Tuesday, December 1, 2015

DEMIAN Of Hermann Hesse Alias Emil Sinclair.

DEMIAN of Hermann Hesse alias Emil Sinclair.

While Dr. Janov has lately reflected on his “war life” and on the psychological motives of the terrorists who on a daily basis harasses the Middle East and who recently paralyzed an unprepared but certainly not surprised Paris, I have, as a complement to his Reflections read Demian, written by the Nobel Prize winner, in 1946, Hermann Hesse. (He wrote the book, under the pseudonym, Emil Sinclair,  incidentally after WW1, when he had been in psychotherapy with his friend Carl Jung.) The novel invites the interpretation of my life in two, at least, development stages. The first stage extends from early childhood up until My Sturm und Drang / youth turmoil ended with that I, at 20, developed epilepsy. The second stage began when I read The Primal Scream, 1974, and was sucked into the Janov revolt against the, still, prevailing psychotherapeutic cognitive paradigm. Finally, I will enclose a passage from the novel Demian, which supports Janov’s analysis of the violence which stems from our, and especially from terrorists’, repressed pain.

Demian - Stage No. 1:

Like Sinclair, I came from a religious home with a surrounding world that was different. In this way, I got early the taste for being "bilingual" / split. I learned to live in a religious family while managing my "secret" secular values and ideals. To fall asleep with mothers prayers grinding in the ears and on the morning after willingly adapt to my friends' values and spice my language with blasphemous or obscene language. Because my relationship with my father was emotionally lousy and limited to his practical approach to diligence and work ethic, so I got myself in my early teens talented and respected substitutes / role models. Among them was my first “Demian”. He was named Torsten Tegner a legendary journalist and newspaper owner. He answered my letters and sent me his dedicated memoir books. His light still shines.

The prize, which I paid as a rebel, was loneliness and suffering. A pain that I acted out by constantly talking, analyzing, fantasizing and daydreaming about how my emotions were satisfied. During sleep, I had overwhelming nightmares in which I fell and lost balance. My life until the 20s was an emotional turmoil at a high cost. (“It was no way to be!” as Art Janov says.) Although I do not wish someone the same painful experience I would not want to be without it. As Sinclair puts it: "A bird fighting its way out of the egg, and the egg was the world, and the world had to fall into pieces." "I looked for Abraxas the uniting of godly and devilish elements”.

Demian - Stage No. 2:

After I read The Primal Scream, Arthur Janov became my Demian and inner guide. He opened up a new world. He furthermore stated that it largely existed within me. (“The memory remains in order to be experienced and liberated. We have the mechanism/organism for our own liberation inside us”.) I was convinced that, if I could release it, I could get free from my epilepsy. From that time, I had a double agenda and in everything I did, there was an LA-stay included / programmed.

Nothing revolutionizing happened during my 2 years in Primal Therapy. At least not on the surface. On the contrary, I was disappointed with the atmosphere that surrounded The Primal Institute. There was an aura among therapists and patients, which reminded me of the religious nonconformism that I grew up with and which I soon become allergic to. However, since I had paid big money I kept in touch but went on the backburner. My idealized picture of Arthur Janov was never disturbed because I, during these years, only saw him a few times at group meetings. Despite my limited attendance at the Primal Institute, the ideas of re-living repressed pain, which Art Janov sown in my mind,  grew ever stronger.

During my LA-years it was Vivian Janov who acted “Demians mother”. She had impressed me already by my strange impromptu interview (during a honeymoon trip to California in 1977) and would, moreover, later also help me with contacts in Boulder, Col., which would have important implications for how my therapy developed. The name, in Boulder, I was given by Vivan led to that I got my first contact with Ida Rolf and her Structural Integration. This experience would dramatically alter my therapeutic worldview in which The Primal Principle plays the same psychological role as gravity does in physics. Art Janov proceeded as my distant guide and he has, then and later, never forbidden that I skipped shafts, although he may have grumbled. Curiously, he never showed interest in my holistic experiments / successes. Probably he had too much unrelived pain to free himself from, thus he continued his life long quest, especially in patients, thereby maybe mirroring a kind of “authority” he inherited, while growing up, from insensitive parents. That reminds me of striking similarities to Alice Millers attitude.

The fact that Art Janov as the inventor of The Primal Principle was a true non-conformist in the psychotherapeutic world, did of course my own position being an outlier, not only to the cognitiv paradigm but also to The Primal Inventor, at times uncertain. Time, however, has so far given me the right, at least about my own fate. My holistic therapy options do not change the fact that with Art Janov, as my “Demian”, it's been an amazing journey. This journey has been more important than my destination.  

Passage from the novel Demian:

It was nearly winter by the time I was sent to the front.

In the beginning, despite the sensations aroused by the constant gunfire, I was disappointed in everything. Earlier I had thought a lot about why it was so extremely unusual for a person to be able to live for an ideal. Now I saw that many people, all in fact, are capabel of dying for an ideal. Only, it mustn’t be a personal, freely chosen ideal, but one held in common and taken over from other people.

