pain is rationalized away by beliefs.
    I just remember everyone in my village loving my "freewheeling" and "easygoing" parents, but it was just a charade. There was no feeling in their relationship. The memories I have of family holidays and suppers round the fire, and the family snapshots, are all lies. We were never a loving, loyal family.
    My childhood was desolate and I´ve never formed close, loving, trusting relationships. My life on the "Gay Scene" has been one of promiscity to trust anyone at all, so I´ve never had a relationship of more than three months.
    I had convinced myself that all this was OK. Promiscuity was "sexual experience" and "freedom"
    I never had a real parent. They were always "elsewhere". I was a child orphan. Living with strangers in a world of deceit. Gary

    1. Hi Gary,

      I also fell for that 'libertarian' open relationship ideal. I can see it was also a reaction to the stifling lies my parents told me: -"We love you Paul, but we don't like you"-. They lied about sending me to boarding school too. They said they could not access the money in the trust set up by my extremely wealthy grandfather UNLESS it was for a boarding school education. I still flounder with 'suspended disbelief' and despair simultaneously that I could accept such a blatant lie, but then I was only 8 years old. My grandfather paid for 16 private educations in the family and only the boys 'had' to go to boarding schools. Make of that what you will.
      Later because I was the youngest, the money ran out and my Dad 'had to pay out of his own pocket' - consequently, if I didn't get super duper grades, he would beat up on me, telling me I was useless. Later still 'I had wasted my inheritance' because I flunked out with the pressure (not to mention my exponentially growing neurosis).
      Why and how they couldn't see I was an artist and wood modelling fanatic and needed an apprenticeship in joinery/furniture making or something similar is beyond belief. . . Total waste of what today would be about £750,000 just on my 'education' alone. And I was seriously abused at school too. What a waste. No wonder sex became an obsession for me, no one (of influence) noticed my creativity and channeled it in the right direction.
      Later still my Dad confessed he did absolutely nothing at his private boarding school during the war, apparently he got no qualifications at all. So there we have it, total projection.
      I have to some extent felt the anger and rage about all that but I can see there are still 'strands and traces' of it that I need to revisit in proper therapy.
      I need to go back to the right station and start again.

      I'm not daunted, I just realise I am controlled by a melange of trauma and it's getting unpeeled in layers.
      The desire to keep on trying to get sex and using sex as a release and substitute has somewhat waned, thank goodness.
      If I'm really honest, my unconscious drive to sex was partly responsible for the destruction of my 15 year relationship with the love of my life.

      She will always be standing on the 'right station' in my mind's eye, waving goodbye. Just thinking about her triggers off my grief. What a fucking waste.

      Paul G.

  9. There are a lot of very good deeper insights on this blog, from beginning to end. And off course, only the tip of the iceberg.



    RE: quoting you:

    My parents were forced to marry after my mother got pregnant at 19 with my older sister. I came along two years later, born to two emotional toddlers, and my mother began an intense 10 year affair with a neighbour when I was eight, ending when he died of a heart attack 10 years later.
    My mother only told me a few months after he died ("Officially", my father still doesnt know, and my parents are still together now, in their 80s.)

    End of quote>

    It does not make sense to me.

    How can your parents still be together, when in the previous sentence, you say your father died?

    Please clarify.



    1. The neighbour died of a heart attack, not his father.

    2. Now, I got it!

      The ten yr affair lover died.

      Thanks, Gil.


  10. Gary,

    You make one particularly interesting point.

    Re> choosing to be gay.

    And I gathered that you chose that life style, because of the subconsciously recorded pain (memory) you experienced of your parents fucked up, false facade heterosexual relationship.

    You decided by default, that you wanted no part of it.

    So you chose to be gay, as an alternative?

    Am I correct?

    1. Art quite often says primal pain causes dislocation of function. I don't think anybody ever 'decides'to be gay, or become a paedophile etc, it is just dislocation from how evolution designed us. It is my understanding that if we all received pure love from both parents we would all be 'straight'. I suffered from a sexual 'dislocation' (around violence and sex)and was very pleased that Primal Therapy fixed the problem.

    2. Hi Gill,

      does Gary have his own voice about this? Gary?

      That was a challenging book you wrote about sexual deviation by the way. Complimentary to Art's "Sex & The Subconscious".

