Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The eliminated category

Pain and neuroses are the consequences when love and other needs are unfulfilled.

According to Dr. Janov most shrinks (The American Psychological Association has 137.00 members) in the US lack the skill to cure imprinted mental pain. Often propelled by their own hidden pain they are fooled to study head-shrinking techniques they believe will help others. They, simply, work as jailors in our “prison of pain”. Like “screws” in the penitentiary system, they exploit their “jailbirds” and become part of an eternally repeated pattern of quick fixes, dominated by painkilling in stead of curative treatments. They do not need to be involved in drug trafficking because they are licensed to provide legal painkillers. 

According to DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and The American Heritage Medical dictonary, the category of neurosis has been eliminated. In a neurotic world where the medical and psychological profession fail to cure their patients with mental illness this controversial and “magical” elimination of a well descriptive word caused me to reflect on my experiences and feelings during and after the process when I demystified my epilepsy. How long can a neurotic society be willing to, at the price of a shortened life potential, over-tax its human and material resources? 

Neuroses can either be a stimulation / strength (short term) or a depression / disability (short and long term). They develop as a consequence of that our basic needs, of love, touch, care and attention, are neglected before and after birth. They are evolution’s life saving reactions in order to alleviate the pain it means not to get our needs satisfied in a natural, unconditional way. These painkilling habits, in the baby / toddler, grow later into neurotic patterns, which if not eternally maintained lead to memories/feelings/anxieties/mental illnesses rooted in the original pain, which became imprinted and repressed because we had been too vulnerable to survive if we had felt it as babies.

After having read the “Primal Scream”, I thought the original imprinted pain, the root of my epilepsy was my only problem. However, my personal journey over decades has been more disturbed and affected by neurosis. I discovered slowly, while I tried to change that the supposed allies, in my surrounding, were my secret neurotic “enemies”. But if the neuroses of the surrounding were difficult to overcome, that was nothing compared to the difficulty of overcoming my own. My pain was a sine qua non to my neuroses, and they were impossible to detect and dissolve until the imprinted pain was re-lived. It was only then I discovered that they had been there and been the driving force in my neurotic life pattern.

Only when I understood the functions of my neuroses and their importance for my survival, I realized that they represented the personality / identity I showed outwardly. My original potential never could develop because of my unbearable pain which automatically propelled my neurotic compensatory acting.  

I will never be able to evaluate the differences between the outcome of my neurotic life with a potential non-neurotic behavior. I can only limit myself by saying that they had been different and that a non-neurotic life-pattern had been the natural way, free from anxiety and humiliation which a need for painkilling neuroses created. The suffering was partly compensated by a false value system beyond our true needs. This value system with its tempting economical and social compensations, mainly for the successful, is very hard to change. This social, economical and political paradigm makes the world spin around. Even if, I managed to resign, I am still part of it. That is maybe why a theoretical, non-neurotic Primal Paradigm is struggling in the background in spite of its obvious advantages. 

I have been fortunate to experience and overcome traumatic, repressed pain and lifesaving neuroses.  The repressed pain propelled my unusual journey in my search for a normal life and eventually I could share love, care and sanity with other human beings. With a lot of luck in a very competitive world I was given the chance to learn, the hard way, to fight myself to both mental and physical health. The result was “not perfect, but with excellent constituents”. When my neuroses did not dissociate me from my real needs, my life became, eventually, easy to understand and to live.

Is the official elimination of the word neurotic a sign of how deep the general pain/neurosis is? It seems to be an evolutionary part of the Birth of Our Culture. Properly used and interpreted, the word neurotic is an excellent description of much of the behavior we, daily, “see” around us.

Jan Johnsson

Jan: Astute as always. Art


Like Sartre I don’t like official honors. However, since your personal comment not will be considered an official honor, I feel proud to accept it. My own Simone de Beauvoir, Eva, (who helps me keep my primal life experiences straight and simple, making them possible to understand for non-insiders of “Evolution in Reverse”), gave me the following comments:

“I like your description of how you, eventually, managed to understand your neuroses. You discovered them and understood them after you had experienced and made contact with your pain. You only knew that you had been neurotic, when you no longer needed to filter out your pain with the help of neuroses.
All around us, we have built up a value system that makes it easy or at least possible, to live with our neuroses, which probably very few see through. After you have seen through this value system, after a lot of pain, you find it easier to be part of it.
Yor comments, I think, show that you changed during the year I have followed what you think and write. The comments may be a sign of resignation, but the conclusion is very positive. You know what you do!  Eva”

I’m trying to become a writer who does therapies, not a therapist who writes!


