Sunday, February 26, 2012

To make up for 53 years in 2 hours.

A couple of weeks ago I told about how I after 53 years have reestablished the contact with a woman who, when I was a young lad, had made a number of lasting impacts of my life; my way of thinking, my subjective well being and  certain of my neurosis. After our first Skype-meeting (Eva is living in Sweden), I experienced an epileptic seizure / primal feeling when I was conscious and could follow the cramp around, and in my skull ended by hyperventilation and an experience how highly concentrated air wheezed out of my nose, mouth, eyes and ears as if I had been exposed to oxygen treatment.

Eva and I continue to stay in touch via email and Skype. Yesterday, we talked on Skype for a couple of hours and I had a sensation that I want to make up for 53 years here and now. I cannot stop myself from talking. I can see and understand that Eva gets tired of my tremendous urge to compress 53 years into a couple of hours. After we had ended our video conversation I was full of energy and read “Lord Jim” for a couple of hours.

Then I fell asleep and two hours later I woke up and started to hyperventilate and this time my feelings (primals) did not come from my head but from my throat and lungs. It was like my lungs were turned inside out, like an asthma attack, and they pushed off ingrained mucus. It was a painful but liberating process /experience. Simultaneously, with the reactions of my lungs, my body was bent and twisted back and forth and pulled out backwards.

For me, today, to go through these primal feelings is no longer scaring. The primal feeling may be painful, but compared to an epileptic seizure; it is a pleasure.

Jan Johnsson

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Truth-oriented fantasy, vision and reality.

