Monday, May 30, 2016

How Pain Can Be Translated / Intellectualized Into Beuty / Feelings / Emotions.

Why Don't We Know We Are in Pain? That is today's question in Janov's Reflections. Yes, it is certainly interesting that the lack of awareness / consciousness is a fact. It demonstrates the rational intelligence in the process of evolution, which maneuvers the majority of us through life, with success, though, at the price of suffering. Most of the works in our daily life, like arts, politics, business, etc., are screaming out their statements about the pain that are inprinted in us, all the time without a break.

Bach, Picasso, and Janov are outstanding people who are among those who are / were in pain, suffering something they didn’t know much about. However, they used their pain to “intellectualize their feelings” and in art, music and literature express the dilemma of the human tragedy. They do it with a beauty and sensibility which gives our lives a meaningful experience. It takes different beliefs, not only religious, to survive in a cold, negligent and often loveless world. The aforementioned, pain propelled, beautiful spirits are special through their ability to capture, to counterpoint / interlace the beauty and tragedy of our short lives. Their neuroses give us satisfying experiences, while evolution grinds on. 

Johann Sebastian Bach came from a musical family, was orphaned early, but got through his sibling's help, first-class musical education. Throughout his life, he used, in the fight against tradition / zeitgeist and religious control his ingenious musical talents to express his own inner beliefs despite the fact that the church and the established powers were his superiors. He developed his creativity, musical talent and knowledge of music to the point where it grew out of the protestant church's religious possession and became everybody’s emotional musical heritage of today. Although - thanks to - being discouraged and criticized, he used the church / contemporary official worldview to show the tragedy of all our pain propelled / bloated complacency.

Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born into an established family of artists and devoted almost 90 years to drawing and painting and fascinated his surroundings with a never-ending ability to express his naïve capacity. A severe trauma, a violent earthquake, combined with the sister's complicated birth in Malaga when he was 2-3 years old characterized left imprints, in the work of art, which his artistic talent expressed. Picasso's success became prolonged due to the constant renewal of his pain propelled symbolism and thanks to the exponential / absurd growing economic valuation of art in the last century. Picasso, who was registered communists into his death, is probably the artist, all categories whose works brought in the most money. Again, a reflection of the beauty and tragedy of the neurotic human trauma.

Arthur Janov was an unloved son of immigrated Russian peasants. He was an “asphalt-flower” from a metropolitan ghetto, who with the Navy’s / WW2’s help became prepared for a work / life, in various mental institutions with people with repressed pain. We needed him to understand / access information about the difference between a good or bad life before, during or after birth. It has required an extraordinary amount of repressed pain / empathic intellect to create an economic wealth / independence that was invested in the explanation of the lifesaving ability of evolution to repress what threatened our lives. He took us on a tour beyond our and his own belief.

No pain, no gain!

Jan Johnsson

Monday, May 23, 2016

Feeling Pain; Growing Fingers and Dissolving a Neurotic Life Pattern

Feeling Pain; 
Growing Fingers and Dissolving a Neurotic Life Pattern.

The principles of Primal Therapy / Evolution in Reverse, as I have interpreted them, have worked excellent for my specific needs. They have helped demystify my epilepsy / birth trauma, dissolved my neurotic life pattern and helped me understand / internalize why evolution saves our lives by eliminating / repressing unbearable pain. My cure, overall, has been a holistic process where body and mind, sometimes simultaneously and sometimes separately, have been involved. My three union brain has become significantly better coordinated and my feelings have been given a more natural influence on my intellect and vice versa. 

My physical coordination has to a surprisingly high extent improved. I have experienced how allergies have dissolved and how fingers and toes, after the 40s, have grown out to their original potential (before being inhibited in a traumatic birth trauma). I had and, at a lesser degree, still have, since many years, a feeling, below my fit body, of not being fully physically grown. A feeling of being weaker and minor than I really am. Examples: I have had too insensitive fingers when I would hug and caress someone. “My emotional feeling did not reach all the way to my fingertips”, which I unconsciously compensated for by putting more pressure. 

For decades, I looked for and dressed in clothes that were just on the verge of being too small. Just right size or slightly too large clothes brought my feeling / pain of not being fully grown. My neurotic disability made me a perfect employee in the corset industry, which those days , before modern day slimming madness took off, was about lacing too large bodies in tight-fitting underwear. In this industry, I spent, successfully, my first 10 years before my career took off. I am nowadays enjoying baggy trousers and large shirts…

I found no direct coverage for my undeveloped physics and my feelings of being too small in the Primal Scream and I did not become wiser in these matters during my first few months at the Primal Institute. Coincidences /moonlighting in the biotech industry, brought me, however, to Boulder, Col., and I attended Ida Rolf's institute with deep tissue massage even though I knew that PI was not for it. 

“Physical individuality is shaped by the forces of life - how we were born, when we learned to move, experiences, accidents, mental and emotional sets. All of these leave a record in our mental and our physical memories.The more you watch people in front of your eyes, the surer you are about how people can get stuck in childish incidents, or birth incidents, or for all I know pre-birth incidents. You see it right in front of your eyes. Through Rolfing, it begins to be possible for a body to take on what we consider appropriate adult form. Then the person continues on psychologically, and develops.”

These, by me often quoted, statements, together with the Primal Principles / Evolution in Reverse, have been my lead stars when I made my journey from being a physically hampered, repressed person with leaky gates / epilepsy, who had developed a neurotic tool bag with a large arsenal of short-term survival techniques into a reasonably well-cured person with good vital signs.

