Monday, April 30, 2012


Debaters in Art Janov’s blog all know why everyone feels unwell, why cognitive therapy flops, why neurotic politicians are hampering the development they believe in, etc. Scientists doing research in old age problems do know that those who reach optimal age are not becoming bitter, because they do not regret their decisions during life, while those who go through life bitter and regret-filled they die earlier, in both cases without that scientists are concerned about why, and without finding out where the mother cyst is! In other words, it looks in psycho therapy and research on aging just like everywhere else in life. I will give some general examples what I mean.
If a soccer club, such as FC Barcelona, has 170 000 members, there are 170 000 views on how the club should be run, which players will be bought, what power and authority coaches and leaders should have, and what role the club has to play in different social contexts, it's just the club's board and president who do not understand... In the city of Stockholm, where a little exaggerated, there are 860 000 views on how traffic and transportation should be organized and financed, it's only urban management and the operational managers that do not understand...
We all need to understand quickly, to be right and to feel part. To do this based on objective facts rarely happens. A frequent type of consumers regularly visits their local supermarket and buy a pack of 6 big Coca Cola, a 6-pack of Fanta and a 6-pack of huge cans of beer without being able feeling concerned about him / herself and those family members carrying 20-40 pounds overweight and too high vital signs ... The same citizens are carrying, May 1st, placards in protest against the politicians' ill-conceived decisions regarding their children's education, school meals and lack of jobs.
When Greece, the cradle of our culture and democracy, after decades of mismanagement, corruption and violated (EU) democratic procedures, then occurred, following the laws of nature (spending dramatically greater than revenue = inability to correct mouth according to cloth), that the country goes into bankruptcy and must be forcibly administered. Moral neurotics, world wide, rise afterwards, with a warm heart, their voices, and suspect international conspiracies.
I have over 40 years seen how patients, therapists, researchers and educators have suppressed Art Janov's principle of "Evolution In Reverse," which is the cornerstone of the Primal Therapy. Why? Probably, to a large extent because Art's idea cannot be exploited at a profit neither for the general psychologist / medical profession nor for the pharmaceutical industry. This gives, in turn, not the financial means for government leaders / decision makers, which fact formally determines what official research / training will be focused on.
I managed myself, despite my neurotic life pattern to prove the validity of Art’s innovation/paradigm-change, because I was “lucky” to have an imprint/stigma that, nothing apart from lobotomy was supposed to “cure”. My last remaining chance was to go into my epilepsy and feel the stab of my pain to be free and to survive.
Unfortunately, many sufferers were/are not forced enough to feel their pain. In the short term (without "knowing" that death is a neurotic time factor) more than 99% choose to live with numb pain, whether the anesthetic is created by drugs, medicines or neuroses. The result is a part of our lifestyle / lifelie. To 100%. It is part of evolution. 
The only way out is “Evolution In Reverse”. However, you need, both, to get over your numbing fear and let go of your intellectual life buoy.
Jan Johnsson
(Edit Piaf who sings about how she doesn’t regret, died of liver cancer at age 47....)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Drowning The Fish

My brain is fantastic. It has taken me on an extensive roundtrip through certain parts of the evolution, which has allowed me to demystify my epilepsy. To confirm the essens of my experiences during the last 40 years I want to give an example of the advice, of the inventor of “Evolution In Reverse”, “to lay back and allow the stab of anxiety to overtake us”.
It is Saturday and my daughter is spending the weekend at home, and we have had a friendly, straight and positive communication about almost everything from money, sex education at school, politics, human shortcomings, how to dress, how to learn from your mistakes etc. to where we would bury our dog, Puskas, if he dies. These discussions took place while both of us did whatever we had to do. Isabel carried out weekly cleaning routines while for vanity’s sake, she had put a mudpack to enhance her skin’s already high quality. I was on the internet, stretched, went off and bought strawberries and cooked dinner. Life felt good, and we were pretty much on the same wavelength.
Late in the afternoon, after dinner I took a nap. After an hour or so I woke up with a slight tension over my mouth and eyes, and with the house in full piece, I decided to allow the stab of tension to overtake me. It developed into a wordless process over two hours. Slowly, the pressure intensified over my face and developed into my mouth, my throat and I felt it intensely right down to my fingers and toes as electrical impulses. Since I have been through this process during more than 40 years, there was nothing scary in this wordless re-experience of my birth. It was once again a confirmation that the wordless terror and agony, that I now after 72 years have the strength to go through, is equal to the reality, I as a fetus not endured, but via cramps and stenosis shut down in order to survive. My birth-process lasted in all 48 hours and the most dramatic of those ended in an imprint that led to my developing epilepsy. My epileptic attacks were compressed versions of the unbearable part of my birth trauma.

