Saturday, June 13, 2009

Understanding Mental Sickness


By Andrew D Atkin:

When reality is too much and we have to escape from it, but can't, then we escape from ourselves. This is the essence of insanity.

The relationship between childhood trauma and mental sickness is very well known and, for the most part, rather obvious. However, virtually all of the research that we have today on the subject boils down to surface observations where we try to identify the links between specific environmental causes leading to specific psychological and behavioural effects, rather than understanding the actual process behind the links themselves. The following explains not just that trauma leads to mental sickness, but more specifically how and why it does so.


Pain is a natural stimulant that exists to drive us to deal with a toxic environment. So how does pain do its job, to stimulate us to cope, when it is simply too overwhelming to be felt? That is the story of neurosis. The neurotic system is evolutions' answer to my introductory question.

What we call neurosis is simply the natural mechanism that allows us to psychologically internalise our (toxic) environment, so as to then enable us to regulate how we respond to that environment, but without actually feeling the pain of it - directly.

Neurosis, in short, is how us humans switch onto 'auto pilot' when exposed to serious trauma. Let's look closely at this fascinating system.


When people think of the human brain they tend to think of an overwhelming soup of unfathomable complexity. However, it's more accurate to think of the brain as more of a tree, than a soup. Yes, of course, the brain expands out from its trunk and branches into a complexity that is overwhelming, but the basic structure of the brain, like a tree, can be simply understood. Neurosis also can be simply understood - because the disease of neurosis originates not in the complex layers of the brain, but in the comparatively simple structures of its trunk and branches.

When we talk about neurosis, what we are talking about is big pain signals running up through the mainlines of the brain that are so overwhelming that they must be blocked and reconverted. This sends the complex layers of the brain into a flurry that leads to distorted thinking and perception (emotionally and intellectually) and all kinds of disorders. So, although neurosis is simple at its core, its manifestations know no limit in terms of colourful diversity.

Understanding neurosis means coming away from an unfathomable (and generally fruitless) analysis of its manifestations, and looking at the founding dynamics that drive the brain to confusion in the first place.


Forget your brain and think of a computer.

Once your computer has been to a given website, it stores the files that make up that website in its 'cache memory' on your hard-drive. This means that when you go back to a website already viewed, your computer does not have to download any of the files that make up that website other than the recently changed/added files. So in turn, this means your computer comes to view websites more through its previously stored memory.

The human brain works in essentially the same way - as we get older we view more through our internal "cache" memory, and less directly (exclusively) through our senses.

Neurosis can crudely be described as a 'jammed cache'. This means we find ourselves viewing yesterday's non-updated context in our today. This is supported by buried (repressed) files that, by definition of repression, are not open to modification.

Defining mental sickness:

Neurosis can be defined as a repressed, trauma-induced psychological state which facilitates an imprinted emotional memory of which overrides conscious control.

To define an individuals' mental health on ideologically idealized thoughts, actions and attitudes is nonsense. Of course certain thoughts and actions occur as manifestations of the neurotic state, but that is about as far as the relationship goes. People exercise all kinds of different behaviors for all kinds of different reasons, and getting a neurotic individual to exercise different behaviors via conscious will or conditioning techniques will, in itself, change nothing of their neurosis - that kind of "psychotherapy" has nothing to do with mental health, it is simply behavior-control.

-Psychotherapist tend, in effect, to define people as mentally sick when they have a seriously weak defense system. A weak defense system means the patient can't function in the way that they want to (or the way that their society wants them to), because they are struggling to adequately repress some of their traumatic material. Really, this should be described as a sick defense system, not 'mental sickness' itself, because putting a person back into their well-contained "shell" does not make them any the less neurotic in itself. It only makes them more functional.


The Walking Man: How and why a neurosis is formed.

Once upon a time there was a walking man. The walking man loved to walk. One day, as the walking man was walking, he came up to a bridge. The walking man casually walked across the bridge until he got to about half way. It was then that he looked down and made a horrible discovery.

What he discovered was that the bridge was only one foot wide, and that he could slip and fall to his death at any time. This terrified the walking man to the point where his fear threatened to overwhelm him (too much to consciously deal with). Of course, the walking man could not afford to feel the fear if he was to cope with the situation and survive. His consciousness needed to be devoted towards survival. So what happened?

What happened was the walking man became unconscious, that is, unconscious to the sensation of fear as induced by the dangerous bridge. This cut-off process is called repression. It is a natural survival mechanism. It’s not that the feeling of fear just "disappeared", it’s that it became unconscious (our conscious brain blocked it off, it did not "destroy it").

As the walking man’s fear became detached from his consciousness, his defence (which was to walk in a straight-as-possible line) was still operating, as it obviously must. However, as the defence was isolated from its feeling, it had effectively become a compulsion*.

*I should clarify that our need to act-out is experienced as an "urge" - a trauma-induced drive, a compulsion. Mostly, we only feel the urge, not the repression that’s creating it.

So the walking man walked "fearlessly" to the end of the bridge in his compulsive manner.

Whoops! When the walking man got to the end of the bridge we made a very interesting discovery. Although the walking man reached the end of the bridge and was on safe open land, he was still walking in a straight-as-possible line!…WHY?

When the walking man got to the end of the bridge he entered open land with a repressed feeling. That repressed feeling was constantly pushing to get into his consciousness. The repression made him feel as though he was still walking on dangerous ground. In response to this, he started head-tripping over the possibility of earthquakes - his brain rationalized the fear in the 'open land' context. To keep the fear out of his consciousness he continued to act-out, he continued to walk in a highly cautious straight-as-possible line.

From the walking man's viewpoint he is not responding to an internally generated fear, but only what he interprets as external reality - but he is "wrong". He cannot deduct that his feeling is a subjective reaction and that his brain is merely looking for an external rationalisation for his feeling state to project onto. The great confusion for the walking man is the belief that the external situation came first, as opposed to the feeling. He can't be blamed for this, as his subjective experience qualifies the perceived situation as being the cause of his feeling because that is exactly how he experiences it. He cannot usually see that his 'today' is really just a symbolic derivative of his yesterday.

Authors comment:

The vast majority of us are stuck in our childhoods in the same way that the Walking Man is stuck on the bridge. Early childhood trauma, in particular traumatic deprivations associated with a lack of genuine parental love and very serious infantile trauma, forces us into a psychological 'prison' that ultimately overwhelms adult life. We basically remain children (emotionally) acting out our past in an adult context.

A basic metaphor to describe the neurotic state:

A good way to express the state of the neurotic (from their subjective position) in short terms is to imagine a man walking through a battlefield, wearing a suit of armour.

Though the man feels like he's in a battlefield, he does not feel the fear of it because he's confident that his armour will protect him. The man's goal is to escape the battlefield so he can finally take off his armour and live life. The problem is the battlefield is a projection of his own mind and is therefore inescapable - it doesn't matter where he goes in here-and-now terms, he will always see a battlefield and will always feel the need for his armour. The idea that he will someday "get there" is what keeps him going and stops him from getting depressed.

[It's of interest to note that the ultimate self, the consciousness, does not "go crazy". The conscious response is always rational in response to the context that the brain tells it it is in. Inside every madness is an ultimate sanity.]


In the same way that the brain "sees" through the sensorium, the consciousness sees through the brain. When the sensorium becomes distorted or constricted, the brain becomes thwarted and confused. Likewise, when the brain becomes distorted and constricted, the consciousness becomes thwarted and confused.

The following is about how the brain becomes constricted (repressed) and basically jammed into the past through the impact of traumatic level pain, and describes the psychological effect of this process.

1. I once had a dream that a strange boy was grabbing onto one of my testicles, so I was in pain and at his mercy. I was pleading with him to let go. I then woke up to discover that my bedding was wrapped around my groin, and that my testicle was in pain because of it.

