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