But as time went by, I saw that I had underestimated people. Even though military service and their shared danger made them so much alike, nethertheless I saw many, the living and the dying, approach the acceptance of destiny in a splendid manner. Not only while attacking, but all the time, many of them, very many, had that steady, distant, almost obsessed gaze that is not directed at goals but indicates complete surrender to the prodigious. No matter what they chose to believe and think - they were ready, they were useful, the future could be formed from them. And no matter how inflexebly the world was clamoring for war and heroism, honor and other outmoded ideals, no matter how remote and unlikely every voice that apparently spoke up for humanity sounded, all of that was merely superficial, just as the question of the external and political aims of the war remained superficial. 

Deep down, something was evolving. Something like a new humanity. Because I could see many people, and a number of them died alongside me, who had gained the emotional insight that hatred and rage, killing and destroying, were not linked to the specific objects of that rage. No, the objects, just like the aims, were completely accidental. Those primal feelings, even the wildest of them, weren’t directed against the enemy; their bloody results were merely an outward materialization of peoples inner life, the split within their souls, which desired rage and kill, destroy and die, so that they could be reborn. A gigantic bird was fighting its way out of the egg, and the egg was the world, and the world had to fall to pieces.”

Jan Johnsson

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

To Be Able To Cure Or Not To Be Able To Cure, That Is A Primal Question.

Janov's Reflections on the Human Condition

October 28, I wrote to Art Janov:

I wonder if you still have the film French television made 25-30 years ago, and if I might buy a copy of that recording?  The film shows how, especially on my forehead, lots of blue-black bruises reappeard.
In tens of bloggs I have described how I relived my birthtrauma and the subsequent and fabolous aftereffects, which not only demystified my epilepsy but cured me and profoundly changed my feelings and my behaviour as my neuroses and blockages dissolved (no longer were needed). (Tens of thousands have read my blogs and especially the russians are intreseted in them.)
To describe my journey in a short video may be intresting but it will never give a true and complete picture. I ow myself, you and The Primal Principle a re-writing of my book "Evolution in Reverse / How I demystified my Epilepsy".

October 28, Art Janov wrote:

I think it is great.  Are you writing the book now?  Did you indeed cure the epilepsy? art

October 28, I answered:


If any of your patiens ever got long-term cured, I was one of them!

Since cured has important components of time, evolution (in reverse!) and duration I will add the following to make clear what I mean when I say that I am cured:

During 35 years, since January 1980, I have had primals. If these primals, gradually, little by little, reliving a complex longlasting and horrific trauma in the birth channel had not happened (over 30 years) they had turned into grand mal and petit mal seizures. (During the 80ies you participated in at least 2 of my dramatic primals, one of which, with bruises reappearing all over my forhead, were filmed by French television).

After having decided to drop my career  in the mid 90ies I quit all medications (Tegretol/Carbamazepine). I spent 2 satanical but revolutionary years when I “entered” my epilepsy and found myself in the borderland between grandmal seizures and primals. That meant eventually less seizures and more primals. Finally primals became a habit and my few seizures had now the character of petit mal seizures. I could not only “lay back and feel the stab of anxiety” and go into a primal when I was awake, but I could also have dramatic dreams when I could decide to go into a primal. During such a primal I became awake, or rather there was, during the primal, no difference between dream and wakefulness. Over the last 4-5 years I have only in few occasions had to go into a primal. That has happened, for example, when a special, surpricing and dramatic event has brought up a repressed memory.

If my tensions and anxiety were channeled into primals there were no need for epileptic seizures. During the last 20 years my lifepattern has changed and my earlier neurotic drive faded away as I relived my imprint/pain and I stopped working myself into impossible situations. I could suddenly feel that I had limits and needed to rest and relax and allow myself to be lazy. It seems that my epilepsy was an evolutionary quick way to save my brain and life. My former employers considered me to be without inhibitions. I went on fighting until I fell (read: got epilepsy).

Yes Art, I am cured from epilepsy. It has meant reliving pain which has lead to a modified lifepattern; less struggling, more feelings. I have less urge to do the impossible. My main motivations to put it all together over 35 years are easily identifiable: To cure myself, The Primal Principle, your charisma and your unhesitating conviction, my daughter Isabel and my childhood love Eva.

Compared to many patients I have been blessed by an identifiable problem. I come from an economically and socially priotitized part of the world. I have been able to function and develop an exciting career. Although my judgement has been neurotically driven, I’ve been able to make good and important decisions. I have had the crucial support of resource-rich, knowledeable and sympathetic people (including yourself). Last but not least, I had two parents who finally realized and admitted their wrongdoing.

Even though I have cured my variant of epilepsy, it is a seemingly hopeless task to transfer my experience to other epileptics.

Your confident

October 28, Art Janov wrote:


Janov's Reflections on the Human Condition:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Evolution Will Keep CBT Only As Long As It Is Needed

Evolution Will Keep CBT Only As Long As It Is Needed

Why is Art constantly ranting about CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and other “half-therapies”. Why! What is the deep lying reason? He is right (and I’m one evidence of that his Primal Principal is working).  However, he won’t get credentials easier for that reason due to missing scientific papers, which none has seen so far. The most important thing is that the holistic approach to the Primal Therapy must cover both psychological, physical and social complications/repressions in a free interdisciplinary mix.