What do you notice about the dream? The feeling was real but the story was not. My brain created an unreal story to rationalize the real feeling.

2. Most or all dreams work like this. There is a feeling that it is indeed real, and in response to the feeling the brain creates a story to "explain" it. Dreams are mostly generated by repressed feelings from our early childhood. The closer we are to the repressed feeling, the more intense (and less symbolized) the dream.

3. So what happens when we wake up?

When we wake up our consciousness partly relocates within the brain. This means that our consciousness becomes more substantially removed from our lower brain centers, and in turn more heavily concentrated within the frontal cortex. Of course, when awake the frontal cortex is directly responsive to the outside world.

To avoid dreaming (excessively) while awake we must become, in part, consciously displaced form our lower brain centers. This automatic displacement is called repression. Ideally it would not have to exist, but because we almost invariably suffer from substantial traumatic material, it must happen. We literally become cut-off to the lower brain centers - our feelings.

However, we do not become cut-off entirely and we do in fact "dream" while awake. Our awake conscious experience is partly "polluted" with yesterday’s traumatic feelings.

In short, yesterday’s traumatic context is regenerated in the here-and-now context - in that sense we are permanently living in our dream world, which is our "yesterday world".

Note: When repression seriously fails, we end up literally experiencing a dream while awake. This state is called psychosis. Psychosis usually comes from extreme early trauma facilitated by a seriously weak defense system. A psychotic episode that happens while you are asleep is called a night terror. Night terrors and psychotic episodes are basically the same thing.

4. Why don't we wake up properly?

Take my original dream example. While I was dreaming I thought the reason for my pain was that there was a strange boy squeezing my testicle, as that is exactly how I experienced it. In my dream I was completely unconscious of the real reason for my pain.

The psychological situation of neurosis is virtually identical. We are truly unconscious of the real reason for our general feelings, and in turn are partly or fully unconscious of the pain inside them. We literally "go to sleep" to our feelings to avoid having to be awake to the full painful feeling in its real context.

The situation is similar to receiving a general anesthetic, only with anesthetic the repression comes before the trauma.

Another good way to see the process:

In a professional sporting event a sportsman can become so involved with his game that he does not obtain consciousness to an injury received that could be as severe as a broken bone. It may not be until the game finishes that he becomes aware of his pain/injury.

This is an example of consciousness being channeled into a context which does not facilitate the perception of pain - and that is exactly what neurosis is.

Neurosis is the automatic (meaning out of your control) channeling of consciousness away from pain.

Traumatic level pain drives consciousness into an 'isolating context' as an essentially desperate reaction to overwhelming pain. The more traumatized we are, the more "stuck in a game" we become as consciousness is progressively narrowed to avoid the perception of pain.

Though we become perceptually isolated from our pain, the psychological context that we are driven into is directly related to it. The "game" is where we struggle against the original infliction - though symbolically.

5. Traumatic level pain is always repressed, and what I have just described is the basic psychological effect. With accumulative trauma we progressively become numb and unconscious, and in turn life loses its experiential intensity as we lose our proper conscious response to it. Only a part of us responds to the here-and-now, the rest is swamped in a luke-warm replica of a 'yesterday world' projected onto the present.

As we get older our defense systems usually get stronger. This means we become more repressed (asleep) but less vulnerable to neurotic over-reaction. Neurotic over-reaction is recognized as the strong 'triggering' of repressed material.

-The most obvious example of neurotic over-reaction can be seen with war veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a fancy name for repressed traumatic material that an individual has a poor defense for. If you like, material that is 'close to the surface'. The content and its basis is obvious in PTSD as it is not highly symbolized. However, the only real difference between a PTSD sufferer and the rest of us, is that the PTSD person is struggling to stay "asleep" because he hasn't had a developmental lifetime learning how to deal with his most recent and severe repressed material. Repression becomes an extremely automatic process as the brain progressively learns to control potential over-reactions. Generally speaking, the earlier the material the more deeply it is buried.

6. Neurotic hope:

Neurotic hope is the belief that we can get rid of our bad feelings by dealing with what our brain interprets as the cause of them. It is clearly an illusion, because as soon as we "get there" and "kick off the boy", our brain only generates another rationalization for the same internally generated feeling, in whatever context we may be in. This is why true happiness always seems to evade us, and why we never seem to "get there". Even if we do get what we think we want, we are so often forced to discover that what we have doesn't really do much for us... clinically, because our nervous system did not respond the way we imagined it would.

7. Compulsion and Tension:

Compulsion: Though overwhelming pain is repressed, as far as our nervous systems are concerned the original pain signal (that is blocked) still needs to do its job. It does this by creating compulsion. Compulsion is just the derivative effect and substitute reaction of the originally blocked pain signal.

Pain exists to drive us to deal with a toxic environment; compulsion is the unconscious conversion of blocked pain. With compulsion we are defending ourselves automatically as we have lost touch with the experiential bases of our pain. The problem with compulsion-based defenses is that because they are cut off from their reality base, they continue indefinitely out of context as they do not seem to know to shut off. An out-of-context compulsion-based defense is called a neurotic act-out. It is well understood that "the neurotic acts out in the present as though he/she is still in the past". The effect of compulsion is we spend the rest of our lives struggling with a 'yesterday' that isn't really there.

-We usually only recognize a neurotic act-out for what it is when it has failed to be applied to a "normal" context. The truth is most of us are constantly engaging in them on one level or another - we are "busy in our dreams".

-A dream is nothing more than a neurotic act-out occurring in your sleep. The only difference is that with a dream you have a pure hallucination because there's no external context for the feeling to integrate with.

Tension: Tension is the bases of the compulsive drive, and also the subjective experience of blocked feeling.

Most people have no idea how deeply tense they are. This is because our most severe pains usually occur in very early childhood - in short, we simply don't know any different because we have a distorted subjective perspective of what a 'normal' level of tension is.

Neurotic tension is largely diffused throughout the body, leading to psychosomatic illness. It appears that it has a huge direct and indirect impact on our health, and most likely a major impact on our longevity. Our bodies are constantly fighting general inflictions and degeneration. Relating to the objective of achieving good health, neurosis is like an anchor that our bodies have to constantly drag (like malnutrition and toxic build-up).

The negative health effects of neurosis should not surprise us - neurosis is basically a constant stress, and as we know all stressors compromise our health.

Note: I will point out that compulsion is not necessarily overt or active. The process of inhibition can be a compulsion also, established where inhibition was once a necessary defense. Indeed, inhibition can be a dominant compulsion of a particular neurosis, with stress effects at least as potent as any other compulsion.


Needs and humanity:

Abraham Maslow, a leader of the humanistic psychology movement, believed that humans responded to a need-hierarchy, and that hierarchy was the core basis of what drives our behavior. Fundamentally I believe he was right [our needs clearly conform to hierarchy - more pressing and fundamental needs push our attention away from less pressing needs], though his specification of what our need-hierarchy actually is was crude, and questionable. Here is his need-hierarchy, as he asserts is, in order of importance:

1. Physiological needs (food, shelter, protection etc.)

2. Social needs (love, belonging, friendship etc.)

3. Self esteem needs.

4. The need to understand.

5. Self actualising need.

6. Aesthetic need.

I think the first two needs in his hierarchical list are essentially sound, but after that it gets spurious. For example, what we recognise as self-esteem seems, on closer analysis, to be a symbolic-derivative of the social-need. Hence, what looks like climbing the need-hierarchy may only be an elevated state of repression i.e. what looks like satisfying a need may be more like detaching yourself from it.

