Behind the Scenes

“If you want to catch beasts you don’t see every day,
You have to go places quite out of the way,
You have to go places no others can get to.
You have to get cold and you have too get wet, too.”
― Dr. Seuss
The 2013 Thanksgiving Retreat is fast approaching. Scattered among my email for assisted living, male performance enhancements, and pleas from AARP (American Association Retired Persons) to join before it’s too late, are the many letters I receive asking, “How do you guys plan and prepare for Retreats?” Great question!
The following is just a tiny glimpse into the planning and clinical thought processes that inform the logistical and clinical preparations for Retreats. To those who may be “on the fence” or unsure about attending, I urge you to sign up as the 2013 Thanksgiving Retreat will be the “state of the art” event, the culmination of over 35 years of Retreat experience. In true dialectic fashion, the very reasons you may not want to attend are the disguised primal reasons you probably need to attend. Think about it!
I myself do not want to go, and for that very reason, I am going. Gretchen on the other hand, cannot wait to go, and for that reason… we will not let her go! Mark Grieshaber is ambivalent, and for that very reason, he is coming (but, he must fly coach class and will only attend the 1st hour of each group.)
As you can see, therapy is an ongoing, flowing, and organic process. Always in flux.

Behind the Scenes

Retreats require extensive planning that usually begins 9-12 months prior to securing a date and announcing the event. Gretchen and I begin by pouring over hundreds of Retreat site brochures and visiting endless web sites in search of facilities that meet the unique needs of a Primal Institute Retreat site. Approximately 4 weeks into this extensive exercise in futility, on the verge of adrenal-pituitary failure, comes the realization that we already have a perfect site for our needs. La Casa de Maria, in beautiful Santa Barbara California offers us the perfect combination of beauty, privacy, and easy access only 90 minutes from Los Angeles. The next step is to reserve our date. We have been fortunate in part, due to our early planning in usually obtaining our preferred times (Thanksgiving and early summer.)
As many of you know, La Casa is owned and operated by a Catholic charity and administered by the Our Lady of Anhedonia order of Catholic Nuns. The property is well maintained and they run a tight ship. They are also fierce negotiators with business acumen to spare. Put it this way, if we were the Indians and the Nuns were Dutch settlers in 1625, we would have sold them NYC for $24.00 and thrown in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
Here’s a brief breakdown of what actually happens: Sister Mary (The Hammer) Kelley informs us of the yearly price/rate increase, usually a not insignificant price increase, citing increased operating costs, yada, yada, yada. I usually manage a weak “whatever happened to your vows of poverty”? Or I used to play in a band with your new Pope. This is of course before Gretchen silences me with “that look.” You know, the one all husbands know and instinctively obey and understand.
Throughout the years, the Institute has been committed to absorbing these price increases, or as much of them as possible, rather than burden our patient population during these difficult, financial times. One can say that we’re natural caretakers, or that we are deeply in touch and connected to our species-specific humanitarian consciousness. However, I think our Accountant nailed it spot on, when he said “you’re idiots! Raise your fees!”
Approximately four months from Retreat date, as patients continue to sign up, we begin to get a feel for who will be attending. At this point, clinical planning slips into high gear. Appearances to the contrary, Retreat sign up and attendance is not based on a 1st come 1st served basis. In fact, some that apply are denied a place based on clinical issues. Acceptance is determined by a variety of clinical concerns with the following examples only touching the surface of all the logistical and clinical data that must be evaluated prior to accepting a patient for a Retreat.
A great Retreat experience cannot be left to chance or happenstance. While some patients are denied a spot at a given Retreat, others may be encouraged to attend. Again, clinical considerations outweigh all others in our decision to accept or deny someone a place at the Retreat. The patient’s best interest is always our clinical compass and in service to this vision, we offer financial assistance to those in need, in order to ease the financial strain of attending. This assistance ranges from full scholarship to various fee reductions. As many as 50% of those attending Retreats may have already received some degree of financial assistance at some point from the Institute or Primal Family Support Services (our newly created charity) to spread “Primal Consciousness” and make affordable therapy available to those in need. (Your tax-exempt donations are most welcome and appreciated.)
In addition to evaluating individual patient needs and suitability for a Retreat, the needs of the Retreat environment itself must be factored in and attended to. In practice, this means that our deny or accept decisions and our financial flexibility extended to some patients, must all converge to help create the optimal effective environment.
It is no accident that every Retreat includes patients with severe gastric distress and/or chronic sleep Apnea, accompanied by 120 decibel snoring (research suggests that jet engines approach 118 decibels.) Creating just the right atmosphere in the close quartered dormitory, takes years of experience, but it is well worth the effort when it all comes together.
A great Retreat is like cooking a casserole. Lots of little ingredients in just the right proportion! We are always careful to include several E.T.L. patients in our Retreat “casserole.” E.T.L. refers to “extreme third liners” or those patients for whom obsessive ruminations, ideological rigidity, and a passion for subversive pedantics dominate. In other words, they defend against pain, theirs and yours, primarily thorough thoughts and ideas. We can usually rely on “E.T.L.s” to disrupt group cohesion in a variety of helpful ways. They are well meaning and quite loveable, and the information they disseminate comes from their heart as they try to be helpful, but often the result is quite the opposite of what they hope for, often bringing on hostility from various group members. Care must be taken to protect the E.T.L.s, as they are quite sensitive and fragile at these moments.
Nevertheless, E.T.L.s contribute by facilitating group cohesion and group identification as most group members emotionally bond in their anger towards E.T.L.s. A typical example of this occurs at a highly emotional moment in a primal group. At just the right moment, always a very tender, poignant, on the verge of accessing a long repressed, life altering emotional moment, the E.T.L is compelled to interject a mood breaking, cognitive based excursion away from the goose bumped, emotional laden atmosphere that was only moments ago washing over the entire room. Naturally, some people react with a bit of irritation. I still get misty eyed when I think about one of these E.T. L. moments from last summer’s Retreat. “Jim” (fictional name) was in the throes of an epiphany that involved him remembering the only time in his life when his mother treated him with tenderness and love. As copious, chest heaving emotional tears cascaded down his agonized face, one of our well chosen E.T.L.s blurted out “I hate my Buddy, in fact, I hate everyone’s Buddy and can someone please explain the “Giving” exercise!” Well, you could hear a pin drop and you could actually feel the energy field in the room glow with a bewildered animosity toward the confused E.T.L. To paraphrase a line from one of my favorite movies “ I love the smell of group in the morning!”
As you can see, our casserole is coming along quite nicely!
I vividly remember discussing this fascinating process with Vivian Janov one summer Retreat over a wonderful ocean viewing sunset, each of us enjoying a locally produced glass of red wine. I said “E.T.L.s seem to trigger in the group a return to our species specific tribal ancestral roots, producing intense anger and divisive emotions that split the group into factions of “us and them”. She said, “I think you’ve had enough wine”!
We also of course, strive to include veteran patients or “E.F.L.s” – extreme first liners. These patients are usually languishing in some form of 1st line intrusion, or out and out birth feelings, are often given special financial consideration for the vital role they play in “splitting” group cohesion. These patients divide the group because of what they represent – different things to different people. To some patients, they seem to represent “the Primal Holy Grail” something they seek to attain or achieve or struggle towards. For others, they may be confused or even repelled by what they witness. Either way – Bingo! Great Retreat, our casserole is simmering. Again, this is but a small glimpse of the thinking and planning that precedes a Retreat.
We are extremely proud of our unbroken consecutive record of 27 Retreats that include a major plumbing crisis at La Casa. Be honest, you’d miss it if it didn’t happen! Cold showers, ankle deep water on the floor; we leave no stone unturned, spare any expense to create the perfect Retreat environment. The perfect yet delicate balance of stress, frustration, poor personal hygiene, and Primal release.
Approximately 4-6 weeks before the start of a Retreat commence the major physical renovations. If you were to visit the site now, you would be reminded of a Four Seasons style hotel, complete with all the associated luxury amenities. At our behest, the work now begins to transform La Casa in accordance with our unique needs. In addition to the aforementioned plumbing calibrations, many other modifications are completed to create the “rustic” atmosphere so conducive to emotion… and skin rashes.
A special arrangement with the California Department of Corrections ensures that the hyper-compressed, stained, and tattered mattresses’ you all expect, will be waiting for you when you arrive – on loan of course from local prisons and detention centers. Our goal among many, is to prevent deep restful R.E.M. stage sleep, so crucial in keeping Retreat attendees on a hair trigger of explosive outbursts and tenuous social coping. Our casserole is coming along nicely as we continue to add additional spice and flavorings.
Central air conditioning is of course disabled for Retreats in the summer months and for Retreats in cooler weather, uncomfortable, dry, throat constricting, volcanic heat is available. Using dialectics and Primal Theory as our “North Star”, pervasive emotional, tactile, somatic, and social overload converge to create the ultimate feeling environment.
The last few weeks leading up to a Retreat are quite hectic as we finalize the above-mentioned details and lockdown the final list of patients attending. Each patient is discussed at length in terms of their progress in therapy, goals, obstacles to progress, and how best to tailor the Retreat for their specific clinical needs. In the case of former patients returning and those that have been away from the Institute for a year or more, we routinely contact family, friends, and co-workers to obtain a complete picture of their current functioning. Most of the lawsuits from this “alleged invasion of privacy” have indeed been dropped or settled.
The final 2 weeks before a Retreat are quite stressful and have at times, even threatened my usually tranquil marriage to my wife, Gretchen. As deadlines approach, tensions rise, nerves become increasingly frazzled. I begin making frequent trips to supervise the physical alterations to the Retreat site while Gretchen holds down the fort and completes equally important tasks here in Los Angeles. Some of you may have noticed the evolution of our “Retreat Welcome Package”. Its humble beginnings started as a single Xeroxed sheet with meal times and a buddy list. The current version is a singular, Gretchen vision. A glossy compendium of Everything- book length, containing hundreds of buddy questions, secret words, and secret word instructions, postmaster protocol, secret Santa ethics code and much, much more! All of this presented in a Primal Institute logo tote bag, glossy multi-color folders, Primal Institute logo T-shirt and stock shares of Kleenex Inc. I did successfully veto the Hermes luggage gift sets and the 800 count Egyptian thread bed linens she insisted you all could not live without. Win a few, lose a few!
A word about the “secret words” that each patient receives, designed to help target some clinical issue a patient may be struggling with or unaware of completely. In the rare instance we disagree on the choice of a secret word for someone, when the dialectical or theory based choice is unclear – we go to “The Coin of Wisdom”. The “Coin of Wisdom” is a John F. Kennedy fifty-cent piece and it has settled many a clinical debate over the years. I usually “call” heads, Gretchen is partial to “tails” so it works out rather well.

Research Revealed

Ten years ago in partnership with a major University we began a study. “Primal Pain and Diminished Awareness”, and our twice yearly retreats played a major role in the research design. “Does Pain Make You Stupid?” was one of the many research questions we sought to answer.
It can now be revealed that the “boring, welcome to Casa de Maria” presentation given by a “Casa employee” at the start of every retreat has always been our beloved Office Manager, Atty Castle – Always! Atty in a variety of disguises, twice even as a male Casa employee! Not one patient has ever noticed the obvious deception or noted the many bizarre disguises Ms. Castle employed.
More research results in the coming months will follow, but you can see from initial data that pain does indeed make us stupid!
Well, I hope this little glimpse into the planning and theoretical structure of retreats has been somewhat illuminating as to the care and effort we put into every retreat.
We look forward to seeing you all soon in Santa Barbara.

Barry M. Bernfeld, Ph.D.
Los Angeles October 2013

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734 Responses to Behind the Scenes

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great glimpse “behind the curtain”-well done! BMB

  2. Leslie says:

    OMG you are so funny Barry!! Such good laughs – what a mind, and you stayed right on task with a full meal deal!
    ox L.

  3. Tom Verzar says:

    Hi Barry
    Absolutely brilliant. You have a wicked sense of humour. Wish I could be there for the Thanksgiving retreat.
    I would love to be a fly on the wall, when and where the above, will be dissected by all and sundry.
    Have a great retreat.

  4. Margaret says:

    Set up for Margaret

  5. Erron Adams says:

    Hi Barry,

    Great post, very funny and thanks for the laughs.

    The problem is, I’ve been following Primal Therapy for over 40 years, and what I’d really like to see, what I have challenged Arthur Janov for, and basically been banned from his blog for, is some kind of proof that Primal Therapy actually works. Do you have any kind of statistical basis for the premise that Primal Therapy is somehow better than any other approach to mental health? I’d love to see that.

    I was a subscriber to The Primal Institute Newsletter way back when you and Gretchen were just starting out as therapists. I don’t really see any evolution at all. Primal websites seem to be dead in the water, or stuck somewhere around 15 to 20 years ago. Is it really all that dismal?

    I remember when I first stumbled across Primal theory, thinking “this is it, this is what I want to devote the rest of my life to!”. But nothing I have seen in the intervening years has given me any confidence that this is any more effective, relevant, or “real” than any of the other “modalities” extant.

    I’m not a troll, and I appreciate Primal theory. But I have to admit I’m very disappointed.


    • Larry says:

      I have all the statistics I need, that being the stunted trajectory of my life before Primal Therapy, and the flowering of my life after. Anyone who’s known me over that time also sees the evidence, as do I in my friends who’ve been in therapy with me.

      I suppose a way to translate into numbers the healing transformation could be a questionnaire that tallies for instance how many friends did you have, how much did you smoke, how often did you need to escape into an alcoholic haze, for how long were you anorexic, bulemic, etc. etc., before any kind of therapy, after a few years of some other therapy if any, and after a few years of primal therapy.

      Sceptics would say that any improvements in a person’s life could have happened irregardless of therapy. The only way to counter that objection is to study many pairs of people, where those paired are identical in lifestyle, health, intelligence, family history, psychological demeanour, neuroses, opportunities available to them, etc, but one person in the pair does no therapy or some other therapy, and the other person does primal therapy, and track and tally the changes in their lives for say 10 years. I’m glad Barry and Gretchen haven’t been devoting their time to such a study and instead have used their time to give me therapy.

      To me it is beyond any intellectual discussion intuitively organically slam dunk obvious that the therapy works, the same way as it is innately obvious and not needing statistical proof that my car rolls better when I put air into its flat tire. Anybody who knows me and is curious about the therapy and asks me about it, they reply after I explain it, “Yeah, that makes sense”.

      Not many want to do this therapy though. It’s probably the hardest thing you’ll ever do, and there is always the urge to want to run away from it. You’re lucky if you are able to have a decent life and not do this therapy.

      What is missing in your life that impels you to follow Primal Therapy for over 40 years? What is missing from the therapy that keeps you from trying it? Have you done any therapy of any kind?

      • Patrick says:

        Larry – I think that’s what’s called ‘anecdotal’………….but hey anecdotal is fine! Anecdotal is good but remember one time you had lots of objections to something I was trying to say because I could not back it up with ‘double blind, scientifically controlled, proper experiments blah blah blah’………………….just sayin’ is all!

        • Larry says:

          I think what I said Patrick was that I wasn’t convinced by your line of reasoning (in that instance whatever it was) because you didn’t back it up with any evidence of any kind to support the path of your thought process. I believe I said that in my line of work I am surrounded all day by people who look for evidence to support or disprove their theories. I don’t think I said anything about you not backing up what you were trying to say with “double blind, scientifically controlled, proper experiments”….I believe there you are putting words in my mouth.

      • Erron Adams says:

        Hi Larry,

        Thanks for the feedback. I understand the problem with getting some sort of statistical analysis, but beyond that there is the anecdotal stuff such as the fact that there are still only two recognised primal centres worldwide, as far as I’m aware. The rest have been disowned or closed down for one reason or another. It just doesn’t strike me as being terribly successful on the sort of scale I guess I was hoping for way back when.

        It’s not a matter of what’s missing from my life, or what’s stopping me from coming into therapy. I have had a life, a good one, one in which I have been able to love and be loved. Not exactly successful on the financial front as yet, but I never placed a great store in that anyway. And yes, I have done an offshoot of primal therapy which I personally gained a lot from, although many others didn’t.

  6. Tom Verzar says:

    Hi Erron Adams
    Not that either Barry, or primal Therapy or us, delusional patients need any reason to defend ourselves, but I would be disappointed too, if I were in your shoes. Sitting on the fence for 40 years is a long time. You have an incredible amount of patience.
    Instead of listening or reading the blogs, or other patients laments, why don’t you find out first hand what really goes on in primal Therapy.
    The big question in my mind is, what stopped you for so long? Why didn’t you trust your first instinct? Were you ever let down?
    When I first read The Primal Scream, my reaction was, yes, this is it. I had no one to ask or get any feedback from. I booked my flight and started therapy. Looking back 30 years down the road I can say that I am lucky, I am still alive. Didn’t go to drugs, alcohol nor suicide.
    The other question that comes to mind is, what were or are your expectations? Were they real? Or loaded with old pain?
    Looking forward to your reply.
    Sorry if i sound like a smart arse.

    • Erron says:

      Yes you do sound like a smartarse, Tom, but that’s okay 🙂

      You don’t need to defend yourself, I wasn’t attacking you personally or anyone at the Institute, or even primal therapy, just wondering if there was any data on this topic. And I certainly didn’t call you delusional.

      You seem to be under the impression that I have been sitting on my hands for 40 years, holding my breath and not living life. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  7. Hey Erron, Welcome to the blog! What’s a troll? Have you ever been to therapy at the institute? You mentioned subscribing to the newsletter but not whether you have been here or if you know any of the staff or patients. Gretchen

    • Erron says:

      Hi Gretchen, thanks for the welcome although I think I did post here once or twice in the dim distant past.

      A troll is someone who, in Internet parlance, surfs around websites looking for trouble and picking fights for whatever egotistical reason drives them.

      No, I haven’t been to the Institute, and I don’t know any of the staff or patients. I have corresponded with a couple of ex-therapists, one of whom is still practising on his own and another who has very publicly disowned the entire process of primal and seems to want to dance on its grave. There is a lot of negative stuff out there, and that’s part of what gives me pause: it doesn’t seem to be countered effectively, and I was wondering why.

      I did therapy with Grahame Farrant back in the 80s, and later at the Jamillon centre with John Spensely here in Melbourne. Farrant was one of the very early patients at the original Institute, but neither he nor Spensely were trained by the Janov’s. Their therapy was very heavily oriented towards birth primalling, and before, even back to the idea of conception being able to be primalled. I think it’s stuffed a lot of people around, quite frankly. I was fortunate in having read so much about the way therapy was supposed to be done, and also by virtue of my stubborn, questioning nature. So I managed to get what I wanted out of the centre (basically a safe place to feel, with the assistance of people I actually did trust) and avoid getting caught up in their philosophy.

      It wasn’t great, but it put a stop to my self destructive direction. I stopped smoking, and I got off drugs. There were other minor victories as well. I still drink a bit, and I would like to eliminate that completely one day.

      I like this blog better than Art’s. It feels safe to speak your mind here.

      • Erron:
        Hello. You don’t know me from a speck of sand next to the Baltic Sea, but I did want to say I don’t envy the tasks that Barry & Gretchen must do to cater to the emotional needs of many, many different people on top of setting up the logistical stuff and keeping the Institute running, etc. My point here being that I am hard pressed to imagine that the Bernfelds would have much time or energy left to run any statistical studies on Primal. Barry has remarked that it’s hard to mount a psychological revolution when there are tons of day-to-day ground realities to constantly tend to. Gretchen has supplemented this by saying they are focused simply on running things in a clinical setting with the lowest possible amount of extraneous paperwork beyond that.

        Be careful with Mr. Forex. Set tight stops and take it easy on the leverage. Else, the account can easily go K-A-B-O-O-M!

        • Erron says:

          Cheers Guru, your point is taken, and has been made by a few on this now.

          Forex, yeah I hear you, but I’ve been trading a number of years now and don’t waste accounts any more 🙂

  8. Patrick says:

    This blogpost is funny (I suppose) and long (yeah) but what kind of bothers me is ANY of it ‘true’. I mean quite a few ‘episodes’ are obviously NOT true so then the ‘episodes’ we don’t know about it would be sort of logical to think they are not ‘true’ either. Or would that makes me “an extreme third liner” maybe…………….or maybe I don’t just have much of a sense of humor. Or my sense of humor is different, I DO at times find things funny but they tend to be a bit idiosyncratic

    To get away from the humor and try to be a bit ‘serious’ how this strikes me is the opposite of what in the hippy days we called “consciousness expansion” which then would make it “consciousness constriction” or maybe better “consciousness collapse” a bit like what the bees suffer from (Colony Collapse Disorder). But like the bees we are subject to all the same poisonous and toxic forces so what would make us so special. Nothing.

  9. Patrick says:

    Thinking a bit more about the bees people/scientists wonder and worry what is going on, is it pesticides, pollution in different forms or even the ‘non native’ electro magnetic frequencies totally disturbing their sense of direction, they can find ‘no direction home, a complete unknown’ or they no longer find their homes worth going to too poisoned and ruined. And it seems to me humans (us!) are pretty much in the same dilemna or soon will be when we wake up and notice. Can I lighten the mood with a song called maybe appropriatly “Dead Flowers”

  10. Joe M says:

    I enjoyed your article Barry about retreat prep. . . unless I was actually in a feeling and I wasn’t enjoying it at all. . . you tell me.

  11. Larry says:

    I feel privileged to be able to participate in the retreats, which I feel are the best healing opportunity on the planet, and I don’t want to go and that’s not funny especially after Barry’s “Behind the Scenes” revelation has convinced me that he and Gretchen and Mark don’t know what they’re doing.

    Larry TIC

  12. Jack Waddington says:

    Barry/Gretchen: I will need a second read at least to take all this in. First off, I didn’t realize that such extensive thought and organization went into setting up a retreat … I realized there had to be some, but I was inclined to feel that most of it was instinctive from the group of therapist conducting it. It there was humor in this blog I went straight over my ‘cuckoo’s nest’.

    I did realize that after attending several other retreat centers that the Casa de Maria in Monticito was the best, though perhaps not ever 100% ideal (the dorm situation being I felt the worst … though I can see it to be fine, maybe perfect for some). I was never bothered by the selection of my buddy though I do confess I was not always certain why I was given some but did see the point of many. The gift giving was my biggest nightmare and I to this very day I’m terrible at gift giving … can never think what might be appropriate whereas my lover Jim is excellent at it ( a feeling there for sure).

    I too missed the Atty in disguise unless it might have been the lady that I always thought was the head cook that I always wanted to embrace but who tried to put me off, but did it anyway, but without offense.

    One last thought; I wonder why I was never denied attendance as I know I often upset many … and still do. However, c’est la vie, I could never be liked by all and I sure don’t recall trying … to hard. They have been great events in my life and I am real thankful that within my life I got these opportunities. Meantime I feel a “been there … done that” and though there could always be more to be gained and I do accede to therapy as ongoing. I do however continue to buddy and will as best I can, continue to do so for the rest of my life. There’s nothing better than getting that mirror held up to me and as I have dared to publish and sincerely believe there is ‘the good, the bad and the downright ugly in me’

    Nuff said for now … maybe more after a second read.


    • Jack, You would never be denied attendance! Gretchen

      • Jack Waddington says:

        Nice to know Gretchen that I would never have been denied attendance and I did get many compliments when I ceased to attend, like ‘being missed’. Not sure what I brought to it all other than my brazen arrogance and conceit … but then even ugly things can be missed. LOL.

        Not sure the blogosphere feels the same.


  13. Margaret says:

    Phew! Through Skype and team viewer we spent more than two hours intensively exploring the website with my statistics course and the hurdles for my screenreader voice-over…

    It is amazing what can be done, to look together with someone at 200 miles distance, talking with him, having the video screen on and at the same time through team viewer taking him along when I log in to my personal workspace on the OU website.

    He adjusted some settings which might make things easier doing so through team viewer in my laptop, and we found out there is a tremendous amount of work, exploring and searching for solutions to a mass of problems, to be done.

    The good thing is he proposed to work at it a couple of hours every other day, without him charging me the usual amount as he sympathizes with me being a senior student as well.

    My helper is such a nice person, recently retired, who took up studying musicology recently, and volunteering to help me with the screen reading software he is fairly familiar with as a relative of his is sight impaired.

    But of course he has to study at this himself, luckily he has a lot of manuals of my software, as the possibilities of the Apple voice-over are tremendously extended.

    It is so very nice of him to do this, and my professor who comes by tomorrow will also probably be delighted with this assistance.

    I will hear it tonight, but we might make it a threefold connection tomorrow with the prof at my side and my helper on Skype and team viewer to get more acquainted with specific issues and assignments that will need to be done.

    Sorry if I carry on, but I am overwhelmed with the vastness of this undertaking, and my gratitude for the help I managed to run into searching around, and that is so kindly offered by someone that has a busy life as well.

    He is very kind, telling me spontaneously he enjoys doing this for me, and that I will have to be patient as it is a lot of new ground for him as well to be covered.

    This is incredible, I am still baffled with the generosity of my helpers…

    This is bound to work out this way, all be it with a lot of invested energy, it is inspiring and encouraging to find this on my way after all the feelings of hopelessness I had this morning.

    I wrote to my singing teacher explaining her I was overwhelmed today with all that needs to be done, and that I hope to come back to her class next week.

    But I will have to see if I can do that, as this will take up huge amounts of energy at the start.

    My brain is still smoking right now, but my little laptop did a great job.

    tomorrow I will have to buy an external hard disk to make a backup before I do certain upgrades…

    Wow, sorry for all the ventilating, haha, can’t stop babbling about this seemingly.