Jan: She seems so insightful. Keep her close. art

Hi Jan

I find it very interesting that you say that Neurosis has been eliminated. I did'nt quite understand what you meant until this morning. I was listening to the radio and heard a "Voice hearer" being interviewed. There is a huge movement to make mental illness less of a stigma which is brilliant. However as it becomes less of a stigma it becomes more accepted and "Normal". Neurosis is normal now. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. People learn to live with a condition as you were suppossed to do with epilepsy.

The whole anti Psychiatry movement fought against people being condemned for being crazy. It campaigned for acceptance of the "normal spectrum" of people. "We are all a bit crazy". Yes we are all in pain to some degree. Society is becoming more caring of people with mental illness when in fact it is becoming far less caring. George Orwell would be turning in his grave at this wonderful piece of New Speak.

Friday, February 22, 2013

“Crazy-Know-How” has to be experienced.

How I Know About Psychosis      (Click to access!)

“Crazy-Know-How” has to be experienced.

I had an ambivalent relationship with alcohol right from my home. My religious parents never allowed intoxicating liquors whatsoever, which, during my adolescence, gave me a desire out of curiosity / opposition to test it. These tests showed, early on that my usually happy and open personality was depressed by alcohol. When many friends loosened their inhibitions with alcohol, it had the reverse effects on me. Decades later I understood that alcohol provoked memories in my traumatized / epileptic prone brain and body and triggered anxiety. To the extent that I could ignore the external pressure, to drink at social gatherings, it quickly became easy for me to give up drugs. It happened more than once that I watered a hostess’ plant with a drink, which I knew would bring my demons.

It is a remarkable insight into neurosis and madness to remember the unhappiness I once felt not to be able to tolerate alcohol. That way, I could not live up to the neurotic ideals that often prevail/d in many businesses; to be capable of withstanding large amounts of alcohol. This inability added a sense of humiliation and increased my stress due to my epileptic stigma. The consolation and “dividends” that I got in exchange for my sensitivity, and my escape from alcohol was that I did not have hangovers, and was always in great physical shape. Thanks to “Evolution in Reverse” they turned out to be my secret retirement savings.

I never tried marijuana except for when I passively inhaled and became high from marijuana smoke during a Count Basie concert 1979 in a packed Hollywood Bowl, when I was still on Carbamazepine / Tegretol. My respect for all kinds of drugs was too big to follow up on this euphoric experience, and / or my chemical antiepileptic “lobotomy” was too effective.

So how did I go crazy and open the gates to my horrifying pain? By applying reckless physical structural integration already in the late 70ies and by quitting my chemical lobotomy 20 years later. Both ways brought me to experiences that took me through hell. During hours, I felt crazy, mentally ill, had a sensation of dying, disappearing and being humiliated. It was like a feeling of  being burned living. I had a deep sense of “I cannot take this and I won’t make it”. 

The feelings of mental and physical ill-treatment had the rhythm and repetition of my birth primals, which are built up with pain, pressure and anesthesia, but during these occasions instead of hyperventilation, production of mucus, strangulation and being pulled out, followed by a baby cry, I had feelings of being mentally tortured. All feelings became distorted and twisted and turned against me in the most humiliating way. I felt to the marrow the significance of being mentally ill. Religious torture was included, and I was in subtle ways forced to accept what I did not believe in. It is difficult to judge how long the feelings lasted (I estimated two hours) or the equivalent of a birth primal (grand mal seizure).

I’m still amazed and thankful “someone” could “tango” me through all this!

Jan Johnsson

Monday, February 18, 2013

Veteran Avenue

Veteran Avenue

Much of the actual “Reflection debate” is about opinions, ie, values and interpretations of actions in Hollywood, whose existence is based on professional and great neurotic actors that interpret charismatic, often neurotic personalities. By the marketing of one of the world’s most neurotic industries, the Entertainment Industry, we are being seduced to watching and listening to their products against payment. What lessons do you think can be learnt by knowing that a young actor desperately is stealing a few minutes of attention in the “Universal Studios of Madness”? He seems to be in the right place with the appropriate characteristics to fulfil his neurotic need. On ideologic grounds, the American Society is opposed to paying for a treatment in Primal Therapy. So is The Pharmaceutical Industry his only choice???)