If I was to comment on Maslow's hierarchy, I would simply say that human needs are more complicated than that, and with the impact of neurosis we can clearly understand why people become "stuck" on primary needs that they cannot progress from. Regardless, a 'need hierarchy' is a good way to understand people, and why they do the things that they do. What we know is that when a person is not taxed by lower needs (real or neurotically induced) they are free to be tolerant, reasonable and humane. They do not have brick-wall ideological secondary defense systems, or the desire to exercise behaviours that are broadly recognised as inhumane.

Regressive psychotherapy:

Regressive psychotherapy is, functionally, the act or claimed act of bringing repressed trauma into consciousness, where it can be fully experienced and therefore "resolved". Quite simply, it is de-repression - neurotic-development reversed.

Though the possibility of regressive psychotherapy is fascinating (to myself at least), it is considered a controvercial and unproven possibility by the mainstream psychology world.

Recommended site (regressive psychotherapy)

The following video clip is an introduction to the basis of Arthur Janov's therapy:

Though the possibility of regressive psychotherapy should be respected as a research topic, it is not politically relevant in itself. Even if people could ultimately deal with their trauma (working through it - not just managing its effects), it is still an unrealistic possibility for the vast majority of people, of whom would never undergo the regressive process even if this option was available to them. Hence, regressive psychotherapy is an irrelevant possibility from a political outlook. Clearly, our primary focus must be to avoid trauma in the first place.

Note: I personally have faith in the regressive process as a very real possibility, because I experienced a regression, as I believe, when I was seventeen years old and it was indeed fully curative with respect to what I was dealing with. This personal event was entirely spontaneous and not suggested; in fact I tried to forget about it at the time because I did not understand the process, and the experience of truly losing control of my defense-system scared me. Another reason why the regressive process interests me is simply because of the logic of it. Consciousness is the theatre of learning: it is where psychological information is encoded, integrated, edited and filed. Likewise, if we can indeed comprehensively bring repressed trauma into consciousness, without being totally overwhelmed by it [so that the information can be developmentally processed, and not just reacted to] then there should be no fundamental reason why previously blocked material could not be "learned" i.e. fully processed and accurately re-filed. If successful, then the orginal trauma should be filed into the correct context within your brain, and that, in turn, should lead to a rational here-and-now response with respect to the original infliction. You can understand that the rational response to an historic reality is that it be only a memory of the past that once was - not a memory that makes feel like you are still in the past, the latter of course being the neurotic reaction to repressed traumatic input.

I must also clarify that personal experience is, as of yet, the only non-ambiguous way to prove the/a regressive process as effective, if in fact it is. If it works, then the only individual who can qualify its effectiveness is the individual undergoing the regression themselves, because they are the only one's who can see what's really going on within themselves (in the same way that I cannot prove the experience that I had when I was seventeen -nor its impact and effectiveness- to you. It is and only can be "proven" to myself).

Remember that mental health, other than the extremes, cannot be defined on the bases of behavioral parameters - which, from a clinical perspective, are the only paramenters that can be measured. In other words you cannot, as of yet, measure mental health in any scientifically robust way (advanced neurobiological studies may one day change this, and indeed a lot of very interesting progress is being made here). This is why psychotherapy is still much more of an art than a science. The science of psychotherapy that we have today is really just a scientific analysis of the observable behavioral (and sometimes physical) consequences of some of the psychotherapeutic "arts". It has little 'authoritative' substance in itself.

When it comes to psychotherapy, we are still basically living in the age of alchemy. I believe that the come-back of electroconvulsive therapy makes an example of that. Electroconvulsive therapy traumatises the patient, but it can achieve a desired behavioral outcome (passivity) for those who are trying to deal with a very difficult patient. Electroconvulsive therapy emotionally 'knocks out' the patient, making them more manageable. Electroconvulsive therapy is not really a therapy in the assumed therapeutic sense: it's basically just an extreme method of behavior control. And, like with the use of intense drugs, I believe it exists as a striking [and unfortunate] example of our current incapacity to deal with psychological problems.

Evolutionary insight:

The interesting thing about humans is their ability to survive (inter-generationally) in a highly neurotic state. Other animals [that always conform to their "raw" instinct] do not. Other animals, when heavily damaged, tend to to quickly self-terminate, and in the process allow less damaged specimens of their kind to expand into their place.

So why don't humans do the same? Really I can only speculate, but I think, in a sense, that we may have become too brainy for our own good. Not only do we have the ability to understand what we must functionally do to survive inter-generationally (on a higher cognitive level), but we have the ability to exercise behaviours in striking contradiction to our 'primary will' from an abstract or higher-cortical position.

The result? We quickly and intelligently compensate for the destructive tendencies of our neurosis with cultural control-systems. Indeed, I think a lot of what we call 'culture' is nothing more than that - a control-system to get us to act the way we need to to survive, in spite of ourselves.

A classic example, I believe, can be seen in traditional Indian culture where young people cannot choose their own bride. You could speculate that this might be necessary whithin a society of people that can't pair-bond properly, due to certian kinds of infantile-damage and maternal-deprivation. Hence, in this example, the family-unit is stabilised not by love (which doesn't exist) but by strong social threats instead - hence, with the help of cultural-control, successful inter-generational reproduction continues in spite of our 'primary' dysfunctionality.

Teenagers are known for rebelling against their parents dictate. Is this related to a growing humanity trying to break out of a not-so-necessary cultural control-system? Again I can only speculate, but at the heart of it I think this may very well be the case.

Paternal authority and social control:

In our society, I believe that social control is mostly achieved through utalising the common individuals neurotic responsiveness to "paternal authority" (or maternal equivalent). Basically, our society taps into a common psychological state established in early childhood, which can be summed up as "living underneath the father".

As I have previously shown, we are stuck in our childhoods in the same way that the walking man is stuck on the bridge. Likewise, I think that most of us are stuck in a psychological context where we almost constantly feel as though we are in the presence of paternal authority. We don't feel the threat (relating to the threat that was in childhood), just the automatic defensive need to conform to that perceived authority.

The more a given individual functions as a symbol of a paternal authority to another individual, the more they can influence and control their thinking (or more specifically, the thinking that the subject feels they should conform to). But of course, for this to work you have to lay the foundation for passive paternal responsiveness first, and this requires a certain type of childhood where the individual is left feeling that they must inordinately conform to their parents dictate to avoid serious rejection. Likewise, the motive within the conformity-pressure will come from a deeply imprinted feeling of threat.

The position of paternal responsiveness is so common, I believe, that virtually anyone you meet will give off an aura of distinct psychological subordination to someone else's [a paternal figure] rule. As it is for the heavily subordinated individual, they become repressed into a fundamentally inhibited foundation, and from there they run their lives from a "what am I supposed to do" question, as opposed to a "what do I want to do" question where they directly feel their own autonomous will, first and foremost. This becomes their new normality, and as I believe the common normality of our time. Our society exploits this function by "playing the father" so as to achieve social control.


I believe that our responsiveness to paternal authority has been shown remarkably through hypnotic experiments. For example, under hypnosis a man can be ordered to put on his raincoat when leaving the hypnotists office, and once awakened he will do it. If the subject were honest when explaining why he put on his coat, he would simply answer: "I just felt that that is what I should do". Instead they usually rationalise and create vague reasons for putting on their coat, for even if it is a warm day.*

So what did the hypnotists do? The hypnotists simply induced a trance-state that completely omitted critical-thinking in his subject [I believe that that is all hypnosis really is - the dissociation of consciousness from the parts of your brain responsible for critical thinking, in turn leaving us with the deep suppression of objective thought], and this in turn allows the hypnotists to install a direct command via "paternal authority".

The same process occurs when the individual is awake, the only difference is that it's more subtle and indirect as the commands cannot be blatantly irrational or mindless. The hypnotist just took a short cut - really, the subject was already responsive to control.