Abraham Maslow, who also was a genius who was ahead of his time, tried, for decades, to justify dynamic psychotherapy and self-discovery. “ If we have a need for vitamin B12, psychotherapists can say, that we have a need to be loved or a need for safety.” He was, however, “cool” and knew that blind love for one’s subject leads to subjective conclusions and a missed divergent truth. “In the effort to achieve “scientific,” uninvolved, don’t-care objectivity, the anthropologist, for instance, may buy the whole package that he mistakenly ties to this kind of objectivity. He may become scientistic rather than scientific, may feel it necessary to drown his human feelings for the people he studies, may quantify whether necessary or not, and may wind up with accurate details and a false whole”.

Maslow referred to common phrasings as “science can tell us nothing about why, only about how”. “Science is not an ideology or an ethic or a value system; it cannot help us to choose between good and evil.” “The unavoidable implication is, then, that science is only an instrument, only a technology, to be used equally by either good men or villains.” 

I don’t know which buttons Art is pressing in my feelings. It hurts me when he is using/pleading/referring to his scientific proofs as a weapon against “half-therapies”. The realization of the Primal Principle that correctly, individually, applied may cure childhood traumas and resolve neuroses does not work in general. Evolutionary survival mechanisms are not only psychologically strong, they also form, together with physical and social factors a complex pattern of dead ends.

Within the 200.000 shrinks, Art (we) are usually ranting against, there are a number of bright people. Louis Cozolino, well known to Art and his pals, has written a book “The Making of a Therapist”. The book is being read by current and future therapists among wich several certainly CBT-related (and I hope Primal Therapy-related). A wonderful book showing the imperative of a “skinless” sensitivity both towards himself, as a therapist, as against his patient. The book fits my time with the Primal Principle and the way I learned to see, interpret and understand myself in my social interactions. I truly hope it will be a “must-read” at Duke University, Duke Integrative Medicine, in their Leadership Program in Integrative Healthcare.

There is now in my life, a woman, Eva, who worked as a researcher, leader and pedagogue in a well-recognized university. As the successor to her father and grandfather, she has led, lived and breathed research, in search for the truth. During their combined 100 years of research, they have in their environment, probably, seen more talents come on, develop and flourish to Nobel Prize candidates and laureates than there are patients who can stand up and say that they have been cured by PT.

Despite her compact research background, my friend Eva has become completely convinced about the possibilities of the Primal Principle/Evolution in Reverse. She knew me already when I was a charming (her words), headstrong teenager. Our paths parted among other things due to the consequences of my epilepsy. We did not see each other for 53 years, though, we had another in mind. As a result of our re-established emotional ties, due to my book about my epileptic journey and due to Art Janov’s Reflections, her approach to the mechanical truths of Science have been revised.

Eva has, over four years, using interdisciplinary methods, in a sensational way regained normal vital signs, throwing her diabetes and goiter medications and lost 30 pounds. She is very fond of Art Janov, possibly more than I.

You shouldn’t incriminate/nag at cognitive therapists, Art! Evolution will only keep them as long as they are needed!

Jan Johnsson

Friday, May 1, 2015

A World of Ongoing Evolution!

A World of Ongoing Evolution!

The World is discovering that the treatment of the symptoms is not enough. The monopoly of the traditional medicine has its days numbered. In the US, alone, Healthcare costs more than 1 trillion annually! The need for a medicine, which asks WHY? and is looking for the cause of  illness, will develop.  Holistic approaches to understanding the whole person have now come to a point, from which, for example, Dr. A. Janov has developed methods, already, for decades. 

Some large universities (including Duke University) have recently added Integrative Medicine to their programs. It is no longer a question if we get a cause-treating instead of symptom treating Healthcare, it is instead when it might happen. Healthcare costs have already blasted the limits of the possible and the current dissatisfaction among ordinary people is killing. Duke University has, in its faculty, chosen individuals with high experience and wisdom, which gives hope for a relatively fast breakthrough, a paradigm shift.

I am experimentally a friend of Integrative Medicine and think Duke University’s effort is a given. At the same time, I know, like an old fox from business, that Duke University do not make such extensive and costly investments without thorough market research. They have ascertained that businesses, individuals, and government/politicians all have come with positive signals. The recorded observations have, probably, demonstrated the need for a new revolutionary philosophy.

Duke University describes this philosophy as follows:

Our Philosophy

Informed Mindfulness 

We believe that good leadership begins from within and is based on:

  • The continued deepening of mindful awareness
  • The development of values, especially integrity, authenticity, compassion, courage, empathy, humility, and passion
  • A commitment to increasing knowledge, skills, and wisdom in self and others.  This concept, which we call “Informed Mindfulness,” connects mindful self-      awareness and self-regulation with educated decision-making. The mindful leader   is aware, non-judgmentally, of what is occurring in the present moment and understands that his or her response is a choice. With informed mindfulness, as situations arise and decision points are faced, that same person is able to see the situation clearly and place what is happening in its larger context and, having well-defined values and being sufficiently educated, make an informed choice within that moment.