For me being a veteran, the fantastic thing with The Primal Scream, and most of the books of Art is that they gave an “X-ray” of how imprinted / repressed mental /physical pain produced anxiety, depression, and in order for survival, a neurotic, false behavior. Art described his impressions of patients actions and expressions alternating with the patients’ own interpretations of the wordless agony they went through during their primals. My hope one day to demystify my epileptic stigma was born when I eventually realized Art’s ingenious understanding of Evolution. He discovered that evolution; short term saved our lives but left us with the, long term, humiliation it meant being prisoners of imprinted pain. Art’s route to “Evolution in Reverse” is the option to cure.

My pain, anxiety and my neuroses developed my ability to please employers and women which took me on exciting trips to new cultures and languages. My adventures were pain propelled neuroses which gave a painkilling effect that normally lasted for up to 3 years at a time. By showing respect and sympathy to the world, I can still positively remember those years after I re-lived my dramatic birth-trauma and no longer need those intoxications to repress my stigma. For a considerable time, my neuroses-propelled actions were my option to survive, be productive and create jobs for others. These neuroses that once were my life-belts are now dissolved - without function. However they are part of my memory and past, and a rich experience I’m happy to have been part of.

Now a veteran of Primal Therapy, I lived by coincidence, on Veterans Avenue in Beverly Hills, when I went to Primal Therapy 1978/79....

Jan Johnsson

Thursday, February 14, 2013

It Takes Two To Tango...

    (Click to access!)

My comment:

It Takes Two To Tango... do the dance of love!

My first half of my life I used to suffer from and to further repress, my birth trauma. The other second half of my life I have been trying to relive my imprinted pain. Eventually, after repeatedly having made two steps forward and one backward (or vice versa), I have felt so much that my life has changed. My gates occasionally still may leak memories from my nasty entrance into this world. However, after 4 decades “lying back and feeling the stab of anxiety” I need to fill my life with what I have been missing during half a century. This need is especially urgent since my young daughter by one, for both of us, stimulating childhood, is growing into her own life, coordinating her own “tangos”.

In Primal Therapy, I tangoed with Dr. Janov, who guided me into “Evolution in Reverse” to relive my pain. I assimilated the process that my organism, and time, required to correct / cure / heal all the neurotic reactions that ruled and dominated my life pattern. Eventually, my feeling brain now can tango with my intellectual brain and my lower imprints / feelings can join their other half in the nervous system to form an integrated unified circuit.

Two very old memories / imprints have a determining influence on the life I now am building with sober enthusiasm. First, the fact that my brain (though not fully developed) received positive imprints and memories of vital importance from my dramatic and complicated birth process has been vital. I survived and had intuitively learned to survive. Second, I had memories from adolescence, of a contemporary girl, which affected me for life. So after 53 years I decided to re-establish a contact to the girl, I had admired respectfully as a restless teenager. A deterministic (= “the philosophical doctrine that every human event, act, decision is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs”) decision without precedent in either her or my life. During our first meeting over Skype, we were completely obsessed with trying to compress 53 years of history into a two hour call. 

We thought maybe it was a one-off, but it has remained so every day for more than a year. It is certainly a good background to have relived a lot of repressed pain, having tried many aspects of life, being old and careful with the limited time that remains of our lives. Then needs to act and pretend turn insignificantly. Surprise, all the need of love, attention and care that a newborn baby needs is still there. Although we have hold a PhD in being repressed, we have retained our original highly sensitive reactions.  Maybe our nervous systems react with a delay of a few tenths of a second... This healthy life only has one major drawback. Time flies.

May I suggest “Life before Birth” is followed by “Life after Primal Retirement”?

Jan Johnsson

Jan: That is a book You need to write; remember how old I am? art

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A healthy evolution in harmony with a natural life

My comment:

A healthy evolution in harmony with a natural life.

It has taken me a long time fully to understand the Primal Principle. My trauma, which sometimes triggered epilepsy, meant an ever-present pain, quick to leak anxiety and fits. This was no good starting position if I wanted a career that was based on acquisition of theoretical knowledge. Instead my brain, chemically lobotomized from pain, developed an orgy of neurotic needs that propelled my continuos changes and my international adaption to new cultures. My childhood pals, with more subtle forms of suppressed pain, remained locally based, occupied in digging for knowledge building theoretical models.

Evolution in Reverse, I had to learn in several stages. At first, I dared, repeatedly to feel / relive the pain, that evolution had repressed in order for me to survive / endure my birth trauma and its consequences. Those experiences / primals, during a number of years, “normalized” my life pattern. I traded my constant neurotic changes for a new capacity that consisted of a fascinating remembrance of the dynamic process which I mentally had assimilated from Art’s treatment.