-I also believe that suggestion can be reinforced with ignorance, distraction and confusion - all of which also serve to supress effective critical thinking, like the hypnotists, and to there make people more responsive to "authoritive" suggestions. If the supression of critical thinking is deliberate, then I think it can be described as a serious form of manipulative propoganda.

*In this example the individual has become an "unconscious conformist". An unconscious conformist, as I put it, is a person who conforms to an external demand primarily because they have an emotional need to do so, but rationalises so as to make themselves "agree" with what they are conforming to. From here the conformity is unconscious, because the individual can believe that their agreement is an incidental reality coming from autonomous objectivity, as opposed to an emotionally motivated rationalisation.

Note: It's interesting that our society generally interprets the unconscious conformist as mature. As it seems, the more we agree with "the father", the more grown up we are recognised as having become. Of course the actualised emotional need to conform to the ideology and dictates of your general society has nothing to do with real maturity in itself. The maturity label is basically just a reward for psychological subordination to the "right" father.

Living in fear?

The following insight relates to the previous note on social control:

Take the scenario of being employed within an institute where you know that you are totally dependent on your job to survive, because there are no other survival-alternatives available to you. If your employer understood your situation, he could ruthlessly intimidate you with the incessant threat of losing your job, should you not absolutely conform to his dictate, and maybe control you right down to the detailed way in which you must relate to your colleagues, for example. This described scenario may be hugely stressful, as you would be forced to live in constant fear so as to control your behaviour (the fear is the psychological stimulant to control your behaviour) because the consequences of not doing as such are simply too serious. If severe enough, the stress would, over time, reach the point of clinical trauma and therefore repression. So what would happen then?

You would control your behaviour automatically - via compulsion. You might think you feel better because you feel more secure, but your freedom to relax and express yourself in a real way may be destroyed because you no longer even feel the urge to be yourself of which could contradict your employers will (intense conformity becomes automatic and therefore psychologically effortless). The cost is that in this situation you would struggle to even experience yourself as a psychological event, and in turn your capacity for joy and authentic self-determination may be heavily dampened. You would be living and acting in fear but without even knowing it (abstract understanding of repression notwithstanding).

My point is that I think the described scenario happens in practice (usually in response to different variable, such as the threat of humiliation, assault and rejection etc.) to very large proporations of people throughout their childhoods, and those people as adults reconstruct their fears and fear-cultures within traditional institutes and society at large. Parents and schools neurotically programme fear into society in so many different ways--consciously and unconsciously--and right at the point where we are most vulnerable to pain and therefore trauma*. Once this repression (that translates to fear-control) substantially occurs within childhood, the work is done. You will have a populace easily controlled by the dynamics of fear because they won't even know what has happened to them (remember with neurosis you can't actually feel the fear and its basis) and what it is that they should be rebelling against and reforming. A society with neurosis could, potentially, enter into a fascist regime and not even see it for what it is or understand why it should be any different. And indeed, to say, is it any wonder why fascist regimes are so concerned with "getting them while they're young"? You don't need to explicitly control a society with an armed police force, if there is already the psychological equivalent implanted in everybody's heads.

*Children are biologically programmed to be more vulnerable to severe pain signals because they are in the developmental stage of their lives. This is understandable: The consequences of toxic disruptions to the child are much more serious in terms of the ultimate bottom-line, that is the survival of the species. An adult, by comparison, is fully developed with natural (not neurotic) defenses and only has to maintain themselves. A child's general defenses are immature, and they have to develop as well as just maintain themselves. Nature, quite rightly, gets very upset when we mess with our kids, so to speak.


Update: 29-4-2010

This is an interesting video [Bomb in the Brain: I provide the third part of the 5-part You-Tube series] which brings attention to the statistically observed links between childhood trauma and later dysfunction.

Though the 5-part presentation does not touch much on the post and prenatal periods, the Bomb in the Brain series nonetheless makes it explicitly clear that reducing childhood damage, in whatever reasonable way that we can, should be amongst our most pressing priorities. And to that end it is an impressive production.

Note: It's important to note that MRI scans have provided a particularity penetrating perspective on the relationship between trauma and structural (biological) changes within the brain, of which develop in response to deprivation.

The Bomb-in-the-brain series demonstrates how neurosis and later dysfunctionality is rooted in psychological/biological distortions which run far deeper than factors like "learned patterns of behaviour", etc. And indeed, this is exactly what social workers and people involved with social policy today now need to realise.


Addition: 11-11-11

I stumbled across the following documentary online. I think it provides an excellent look into the disturbing world of severe child abuse - it makes it "real" for the viewer.

What is presented is what I would call a morbid extreme, but the reality is that the vast majority of us suffer from abuses to a given level, and most of us are more emotionally shut down and affected than we can understand. There are countless less extreme but still severe cases similar to this little girls, world over.

It just cannot be over stressed that child abuse is the No1 social problem of our time.

Review: The abused girl in this clip has incredible pain imprinted into her, and it will never realistically be assimilated. The therapy she has been subject to is basically just support, the withdrawal of abuse, and in turn the opportunity for the development of a stabilising defense system, and therefore less extreme and destructive acting-out. But the pain, though better contained and managed, will always be there.

It is sad and unfortunate, but cases like this little girl should never be allowed to go on to have children themselves. It would be impossible for her to be a reasonably capable mother in the future. The emotional damage is just far too severe - the cycle would otherwise inevitably be repeated. Indeed, the little girls parents who perpetuated the abuse would have similar stories to tell about their own childhoods, you can be sure. See here for my piece relating to reproduction licencing.

Note: It's only my guess, but I would not describe this little girl as a psychopath - I don't think she is. She would probably be a case described as severe anti-social personality disorder, which is not the effect of a stone-cold epigenetic shut down of feeling (which is the heart of psychopathy), but the effect of chronic child abuse leading to dangerous acting-out. The two conditions are often confused.


  1. The following was posted to me via email. I will keep it anonymous:

    There are a few points in here that I wish you'd expand on a bit more. This bit "The idea that he will someday "get there" is what keeps him going and stops him from getting depressed." It would help if this was explained in more of a real life example. Actually, as much as I like your examples, it would help me understand better if there were more real life examples in your writing in general. I also have a hard time understanding what your point is sometimes, why you are writing it. You seem to explain a lot of things, but I have a hard time picking out where the solution is? I guess I'm looking for one, because writings of this type normally have a problem, explanation, and solution. I guess in some ways I don't see a point to the writing without a solution, unless you are looking for someone else to provide it or I missed it. I think it may help if you try and write in a way that people can relate to more. When I read your stuff I feel like I am reading something written for a bunch of psychologists with doctorates, in which I am neither. What I'm trying to say is dumb it down a bit more maybe? You'll reach more people that way.


    My response:


    The focus was for a strict explanation on neurosis as a psychological system. The point of writing it was to clarify help what neurosis is, and also clarify what it isn't. Mental sickness is a label that is politically abused (all the time) as it is falsely attributed to beliefs and behaviours etc. We have political forces trying to change people's behaviour and ideologies in the name of making them mentally "well", which is a joke.

    As my statement is a first explanation, people are indirectly invited to look further. I agree, I probably should have been more directive with this.

    Trauma-imprint theory actually dictates that there is only one cure - reversing the development of the neurotic system. Only the regressive process offers us hope to achieve this. I write about this in my Post Notes, on Regressive Psychotherapy. Otherwise, the far-reaching and certainly most important "cure" is just prevention. Mothers need to know to keep themselves happy and well during gestation, try to have a good birth (investigate the Leboyer method of birthing, for example), keeping babies with their mothers right after birth, and supporting mothers to give devoted attention to their babies in the first few months of their lives etc. The list of 'do nots' is long.

  2. PART TWO:

    As for providing examples, Dr Arthur Janov, who has been involved in the regressive process for several decades, is vastly more qualified to comment. I consider him to be the foremost authority on the topic. Nearly all of his books are filled with case studies that give a clear picture of neurosis on a human, down-to-earth level. I don't need to re-write what he as already written.