Additionally, a good integrative leader also understands and fully resonates with the principles of Integrative Healthcare and is committed to the transformation of our healthcare system.”

If I were not, 75 and, a lazy retiree, I would not hesitate to enroll myself into the Leadership Program in Integrative Medicine. Then I would have the best of two worlds; practical experience from The Primal Principle /Evolution in Reverse guided by the innovator as well as a degree in Integrative Leadership. Not to forget my 30 years of experience as a change consultant in Europe and partly the US.

To whom it may concern, look at:

As we have found out, it will, always, be a question whether our goals are healthy or unhealthy, either neurotically defense-motivated or healthily growth-motivated. Integrated Healthcare can be a journey to many people’s self-actualization, but it can also be a neurotic self-defense.

Jan Johnsson

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Why I Write and Reflect.

Why I Write and Reflect.

I started writing;

To develop/improve my ability to put into words/describe/narrate an experimentally, subjectively, perceived primal experience. The writing has mainly dealt with how I have re-lived imprinted pain from a deliberately caused, birth trauma.

In order to maintain verbal contact with my guide and friend, Art Janov, in the Primal Principle.

To document / distribute my experiences / opinions to those who may be interested in it. They would thus get inspired by following, for instance, The Primal Principle, to eventually experience a relief from their inner filter caused by repressed pain. That is dissolving the neurosis that, too often, distort our true needs.

Because, in pace with re-living pain and dissolving neuroses, my writing led to a growing search for complementary knowledge / truth from research and other individual perceived practical experiences.

And I could not stop when I, acting as a guide in a personal relationship with an experienced and respected female researcher and naturalist, experienced her dramatic improvement (cure). The cure evolved with the help of applying holistic experiences from The Primal Principle, Rolfing, nutrition, and not least by my providing advice.

Trivialization and denial of individual dynamic psychotherapy experiences.
For almost 40 years, my experience of re-lived pain and dissolved neuroses never had anyone, in my environment interested in what so obviously has changed me. (That including my attending neurologist in 6 advanced industrial countries!) All respectfully kept silent (no open criticism) and continued to repress their apparent anxiety. (Art Janov has incidentally, in a Reflection, testified that he too has never been approached by a psychologist in psychotherapy, who wished to share his experiences.)

How can we explain this trivialization or denial of experimental, changing experiences? The closest I have come to an explanation is that the traditional, deeply security based, opinion among researchers and analysts  rests upon the assumption that one studies classes, groups or things, not single things. This inhibition is a view that, slowly, is becoming confirmed within the classical impersonal, similarity-seeking science. The main business of classical science is generalization, abstracting what is common to all. The authors, of orthodox scientific textbooks of physics and chemistry, study classes of things, or interchangeable objects. Today there is almost no space to accept the individual, holistically perceived experiences that could lead to more knowledge of the human person.

However, it is not only a question of extending the classical impersonal science to include individual human-oriented science. A complicating factor is whether the researcher’s ambition is healthy or unhealthy, either neurotically defense-motivated or healthily growth-motivated. Science can be a journey to full self-actualization, but it can also be a neurotic defence.

As an example of my search for complementary skills, I want to present extracts from an article in SCIENCE of March 20, 2015, “Metabolic Control of Epilepsy”, by Helen E Scharfman:

It has been assumed that anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drugs, now called antiseizure drugs (ADSs), act on the underpinnings of nerve cell firing. However, as epilepsy research has matured, our understanding of ASDs has also. A report of this issue exemplifies this trend. The study raises a surprising question: Should the focal point of ASD development actually be neurons? 

There is now considerable evidence that inexcitable elements of the central nervous system, such as astrocytes, the vasculature, and the immune system, play a far greater role than first thought. The observations point to epilepsy as a disease of energy metabolism rather than neuronal discharge, a strong shift in the neurocentric view of epilepsy. Epilepsy might be considered a type of diabetes, as has been suggested for Alzheimer’s disease, sometimes named “type 3” diabetes. In epilepsy, lowering circulating glucose concentration could be therapeutic.

For me, who have combined The Primal Principle with Rolfing, homeopathy and nutritional experiments, the new research findings feel familiar. When I lived in Beverly Hills, LA, 1978/79, I bought and read homeopathic books, which regarded epilepsy as a type of diabetes. Sometimes, if not often, evolution requires enough lead time in order to get a breakthrough.

Jan Johnsson

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Small Therapy With A Great Revolutionary Idea.

A Small Therapy With A Great Revolutionary Idea.

Dr. Janov developed the Primal Therapy, and he explained, through books and articles, its dynamics. He demonstrated our evolutionary, lifesaving ability to repress early (before, during and shortly after the birth process) unbearable pain. The pain affects the reptilian brain and the body and is overloading the limbic system and creates a lifelong wear on our mind and organs. Our vital signs are distorted as is the communication between the triune brain when the neocortex gradually develop. Janov guided his patients, to re-live repressed pain (following the Primal Principle / Evolution in Reverse), and showed possibilities to regain full mental health and avoid premature death.