A major lifelong satisfaction in my life has been my imagination and my ability to be enthusiastic, when a mental spark - in terms of a thought or idea - hits or create a neuron cluster in my brain. To a degree, it has been both my source of personal growth and survival.
One of my favorite habits over a lifetime has been, mind games, mental exercises, which I designed to improve my functioning and personality. I picked a counterparty and a topic due to my mood, need and circumstances. The debate, a veritable psycho and sociodrama, is guided by an actual occurrence or dilemma / problem, and it lasts for 40-60 minutes, which today is the equivalent of what it takes to walk my dog, Puskas. It is/was a very intense arguing pro contra about whatever shortcoming I might have. With a rough estimate, I have probably been through more than 10.000 such games/debates in my life...
When I pick my counterpart, I feel no limitations. I often imagen somebody, who has an important , actual, impact on my life, and whom I in most cases have met. I let the opponent criticize me, and I dig deep into myself to find and test a variety of answers, defenses and explications, which trigger me. My 40-60 minute walks feel like nothing, and I often come home with a new or modified point of view. It has been an excellent, inexpensive way to consult experts and take them through a rough walk while seeing things from another angle. 
The accumulated number of counterparts in my mind games is immense. Just to mention one, who have had a decisive influence on my life, I will highlight Art Janov, with whom I met a few times over the years. During my walks and mind games, we have had many animated discussions regarding therapy, feelings, neurosis, behavior, epilepsy, etc. He has not always been nice to me and vice versa I have told him my honest opinion a number of times..... and he responded... and so on. With knowledge, suggestions and ideas from hes books, in combination with our debates during my mind games, I have had private sessions for a tax-free fortune...
When I was a young lad, I could imagine myself out of boredom and out of my internal prison of pain. Sometimes I could live myself into the role of an adult or an actor, to be able, in the daydream, to charm the world or the surroundings - not seldom represented by beautiful women and girls - to fit into my needs. When I was young, the needs were numerous and frequent. However, since my reality also worked, I was fortunately not an introvert dreamer. The fact that I accepted reality meant that I was never bored because the imagination was at hand, both as a transient experience and a learning exercise when I on and off failed.
Today, when I’m cured and out of my internal prison, and my pain is virtually eliminated I don’t need to fantasize. My fantasy has turned more into mind games about my actual real situation.  But, reflections of past times remain and if circumstances turn tedious, I can get the urge to start arranging for a different reality. These reflexes put me on the alert. They include all the attributes of vanity and a mental as well as a physical preparation to activate my extensive range of subtle seduction tools. My old, often neurotically propelled, pattern; “fantasy, vision and reality” is deeply engraved in my soul and body. Nowadays, it has not the same power over me, so I can laugh at myself and understand how impossible situations could arise, which had nothing to do with my real needs.
A neurotic is suffering, often unconsciously, because he is the slave of a pattern which continuosly produces anesthetics so that he does not feel anxiety and repressed pain. High blood pressure, elevated heart rate and other physiological wear and tear imperfections are discretely taken care of. The research and the pharmaceutical industry have fueled their “dreams and visions” with eager dollar allocations to respond to the general insatiable need for painkillers. Their premium to kill anxiety and pain has grown exponentially. They have, based on human shortcomings, so far got  record profits and capital gains, which has given them dictatorial power in the economic, political and medical fields. Does anybody believe they need Primal Therapy?
Unfortunately, it is not our long term well-being, which determines how the stock market reacts and how the business cycles in the world develop. No, the patent-controlled profit margins in for example the pharmaceutical industry has to a large extent the upper hand. The pharmaceutic industry, in its ambition to survive, could never ask for solutions, which give us a final cure, and they are up for trouble when their lucrative patens start to expire. We can expect shady transactions, in the name of democracy, to take place between the pharmaceutical industry and the politicians soon. 
The politicians, who are the slaves and manipulators of the business cycles, make promises and buy votes according to the theoretical economic ability of their countries. When the economic realities, as in Greece, for many years have not been present, then they have borrowed money to pay pensions, social security and structural investments like high-speed trains, airports and modernist museums, etc. When the bubbles burst, financial institutions are  collapsing and reality is catching up, as it at present is in the western part of the world, no calls, therapies or religions will come up with a solution. Now is the time for a new but true “Fantasy, vision and reality”! 
There exist of course always a risk to confuse reality and fantasy. Especially if the fantasy world is strong and a false reality successfully is created. Such a politically organized fake, in the sense that democracy, justice and quality of life are at stake for a whole population, has been the case during 15-20 years in countries like Greece and in other parts of the “democratic” world.
A healthy imagination will turn into a vision before leading to an innovation and / or a creative change. The border between fantasy and vision is perhaps even more elusive and dynamic than the corresponding gap between vision and reality.  The entire process from imagination, through the vision into reality is a part of evolution and is the tip of the iceberg of the total of fantasies that reach the stage of reality. Those are the ones which determine our survival in different contexts. Only in order to later be subjected to further screening and sorting in the deterministic evolutionary process.
My imagination to understand, “enter” and survive my epilepsy became a vision when I had read Art Janov’s “The Primal Scream”. The vision eventually became a reality as I could combine my ability to feel and understand the principles as Primal Therapy gradually developed. Besides, I also learned to be prepared, with new insights, to make the necessary changes in the conditions of my life that made me a prisoner of my pain. During the 40 years the journey has lasted I have gradually seen a clear parallel between my personal development, my demystification of my epilepsy and the evolution of the Primal Theory. Art Janov was the genius and guide who showed the way with the help of which I made a vision of my thoughts, which often became realities and primals.
The result can best be described as follows: My life today is my original imagination and vision gradually turned into reality. I have acquired an ability to achieve a state that is unobstructed by pain and defenses. This makes it possible to feel, to relieve the historical imprints and constrictions of wordless physical and mental pain. These feelings were originally too overwhelming and intimidating for my unborn fragile system. When the pain has been felt often enough, then the established defenses, which the birth trauma established in order for survival, dissolve. There is simply no longer a need for these defense mechanisms. 
Everything, I’ve described about my reality, is extremely well documented in Art Janov’s literature, and it is easy to take in from both an emotional and intellectual point of view. The principle of evolution in reverse is working. In Dr. Janov’s literatur there is an unparalleled insight and documentation of the negative effects on the fetus due to lack of love and due to the consequences of a mother living a physiologically and mentally unhealthy life, smoking, using alcohol, drugs, crazy diets not to mention the consequences of a bad relationship with a potential spouse. Unfortunately, Primal Therapy as a practical therapy has been unable to grow and develop and become everyone’s property. This is mainly due to a number of parameters, which requires substantial resources of the patients, which often cannot be met.
Art Janov has lately repeatedly said: “I’m only the messenger. Now it is up to you!” I cannot free myself from the feeling that this message can be interpreted as a resignation. Art has probably drawn his consequences. The original message of The Primal Therapy was based on a cocky, but democratic attitude that we can feel and remember the repressed pain, by evolution in reverse. This attitude has now faded down to a more cautious, risk-free position; That a fetus exposed to risks of genetic modifications and repressed pain, which later may result in a variety of health hazards and shortened life. 
I have read Art’s many unique and well-written books over the years as a guide into my own pain to find out why it has developed, so that I eventually could relive and dissolve it. The books are of course valuable when just interpreted as a sound warning about what happens if loveless ness, anxiety and pain analgesic agents and inappropriate behavior control the surroundings and the world of the fetus. However, in the future if we only have access to the books and no real therapy the vision to cure depression, phobias, panic and a host of other symptoms will be very restricted.
A primal friend claimed recently that my worries, about Art Janov's "resignation", was Art's way to give in to reality. I allow myself with 40 years of sensational experiences to look at it as a resignation from a revolutionary therapy vision. To be able to cure those who have been victims of injustice and wrongdoing during their life before birth. It is not a question of right or wrong. It is a question of letting a vision become a reality. The need for a cure will be eternal.
I will not go so far that I think everyone, who, for example has epilepsy of any type, can be cured. Nor will I pretend that anyone with depression or phobias can be helped. Nevertheless, if their ambitious fantasies and visions with the help of Primal Therapy do improve their reality, I will not be surprised.
Jan Johnsson