    Again, my goal was to explain the structure of neurosis as a system, to hopefully put interested people on the right track. It's incredibly easy to go off on silly intellectual tangents in this area and miss the plot. I'm sort of trying to stop the psycho-babble by getting down to the "maths" of it, and in a manner that is as simple and clear as I can make it.

    The far-reaching effect of a lack of core understanding is that people fail to understand the importance of good childcare, and largely fail to understand what good childcare even is. People need to understand the neurotic system so as to understand how irreversable the impact of repression is. It's incredible how many parents out there talk forever about the importance of good academic education, for example, yet at the same time pay lip service (at best) to the importance of avoiding a c-section delivery. Our perspectives are too often completely out, along with our priorities, because we just don't understand how irreversibly the neurotic system is once it is established, and how much of an impact it has on our lives.

  3. Janov has the explanation for why we are as we are. Regression is the key. But He is not able to offer a “solution” for many because it involves a single location in California, where you will spend 3-5 years and lots of money and you better be making money, too, and even then you might get to birth sequences or you might never get to them.

    The system will not help you. Governments do not like PT. so for most people, PT is out of reach and therefore, no solution at all. Art does not seem to grasp this. If this is to change, it will require a more vocal publicity and increased persecution that will come from such a stand.

    I would like to focus on the therapy itself, but anyone can read Janov’s books and find more than enough proof of its validity if they are truly and honestly searching for such. My concern is how likely it is that any of us will be able to obtain that therapy when it is so rare and hard to get to.

    Many obstacles and few ways to overcome them. Art would rather ignore them. That does not work too well, either. To promote the theory is fine. It’s a valid theory and deserves far more publicity than it is getting. Further evidence that power does not want this getting promoted for what power wants, power gets. And what it does not want does not see the light of day.

    I’d like to see Art grow some courage and address the multitude of problems that stand in the way of PT. Now that would be something. When I tried to do that, I was greeted with censorship. Not very becoming for a man who claims to heal minds. It was almost as if he had something to hide or someone he had to answer to and not piss off. Who knows, eh?

    But I recommend people learn about the “Primal Scream” and Primal Therapy, and its theory. It is valid. But do not ignore all else and purse the theory alone. A brain and thinking is still required. Some adherents of PT actually despise the intellect and thinking for one’s self. Why that is the platform of the reigning powers. Imagine that!

    I’ll have my own critique of this all but for now, I will post a letter I attempted to post last night at Janov’s blog, almost certain to be ignored, since it exposes an error in his logic. It does invalidate his basic theory, however.

  4. The following was submitted to be post on Janov’s Blog last night:

    I note these statements:

    Janov: “Because no one is smarter or stronger than his need. “

    “Need overwhelms any thought almost every time.”

    Me: I go one further and challenge the master and creator of Primal Theory.
    Says I: Need overwhelms all thought every time. Unless “need” can see other “needs” and relent and allow the intellect to do what it does best. Weigh and evaluate.

    More statements:

    Janov: “I have written how the right brain feeling areas work in see-saw ways with the upper level frontal cortex, so that when a need/feeling is too much the thinking brain steps in and blocks it.”

    Me: Oh, so the intellect can suddenly take over if the feeling is overwhelming. I guess the feeling was willing to relent? Or was it the feeling that caused the intellect change in the 1st place in another attempt to seek symbolic need or escape rather than face the feeling and truth?

    I don’t buy the back and forth switching and sharing of power in the 3 level mind.. I say it takes a very subordinate 1st/2nd line origin to relent to the upper cortex and let it do its job. Can the primal self be convinced in some feeling way that its interests are served by letting the intellect help? I know you say no.

    Janov: And vice versa, when the thinking brain is weakened, either with drugs or alcohol, or when the person just falls asleep, the feelings see their opening and march upward and forward and usurp thought. But deep need is always stronger than the higher levels. It was this way in evolution where survival was paramount; where feelings guided us to safety.

    Me: Well, there we go again. Confused and going back and forth. Is it or isn’t it? You say deep need is always stronger, which I do agree with, but then you continually contradict yourself and say it takes over and bosses the primal self or fools and deceives it. No way. Please, why don’t you see if you can fix the yo-yo effect or the old fish flopping around on the pier after being hauled out of the water and struggling for life.

    Janov: If the need is not a leftover, chances are, it will not be so strong as to shatter rationality. So here is a very rational and brilliant man, and yet he acts dumb. Because his need drives him toward “symbolic” fulfillment wherever that leads him. It guides him, not his rational mind which has taken a vacation for a while.

    Alright Art, let me ask a question. It seems like you are saying that weak needs are not strong enough to shatter rationality. But strong needs are, as in the politician referred to. But since most needs are very strong, then is not the intellect overwhelmed and sabotaged, disrupted? Or maybe just hi-jacked and made to come up with something more pleasing for the “needs”?

    How much of this is certified scientific fact and how much is simply your way of understand or explaining what you think you are seeing? How would you prove it? I take nothing without good support. That’s my job!

    Janov: Let me say that need/feelings are always smart and they drive symbolic behavior to remind us of leftover lack of fulfillment.

    Me: See, there you go again. The needs are smart? So they can think or at least Direct and boss? I would agree. They drive/motivate symbolic behavior? Maybe symbolic thinking and rationalizing, too? No?

    Janov: Paradoxically, they make us act dumb because we are acting out in the present needs from long ago.

    Me: Oh, so now you agree? They can make us dumb, which means turning off or redirecting the intellect, no?

    Janov: But those needs never disappear. They remain and make us act out in accordance with what they are and were.

    Agreed! And by that I mean that not only do they remain and make us act out, they make the cortex intellectually act out, too. Show me where I am wrong. Look at your logic carefully, please. It is flawed in a very large way. If you don’t fix it, I will in my time. You can be sure of that. Hard science is tough stuff, no?

  5. Apollo: My Janov deductions:

    Janov: “Because no one is smarter or stronger than his need. “

    “Need overwhelms any thought almost every time.”

    Andrew: Pain will almost always drive the topic - but not necessarily the content (of thought).

    Obviously to function, such as getting the dishes done, an aspect of thinking is entirely objective and divorced from old need. That's part of the reason, I think, why people in so much pain find it hard to do the chores - or sometimes even to hold down a job. They're far too busy acting out, and it hurts to not be able to do so - they need to "bleed off" the pressure.

    More statements:

    Janov: “I have written how the right brain feeling areas work in see-saw ways with the upper level frontal cortex, so that when a need/feeling is too much the thinking brain steps in and blocks it.”

    Andrew: Michael Holden observed that there really is a see-saw functionality of the brain [ref. Primal Man]. The more active the frontal cortex, the less active the primitive brains. When repressed feelings get triggered, and become excessively aroused, they can be literally "squished" (less active) by "over"-activation of the thinking mind.
    On the subjective level this is experienced as a distraction to feeling. The thinking pushes down the pain. That distraction is usually compulsive (an automatic defence) so we can't see its meaning i.e. it works before we know what it's even doing and why.

    Janov: And vice versa, when the thinking brain is weakened, either with drugs or alcohol, or when the person just falls asleep, the feelings see their opening and march upward and forward and usurp thought. But deep need is always stronger than the higher levels. It was this way in evolution where survival was paramount; where feelings guided us to safety.

    Andrew: Just Janovian semantics. All he's really saying is that the tired, sleeping frontal brain eventually won't hold back the pressure of lower-level pain. The most extreme example of this is psychosis.

    Janov: If the need is not a leftover, chances are, it will not be so strong as to shatter rationality. So here is a very rational and brilliant man, and yet he acts dumb. Because his need drives him toward “symbolic” fulfillment wherever that leads him. It guides him, not his rational mind which has taken a vacation for a while.