To a greater extent than the actual therapy, the principle of Evolution in Reverse has meant a new meaning of my life. The Primal Principle embodied by Dr. Janov became the guide and motivation wich governed my decisions. During the last 40 years, I have made an epileptic journey, which during its processes has meant a holistic education in Evolution, genetics, and molecular biology. My journey has been bumpy. It consisted of endless practical experiments and a constant search for supportive facts in fiction and  scientific literature. My ability to assimilate / understand the theory rose as I re-lived pain and changed my lifestyle as the neuroses dissolved. Gradually, I experienced myself, my history and those around me like an ongoing, mutual / reciprocal evolutionary process over billions of years.

The trust / hope for a solution which my traumatic birthing, after all, imprinted into my organism, made me a self-starter. Theories that had no roots in my experiences, I skeptically filtered out. I have intuitively been oriented towards a holistic experimenting with psychotherapy (PT), physical therapy (Rolfing, etc.), nutritional knowledge, self-actualisation (Maslow), family relations (Alice Miller), etc.. With and without these experiences I have had the good fortune to have experienced a very diverse and qualified career in some nationally and internationally renowned companies.

I have always had an ambiguous feeling toward Primal Therapy. The Principle I believe steadfastly in, but the applied treatment I see as too narrow and restricted. With more counseling, complementary therapies and supplements of more talented employees with background and experience from “nonneurotic” / healthy environments, PT might well have become the Apple of Psycho Therapy. 
My feelings towards Art Janov and PT have a previous parallel in my life. My father, a straight, talented and honorable man became during my childhood too depressed and pain-imprisoned for us to develop a positive relationship. With my mother’s emotional support, I searched my way. “Through a Glass Darkly” / as in a mirror, Art Janov, and my father, at crucial moments in my life have been my role models. I criticize them happily, but I love both.

Art says, in his latest Reflection, that PT do not advise their patients how to live, if to get married or divorced. 1982 Vivian Janov advised me how I should act to tackle a neurotic relationship / marriage. The solution was painful, what seemed like a quick fix took years to get through. However, the pain healed, neuroses dissolved and, today, I thank Vivian for her courage to open my eyes and give me advice.

Evolution in Reverse means, as far as is possible, to re-live repressed pain. That requirement, I can verify. PT today gives the impression of being a “light” version of the previously applicable. The consequences of this, which I do not belittle, had hardly helped me.

Jan Johnsson

Thanks for the letter Jan. Vivian may give advice but I live by the principle of
chacun sa vie, everyone his own life. If I give advice it is because I do not trust you. You feelings will advise you much better than I can. I never want to sway anyone to my view; it is your view that is important. And it is far too easy for us to fall into the Guru mold and tell people how to live; that is what is wrong with psychotherapy today. art

Dear Art,

Advice / Counseling That Makes A Difference

Semantically I interpret advice / counseling as a guidance or recommendation, typically given by somebody regarded as knowledgeable and authoritative. To sway somebody and expose him / her for leverage is outside of my vision of advice / counseling. However, I can understand that people with low self-reliance can be and feel deceived to follow advice that they should not have done. A skilled advisor has thus an extra responsibility to judge the individual recipients of advice. Of course, I assume that PT, in contrast to many others within psychotherapy, would take such a responsibility.

The following advice which are well synchronized with my feelings, (and “qui m’a donné une vie propre") may be worth mentioning. All have their roots in an evolution process kicked off by Ortiz / Janov.

Svend Møller-Andersen advised me, during a creativity course in Copenhagen in 1974, to read the Primal Scream, if I had real ambitions to change myself and my work situation. He did not need to sway me. He opened the gates to a latent need (and my pain). He had seen something I needed and with which I was unfamiliar. 

The Primal Institute, maybe Vivian, connected me, 1979, with a couple of primal patients in Boulder, Colorado, where I, two days a week, did consult jobs for a biotech company. From one of them, who is still my friend, I rented a room in his house. The other (a Fritz Perls follower) gave me interesting advice when I asked him for the address of a skilled masseur. He then introduced me to the Rolfing Institute in Boulder. Rolfing or Structural Integration, with its soft tissue manipulation and movement education, is a therapy that organizes the body in gravity. An intensive ten-session Rolfing Treatment, in Boulder December 1979 kicked off my first primal in January 1980, when I was back in Sweden.  A potential grand mal seizure turned into a revolutionary primal experience that dramatically made me understand the meaning of Evolution in Reverse. That was the first time I experienced my birth trauma instead of suffering an epileptic attack.

In Bern, Switzerland, January 1982, Vivian advised me when I revealed repressed emotions during a session. I sat listening to a discussion between Vivian and a patient who did not love his partner but didn’t dare to end the relationship. “Killing softly” suddenly flew out loud of my mouth. Shortly afterward Vivian came up and spoke to me and during our conversation, it became clear to me that I was in a relationship that I did not dare to leave. During the following group meeting, you, Art, came in, and in a overpowering way said that you were “pissed off” with those, who did not dare to bring up important feelings during our sessions. You turned then to me, and my being revealed felt painful but fair. During the 33 years that have passed since then, I have tried my best not to press down unresolved feelings.