      For me, what puts everything into context is the plain facts of the sequential unfolding of the three brain systems over time and the sequential 'influencing' of the latter ones by the former. As Art said, the difference between conventional wisdom and Primal Theory is in the 1st line.

      Having first clarified the difference between the theory and the therapy of Primal, I think the other thing about Primal that needs comprehending properly is that once mastered with the right guidance, one becomes one's own therapist. That to the extent which your 'self knowledge' can be translated into managing your emotional connections as they happen.

      People rightly make a distinction between 1st, 2nd & 3rd line access, but it's access to the 1st line which is the essence to true Primal and the most difficult to correctly establish. I am told it's possibly to access the 1st line without having properly dealt with 2nd & 3rd line stuff and that can be a type of abreaction.

      Can you comment on that?

      Paul G.

    3. Gil,

      Thanks for your explanation.

      As much as I would love to read all of Art's books, that is all but impossible, due to dyslexia getting pretty bad. Reading much is difficult. A couple of pages is usually about all I can manage.

      But I sure like the phrase "dislocation of function".

      That can be applied to dyslexia too. I have many kinds of dyslexia. Could be ten or more. It is difficult to sort them all out and identify them.

      I have studied brain CT scans and know how that all works, quite well.

      Anyway, about being gay:

      I find this entire subject very interesting and extremely informative.

      So I am getting into it, to understand it more deeply, and do so from different points of view. I want to understand what causes it. I think there are lots of different causes.

      Every case has to be evaluated on it's own factors.

      I am not gay, but I quote Gary's words:

      "my intimacy phobia, contempt for "closeness", and feeling desolate.

      End of quote.

      They describe my situation quite well on the relationship front.

      But there is more.

      Abandonment, rejection, continuous invalidation and criticism from my dad, and beatings when I made mistakes.

      Dad computed that when a child made a mistake he was bad and stupid and had to be given the rod, to make him good and smart.

      And if some was good, more was better. He wanted to make a real good boy out of me.

      Plus being programed with all kinds of false unworkable life education (false and limiting knowledge).

      Like being told not to hang around with bad people, and bad people (children) were those who smoked, drank or swore.

      So there were no children left to hang around with and so I became a misfit, outcast, laughing scoffing stock.

      Therefore developed a schitzotypal personality disorder, with nervous, anxiety disorder, neurosis, disorientation problems, learning disorders, severe coordination problems, accident proneness, narcolepsy, catatonia and cataplexy to name the worst ones.

      (Someone did a good write up on neurosis on wikipedia.)

      I was never good at sports, because my coordination was poor. I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time. I had a difficult time hitting a baseball with the bat. I was a problem looking for a place to happen. I was a liability on any team.

      He totally fucked up my life.

      Over the yrs I did a lot of PTSD therapy of every kind I came across, and some of it was good. Most of it was crap and some of it was closer to scorcery.

      But you get understanding from what does not work.

      It was the process of trial and error and elimination.

      So in hind sight, I do not regret any of it.

      Over all I am better now than I have been all my life.

      And I am a good PTSD therapist (regression and catharsis therapy) and can do it over skype.

      If anyone wants some, and can't afford primal, just ask me.


    4. Hi Paul
      I´m grateful for the two replies made on my behalf in this case, though I rarely bother to correct people if they haven´t taken the time to read my posts properly.
      More on the unfaithfulness issue: until the feelings underlying unfaithfulness are felt and processed, I am certain that all "insights" are mere guesswork. I can make lots of "eureka" associations between my mothers unfaithfulness during most of my childhood, but yet..I dont FEEL them. And I find that disturbing.
      Although I went into shock when my mother told me, aged 19, about her lover dying of a heart attack the previous year, somewhere, on some level, I knew, as a child, that she was being unfaithful. Children KNOW, even when things are hidden from them, and that traumatizes them.
      My mother was never there for me: she was always "playing badminton", "seeing her friends" or even going on holiday with her best friend Pauline. That was bad enough: looking back on my childhood, I can remember so many things, but there is a massive blank when I try to remember ANYtime, ever, when either parent just listened or even played with me. That parental lack has damaged me enough, but my obsessive mistrust of anyone with whom I get involved - and indeed the history of disloyalty, even promiscuity, during the (short) duration of our relationships - could not be explained, IMO; by anything other than my sensing, as a child, in some way, that my mother was being unfaithful.
      i´ve seen it written too, in the (now many) books written by abuse survivors (eg Dave Pelzer, Kathy O Bourne, Toni Maguire), that children do know, either consciously or unconsciously, what is happening even when it is hidden from them. Gary

    5. Hi Gary,

      that's ringing bells for me. I find it hard to remember when my parents played with me too. It did happen occasionally but it wasn't enough. This has left me with divided loyalties. On the one hand feeling I AM getting something in relationships and on the other hand not getting enough.