However, something sensational happened today. After falling deeper than usual into the anesthesia, that often surrounds me during my primals, I was suddenly violently compressed and hyper ventilated sharply, followed by no breathing at all. For a long while, I struggled frantically to get some air without success. Suddenly, I gave up and I felt like a drowned fish. I could not get enough oxygen, however, I could feel the devastating consequences instead of having an epileptic cramp. Then it took a while and the intensive feeling of being compressed released.  All of a sudden I smiled happily when I made a connection in my brain and from seemingly nowhere remembered Art’s Reflection this morning about how he spoke of: “I’m still drowning the fish...”
I was afraid that after two hours of intense wordless memories/feelings that my intellectual brain had stopped working, but now as I write, it feels as easy as a piece of cake to express myself.
Jan Johnsson

Can a fish drown?

Fish get their oxygen directly from the water. They have organs called gills that take oxygen out of the water, just as your lungs take oxygen out of the air. But water can run out of oxygen, just as air can.
So fish can suffocate in water, which means they can drown in water.
These drownings occur most often in small ponds that dry up. All the fish that live in the pond are crowded into the remaining water, where they use up all the oxygen in the water, then drown. Fish can also drown if their gills are damaged in a collision with an underwater plant or in a fight with other sea creatures.
Weather conditions also account for some drownings. For example, when some fish realize that oxygen supply in the water is getting very low, they rise to the surface and suck air into a sac-like organ called the air bladder.
The fish can then take oxygen out of this air instead of directly out of the water. But in cold weather, when the surface of the water is frozen, the fish can’t reach that air, and so they drown.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Round Trip Under The Evolutionary Umbrella.

Another Look at Electroshock Therapy (Click to access!)

A round trip under the evolutionary umbrella.
At 19, I developed epilepsy and my doctor prescribed anti-epileptic medication. Somewhat pointedly, I can say that I was given a "chemical lobotomy". This was an alternative to the existing radical and grim choice of electroshock, which in turn was the step before the even more radical and most cruel of all existing options, ie surgical lobotomy. (This happened in the 50ies and in 1949 Egas Moniz  had got the Nobelprize for having developed the lobotomy process...)
These were several decades before Art had developed his principles about “Evolution In Reverse” and what I mean to paint the picture, from my youth, of the alternative methods to eliminate epilepsy, is that I am extremely happy today I got sick in just the time when “chemical lobotomy” was made available, and that I had the good luck of having a young and talented doctor (Dr. David Ingvar) who could guide me in a difficult time.
Why do I use the phrase “chemical lobotomy” to describe the medical treatment, I, without a doubt, was in need of? Because it resembles the effects of a neuro-surgical procedure, a form of psycho surgery, believed to eliminate anxiety, pain and seizures. The advantage of the “chemical lobotomy”, according to reported experiences, is that it is not, to the same extent as surgical lobotomy, followed by severe depressions and apathy. It also had the extraordinary privilege when the Primal Therapy had developed into an alternative, that the medicine little by little could be eliminated.
From the time, I received the benefits of modern “chemical lobotomy”, gradually my epileptic journey meant that I was turned off from contacts with that feeling part of my brain where my life-threatening birth process was imprinted. This gave me, of course, contingent benefits. I could survive short-term, career, develop many intellectual abilities, and I had the opportunity to create resources and contacts one day to be capable to “lay down and allow that stab of anxiety to overtake me and make me free”. When this happened, the direction of my journey changed, and I was able, during years, to dissolve the survival tools, like neurotic games, repression and other painkillers, provided by the evolution.
Eventually, I searched and found help because I “knew” / guessed that my epilepsy and anxiety were caused by a pain that precluded my attempts to meet actual real needs. Due to survival reasons, I was instinctively an innovative producer of painkilling neuroses. My life was a trade mill that at no time stopped spinning and never gave any lasting rest and quiet. After 40 changing and stimulating years in and out of the Primal Therapy, I have learned to slowly cope with feeling repressed pain and scale off the countless layers of neurotic behavior and reflexes that my survival demanded. My neurosis have taken on both emotional, intellectual, physical and social expressions, and sometimes they have been favorably received by an impressed surrounding (which in no way made it easier later to remove these neurotic behaviors, at least initially).
After 53 years, I have contacted the woman, Eva, who had a decisive influence on me before I developed epilepsy, ie before I was “chemically lobotomized”. As I have mentioned in a chapter of my book “Evolution in Reverse /Demystifying my Epilepsy,” she then (1959!!!) in a letter, with an attached photo,  tells me that I was the love of her youth. That is, she had cared for me, including my cocky immature way, before I became “chemically lobotomized” and still was in comparative youthful harmony with myself. As a result of 40 years of contact with and guidance by Art Janov, I've regained an ability to react to feelings that has long been buried under medication, neuroses and act outs. During Eva's and my discussions, I feel an instinctive awareness / urge to develop part of my reactions, which were lobotomized at the age of 19.