    Larry, thanks for what you wrote, something seems to be resonating with you there isn’t it?

    • Larry says:

      Yes there must be something resonating Margaret, and when I get over this cold I’ll find out what it is.

      I’m glad you are finding there are people who are very generous and helpful. There is someone in particular, who I haven’t been in contact with for 35 years, who turned my life around at the most bleak and hopeless bottom of my adult life, years before my being in therapy, and changed the course of the rest of my life for the better, all because she…at first a stranger…took an interest in me. I am forever grateful to her. I should try to get in touch with her and tell her so.

  14. Jack Waddington says:

    Can’t say that any more clarity came in my second read, but then at my age ‘oldtimers’ is setting in. I do love life and do get sad at realizing I am on the last lap. I once thought I may beat the age record of 134 but I don’t feel/think that anymore. The saddest part of all that is hoping that I don’t go first and leave my ‘Jimbo’ … but then if he were to go first I would be the one suffering … he does so much for me and cares and loves me dearly. Ah well! as the saying goes “one day at a time”


    • Larry says:

      How is the trailer court issue panning out, Jack?

      • Jack Waddington says:

        Larry: Not much by way of change, yet there are threats of getting attorneys to help show that much of what is being offered in the closure notice is, by the state Mobile Home Residency Law, illegal.

        I tried to get my own attorney, but the one from the past I chose is going out of business come the end of the year.

        My biggest problem is the different opinions that Jim and I have about how to proceed from here. If I have to leave I would like to go back to living with him … but he’s not so sure of that arrangement … which hurts me more than a little. Still, he hasn’t totally ruled it out.

        Meantime, I’m taking Jim’s suggestion and keeping a low profile. I will be very sad to have to leave


  15. irena says:

    Barry, Thanks for this blog. It is outstanding! Made my day, week, maybe a couple of days over a week, who knows. You ought to write children’s books (in your free time) you have that touch of magic, painting pictures (and cooking casseroles) with with words that have already been smiled. You can always put a melody to it (in your free time) and sing it later. But you ought to write children’s books. They can also be used in groups later. Think about it! I know some publishers…

  16. Margaret says:

    ha, yeah, barry, will say it here as well, nice post.

    Erron, it is a little frustrating and sad for me to hear you waited forty years, to see proof of PT working.

    I waited twenty years, and the only thing I feel sorry about, now after sixteen years or so in therapy, is that I lost those twenty years with postponing my decision.

    Once iI had my first breakthrough in therapy, any trace of doubt left my mind, the feeling of getting reconnected with the child I had almost forgotten about, was so real and intense that words can’t really describe it.

    It became immediately clear I had finally made the best decision ever with finally starting my therapy.

    I have come such a long way since, and all I can say is I hope for you you grant yourself the opportunity of giving it a try.


    • Erron says:

      Hi Margaret,

      If you’ve read my replies above you’ll know I didn’t exactly wait 40 years to start living. I’ve never had the wherewithal to come to America for therapy, and I’m not sure I could do it now either, even if it would be worthwhile at my age (61).

      I remember the first time I actually ‘broke through’ in therapy. I was 33 and had not shed a tear since my teens. I really thought I was never going to be able to feel that deeply again, and that breakthrough was a blessed relief. It would have been great to be able to work on the process continuously, and especially at a better centre than the one I was able to go to. But then, that’s life and I’ve made what I could of it.

      It’s great that the process has been good for you, and I wish you the best.

  17. Leslie says:

    Hope this goes directly to the link??
    It is called Sister loves her adopted brother with Down Syndrome – and is just that and is so sweet.
    ox L.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Leslie: Oh so lovely. It would be lovely if in getting this love from his sister and adopted Mommy he could regain some of that that caused this syndrome and restore him.


  18. Leslie, They are too adorable! I love these years but it sure makes you miss those years 🙂 g.

  19. Miguel says:

    Barry, a nice article and a good sense of humor.

    I did not know there was such a big job to prepare the retreats.

    Yes, pain makes us stupid.

    • Patrick says:

      Miguel – welcome back I wondered if you had ‘gone’ somewhere does it have anything to do with the fortunes of Barcelona FC they were gone for a while too and now they are back you seem to be too. Anyway good to know you are alive and kicking how are you doing?

      I would agree pain makes us ‘stupid’ but I almost wonder is Barry saying going to retreats KEEPS us stupid. Like the whole Atty thing sounds like one of those Shakespear comedies (Mid Summer Nights Dream?) based on identity and gender confusions. The thing about Shakespear plays in the end all is revealed……………..with Barry ‘not so much’ as Borat says.

  20. Margaret says:

    you sound like a nice person, hope you stick around here.

  21. Hey Erron, I’m surprised that Arthur did not direct you toward some of the studies he is focused on. At the very least some of his books might have the info you are looking for – particularly the more recent books. You can find that info on his website even if he does not want you on his blog 🙂 . It is true that has not been the direction the Primal Institute has taken as we are caught up in the clinical side of things. As you know in the early days of Primal many people hung up signs and opened their own practices – the one thing that connected them all was their claim to have been at the Institute or trained by us. I have never heard of any of them but I am not surprised they are no longer around. It is a complicated business and one that has evolved over many years. I do have to say, based on what I have heard, their work was often not at all similar to what we were doing. That being said I am glad your own experience with the two people you mentioned proved to be helpful. As for negative or positive information about Primal.. It comes with the territory and some of it ( both the good and the bad) has nothing to do with us. If we addressed it all I’m not sure we would have time for much else. Anyway do you really end up changing anyone’s mind about anything in this life? My welcome to the blog still stands and you are free to visit any time. Gretchen

    • Erron says:

      Thanks Gretchen.

      “Anyway do you really end up changing anyone’s mind about anything in this life?”

      – a lesson I wish my argumentative side would learn!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Hmmmmm…Let’s see: am I an E.T.L. or an E.F.L, or a B.L.T. — hold the mayo? Yes, the age-old question rears its ugly head again. Will it ever be answered correctly? And can I stop being one or the other? How?

    Seriously, Barry. I hope Arthur is reading this to find out who the real writer in the family is — it’s you!. But I don’t mean to be disrespectful. I am well aware that I owe Dr. Janov big time for saving my life!

    Very funny, but very true in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. You guys have been so good to me over the years that I sometimes wonder if you don’t feel “Why the hell did we ever agree to treat a patient who’s in this bad a shape?” Whatever — I’m glad you did. No telling where I would be without this therapy.


    Your crazy old grandfather

  23. Margaret says:

    this was an incredible afternoon.
    I had two experts by my side, me with my laptop in the middle of my couch, the voice-over screen reading expert on my left, my statistics teacher and IT specialist on my right, and we spent three intensive hours exploring the OU website with the statistics course in it, with all its different files and formats and frames, in combination with the new mathematical program and using all of that with my voice-over application in high gear as it took quite a bit of all our skills to even get the general structure of our future work set up.

    It was immense productiveand constructive, and I felt so privileged to have this perfect assistance by my side for what indeed turned out to be a very complicated but not insolvable undertaking.

    The stats teacher is a bright young guy, very nice, and my other assistant a bright nice older guy, who came specially over from the Netherlands today, as did my teacher, but he had to be here anyway to teach tonight.

    It is very clear this was perfect, I could never have worked it out without either one of them, they were a perfect match, and the three of us processed an immense amount of information today.

    We created a fine basis to build on, and I am so very grateful, satisfied and also proud of myself.

    I am still letting this in, it is so good I find it hard to believe.

    My poor brain is still sizzling haha!

    Feel I made two new friends as well.



  24. Barry M says:

    Barry B., I have just read (twice) your ‘Behind the Scenes’ post, and also listened to (for the first time) your Smart People Podcast interview.
    I very rarely laugh out loud to things that I read – the odd chuckle maybe – but you and my favourite author – Chuck Dickens – have been able to garner that response.
    I honestly feel that in this day and age of social media ‘snippets’ your Podcast interview could have a response/effect on more people than The Primal Scream.
    You have a definite future in this field young man!
    p.s. I did actually know that the presenter at the Casa was in fact Atty, I just assumed she was in disguise while at the Institute!!

  25. Dear Barry M, Thank you for the very kind words,you made my day! Who is this “Chuck Dickens”-I will destroy him! I want to be the ONLY ONE that makes you chuckle. Please give my best to your lovely wife Leslie-with much affection,BMB

  26. Margaret says:

    I just called my mother, feeling I wanted to talk to someone, or to her, about my good feeling about my progress in the preparation for statistics and my good result of my last exam.

    I felt a bit apprehensive and cautios in case she would not be able to listen or only give crazy responses, but hey, she did listen well and said a couple of times she was very proud of me.

    That was very nice really, and it was also nice I could just smile and say I am proud of myself as well..It is seeping in this is becoming real, a tangible progress with real and important assistants by my side.

    Have a couple of social gatherings with almost lost girlfriends in the near future, things finally seem to be taking a turn for the better..

    Took up my clinical psychology coursse again, and noticed that instead of being at page 300 like I thought I was, I am already almost at page 500, and it is a pleasure to read, specially this first time, as it is interesting and well written.

    Wish the blog would be a bit more active though..


  27. Jo says:

    I enjoyed your article Barry …especially the scenario with Vivian, and Gretchen’s “stare” !!

  28. Jo says:

    Who is Larry TIC??

  29. Jo says:

    The Insight Cometh!

  30. Leslie says:

    Recently, I saw an interview with Ali Wentworth ( she is such a fresh breath of air !) and Jerry Seinfeld – whose show I adored and still reference – just not out loud anymore 🙂
    Jerry was talking about his married life – for a # of years now to his wife Jessica and how they just don’t fight anymore – “because who cares”. What! Who cares – you better care Jerry.

    I understand not wanting continual tiffs about annoying things but even those can lead to deeper places and understanding. Again not all the time, but truly if you are 2 individuals ( + they have 3 children which adds to more opinions, actions taking place etc.) there are going to be disagreements, arguments…

    I don’t love them, but I do love where we go with them in the long run. I fight the most with B. in my life as he is the one person I don’t edit myself with. ( Not always the best thing – esp. if you ask B. 🙂 – but I am not afraid of where we have to go, and we do get all back together again with new or renewed (for the umpteenth time!) understandings of ourselves and each other.
    (So this doesn’t sound too pretentious, the reality check is – as Daniel described for himself awhile back – my world also stands still and crumbles when we are in the throes of a big one – not loving them is such an understatement!)

    However, it does drive me crazy when couples who have been together are admired for saying, “and there is never a cross word between us” – or, “we never go to bed angry” etc. Come on. This is not reality.

    Of course absolutely no physical violence &/or abusive stuff. But I am afraid that Jerry and Jessica will find themselves further afield and detached if they don’t spend the time and energy learning about and from each other.
    (That I can’t find the interview again is maybe a sign that Jerry or Jessica 🙂 wanted it off – perhaps it was supposed to be TIC and didn’t fly. I did react though : )

    Then there was Tom Cruise who had admitted to not seeing his daughter Suri for 3 months after Katie left him. Good God. When he said “I would have seen her (he was shooting a movie in London at the time ) if she had asked me to.” I hit the roof. How pathetic that he justifies himself by wanting (but not really) a 7 year old to ask for that. Apparently, he feels quite content that they talked on the phone almost everyday. Ugh.
    Sad news.
    From your Hollywood Tattler -who is not even there!

    • Larry says:

      Nice to hear from you. I always look forward to what you write Leslie. I think you and Barry are on the right track. Sounds like it sure bothers you that those movie stars aren’t.

  31. Larry says:

    This music opens my taps.

    All I really wanted was love. Ashes are almost all that’s left of reasons why I live here. I’m alone now and afraid. I need love more than ever. Love is empowering. It’s critical for life. Why couldn’t they love me? That little adopted guy with Downe’s syndrome in the video Leslie posted on Nov. 6 sure got a lot of hugs. It is so simple to do! It takes no effort at all, if they cared.

    • Leslie says:

      Thanks Larry. I continue to enjoy this song – the depth of her voice, the soothing music…
      ox L.

      • Larry says:

        Hey Leslie. I’m glad you drop in now and then. As I recover from my cold I’ve been crying regularly that past few days, about what was brought up by my visit to Winnipeg a couple of weekends ago…deep sad stuff about the ending of an era of my life and being alone and afraid in a new era that I haven’t begun to chart yet. While I cry, listening to this song opens my taps and the feelings flow more deeply, forcefully, and with longer duration.

        Are you and Barry pretty busy these days? We haven’t heard so much lately how you both are doing.

  32. Fiona says:

    I realised I posted this on the OLD blog in error! Sorry M! Here is the repeat:

    “Margaret says:
    November 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm
    YES! I just received the news I have passed my exam Social Psychology!

    Tried for over an hour to track down my score on the website, but in vain, but hey, I passed and that is what counts!
    I must admit I wasn’t too sure about it this time, so I am curious and will inquire about the score.

    Tomorrow and thursday two important battles with statistics on the program, one with a screenreader specialist through Skype and team viewer, while I try and go in the course on line, and then thursday visit from my statistics professor, a very friendly young guy seemingly.

    And then I will pick up Clinical Psychology again, so at least I can always know what to do..

    We are also preparing some performances with the singing, Xmas and another more gypsy orientated event.

    I still feel a bit beaten down, like ok, I have made another accomplishment, but in the general view of the whole program it is still a very small step..

    Wish iI had someone to celebrate with..


  33. Margaret says:

    The long coment I wrote about how happy I felt about the visit of my voice-over assistant in combination with a visit of my statistics teacher, is so very important to me, as it is about a crucial breakthrough.

    This is the moment where I finally got the feeling it can be done, I make a chance with this study, despite the difficulties with having to do it with special software etc.

    I was dealing with the biggest hurdle of all, fearing it would be impossible, and finally saw that there was a way.

    I must admit I scanned the blog comments for some reaction, but maybe I have written too much lately or maybe I was so overwhelmed that my comment sounded quite confused and just more of the same..

    It is hard too to describe how the balance shifted somehow from this moment on the studying changed from maybe just being a pastime to becoming a more real and serious undertaking.

    in the back of my head there was always the notion the software problems in dealing with statistic might make me have to give up.
    So I focused in the meantime on simply enjoying learning what I learned in the meantime.

    Now somehow I dare to take myself as a real student more seriously.

    This entails so many feelings, so much pain and vulnerability, that the shift as I said, represents an enormous breakthrough in some way I can’t describe accurately, to adulthood.

    I am starting to gain trust in myself,or pride, but it is so new and fragile, and the memory of the ‘before’ so fresh, that at the same time I feel extremely vulnerable.

    I d not feel I need ‘you have done so well’ I think, I merely needed to feel I convey what this means to me.

    Ihave to think now of a moment shortly after GJ, the assistant prof who visited me about the statistics, seemed simply a young and nice cheerful man chatting over a cup of coffee with me and my other assistant to get to know each other.

    But then came a moment when he started to talk about the contents of what he teahes and all of a sudden he sounded so different.

    He sounded so adult, grown up, capable, to be respected i a natural way.

    I was watching and listening and it really struck me.

    Why do I bring this up?

    Maybe it is because I am cautiously starting to believe in myself in some way, more or less like just out of the shell and still very soft and vulnerable.


    • Tom Verzar says:

      Hi Margaret
      Not to offend Patrick, but I think you are doing an exceptional job. Take my hat off to you.

      • Patrick says:

        Tom – it doesn’t ‘offend’ me but if it helps you to say what you mean and mean what you say I am glad to be of help (if I am). I don’t think I am ‘against’ being positive or supportive or whatever it’s just if is done too much and all other kind of ‘negative’ feelings are studiously avoided……………well then it doesn’t feel ‘real’ and to me isn’t real. Then that has the unfortunate effect of ‘discounting’ all expressions of support positivity etc etc. But Tom ‘your’e doing good!’

      • Margaret says:

        Thanks Tom

    • Leslie says:

      This really is something to read Margaret. I think you remain so keen, interested, fresh and young with the studies you are doing. The realizations about your emerging confidence must then be rewarding.
      ox L.

  34. Margaret says:

    I agree with Larry, it is always nice to read what you wrote.
    What you brought up there overs so much ground, I look forward to more.

  35. Margaret says:

    I am still thinking of what is going on, and what I need really.

    Some of it has to do with fear, and dealing with it I guess.

    I had a dream that puzzled me for a while, as it was about being abused physically, and hard as I tried, I could not remember ever really being physically abused as a child.

    I dreamed I was sexually abused in some way by a man, feeling disgusted, scared and angry, and when I finally started to find my way out of the deserted building where it happened, all of a sudden he was right behind me again.

    He got hold of me once more, and for a moment I was frozen and desperate again;
    But then I turned around to face him, and to my own surprise just screamed at him to let go of me, to back off!!!!

    And again to my surprise, he did…

    In the dream I was small as a child, and he was very big, and I was surprised at the power of my screaming, not in the sense that it was powerful, but that it was enough to make him back off.

    Maybe it is about setting myself free, yes, I think it is…


  36. Margaret says:

    Went for tea and a beer with the former lady owner and some old clients from my now closed favorite bar, “The garden of Misery”

    It was very nice to catch up with them, it had been several years and I will join them regularly from now on.

    They said I looked very good, so that was nice, haha!

    It was a bit of a showck to hear two people I knew had died, one of a sudden stroke and one of cancer.

    I also had a bit of an uncomfortable feeling with my regular weekly assistant so I sent him a mail and he answered really nicely so that is a good thing too I risked bringing up what felt bad.

    Haven’t received reply yet from my software assistant to schedule a time for a virtual class, which distressed and worried me slightly at first, but I am aware of the fact I should trust him as he has always been nice and reliable, so I should separate my old fear which makes me expect rejection from actual reality, and give him a few days to respond.

    I can always contact him a second time in case my mail got lost but I am sure it will not be necessary.

    Have had a nice lunch with another girlfriend yesterday, and will have my regular assistant come over tomorrow morning to help me to make a complete backup from my entire laptop, and then go to singing rehearsals all evening.

    Just mentioning all of this which might be pretty ‘banal’ for most people, but for me it is me starting to have some kind of social life again out here..

    As you said very astutely Guru, I must try to keep the momentum going now.

    By the way guru, apart from your dad and working hard, do you have friends around to hang out with from time to time?

    I know you want to keep some privacy, but well, it would be nice to hear some more of how your life is.

    ps. Erron, what can you tell us about yourself?

  37. Patrick says:

    Really Margaret “The garden of Misery” is that for real?

    Reminds me:

    1. The Agony in the Garden

    2. The Scourging at the Pillar

    3. The Crowing of Thorns

    4. The Carrying of the Cross

    5. The Crucifixtion

    Sometimes as a child I used to think I had ALREADY gone through 4 of those 5 stages. All that was left was the ‘possible’ crucifixtion…………and it made me ‘wonder’ about the future and what it might hold and not in a very positive way if you know what I mean. Actually it gave me a very pessemistic outlook which also tended to be a self fulfilling prophecy. I tend/tended to see everything finishing in a ‘disaster’ and so it came about (very often)

  38. Margaret: Have you asked the Bernfelds about their friends here yet?

  39. Margaret says:

    in Flemish/Dutch the name was “Hof van Ellende”, so it kind of sounded a bit like the garden of Eden but then meaning deep misery, haha!

    They also started a famous event, “smartlappenavond”, which is “evening of ‘very sad songs”” the word being antwerpian slang for an exaggerated tearjerking song, the literal word meaning something like sorrow rags…

    haha, my laptop keeps trying to correct those words, I hope they arrive well.

    On those events, and I participated in quite a few, anybody could inscribe and come on stage with a self written song or as I always did, with self written lyrics on an existing song.

    those evenings were hilarious, and the bar was so crowded people stood outside on the window sills to peek in to get a glimpse.

    I remember making a funny, well, extremely sad translation of Lennon’s nobody loves you when you’re down and out, and a naughty song on the music of Cole Porter’s “why can’t you behave”, accompanied by an harmonica and a trumpet, haha!

    I even accompanied one song myself on the piano, but smiley, after a couple of times decided to go and take singing classes…

    It was a very colorful scene, and I am smiling writing about it.


  40. Margaret says:

    come to think of it, my naughty song was accompanied by a harmonica and what we call a ‘bombardon’, one of these giant tuba horns the player carries kind of wrapped around him, haha, it was a bit cramped on the small scene I remember!


  41. Margaret says:

    I asked them a bunch of questions but not that particular one.

    Sorry if it made yo feel like prying in your private life, that was not my intention.

    Maybe I wanted to invite you to talk some more about your social life as so far a lot of what you told us was or sounded to be about solitary occupations.

    so there is just a touch of concern here but sorry again if you do not want to discuss this here.


  42. Margaret says:

    I was just checking my sent mails to see whether the mail I had sent my voice-over assistant had gone through, as I hadn’t heard from him yet.

    i wrote here before how a thing like this tends to trigger anxiety and how I consciously tell myself to give time and trust.

    Now I was considering sending another little mail to inquire about a possible moment for a software session, but hey, my cellphone rang, and there was my Dutch assistant, telling me his hard disk had crashed, so he was offline for a little while.

    Luckily he always makes backups so he is already reinstalling,

  43. Margaret says:

    I just got disturbing news.

    “Assisted living”, the organization that offers me assistance for one or two hours every week, has its budget tightened and therefor a change of ‘vision’

    I had a long talk with my personal assistant, with whom I have a very good bond after years of close personal assistance, among others to help me start up studying.

    He 8 hours never happened, and were never really necessary, but I became very emotional at saying that first they encourage me to go live on my own, help me build up a life, that stretches me to the limits of what I can achieve, and then all of a sudden say well, sorry, now you will have to take care of yourself…

    Luckily my assistant is very nice and has a hard time with this himself, so we will work at making the best of whatever transition will follow.

    It is our more right wing local government and city counsel that initiates stuff like this.

    It is ironic, but also shows my intuition functions well, that I actually wrote that mail recently bringing up all of these issues, sensing something was going on under the surface.

    I actually said at some point this morning, before I knew all of the new ‘style’, that I actually am a very scared person on the inside, lways bracing myself against possible rejection, but that I was learning to tell myself to trust some people more.

    This is scary, a whole safety net of reassurance seems to be dragged away from under me, threatening to leave me kind of standing more in the cold, apart from some basic household help I get from another instancy for which I pay a fair amount of money.

    But their employees are not all trustworthy to work with ones’s bank accounts so that for me could form a problem in some cases, just one example.


    Will survive but this hurts and triggers pain and fear.
    M explained me what goes on behind the scenes and how it puts him between two fires, as we say.

    They now should ‘start up’ people and then end the assistance…

    Then we are supposed to find our won assistance somehow, and although it is not that far yet, it triggers quite a bit of anxiety and feelings of unsafety already.

    At some point, during our talk, iI explained it seemed a bit unfair, that years ago I was welcomed as ‘the first person with a visual disability’, and how then they assured me and almost begged me to start up, telling me I could count on an average of 8 hours a week

    Now those

  44. Margaret says:

    feelings that are triggered:
    a new confrontation with my disability, feelings of vulnerability, unsafety and hurt, sadness and fear

    old childhood feelings of being abandoned and left in a dangerous world I am not able to cope with
    unsafety, aloneness fear and being lost and on my own

    Did call my girlfriend here for a talk, after a cry, and she listened and was supportive, and I cried some more about the feeling frightened and the childhood pain being triggered.

    will go shopping with her and lunch on friday.

    Felt again like canceling singing class and rehearsals, but will go anyway.


    • Larry says:

      That’s terrible news Margaret. Reminds me of the times the carpet was pulled from under me. I never forget the feeling of those vulnerable times in my life. I worry for you but upon rereading your message it sounds like you’re coping OK.

  45. Fiona says:

    Sounds interesting. Haven’t read whole thing yet though. bed time!
    ‘Bacteria may transfer Mum’s stress to fetus’

    • Jack W says:

      Fiona: I read this article fully and what it demonstrated to me is that there seems to be a study emanating from every department of every university … on ever theme. I contend that 90% of all studies signify very little

      Janov has written extensively on stress … what stress is … how it occurs … and how to prevent it. I will resist the temptation to re-iterate is work and writings … but it is a very simple matter. These studies in the article suggesting that it is bacteria in the Virgina of the mother is totally absurd … bogus and to quote Janov just more booga booga science..

      For Patrick then to follow up with his notion that there is something in it lends credence to me that Patrick is way off on his assessment of the work of Art Janov. The question I would like to ask him is:- what was it when you first read “The Primal Scream” that got you to cross the pond … pay your $6,000 (maybe $8,000) then abandon it…. seemingly?.


      • Patrick says:

        Jack – I admit my mistakes and agree I am a ‘suppressive person’ and will read L Ron Hubbard’s seminal texts more closely because therein lies all truth. ‘Science’ be damned it has ALL been explained before, it is ALL so simple and it is ALL ‘feelings’

        • Jack W says:

          You could change all that if you so wished, but I doubt that reading further, Ron L. Hubbard will do it for you.

          How about you try re-reading “The Primal Scream” That might be a good start, However, I do agree with you that it is ALL so simple and certainty it’s ALL feelings … even though I figure that recently you don’t fully believe all that. It does require however that you know how to “express” your feelings … simply … and directly …. and know they BELONG to you and are not caused by other than you, though I agree are more often “triggered’ (to coin a more recent word use) by other things and people.