Monday, February 13, 2012

To the messenger.

My comments on Art Janov's Reflexions on  On Murder Again   (click to acccess)

I read a resignation, from a Primal Therapy point of view, when you with ever greater frequency are telling us that you are “only the messenger” who is around to tell us what happens if a mother and her husband don’t love each other and fight and subject the fetus to crazy diets, drinking and drug taking. Not to speak of many others, for example, those religious mothers who decide to follow the bible literally and give birth with Pain. Your resignation I interpret the following way: To develop a universal therapy to feel and reverse the evolution is working as a complete cure only in exceptional cases.
Of course, the messages to all future parents are the most important thing, now that we know all the consequences you are explaining so pedagogically in your books and Reflections. We will obviously continue to spread your announcement to the next generations, but, I am left with a bitter sweet taste after all I’ve been through to survive. You helped me to a new life, and it certainly is a sweet feeling to have demystified my epilepsy. The bitter feeling I am getting when I think about those having my kind of suffering / medical history. They will have nowhere to go, but the traditional treatment which, by all it’s ambitions, is a paraphrase of cognitive therapy helped by drug taking.
Let us hope for a worldwide revolution in childbearing so that the 9 months of pregnancy and the first few, developmentally critical years of life, occurs with unconditional love and maximum protection / care. The question, however, is if this is possible without, first, a new   representative, universal social revolution will be emplemented.
You stated from the start, decades ago, that one of the supporting pillars of the Primal Therapy is that it’s truly democratic in structure and function. I personally experienced the Primal Therapy as a therapy with rules, but democratic. It was / is a therapy with true democratic ambitions surrounded and influenced by a world of democratic dictatorships. 
Jan Johnsson

  1. Jan, I think Primal is truly democratic. We do not dictate to patients; they tell us. Our relationships is that of equals, not bigshot and underling. We don't contend to know what is inside patients and we don't have a secret language special to us. art

Friday, February 10, 2012

Spontaneous feelings. A real life authentic Primal story.

53-60 years ago, before I developed epilepsy, and lived in a beautiful park that belonged to an agricultural university, there was a girl, Eva,  who I liked and respected very much. I have earlier written about how she made lasting impacts on my life. The first memory which turned out very positive (giving me a lifelong subjective well being), was how Eva told me, at age 17, that I had a psychological ability. The other memory which turned into a neurosis was caused by my interpretation of a comment from Eva, regarding how I had mismatched the color of my shoes to my dress. Add to that the fact that, before I moved to Denmark, Eva gave me a photo of herself, dedicated to “the love of her teens”, which I have guarded until this day in my Pandoras’s Box. 

A few months ago, through my sister in Sweden, I got contact with Eva and we have since  maintained an extensive correspondence by e-mail. However, after my suggestion to developing our relationship to include calls via Skype, yesterday, we finally got it all together and for the first time in 53 years, there she was, Eva, the girl from my youth. I, made a trip back in time, became 17 years and went on as if we had met last week... Eva was more moved and could not believe how this was now possible... (she spent her life as  an award-winning university lecturer in Physical Chemistry). When we thought we’d talked for 10-15 minutes, so had, in reality 70 minutes gone according to Skype’s timing.