A calmer lifestyle that allowed intellectual (!) exercises and learning replaced my original ADD-tendencies. Now I also had, in addition to the ability, wordlessly, to feel my pain, ability to acquire knowledge to understand and express how my pain propelled life pattern had developed. Pain and anxiety disappeared eventually and neuroses, which were no longer needed, dissolved.

My picture of evolution has for several years been unclear. It has sometimes been great and overwhelming, like my childhoods father, which stressed me to overreact. On other occasions, I have found it easy to ignore evolution, as I did with the image of my self. The more peace I have with myself, and the more successfully I am able to see the connections in my overall life patterns, the more I realize that we are all part of the evolutionary process. Evolution can protect us, it can cure us, and it can destroy us if we ignore it.

Jan Johnsson

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Difficulty of Translating Principles into Practical Applications. 2.

The Difficulty of Translating Principles into Practical Applications. 2.

It is a privilege to take part of and understand what overwhelming physical and emotional pain eventually leads to, when it has worked, repressed long enough, in our organisms. This experience, however, is not only positive. There is an element of powerlessness. Why?  Because so incredible many, (60 million Americans only in mental illness sector according to PhRMA), suffer from the effects you are describing. The majority of these cases can only expect a temporary help to mask their symptoms. The latter fact is causing my mixed feelings of hope and despair. I have, painfully experienced the degrading and serious aspect of how repressed pain developed, and I have, successfully and liberatingly, been through, with PT’s help to peel off my repressive feelings back in time. So I know there is a cure.

To change the current treatment methodology is a practically complicated process. The predominant method, which represents the current treatment paradigm, continues the evolutionary repression method of pain being too overwhelming (for at fetus or a baby), at a given moment, to be assimilated. The current treatment paradigm is certainly not perfect, but it is interwoven with the economic /political / value system we all depend on, which still gives priority to short-term solutions that are reasonable controllable / steerable, and which we can conclude that there is if not sympathy, so still majority for within our society.

Hopefully, it is a matter of time before the bubble we have built up around a neurotically functioning society starts to waver. The example of the 60 million Americans who depend on psychophfarmaceuticals shows how pitiful our old treatment paradigm is and how needed a new one is. Most of the future treatment paradigm, to which The Primal Principals belongs, already exists. However, the individual inhibitions / repressions we experience, we share with our closest circles i.e. family, relatives, friends, organizations, societies etc. We find the major reason, why many patients fail, in the environment they depend on. They meet their Waterloo in their closest circles and cannot make changes and so they take the “easy” way out and continue their neurotic game with all its negative consequences. We must together dissolve our repressions in a coordinated way to function and be free.

Without conducting therapy, and only by talking about my experiences of re-lived pain / feelings, which have gone further and further back in my life and demystified my neurotic life patterns and my epilepsy, I have experienced how 4-5 friends spontaneously have become more open and have started to dissolve repressed feelings. They have got and transmitted a deeper vision of themselves. A common experience / discovery has been the deep prejudices that exist in our respective circles (representing a broad spectrum of contemporary society) regarding problems of mental and emotional character.  Was this not, after all, a necessary evil and a price we had to pay? The more we have become comfortable with talking about feelings, the convinced we become that quality of life in all contexts is reduced by all the hanky-panky and by the prevailing prejudices.

History can teach us a lot. Man realized early on that it was hard to pull single individuals out of their environment so that they would be able to absorb new knowledge, adopt a new attitude and create new habits. They therefor developed a principle to form groups, cells and small congregations where the members gave each other mutual support and security when they adopted new ideas that deviated from what had been common practice. The method has been successful (and often abused) in all human activity and has been effective in religious, political, economic and educational contexts. As well Freud as Darwin understood spreading their revolutionary new paradigms by forming cells of Freudians and Darwinists. 

Who will be the first to establish, free unbound circles for spreading the importance of the natural process (including “Life Before Birth”) that is necessary for all people to have a more just emotional start in life? So that future generations may be able to solve and prioritize that mental pain is derived and cured when it occurs. When more people have assimilated the required knowledge, we hope that all types of harmful effects that many fetuses and toddlers are exposed to by ignorance and neglect, historically, will be regarded as an immunized “mental virus” that we exposed to each other by ignorance.

Jan Johnsson