  46. Patrick says:

    That’s an interesting article Fiona – and also kind of bring up the question what exactly is ‘stress’. Of course it’s lots of things but if Dr Kruse is correct a relativly new (last 100 years) and increasing by the day form of stress is ‘non native electro-magnetic frequencies” think cell phones, wi-fi, computers, even regular household appliances and electricity itself. He says these frequencies cause stress ‘across the brainstem’ and I think makes a strong case that the (dramatic) increase in autism particularly but also lots of auto-immune conditions (asthma etc) may well be related to that issue. Stress does seem to be literally a killer – but is I think worth thinking about what exactly is it. It is not ONLY say psychological stress and problems and it seems the human race may be undermining itself in new and terrible ways. It seems to me there is something more going on and as an example look at all the ‘shooters’ – often it seems if you look into those their childhood situations were not necessarily that terrible or at least not eneough to explain some of the stuff they do

  47. Patrick says:

    Kind of continuing on the idea about how the human race is destr0ying itself – when I was a young boy it was my job to get spring water from a natural spring we had on the farm (it came out from the side of a river bank) that we used for drinking, making tea etc. We did not have any running water in those days and used regular river water or barrels collected from rain for all other purposes washing clothes, boiling potatoes etc

    Nowadays at home they have running water is it is ‘flouridated’ which from everything I read is very bad for health and actually in Europe is classed as a poison. But the still use it heavily in Ireland . (Oh the Irish!) Anyway my brother who still farms there tells me he cannot get his sheep to drink the water from the tap, they would prefer to crane their necks under an electric fence to reach and drink some dirty water that is on the ground rather than drink the tap water.

    And it got me to thinking the people there have no problem drinking the tap water and in our family my sister is a Medical Doctor and my brother is a Chemical Engineer and even myself (though I don’t ‘count’ so much I just have a bullshit Philosophy degree) anyway none of us noticed any difference in the drinking water. Does that make sheep ‘smarter’ than humans – it seems so

  48. Patrick says:

    This is a story on flouride and if I am not mistaken the water in Southern California is flouridated. What’s insidious about this also is even if you avoid drinking tap water the water used for irrigation of crops may be flouridated so you get it from vegetables, fruits etc which one would not even think of. As I say apparantly in Europe and the UK it is recognized as being a poison but in Ireland and lots of parts of the US ‘not so much’

  49. Margaret says:

    Guru, sure!

    Feel pretty shitty still today, feel like there is a risk the situation might threaten to depress me as I don’t see much I can do about it right away.

    Gonna write them an e-mail now, to ventilate just a bit, not an angry one, just some thoughts and feelings.


  50. Margaret says:

    Thanks to all of you who support and supported me so far.

    I just had a fine talk with my great buddy and yesterday a talk and a cry with a girlfriend, and sent a mail to my assistant about the plans of their organization and their impact on me.

    I got a nice reply backh and al of this makes me feel more grounded again. .

    Also managed to go to singing class and choir and rehearsals yesterday, was exhausting but positive.

    tomorrow will do some gift shopping with girlfriend so I feel I am still on track and doing what I can to make the best of the situation.

    I seem to have quite a few nice people around actually, and that feels very good.


  51. Patrick says:

    There is something about this ‘primal dinosaur’ thinking that really pisses me off. So we can have exploding rates of autism, Down’s Syndrome, auto immune disease up the ying yang…………….and oh no you are not even supposed to ‘wonder’ just stick with the ‘tried and true’ just keep repeating the same freaking nonsense year after year after year……………it’s true there is more and more information coming out that shows how important the time in the womb is but Janov and his acolytes response then is of course a kind of lame ‘I told you so’ and the implication they have an answer or a ‘cure’……………I would wonder what ‘answer’ Janov or his acolytes would have for a mother who had the bad luck of a child with autism no answer at all of course………..except to try to knock down people who actually are trying to probe into it more and actually come up with preventive measures or simply understand what is going on. But we (I) have been here before and probably will again…………..

    • Jack W says:

      “There is something about this ‘primal dinosaur’ thinking that really pisses me off.” It’s not surprising that it pisses you off cos:- to you, it’s “dinosaur’ thinking” Primal Therapy is NOT about thinking … It’s about feeling … F E E L I N G. If it was solely ‘about thinking’ it could be done and dealt with by going to a lecture. The “cure” that Art Janov was writing about was to get beyond “the pathology of feeling”. By ‘pathology’ it could be simpler stated “the death of feeling” Once one is feeling, then feelings are an ongoing process and in that sense, therapy is ongoing … whether formal with a therapist, buddying, or doing it yourself once having accomplished that ability.

      “just stick with the ‘tried and true’ just keep repeating the same freaking nonsense year after year after year……………” Your deeming it “the same freaking nonsense” is your take on what is taking place …not mine.

      On the other issue “Janov and his acolytes would have for a mother who had the bad luck of a child with autism ……” It’s not “bad luck”. It’s (by my reckoning) but bad mothering or, bad parenting. If that is the case, the present situation (through bad parenting) can only be dealt with between the parent, the child and the medical profession. It’s a case of “closing the barn (stable) door after the horse has bolted. Art Janov is making the case of the ‘root cause’ not as you are seemingly suggesting, that he is somehow attempting ‘to close the barn door before the horse bolts’ It is my contention that, that is something he will leave to others, (mainly the obstetrics departments and parenting councils) to attempt to change our child rearing practices.

      My take on you is: that you are blaming the messenger for the current state of affairs. Janov is merely stating the cause.


  52. Margaret says:

    There seems to be a new cure for diabetes type 2, if it is not already in such a serious stage that it needs enzyme treatment.

    The belgian university of Hasselt has won a reward for an ongoing study showing how sporting exercise before breakfast can actually cure that type of diabetes.

    I heard some of the biological explanations but can’t traduce them, but I am sure the news will be somewhere on the web.

    ight interest someone maybe.


  53. Margaret says:

    I just called my mother…

    I told her I go shopping next week, and that i planned on buying her house slippers and a warm robe for her upcoming birthday.

    She started saying she does not need or wear slippers, and has two robes..

    Then she admitted slippers might be useful for eventual hospital visits,and did not argue with one of her robes being really thin nylon.

    But the other robe was fine, she said. I told her it is over forty years old and a new fluffy one would be much nicer, or not??

    In the end I asked her why even buying her a gift had to end in a discussion, and I don’t even mention some other points of argumentation she brought up.

    It really got to me, and is sticking still, so I am writing to search for what is going on.

    Why does it matter so much to me, why can’t I leave it and leave her without slippers and with two old robes?

    I think what bugs me is I need her to be normal, to accept what I suggest,without sticking so much to her old ingrained convictions and weird habits.

    Although my dad was more distant, I loved him for his level of ‘realness’ and down to earthiness.

    Something is hurting badly here, why can’t my mother just say, oh that is nice, yeah, a nice new robe would be fine, and yes, I could use some nice slippers, it seems very simple, isn’t it?

    Then I wonder if her pigheadedness and stubbornness has to do with being raised in an institute, and automatically going in the opposition when others try to make you wear something…

    but I feel the need to know she will be warm in a hospital, and I need her to be ok and ‘normal’ at home..

    I need her to be a grown-up, so desperately, for my own sake.

    I dread the birthday and Xmas celebrations, too much unfulfilled need and craziness and pain. ..

    I am torn between wanting to avoid it, by calling her less and less, and needing her and needing her to be ok.

    So alone.


    • vicki says:

      Hi Margaret, I have been busy away from here for awhile, but have just caught up, and have thoughts about what you just wrote.

      I wonder why you would get in what sounds like such a big struggle with your mother. It really sounds like when you are in the conversation, you are wanting to grapple emotionally, intimately, with her. Like something in you is already looking for that. The discussion occurs not just because of her reactions and responses, but also because you are engaged with her in keeping it going, from your own need — I guess to change her for yourself, somehow.

      For example, when “She started saying she does not need or wear slippers, and has two robes.”, you could have said, “Ok, then I better not get you those things. Is there something else you would rather have?” You could have taken her response at face value, and moved on. Because you didn’t, I’m thinking you must have been feeling something else, and needed to struggle somehow with her, probably in a familiar way.

      By saying this, I am not implying that I never do the same thing — unfortunately, I still do. There is always more to be learned from it, usually “the hard way”, and I don’t want to keep repeating unproductive patterns in relationships.

    • Larry says:

      Yeah. I was wondering why not get your mother the birthday gift without telling her ahead of time what it’s going to be.

  54. Joe M says:

    A friend of mind made this feeling and moving music video about America. Let me know what you think.

  55. Joe M says:

    A friend of mine. . not mind.

  56. Margaret, I was having an almost identical thought as the one Vicki expressed. To take it a step further … Why not buy the gift and give it to her and if she would prefer something else then she can return it and pick something else ? I had the sense that this kind of exchange may happen quite a bit between you. Maybe it’s time for another way of approaching her. Gretchen

  57. Margaret says:

    yes, and thank you all for responding.
    I must admit that already during the phone call, actually a split second before I did it, Iknew somehow this was not a good idea to bring it up, to ask her opinion.
    Actually we had already talked about it before, so my excuse to myself to want to find out exactly which kind of slippers she prefers was a bit lame really I guess…

    I think it has to do with domination, I want to break through to her, want her to accept my take for once without struggling, and want her to be normal, and not look like a marginal person, weird and a little crazy, and very childish..

    I am working at not engaging in struggles, for example have let go for the moment of making her take household help, although she theoretically accepted to give it a try, she was so reluctant I know it would have become an endless struggle sapping all my energy.

    So iI should have been wiser and not brought up the subject as my intuition warned me to do..

    I needed her approval, and I needed her to give me the lead I guess..

    She turns everything in some kind of power struggle, and it saddens me to let go more and more and feel how little there seems to be left.

    NOw I feel like crying so this must be true.

  58. Margaret says:

    wow, I just had a long intense cry.

    It quickly turned into baby wailing, and then gradually the pitch got higher and the breaths shorter and shorter, until the crying seemed to come from a really tiny baby.

    I must have picked up something was not right pretty early..

    I had turned the radio on because of the neighbors, and after about 30 seconds of normal music it turned into a catholic mess being celebrated, ha, my neighbors must have thought I was very religious for a while..

    This blog and the feedback is so very useful for me, thanks again.


  59. Larry says:

    Music for the Sunday evening no-man-land between the end of one week and the start of another.

  60. vicki says:

    I had seen this before, but this Flashmob Orchestra playing in the square, moved me again.
    Som Sabadell flashmob – BANCO SABADELL

  61. Margaret says:

    Has the retreat started or something, the blog is so quiet?

    as far as I could deduct from the comments so far, it seems that Larry and Barry are going, well, probably more than them, of course I am curious..

    Today I seem to be hooked on dealing with as much as possible of what I need to attend to, and that is good.

    This morning, apart from usual little chores and a short visit of a plumber, I read a couple of hours in that huge course of clinical psychology, and guess what, just while I was eating my chicken korma, the subject I listened to was bulimia and anorexia and the different and plastic variations on the theme, with details..

    Then I spent an hour or so on learning a new nice song, poetic, about love, but kind of complicated, and it was nice to finally make progress in unraveling the exact rhythm frasing, or how should I say this..

    Then I watched my soap for half an hour, and felt obliged to work at learning my way around the website with my statistics course..

    I think I enjoyed the delving in my former ‘chores’ so much as I wanted to postpone this frightening and frustrating struggle with my software and the website and then the course as well…

    But as I just had a Skype/teamviewer class about the navigation, and I should practice before my next virtual class on thursday, there was no way around it but to do it..

    Well, I did go on for more than an hour, and made some tiny progress once more..

    That is good, although at the same time I become more aware of how much there still remains to learn, more and more, ha!

    Then I got a mail from my usual assistant K, saying they would not throw me out so to say, but would change the format , lord, I hate this text correction thing, another thing I need to learn about, to switch it off as I type a word and it decides to write something else, so sorry, I wanted to write f o r m a t but it refused to do so..

    I will still be able to keep my formidable assistant K, but will have to pay more. That is ok though, I will be relieved there will be a stable solution.

    After that cry about my mother I seem to be more at ease, able to sleep, and to be active, less fear so far, momentarily at least, and that is a relief.

    My dreams do some of the work, I had a very scary one this night, not having complete control over my movements and at the same time risking a deep fall, and I woke up exclaiming “I need help!”…

    Some old fear in disguise, but it is reassuring it gets processed bit by bit in my dreams..

    ok, enough babbling, hopefully someone else will respond or take over??


    • Hi Margaret:
      Well, I could talk about the $50 million-plus wrongful death settlement I never received based on all that occurred to me when I was ready to begin pre-school and how it will require centuries of slave labor & austere, puritanical living to match such an endowment, but I sense people tire of my little-understood plight…so I will slither like a snake back into the darkness.
      Wishing you well in the meantime.

      • Jack W says:

        Guru: Your assessment that your mother’s death was wrongful: somewhat eludes me. I was under the impression it was a traffic accident. If it was otherwise I suggest you elaborate on that for us.

        There are many human deaths taking place on the planet and in the US in particular on a daily basis and if each of these warranted a $50 million settlement for those left grieved or stricken by these deaths, I doubt there would be enough money in the world for those settlements.

        No payment will ever be a full compensation for grief or trauma to the survivors of those that are ‘wrongfully’ killed.

        As I see it for you, you are merely left to fully feel your grief … until it no longer debilitates you as seemingly it does … since you are for ever re-iterating it.


        • Jack: Did you not read where I said I am going to slither back into the darkness? I realize you have a tendency to take most things people say in a very literal sense (eg. many humorous things people say “fly over your cuckoo’s nest”).

          I am sure your feedback is sincere in its own way, but I really wish you hadn’t responded because all I can do now is explain that I don’t have the time or energy to pry apart all the points you made with a 25-page dissertation (and I still won’t get the $50 mil even after finishing that gigantic explanation, anyway, right? …Yeah, that’s what I thought…)

          Just for fun, though…I will play with one sentence you wrote before I go:

          No payment will ever be a full compensation for grief or trauma to the survivors of those that are ‘wrongfully’ killed.

          You’ll at least admit that it’s much easier for large, car-dependent entities to have these words roll off the tongue rather than actually forking over the dough, eh?

      • Phil says:

        UG: I just want to say, because of the last time this topic came up I can understand a little better how the money issue ties in for you in regards to your mother.

  62. Tom Verzar says:

    Hi UG
    Actually I thought Jack was right on I his response. I don’t understand why you took umbrage to it.
    It sounds to me like you feel cheated.
    Correct me if I am wrong.

  63. This is for Jack, Tom, and Phil (any others feel free to ignore):
    I was going to write this yesterday, but I had to leave for an appointment.
    I am being torn by two competing blog forces here.

    One force wants me to shut up and go away with my favorite pet topic (economic slavery/settlements). I’d have been perfectly OK with leaving things be for now after talking to Margaret. I was actually silently chuckling a bit when I wrote my little post to her.

    But the other force came roaring back at me yesterday in the form of THREE different people wanting to talk to me about this (and Margaret didn’t have to say anything!).

    I think people should know this topic isn’t entirely about me. I see it often on the computer (ie, Yahoo Finance, Jim Kunstler’s “Clusterfuck Nation”, etc.) that money awakens HUGE feelings overall in many people. It seems to bring forth a lot of anger, rage, despair, and the mean-spiritedness of people overall.

    Jack: You say a lot of interesting things about money I actually can agree with. (ie. Maybe money should be outlawed, it’s only a land of the free for billionaires, and there are not enough dollars in the world for everyone to grab their $50 million, etc.)
    Phil: Thanks for your acknowledgement.
    Tom: I see how much you struggle with money in your own life and trying to make a breakthrough. I sympathize with this. I was not angry at Jack. I was actually slightly amused.

    This post is just the tip of the iceberg with so many more things to say, but there’s just not enough time to deal with everything right now and I don’t want to hog the blog.

    Maybe later, though, huh?

    (Seals this caustic Pandora’s Box with dripping candle wax.)

    If Patrick made it this far. I have a link for you from one of my favorite guys (Paul Campos):

    Inside the Law School Scam

  64. Patrick says:

    Guru – you seem to be dealing with feelings of ‘smallness’ or ‘irrelevance’ anyway just want to say from my point of view no need for that of course I ‘made it this far’ you are one of the more ‘interesting’ people here and in a way feels like you are one of the ‘last left standing’. I would say Jack and I have kind of fatally damaged our ‘credibility’ with our mutual feuding, lots of others seem to have drifted away (Irena and Fiona where art thou?) so that leaves you (and Margaret) and some others being a bit facetious here…………..

    I would agree pretty much what he says about lawyers the fewer the better but am not sure about the economics of it. I think at least some of them still make pretty good money it’s one of those things (like psycho-therapy ?) that is kind of hard to ‘out source’ I am a bit curious though why you think this has relevance to me………… you see me as a kind of similar disgruntled ‘insider’ but me in the psycho-therapy arena. Just curious……………

    • Patrick: I’m not sure if it was here or somewhere else that I picked up the notion that you tend to dislike lawyers. I posted Campos’ link to show that the legal profession and law schools are in a lot of trouble right now partially because information technology has caused a great upheaval rendering human-administered legal services obsolete in many respects. All you have to do is read some sample comments below some of Campos’ more interesting blog entries to get a first-hand account of how desperate the situation is becoming for many law grads. Give your lawyer a hug today as he faces a Brave New World!

      • Patrick says:

        Guru – somehow I can’t feel that sorry for them and I don’t know how true it is. But EVERY ‘profession’ is under stress I know you like Jim Kunstler and he explains it very well the contracting pressures of energy depletion and hence financial depletion are relentless and ongoing. We are so conditioned to believe in economic ‘growth’ when as Kunstler explains we had better be figuring out how to manage ‘contraction’ as it is happening and will happen whether we like it or not. I think EVERYONE is facing a Brave New World. Which would also explain why there are not so many queing up to pay $6000 for Primal Therapy and what is even more amazing is $6000 in late ’70’s money would be what $25 – 30,000 now! Yes times HAVE changed.

        • Based on what you just said it would make Primal Therapists of today 80% cheaper and 80% kinder and more generous than the Primal Therapists of yesteryear (due to inflation)?

          Also interesting to note that 50% of retreat participants are receiving financial assistance. I have to wonder who the generous benefactor is there..

          I think this makes it pretty clear the therapists aren’t in it for the money (everybody’s gotta eat!).

          Jim Kunstler & Peak Oil stuff is interesting, but I have to defer that for another time.

          • From what I know of things, therapists were much more hard busting of client defenses back in the 70’s and 80’s. So both the defenses and the pocketbook were under heavy assault back then?

            Sounds like those were dark, gritty days under the realm of street muggers back then compared to the delicate, frilly, and gentle therapeutic sunflowers of today, yes?

  65. Patrick says:

    Guru – that figure of “50% of retreat participants are receiving financial assistance” was said by Barry on the blog which underlies kind of my problem with all that. Like is ANY of it true? And what’s the point of putting out stuff like that? Is he being ‘funny’ is that EVEN funny? I have a problem when ‘truth’ becomes so fungible you don’t know your arse from your elbow as they used to say in Ireland. I feel we are being mocked and taken for chumps. Also if 50% are getting financial assistance…………..doesn’t that kind of annoy the people who are NOT getting it. After all I am sure everyone would feel deserving?

    • I thought it was a pretty nice & generous setup? I was impressed when I read that, myself. It could be 0%, couldn’t it?

      • Patrick says:

        Yeah but how do you QUALIFY? Are you a ‘deserving cause’ how do you judge that and I come to the question how much if ANY of this is true? I really don’t like being ‘played with’ in that way.

      • Dear Guru, I just assume most people can tell the difference between my having a bit o’ fun and the more serious things I also say- My comments about helping people financially are totally true-we simply do as much as we can for as many people as possible.Sometimes we can do more,sometimes less.Is there some objective mathematical standardized criteria we use to “qualify”people-No,there is not nor do we aspire to one.It’s pretty easy to identify sincere motivated people that need a little help.All the best,Barry

        • Patrick says:

          Well call me dense Barry but I CAN’T. Lots of what you said is clearly ‘not true’ so really how can we tell? Like all the background checks thing – not true. Atty story – not true The 50% discount story – probably not true (mostly) But we get into all this stuff about patients welfare being your ‘compass’ all the people who are refused entry to the retreat I have to go with ‘not true’ Sorry I do and what I don’t like about it also it recalls a lot of Dr Janov’s ‘representations’ about therapy which also turned out to be in many respects ‘not true’ also.

          Before Jack starts blabbing about what made me pay $6000 and cross the ocean…………well call me ‘dense’ again but I come from a culture where truth especially in matters of life and death which primal therapy is is super important and not something that should be shaded or trivled with. Also before Jack starts blabbing some more I do ‘believe’ and accept the primal hypothesis totally…………..I just think Janov though he did come up with it is in many ways a flawed messenger. And I don’t see Barry doing much of anything to ‘correct’ things more of a stringing along kind of almost double talk.

          The ‘results’ of a lot of this is plain to see by someone who is prepared to open their eyes. And please no lectures about how I can’t get in touch with my feelings or some other self serving “Jack-talk” I have my difficulties of course but turning all this back on the questioner is the oldest trick in the book………………and is actually hate to say this the hallmark of cults. Never address the substance but put it all back on the questioner. Not cool at all IMO and was the worst aspect of primal I expierienced in the ’80’s so many suicides and Dr Holden lost his mind……………oh well don’t look for the man behind the curtain the only question is “What does it mean to you” This is eneough to stop someone’s ‘therapy’ in it’s tracks and it did mine. Again before Jack tries to paint me as some failure (unlike him) I was by far not the only one, I would say I was pretty representative of what went on………………I guess we/I are not nearly as ‘smart’ as Jack who somehow navigated all this unscathed and has lived long eneough to ‘fullfill Janov ‘s promise’ whatever that is. But maybe he has again I am possible too ‘dense’ to know

          • Erron says:

            Hi Patrick, where did you do therapy in the 80’s? Sounds like my experience…

            • Patrick says:

              Erron – at the Primal Institute in Los Angeles so no ‘mock therapy’ involved. But the question arises who is really ‘mock’ and it’s funny how you know the way the insults we pass out usually say a lot about ourselves. So who was ‘mock’ or who was mocking who…………a feeling I still get from Barry that we are being ‘mocked’

              • Erron says:

                Yes, I’ve heard a lot of the stories about therapy in the early days. My mock therapy was pretty crazy too.

                Taking a macro view of it all, it’s interesting how primal therapy seems to have had a traumatic childhood. Which, considering the state of all the early participants, seems only natural.

              • Larry says:

                It says a lot that you feel you are being mocked.

            • Man! Patrick! That sure is a withering assault….I feel bad for Barry right now.

          • Jack W says:

            “….But maybe he has again I am possible too ‘dense’ to know”

            Now there’s a thought.


          • Larry says:

            Interesting what you said Patrick, that you were pretty representative of what went on, because I feel l was pretty representative of what went on, in the early 80’s when I did my therapy, and the experience of my friends confirms my impression, and my experience was nothing like what you describe.

  66. Patrick says:

    Guru (you again) it’s true I tend not to have such a good opinion of lawyers and thought you might find this link interesting. Kind of shows how lawyers can ‘spin’ anything any which way

  67. Patrick says:

    Doctor my eyes…………says a lot I think at least to me

    • Patrick: Are you still pissed off at Barry about the “bright lights & lots of sugar” comment he made some time ago? You mentioned this here on the blog some months ago so I’m not revealing anything private here. The broadside you just gave Barry left me wondering about this,,,

    • Erron says:

      Beautiful song, thanks…

      • jackwaddington says:

        Erron:    Your comment prompts me to respond by asking you:-  “What was your EXPERIENCE of Primal Therapy … and where did you get that experience and for how long were you in therapy.”    I feel, ALL this to be relevant in creating your experience of this Therapy.


  68. The Primal building was once burned down (apparently by an angry arsonist). I myself once gave Barry a brutal verbal lashing years ago.

    I suppose he’s probably been yelled at & spit upon more times than I know and he’s seen it all by now.

    So go ahead, Patrick, let him have it. I probably underestimated his ability to “take it” because of my own limited window of experiences.

  69. Patrick says:

    Now Guru – you are a smart and funny fellow but I think you like a good ‘spectacle’ sometimes………….nothing wrong with that just I am a bit wary of just playing my role here and playing the “angry Irishman”. Still it’s ok at least you respond and talk about things unlike Barry actually. And ok he has a right not to respond but I have to say again I am not ‘impressed’ by that, he pointedly responds to ALL the ‘praising’ ones…………..that’s the easy part and I understand he might be playing the ‘above it all’ role, he is above going down to my level he might think. Still not very ‘primal’ at least to my way of thinking but maybe I have it wrong. I become more aware of how each of us bring to PT the expierience of our background and I have become more aware also of my Irish background and heritage. A generalization but there is something close to ‘indigenous’ in the native Irish background and when you get down to that level well yes there is a difference in many many ways too numerous and complicated to go into right now.

    I also thought Erron’s comment (your name sounds like a cross between Enron and Error) was very perceptive that primal itself has had a traumatic childhood…………..I couldnt agree more and kind of wish I was that cool about it. One of the smartest things I have read about it in an awful long time. I think that would be an excellent starting point in all these discussions but that is very hard to do . People have all kinds of ‘investments’ in believing everything is/was fine, the need to ‘succeed’ the need to kiss up to therapists, the psychology of previous investment where is is very hard to admit a wrong turn, therapists need to be right, expert , never have made bad errors etc. But I think it would really take something like that. ( A Primal “Truth & Reconciliation” thing like in South Africa)I see this in my own life I have been ‘invested’ in believing certain things and to make any progress sort of need to drop that. The macro reflects the micro there.