For me, the combination of primal therapy and Ida Rolf's method of deep tissue massage was a big step on the road to understanding my repression / epilepsy and my equally inhibited and uncoordinated body. Janov and Rolf approached the problem from two opposite directions. In both their written communications, it appears, unfortunately, that they do not accept each other's methods. To cooperate was, therefore, probably never an option. Fortunately, neither of these therapies prevented me from combining the two and achieve a result which, for me, was better than the sum of both.

Of course, they could do it together. Why have they not done what have seemed obvious for decades?

Well, after having read “Beyond Belief”, I think I am beginning to understand!

Jan Johnsson

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Why Primal Therapy?

Why Primal Therapy?

I read the Primal Scream 1974 in Danish (Primal Skriget) and it became instantly, with it’s “promise” to resolve repressed feelings, a core component of my obsession to tackle the causes of my epilepsy. Epilepsy I had developed 15 years earlier after a childhood / infancy marked by ADD and daydreams. Although I was a charming and well-liked child I was tortured badly from a thin and ugly hair, unlike my parents and three siblings who had strong and curly hair. My parents did not hide their delight at their beautiful hair which I interpreted as criticism of my own hair growth. To make things worse, with epileptic medication, my head became quickly bald and over the years, I developed a neurotic attraction to curly partners.

When I lived in LA in 1978 and 79, I brought a beautiful and curly blonde wife. My bald apparition, with repressed pain, I hid behind her radiant beautiful hair. I thought, then, that the wounds of my many years of suffering due to the bald head had cleared. With Yul Brynner’s, Kojaks and beautiful curly wives' help. How wrong! Below my defenses lurked the pain.

I have previously complained about the fact that my two years in LA with PT gave a meager yield. However, I had a Primal during a session with my therapist Patty after we had discussed my childhood. I felt sad and abandoned and my feelings moved to just after WW2. Suddenly I was pushed off my father's lap and my, 3 years younger, sister took my place and I saw her with her blonde curly hair hugging my father. My sister's hair was during my primal experience, 1946/47, blonde, while it in 1978 was very dark. Her blond childhood I had forgotten. This explained why I had always been obsessed by preferably blonde curls.

In a historic cavalcade my curly girlfriends slid past and my feeling, which I was overwhelmed by, explained to me that my curly acquaintances over the years had been my way to hide my hurt feelings and show my father and my sister that I could attract curly women. My curly hallucinatory parade of acquaintances ended suddenly with an enlarged photo of Art Janov from the Danish Primal Scream. My attraction of primal therapy meant not solely a therapeutical way to tackle my epilepsy, but also meant a neurotic attraction of Arts beautiful curly hair that reinforced my ambition to go to LA.

Two years after my primal about how my blonde sister dethroned me, I went to a retreat in Bern with a blond curly woman, a jazz singer from Copenhagen. We laughed and joked about my weakness for blonde women and after a successful retreat, where Art Janov and the woman was singing jazz together ("Must you be mean to me ...") so had my neuroses taken me from a life with one curly blonde woman to another. It cost me several more relationships before I come so far in my re-living traumatic birth experiences that, in old age, I approached the woman / childhood friend, with black straight hair, I realized early on should have been my friend in life if not my epilepsy / my neuroses led me astray.

When I was 6 years old in the first grade of elementary school, I had an old angry teacher. She quickly eliminated my desire for music and song, and she advised my mother that I sang as a "bass drum in the desert." I and many others have often laughed a lot at that statement, but on the inside I have, for 70 years, been crying. In my dreams, I often sang to myself like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole and many of my hallucinatory / primal experiences, for a number of years, Hungarian gypsy music was an important component.

The fact that I've started playing tenor saxophone recently is something of a highlight of my life due to that a curly shrink with “transposition problems”, has guided me to re-live pain. Just like my shrink, I can now concentrate for long periods, I have all the time I need and therefore I look forward, one day, to be able to play along a Charlie Parker record. Being able to transpose or not.

Jan Johnsson 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Eight Years Of “Pollyanna Therapy” Which Changed The World!

Janov Reflections: The Pollyanna Effect of Looking for the Positive (Click to access)

My comment:

Eight years of “Pollyanna therapy” which changed the world!

Sometimes we only respond to effects which reflect ourselves and our underlying needs and feelings. We often only have a preoccupation with recognizing what is wrong. It is in our nature to do it. We are so focused on a particular tree species that we do not appreciate the beauty of a forest.

When I lived in the US in 1978 and 79, the country went through a severe crisis, financially and emotionally, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The economy went bad, the dollar was knocked down (which, however, was to my advantage), the general confidence was low and an unusually human and sympathetic president, Jimmy Carter, was unable to lift the mood significantly. 

Then you could talk about a need for a Pollyanna Effect in the United States. Hollywood delivered in this state an option. From California came a governor, former b-actor, and president of the Screen Actors Guild, the labor union for actors. A seasoned veteran who should actually have been retired. We were many who were terrified when this anti-communist, former democrat, with his views on weapon, morning prayers, and economic laissez-faire attitude took over power. 

However, during his eight years in power, he succeeded with his Pollyanna Effect, largely reversing the confidence and the economy in the United States. "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.” With charm, straight language (calling the Soviet Union an evil empire), economic sanctions, he participated in the highest degree to tear down the Berlin Wall and dissolve the Soviet Union. Without a single shot was exchanged !!!!! Talented Russians, including politicians, have afterwards confessed, not without praise and thanks, the effects Reagans Pollyanna-propelled sanctions achieved.

In a neurotic world, there is so much to criticize and improve, but there are, after all, also occasions to celebrate someone (such as a Picasso) when this person with his pain propelled images lift us into a different world or out of a depressed state. My own obsession / positive dream that one day to find an explanation for my epilepsy mystery became in this way, with a kind of  Pollyanna Effect, reality.

Jan Johnsson