An infinite number of memories, which certainly had not expected to be activated any more time, must, head over heals, leave their hiding places. To slow down after the call, I spent a couple of hours reading “The significance of a revolution in genetics and molecular biology”. Then I went to bed, pleasantly relaxed, and fell asleep quickly. After a couple of hours, I woke up in the middle a dream about having a hallucination / feeling of releasing “locked-in-tensions”. Being awake nothing happened first, but after a short while, I knew that a seizure was on the verge to happen. However, no aura, no confusion just a deep experience telling me that these were the ruins, the remains of a former grand mal seizure.
The muscles around my cranium pulled themselves together, contracted, and to avoid biting my tongue; I pressed my jaws together with both my hands. The cramp developed painfully but nicely around and into my skull, and I stopped breathing. When a few minutes had passed, it was as highly concentrated air wheezed out of my nose, mouth, eyes and ears (followed by a very short and heavy hyperventilation) and then the contracted muscles relaxed. I was left with a convincing sense, which I’ve had before, that I, during the birth process, was exposed to oxygen treatment.

I went quickly out of bed. In the mirror, I could see that I was OK, and I was feeling great.

Jan Johnsson

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Primal Revolution, the revolution that never happened.

The Primal Revolution.
Excellent essays in the New Atlantis, , with the ambition to explain the significance of a revolution in genetics and molecular biology, inspired me to draw the following conclusions of what I have experienced in the Primal Therapy.
In the Primal Revolution, like what has been the case in the genomic revolution, the most glaring thing is that the revolution never happened. There has been a flow of new information about amazing technical achievement. “It’s true that we are gaining, even if largely by trial and error, certain manipulative powers. However, our understanding of the integrity and unified function of the living cells has, if anything, been more obscured than illuminated by the torrent of data.” Within Primal Therapy, we cannot even be disappointed that the DNA analysis did not provide a molecular crystal ball (which is the disappointment among many researchers in DNA) since our general approach is much more shallow and hard to define - and of course depending on where in the world of research, the dollars are injected.
The Primal Revolution stopped short. This is underlined by the fact that during 40 years, not a single, serious, heir to Art Janov has appeared. From the bright side, this says something about how far ahead of his time Art has been and how consistently and persistently, he continued to work and convince us through his well-written books. The less illuminated side is, that it shows how difficult it is to understand PT and to be a new master in something, which still is not quite a science. To quote and paraphrase the article in the New Atlantis: 
“But is this surprising? The human body is not a mere implication of clean logical code in abstract conceptual space, but rather a play of complexly shaped and intricately interacting physical substances and forces. Yet the four genetic letters, in the researcher’s mind, became curiously detached from their material matrix. In many scientific discussions, it hardly would have mattered whether the letters of the “Book of Life” represented nucleotide bases or completely different molecular combinations. All that counted were certain logical correspondences between code and protein together with a few bits of regulatory logic, all buttressed by the massive weight of an unsupported assumption: somehow, by neatly executing an immaculate, computer-like DNA logic, the organism would fulfill its destiny as a living creature. The details could be worked out later.”
Art Janov has met a number of people which he successfully has treated. There seems to have been a common denominator for these people. They have all met a number of parameters to achieve their remarkable improvements and changes. They have been fully determined to overcome their serious problems, and for this, they have had sufficient material resources to act fearlessly and independently. Finally, they have been willing and had the courage to change their lives and / or situations in which they have been trapped, both mentally and literally.
A number of successful cases have kept Art Janov’s invention PT alive and eventually given him a profound metaphysical (on the border to be scientific) understanding on how evolution is building a sophisticated network in our brain and body to avoid mental and physical pain and help us to a conditional survival. Art Janov has been able to show us, that these conditional defenses take their tolls in other aspects, the negative effects of which, for example, can be read on the vital signs like pulse, heart beat and blood pressure. Many are paying the price of too early death due to cancer, tumors, heart attacks, etc.
Unfortunately, the Primal Revolution with its brave predictions, did prove a lot more complicated than expected. As a small but comfort, there is an infinite positive message in The Primal Therapy, and that is that there may exist an alternative, natural, way to cure both physical and mental pain systematically, when we have got everything together.
Jan Johnsson