    Guru (back to you) well yes you asked about Barry remark about “the bright lights & lots of sugar” comment and if it pissed me off. Actually it did but you know I don’t hold it against him forever or anything Barry says a lot of things and I make allowances for his ‘humor’ so yes it pissed me off but what bothers me more is it seems all of a piece with Barry. It’s not that one comment and to maybe beat a dead horse but this blog he wrote just seems at the least cynical and mocking and at the most deceptive and dishonest. That’s really how it hits me and for all I have said about it – no response I would imagine he should not have a problem sort of explaining what he meant but I take his silence actually as ‘evidence’ that I cut too close to the bone.

    • Erron says:

      It’s pronounced ‘eren’, and is a cross between Errol (Flynn) and Erin Gobrah because my mother had Irish relatives, one of whom she adored. Mother was not well 😉

  70. Patrick says:

    I feel a bit bad now like I am a boxer pummeling someone who does not hit back. But still……………..Barry is a big boy and can take of himself maybe he has the attitude of you do not hit down (those below you). But I don’t consider myself ‘below’ Barry this should be all open to discussion and thought IMHO

  71. Margaret says:

    there is so much anger and suspicion in all you say, it is sad really, the world must look an ugly place to you too much of the time.

    I can assure you most people I know have at some point or another received financial support from the PI.

    More than 50 percent of what needed to be paid actually, sometimes the whole retreat for free.

    Also when there has been said half of the patients have been supported, that means imo they have gotten support at some point, not that half of the retreat attendants at a given moment every time get support, but well, I guess in your view that might be trivial, as you believe you are being cheated on in any way.

    You go on to Barry for not responding, but he did respond, very specifically so.

    This is completely unfair, and I just want to say to give some counterweight here, that it is pretty crazy to keep going on at the actual pI about some things that passed way bak in the 80’s presumably.

    We are almost 40 years further now, and therapy at the PI is being done in a fine, generous and very real way.

    I wonder if apart from angry, you might also be scared to go for it really and face your monsters.

    I have seen you running away a number of times.

    It takes guts to surrender to being vulnerable, ‘weak’ as you would call it, and you seem to be kicking around like crazy to give yourself all kinds of excuses not to go for the real thing, while you don’t really want to leave either.


  72. Patrick says:

    OK Margaret – it is nice if the PI ‘helps out’ people in need I mean I would not say at all I feel they are in any way ‘mercenary’ in fact I have noticed Gretchen does a lot of un-compensated work and I even suggested to her why should or would she do that? On the other hand and I never knew this it is a bit of a slippery slope when you start giving ‘deals’ I mean it does raise the question of fairness and it can become who is the best ‘salesperson’ for themselves in terms of making the case that they need ‘help’. I am sure everyone could feel they need help anyway ok if they have a heart far be it from me to overly criticise that.

    About harking back to the ’80’s what is ‘behind’ that for me is I feel I took a ‘wrong turn’ in that at that time I was dealing with two major issues one was the PI itself which I felt was a ‘zoo’ of chaos and lack of help and also the financial pressures of survival. A lot of people here know I got very involved in business and building up a business but now I feel that was a ‘wrong turn’ also in that it was so much a recreation of my childhood of constant and un-relenting ‘work’ no peace or no fun, a lot of stress and I ended up really messing myself up physically and I am sure mentally also. I had a really bad ulcer and then diabetes so I have been trying to ‘unwind’ a lot of that including physically.

    And I do realize more that these are MY issues and my interest in food and biology generally comes from that and I can see these may not be major issues for a lot of other people. So this is a kind of ‘mea culpa’ in a way……………..but it gets tricky for me because though I would say I am not a ‘blaming’ person by nature on the other hand in the big picture I do feel I did not have much of a choice at that time in that I felt so ‘unhelped’ by the PI. After all the reason I had come here was for PT, I still ‘believed’ in it but found it totally unworkable the way the group ‘zoo’ was conducted and of course there was a huge feeling of dissapointment and failure.

    To kind of come up to the present day……………..I have this attitude if they were ‘wrong’ once they can be wrong again or still be wrong. I am a believer in ‘origins’ if the origin of something is off it tends to stay off even aside from adjustments. I think the PI has made lots of adjustments and again I feel Gretchen had done heroic work and her caring and helpfulness has carried everything along. But I do feel they are missing the boat in more ways than one and unfortunatly I am probably not the right messenger or whatever to really help. My way of ‘communicating’ is not that polished or slick and I of course have my own issues to say the least. But to bring about any ‘change’ in PT is also almost impossible because the whole kind of mind-set tends to reduce ANYTHING anyone has to say to an ‘old feeling’. And that is unfortunatly really disempowering and is one of the very unfortunate effects of that whole way of ‘thinking’ or sorry I should say F E E L I N G to be ‘primally correct’ at least according to some.

    As far as Barry and this particular blog I will let this drop now I guess he had done a Muhammed Ali on me “he floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee” but I can’t catch him but my opinion for whatever it is worth is I don’t like a situation rife with too much ‘deception’ and ‘disinformation’. As far as the ‘truth’ in anything of this blog I just have to give up as Barry is not it seems about to be ‘serious’ or make anything clear.

    • Tom Verzar says:

      Hi Patrick
      I sometimes get the feeling reading your lines that you lived on a different planet to me. Your constant nagging, whining and contemptuous comments about the therapists and the therapy is way over the top.
      I also started therapy in 1983. How come I didn’t experience any of your grievances? What puts us apart in this? Why the constant accusations of ‘deception’ and ‘disinformation’.. Where do you get that from? You don’t think for a moment that it is only your take on the therapy and therapists? You seem to constantly lash out, and when someone pulls you up on asking an explanation, your nose gets out of joint. Nobody does it right for you. Nobody did it right for you.
      Go back and read your own postings and see if you still agree with yourself.

  73. Patrick says:

    To lighten the mood a bit I just got this from my brother who does own a small farm in Ireland. I guess he can relate………’s called “The Irish half-wit”

    A man owned a small farm in Ireland . The Irish Internal Revenue
    determined he was not paying proper wages to his staff and sent an
    investigator out to interview him.

    “I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them!” demanded the
    “Well,” replied the farmer, “there’s my farm hand who’s been with me for
    three years. I pay him €200 a week plus free room and board.
    “The cook has been here for 18 months, and I pay her €150 per week plus
    free room and board.

    “Then there’s the halfwit. He works about 18 hours every day and does
    about 90% of all the work around here. He makes about €10 a week. He pays
    his own room and board, and I buy him a bottle of whiskey every Saturday
    night. He also sleeps with my wife occasionally.”
    “That’s the guy I want to talk to…the halfwit!” said the agent.

    “That would be me,” replied the farmer.

  74. Patrick says:

    Margaret and anyone else (still) listening, here is something I wrote to a friend a few days ago maybe gives a better notion of what I am complaining about as I find it hard to just be ‘vulnerable’ here anyway………………………………….

    “………………………….I can/could see more clearly all the SAME struggles, the anxiety, fear, stress and the self denial, working like crazy for other no life no fun no peace and it is very sad to think I did it ALL to myself ALL over again, I did if for another 20+ years. And that’s why I can feel a bit ‘bitter’ towards the PI of course I did do it to myself so I acknowledge that BUT also at that time in the mid 80’s to me there was so little being offered there, then the suicides, Michael Holden going off HIS rocker and so on. What were my choices and here is a ‘hostile’ country with no social safety net I felt I HAD to do something. But ok I did it to myself……………”

  75. Mini-Me-Guru says:

    This is UG. I am having trouble with my other account so I am making an emergency switch here.

    I just wanted to say to Patrick that Barry may not be showing up here much for a while because he has a really big day tomorrow. He probably needs to prepare his copy of the Warren Report for a big roundtable discussion tomorrow, etc.

  76. Margaret says:

    I read, but very busy, and then in the evening too tired to come up with any reaction, but keep going I would say, smiley M

  77. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Test message. Ignore.

  78. Anonymous says:

    Hi everyone
    thought I’d show myself as I am having a very difficult time right now–I got laid off work so
    things are very scary financially
    if anyone has any leads about jobs especially waitress work–love to hear about it
    Mary Z

    • Larry says:

      It’s good to hear from you Mary. I hope you keep letting us know how you are doing. I hope a job turns up for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thankyou Larry
        I am glad you responded especially since I didn’t respond to you when you tried to
        contact me a couple of times in the past
        much appreciated
        Mary Z

        • Larry says:

          Mary I’m on your side. I appreciate that sometimes connection feels too difficult. I’m really glad you follow the blog. I hope you become part of it. Sometime it can really help.

    • irena says:

      Mary, my lovely, (is it you?) I wish I could get you a job right away. It is a very scary place to be in, with no security in the near future. But if you fancy to email me for a ‘chat’ please have Atty give you my address. I’d love to hear from you.

      • Anonymous says:

        What a lovely greeting Irena!
        Yes its ‘me’ in a crazy place
        Its so nice to be getting these supportive responses as I was so scared to show myself
        By showing myself it felt there would never be a safe place in the world for me
        will get your email
        thankyou very much
        Mary Z

    • Tom Verzar says:

      hi Mary Z
      I noticed a lot of signs for barristas in and around Sydney. That’s Australia.
      All jokes aside it was a pleasant surprise to see you on the blog. I wish there was something I could to to help.
      Hang in there.

  79. Margaret says:

    Hi Mary!
    I am so sorry to hear you have to search for a job again.
    Seems not right, you have already worked so hard for so long.

    i hope something nice and stable comes up for you.
    Wish there was more I could do or say to help you.
    So good you wrote here, hope you keep us posted,


    • Anonymous says:

      Thankyou Margaret
      its good to be acknowledged and invited to share what’s going on with me–that is
      already doing a lot
      much appreciated
      Mary Z

  80. vicki says:

    I liked this advice column letter, which I have copied here, for those who can’t read links. I should also note that I wondered if the letter to Amy could be a setup, as it seems so extreme. Although several commented they thought it was fake, others said they know of conservative people like that.

    Ask Amy: Parent pressures gay son to change – By Amy Dickinson, Published: November 18

    DEAR AMY: I recently discovered that my son, who is 17, is a homosexual. We are part of a church group and I fear that if people in that group find out they will make fun of me for having a gay child.

    He won’t listen to reason, and he will not stop being gay. I feel as if he is doing this just to get back at me for forgetting his birthday for the past three years — I have a busy work schedule.

    Please help him make the right choice in life by not being gay. He won’t listen to me, so maybe he will listen to you. — Feeling Betrayed

    DEAR BETRAYED: You could teach your son an important lesson by changing your own sexuality to show him how easy it is. Try it for the next year or so: Stop being a heterosexual to demonstrate to your son that a person’s sexuality is a matter of choice — to be dictated by one’s parents, the parents’ church and social pressure.

    I assume that my suggestion will evoke a reaction that your sexuality is at the core of who you are. The same is true for your son. He has a right to be accepted by his parents for being exactly who he is.

    When you “forget” a child’s birthday, you are basically negating him as a person. It is as if you are saying that you have forgotten his presence in the world. How very sad for him.

    Pressuring your son to change his sexuality is wrong. If you cannot learn to accept him as he is, it might be safest for him to live elsewhere.

    A group that could help you and your family figure out how to navigate this is This organization is founded for parents, families, friends and allies of LGBT people, and has helped countless families through this challenge. Please research and connect with a local chapter.

    • Jack W says:

      Vicki: It never ceases to amaze me that ones sexual orientation is assumed to be a conscious choice. I say conscious because it has been deemed that it was a choice made perhaps in the womb by (me) the fetus. I cannot argue that case either way, but do feel that I too had to make a choice. Not a choice of sexuality, but a choice for life or death. I made the choice for life, but in doing so had to compromise my consciousness and acept it unconsciously, or as I would rather claim, “Subconsciously”


  81. Larry says:

    I wrote a while back, maybe it was last summer, about a young woman in my bereavement group who I have taken a liking to. It’s now several months later and it’s still obvious to me that we are mutually interested in each other, except I don’t know quite what the interest is. The problem for me is that she is 24 years younger than me. It is scary enough to let myself get interested in a woman close to my age, never mind the scary complexities and difficulties I see in possibly getting romantically involved in someone so much younger than me. In fact, I have a growing feeling that my gut just won’t let me get romantically invested in someone who is so much younger, because I need the security and depth of a relationship with someone closer to my age and phase of life where we share understanding of life experience. But I shouldn’t be afraid to get to know the young woman as a friend, so that is my goal for now. But whenever I talk with her I feel so good, life seems so much brighter and interesting, and I want more of her.

    She isn’t the only woman of my acquaintance of interest to me. There some other ladies, near my age, who I’m drawn to. I’m letting myself interact with women a lot more than I ever used to. It’s not so scary as it used to be. I can tell some are interested in me. I never used to be able to. One new lady I’ve met twice, in an outing with one or more other friends. I noticed her right away at that first movie outing with me and 10 ladies. I want to get to know her more. I feel she is curious about me too. But for her because I don’t know her yet, none of the other women I’ve mentioned in this paragraph are anyone who I would hitch my life to. Nevertheless getting to know them is interesting and worthwhile. Women are mysterious interesting people.

    At last Monday evening’s bereavement group meeting, the normally quiet young woman I mentioned in my first paragraph talked a lot about disquieting experiences with the care giving professions during her dying husband’s illness. Her outpouring stirred memories for me of the rug-pulled-out-from-us life-out-of-control vulnerable feeling at the shocking diagnosis of Noreen’s cancer and the unstoppable caving in of the life we had known. As the bereavement group meeting ended and we went round the table and offered our final comments, I remarked that the biggest impact on me from the meeting that evening was her story.

    It was almost 10 pm when I arrived home after the meeting, but for the first time I decided to phone her to talk a bit about what the meeting had stirred in me. I left a message. She was on her treadmill, draining off some of the grief stress from the meeting so she could sleep more peacefully.

    Within 10 minutes she phoned me back. We talked for more than an hour, well past our normal bedtime. Along the way, she said I am different from the others, in knowing my feeling and knowing how to talk about it, like no one else can. I told her about primal therapy, and why I went to it, and what it gives me. I told her that sometimes I don’t feel I should say anything in group, because the others can’t primal through the feeling that I talk about. She encouraged me with, “What you say helps them.”

    I felt great after our conversation. There is a connection between us that feels rare, that I need to explore. I’m afraid. And I’m appreciating how differently I live and experience life than everyone else here because I approach life the primal way.

    I am alone. All the people here in my life are spinning their wheels, searching, going round and round, wanting and never finding. I am so thankful and feel so lucky and privileged that I am healing, my life is growing, expanding, getting richer and deeper. I feel sad and alone that everyone else is stuck, lost, and searching.

    • Larry says:

      Correction in third last paragraph: “I told her that sometimes I don’t feel I should say anything in the bereavement group……..”

      • Tom Verzar says:

        Hi Larry
        Man, what a journey you are on. Reading your posting is so riveting.
        As far as the age difference is concerned, it can be tricky, but don’t let that come between the two of you, with this young woman. After all she probably knows what she is getting into.
        My father got together with a woman 32 years his junior, and they lived happily ever after, until they made a monumental mistake of having a child when my father was 83 years old.
        By the sounds of it, you are already CLOSE friends.
        I am barracking for you.

        • Larry says:

          Was that your father and mother Tom? I appreciate your encouragement and support. Pardon my frankness but from what you wrote I can’t help feeling that your father and that woman didn’t have their heads screwed on quite straight. Not good role models for me.

          • Tom Verzar says:

            Hi Larry
            No, it was my father and his second wife. I agree they were not a role model. My point was that although there was a large age difference, they got on well and had a good life. The fact is that you have more in common with your lady, than my father had with his second wife.
            Don’t take me the wrong way. I am just encouraging to your experience with this lady. It sounds special.

  82. Margaret says:

    Just arrived home after the reunion at the blind school.

    my former computer teacher was there,and I spend a lot of time with her
    I was aware of a lot of pain, inside of myself and everywhere around, but on the other hand everyone taking up the challenge to deal and live with it and make the best of things.

    I feel I have grown stronger, and I feel I
    She is not visually impaired, but shortly after I left the school, she had a bad fall from the stairs at her house, and broke her back.

    So now she sits in a wheelchair and it was the first time for her to come back to the school.

    She is still adjusting, to this major disruption of her busy and sporty life she used to have.

    Then I found one of my former fellow students, a woman my age who survived a serious breast cancer some years ago, and who is also a foster ‘parent’ for guide dogs.

    She told me she has a hard time working with her screen reading software, so I gave her some advice and planned a visit of her and her husband to my place to show her how I work with my Mac Book and its once-over software.

    I saw my former sports teacher and I might be able to join a langlauf skiing trip this winter, hopefully.

    I also talked with her about the possibility of starting up our own sports group maybe.

    then on coming home I managed to talk to my neighbor and ask him if he would do some isolation works in my apartment, putting silicone paste on some cracks and holes in my old windows where the icy wind blows through…

    Then I made a call to my mother which was ok, so it has been a good useful day really.
    sorry for the typos, dunno if it is my laptop or the few glasses of wine, or me just being tired, or sloppy, haha, as some would say…

    going off to put something very comfortable on now and take my soft new blanket and yeeeah, curl up on the couch ith an audio book and the remote control of the tv and some tea and cookies, ha!


  83. vicki says:

    “Stairway to Heaven”, the classic from Led Zeppelin, was performed by the band Heart in front of keyboardist/bassist John Paul Jones, singer Robert Plant, & guitarist Jimmy Page, at the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony in 2012, making Robert Plant cry. It was a fine rendition:

    • Joe M says:

      The members of the band look like they are really enjoying the tribute. . . that was really cool to see.

      • vicki says:

        After posting this, I found a longer version, that showed the drummer behind Heart was Jason Bonham. After Jason’s father, Led Zep drummer John Bonham, died, Led Zeppelin disbanded, but later played with Jason on different occasions.

  84. Donal says:

    I just got around to reading your article: very humorous (Bernfeldian humor, one might say). Maybe sometime you can write about those of us with Nervous systems that rev like Porsches and those others with the Prius-like ones (if you remember that analogy of yours). I would actually be very interested in any writings you might undertake on that particular topic. I think retreats are wonderful ways to get ahead a few notches in therapy, and their effect lasts a few months. I honestly have not been to one that did not help me a lot. So, whatever you guys actually do to prepare for them, keep up the good work!

  85. Patrick says:

    “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time” – T. S. Eliot.

  86. Patrick says:

    One of Dr Kruse’s thought for the holidays

    “The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you”

    I like that a lot.

  87. Patrick says:

    Can’t think of a nicer and more appropriate song…………………..

  88. Patrick says:

    That Leann Rimes reminded me of this song of her’s which Howard Dean always had playing at his rallies when he was running for President in 2003-04 which I found so hopeful at the time and at least politically a feeling which seems to have dissappated completly unfortunatly

  89. Margaret says:

    The retreat must be in motion now, is any of the bloggers there and occasionally on line? And checking the blog?
    How are things over there??
    Wish I was there right now!!

    Am kind of ok right now though, my best girlfriend organized a lunch and then possible massages afterwards at her house, and the lady giving the massages was so very good, the best massage I ever got really.

    In combination with the good company of friends, and a lovely homemade lunch, it was a very nice afternoon.

    But still, I miss the retreat atmosphere, the company, the groups, the sunshine, although I remember some retreats when it was quite chilly too some days..

    how is the new kind of exercise going, what was it again, a key word about some specific something, I forgot, ha, age setting in, but I would love my memory being refreshed by someone.

    A great thanksgiving to everyone, right now I am grateful for the blog, and for any kindness and warmth I run into..

    Would be even more grateful for some retreat news, ha, my curiosity is in frustration mode right now!


    • Larry says:

      Margaret, it is obscenely sunny and gorgeous here in LA, and the people at the retreat were as warm as ever. It’s softening me up and I want to cry all the time. Looking forward to the dark, cold and harsh isolation back home to toughen me up, where my thoughts are preoccupied with worry about slipping on ice and cracking my head open on the cement sidewalk at -30C.

      Hope to see you next summer.

  90. Patrick says:

    I thought this interesting (it’s from Michael Moore’s movie “Bowling for Columbine”) being around Thanksgiving and all………………and I have to say did remind me of more ‘modern times’ and about how certain people from let’s just say ‘Europe’ not wanting to pick on anyone, came here determined to stop ‘thinking’ and do only “F E E L I N G” and how tricky life is and how we seem to ALWAYS repeat history aside from maybe good intentions. And how especially that kind of let’s just say ‘European’ not wanting to pick on anyone, combination of moralism and hypocricy is ‘immune’ to almost anything and everything including ‘reality’

    • Jack W says:

      “‘European’ not wanting to pick on anyone, combination of moralism and hypocricy is ‘immune’ to almost anything and everything including ‘reality’”

      By who’s definition of reality???? It’s maybe time to do a bit of feeling … and cut out some of this THINKING. Mmmmm!!!!


  91. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We miss those of you who are not with us in Santa Barbara! Gretch, Barry , Mark and Atty

  92. Patrick says:

    Just because the retreat is on don’t mean all of those “left behind” can’t keep talking. Guru – where are you? Maybe you have hit the ‘jackpot’ and hopefully not the ‘crack pot’ lol. Just heard this song on the radio that I liked, one question occurs to me say when this guy is singing the song is he ‘thinking’ or ‘F E E L I N G” I guess Jack could ‘decide’……………..

  93. Patrick says:

    Guru – I apologize if my little ‘joke’ above upset you in any way. To be clear it means nothing and there certainly wasn’t any suggestion about ‘crack’ involved. It was really just a cheap and thoughtless ‘pun’ and I hope you hit the jack-pot (whatever that is for you)

  94. Margaret says:

    Today is my mother’s birthday..

    We go to her this afternoon.

    I called her to wish her happy birthday shortly after waking up out of a nice dream.
    I dreamed she and my brother and me and a dog took out on a long hiking trip.
    Soon we lost her out of sight as she walked faster than we did, but it was ok.

    At some point we passed through a wood with enormous gorgeous trees, ten times bigger than what you usually see, with huge strangely shaped roots and the sun shining in through a roof of leaves far far above us. I said to my brother, in the dream, that these trees were as beautiful as the ones I sometimes see in my dreams..

    Then we arrived at a huge mountain cave, also fascinatingly beautiful and spooky at the same time.

    We were just a little concerned by then about my mother not being there waiting for us, and if she would be ok, but it seemed still ok not to try and call her, as there was probably no connection there anyway, and she was following her own pace.

    We continued climbing over a steeper rocky part, saying to each other we could always call her boyfriend in the orst case scenario where we would not run into her, so we could keep enjoying our own travel really, that last bit was not put to words.

    I woke up feeling kind of calm, just a bit apprehensive the call to my mom might make me feel frustrated again, but hey, I had to wish her happy birthday.

    But it went fine, she was ok, cheerful, said I was the third to call in ten minutes, after her friend and my brother.

    at some point I told her the dream and she laughed, and said she was still around, I smile thinking back of that.

    So now, after doing household chores all morning, my brother will come by and pick me up, and I hope we will have a nice day.

    Will let you know..


  95. Patrick says:

    Thanks Margaret for taking me off the ‘front page’ though now I have shot myself in the foot (wouldn’t be the first time) and put myself back on it! Still I have been ‘thinking’ (sorry Jack I do a bit of that I know you are well beyond all that and into your F E E L I N G S and good for you!) anyway where was I ?……………oh yes I have been thinking about the whole “Left Behind” thing and kind of ‘feeling’ that I imagine Barry leading the retreat group into “The Rapture”. Still that does not sound right at all the ‘rapture’ is based on a lot of Christian gullibility, superstition and nonsense I would say Barry is a lot ‘smarter’ (not to say ‘cynical’ maybe to say ‘cynical’ come to think of it) still we should be grateful maybe Barry may not lead anywhere but at least he does not lead us ‘astray’. Though at times being not being led anywhere seems/feels very close to being led astray.

  96. Patrick says:

    Talking about being led astray……………

    “Tell me the story now, now that it’s over
    Wrap it in glory for one Irish Rover
    Tell me you’re wiser now, tell me you’re older
    Wrap it in glory for one Irish Rover

    I can tell by the light in your eye
    That you’re, you’re so far away
    Like a ship out on the sea
    Without a sail you’ve gone astray

    Tell me the facts real straight, don’t make me over
    Wrap it in glory for one Irish Rover
    Tell me you’ll see the light, tell me you’ll know me
    Make it come out alright and wrap it in glory for one Irish Rover

    For one Irish Rover
    For one Irish Rover
    For one Irish Rover”

    Van Morrison – One Irish Rover Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  97. Margaret says:

    we had a fine day really, and my mom had a nice birthday.

    Patrick, thanks for posting my comments this week in Fiona’s absence.


  98. Margaret says:

    p.s. Again, like at the end of last visit, my brother paid me a compliment about my cloths.

    It is surprising how good that feels, and it kind of illustrates how much warmer and opener our communication haas become.

    this was really a good day to remember.

    My mom was very pleased with her gifts after all, ha!

    First she wanted to put her slippers away as to keep them clean for maybe some day a visit to the hospital, but I made her put them on and very soon she was actively enjoying how comfortable they really are and how pleasant to wear indoors…

    this was a warm visit.

  99. Leslie says:

    Have to tell you – all my friends who have been so kind in asking and waiting to hear about my brother – He Got The Call late Friday aft.!! His open heart surgery will be this coming Friday – Dec.6th.
    Feeling every emotion really – scared, relieved and yes thankful. Love that we (B & I) honour both Thanksgivings (Cdn and American) as the timing of this news is sweet.
    ox L.

  100. Margaret says:

    I imagine a lot of different feelings will be going on all week for your whole family .

    I wish you all mutual support when needed, strength and of course a successful operation and recovery.