    Janov: Let me say that need/feelings are always smart and they drive symbolic behavior to remind us of leftover lack of fulfillment.

    Andrew: He's saying the same thing. An under-active frontal cortex allows lower feelings to come up stronger, and be more dominant - see-saw. Think of someone who murders out of incredible rage even though they know they'll go to prison for life for it. The feeling for immediate gratification was so overwhelming that the 'other' feeling derived from an understand of consequences can't dominate it in action. So sometimes it's so strong that we just go with the act-out and to hell with the consequences.

    Janov: Paradoxically, they make us act dumb because we are acting out in the present needs from long ago.

    Andrew: Again I just said that.

    -Btw: Art will never answer all your questions because it takes too much time for him. Not that I had a problem doing it myself though.

  6. Hi Apollo. Please listen.

    No matter how realistic our thoughts seem to be, they will never be perfectly realistic as long as they are missing crucial feeling information.

    Feelings are always accurate because they are so important to our survival. The intellect will never be accurate until the feelings get their way.

  7. Richard (and Apollo),

    Very true about feelings. I have often described them as having the character in opposite contrast to the thinking mind. Feelings are not very specific, but as an information indicator they are remarkably accurate.

    For example, if someone you meet really *feels* like a dangerous person to you, then you can bet 99.7% that there is a primitive ('ancient' might be a better word) part of your brain that knows exactly what it's looking at and exactly what it's telling you. Best you listen!

  8. Richard, I agree in essence with what you say, but I make a distinction as well. No doubt about it that with feelings missing, the picture is not complete. For instance, I know of an event that happened to me at about 2.5. A foster boy of about 14 was staying with us. He was jealous of a 2.5 year old. So down in the cellar, he takes me and grinds my face into the floor. My mother says I let out one wail of a scream ad she come charging down and as she did, Richard was heading out the ground level cellar door. My other says I was never the same after that. I doubt remember it at all, except that I did have a vivid memory of a older boy going out the cellar door but did not know what it was about.

    Now I can say fairly confidently that I believe this incident had molded my shyness quite a bit. It hurt trust, big time. There may be other things contributing to these, too. But whether I feel them or not, I am aware of my problems and why, in general, they exist. I know about feelings.

    Now let my suggest something to you. When ever anyone says to you,

    1. Richard, I am an authority, so you should not question me and should not view yourself as equal for me, but rather inferior to me.
    2. Or is someone says to you, I am very studied and approved of by great establishments of authority and knowledge so I am superior to you and you should not question me and should listen to all I say, do not listen to him or her.
    3. Of if someone says, I am in communication with the gods or I channel someone or I have super powers so you should not question me or doubt me and should do all I say, do not listen to him or her.

    Through all history and time, some people have tried to claim some sort of superiority that you should not doubt or question. They expect you to surrender your critical thinking abilities and just obey them and never question them. You should never listen to such people.

    Religions and cult leaders play this game. Scientists and academics play these games. Politicians and generals do it, too. Smart people do not fall for it but dumb people readily swallow it and many other things, too. It is partly because they are dumb and have never used their minds before.

    Part 2 of 2 to follow >>>

  9. They have mechanics fix their cars, Lawyers handle their law, doctors handle their health, employers handle their income and welfare, insurance takes care of their disasters, farmers grow their food, teachers teach them what they need to know (supposedly), TV tells them what to know. Everyone does everything for them so that they do nothing for themselves. They are used to obeying and taking directions.

    Many are enamored of celebrity, even though celebrities are often dumb or useless. Some celebrities say you should listen to them cause they know what they are talking about and people go for it.

    So now I am going to say, Arthur Janov has made great discoveries. He has also made some errors and still has hang ups and possibly an ego and you should never take his word for granted and should make him prove all things he says and should not hesitate to question him if he does not or does not want to.

    He may have discovered the theory. He may be a celebrity. He may claim special knowledge or powers for all I know. He may claim he is all primaled out and therefore infallible. But if even one claim can not be substantiated, you have a right to point it out, and ask, even demand an explanation. If he refuses, be afraid, be very afraid. Anyone doing such things puts themselves in league with cult leaders and all sorts of bad guys who hate being shown to be wrong.

    I think that AJ ought to answer what I have brought up. It is valid. It deserves to be discussed. AJ is not a bad guy or not any more so than anyone else. But he is running, ducking, and hiding. He has good reason because the best in the business is on his tail, wanting and demanding answers and explanations. Any other mere mortal would be fine but this here superman never gives in or give up. Oops, sorry bout that claim to greatness. Just me having fun, ya know. You should question me, too.

    Any claim should be able to satisfy logic, reason, sanity, understanding, explanation, and not fear having to account for itself. Never let anyone say you can not understand and it is beyond you. Total BS!

  10. Part 1 of 4

    Andrew, I am going to address a few things from a broad sense. “Pain driving the topic but not the content.”

    Read all 4 parts and I think you will be amazed!

    I say the primal self, defined as the 1st and 2nd line reptile and limbic, typically makes all decisions in most people. That is why they “appear” irrational to others. This inner self can be very elusive and crafty. And I say it controls the brain, specifically the cortex and intellect. So when one needs an “escape,” the cortex is called on for an exit strategy. So it comes up with one.

    Most if not all people that AJ treats have this problem. They have not been able to solve most or nearly any problems themselves because the pain has usually been too great. People who got some control are not nearly as compelled to seek therapy unless it is easily available, which is clearly is not.

    Now in those with a strong intellect, we might suppose that the intellect might push back. Or does it? Here is why I wonder. Inside the primal self, are 2 halves of a brain, 2 hemispheres. They are opposing, like one for stimulation and activation, one for relaxing, and shutting down. One or the other will prevail or there will be a mixture. In the end, one side is likely to be dominant. Agreed?

    These primal sides then control all other aspects of human consciousness. Now imagine the primal halves want to use the intellect for something. I can not say precisely what ego is in the whole brain but each side plays a part. One side might say, lets activate the intellect. The other might say, lets shut it down.

    The 3rd line cortex sort of comes on late in the game but is very important, all the same. We become sort of conscious and get more conscious as time goes on, with the intellect making sense of the world. I can remember things all the way back to before I could speak much, if at all.

    The ultimate destination of the cortex is to assert a lot more power and initiative and input than is initially given it by the “boss” below. Yes, in time, both share the reigns of power. But in most, the intellect never really gets a fair chance at things. They run on auto pilot, which is the primal self.

    But in a good situation, the intellect gets far more say and involvement for life demands lots of thought in many areas. The inner self is not equipped to understand science and many other things related. The cortex allows us to ponder and observe, and reason. It sort of lets us look at ourselves and examine our selves, judge our selves even.

    Part 2 of 4 to follow >>>

  11. Part 2 or 4

    But how much does the cortex have a say or an influence and how much was it intended to have? Now our friend Jack W says the cortex is useless and ought to be dumped. I can not believe that.

    But here is what I find in most who rationalize or try to kid or deceive themselves. Even while they are lying to themselves and I have seen it many times, they never really convincingly believe what they are saying but they go along with it cause “they” want to. Who or what is it that “wants” to? Where do we find our will in our psyche? Is there a location for will? No! Its braid and vague and a sum of the parts.

    But my opinion is that the will to go along with the deception or delusion, is usually based upon some primal need unmet and always going off. So then it seems to me the inner primal self is motivating the cortex and only mildly happy with it but determined to stick with it. To suggest the cortex is doing this of its own origin seems like total BS to me.

    People lie to themselves to make themselves feel better. This is often very delusional. It is only something that can come from the primal self below. Now on the other hand, if the inner forces have experienced something that convinces them that maybe they should let the cortex proceed, unhindered, and accept any risk or result in doing so, this is called courage and objectivity.