Last but not least, during the spring of 2009 I got an email from you: “Jan, your letters are much appreciated. You should do a book”. I followed your advice and wrote a book and material for three books more. It never became a bestseller. It became more than that; it became my liberation, and it helped me to re-establish the connection with my childhood soulmate and love Eva. Can you ask for more from advice?


Friday, April 10, 2015

Beyond God - Que Sera, Sera


Beyond God - Que Sera, Sera

During the past week, I have been through a series of inter-related experiences that were positive and empowering. They have all taken place within the four walls of my house. They were furthermore free of charge.

It all started when I was planning a new blog to act as a change mentor. This idea is a consequence of that I have successfully, voluntarily, acted in this role in my narrow group. Some experiments to strengthen The Primal Principle have been successful. During my “brain-storming” my whole life passed in review. This overview contained my birth trauma, my epilepsy, The Primal Scream, The Primal Principle and a long and successful career as change / crisis consultant.  My career ambition awoke with an education in Copenhagen in 1974, led by the Raphael Ortiz-inspired Svend Möller-Andersen. He was experimental and anti-intellectual.

The last 15 - 20 years I have taken responsibility for my daughter while I developed my understanding of the Primal Principle and the Evolution. Moreover, I have tried to develop my ability critically to express and document my experiences and reactions. Finally, this has developed into one, so far, successful, experimental, self-therapy that highly includes a female friend. I initiated a reunion with this friend a few years ago, after a 53year break! We then found that, after two radically different careers and family patterns, we still share the same basic values that we had as teenagers.

A number of memory clusters developed in my brain and those appeared my mentors; Bert Johansson, Arthur Janov, Ida Rolf, Julia Völndan, Alma Nissen and Alice Miller. They are among those from whom I have learned skills without wich I would not be willing or able to live. From others as David Ingvar, Abraham Maslow, Svend Möller Andersen, Raphael Ortiz, Albert Bonnier, Vivian Janov, Doyle P. Henderson etc., I got ideas and support that have been crucial to my development. Common for all, especially for the first mentioned group, has been that my experimentally minded brain have recognized a spiritual affinity with their messages and experiences. Overall, I have no doubt spent at least 10.000 hours together with them (to a lesser extent), with their books / Reflections and by working with their ideas. My interpretations of their wisdoms are well tested.

The other day I re-read a few chapters in Panacea, by Doyle P. Henderson, to study his consequent teaching. Step by step, layer by layer in reversed time sequence, he gives detailed instructions how to work down through the imprinted / repressed pain. Then, suddenly, my FaceBook signaled that Emma Stansfield had posted a YouTube video into Primal Patients. The video showed Arthur Janov’s first ever meeting with Raphael Ortiz. Both my body and mind were activated.

In one corner of the video seated Raphael Ortiz, who in 1966 had inspired / provoked Art Janov’s first primal patient to “cry for mommy,”. Later, in New York, Ortiz had inspired Svend Möller-Andersen, who in turn had inspired me, 1974, to read The Primal Scream in Danish.

In the other corner of the video appears, the beautifully aging, Arthur Janov. He has, since 1978, been my guide on a journey into, through and beyond my epilepsy. 2015, in the middle of the night, in Genovés in Spain, I can enjoy these two limbic oriented evolutionists linking / confirming their experiences. It was a very emotional experience. The background of this historical experience constituted the foundation for my epileptic journey. One of these moments when reality exceeds fiction.

They are two ingenious, often controversial personalities. They have during their long lives been unhesitating in their struggle in what they believed. It feels liberating to know that, on several occasions, I have taken them both in defense against people who were uncomprehending to their different views on art, respectively psychotherapy.

Several links to my latest blog “Ono Plastic Band / God” were created during the more than, hour-long conversation between Janov / Ortiz. Despite (hopefully not because of!) their agreed beliefs that “religion is a concept with which we measure our pain,”, the two geniuses used a number of religious exclamations. “Oh, my God,” “Holy Shit,” “My God,” “Honest to God,” “Jesus,” and “Jesus Christ,” were used when the two surpised each other. Janov, alone, made 6 - 8 religious exclamations. Ortiz responded at the end of the video to such an exclamation (of surprise) and corrected with: “This goes beyond God!” A skilled and consciously(?) aware comment!

Two days of breathtaking thoughts, feelings and memories were rounded off with a filmed meeting, the first ever between the two personalities who introduced me to my limbic system. During the following night, during my dream sleep, I experienced my birth trauma. It contained all its usual moments of painful, alternating pressure on my mouth, eyes, head, chest, arms, and legs. Breathing ranged from rapid to forced, to none at all, i.e., exposed to suffocation with my tongue deep throat. The conclusion consisted of an explosive deep baby scream. My hands did, as an immediate follow-up, an intense massage around my head, chest, ribs, etc., to put life into my body, which felt anesthetized and dead. 