      I had a very lovely girlfriend once, her Mum had an affair with HER boyfriend nextdoor when she was only 15. I think it made her too ready to throw herself into sex with anyone and then also to dive into the next relationship and repeat the pattern.
      It shouldn't be for me to judge but my mind gets hunches. I think there's a lot of pressure on some women to minimalise the crimes their mothers committed because it undermines their 'matriarchal assumptions'. Same with men but different.

      Paul G.

  11. Hi,
    I've been thinking about how naive we men can be in our relationships with women. Back in the 1960's and 70's it wasn't so complicated to wear our hearts on our sleeves in some respects. This shows in the love songs of so many talented young men (& women of course)from that time. But we men present a particular 'weakness' in our relationships that Yannis alludes to above. And so in our love songs and one comes to mind, we expose our 'neediness' - our Primal truth, though disguised and wrapped up in blue. Here's a song that has Primal pain writ large all through it by an Irish bard: Rory Gallagher. It's called 'I Fall Apart':

    Like a cat that's playing with a ball of twine
    That you call my heart
    Oh, but, baby, is it so hard
    To tell the two apart?
    And so slowly you unwind me
    Till I fall apart

    I'm only living for the hour
    That I see your face
    When that happens, I don't
    Want to be no other place
    Till the end of time
    You'll be on my mind

    I don't mind waiting for your love
    For time I've got plenty of
    Rain or shine - please, bring out your love
    Make it shine like the stars above

    I'm only living for the moment
    When I hear your voice
    Oh, I'm waiting
    I don't have any choice
    And the day is long
    So won't you come where you should be?

    Like a cat that's playing with a ball of twine
    That you call my heart
    Oh, but, baby, is it so hard
    To tell the two apart?
    And so slowly you unwind me
    Till I fall apart.

    I mean, this is one of my faves but it has 'separation trauma' bursting out from it, or that's how I feel anyway. The music is brilliant too, you can find it on you tube of course. Like so many talented and feeling artists from back then Rory died young at 47. He did many similar songs, another comes to mind: 'Just The Smile' is excellent. He was a unique and love lost soul, like so many of us now.

    Paul G.

    1. Paul, In answer to your question about 1st line and abreaction. A good session starts in the third line to establish the feeling and its context. Then to second line to fully connect with the depth of feeling. If the mind so desires it then gives access to first line.This is a 3-2-1 sequence that Janov refers to as the chain of pain. The end result is a connected feeling which is necessary for healing the whole brain. It does not happen with every session. Going direct to 1st line and avoiding second line will not heal and will cause abreaction. I have experienced a number of people who have tried that and they do not improve over time. Gil

    2. Paul and Gil, it reminds me of question "when is the right time for sex in a relationship?"
      why wouldn't very early sex be possible and start a very long and fruitful relationship. i am not promoting it or trying it to happen but maybe it will not be a recipe for disaster. it just can happen and maybe it is not destructive by definition.

      if a patient is first liner for some time maybe there is a potential for connection. if it is possible, why not let it happen? of course, not "try" to happen. is there a reason not to know your first line before second? is it really only a bad thing, and only a source for abreaction.? again, i am not recommending it, just saying that it could happen and it could not be a bad thing. maybe.

    3. vuko,

      "is there a reason not to know your first line before second?"

      Yeh, vuko, there is a reason. It's called "the chain of pain".

      A Primal Patient needs to feel Primal Pain in an orderly manner:
      Third line - Second line - First line.

      That ensures that the Primal Pain is firmly secured in the Present, fully explores the Emotional content of the
      Pain, and reaches the physical sensations at the earliest source, first line.

