Wednesday, March 19, 2014

To Re-live / Cure Pain - An Experience Leading To Joy

Primal Therapy, especially applying the Primal Principle / Evolution in Reverse, was something I intuitively felt would become a life mission. This journey came to mean that I was able to re-live my pain from my birth-trauma (caused by my mothers’s religious bible fidelity) and eventually demystify my epilepsy. Over 40, years, to find the cause of my symptoms has meant a radical change in my life patterns, my feelings and my relationship to the outside world.

My insane birth trauma and its epileptic consequences have forced and propelled an undivided commitment. With innate talent, a skilled neurologist and chemical lobotomy, I bought time and self confidence until I had access to resources and remedies. The help I found through natural therapies, established by ingenious personalities. Art Janov, who was the most important, became my guide and lifeline. With the help of his innovation, The Primal Principle, I could find and re-live my repressed pain. All this happened over many years and in a slow pace and simultaneously I learned to interpret the impact of the reality distorting, however, necessary neuroses (mental “prostheses”) to pass a short-term survival.

Neuroses were a short term blessing, which I used for many years. Then, in reality, I lived, due to my repressed birth trauma as a handicapped. My Tegretol and neurosis were my light “prosthesis”, without which I had not been able to make my way. I learned from Alice Miller about the worst kind of “prosthesis” in connection with her analyzes of the educational methods filled with moral “prosthesis” which made possible, among other things, the Holocaust. A third line, neocortex “prosthesis” replaced and killed, through early, conditional, physical and mental upbringing, the healthy child’s free will and ability to feel. A systematically imprinted obedience instinct was a prerequisite for many, in and outside the death camps, to carry out their heinous tasks, when being ordered by leaders who had been exposed to similar neocortex humiliation as children.

I grew up in a home with parents, who, in adulthood, had established, 3rd line, religious “prosthesis” in their neocortex. Since their religiosity had not followed them from childhood, but had been established at a later stage, they were apparently not entirely comfortable in their “prosthesis”. This conclusion I draw from that they, with the exception of the traumatic biblical birth advice my mother applied on me, later never used any form of coercion against me or my siblings to share their dependence on these religious “prosthesis”. With all its emotional shortcomings, our upbringing was quite free and lax, and we were allowed to, relatively freely, criticize and choose our paths.

The past month, I have, a few times, written about my disappointment when I have met indifference and incomprehension after my therapeutic involvement. The lack of interest has been general and include my closest circles. The pathologic jealousy and inability to rejoice in others’ success, which I read about in Axel Sandemose’s “The Law of Jante”, affects me when I expect others to pay attention to the vitality in which my cure has resulted. My insight about the indifference in the world, becomes more understandable when, upon reflection, I realize that my own ability spontaneously to appreciate others’ successes, is equally limited. When people has approached me with their delight or concern, I have often had “other fishes to fry”.

Despite “The Law of Jante”, it is important to emphasize that no one around me, during all these years, criticized me for my therapeutic involvement, and it has certainly not meant that my life has been boring or painful. My epileptic journey, in all its demanding and painful transitions, has been stimulated by an inner discovery pleasure that ended in a miraculous demystification. Circumstances have often allowed me to live a full life, seasoned by many typical pleasures of the neurotic world. Without having been born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I have lived a privileged life that has become more realistic the more I have re-lived my repressed pain / birth trauma. The meaning of my existence has, furthermore, multiplied the last 20 years, in that I have had the joy of seeing a life-affirming daughter growing up.

I am glad to confirm that The Primal Principle certainly, has helped me to re-shape my own destiny and to understand and see the world with new eyes!

Jan Johnsson

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dreams, third line (prefrontal cortex) and feelings.

A brilliant author, Malcolm Gladwell, has in his book, “Outliers”, written about
entrepreneurs / inventors, musicians and other implementers of complex specialities. He describes how they by a mix of skill, chance and historical favourable circumstances have been given the opportunity to practice their speciality during a very large number of hours before their breakthrough. He shows convincingly that 10.000 hours of practice is a critical limit for those who have had the capacity and luck to combine their talents with offered opportunities. His examples include some of the great classical composers Mozart and Beethoven, Beatles, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Tiger Woods etc..

Inspired by Gladwell’s 10.000-hour theory, I made a simple estimate of my own life in the realm between the third line / cortex and my feelings during my trip to demystify my epilepsy and my neuroses. Even if I make a significant assessment of how I spent the treatment time of my epileptic journey, I’m, with ease, achieving 10.000 hours since I, actively, begun my epileptic journey at the Primal Institute, March 1978. Hours, which I have dedicated to emotions, pain (mental and physical), fits, hallucinations, primals and thoughts. 

First my experiences - due to the link between emotion and neocortex - were very fragmented, confusing and uncertain. My, over many years, constantly repeated re-living of my birth trauma has, gradually, become so automated and natural that they have made a deep impression on my dreams, my subconscious, my intuition and my neocortex. Nowadays, it happens, not infrequently, that I, during sleep / dream, bring up a feeling I had, in some connection, the day before. 