When my birth trauma ebbed, I experienced and remembered, suddenly, a couple of scenes. The first was from the age of 19, when I one early morning, after a wild night, woke up in a state of being numbed in my head and body. I was horrified and could do nothing while the state lasted for a long while. Afterward, I dared to say nothing to anyone. I thought that my careless living with little sleep, fatigue, alcohol and sex had caused my condition. Shortly after this “near-birth-primal-experience,” my epilepsy developed. 

My second scene, this morning, was from the age of 6-7. After I had gone to bed, I pulled the cover up over my head and stripped me my pajamas and started stroking and massaging myself. I experienced now how this process had a direct connection to the massage / rubbing I desperately struggled with during my birth trauma. I have for many years believed that these caresses only had its cause in the fact that my parents rarely physically touched us and hugged us. Now, I understand / can feel that the violent pressure in the birth canal combined with anesthesia has been stored and is partly stored in my whole body. Many hours of professional massage of different types have managed, temporarily, to relieve me. Deep tissue massage, Rolfing, has had the most profound effects and has been the start button to numerous primal experiences.

I have now, 2015, a well-integrated brain, which has access to everything that happened to me from my birth. This fact I owe, first and foremost, to the destruction artist Raphael Ortiz and my guide, during my epileptic journey, Arthur Janov.

Will my “future” mean that I become a mentor of change? Que sera, sera, the future is mine to see!

Jan Johnsson

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Plastic Ono Band

My comments to Janov's Reflection:
Who Do We Lie To When We Tell Ourselves Not To Do ...

Plastic Ono Band/God
(“I don’t believe in Jesus, I don’t believe in Kennedy, etc., I just believe in me”.)

In an interview in 2000, about primal sessions with John Lennon in 1970, you are quoted to have said “people in pain usually seek out religion”. To that Lennon, according to you, answered, ”Oh, God is a concept with which we measure our pain”. If we go back 45 years, Lennon said: “Primal Therapy forced me to have done with the God shit… Most people channel their pain into God or masturbation or some dream of making it… Instead of facing up to the reality they always look for some kind of heaven.”

John Lennon’s “THIS IS IT” about Primal Therapy was, according to Vivian Janov, something Lennon said about everything, for which he felt. Vivian reportedly said that, Art may have represented the new brilliant father he never had. (By the way Vivan was the therapist who, at a retreat in Bern, Switzerland, helped me understand, and to do something about that I was living, pain-imprisoned, in a neurotic relationship.)
John Lennon was, within two years, back in the worst possible frame of mind, doing drugs, drinking. However, his interpretation of how imprinted pain propels all kinds of beliefs is, close to five decades later, still valid, not to say reinforced.

It feels like an unsteady step when Art now in 2015, somewhat ironically (“charming”) fumbles among excuses with God, or different Gods, to cover up neurotic pleasures among people he knows. I don’t think that Art needs to channel his remaining imprinted pain into a God. However, he must, unconsciously, be influenced by the fact that he is living in a country, where so many minds are controlled by God and the Commandments. Based on scientific studies, I have mentioned a few times that 88% of the US population think that evolution should only be taught if the creationist (Book of Genesis) alternative is mentioned simultaneously.

Every public speech by a president or official dignitary ends with “God Bless America”. In this way, they may consciously trigger the release of the hormone oxytocin in most of the listeners in order to reduce any national political disagreement within the American “family”. A recent president even used “God Bless America” to get a lie, to start a war, blessed.

As to the title of your Reflection, “Who do we lie to when we tell ourselves not to do it”, I would mention “Thou shalt not lie” is missing among the commandments!!! 

Jan Johnsson


Monday, March 30, 2015

Demystification Of A Plane Crash

Demystification Of A Plane Crash

During a week, top politicians, in three of Europe’s largest countries, have had a legitimate reason to reduce their respective domestic political infighting. They have, with the help of effective news media, turned unemployment, corruption, economic imbalances and current political oppositions to news / issues of secondary importance. 

A tragic plane crash, which claimed 150 human lives, has news-wise and emotionally completely dominated in particular Spain, France and Germany (and to a lesser degree the rest of the World). In the media, several hundred million people, around the clock, have been able to follow every step of the dramatic process. From an aircraft reported lost, via the finding of the black boxes, to the girlfriend’s reported stories about the content of the co-pilot’s recurring nightmares about plane crashes.

After the revelation of the co-pilot’s misdeed, there have, from Germany, welled up revelations about his mental imbalance, vision problems, relationship problems with his fiancée and his dependence on psychiatric medications. Eg, the co-pilot, took a time-out, a few years ago, for psychotherapeutic treatment and was, according to the press, at the crash moment, hiding a sick leave. The pilots problems have been known for years. He has, however,  apparently managed to keep secret his health problems, for his airline. That this concealment of human problems has been possible for several years in an industry that prides itself, at least technically, on the most rigorous safety regulations in the world is incomprehensible / indefensible.

It  is amazing that no one; including psychologists, therapist, doctors, parents or other close relationships, probably of false loyalty, have understood / dared to report the co-pilot’s mental deficiencies. This passivity in spite of the fact that he had 100s of human lives in his hands. I come from a country which, fortunately, protects all small children from kindergarten age. The legislation has imposed kindergarten teachers an obligation to report to the police if they as much as suspect parents / carers exposing a child to physical or mental punishment. This natural obligation to protect children in Sweden is, by citizens of other European countries, sometimes, considered as disloyalty to the parents.