    I hope you and your family live in driving distance from the hospital.

    Sorry, I hope the comment does not spell diving, this automatic correcting software keeps interfering with what I repeatedly try to write, must find a way to switch the darn thing off for once and for all!

  101. Leslie says:

    Thank you Margaret! We appreciate your good wishes.
    We live almost an hour away from his hospital downtown – which like LA is not unreasonable.

    The unbelievable thing however is that B. returns from LA Thurs. aft. and just last week we finalized a Hotwire Downtown Hotel deal for that night as we had booked off work on Friday. This was all before we even knew about the surgery date.
    It is just working so well that we will be right there so close to him!
    ox L.

  102. Tom Verzar says:

    Hi Leslie
    Wish your brother all the best. Hope the operation wi go well.

  103. Margaret says:

    my mom called the day after her birthday.

    at some point she mentioned feeling very distressed about not remembering having seen her boyfriend the day before, when he spoke about it when she saw him the next day.
    then it turned out she did not remember her birthday celebration either, and she said she could start crying about it, and if it would be summer she would feel like just walking off into the woods..

    i hesitated just a split second about letting her , or encouraging her to cry, as she wasn’t doing so yet, but I don’t know whether I didn’t because it did not feel opportune for her or because I felt I could not cope or deal with it, or did not want to.

    What I did was gently bringing up some details about her birthday and our visit the day before, and that helped her to bring back some of the memory about it.

    I told her she had not lost the entire memory, but had mostly a hard time bringing it back up, and she said that was partly due to living by herself and not having a person around to talk about stuff over and again.

    She was more calm about things now we talked about it and she said she was ok, and repeated as she had said the night before, that if ever something would happen to her, we should know she had two fine children.

    I ccan understand it must be very scary to be aware of not being able to remember important events of only the day before, and I can literally feel my heart tightening up with concern for her and how she must feel at those moments, but there is only so much I can do.

    she seems to be coping better lately, and I fear if I let her go back into her fear and distress, she will get stuck in it once more. she lives mostly in the present, and it seems better to keep that present positive, if possible.

    does anyone has experience with situations like this and advice maybe?


    • vicki says:

      Hi Margaret,
      At 94 years, my mom’s clarity was fine until her heart started winding down that last year — then the decline in all areas and organs went quicker, and she started not being able to remember current things. She was suddenly able to see it for herself, and one day said, perceptively and innocently, “I’ve lost my mind… I wonder where it went?” We laughed. We just tried to keep things simple, at that point, realistic to what she could handle. She tried very hard to remember things like the next time to take her pills, but later even that became impossible.

      Although it was sad, I think I did not feel the kind of fear or concern you feel, I was just so tired trying to take care of her as best I could, while working full-time, knowing I couldn’t do more, and for me it mostly just happened in real time, and I moved on to whatever’s next. I was very much in the here and now with it all. I think my feelings about it happened more after she was gone, maybe because I finally had more time.

  104. Patrick says:

    Margaret – I had something a bit similar with my Mom last week, my aunt (her sister) just died and they lived together and my Mom is 4 years older than her sister, my Mom is 88 y.o. and it feels like she is almost ‘predicting’ her own death now. And I find that ‘brave’ and I admire it in a way like not ‘contaminated’ by positive thinking. Just looking at life as it actually is. And just thinking about that this morning………… death is the ultimate of at least final feeling…………….and it could in a way be a fine feeling in a way too…………..just the culmination of everything of a whole life. It seems to me the problem is when we havn’t really lived and I feel that about myself, it’s hard to even ‘appreciate’ death then, too much unlived time, too much things unfelt but if all that ‘arrested development’ was out of the way so to speak I think I could ‘appreciate’ death more. I admire my Mom for being able to approach and talk about it in that way I don’t know if you find this at all helpful or it even applies to you in any way…………………….just my thoughts

    • Margaret says:

      thanks for your response.

      I found it quite touching and very honest, and you mention a lot of important points really.

      My mom has repeatedly said in the last few years she feels and we should know she has had a good life.

      I have now she smiles when she says she feels like at least adding a year or two.

      I think the I feel I want to be able to say older we get the more we are inclined to make up the sum sort of, at least that is how I feel, and also think of what we would still want in what we have left..M

      I would love to have love in my life, but in the meantime all I can do is make the best of it in any way I can, as there is no guarantee.

      I feel I seem to be getting stronger generally speaking, even including the bad moments, and I specially enjoy taking more and more pleasure and satisfaction in doing what I feel I should be doing.

      That goes from washing the dishes and studying and staying off the painkillers to socializing or being nice to people instead of acting out my fear or frustration.

      I dread the thought of spending the rest of my life by myself mostly, but at least I want to be able to say I have gone for st and made the best of things..

      Is there anything you are still holding back on that you might want to do?
      I hope you give yourself the care and kindness you and all of us deserve, after all if we aren’t nice to ourselves, who will br and who will we be able to be really nice to otherwise?

      In many ways our mothers can be examples we can learn from, it seems.

      • Patrick says:

        Thanks Margaret – as for your question “Is there anything you are still holding back on that you might want to do?”…………..I am tempted to turn that around and say “is there anything I am not holding back on”………….a sad commentary given that I am 61 y.o. but I feel I am taking baby steps now…………better late than never I suppose. And that explains a lot of my ‘anger’ at the PI as I said before it is not to just blame them BUT it did happen to me, I ‘failed’ in therapy there I have admitted it. But I tend to think if it matters I am far from the only one I would even go further and say I believe I am rather typical. I acknowledge there are some exceptions of course and there is always a matter of degrees, nothing is quite black or white but the PI if they want to could even ‘study’ me as a fairly typical example……………though even as I say that I am aware that sounds kinda ‘stupid’

  105. vicki says:

    An interesting new research finding about the differences between women and men: “By analyzing the MRIs of 949 people aged 8 to 22, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania found that male brains have more connections within each hemisphere, while female brains are more interconnected between hemispheres.”

    “The differences were less evident in young children, but they became prominent in the scans of the adolescents.”

    • Margaret says:

      that item you mentioned about men’s and women’s brains was on our Belgian news broadcast as well today.

  106. DEADMAN BILL says:

    Where are the lawyer jokes? Isn’t this the Lawyer Joke site?

  107. Margaret says:

    it does sound like you and your mother actually communicated better during this last episode, or am I wrong?

    when you say you failed in therapy, do you mean you also give up on the actual primal therapy for yourself?

    Or do you merely take a break until you feel like giving it another go?

    despite it clearly being very hard for you, you seemed to be making a fair amount of progress and my personal opinion is you should give yourself the opportunity to hang around some more, and certainly stay in touch with gretchen.

    you mentioned in one of your former comments there still remains a lot for you to be felt and I genuinely hope you grant yourself the chance to focus on whatever you feel like focusing on, and stay in touch .


  108. Margaret says:

    thinking about mothers still, a feeling suddenly struck me, making me cry and hurt badly, the feeling I don’t want to lose my mother, I don’ want her to be gone…

    seems some deep childhood feeling and fear even more than a present one, but entertwined of course.

    I remember you were planning a trip to visit your mother a year or two ago, have you ever made that trip?

    Guru, how are you doing?

  109. Patrick says:

    Margaret – different questions there, I ‘failed’ in that at least first time around I ‘abandoned’ it for whatever reasons some to do with the PI, some with me, some with the situation/society I found myself in. I say it is kinda ‘stupid’ because I am still trying to draw a bigger conclusion or something of a general nature but it is in the end my own particular f… up. Still in my own defence I do often have the ‘common good’ in mind and I do try to understand things that are valid and valid across the board so to speak not just for/to me.

    One thing I do want to say is I appreciate Gretchen (and Barry though it sort of ‘hurts’ to say that) allowing me and others this chance to ‘come back’ and at least voice our feelings about what went wrong etc. Primal was such a big part of my life/identity so if it ‘fails’ well I have a lot of feelings/resentments etc connected with that. It is a BIG thing for me at least. And I think it is ‘brave’ of Gretchen to just sort of take that chance to let like someone/anyone come out of the woodwork it is brave and shows a lot of integrity to me. I do want to say that………….I don’t want to be abusive here and I do not just take everything for granted I appreciate her giving me this much space and it actually helps me a lot (tears). It’s something I have needed to do and to maybe look on the bright side a lot of people just drift off and never come back…………….I have tried to come back and make sense of it all what it all meant to me, what it meant to ‘fail’ I never wanted to fail at anything I was always No 1 in the class………’s not easy for me to admit I failed. “How hong will I have to keep returning/Now I look back think I’ve known all the time/I’ve been finding myself for so long” (Faces “love lives here”)

    Anyway I wanted to say that as a ‘corrective’ I suppose. I do plan to visit my Mom in the Spring I feel her death is not so far away………………I have a lot to catch up on if I can………….I have an ‘instinct’ about these things I went home and talked to my Dad a lot and then he died a few months later it’s like I knew something would happen I feel something similar now. She seems devastated by her sister’s death and that alone could cause her to have a ‘bad’ turn so man in the gap patrick as usual…………..

    Read more: Rod Stewart – Love Lives Here Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  110. Patrick says:

    It’s hard to believe that this is the place
    Where we were so happy all our lives
    Now so empty inside and feeling no pain
    Waiting for a hammer and a big ball and chain
    They can tear it all down and build something new
    But only I remember what was here
    Tomorrow comes easy just another day gone
    How hong will I have to keep returning

    Now I look back think I’ve known all the time
    I’ve been finding myself for so long
    All the vows that we made
    Count for old bags of lumber
    Disappear on the cart down the road

    There is something about that line “How hong will I have to keep returning” and I feel that is something I am engaged in, sometimes we have to come back from far away, things that seem finished turn out not to be…………..

  111. Margaret says:

    it takes courage and honesty to look back in that way.
    you mention how different circumstances acted together, maybe that insight can help you not to be so hard on yourself.

    Being who we were back then in the circumstances we were in, we followed our impulses as best as we could, trying to keep some control or whatever.

    I have done my fair share of stupidities in my life, but as my mother once replied when I apologized to her for my stupid actions in the past, “but you are ok now, aren’t you?”

    It felt both so very accepting and acknowledging .

    We don’t have to be perfect, all we can do is do our best and meaning well is a major thing, even if we make some wrong choices regularly.

    you have a lot of good intentions, if you can become gentler with yourself, you will be fine.

    I see so many qualities in you, Patrick, and I feel sure other people do so too, some day you will be more able to let that in.

    In the meantime just keep being who you are, it is ok.


    • Leslie says:

      Thank you Larry and Tom and again to you Margaret – for the kind wishes. I know and feel the love and support from so many here – whether you blog it or not so not to worry I get it – and thank you all.

      I am freaking out!! I mean to sleep, but am not. I hate how much time work is sucking up and out of me – as the major countdown is on! The surgery is tomorrow!

      I now know that 1 week is actually my limit for B. being away and that has passed so that has been ugh. His car will not start! – yes even after a boost – but sons say no tow truck til Dad returns and checks it out! Seems like such a lousy homecoming, but they are right as B. said on the phone he too must hear how the engine will not even sputter – and kick the tires, swear and all that jazz himself I suppose 🙂 – and then call the tow truck!
      (How seasonally appropriate that that reminds me of the classic movie “A Christmas Story” – which I love -with the Dad & the furnace and lamp.)
      However, I am thrilled. It is today B. arrives!!! – after the hours crawl by at work…

      My brother’s surgery will be at least 5 hours long! Hope the surgeon and all their team are sleeping way better than me!
      I will be in touch soon – with some e-mails too – but am running out of time – not thoughts, everyday. I talk to you often – wanting to debrief about the families who have children and/or loved ones enduring horrendous and numerous surgeries … It is unbelievable isn’t it.
      Good night/morning!
      ox L.

      • vicki says:

        Leslie, I hope as Barry gets home tonight, you can maybe rest better, even while your brother is thankfully oblivious to the world, during his 5+ hours surgery. I agree with you about hoping the medical team is rested and ready. If it helps, know that I will be thinking of you all.

      • Margaret says:

        Dear Leslie,
        it is so nice to read about you being so thrilled about b coming home, that is heartwarming, I notice I have a smile on my face writing this.

        I am so happy for all of you being such a warm family.

        I will be thinking of you and tomorrow’s operation, and Ill keep checking the blog for news!

        xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooooo M

    • Patrick says:

      Thanks Margaret.

  112. Larry says:

    Hi Leslie. Thanks for sharing Barry and letting us have him during the retreat. It was good being around him. I hope you are both at the next retreat I’m at.

    With all the worry for your brother, I hope you find some peace and rest and preserve some strength to get through the next few hours and during his surgery.

    On Dec. 2 I wrote, joking but serious, that the warm weather of California and the warmth of everyone at the retreat was softening me up and making me want to always cry, and I looked forward to being back home where life is harsher and lonelier and it’s easier to stiffen up and run from my pain.

    It was another morning of gorgeous weather in LA, and another retreat was behind me, and another session with Gretchen was another memory to ruminate on, as I drove my car rental back to Hertz. It was time again to leave my California friends. As I closed the door on Mark’s silent condo (he left for work), I wondered what would our lives be like the next time I saw him, if ever. Change happens in this therapy, and in life. As my plane rose off the LAX tarmac and up over the blue green ocean, I looked down on the beaches, the mountains, and the cityscape of LA, and thought of all the healing change and growth in my life that was sprouted and nourished there in LA, in the primal community, in this therapy. LA is the seat of so much good that’s happened to me. In a way, it’s my home, more than any other I’ve had.

    In a few hours my plane was further north and east over the Rocky Mountains of Montana and soon into the Canadian prairies near Calgary. Below nature was covered in a rose hued blanket of snow and dusk. Through the windows on the left of the fuselage I could see the curvature of the earth highlighted by the orange crimson band of the receding day, a day where back in time I was about to close the door to Mark’s condo and take the first of the many steps back to my Canadian home. Through the windows on the right of the fuselage I saw the deep blue purple of night embrace the curvature of the earth and envelope all below it in dark. From Calgary my plane would fly east into the night, into the cold, into the future, toward my home. By the time I landed, gathered my baggage, and stood outside hailing my taxi, it was 10:30 pm local time. Cold air from the Arctic was sweeping down unchallenged across the Great Northern Plains. The black, clear, star studded universe sucked up any warmth leaking through protective clothing from skin that would freeze without it. It was -27 C (-16 F). My taxi driver, a fellow from India, welcomed me home.

    It’s strange that only a few hours separate such a dramatic difference in climate. It’s strange after the retreat how much I still want to cry, and it is because you all at the retreat were so warm. I am afraid to talk in group, because, because you will give me your attention and caring, and I will see how little I got growing up, and it feels safer to stay quiet on the sidelines and not see. Except I am crying now, tonight, feeling the warmth of the retreat and seeing how little I had as a child, how little I have now.

    I like this group. I’ve been listening to them while I wrote my piece.

    • vicki says:

      Thanks for telling this so well, Larry, it brings your story to life, and almost takes me with you on the journey.

    • Chris P says:

      very moving Larry.

    • Jo says:

      Some resonance for me there, Larry…
      1 -at times feeling scared – and -2- how LA feels like home, where I grew up.
      Glad you got bAck safe – don’t envy your -27….-2 here is way too cold for me.

    • Barry M says:

      Larry, you are an amazing writer. I too came back to the cold weather of Canada, though Vancouver is not quite on the same level as Saskatchewan, but my response when I got off the plane in Van., after leaving the 74 degree temp. at LAX was ‘FUCK’ !!! No where near as lucid as yours, but the sentiment was similar, n’est ce pas?

    • Larry says:

      Vicki, Chris, Jo and Barry, thank you. I need your responses. You help me feel less alone with my experience, and I think I’m sitting astride a rumbling volcano of alone feelings. I think that’s why I write, to bring you to me, into my life. Vicki, if I ‘almost’ took you with me on the journey, then I need to work harder at it.

    • Tom Verzar says:

      An ode to Larry
      I read and re-read your posting every other day. Can’t get enough of it.
      It’s as if I was at the retreat with you. In group with you. Sitting next to you and watching you. It’s as if I was in LA soaking up the sun, with you.
      It’s as if I was on the plane with you as it landed in Canada with you.
      I don’t know where you get this incredible talent to describe your life, feelings and interactions within the Primal Community.
      Reading your line encourages me to participate on the blog.
      You are simply amazing.

  113. Patrick says:

    Obviously the news is full of Nelson Mandela’s death but (trouble maker me!) wanted to draw attention to something that might be quite surprising to people and get lost in all the kind of politically correct hoopla where history is re-written and lots of stuff is forgotten. Jimmy Carter has called Israel an ‘apartheid’ state so maybe it was a natural fit with South Africa and this may not be so odd after all. Something to ‘think’ (sorry Jack) about……………….

    • Given South Africa’s support for Nazi Germany, the alliance it formed with Israel soon after the state was founded is surprising. For this was no ordinary alliance. In his 1987 book “The Israeli Connection: Who Israel Arms and Why”, Israeli Professor Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi described the intimate collaboration between Israel and apartheid South Africa as “a unique alliance…the most comprehensive and the most serious Israeli involvement anywhere in the world. Many countries conduct business with South Africa, and many countries support the survival of apartheid in various ways, but only Israel’s support is so direct and unreserved. Only in Israel are the red carpets rolled out for the visits of South African leaders” – as it was in April 1976 for Prime Minister John Vorster, who had been imprisoned by the British for pro-Nazi activities which he never repudiated. Only Israel, wrote Beit-Hallahmi, offered South Africa assistance “with everything from public relations to military and counterinsurgency measures.”

    • South Africa and Israel were drawn together by their colonial outlook at a time when colonial empires in Africa and Asia were dissolving. They made common cause against “Soviet expansionism” in the 1950s and 60s, and against the potential for radicalism in the emerging nations of Africa and Asia.

    • The wars fought by Israel in 1967 and 1973 alienated Black Africa and healed the temporary rift with South Africa. In subsequent years, the alliance grew to seem both “natural” and expedient, a bonding of two “pariah” nations fighting for survival in an increasingly hostile world.

    • Tom Verzar says:

      Hi Patrick
      You are wicked and a trouble maker when you start on the Israeli issues and her connection with South Africa. Especially when you are quoting ” Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi (Hebrew: בנימין בית-הלחמי‎), an Israeli professor of psychology at the University of Haifa, Israel,. who 1970 received a PhD in clinical psychology from Michigan State University. ”
      What the hell would a guy like him know about the national interest of his country?
      And to make matters worse, you are quoting ex President Jimmy Carter, a known anti Semite, who has been known to have accepted funds from various Arab states, under the guise of donations, for various nefarious purposes..
      Where do you get of being so critical of a people, who did nothing to you? Are you as critical, ever, of the African states that commit mass genocide on their own people? Or the Asian countries committing mass genocide on their own people?
      Or have you considered that Israel is the only country in the region that is democratic? Where a number of religions co-exist, including the Muslims? The same Muslims who have rights unparalleled in any other Muslim country? A country where women have equal rights and attend university, not being beheaded for wanting more!!!!!
      But I know, deep down, you are reaching out, wanting something by your evocative postings every now and then. You are really a good guy, who is learning how to show himself to these rabid Primal People. And the constant criticism of the therapy. Why?
      I was there in the 80ies, and it wasn’t anything like you describe.
      What do you want? You are loud but not clear. Spell it out. Stop hiding behind your pseudo intellectual façade, hah?
      Stop taking pot shots of people. It isn’t nice, nor helpful to you, nor the people you have a go at.
      And please describe what jollies you get from having constant goes at Jack? What unsettled score do you need to settle with him? It doesn’t come through clearly. You can do better than that.
      And your constant sniping at Arthur Janov, who is not here do defend himself. That’s low, especially, from a Primal drop-out from the 80ies.
      The one thing I do appreciate about you, is that you read a lot, and are trying to make sense of this therapy, therapists and us mugs, the patients.
      But don’t do it from the lofty heights of a sense of superior status, hah?

  114. Leslie says:

    Hello -Wonderful News! Barry is home safe and sound! AND my brother’s surgery is all done , all fine…So very, very HAPPY, elated in fact and relieved. The day was long, with a 5:45 am admitting time ,but all worth it and we are all exhausted -esp. him! Thank you for all your care and concern. oxo L.

  115. Leslie, Barry and I are so happy to hear your wonderful news! I was just about to write you when I saw your post but I have thought of you often today! You can breathe now! 🙂 Gretch

    • Leslie says:

      Thank you Vicki, Jo, Gretchen and as always Margaret. Larry, Tom and many others too – I know you share in our happiness.
      I am so grateful and exhausted!
      I cried this morning when I woke up remembering standing there beside my brother’s wife with my brother being wheeled off through the open doors to surgery. Very dramatic – just like in a movie, or ER. All 3 of us were crying and waving. O My God it was something…

      So you know Margaret – B. is working harder than ever for the car to go – esp. now with this broadcast. He has gotten the engine to rev – but it doesn’t hold. I suppose he will soon recruit our sons to push it to the mechanic’s :).

      It is freezing cold here! So not what we are used to. I know everyone sympathizes – except Larry 🙂
      ox L.

      • Larry says:

        Leslie the successful surgery must be such a relief finally for you and Barry and your relatives. I’m glad you’re happy except for the freezing cold.

        Yesterday morning was -30 C and windy, making being outdoors difficult and dangerous. In those conditions you need layers of warm insulation and an outer covering to protect you from the wind, and a reliable and well maintained car equipped for winter driving. A lot of people chose not to go outdoors and brave it yesterday, so the weather was great for Xmas shopping because the crowds were thin. It had me wondering though how will I cope with the cold extremes in my old age.

        Today warmed up to -20 C and there was no wind. The sky was clear and sunny and frost crystals were in the air giving the light a special aura. There was a smattering of fine fresh white over everything, making the world look more precious than a Christmas card scene. I wished I had my camera with me and time to use it. I felt lucky to be out in the gorgeous setting, braced by invigorating cold air that didn’t feel so dangerously cold as yesterday. Funny what you get used to.

  116. Margaret says:

    Am just back home from our charity singing evening.

    being there I got into a feeling at some point, feeling so lost and lonely and left aside by everyone, at some point before the performance.

    Just at that moment two young women finally showed up asking me if I needed a drink or anything, and I could not help but starting to cry, as I knew them both and felt safe enough to do so sort of.

    It was brief but good as it was sincerely what I felt at that point.

    Things moved on from there on, I even told them how I had looked forward to socialize and therefor being stuck by myself had felt so bad, and we laughed when I told them at occasions like these I hoped to get to know some nice new men as well…
    Tehy prmised me to introduce me whenever possible.

    the singing went ok and afterwards I ended up having a great conversation with a young guy who just got his Phd in physics, and we talked about quantum mechanics as I just saw a lecture about it on the Dutch television yesterday evening which was fascinating.

    the Dutch tv is so good on this, both psychology and now quantum fysics, two of my major fields of inters, and they give really solid and extended programmation on the latest findings on both topics regularly!

    Then, I was approached by a new, male, choir member, and we got into a long conversation as well.

    Actually we were the last ones to leave, as for some reason people did not hang around as long as they usually do..

    we talked about singing and computer software, and I found out he is a lector at our famous cathedral, ha!
    Anyway, I feel good about having faced my feelings as well as having had an inspiring unexpected conversion with a doctor in statistical nuclear fysics, and then a long conversation with a so far unknown man that clearly enjoyed talking to me, haha, even if he is a lector at the cathedral it felt simply good for my insecure ego that has such a hard time going out and coping with the isolation of the disability on top of old fears and inhibitions.

    This evening illustrates for me how hard it can be but also how rewarding.


  117. Margaret says:

    about your long comment about the position of the Israeli government.

    I think it is useful to have a critical eye on what goes on and draw attention to what seems not ok, anywhere in the world

    But it is also important to remember a government is only a representation of a part of the people, for example, Margaret Thatcher referred to Nelson Mandela as ‘a terrorist’ in her time.

    Which obviously does not mean al English people agree with her, isn’t it?


  118. Patrick says:

    Margaret – you’ve got a bit of a point there but my understanding is the connections between Israel and the apartheid South African Government were a lot more and deeper that an isolated ‘leader’ with an opinion here and there…………they were in discussions about providing nuclear weapons to the South Africans which is interesting considering how ‘nervous’ they seem now about a country (Iran) getting those same weapons who may not be too friendly to them. But ‘double standards’ are pretty standard in that arena I suppose with the State of Israel you can pretty much count on it.

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      Israel: Diamond & Jewelry Merchants
      South Africa: Lots of Gold & Diamond Mines

      Does that help settle the matter?

      • Patrick says:

        Guru – it might be somewhat of a factor apparantly the De Beers family are Jewish. May well be connections there………………..and where HAVE you been? You have been missed come on now fess up!!…………….

  119. vicki says:

    In a session with Gretchen, we talked about a variety of things, including how profoundly worthless I felt as a child, and commonly feel now. After the session, I went grocery shopping and in the parking lot, it was so crowded, there was nowhere to park. A car was close behind me, so I got afraid to stop in the aisle, and just wait for someone to leave. I went ahead and around the loop, and then, fuck if that same car didn’t follow me close behind all around the loop. I felt pressured, it made me so angry, I was spitting and swearing at them to get the fuck away from me, stop pushing me, etc., it feels like very early feelings. Oblivious to my ranting, they finally they turned down a different aisle, so I got a little relief from having someone constantly at my back. I felt so bad at being so insane, thinking about what anyone around me is thinking about me and what I’m doing, crazy-making fear, so instead of doing what I want or need to do, I keep moving, trying to anticipate what the other person will do.