      In this way, the extreme and life threatening Pain can be felt, in all its horror, and safely anchored together with later emotional content, and intellectual beliefs or thought patterns.

      The alternative is horror connected to any kind of delusion - cosmic, catastrophic, conspiratorial - anything the brain can come up with that might explain the symptoms created by first line Pain.

      With proper procedure, the explanation is given for free, through connection and insight.


    4. Hi Erik,as always, generically true.

      -"The alternative is horror connected to any kind of delusion - cosmic, catastrophic, conspiratorial - anything the brain can come up with that might explain the symptoms created by first line Pain"-.

      I think you should include the word 'actual event' as well as delusion. It would seem that effective Primal could lead to people being able to cope with very severe 'external events / impacts' without becoming overwhelmed by or fixated on them. I think that might even be happening to me but my circumstances frustrate my 'process'.

      Not all terrors are imagined or projected from the unconscious. 'Out there' there really are terrifying events. For some there's no escape. The problem with repression is that people can masquerade as healthy because they have strong gates. This doesn't make catastrophe redundant, it doesn't stop them happening and impacting on us. Or even becoming victims of them.
      The Buddhists say we must become 'non attached' - I think in a society where mostly only the relatively affluent are only able to actually get Primal Therapy (could they be bothered or be enlightened enough to see the need), it is important NOT to say things in the way you imply (imho). You may be misunderstood for adhering to that old meritocracy called Karma. In this case, only those who get it deserve it.

      It's not your fault, or Art's fault that repression prevents so many from understanding the truth of the human condition and the 50 year old facts of a solution to the problem. But it's also not the fault of those who cannot get Primal (for whatever reason and there are a lot of us) that we continue to get triggered by events beyond our control. That we even pin our neurosis onto external events. Call it false hope or false despair if you like.

      As far as I am concerned, certain powerful people have always manipulated the less fortunate by playing on our fears and perpetuating the myth that fearful people are actually designers and constructors of their own downfall. such a neat philosophy for perpetuating the exploitation of the weak and the less fortunate.

      But of course, in this ever so post modern world we live in you are a sucker to be without your needs met.

      Erik, I am glad for you that you were able to travel to Santa Monica.

      How could we make it easier for another thousand 'would be patients' to get onto the right station and the right track?

      Tell me that please?

      Paul G.

  12. Vuko, interesting analogy. Maybe using sex analogy differently, though, say a person just sleeps around without getting to know his/her partners--going to 1st line, the purely physical and avoiding the 2nd and 3rd lines of social interaction and interest in the other person and developing a relationship. That could be seen as abreaction or just a physical exercise, where you don't grow as a person and remain shallow.
    Just saying if going to 1st line becomes a pattern, and avoids the here and now and childhood emotions, then it's not a good thing, I would think, for improving one's life.

  13. Since I realized, some time ago, that all enslavement, imprisonment, isolation, physical abuse/neglect of and murder of ANY animal occurs solely due to primal trauma, I have known that I must spend the rest of my life fighting for animal liberation.
    The relevance to the issue of unfathfulness could also be to any other primal trauma IMO. By coincidence I recently realized that the passing on of dogs from owner to owner, which practice I oppose in my (voluntary) work in Portugal, also traumatizes them. It is like a child going to one foster home after another.
    To give a some examples. Two vegan friends adopted a vulnerable stray dog from dog hell Rumania a year ago. She is constantly afraid around strangers, and my friends believe this is because she was passed from home to home in Rumania. Second exemple: I recently adopted a beautiful labrador which I had rescued wandering injured on a busy road. Since she then spent five weeks in the Municipal kennel, her home with me is at least her THIRD home. And I have no choice but to find yet another owner. I wonder how the constant rehoming must feel to her? In one of her wonderful vídeos, Animal Communicator Ana Breytenberg breaks down when communicating with a parrot who had been unable to say goodbye to its owner before the owner died. A few weeks later, the parrot died...."cause unknown"
    The thought of abandoning my dog (Brenda) yet again to another owner is more than I can bear. But I am certain that people could not possibly pass animals on from one home to another, usually for money, unless they were in some way primally damaged, and the unfaithfulness of a parent or guardian in childhood would totally desensitize them to the pain caused by this terrible practice. Gary


    1. Gary,

      I asked someone I know, who is also a PTSD therapist, about how to do PTSD therapy on a dog who is always afraid of strangers?

