I don’t know about you, but it seems like some lessons in life reintroduce themselves to me every few years. Sometimes they are hard, unpleasant truths, but not always. Sometimes, they are joyful, uplifting truths that renew your spirit. Lately, I’ve been doing some new things, things I have not done in a great while like playing in a band again, meeting new people and expanding my social contacts. For me at least, new situations often give me a new perspective on where I have been and what I have been doing. I love the day-to-day routine at The Primal Institute, I really enjoy the clinical hours and even the tedious paperwork and administrative tasks make me happy (of course I bitch about it nonetheless) . I’ve had my share of professional mood swings these past 30 years, who wouldn’t? The joy and elation of my first exposure to Dr. Janov and Primal Theory, the excitement and intensity of a then, young clinician knee deep in the revolution to change the face of psychotherapy, hell, to change the world! As the years pile up, one tends to mellow out a bit. It is only natural that youthful intensity will yield the right of way and make room for other equally important concerns like actually doing the job, keeping it stable, paying the bills and ordering Kleenex by the crate. Raising a family, changing diapers and paying for college all compete and get in the way of being a revolutionary. I know… boo-hoo! But that’s not my point. My point is that for me, this insular existence sometimes lulls me into forgetting just what it is we do here at The Primal Institute, and how universal the appeal really is to, dare I say it, humanity! Meeting new people and doing new things really brings this home to me. The most exciting smack in the face reminder of all of this was an interview I did recently for Itunes/SmartPeoplepodcast.com. It was a fun, easygoing interview to do and even though the interviewer knew very little about Primal, I sensed his growing excitement as the interview progressed. He went from just doing his job to “holy-cow” just like we all did when we first got the message! They’ve contacted me several times since with the great news that there has been over 100,000 downloads in less than a month! Recently, I have also been contacted by both the New York and Los Angeles Times (they want me to renew). Again, my point is this idea Primal Theory, Primal consciousness is powerful stuff. Why exactly is it so powerful? What is the universal appeal? I think it is powerful because it helps make sense of why we suffer. Why and how we suffer and that we suffer! To have one’s suffering or pain acknowledged is a shattering experience. It shatters the lies, the b.s., the pretense that literally threaten to kill us.
Like the infomercial says ” but wait, there’s more”. It also offers a way to ease some of that suffering. Granted, it is counterintuitive like skiing, crouch down and lean into the massive down slope – yeah, right. Give in to those horrible feelings; embrace your deficits, your rage, and your pathetic unrelenting neediness. That is some tough sell, yet it endures because it is the truth! Within that truth is perhaps the greatest contribution of Primal Theory in that it offers the possibility of raising human beings without all that pain in the first place. This is not pie in the sky rhetoric. There will always be people with problems, life is hard, and we are all fallible, especially with our loved ones. Treatment is crucial but the knowledge and guidance to avoid trauma or to lessen it is historic. Why wait for 9/11 when we can deal effectively on 9/10? In the end there is nothing more powerful than the truth! Truth often takes a detour, goes to sleep for a time, but it always wakes up again refreshed and ready to meet the new day. I am sure this new/old lesson will give way again to more moderate sensations and sensible goals. So be it…but right now I feel like a revolutionary again. I’ve got an important message and I am going to tell everybody! Barry
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