A symbolic situation unfolds and brings up a feeling, for example, of fear, which I quickly decide to experience (in the dream). I feel a stab of anxiety that, often, ends in a fit / birth primal in the dream, and when I wake up, I know what it was, during the day, that triggered my repressed emotions. My epileptic stigma / birth trauma influenced so much of my life that I, in order to survive, developed, often skilfully, a variety of neuroses that grew into my life pattern. The neuroses (non-real needs) that are left can still influence my actions, alerting communication between my third line, my prefrontal cortex and my emotions. If I neglect them during the day, the dream and the emotions take care of them at night and my prefrontal cortex helps me to translate (put words on). The translation in my dreams and in my waking state express themselves in an increasingly similar way.

I have on various occasions expressed my disappointment that I met compact indifference and incomprehension, even from my closest circles, because of my therapeutic involvement and because of the cure of my pain and my new vitality. This I have felt as a sorrow and disappointment equal to the loneliness I had to live with as a child. However, during my journey, I have not been completely lonely. My guide, Art Janov, I met occasionally at retreats around Europe, or I could always rely on getting a letter or email from him, by return mail, when I approached him. The world’s disinterest and lack of understanding may even have been an advantage and a prerequisite for my dedication...

Art Janov, my neocortex and my feelings have not let me down, and I have trusted them!

Jan Johnsson

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


End of my futile attempts, the intellectual way, in speech and writing, to advise on how to thaw and / or understand frozen emotions.

Sometimes we are lucky enough to know that certain things do not work; Cognitivists, for example, never find the low brain-level imprints. 60 million Americans guided by medical and psychological recipe writers, get their symptoms treated with psychotropic drugs, without achieving a long term cure. The beaming happiness demonstrated by many Oscar and Grammy award winners has not cured their early childhood traumas as the cheering crowds hope and imagine until drug abuse and suicide are tragic facts.

I have read books and reflections of Art Janov, Ida Rolf and Alice Miller during 40 years, and I had the good fortune, as one of lucky few, by a combination of fortunate circumstances, to have been touched by Art Janov’s magical wand. The Janov connection meant the making of a journey back into my low brain-level imprints. For me, it was a complicated cruise into the wind / unknown that eventually led to a laborious demystification of my epilepsy and my neurosis. The epilepsy, however, a heavy stigma, was at the same time, in my specific case, a rewarding and significant trauma to process. During the final steps of the journey, I have, in my lucid moments, learned to be quite perceptive to understand my own internal physical and mental conditions, and to some extent also to understand others’s.

It has been astonishing and disappointing to me, after several decades of successful struggle against my repressed birth trauma that I have been surrounded by a compact silence and lack of interest. That goes for everyone around me, including my closest family and circle of friends. With the exception of a handful of insightful relationships, no one has dared or been able to discuss my remarkable improvements, which I’m describing in detail in my book. 

Previously, in relation to my surroundings, I was living in an unsustainable negative bubble inflated by my epileptic symptoms. Now, I have punctured my stigmatic epileptic bubble and live in a positive transparent reality created by the fact that I found my key low-level brain imprints. The question is whether this transparency, over time, can create positive needs among the many living in a bubble inflated by repressed childhood traumas.

Until recently, I have been convinced - inspired by Art Janov - that my repeated stories from my epileptic journey might affect the public’s overall approach. However, as I re-live more and more of my birth trauma, my neurotic force, that propelled my blogging campaigns, has dissolved. I accept better the grief that only very few understand my good fortune of having been virtually cured from my birth trauma. The comfort of this sadness is that I no longer feel a neurotic urge to convince those who not, by their own will, ask for my help.

40 years ago Alice Miller wrote: “Regarding unconscious behavior, I do not believe in using recipes and advice as aids. I do not see it as my duty to appeal to parents to treat their children differently. Instead, I want to try to clarify contexts, provide metaphorical emotional information related to the child within the adult. As long as this little child, within the adult, does not become aware of what happened to it, its emotional life is frozen, and its responsiveness to childhood denials are weakened. It leads nowhere with appeals to love, solidarity and compassion if this important prerequisite for humane feeling and understanding is missing.

For professional psychologists, this fact is of special importance. Without empathy, they cannot help patients with their expertise, no matter how much time they spend on them. Parents are equally unable to understand their children, even if they are well trained and have plenty of time for the kids if they are emotional alien to their own childhood sufferings.” 

Experiences and perceptions about me and a few close friends, in recent years, have convincingly confirmed the stunning regularities of Alice Miller’s statement. Evolution represses unbearable pain / traumas suffered by a child before, during and just after birth. These imprints are not reached by intellectual talk. The pain must be found and re-lived on the same level as the low-level brain imprints.

It has been a combination of luck and determinism that I have been able to establish a sufficient number of favorable circumstances and, guided over 40 years by the same outlier of a genius, Art Janov, I have made the journey through my birth traumas and re-lived the pain that for decades distorted my worldview. However, it is at the same time a hopeless fact that so very many people do not seem to be aware of this alternative route and / or not having the ability and resources to create the factors that will allow them to transform their lives.

Jan Johnsson