      He replied with this:

      Since verbal therapy is non applicable, (at least in the conventional sense) the only process left is physical processing (therapy).

      1. Have the dog meet lots of strangers who treat it well.

      2. Take the dog to a stranger, who pets it in a friendly manner.

      3. Then take the dog to another stranger who pets it in a friendly manner.

      4. Then take the dog to another stranger who gives it a good tasting treat.

      You might have strangers carefully and slowly, do reach and withdraw on the dog, as follows.

      The stranger moves his hand toward the dog but does not touch it. The stranger withdraws the hand then pauses. The stranger moves his hand closer to the dog again.

      (You can try to also include talking to the dog in a friendly, calming manner.)

      Gradually the stranger moves the hand up to and touches the dog.

      You can vary this with having the stranger move his hand toward the dog and if the dog reacts in any way have the stranger rapidly withdraw his hand as though afraid. This encourages the dog to feel confidence in handling strangers as they are obviously more afraid of the dog than the dog is of the stranger.

      I have done these techniques with timid cats and they respond quickly to the rapid withdraw technique.

      Some " animal communicator style" communication techniques (including telepathy) should help too.

      Adopt or alter this idea, in which ever way necessary to accomplish the goal.



    2. A couple personal stories in working with animals, and animal communication:


      I grew up on a farm.

      I had been away from home for sometime, working.

      I had come home for some time off.

      My uncle called me on a Sunday evening, and asked me if I could help him wean calves from his cows
      next Friday at 10 am.

      I said sure.

      His cows were well known to be wild and unruly, and unmanageable.

      He always had to get someone from the neighborhood, who ever was available, to help do anything
      with his cattle work.

      Any routine cow herd management process, like vaccinations, sorting for shipping
      or weaning would always, without fail, result in a major wild rodeo, with cows jumping
      and breaking the sorting corral fence and escaping. This would result in
      spending the next several hours chasing the cows around the farm, with the quad and tractors and people on foot, trying to round them up, while someone was repairing the sorting corral.

      There would usually be one cow, who was extra fast and smart and
      would evade being caught. This one usually was left, and after it calmed down for a day or so, landed up being shot, and become the beef for dinner for the next few months.

      Then there would be stories to tell in the neighborhood for the next while, about all the
      excitement they had while helping Peter with his cows.

      I knew this well and did not want to go through that ordeal.

      So I decided to try something.

      Before, I fell asleep at night, in my meditation, I would telepathically talk to his herd
      of cows and calves.

      I told them that we had to wean the calves from the mothers, and to be calm. I told the calves where they had to go.

      I did this every night for the week.

      I arrived about a half hour early and my uncle was not ready.

      The cows were in the sorting corral, but the corral was still broken
      from the last time. He still had to repair it, before anything could be done with the herd.

      He told me to wait, while he went to get the material to repair it.

      He was gone for about an hour and I got tired of waiting.

      I decided to try and do it myself.

      Now keep in mind that I am a stranger to his cows.

      He had about 40 cows and calves.

      I found a short stick about four feet long and calmly walked into the corral
      and went up to one calf and guided her with the stick to the sorting pen where they were supposed to
      to be put. She calmly left her mother and went, to the pen, and stayed there, while the mother stayed as calm as could be, happily chewing her cud, as calm cows normally do.

      Normally the mother would become angry and defensive and even would try to
      plow me down.

      But she was as calm as could be.

      I did the same with the next calf and so forth until I had about five left, when my uncle showed up, with the repair material.

      It was now a few minutes to 12 noon.

      When my uncle saw what I did, he went into shock and awe. He was stunned.
      He shouted in excitement, how did you do that?

      I said I just did it.

      He calmed down and we finished sorting the remaining calves without incident.

      He could not get over what happened.

      It has never happened before on his farm.

      At noon his wife calls us in for dinner.

      We came to the house, and she asked us how we made out?

      He says, I went to get material to fix the fence and by the time I got back,
      David had it almost all done.

      She also went into stunned, shock and awe and all but dropped to the floor.

      She could not believe it.

      As far as they knew from all their many years of experience, that was impossible..

      We had dinner and I went home.


  14. I found the following on a facebook page:

    "I havent been myself ever since I was born."