    When I finally found and pulled into a parking space, I had to take a few minutes to finish the piece of feeling. Feeling how crazy it is that I can’t hardly move or do anything, I am always acting out fear, It went to feeling it’s because my mom hated me. “Please don’t hate me,” came up, but more that I’m aware of it, rather than that I was feeling it strongly. Then I felt, my mom hates me, and so I hate myself. … And why do I hate myself? because then at least we’re together, we have something in common, and I’m not so alone. Otherwise I’m completely on my own, feeling bereft and awful. Instead of it being my fault, and there being something inherently bad about me, just bad, that’s the “reason” I’m so miserable and disliked, by my mom, my grandmother, whoever contributed to my world as a baby. Things that trigger similar feelings are common events for me. After a few minutes, I was able to wipe my face, collect myself, and go shopping for food. I felt like I was a bit more vulnerable in the store, but usually my interactions with people after such a feeling are more relaxed and enjoyable, and that’s what happened.

    • Larry says:

      Wow Vicki. You said so much, more than you ever have on the blog. Thank you. Makes me want to be part of this community. And I’m glad I am. There is a big almost scary hollow in me after the retreat. I might talk about it more here after my session with Gretchen later this week. This community helps me endure and find my way.

      I’m glad your interactions felt more relaxed and enjoyable afterward Vicki. Wish I could be there and run into you in the grocery store and give you a big hug.

      • vicki says:

        Hi Larry. I guess it just struck you that way, but I believe I have said “as much” or more a few other times on the Blog, since its beginning, although this one may be more compressed. But Thanks.

    • Tom Verzar says:

      Hi Vicki
      Like Larry. I was taken aback, but pleasantly, with your posting about your sojourn in the supermarket parking lot. Like you finally opened and shared your feelings with me/us.
      I like it.

  120. Margaret says:

    just saw such a touching documentary.

    Three jaguar orphans were rescued and raised by a team in Brasil, preparing them to hunt for themselves and then finally one was set free.

    The caretaker was saying goodbye while tears were streaming over her face, she was stroking the jaguar who also made very expressive sounds, purring and complaining at the same time, and then he was set free with a satellite follow-up collar.

    After the first try went well, they set free the two remaining orphans together and also followed them on the computer.

    They saw one stopped moving at some point for more than two days, and they worried and went out to search him.

    his former caretaker was calling out for him, calling his name very loudly while he walked in the area until finally a loud roar sounded in response.

    The jaguar had been badly wounded by peccaries but he allowed his caretaker to examine him closely, and it turned out he would heal eventually by himself.

    So they left him again, and he and his sister took off later on deeper into the jungle.

    it touched me very much, I was crying while watching, something about the beauty, the trust, the dignity of these gorgeous animals and the caretaker crying hard when she said goodbye to ‘her’ jaguar, seeing him get off finding his way into the woks, she said “there is so much to care for”, well, it was touching, very much so for me…

    it is a huge concern for me we will keep destroying the habitat of animals like these, if we are not careful.


  121. Margaret says:

    you say it was good nice people were there when I needed them.

    My point was just that during the first part of the evening I felt the opposite, I don’t usually burst into tears when someone shows up asking me if maybe I need a drink or something.

    my pain is partly that other people cannot know how it is to be so isolated, and for another part that often most of them are too taken up by their own things to be able to give that little bit of extra attention that makes a world of difference .

    It is my reality I have to deal with, and although I know you meant to be supportive, your comment hurts a little, as it seems to represent to me “oh she is ok”, or “oh she is not my problem”, anything that keeps people away from me when I am in a situation like that.

    I completely understand some people probably have a fear of me becoming all clingy or something, or they not being able to get away once they engage, as I might have been that way myself before I lost my sight.

    Once again our singing teacher had to remind people to help me off the stage as everyone was just leaving and leaving me there, and that after years of performing together.

    During the break, I got up from my chair, saying to myself to take some initiative and not to wait for someone in vain to show up this time, and I opened my cane and headed for where I supposed the drinks were served.

    But all I found was a chaos of noise and darkness, and the crowded backs of apparent strangers ignoring me, so I just stood there for quite a while hoping someone I knew would address me.

    now you could say why didn’t you address someone yourself, but what should I have said?

    it was not a drink I was seeking, it was some friendly company of someone that wanted to include me.

    Finally again it was our teacher that approached me and asked me if I wanted a drink, and got a juice for me.

    after the show the same situation arose, but again I just took my cane and walked towards the bar, now planning for at least a glass of wine and what else might come up or not.

    and then finally I managed after a little while to engage in some nice conversations.

    so my point being nice people aren’t always there when I need them, that is reality, but luckily sometimes they are, and most often I just have to look for them and reach out, which is not always possible or successful either.

    thanks for sharing what happened, it sounded like really important stuff falling into place, and you being very well dealing with it.
    I enjoyed reading your comment, and hope you find the time to tell us more about how you are doing.

  122. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Margaret & Patrick: I caught both of your messages, thanks! I don’t feel like posting on the blog right now. Maybe later. Send me emails if you like. In the meantime, I truly wish some of the others the very best that life has to offer.

  123. Patrick says:

    Today I saw the 3-D version of the movie “Gravity” (trailer below) and I did really like the movie. Though on the surface it could be seen as a sci-fi film with lots of special effects I found lots of ‘feeling’ type elements in it. Like when the two main characters ‘meet’ in space they do so by crashing into each other which somehow resonated with me or there was a real strong sense of ‘separation’ between the characters due to their environment but this weirdly had the effect of drawing them closer. Like the recognition of distance (feeling it you might say) actually reduced the distance which is always there anyway. Also the weightless scenes (most all of the movie) and the presence of lots of ‘chords’ everywhere did give it almost a birth type feeling lots of disorientation and chaos and panic too. All in all I would ‘recommend’ it and if possible I would say see it in 3-D. I am not normally a great fan of that kind of thing but for this particular movie it adds quite a lot I would say

  124. Patrick says:

    I heard some of President Obama’s speech at Mandel’s funeral and could not help thinking we are truly in the age of salesmanship and rhetoric. I am certainly not an “Obama hater” or anything like that I would call myself a Democrat or certainly NOT a Republican but to hear all the things he espouses and praises in his speech……………and most all things he conspicously does NOT follow in his actual job. And it made me think salesmanship and ‘creating an impression’ are everywhere and I though of Art Janov too like in many ways I feel we could say that also about him. To be clear I think Janov has an amazingly sound and important core to his ‘thinking’ but the details and the ‘implementation’ are another matter IMHO………………………

    • Jack W says:

      Oh jeepers … the great ‘THINKER’ is at it again!!!!

      I am reminded of the film Amadeus where the Music Master to the Emperor Frederick after the criticism of Mozart’s latest piece that there were too many notes. The Music Master suggest to Mozart, “Just cut a few” … to which Mozart retorts:- “which ‘few’ did you have in mind?”

      Which of the ‘details and implementations’ are of ANOTHER matter????

      I also wonder at just who the”we” are in the statement “and I though of Art Janov too like in many ways I feel [we] could say that also about him.”

      Then he finalizes it all with “IMHO………………………” Presumably meaning ‘In my honest opinion’ … as opposed to ones ‘Dishonest’ opinion!!!!. I suggest keeping it simple and just writing IMO … and keeping away from the “Royal” WE.


      • Patrick says:

        Whatever Dude!

      • Patrick says:

        Actually IMHO was meant to be ‘in my humble opinion’ but I better not get started on another effing waste of time and words. Where is Fiona when I need her?!? I thought to start at your last ‘point’ but sheer futility and exhaustion prevents me for venturing any further. So “whatever dude” will have to do for now. Don’t you have something big to suck on or does that get old too?

        • Tom Verzar says:

          That was a nasty comment to Jack. Unbecoming of someone of your stature.

          • Patrick says:

            OK Tom you are right (though I didn’t know I had any ‘stature’ at least here or maybe anywhere actually). The thing is I just ‘react’ or used to on the blog I felt that was a better way that cleverly thinking out some reply. So if I am upset or hurt by somebody my first ‘reaction’ is to just give it right back literally almost like a punch (back). One thing that has come out for me in this blog is what a ‘fighter’ I am and I having ‘discovered’ almost how bullied I was at school and also how the ONLY hope and salvation I had when someone was bullying me was to give it right back and even better (more force). I tried other strategies and finally found one that ‘worked’ and that was punch back and HARD. So that’s me I suppose and it is no secret here my enmity with Jack so I say something and I feel he ‘pisses’ all over it and my first reaction is like this guy is ‘all mouth and little brain’…………….hence my remark and that’s what I feel like saying at that moment so………………again maybe I just need to take a long break from being here (like Guru?) I am sure it can look pretty ugly. But rather than simple apologize I wanted to let you know how my mind works

      • Patrick says:

        As far as pretentions to being a ‘great thinker’ arn’t you the dude you compares HIMSELF to Galileo and Copernicus LOL LOL LOL!! I am merely drawing attention to rather obvious problems in the pretentions of you AND Arthur Janov. You are BOTH wondering how come the rest of the world and God help us the ‘scientific community’ dont bow down before you both LOL LOL LOL !! “Every genius is an outsider but not every outsider is a genius” you might BOTH meditate on that a little bit. As far as “Royal We” that’s kind of an English snobbery thing……………I don’t know so much about that.

    • Tom Verzar says:

      Hi Patick
      Again, this patronising and disparaging comments about Janov, …..” but the details and the implementation are another matter IMHO……….
      You are not humble. Period.And what details and implementation are you referring to, your royal highness? Maybe you can express yourself more succinctly so that us peons can begin to have a grasp of what you may be thinking of. Or maybe you could engage Arthur Janov with some of your meanderings and give us the benefit of what you may discover.
      That would be nice.

      • Patrick says:

        Tom – I was thinking long and hard what to say to you as I feel you do ‘deserve’ a proper reply. But if you don’t mind I will have to pass for now I COULD say lots and lots of things but that’s the trouble I can see it turning into another mighty struggle and In the end I don’t know how much is actually achieved. It just seems too hard and too ‘complicated’ my way of ‘explaining’ things is not the best and if there is not a genuine curiosity and REAL desire to get at the ‘truth’ of things I am not sure there is any point. But I didn’t want to just ‘ignore’ you I feel you are a sincere person even if I might disagree with you a lot or at least sometimes

  125. Margaret says:

    I was still thinking about what you wrote, and how it is such a nice illustration of the integration of therapy and processing feelings in daily life.

    I would like to copy your comment just in case I might want to write something about therapy in the future and use your comment, without your full name, as an example, would that be ok for you?


  126. Barry M says:

    If you want to fix cars that go oft astray
    You have to depend on your hubby who may
    Go south to retreats, you can’t get time off to
    Attend, tho it pisses you off, – you can’t go too!
    -Patient B

    Hey everyone! My retreat was a great experience, despite not being there with Leslie.
    Vicki, Jo, Larry, Justin, Karen, Mark, Philip et al and of course ‘Les Therapistes’- thank you all for my welcome, your caring friendship and your therapeutic guidance. It was my best solo retreat ever!

    Leslie, it would appear from your posts above that you are in need of a response from me. Shy though I may be, I will do my best.
    There are certain things in a marriage that each partner is best suited to take care of. Sexist though it may appear to onlookers, I feel I have an affinity for finances, (my accounting background), household repairs and maintenance, (my kickass handyman skills), main course cooking, (you, Leslie, rock deserts), and of course all things automotive.
    You, on the other hand, can darn socks like no other, can talk on the phone FOREVER (789 minutes LONG DISTANCE in November alone!! (I kid you not) and just imagine how much time was spent locally Telus wise with Mom, sister and BFFs, and -granted- are pretty awesome at all things maternal.
    As far as the car is concerned, thank goodness for our boys. They stopped you from calling a tow-truck, and since I was able to both start AND fix the car when I got home we were able to save enough money that you will still get your PIN money this week. Enjoy, sweetie, xoxo Barry!

  127. Leslie says:

    OMG – Vicki, Jo please don’t encourage him!
    Well I guess I started it didn’t I :0

    Larry – your post was so moving and descriptive. Vicki – yours so devastating…how horrid.

    I am in the middle of Christmas ‘get- togethers’ for almost every night this week. Work related #3 was tonight, a big staff party tomorrow night and then a yoga teachers Sat. All sounded great in Nov…and fun once I am there – but I do need some extra sleep.
    My brother is doing ok. Still in the hospital with things they are checking – all heart repairs are good though, and he will be going home soon.
    So incredible to remember seeing his face beyond happy to be alive!
    Hope you are all enjoying the season my friends!
    ox L.

    • vicki says:

      Leslie, I’m glad your brother is doing ok, home soon. I’ll bet he was “beyond happy to be alive!” So scary that had to be, not knowing if you would wake up again. No way around that. Now hoping all the rest goes smoothly and well.

  128. Margaret says:

    I feel lousy for some reason today.
    It might be the feeling that was triggered at the beginning of the singing evening, in combination with the gloomy season, and a starting cold .

    It is a mixture of hopelessness, fear, and feelings of anger towards the ‘absent ones’, the people who should be there for me, and not leave me to feel like this.

    a proper song here to accompany might be ‘I want you to ant me, I need you to need me, I love you to love me’…

    it goes way back, I think to the very start more or less.
    And then reinforced by being left alone or neglected at too young an age for too long and too often.

    sometimes iI feel it turning against myself, something must be wrong with me, there must be something repulsive about me, this raises the feeling I notice, writhing these words.

    The anger has to do with not wanting to always have to beg for attention when I need it too badly, why do I have to chase it down, why don’t they want to be near me and talk with me?

    So sad, so sad.
    So hopeless, helpless I want to be wanted, and that is something you cannot force or struggle for.

    something must be wrong with me, even if someone happens to come when will they find out and turn away in disgust?

    That is how low I feel today, luckily I know it will be temporary and not linger forever.

    Right now I feel this feeling makes me feel like isolating, if something is wrong with me there is nothing but pain to expect as people will turn away and it is less painful to avoid them altogether.
    But then what, dark loneliness with no hope.

    that is the old feeling level momentarily invading my present.

    luckily, at least during the daytime, there is enough sane ‘me’ there to know it will pass and happier moments will come and I need to keep fighting to make the best of my life.

    luckily my cat still manages to make me smile..


  129. Margaret says:

    my brother just called to ask me if I wanted him to pick me up for a visit to our mother.

    it is amazing how his call cheered me up, dissipated the feeling of being all on my own.

    I told him I preferred to stay home, was looking forward and preparing for a nice relaxed day, bit of household, bit of reading, bit of studying and in the meantime letting my cold get better.

    we are going there for Xmas anyway, but he said he did not want to leave too much time between visits as our mother despite of saying things are ok, is dealing with starting dementia and he likes to check on her

    I told him I was pleased he was going there, and he laughed when I told him to give her my regards and to be patient.

    in some way his call seems to mean more to me than someone else contacting me, and I think part of that is due to him feeling reliable and stable, he will not turn his back on me or disappear out of my life, as people you are kind of close with sometimes do anyway, when other things in their life take up their attention.

    that seems to be a major thing for me, the fear of how it hurts when ‘friends’ gradually rift off.

    it triggers those feelings of being worthless, disposable, unimportant or even ‘repulsive’.

    I can’t imagine all of that feeling is due to only my dad turning away from me or ignoring me so much of the time, it must be big part of the feeling, but there seems to be a more basic loneliness in it.

    maybe I should book a session, has been a long while, and a chat with dr. B seems like a nice idea.

  130. Margaret says:

    Learning about how Anna Freud, his daughter, used the term ‘suppression’, hope I use the right English term, for pushing down feelings into the unconscious, I took a moment to reflect on what in my case I did ‘suppress’ in my pre-therapy life.

    I thought back of how I was at the very start in my therapy, and then suddenly it dawned on me there was a major thing really.

    During my first sessions with barry, I actually stated I had had a ‘perfect’ childhood, and one of the things I seemed to almost be proud about was not needing anyone.

    Then in one of the following weeks, with my co-therapist S., I was laying down on the floor, and she sat behind me and asked me how I would describe what I felt.

    After a short moment of reflection, I said, and it came out with quite a bit of feeling and conviction:”I need…!”

    S. said it had taken her years before coming to that feeling, which is partly why the memory stands out to me, as it made me pay more attention to what then still was mostly a superficial expression of a deeply rooted enormous old feeling, finally reaching the surface of my consciousness.

    it still strikes me how my whole act out before that had been the utter denial of that internal devastating truth.

    I notice how I take new interest in my study as now I begin to extrapolate it to seeking fields where my own experience and what I learn about other, mostly cognitive theories in this university, and the insights of primal therapy and other theoretical approaches, all come together and after all could be integrated I think somehow into one unifying structure.

    I started taking notes for myself on ideas and examples and I find it makes this study more interesting for me instead of a frustrating summing up of other approaches that lack some of the primal findings.

    yes, I seem to be feeling more in the present again, and just shed a few tears about that Need of mine, so my gloomy state of mind is dissipating and a week with a lot of action lays ahead.

    how are you folks going to spend christmas and what does it mean to you, feeling wise?

    I know it will not be the perfect movie christmas for me, but I do plan to make the best of it in my possibilities,which means accepting the pain in the first place, and then moving on to making it as good as it gets.

    would be nice to hear other views and prospects about this time of the year…


  131. Margaret says:

    I just saw another amazing and touching documentary.

    It was about a man gradually getting acquainted with some wild bears, respecting their rules so to say, never upsetting them and never invading their space.

    at some point a mother bear with two very small kiddo bears slowly started walking up to him, while he stood very still, but still continued commenting quietly in a hidden microphone.

    She came up to only a few meters distance, and they just looked at each other. then she continued grazing, slowly walking away while now the two little bears approached

    of course they were curious, hesitating, standing on their hind legs and sniffing, while he gently told them not to come any closer, he almost could toutch them but of course did not move as to not upset the mother bear.

    then the little ones went after the mother, and the man remained there, obviously deeply touched and affected by this close encounter.

    It touched me as well,I have always deeply enjoyed gaining the trust of animals, specially the wild or scared ones.

    it must reflect my own feelings of fear, suspicion, and the thrill of opening up and giving trust while daring to be vulnerable, while also creating a brief but profound connection.

    I know it makes me feel privileged when it happens.

    this also reminds me of how ‘tough’ I was when starting therapy, while now I am actually more aware of how much fear I carry inside, and that that is ok and acceptable.


  132. vicki says:

    A heartwarming video story, I found on Facebook. Worth watching, even though the site has religious overtones, the story doesn’t.

    Stray Dog Drags a Severely Injured Woman 100 Feet to Get Help:

  133. Larry says:

    This past Saturday I shopped for Xmas gifts, all the while feeling evermore sad that I’ll never again buy Xmas gifts for Noreen. When Vicki posted that video on Facebook on Saturday evening, I watched it over and over, and cried how much I needed someone to save Noreen and I, but no one did, and now I sure could use the unconditional love of that dog to help me through facing and accepting what happened to us, and to help me through feeling the enormous pain of loss that life can render.

    I had the love of a dog like that, a sensitive, intelligent, female German shepherd we named Lady, in my very troubled teenage years and young adulthood on the farm. I never realized until now how much Lady’s unconditional love grounded me then. We liked our dogs and gave them more attention than a lot of farmers do.. When we were little they joined in our games. When we were older they followed us to work in the fields or to milk the cows, and joined me when I went jogging through the countryside. They were constant companions. We gave them hugs. What’s unusual about that is that in my family the dogs were the only ‘family’ members that got hugs.

  134. irena says:

    Had to share this link. Merry Christmas everyone!

  135. Tom Verzar says:

    Hi everybody, and you Larry
    I went to the cemetery today, to see my mum.
    Tried to go last week but didn’t make it.
    I am somewhat ashamed. I want her.
    I thought if I was just standing next to her grave I would somehow feel her. Feel connected to her.
    I barely managed the 30 minute drive there.
    On the way to her grave I was looking at the names on the headstones. My eyes caught a Hungarian name. I started to cry. I realised that at least the language was familiar. I got tearful.
    Maybe if I just stand next to your grave I would feel you, somehow mum.
    MUM !!!!! I WANT YOU !!!!!!!!
    When I got there I sat on her grave and cried. All I could think of is that I want her. At least I can touch her headstone. That’s as close as I can get to her.

  136. vicki says:

    The phrase “Winds of Change” occurred to me, and I found a song by Jefferson Airplane, that brings some of the feeling to light. Here are the lyrics as well as the link.

    Jefferson Starship – Winds Of Change
    by Khwambe, Jimmy / Fransman, Mark

    Walk softly through the Desert sands
    Careful where you tread
    Underfoot are the visions lost
    Sleeping not yet dead

    Hang on – Winds starting to howl
    Hang on – The beast is on the prowl
    Hang on – Can you hear the Strange cry
    Winds of change are blowing by

    Mountains crumble and cities fall
    Don’t come to an end
    Just lie scattered on the Desert floor
    Waiting for the wind


    You got your life planned carefully
    But you left out one detail
    The hidden hand deals just one round
    And the winds of change prevail


    Walk softly through the desert sand
    Old dreams lead the way
    Nothing new in the sands of time
    Just changes every day

    Hang on – It’s starting again
    Hang on – There’s no shelter from the wind
    Hang on – Like a fire from the sky
    Winds of change are blowing by

    Winds Of Change lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

  137. vicki says:

    Irena also passed this along on Facebook, which I just saw, and it made me cry. “Who is Perfect”, indeed.

  138. Margaret says:

    I am reading about “on becoming a person”, written by Rogers, it seems to sound as far as I am learning, the whole primal idea already set out before or at the same time the primal scream was written, I would like to read it, if anybody could find it in an audio version??
    Jack, I think you would like to read also what he has to say about childrearing.
    I think he was born in 1902 but it is very refreshing to learn about his theories, and inspiring me to find more and more connections with PT and the broader scale of theories and ideas.

    • Jack W says:

      Margaret: I sure will read it and will attempt to see what’s available on the internet..

      As I see it child rearing other than our instincts and intuition and what happens to female on becoming pregnant should be sufficient if potential parents were feeling-full. I wrote my bit not from a parent perspective, but from being the baby me, not fully getting my needs met.

      Child rearing was an outcome of Primal Theory which in and of itself was an out growth of the discovery of Primal Pain. It didn’t start out as a theoretical notion but rather as an observation … and then miraculously repeated some weeks later … that was the major revelation. That Art Janov for all his experience at that time (17 years) did not jump to conclusions, but pondered what the ‘fuck’ had happened and was in some shock himself… that was the genius … others would have explained it from their clinical experience and left it at that as some sort of aberration.

      Vivian also, as I understood it, contributed greatly apparently when she heard the tape that Art took home. It was a major, major observation that could have been so easily over-looked and under explained. That was and to me, to this day, the major phenomenon that took place that day with Danny Wilson.

      Sure other people have had ideas relative to it and I don’t believe that Danny Wilson was the first to have what was to become known as “A Primal”. My feeling … and apparently only mine, as far as I know (though I in no way am I an insider), but seeing it in an historical context all others … for which I feel down time there have been many … interpreted it from their experience rather than taking the trouble to ponder it.

      To and for me, It will always remain the greatest discovery that we, mankind, ever made or for that matter will ever make … but then that’s me (seemingly designated as all mouth and little brain … but WTF.


  139. Patrick says:

    Jack – I was wrong to say ‘little brain’ in relation to you actually you have a very ‘strong’ brain maybe even a little too strong for your own good IMHO (H as in humble). But I think you know that anyway.

    That said………………..I even wonder how much ‘truth’ there is in Janov’s description of the ‘discovery’ of primal therapy. To me it has all the hallmarks of ‘a bolt from the blue’ type of a discovery which the way I read it is meant to convey the pure ‘inspiration’ and ‘genius’ of the founder/discoverer. Most discoveries I don’t think happen in that way and here Janov is twice a genius first off in going with his instinct to tell the guy keep saying “Daddy” or whatever and then secondly in seeing the meaning hidden in the guy’s reaction. That’s Janov’s “Foundation Myth” but as to the literal truth I am not so sure…………..

    The ‘bolt from the blue’ also has the advantage that Janov then has no need to acknowlegde influences, other thinkers etc …………….after all ‘it just came to him’ like a flash of light , pure inspiration and genius. Margaret asked about I think Carl Rodgers , I mean I remember that era I was in College studying philosophy but getting more and more interested in psychology as I started to see all my philosophical meanderings had a very real and troubled psychological basis. I started College in 1970 and read R. D. Laing (The Divided Self – a brilliant book) with great interest, Carl Rodgers yes actually, I remember Abraham Maslow (pyramid of needs, peak expieriences etc) Rollo May and several others. Then I read the Primal Scream and yes it did seem to me to be a major jump a ‘quantum leap’ you might say BUT still very much of the time. Most all of these writers were starting to emphasize feelings, expressing feelings etc. Some like Laing were more laying out the problem but guys like Rodgers were talking about the solutions too

    If Janov was to say he was reading and listening to these others it would take away from the sheer orginality and ‘genius’ of his discovery. Now I am aware this might seem like typical quibbling from the likes of me but I cannot help but feel Janov was already on his exclusive, inward looking and ‘proprietry’ model of primal therapy. Then followed all the ‘warnings’ how dangerous it was etc etc……………and it set it on this course where the whole thing had kind of become marginalized inward looking and basically dying. And here we are today. To me the question is can it be resusitated and I believe it can but for now I would say it is on life support.

    I think it was Daniel who on the blog maybe around 8 months ago laid out an ‘alternative route’ for primal therapy and how it might have developed………….which I thought was very well put and no need to repeat all that. Why am I even doing this …………………?

  140. Patrick says:

    Speaking about dying……………….