    Personal courage is again, hard to define. It has not location, per say. But it is a very real quality and quantity just the same. The primal self may have come to believe that its best long term interests lie in objectivity and a correct accurate understanding of life around them. If this happens, the intellect then goes to work in a big way to get the truth, at almost any cost.

    To me, many primal patients have some courage which leads them to conclude that primal therapy is real and needed. But they are still primarily ruled by the primal self, the saboteur of the whole person. For the intellect to reign supreme, if such a thing were possible, means the feelings, the primal self, must be willing and cooperative! Could it be possible, otherwise. No way!

    So I declare, I who believe in the extreme value of a well-developed and objective, even brave intellect, that there has to be some consent and cooperation between a strong intellect and its accompanying and even driving feelings. We need both. Surely that is not disputed, except by Jack.

    Part 3 of 4 to follow >>>

  12. Part 3 of 4

    It could be possible that the intellect suddenly takes over and rules with authority and power. But lets think about those implications. First, the intellect is slow and deliberate. It needs time and observation. If confronted with danger or whatever, the instinct, part of the primal inner self, need to be ever alert and ready to go. Its never out of touch or even subordinate to the intellect, as I see it. We need both. Both are active and alert, in mentally healthy individuals.

    Another example. A hot chick walks by. Trust me, the reaction here will be very immediate and powerful but it will not be intellectual. I can guarantee that. In fact, the intellect often disappears all together.
    So as I see it, even in a greatly developed intellect, it is never fully dominant. It shares and if it is given wide berth of prerogative, it is with the permission of the primal self.

    So how does the intellect get so much control, seemingly so much as to over-ride many primal reactions and impulses? Either by discipline and training such as an athlete repeating a situation over and over till it becomes 2nd nature, part of the instinct, really. We might call this conditioning or programming. Or, maybe the primal self has experienced enough of the success of the intellect that it is willing to submit to the intellectual brakes and be put on hold while the intellect allows time for thought.

    I believe the primal self can still learn and be taught lessons. It will not erase pain and its effects but it will allow better intellectual function and hopefully, better over all results for the long term benefit of the whole person. The primal self and the intellect will work together to create a braking system, much like a car might have, that allows the cortex to inhibit the feelings till it can evaluate if this is truly in the best interests of the individual or not.

    After evaluation, the decision may be that the emotions are both justified and beneficial. Or it might decide the feelings are counter-productive and bad for long term interests and so disallow them expression. But if this is so, is it entirely the intellect holding feelings back, or is there some cooperation or relenting on the part of the feelings? I am not sure, but together, they get the job done.

    Now this is how we survive when in day to day life mode. But Primal Therapy is where we put the intellect on hold, put to sleep so to speak, and let the feelings have free reign. The intellect should understand this and allow it. The feelings may have mixed reactions. Feelings can be very scary. What stops them may not be strictly an intellectual operation. The feelings may want to find a way out feeling so as to avoid the fear or pain threatening just below.

    Part 4 of 4 to follow >>>

  13. Part 4 of 4

    What exactly goes on, I am not sure even AJ can fully say for sure, even if he says he can. I would have to see the lab evidence. What I do know is that the intellect has to let go and let the fear come up. What stops fear? Is it not an instinctive reaction to stop it? I believe it is. So I believe part of the job is to get the primal self to bypass its own programming and let the fear or pain up and out into the cortex.

    Doe the cortex fight? I am sure it does! I do not believe t fights alone, though. Each has to learn to just let it happen. It does not happen easy or automatically. This is not, I repeat, it is not a natural process. Let me explain.

    Pain is not good or natural. It is an injury and needs healing but the process is not smooth or easy. One must feel secure and protected, even comfortable and with trust, in order to let this process proceed. It may also take drugs to push the person up or down into the primal zone that will allow feeling to proceed. Health would also seem like a good thing to have. Some strength and not in bad health.

    I would think the more we understood what we were going to experience, the better it would be. But all in all, finding all the right circumstances, including very capable and competent primal therapists, would be very hard to accomplish and I think that is born out in reality.

    I also think that with extremely damages people, there may be extraordinary needs to be accommodated and no therapist currently practicing may have enough to do this. As well, still having to live in this world, a complete opposite of what any human being would truly need, if they are to become feeling, sensitive, and even vulnerable or trusting, then it will be hard to keep on going back and forth between 1 world and the other. This might not be so good, either.

    As well, we are not truly individuals. We belong in groups who love us and care for us and belong to us and us to them. We do not have that, even in PT. That is a problem, too. In fact, I would venture to say that many will not have what they truly need to fully recover in this life, world, or circumstance. I would suggest a powerful God, but that is just me.

    So I do not believe the intellect is ever fully in power to overthrow the feelings. AJ has made an error in his thinking and explanation. He needs to address what I have brought up. But he runs like a coward. Fear comes from where, Andrew? You know that answer! Fear is a primal reaction. Arthur is not all primal-ed out yet.


  14. apollo you wrote an excellent article about global warming somewhere in this blog site. i liked it so much, i have been posting it to other forums. it was a short article with some very strong facts, and i thought it was very well written.
    the many articles you have posted above are full of speculation and suspicion and some good advice for the sheep. but you don't realise that your points have been heard and understood many times in Dr. Janov's blog. he doesn't censor you - he censors your repetition. you have this powerful need to be heard, as most of us do. he censors everyone, including me. he just wants to keep his blog uncluttered and interesting.

  15. Thanks for your reply, Richard.

    Those speculations and suspicions you mention are a little more than that. Art’s “assertions” are also often speculations and suspicions pass on as the gospel truth. I don’t buy it. Nor do I believe it is repetition that AJ blocks. Far from it. My latest was a confrontation and AJ turned his tail and ran. It reveals his mistake and the smoke and mirrors, too.

    But let me break down my real objection that I have been leading to with AJ – just for the record, which he will not allow. There is an important function of the intellect. That is repetition. But what is not, is how do we get to the zone, the place, where we can allow our intellect to function somewhat objectively and deduce the truth for us? It can do it and does do it in selective areas such as technology. So it can be done. That is repetition, too.

    But what is not prepetition is that the intellect is bound and obedient to the deeper inner self, the reptile, so to speak. AJ says no, the intellect takes over. This is a very serious error. The intellect can take over only if the deeper mind allows it, and becomes convinced its best interests are served by this objective pursuit of knowledge and understanding. This can be done but certainly not easily.

    And why is this so important? We are approaching a time and situation unlike any the world has ever confronted before. It is a critical time where lies are far more common than truth. The lies are promoted from the dominant powers over us to keep us in the dark and misled. Their goal is to obliterate the nature of humans and replace it with their own engineered “nature” for us, as if it were possible. It is not. They simply beat us down into submission and depression. We had better like it or else. We are the putty in the hands of rich powerful elites who believe they can do anything and that they have the right due to their supposed superiority.

    AJ can not see this, which we will call “blindness”, or he is fearful of admitting this or letting it be stated by others. We will call this “fearful concealment.” And last, maybe he is in on the lies as one of them. This we will call “willful concealment”. It is the most hideous of the 3. So AJ is either blind, fearful, or willful.

    I'll need another addition next.

  16. Now is AJs a proper behavior for someone who is promoting PT? I say no. He complains of neglect of his theory but does not want to admit why it is really neglected. But if he knows why and still acts as if he does not, that is deceit and where there is smoke there is also fire, my friend.

    If he does not know, he also does not seem to want to know. Why this sounds much more like neurosis than a guy who is supposedly all primalled out. And if he does want to know, then the obliviousness is at a deep primal level which suggests a great fear is being tapped, which theoretically is not supposed to be there since he is all primalled out. If it is not there, then what is making him run?