An important prerequisite for my survival over the years has been tied to that, I, as in Maslow’s Pyramide, has created a large number of short-term subjective well-beings. Through the Primal Therapy and Evolution in Reverse, it feels at last that I have become free from the effects of having been “chemically lobotomized”. At more than 70, I experience my first objective well-being. Without euphoria. With no need to impress. Without feeling anxiety. As Eva and I take and give with the same desire, life feels easy right now.
My epileptic journey has been an exciting adventure, a kind of round trip through a crucial part of evolution. I feel I finally come aboard the right train!
The “travel agency” is located in Los Angeles, and you impart your own feelings!
Jan Johnsson

Monday, April 9, 2012

Following the Evolution. Score of a Composition vs. Full Orchestra.

My comments to

On the Mystery of the Unconscious (click to access!):

“The Mystery of the Unconscious” provides a perfect background sketch of many of the essentials that for more than 40 years have affected me, when I have sought the help of evolution to come to grips with my epilepsy and my often sophisticated, yet painkilling and humiliating neuroses. Thanks to your tuition on the evolutionary 1,2,3 hierarchy in the brain, I have managed to develop new sides of myself. It has been a time-consuming process - much different than the “quick fix” that first attracted me in The Primal Scream and got me hooked.
In approximately the rate at which I could feel and experience my pain below the level of conscious/awareness, at the same pace my neuroses dissolved, and my behavior became more adapted to real needs, as a result I could feel even more of the terror and anxiety that were imprinted, and the less I was drawn to acting guided by my earlier anxiety, etc. etc.. It has been a gradual evolutionary process over more than 40 years, which has resulted in the interesting fact that I have been motivated to develop my intellectual/scholarly brain to understand the context. As a bonus, my rose intellectual capacity, which increased with access to my feelings, helped me feel more authentic, and I find it more difficult to deceive myself and others.
I have often wondered how I could best describe my therapy process. Only now when I read your Reflections I realize that the words; “lay back and allow the stab of anxiety to overtake us”, is the simple summary how I eventually became free from most of my anxiety and pain, which had its origin in a horrific birthing process.
In the introduction, I compared your Reflection, with a sketch. Behind all the great works of art (sic) in history, whether it be Michelangelo or Proust, were an infinite number of sketches, before we could enjoy their masterpieces. Reading today’s article, and understand it, is like taking part of the score of a musical composition. When we have reached the point where we can “lay down and allow that stab of anxiety to overtake us and make us free”, then we experience the composition played and conducted by a full orchestra.
We can make ends meet!
Jan Johnsson

  1. Jan: Brilliant as usual. art