    “I know your dyin’ baby/your dyin’ baby/and I know you know it too” from the great Van Morrison

  141. Leslie says:

    I am so behind in reading and watching links but had to post this one…
    Wendy sent it – knowing we would all appreciate it !
    Margaret – It is a well known American comedian talking about feelings.
    Will have time soon to catch up 🙂
    ox L.

  142. Margaret says:

    Patrick and Jack,
    thanks for your replies!

  143. Patrick says:

    Yesterday I wrote “I remember that era I was in College studying philosophy but getting more and more interested in psychology as I started to see all my philosophical meanderings had a very real and troubled psychological basis” (I know quoting myself does sound kind of self important or something). Anyway I came across this which reminded me of some of those discussions. Maybe to add to your amusement you can imagine this as Jack and I having a ‘dissagreement’ I distincly remember Jack saying “why” questions are nowhere and here it is but I am not off the hook either…………….It is Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller who were associated with Monty Python later this was their “Beyond the Fringe” period. Margaret I will send you the link privatly…………maybe ask your professor is she/he has an opinion……………….

  144. Patrick says:

    I realize I am a ‘hacker’ too or want to be or try to be. My education was VERY unlike this kid’s but I suppose ‘better late than never’ or ‘never too late to try’. And I have this attitude to Primal Therapy why not ‘hack’ it IMO we need to stop regarding Janov’s books as some kind of sacred tablets, he may be right about quite a lot but he may well be wrong about a lot too. I have found the ‘hacking’ I have been doing (food, cold, grounding, avoidance of EMF’s cell phones bright lights at night etc etc) as more alive and helpful that the ‘standard model’ of PT. How could one man be so much the be all and end all………… makes no sense at all in that way. I can hear people say why are you going on and on about Janov we don’t even read his blog or whatever well I do at least from time to time and generally I am not ‘inspired’ by what I see there. Also the PI even though they are ‘independant’ of Janov at the same time his books are the default ‘truth’ Barry does not see it as his job to in any way provide leadership so the default always goes back to Janov. Which again gives a kind of limbo land feeling…………………….like do we adhere very much to Janov’s ideas or not………nobody seems to know (or care?). To make Janov’s ideas the ‘greatest discovery mankind has ever made or ever will make’ flies in the face of the history of science or anything you care to look at ………..even maybe ‘common sense’

    • Tom Verzar says:

      Hi Patrick
      Well, I just finished listening to this 13 year old kid. I got tearful. thanks for the posting.
      On the other hand, I don’t agree with you about your meanderings about Janov nor your view of where PT is, was and may be in the future.
      You make a lot of loose statements, like ” Janov’s books are some kind of a sacred tablet “. Who said that? Only you.
      You want to hack Primal, by all means, we are listening and waiting for you to come up with something different or better. All kidding aside.
      And you are not inspired? What does that mean? What are you looking for? What is it that you are not getting? You are complaining incessantly, without coming up with a viable alternative.
      You are taking cheap pot shots at a man, who devoted his life to science and hel;ping his patients to feel better.
      You are right, Janov’s books are the ” default ” truth, after all, nobody has been able to do better, or devote the time to his craft, as Janov has.
      And “To make Janov’s ideas the ‘greatest discovery mankind has ever made or ever will make’ flies in the face of the history of science or anything you care to look at ………..even maybe ‘common sense’ “. Now where did you get that from. From what I see and hear, he has made the greatest discovery since Freud. And he left Freud behind. Here is a man that brought together psychology, neuroscience, biology etc and made sense of how we are affected by early trauma. None else has before. We were in the dark ages. Come on, give the man credit.
      On the other hand, lets have a look at your contribution to science…………
      At times I think you are just an inveterate bully. At other times I think that there is something you are not articulating, there is something you want, and you are hiding behind the façade of a pseudo intellectual. Not that you are not intelligent. You are. That’s partly your curse.
      Stop snipping. Start showing more of yourself here. This is after all a ” feeling ” blog. Oh my God, what did I just say?

      • Patrick says:

        Tom – I don’t want to answer all your ‘charges’ but a few things occurs to me. The picture seems to me a lot more mixed………….you put great emphais on Janov and his ‘science’ I would say of lot of Janov’s writing are ‘scien-cy’ or ‘scien-ish’ rather than being very impressive science. They carry the ‘form’ of science but I am not so sure about the ‘substance’ He has tried to give a scientific patina to a lot of what he says but again it seems to me to be more form than substance. I don’t hold out science as being some kind of ultimate test or proof either it’s just it strikes me in that way.

        You ask why I am not ‘inspired’ by his blog or writings now…………well as an example a few weeks ago he wrote an essay on the dangers of ‘mock therapy’ and how it differs from ‘real’ primal therapy. And aside from the rights and wrongs of all that what struck me is that essay could have been and in many ways WAS written in 1974. And I find that ‘troubling’ like Janov himself is somehow ‘stuck in place’ all the concerns that he had in 1974 he STILL has and there does not seem to have been a lot of progress or change. That I find ironic and sad really it seems though he was promoting a “Gospel of Change” there is a remarkable sense of being ‘stuck in place’ I even thought to write a ‘mock play’ where a therapist talks to Janov about his ‘lack of progress in therapy’ but that seems too mean.

        I find it troubling also in my own case, I have always had a tendecy towards ‘regret’ or the feeling that ‘my best days were behind me’ or ‘it’s too late already’ and primal re-inforced those tendencies…………….maybe my misunderstandings and stupidity…………..but that HAPPENED at least to me. I mention this also because you have written on the problem of regret and I agree it is a very big problem. I feel I am at least in some ways finding my ways out of that kind of problem……………..but I used all tools at my disposal and I suppose that’s what I mean by ‘hacking’ primal therapy not just taking it as “Gospel according to Janov”

        • Tom Verzar says:

          Hi Patrick
          Thank you for your prompt reply.
          I will try to respond to your comments the best I can.
          There were no charges laid. You again reiterate your view that Janov’s writings are more ” scien-cy or scien-ish ” than IMPRESSIVE SCIENCE……etc, etc. Pray, what is missing? What hasn’t the man attended to? What would make it more SUBSTANCE than FORM, for you?
          It surprises me that you zero in on Janov’s writings about mock therapy, like the man is stuck somewhere in 1974. As if the man stood still and hasn’t written about anything else in the meantime. I presume you are an avid reader of his blog, and you keep up with all his latest views on anything to do with emotional health. Are you sure it’s not you who is stuck in 1974?
          Janov has always reiterated that this is a patient led therapy. That’s what makes it so unique. What didn’t you tell way back then to your therapist and your partners in crime, your fellow patients. Why did you hold back then? And still now? What progress and change do you hunger for?
          As hard as it is for you, and Margaret would back me up here, you may not have realised, but you have been opening up to us, fellow travellers, bit by bit. That’s a credit to you. it really works when you drop your cape of the stand up bully.
          Why don’t you write to Janov on this blog, and tell him about his ” lack of progress in therapy”, and enlighten him, what’s missing. Because I am baffled.
          I really don’t have a problem with you ” hacking ” primal therapy. By all means. Let’s hear from you. Don’t just judge, but come up with any new theory, irrespective whether it has stood the change of time, or not. Nobody is infallible, not even the almighty Janov. And us bloggers could benefit from your theories, as we put them into practice.
          All jokes aside, the only thing is missing for me from you, is the substance of your complaint. Please stop taking pot shots, and come up with a viable alternative, even if that’s only an improvement on present day PT.
          You should look up on Youtube Edit Piaf, a French Chanteuse, who sang about regrets. Her voice alone brings me to tears.
          On the other hand, got to give it to you, you take as good as you get. Your survival instinct is working.
          Hang in there. I have a saying…. don’t worry….. it will get worse. MaybeIi shouldn’t post it. I have an other one……….. no good deed goes unpunished. They are both my personal experiences.
          Wish you a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.
          And the same to all bloggers and therapists, past, present and future.
          It is scorching hot here today. The air is still, 30C or 97F.
          How come there is no posting on the Xmas group? You guys are slack.

          • Patrick says:

            Tom – at around 20 years old I became aware my ‘orbit’ had a serious wobble in it…………….and I thought long and hard about it and thought I had found the thing that could ‘fix’ the wobble………….after much pain and effort I was able to ‘dock with’ the thing that could fix the wobble (the PI)…………..but after a while I felt mostly ANOTHER wobble, a kind of different one laid on top of the original one…………so now I am kind of dealing with a ‘compound wobble’…………..well to get out of that is tricky……………..but I suppose that is what I have been doing mostly here……………..confronting the most recent wobble with a view to eventually actually confront the original one………….the reason for all the problems in the first place……………this seems a more honest and simple way of saying it than getting into all the ‘rights and wrongs’ about Arthur Janov

            • Tom Verzar says:

              Hi Patrick
              Take my hat off to you. You’ve taken the right turn this time. Well, at least the way I see it.
              I sense you made yourself more vulnerable here. First time ever, I am starting to get a sense of who you are.
              Now, about this wobble. I liked the way you have connected the old to the new. However, I would like you to describe what you mean by ” the wobble “, as best as you can.
              You are a thinker, and hence I am not totally surprised by your description of what is going on with you, in metaphorical terms.
              Have you talked to your family, your mum and siblings about Xmas?
              My son is celebrating it today with her mum and other members of his partner’s, Caitlin’s family, I guess. We are going over tomorrow, Boxing Day, for a family get together.
              Stay well.

          • Barry M says:

            Tom, I just read this post of yours. An EXCELLENT read !! I can just picture you wearing your Speedo sitting under a sun umbrella on Bondi beach tapping away on your laptop while those of us in Canada are up to our 9th. layer of clothing. (maybe 12th layer in Larry;s case). I am green with envy, but you’d have to thaw me out first to see it.

            • Tom Verzar says:

              Hi Barry
              The storey brought tears to my eyes. Somehow the guy reminded me of you.
              Otherwise don’t fret. The weather changed, raining non-stop and the temperature dropped to 22C. We are going over to Jordan’s place tomorrow, for a family get together.
              It’s good to hear from you, nice to see you on the blog. You bring a different perspective here.
              My best to you and Leslie and the kids.

  145. Margaret says:

    I do understand some of Patricks criticisms up to a certain point.
    Nevertheless I think the huge positive impact of the way the Primal scream was written, is that it was able to reach us, persons out of the professional psychological area, just us mainstream average readers, and touch us so deeply we felt like giving it a try at some point.
    I still think that was my best move ever.

    The other side of the coin, but this is my strictly personal and very poorly informed view of the moment, not even a view but something to still explore and learn about, is that it wasn’t taken too seriously by a wide part of the professional field, which is or seems to be very divided to start with, everyone struggling to defend their own theory or approach

    But I do regret not finding PT being mentioned, yet, in my textbooks, but part of it might be my university is very much orientated towards cognitive psychology.

    If ever I can do so, I would love to add my efforts to writing about what unifies the different areas, they all have their merits and it is a wast to stay stuck in eternal arguments about specific details,that do not affect a large shared common area, but severely distract all the attention to that mere different aspect and separates the fields up to a point where they tend to talk about each other with barely dissimulated disdain.

    if everyone would only focus on proving they are right and the other is not, so much knowledge remains unused and scattered about

    if I could just find ways to add my little bit of effort to integrate the richness of the primal experience with some other approaches, even in a tiny way, I would feel very happy

    joining forces and cumulating findings, finding common fields and making alliances with the so called enemies, sort of, just brainstorming here, I know I am just dreaming out loud and being very naive and unschooled but I do have a sense of direction though in which I already feel I would like to start working on.

    I use the word enemies not as in the PT every having taken such a position, as that is not the case, they are very openminded and just follow their own course, but I notice in which way some textbooks are written almost swiping the whole psychoanalytically based approach off the table, and that does not feel right

    they always use the excuse that it cannot be empirically proved, but I think by now we are beyond that era, if there is the will to do some measuring and testing together, it can be done, and there is no more need for this wide gap between the different theoretical approaches.

    in my very humble unformed opinion that is.

    this is just the start of a view, which will keep changing and evolving while I learn and find out, and surely run into practical limitations, but it is nice to feel so interested and almost fascinated by this whole new area to discover.


  146. Patrick says:

    Margaret – I think it’s good you are exploring and learning. As Dr Kruse says “when we know better, we do better” As critical as I can be of PT I find the other approaches actually quite a bit less convincing. And I think that can be a problem for people it’s like there is nowhere else to go. I do believe I am finding a way/my way and I think it increases my confidence and not to be always a critic but if PT(as it is practiced) is not the ONLY game in town well that changes things up for me quite a bit. It’s a very lonely feeling if you find yourself at odds with a situation but have nowhere else to go. In that way it’s like being trapped in a bad family situation which I was too and had to make some tough choices about where I would ‘go’ next.

    This is purely from memory but I can recall being so impressed by R D Laing’s book “The Divided Self” you might ask your professors about that. I considered it a perfect intro to the Primal Scream (like John the Baptist preparing for Jesus so to speak LOL) though it offered no solutions that I can remember. It was more of those kinds of super dissilusioned “English” books though Laing was Scottish actually (close eneough)

  147. Larry says:

    I’m having a hard time doing the Christmas tradition this year. I’m getting out and seeing people. I attended two work lunches this week, and our work Christmas party last night, and enjoyed myself at them, more than I ever used to. I’ll see some friends on Friday evening, on Saturday and on Sunday. I’m enjoying them. I’ll be driving to Manitoba next week to visit family and friends.

    Yet I still haven’t sent all my Christmas cards out, and only yesterday evening finally took 5 minutes to put out my meagre Christmas decorations. I seem to be dragging my feet regarding getting on with the Christmas spirit. I know why I am dragging them when I break out and cry that Noreen is not here anymore.

    Last summer’s retreat fell on several people’s birthday, including mine. Gretchen gave gifts, a cake, and a party for us. Friends at the retreat sang Happy Birthday to me and gave me some gifts. It was too overwhelming for me. I tried to endure and enjoy their attention, but it was work and I wanted to run away. I felt unworthy of their attention. When I got back home to Canada, I put the gifts and cards on the floor in my spare room, and that’s where they’ve been until now, though I’d always intended to give them my attention.

    This evening for some reason I noticed the birthday gifts and cards. I handled and thought about them, ….moved. I read the cards. I read Gretchen’s birthday wishes. I know they are generic, but I also know there is feeling behind them. An instant later and I’m crying. I need the birthday card to be from my mother, when I was a child and a teenager. If she had, I wouldn’t have felt so alone and hollow and afraid all of my life.

    I am alone and hollow and afraid now, and life is precarious and unpredictable, but if I had felt love from my parents I would have been stronger and less afraid. I’m waking up, crying and seeing what I needed and what they were unable to give me…some love, and seeing that I was alone, and alone now have to make my life work.

    It’s incredible that the mind can finally let me see lifelong hidden truth, that materializes when I cry the decades old feeling that had until now been impossible to tolerate..

  148. Margaret says:

    could it be you still miss and search for something religion once seemed to offer, the feeling there are answers and solutions for everything and all will end well?

    I think that is a very deep need we all somehow share and can’t entirely let go off easily, as it helps us to survive, at least that is how I experience it.

    • Patrick says:

      Margaret – you have a point there especially if there is a lot of trauma involved…………… my case I picture myself reaching what we used to call ‘the age of reason’ carrying a lot of trauma and as my mind developed it rose up to meet it. And at that time religion was the vehicle of explanation for everything so for example I at times was obsessed with the lenght of time especiallly where time might be spent either as we were taught heaven or hell. And for sure I notice even to this day a lot of my concerns especially for example global warming kind of replays that scenario……………in a hot hellish atmosphere forever.

      About PT I would say it has a lot a big lot to do with ‘familly’.When I read the Primal Scream though I might not have known it even myself I felt I had found a ‘new’ family a family that would be infinitly better than the flawed one I grew up in. Every imperfection in the old one would be matched with a corresponding perfection in the new one. So yes there is I suppose inevitable dissapointment then………………however I am always reluctant to just let it go at that. I mean global warming though it echoes my childhood fears IS real too and one can’t just be reduced down as just an echo of the other one. Similarly with PT a lot of my dissapointment carries echoes of dissapointment about my ‘new’ family but again I don’t want to just let it go as simply that. That seems ‘lazy’ to me……………..and a kind of ‘non explanation’ or ‘non solution’ that does not appeal to me

  149. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Hey to all:

    I’m going to share a weird thought here, and it’s highly speculative. I just felt like sharing it, OK? No hard feelings if you think I’m full of crap on this one.

    Arthur Janov has talked at length about the valence level of a trauma. As a simple example, if a girl is insulted by her mother at the age of five it would emotionally hurt much more than if a fully-grown woman was insulted the same way by her mother.

    Everyone with me so far?

    Since our nervous systems are encased in our bodies at all times, could we use standard body weights as a very rough guide as to how much a trauma will hurt a child vs. how much it hurts an adult?

    Let’s assume a 5 year-old girl’s normal weight is 40 pounds.

    Let’s also assume a fully-grown woman’s weight is 120 pounds.

    The fully grown woman’s weight is 3 times as much as the child’s weight (ie. 120 pounds is 3*40 pounds). Since the child’s nervous system is encased in a body with only 1/3rd the weight of an adult, does that make a certain emotional trauma roughly 3 times as hard for a five year-old vs. a fully-grown adult?

    ANOTHER VERY SIMPLE EXAMPLE: A 10 year-old boy weighs 90 pounds. This is 1/2 his fully-grown body weight of 180 pounds. Hence, the 10 year-old’s trauma carries roughly 2 times the valence level as an adult.

    Of course, there are many complications and everybody’s cases and relative body weights at different ages are all unique, and this idea is only some sort of very rough speculative guide, that’s it!

    x = adult body weight at a given trauma
    y = child’s body weight undergoing the same trauma
    z = level of trauma severity multiplier of child compared to adult (aka. valence level)

    z = 1/(y/x)

    Of course, this formula implies how critical the first trimester of pregnancy really is since variable z would approach infinity as we go back towards the weight of a zygote.

  150. Patrick says:

    Guru – it is good to see you back! Still maybe you are up too late maybe computer programming or something. This sounds like the early stirrings of understanding like something maybe Aristotle would have written or Thomas Aquinas! Still I like your notion of as the smallness of the zygote approaches zero the trauma approaches infinity……………that has a very ‘scien-cy’ or ‘scien-ish’ feeling about it. Now if you can toss in a few more equations with “Sigma” symbols and “Infinity” symbols you should be in business!

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      Patrick: My 6:12 AM post was something very simple I had scribbled down for fun on the back of a cocktail napkin the other day. I know it’s a very simplistic model so I won’t take it too seriously. It requires the assumption that the growth of body weight over time is a paramount factor to quantifying the overall level of trauma.
      I fully understand that trying to incorporate math equations into soft sciences such as psychology is a dangerous business!

      (Throws away the crumpled cocktail napkin.)

  151. Yes on the censorship! I am all for it particularly anything even hinting at a negative thought about me 🙂 ! Xmas group tonight! See you there! Gretch

  152. Margaret says:

    why does it have to be just either one, both things can be true at the same time, the old feeling load of something and the actual present reality as well, you do not have to choose between them, but can work on both levels imo

  153. Patrick says:

    Margaret – You begin to sound like a quantum physicist (that’s a compliment by the way) it seems you are learning at a lot at that school! “When you know better, you do better”

  154. Tom Verzar says:

    Hi All
    We were cleaning out some draws and came across a Time Magazine with the following article: ” How the First Nine Months Shape the Rest of Your Life. That’s referring to womb life.

    Read more: Fetal Origins: How the First Nine Months Shape Your Life – TIME,9171,2021065,00.html#ixzz2o4iFTRIC

    It kind of fits in to some of our discussions and contentions here.
    Would welcome your views.

  155. Larry says:

    In a couple of days I’ll embark on the 8.5 hour drive across the snow cloaked frozen prairies, to family and friends for Christmas. There are people here I want to see and spend time with before I go. I look forward to the connections. I’m lucky I have them. I value and enjoy the connections more than ever, while paradoxically I’m aware more than ever how alone I am.

    I’m crying a lot. I feel I’m nearer my last chapters on grieving. Deep sad ones. I feel that when I’m on the last page, my crying will go on forever and be so free and deep and sad I’ll be barely able to catch a breath. I’m remembering what it was like to fall in love, to bond and share life, a union worth more than anything money can buy, universe-shifting heights of peace and contentment matched by deep dark depths of despair when her life ends.

    I’m remembering, because of feelings of interest undeniable and growing between me and the younger woman in my bereavement group. The feelings aren’t spoken openly, but it is clear from body language, eye contact, voice tone and modulation, manner of questioning and listening and conversation of interest in discovering each other, that feelings for each other are budding and growing. I have to act on them or not be me.

    My life is changing to I don’t know what. The possibility of love and fulfilment beckons me onward. Yawning chasms of dark emptiness hold me back. My feelings are my ultimate guide. If only my parents had loved me, instead of abandoning me to fear and worthlessness.

    If I don’t write here again for a little while, Merry Christmas.

    • vicki says:

      Thanks, Larry. This is the version I heard every year as a child, on some record my mom had. And/or in the tv play of Little Drummer Boy that was on tv every year. I did later ignore the religious overtones, and just enjoyed the childhood feelings.

      • Larry says:

        I’m glad you liked it Vicki. The idea that the little drummer boy was too poor to offer a material gift, but offered his drumming and it was a good gift, touches me.

        Did you go to Christmas group on Friday? I’m on a bigger emotional roller coaster than the previous ones on this my 4th bereavement Christmas. My sense of aloneness is deeper and I’m more and more paralysed by ennui as Christmas approaches. Seeing people or talking to them on the phone pulls me out of it for a while and reminds me who I am or what I mean to them, I’m really lucky to have them. Without my family and friends I’d be in big big trouble. I feel really fortunate that I’m not so self-destructive to have turned people away from me throughout my life, because there is a chilling sense of abandonment in me and a scary pull to want to give up hope and isolate. If I did that I’d soon be in one big big mess. A brother phoned me long distance this afternoon to ask when I was coming over for Christmas. Hearing from him lifted my spirits, like lifting me up out of water where I was yielding to drowning.

  156. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Man is a slow, sloppy, and brilliant thinker. Computers are fast, accurate, and stupid.” John Pfeiffer

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      CORRECTED: “The computer is incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid. Man is incredibly slow, inaccurate, and brilliant. The marriage of the two is a force beyond calculation.

      It looks like Leo Cherne said this quote, not some random dude named John Pfeiffer.

      Interestingly, this quote has frequently been mistakenly credited to Albert Einstein.

  157. Margaret says:

    haha, Patrick, yes, quantum physics and cosmology also happen to be an interest of mine.
    next time I am down I might call it a black hole.

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      Margaret? Did I ever tell you about the beautiful, starry-eyed woman who dropped out of cosmetology school to become a cosmologist?

    • Patrick says:

      ………………from which no light emerges……………and which sucks you into it’s own heavy gravitational field destroying you in the process………………reminds me of some people I have know…………………or was it all a hologram/dream from which I am trying to awake………………..

  158. Cosma, The Cosmopolitan Costume Consumer says:

    Don’t worry, sweetie! I understood what you meant 😀

  159. Larry says:

    Tossed and turned last night and slept in this morning. I was 45 minutes late and wondered whether it was still worth going to the Sunday morning Unitarian church service. Part of me was bah humbug, but it was the service before Christmas and I expected a lot of people to be there who I wanted to see. So I went, and walked late into the hall in mid-service. Soon I was brought to tears that I had to squelch. The service was touching, but what moved me most was that these people meant a lot to each other and to me, to want to spend this Sunday morning together. (The service was about Christmas but non-religious). Being with them completely banished my emptiness. I felt connected to them. I’ve gotten to know very many of them over the years. Some of them are coping with loss like I am. I’m getting to know more of them, more and more. It’s an interesting community of people drawn together by human values and principles that are at the core of the great monotheistic religions. I like how they are trying to create a ‘religious’ community without any adherence to a God or a dogma. After the service people lingered in conversation with each other for a long while. I sought out and engaged in lengthy meaningful conversation with 7 of them, ranging in age from 20 to 70ish. When I finally left and went home. I felt grounded and content, and life felt good. Connection with people, being part of a community, the more heartfelt the better, is so important to my well being. There is something magical about Christmas, even if I sometimes have to drag my feet into it.

  160. Jo says:

    Tom, in relation to what you said about the Xmas group (further up the blog), what would your Xmas wish be?

    • Tom Verzar says:

      Hi Jo
      I am not disregarding your question.
      I’ve been mulling it over the last two days. It’s a tough one. Almost anything that comes to mind has no bearing in the present. After all, for all intents and purposes, I got everything one could wish for. Then why am I not happy?
      Why is it that every day is a grind? Why is it that I HURT most of the time? Why is it that I have mind numbing difficulty learning anything new? Why is it that I always feel little? Why is it that when I sit in front of my computer screen, all of a sudden my head implodes, and all I can do is to lie down and sleep. Like a baby…….
      Why is it that it only takes a small amount of misunderstanding, and I already construct a life of utter loneliness. NOBODY WANTS ME!!!!!!! I will live and die on the street. Why doesn’t somebody want me?
      So, what I wish for, if that was possible,, is to be free from all of the above. I would love to be able to count my blessings, of which there are plenty of.
      I wish to be in a “state of mind ” where I am in the present. Not in the past.
      Weird shit, Hah?

  161. Margaret says:

    I was thinking about the upcoming phone session with barry during my lunch.
    it has been w
    a while since we have talked, so there seemed so much iI would want to tell him, and I tried to sift out the essentials.