    These are important questions to be answered. AJ’s behavior is very suspicious to me, one who formerly was part of a religion that was nearly cultic and certainly mind-controlled. I know cult like mentalities when I see them. What I am seeing with AJ leaves me with a great deal of concern. The great God of the bible does not fear being challenged or questioned or made to account and yet AJ does very much fear this. How interesting, indeed.

    Whether blindness, fear, or willfulness, AJ does have some explaining to do. The obstacles to PT are real and many , and yet all related to each other. Science and Academia are frauds. They worship politics and help to hide the truth from the little people. They are the arms and legs of the political beast that tramples the world under.

    You liked what I posted on climate. I am glad. But I could have posted far more. The deceit and lies about climate are so bad, that anyone that could trust those monsters after knowing what I know would have to be in on the fraud. And there is so much more fraud. There are at least a dozen of so if not much more, cures for cancer. All buried and suppressed, denied in articles and doctors persecuted and killed. They do not want us living long and getting smart.

    If AJ is serious about getting listened to and making PT available to all, then he needs to confront the very REAL and serious obstacles in his and our way. He is not doing that. Why? It deserves a very good solid answer and not an excuse of “you are too repetitive.” That is not it and AJ knows it!

    Going for part 3

  17. Now, Richard, honestly, can you say AJ is not repetitive? No one in all the earth is more repetitive than AJ. Same old song and dance. And that is because he does not want to face the real problems so he is stuck in a rut like a record stuck in a track.

    If PT is to be freed from its shackles and those are very real shackles, AJ must admit, or we must do it for him, that there are shackles, who put them on, and why they are on and who they can come off. I have answered that on his blog before. It would involve sacrifice and persecution as any threat does that threatens the status quo powers. It would involve exposing the liars and their lies. That would be very dangerous but I have been doing it. It will catch up to me sooner or later, no doubt. (it already has some but that’s a long story not worth telling and hard to believe).

    If AJ is right that only he can do therapy right then we are doomed, are we not? Once he dies, how is it going to carry on? The system has kept it suppressed and silent. It will die out or be corrupted. If AJ’s work is to have any lasting meaning, he and we need to confront the real problems. You know about being Real, right? And not neurotic?

    AJ is not being real. He is being a phony or very dumb. IF PT does not help the intellect to function, then what the hell good is it? Isn’t it supposed to help us think better and see more clearly? Then what happened to AJ? I guts ta know. You should want to know, too. Anyone who follows PT should want to know.

    But most are too enamored of AJ’s celebrity and importance to see that he is still a flawed man like any of us. That is why I warn of being in awe of celebrities and authorities. I had once been that way, believing the religious leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses. But I woke up and promised myself, NEVER AGAIN !!! Now its your turn and the turn of many others who follow PT.

    Arthur had done much good but he is not exempt from accountability. He must prove each assertion. I want proof that the intellect can completely dominate and suppress the inner brain. And I want the real facts of the world addressed and confronted. Is that so much to ask? ;-) Oh, I guess it might be.

    Richard, I am delighted to talk. But I have limits to what I can go along with. AJ had pushed them to and over those limits. He will not get away with it. All liars in time will be caught up with.

  18. Richard,
    did you know the sea levels were once about 300 feet lower in most places and this just maybe 4500 or 5000 years ago?, although some suggest 10,000 or 11,000 years ago. I can show why the 2 are one but that is another story.

    Climate changes often happen almost over night. so much for gradualism. You would be amazed at what is being kept from us or what gets ignored in science. It is a very dishonest profession by design. How they got control of it all is also a very interesting story.


  19. as well, I seem to have an deep need to be heard, it is said. It could be possible. but I would say, to the best of my ability to search my deep inner feelings, which AJ says can not happen but he says a lot of things he can not back up or prove, that I write much and often because it is my duty to God, who left His instructions to any who would discern His hand in these instructions. Or it could be that I have gone clear out of my mind. I will allow either conclusion.

    But the world is in very serious trouble and few are warning of it or doing so effectively and safely. So I take it upon myself to carry the responsibility for speaking and promoting what I see to be the truth.

    I know before hand, as I was warned in the Bible, that no one will listen. I speak, not so much to convince or persuade, as I do to let the court of record show that people did have a chance and simply did not accept it.

    If they did not have a chance, God could not fault them. But if they did, then they have no excuse and must accept the consequences of their choices.

    To be born, immediately comes with a responsibility to one's self and to others. We were not placed here by accident but by intention, purpose and meaning. The time will come when we must account for that responsibility.

    I could be wrong and might have been throwing my life away but should I be right, I might come out smelling like a rose, if for no other reason than that I had no competition "in the wilderness" of my field. Boy, can I talk, huh?

  20. Apollo,

    Thanks for your contributions, but remember this post is about trauma imprint theory, not Arthur Janov.

  21. AJ is about trauma imprints, too, isn't he? and those imprints may have been misunderstood a little. And in any topic, 2 in conversation are bound to go in a number of directions touched off by the 1st. IF you want me to stop posting, just say so. I got no problem with that. I have another post on trauma imprints that AJ ignored again. Maybe OK here or not?

  22. AJ said >>> What I shall try to demonstrate in the following pages is that most of us who are neurotic are simply in a long-term hypnotic trance.<<

    So zombies are real, aren’t they? And with constant distraction, they are even more hypnotic, due to lack of concentration. I have always said they run on autopilot. Programming and conditioning are the tools of many authorities. That is what water-boarding is about. Conditioned Primal Pain. It can be cultivated if one was sadistic. Of course, that wouldn’t happen with authorities, right? ;-) I won’t mention the other tortures. Schools also condition kids. We might wonder about that as well. I won’t mention the media and their power to condition and program.

    AJ said >>> A permanent state of post-hypnotic suggestion can begin early in our lives when authority figures (parents) "suggest" certain behaviors based on the possibility or withdrawal of love. The suggestion is usually not consciously undertaken by the parent; it is simply the parent's unconscious needs translated into expectations and imposed on the child. The child, unaware of what’s happening, slips into the behavior without a scintilla of reflection. Part of him then is asleep or unconscious without his being aware of it.

    Now this sounds like what Orwell suggested, in that the policy or programming of the “orthodoxy “ is so subtle as to not be seen or known about . . . . unless you happen to step out of line. Is there an orthodoxy around? Are any of us in doubt? Believers? Could this orthodoxy, if it exists (and yes’em, I believes in orthodoxies, massah) be subtly promoting some conditioning and programming that is so subtle that even we do not detect it? Can people who are all primalled out still be hypnotized or unwittingly programmed? I would think it at least possible.

    Maybe a lot of that programming is not traumatic enough to register deep with trauma. Or maybe it just splits after enough is accumulated. But maybe we might do well to explore just how much programming and conditioning has been carried on without our notice.

    To All: Of course, if we probe, we risk irritating those who make the programming. Ouch. But some have said in the past that: “no pain, no gain.” There are necessary casualties in any war, even propaganda and information wars. Who wants to be the first to throw themselves on the stakes fronting the enemies lines? Any volunteers? Listen, you might be surprised at what I have experienced just in one law suit. Got followed home twice, from different places. Attempted car run-over, which my hyper-vigilance helped me easily avoid. I could brag some more but only courage will be enough to help PT over the hump and reach into more acceptance. You got what it takes?

    We all gotta go sooner or later. But if I gotta go, I want it to be for something worth while. I’ll go down but it will be swinging not crying!

    end of post attempt

    and AJ does seem to dislike conspiracies or me, not sure which. He's not talking. But it was about splits and traumas, wasn't it?

  23. Apollo, I just want to keep things in a direction more linked to my original post. I don't want the conversation to be effectively changed. I'm happy for a bit on Janov, but please no more on that here. It's moving just a bit too out of context.