    It was meant as humour.

    But I thought to myself, ....on the flip side, ....that person who articulated that, was really intelligent and insightful.

    And was likely unaware of how true he was, with that statement.

    He sums up everything we talk about, in one short, brilliant, precise, succinct, eloquent sentence, even including humour and wit, which takes volumes and volumes of books to fully explain.

    It is genius!

  15. I have a very illuminating example of the ways parental unfaithfulness affects children in terms of the ways they later treat animals (though I may be talking out my ass since the associations are guesswork, for which I´d get highly praised for my insight in conventional shrinkdom)
    My friend Annika lived with her mothers unfaithfulness, separation and recoupling all when she was a child. I know her as a very friendly, and, to everyone who meets her,benign person whom certainly, nobody could imagine harming any living creature.
    But the world is full of such people - huge early trauma but dysfunction invisible to the mass of people who have spent so much time surrounded by neurosis they rarely recognise it save in extreme cases eg rape, incest, murder, etc
    You listen to Annika and - remove the blinkers - she spouts such insanity but with such a benign, friendly manner that...unless you´re concentrating you miss it. She thinks a dog passed from one owner to another would have an "exciting" and "interesting" life. Like hers I guess....
    And yet, in my work trying to promote understanding and respect for non human animals, time and time again I have seen oh such deep heartbreak in dogs (and other animals) separated, for whatever reason, from their owners. For dogs passed from one home to another, their hearts get broken then they stop trusting and getting close to the new owner.....
    We all project our defences onto others. An "exciting" or "interesting" life can be a defence against a close adult relationship which would trigger early lossunfaithfulness trauma (such as Annikas) and this same trauma can desensitize the traumatized to the feelings of loss and betrayal of both other people and other species. It is not only the well known types of abusers - the beaters, mutilators, torturers, murderers - who hurt other people and other animals. It is the respectable establishment types such as social workers, child welfare workers and so on, or the pet shop owners and others who keep birds in cages, who do not feel that separation and loss cause so much more pain to an animal than even a severe beating. Gary

  16. Another important point that this example illustrates alongside the power of the imprint, is how easily sex gets used as a defence. One reason for this is that It seems one can finally satisfy ones need for love through sex, however the euphoria of sex is only temporary and is not enough to swing things back into balance once the default chemistry is set.


  17. Hi everybody!
    just a few remarks about all that stuff about bounding... if you start from above let s say top to bottom, when you are married and have children you are well adjust and not neurotic, we are judging from the outside. Being that way might be something that just lies in the top level brain not deep inside. So many people are married with partners they are not sexually attracted to because what dominate is a stronger need from childhood. Then they cheat on each others because of that lack of attraction, not only because their needs are too strong. One can be married to someone without turning anything into sexual s even an english idiosyncrasy.
    There is so many fucked up people with children and having a partner for decades that I think the important thing is missed.
    I remember a line in a movie script where the main character played by Mel Gibbson, an american indian,says to his son that he remembered he could barely breath when he met his wife.And that means a lot to me, we bound on first line and that triggered a lot of birth stuff. So we bound on emotional and third line but not on first and that disturb all the rest. I know a guy who is living with an other man. He often told me that all the guys he met in gay clubs when he was single, were married men.

  18. And I would add that if bounding is so important to the survival of our species and it seems to be so because social links might have turn our ape ancestors into differend kinds of humans, it can only be on first line. Being human meaning having a brain mostly shaped by relations to others. Being care and taken care of even after death being a sign of humaness,

  19. I had the privilege to meet this unique yet so humble man when I did Primal Therapy at his center for 6 months between 1998-9. What struck me more than anything was Arts complete and utter lack of affectation and the total absence of defensiveness when you spoke to him. His dedication to Primal Therapy always remained absolute, and to his immense credit, he never allowed any personal suffering to affect his work. What he has achieved must be preserved for the future not just of humanity but of all sentient beings. Without his discoveries to guide us, humanity will continue to sail on a largely rudderless ship. Gary

  20. Indicible tristesse. J'aurai aimé rencontrer Arthur Janov. Je compati avec ses proches, France Janov. J'espère que sa découverte, ses recherches tellement merveilleuses sur la vie, vraies, comment guérir, seront poursuivies. Christiane


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.