I think that the airline and the psychologists / doctors have the greatest responsibility. If the psychologists (who probably worked with cognitive therapy techniques) had had sufficient experience, they should have known that the process of mental pain is propelling depressions repeatedly / constantly. Painkillers / pharmaceuticals, with no guaranteed certainty, is the only long-term solution. Those responsible should therefore never assess a patient of this category as fit for a position as a pilot. There must exist an unconditional liability,  reporting / coordinating data, for all parties who treat, educate and interact with practitioners in extremely demanding sectors with responsibility for countless lives.

The type of symptoms, nightmares, and depressions, which the co-pilot showed, often are rooted in traumas from before, during and just after birth. Our organism represses and encapsulates pain of an unbearable nature as a memory / imprint. Later in life, the hidden / repressed pain wearing our body and mind consume large portions of the body’s natural painkillers / serotonin. When the body and brain become exhausted, the pain may leak out. This leakage propels persistent nightmares, depressions, neuroses and can lead to tragic act-outs. A distorted mind can then execute horrific actions like the conscious crash in the French Alps.

In the US, the promised land of cognitive psychotherapists and the DSM-5, the air safety authorities have realized that one cannot depend on the psyche of the individual. Over there, they have already set up a rigorous requirement that two pilots must, constantly, be present in the cockpit. Hopefully, the tragic accident in the Alps mean that the human, psychological development and monitoring will be given the same priority as the one devoted to the technical development in and around the aviation sector. As long as we need pilots to fly, they are part of the safety chain. A chain which is only as strong as its weakest link.

Jan Johnsson

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Prisoner Of Pain; It Takes One To Know One.

A Prisoner Of Pain; It Takes One To Know One.

Whenever I thought about my loops around the Globe, I was mainly filled with positive and good memories. However, since I became involved in PT, I have now and then thought that my memories (with the exception of my epilepsy), was a neurotic / unreliable misinterpretation.  My positive memories have, though, never hidden the sad fact that I, through pain-propelled act-outs, certainly made many people (especially I’m thinking of my first two kids) sad and disappointed. In my pre-primal life pattern, I was driven, every 3 - 5 years, to change partners, work, and culture / language in my search for my inner justice. 

I had no absent mother. I was my mother’s favorite until she died, and I was then 56 years old. She killed a lot of her pain with religiosity. She defended me without hesitation at least four critical occasions, when I between 5 and 10 years of age, made pranks. 
My mothers two big blunders; A: She subjected me, at my birth, to a lengthy, horrendous trauma in her ambition to fulfill the Bible’s recommendation to give birth with pain. B: She did not dare to intervene when my father, once, lost his temper and beat me hard, due to a playful misbehavior when I was nine years old. My mothers (contemporary) subservience combined with sheer respect of my father was too strong. I know that her heart was with me, and her passivity disappointed me.

My father, like my mother, was always present physically for me. Early on, I realized that my father carried on painful memories from his childhood. A pandemic, about WW1, when he was 3 - 4 years old, snatched away his mother and a pair of siblings. He became over the years increasingly depressed and on a few occasions, he lost his temper and exploded. On one such occasion, when I was a child, I happened to be the sacrifice for his act-out, which unfortunately eliminated all future emotional relationship between us. He tried to compensate this by helping me out of sticky practical situations (often of a financial nature) during my teens but I asked for it. One month before his death, 30 years too late, he took courage and talked with me. My father asked me if I still hated him for the assault, which he had done to me when I was 9. My answer was, fortunately, no. Within me, it took, however, several more years before the hatred of the assault ebbed.

The above trauma examples caused by my mother and father are dramatic “accidents”. They led to my suffering for decades, which I had never been able to overcome without the guidance of Art and understanding of his innovation the Primal Principle. And last but not least the driving force from the restless pain propelled curiosity of the Prisoner of Pain within myself. 

Often, when I read Art’s descriptions how an imprinted pain propels act-outs, I get the feeling that he avoids positive aspects associated with act-outs. A contradictory feeling emerges when I note that Art’s life has been unjust to him. His long and creative life has led to the development of the Primal Principle. In my case this innovation, based on Art’s unjust life, made it possible to demystify my epilepsy. It also made it possible to obtain redress, from my parents, for my childhood’s two most dramatic trauma, which propelled my neurosis during decades. The evolutionary intelligence makes the individuals’ unconscious pain valuable not only for the human species’ reproduction but also for his / her development.

Can we, as seen from the species’ development, then say that Art’s life was unjust? This unconscious injustice has helped countless patients to a better life. It has propelled the production of books / documentation of the significance of our right to be loved, touched and get attention, from the day of conception, during our critical and most formative years. 

It seems that the Evolution is consciously supporting that it takes one Prisoner of Pain, Art, to know another, for example, me, Jan. Or vice versa.

Jan Johnsson


  1. Very good letter Jan. art