    .I thought back of a sad feeling I had had a few nights ago, feeling disappointment about my life, about all those childhood dreams never come true, and reality being kind of dark, literally as well as emotionally some of the time.
    all of a sudden it made me cry deeply, it was both beautiful and heartbreaking, so much pain in it, and yet so much hope for what is good to survive despite of hatred and stupidity.

    tears started dripping into my pumpkin soup when all of a sudden I thought about saying to him he was , and is in fact, the person who means most to me in my life on this moment.

    It made me very sad at first.

    But then slowly I started to feel how I could also say to him that it was ok, even if something bad would happen to me now, my body giving up on me or something, I had done my best to make the best of things, and actually I felt my life had been enriched and depened since therapy, even feeling all the grief and sadness is so much better than the other option, having continued a more shallow kind of life, being directed by barely understood impulses and caught up in endless act-outs.

    I go up and down, for example yesterday, after deciding not to go to yoga and not to go tango dancing either, but dedicating my energy to cleaning up my place for Xmas and studying a bit as well, I felt very peaceful and ok, actually enjoying all the work I was doing, cooking, ironing, vacuuming, cleaning floors and stairway etc

    I had classical music on and they also read a poem of somebody from Chili, “the nombrolibertad”
    todayb a mail from my brother threw me a bit off balance, my mother seems to continue unplugging her pc and so also her digital tv, for some reason, and then having to call the company to help set it up again.

    she started doing so as she feared a friend of hers was downloading stuff through her computer, but we told her over and over she should not worry about it, and thought sh e had accepted that

    now it turned out again she had called the company over, with of course bills to follow.

    I told my brother we could talk with her again, as he suggested, but we might have to simply accept these kind of things more and more.
    I said we could fix a post-it on the wires telling her to leave them plugged.

    but I did notice how it affected my mood immediately, making me feel instantly more fearful and vulnerable

    maybe being more open to feeling peaceful and ok with myself, goes hand in hand with also being more open for the painful feelings that are still left to be dealt with, sadness and fear mostly.

    still, I am glad about all the gifts I found to put under the tree, only ne remains to be wrapped, and they are all nice and appropriate imo, I feel good about giving them, buying them felt more rewarding than receiving my own gifts, and I hope to see or hear a smile on my brother’s face.

    my cat gets a scratching pole from him, very useful as my kitchen lies full of wood splinters from the old kitchen chest, haha!

    I wish everyone a nice and peaceful holiday season, and a lot of warmth and hopeful tenderness in the coming year.

    Margaret and Molimet the cat.

    • Tom Verzar says:

      Hi Margaret
      I always enjoy reading your postings.
      What has changed, at least in my opinion, is that you’ve become more articulate, clear and very succinct with your comments and descriptions of your daily life. It looks like you’ve gone up , no, you jumped to an other level, so to speak.
      Hope you’ll have a nice time with your mum and brother.

  162. Larry says:

    It is good to see you on the blog more, Tom.

    You said it is +30C where your are. It is -30C here today. In this cold weather, I’m a little afraid to follow through with my plan to drive all day across the wide open prairies, to family and friends far away. Bad road conditions or car problems could turn into very serious trouble.

    But I’ll go.

    Here is a new Christmas song from me to all of you.

    • Tom Verzar says:

      Hi Larry
      I can’t tell you how much I’m barracking for you regarding the young lady you met recently. I don’t know how you are able to tear yourself away from her, during the Xmas Season. She seems to evoke feelings of great affection from you. And vice versa.
      On an other note, as I said before, you take me on a trip, every time you write. You take me into an other world, yours.
      Have a great time with your family and friends during Xmas.

  163. Margaret says:

    wew, I got engaged again with the struggle with my statistics website.

    my expert ran into some problem we could not solve so far and asked me to give it a try myself in the meantime.

    I gave it three tries today, the fist one very discouraging and unsuccessful, so I felt bad enough to try it again later on, and then I got just a tiny little bit further..

    another try and a lot of sweat and again some minimal progress..

    will have to start working very hard on this from now on, already have a starting tendinitis in my elbows from cramping up behind my laptop!

    still, I feel more ok now that I invested quite a bit of time and energy at least, although I did not get too far yet, this is a necessary stage as well.

    wish everyone a nice Xmas eve, will be home alone with my cat tonight, as we go celebrate tomorrow.

    ho ho ho…

  164. Barry M says:

    Hey everyone!
    I just wanted to post a Merry Christmas wish to you all,(and to all Primal patients who don’t ‘blog’).
    Even though I don’t spend a huge amount of time with my fellow ‘Primalians’, the time that I do spend is of the HIGHEST quality one could wish for. All of you over the years, (the MANY years!) have enriched my life in some way, and for that I am so, so grateful.
    Retreats at La Casa, which I originally was so hesitant to attend, have never failed to make me more real than I was before, and I now look forward to them months in advance, with my only trepidation being that people that I hope to see there may not be in attendance.
    To all therapists past and present (especially Judy who I am STILL a little in love with!) Thank you, thank you, thank you. I could personally care less about whether Janovian Primal theories, now or in the past, survive intellectual scrutiny. I KNOW that being a part of the Primal community has made me a more complete person. Has it cured me? What is the definition of a cured person? Has it helped me? Absolutely and emphatically yes. Despite the love that Leslie and I have for each other we could very possibly not still be together if it wasn’t for the Institute. I could not imagine P.T. not being a part of my life.
    Merry, merry Christmas to each and every one of the Primal family.
    Barry M

  165. Margaret says:

    that was such a very nice Xmas wish!
    hear hear!

  166. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    All these atheist animals giving Christmas wishes to each other. My, my! It just warms my fuzzy little heart!

  167. Patrick says:

    Guru – you might find this interesting kind of gives both sides of the atheist/believer issue

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      It looks like that article is implying that religion is an opiate for desperate & homeless people. My own mother is a glaring exception to that rule. Came from a well-to-do family, worked in the heart of American corporate finance, and she always carried a white leather-bound Bible in her purse.

      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        Hyper-rich people also have wildly varying beliefs:
        “I talk to a rabbi every morning and go over the Torah portion of the day.” ~Ronald Perelman

        Like Janov, Facebook founder (and apparently idea stealer) Mark Zuckerberg is an atheist….so….

        I’ll just settle for agnosticism.

      • Patrick says:

        Guru – I don’t think it was saying that actually though I realize the headline kind of implied it. You could also say the article was implying that atheism was for rich successful smart-alec type but whatever………….

        • THE Ultimate Guru says:

          Patrick: Yes, to me the article actually has an atheistic slant to it which is “OK” because I’ve seen plenty of that. I realize it was saying that rational atheism is a luxuriant thought that is mostly the province of prosperous intellectuals while the downtrodden & desperate cling to faith out for their next opium shot to numb the pain of poverty. My counterpoint was simply to show that some of the richest people in the world (far removed from desperation) are also religious.

  168. Margaret says:

    Tom, thank you!
    Actually I could say the same thing about you!
    xx, M

  169. Margaret says:

    the most traditional Xmas wish of all, peace on earth to all people of good will, don’t know about the translation, could be people who mean well, but anyway, that seems to be very appropriate to me.

    again, best wishes to all of you, MI find myself becoming tearful or crying on several occasions or it items on the news where people showing kindness and generosity to each other is the subject.
    it is so sad there still are so many wars and fights going o, hurting and killing so many innocent people.
    I fed the birds and all my xmas presents stand ready to be taken to my mom, and the tray of my cat is nicely full, and she just got her xmas brushing to have a nice shiny fur coat..
    I hope it becomes a nice visit, will do my best to make it that way

  170. Margaret says:

    ill be a nice year for you with some pleasant surprises every once in a while, satisfaction and fun.

    thanks Vicki, that is very sweet of you.

    I am just back home now, feeling a bit worn out..
    The good thing:
    – my brother loved the book I bought for him very much, a book with very specific tricks for advanced mountain biking, he was thrilled with it!
    – my mom was showered by gifts, both by my brother and me

    -we were able to keep things kind of organized, putting gifts under tree, sorting out some stuff for mom, drinking glass of cava and opening gifts, getting food ready etc.

    not good:
    after going out of our way all day to make it a nice day for our mom, at the very end when we were already taking our coats she started crying saying she would soon not be there anymore anyway so she would soon not be a bother to us anymore…

    when my brother took some stuff to the car she said she felt so bad because he had been impatient and snappy to her..

    while we still tried to reassure her again, a call from her boyfriend came to distract her and cheer things up again.
    my brother gave her a good hug when we left, telling her she wa s doing very well and was no bother to us whatsoever, things were kind of patched up to the point were she only sniffed a bit saying things weren’t always that easy for her, and by the time we actually left things were more or less ok.

    good thing again:

    my brother and me could talk about it openly on the ride home.
    he said it often felt as if she was ungrateful, and he gets pissed off when she makes impulsive crazy or stupid remarks.
    I said she is a bottomless pit, damaged by her awful childhood, but that she can be retty manipulative without being really conscient of it, like we pampered her all day long, and then when one of us gets a little impatient for a brief moment, she kind of immediately attacks us with a guilt trip, “soon I won’t be a bother to you anymore”, …

    it was very good my brother and me could express ourselves without getting really upset or angry, just understanding each other and acknowledging we should not feel guilty, and the good thing is also we weren’t really angry or very upset, just ventilating.

    we could even laugh about it, and we also could talk about our own more personal issues more openly.

    it is good our love is strong enough to deal with the irritations our mom can cause, but it is also very sad, we will never ‘fix it”, I think we both gave it our very best shot today, and specially for my brother it must be very hard she reacted in this overemotional dramatic way to one less friendly reply, after all the effort he invested right before.

    it is such a sad thought too we can’t make her entirely happy, in a lasting way, sooner or later her craziness will take over again and either hurt us or frustrate her and make her scared and sad.

    still, we all love each other and do what we can.

    i do worry of course, my mother seems to get more fearful gradually.
    luckily she also has a strong inclination to look for the bright side again, after a while, and finds pleasure in little things.

    but thanks Vicky, you made me feel like you cared in a personal kind of way.

    guru, nice you enjoy the wishes, I hope this w

  171. Margaret says:

    my last sentence somehow ended up on top of everything, so to read it bgo back to the start of my comment when you are at the end…
    sorry, M

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      It’s OK now; I have your message sorted out. Thanks for your nice wishes. I hope things stay reasonably OK with your mother & brother throughout the coming year despite what you’ve talked about today.

  172. Margaret says:

    I have a slight emotional hangover today.
    my mother is a bottomless pit of need, need for attention, affection, confirmation, control. she is manipulative and very childish.
    at the same time she is very scared and vulnerable.

    she is the example of how it is when, although meaning well, a person is steered by old needs and other old feelings, without being fully aware of what is going on and therefor having little or no control.

    it is sad, sad for her to see her still becoming so unhappy just by one inpatient remark, after a whole day of care and attention, and sad for us to have to cope with it and to hurt as we want her, and want ourselves to feel good too.

    my brother was going to give her a call today, but right now I don’t feel like it.

    I see so much more clearly now how my mother’s whole childish act now turns itself against her, turning people off, I fear even her boyfriend to some degree.

    I know where it comes from and how it was her survival in her terrible childhood full of abuse and rape, but although that helps to remain patient and not to get angry, it does not take the hurt and sadness away.

    now I feel like crying.

  173. Margaret says:

    Jo, he was with his family, and that is another story, but not one for a public blog, as it is about other people’s lifes.

    just had a cry about not being able to fullfill my mother’s needs, must have felt that as a young child already.

    how was your Xmas JO?

  174. Jo says:

    Margaret, OK re your mother’s boyfriend.
    Your feelings about your mother sound very real, and maybe extra hard for you as it really sounds like she has some dementia.

    My Xmas has been very enjoyable. My son and family came to me for the Xmas eve meal, and I went to theirs for the marathon Xmas day lunch, where we were joined by my daughter-in-law’s parents.


  175. Margaret says:

    just got a call from my distressed mom, who woke up from a nap, not knowing what day it was and whether she had to prepare a Xmas celebration or not…

    she did not remember anything at all from yesterday, nor the fact I called her today at lunchtime.

    very slowly when I refreshed her memory some details came back, and I told her again to use her cellphone and little notebook to check the date etc., and to focus on what she can still do instead of focusing on all that can go wrong at some point.

    I understand how scary it must be and want to support her as well as possible, but it is very difficult, specially when she has an off day like today.

    we will have to cope with things as they occur, and deal with them then.

    she is back on track now, was about to warm up the leftovers from yesterday so I can focus again on my own lazy day with a relaxing let romantic novel, just something that makes me feel things can go right as well.

    I have an invitation for a nice party on january 2 and a tango dance on january 5 so thet will be a good start of the year hopefully.

    If my mother keeps deteriorating at this rate, we will have to start looking around for solutions, but she will fight like hell not to go to a home.

    it is even worse for her than for other old people, as it brings up memories for her from childhood institution traumas.

    I feel though that if she would ever give it a chance, she might like it more than she expects, as she can be quite sociable.

    have to let it go for now before it gets me off balance.


  176. Fiona says:

    Not exactly a pc thing – but I am feeling reckless, and I was ‘dared to’!………. AND I probably wont even read anyone’s responses anyway. Here is the best Christmas cracker joke I have ever heard:

    How many Tourette’s sufferers does it twat to c**t a lightbollocks?

    All complaints to be sent to Margaret M – Belgium. Thank you

    • Patrick says:

      Fiona – This takes ‘hit and run’ to a new high (or low). But maybe you were just drunk at the time. But it doesn’t matter what I say – you won’t be around to read it. See the beauty (and safety ?) in that! I don’t like making fun of Tourette’s people though as I have a mild case of this myself (diagnosed only by myself though I have also ‘diagnosed’ myself as having a wee bit of ‘manic-depression’ DEFINITLY ‘bi-polar’ ‘depression’ is a shoe in, I could make of fortune for drug companies if I allowed THEM to ‘diagnose’ me!) I better stop before I run into REAL trouble………………

  177. Tom Verzar says:

    Hi Fiona
    ” How many Tourette’s sufferers does it twat to c**t a lightbollocks? ”
    What does it all mean? Is there a grammatical error in here?

  178. Margaret says:

    had my mother on the phone four times today.
    I don’t blame her, as she did what she needed to do by calling me, every time she panicked not knowing what day it was or if we were coming over etc.

    I start mentioning the option of a home somewhere in the future, describing her how she might feel more secure with the company of people around her.
    when she replies she wants her privacy I say her she still will have her own room, probably anyway, and she can come and go and see her boyfriend any time, if she does not wait too long to decide to go there, but goes when she still is reasonably well.

    she talks about how she grew up in an institution and how that makes her not to ever want to go to a home if possible, and then I tell her it is not the same as back then she was a kid without anything to say.

    at least she did say she would go there if for example she could not find her way home anymore, but not before that.

    she talked too about her impulse to go off into the woods, and I told her never to even allow herself to consider that, as it would be terrible for us and she would probably regret it very soon as well.
    in the end we could almost joke about it and she said it were just passing thoughts.

    it is hard for me, but this seems the best way I can support her, answering her calls gently and reassuring her.

    it is al the more motivation for me to take good care of myself, not to take unnecessary painkillers for example, as I need my energy for this and to deal with my own life and hassles at the same time.

    struggled in vain for two hours just now with the statistics website, ended up writing my software assistant asking him for another session. I hope by then he will have found the solution for the software problem we are struggling with…

    by the way, for Fiona’s sake, if my comments get messed up, that is entirely my fault, mostly my sleeve swiping over the trackpad of my laptop, messing with the structure of my text, and hey, yes, I am lazy and sloppy enough not to double-check before I send it, haha, sorry about that, can’t be perfect, can we?


  179. Margaret says:

    my mother was confused about an unexpectedly high bill from the gas and the electrit
    city, she kept thinking it was a water bill, so she started messing around with some tabs and inundated the cellar.

    my brother went over there yesterday evening.
    again I raised the idea of how maybe she would feel more safe and in the long run happier in a home, but he said he still thought it would be best for her to stay in her house for as long as possible, and I tend to agree for the moment.

    I talked to a friend later on and she told me about her mother in law, who she loved and recently died after having spent ten years in a home.

    she advised me never to bring my mother to a home if I could avoid it in any way..

    tomorrow I will start inquiring about which ways of support exist for assistance at home, but my mother is so stubborn about admitting anybody new into her ‘privacy’.

    at some point we might have to put her before the choice to accept extra help or to have to move to a home, but for now hopefully things will become a bit better again after the Xmas period when she can return to her ordinary routine.

    it is a scary and difficult stage, we will have to cope as it unfolds.

    in the meantime my battle with the statistics course and its terrible website is still going on, tonight I will receive some extra coaching about the vice-over software, but the more I find out the scarier it all becomes, for me it is such a difficult subject in a difficullt format.
    thies last word should be f o r m a t, but every time my spellchecker seems to change it, another setting I must change cause it drives me crazy!

    where is everyone by the way?
    celebrating already?

  180. Margaret says:

    ha, I just received “on becoming a person” from Carl Rogers in an audio version, from my own library…

    they did not have Laing and “the divided self” though, but well, this seems already a treat.

  181. Patrick says:

    There was a thing in “The Guardian” about ‘science jokes’ and this one I thought people might like…………….

    A psychoanalyst shows a patient an inkblot, and asks him what he sees. The patient says: “A man and woman making love.” The psychoanalyst shows him a second inkblot, and the patient says: “That’s also a man and woman making love.” The psychoanalyst says: “You are obsessed with sex.” The patient says: “What do you mean I am obsessed? You are the one with all the dirty pictures.”

  182. Patrick says:

    And Margaret this might appeal to you as you are involved in statisics.

    ‘A statistician is someone who tells you, when you’ve got your head in the fridge and your feet in the oven, that you’re – on average – very comfortable.’

  183. Margaret says:

    ha, my mood has gone up significantly just now!
    had a few hours of Skype/teamviewer class on how to use my voice-over software on the statistics site, and we managed to solve a problem which I had started fearing would be unsolvable!

    it is very complicated to navigate the different cursors I work with, sometimes it takes about fifteen manipulations to simply enter a frame and be able to hear what I type in it, but the main thing is now I know it can be done!

    will still need hours and hours just to learn how to navigate properly with my software on this level, but it feels so good to have made this progress.

    my assistant is fantastic and I am so lucky to have found him.
    his classes are not cheap but worth every cent, all the more because he enjoys searching for solutions until he finds them.

    the blog and all my other e-mail correspondents are awfully quiet, all preparing for new year’s eve maybe.

    at some point I thought my e-mail was off, but no, it is just silent.

    my brother has taken a week off and is visiting our mother often, he is so caring.

    we also have another friend that is retiring now and promised to drop in regularly at her house to check on her.

    it is people helping out and supporting each other that have made me feel so much better, the last few days I felt I was hardly coping.

    • Tom Verzar says:

      Hi Margaret
      Wishing you the best for 2014. You are doing a great job. You are an example to all of us.
      And it’s not easy for you. A lot of feelings about your mum. Good that your brother is stepping up.

  184. Leslie says:

    Happy New Year to all!!
    Thinking of you and looking forward to 2014.
    ox L.

    • Thomas Verzar says:

      Hi Leslie and all the rest of the rat pac.
      Wishing you all the very best for 2014 and beyond.
      It is 5 hours and 17 minutes and counting until the fireworks start on the Harbour Bridge and over the entire city.

  185. Jo says:

    Happy New Year from me too… Here’s hoping my and your wishes come true!

  186. Miguel says:

    Hi Tom, Margaret, Larry, Guru, Patrick and Jack and all of you.
    I wish you all the best for the New Year 2014

    • Tom Verzar says:

      Hi Miguel
      Good to hear from you. There is a lot we need to catch up with regarding your life the last few months. You disappeared on me/us.
      Wish you a great 2014.

  187. Margaret says:

    thank you for those kind words. They are so very welcome right now to lift up my mood.

    best wishes t to you too and to everyone inhere!

  188. Patrick says:

    “The Tide is Turning” by Roger Waters (Pink Floyd guy)…………..nice song for the New Year.

  189. vicki says:

    I happened to listen to this smooth song by Van Morrison, and decided to post “Tupelo Honey” here, for a Happy New Year to all, soon to come:

    • Patrick says:

      Vicki – that song always to me seemed to sum up the pure optimism and hopefullness of the hippy period……………….I wish that was still around!

  190. Patrick says:

    I would LIKE to be positive and in some ways I FEEL positive about the New Year and the future but in the light of this is that at all rational? Maybe Mother Nature really has had eneough of us and ‘decides’ to go in another direction (without us). At the very least it will be a very changed world and maybe James Lovelock’s prediction of a few hundred thousand humans living in the polar regions the rest ‘all gone’ will have come through…………..but to get from here to there can only involve terrible catastrophe. It seems to me inevitable but I cannot say in any way am I ‘looking forward’ to it

  191. Patrick says:

    Notice to re-ignite any ‘diet controversies’ but I found this interesting……………

    “Dr Weston Price’s book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is a tour de force that documents the results of ancestral diets. Most convincing are his pictures of large families that document healthy teeth in older kids while the younger ones, on a modern diet of rice, wheat flour and sugar (or as he termed it, “The displacing foods of modern commerce”) are crooked and riddled with decay. You can actually tell within a year or two when the family stopped eating a traditional diet. This would also suggest that excessive carbohydrate consumption might be linked to growth disorders that lead to malocclusion and need for orthodontics. Unfortunately for the world, Dr. Price took a few stands in dentistry that made him unpopular. Compounding the problem, his book was published on the eve of World War II. This was a notoriously bad time for science, unless you happened to be working on rockets or jet engines.

    More evidence may be found by looking at current populations, such as the Inuit of the far north or the Masai of Africa. While the traditional Inuit diet contains very little plant material and is heavy in fish and sea mammals such as whales and seal, the Masai eat tubers as well as cattle and some dairy, nothing from the ocean. The Inuit have almost no fiber in their diets. The Masai have some but not nearly as much as we are advised to eat, so this does not appear to be the issue. Neither people consume much sugar, refined or otherwise. No surprise that both groups living thousands of miles apart in completely different climates, but both have perfect teeth.

    • Jack W says:

      Oh boy: we’re back on diet again …

      I have contended that the medical profession and all it’s attending support groups (pharmacology etc.) are fixated on Diet and Exercise … BUT, I ask, is that the real essence of health????

      I contend NOT … It was suggested many years ago that “we are what we eat” … suggesting that the vegetarian eater creatures, are merely vegetables … not so … seemingly,

      I figure. There is another factor that I feel is very neglected in this era of “being beholden to science (especially medical science)”. It was suggested way before we got into the ‘religion of Diet and Exercise that our bodies metabolize (I contend through FEELINGS) what we eat to become useful to us (METABOLIZING). Using dentistry to make a point seems to me to be a limited ‘raison d’etra’ for delineating our health … particularly if we are to take into consideration mental health. (I doubt dentistry could help much in that field)

      One last point: the medical professions are in a constant flux as to what is, and is not good for us. Tomorrow (whenever that is) it may have another ‘theme’ to dwell upon. I personally prefer to stay with what FEELS good and right for me. What is the point of good teeth if we are becoming demented … a la Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher????


      • Patrick says:

        Jack – you make some good points there. But I would say BOTH teeth and brains are part of us, I don’t know why it would need to become an either/or type of a situation. The brain is after all just another ‘organ’ in the body and on the simplest level if something is clearly so bad for the teeth it would make sense it probably is not that good for lots of other organs including the brain. I think I mentioned before that people who had to decide quickly if a horse was in good physical shape or not used the teeth as a proxy or a quick way to ‘decide’. To me that makes instinctive sense.

        In my own case I have MUCH less reasons to see dentists now than I did in the past……………but unfortunatly quite a bit of damage has been done but now things seem quite stabilized WITHOUT the need for a lot of ‘dentistry’. But for me ALL of this is a reason to ‘grieve’ or admit mistakes. That can be ‘painful’ but IMO worth it. Without admitting mistakes it is hard to impossible to ‘change’

        • Jack W says:

          Patrick: I wasn’t making a point about teeth … and I sure wish I still had mine, and I did neglect them for a long period of time, especially whilst living in Ibiza, and it is a wonder I kept mine well into my seventies.

          I was making a point about the fixation on diets. The ancients didn’t study dietary (as far as I know) and did, for the most part, what comes naturally. I know little about their ways of life and even less about their thinking … but somehow we are still around (though I am not sure for a great deal longer … with or without diets and exercises). I am (Since I wrote a book on the matter) into the the means of total health (mental and physical) and contend that in 1967 there was a discovery that did more for our general well being (health, if you like) than anything either before or since. I, for one,was grateful and gained a great deal from that discovery and crossed “the pond” in order to get it … which for the most part, I contend, got it.

          I was never into ‘new years resolutions’, but last year I made one and even mentioned it on this blog. Well! I managed to keep it for the whole year and so I thought to renew it again this year. I resolved to do a little less thinking and little more expressing my feelings.. There! I’ve made it public again.


          • Patrick says:

            Jack – the point now seems to be dental problems have little to do with ‘taking care of your teeth’ I know we are taught that but it seems people on a good diet need NO ‘dentistry’ or flouride or flossing or whatever. Maybe hard to believe but that seems to be the case. Here is something about that………..the more I delve into this kind of stuff it seems MOST ‘medical theories’ are simply ‘wrong’

            “Back in 1990 when I was a newly minted dentist, I had a friend that was working on a Ph.D. in anthropology and human evolution down at SUNY Stony Brook. Since tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it is most likely to survive, and my friend spent a lot of time studying it. My friend gave me the understanding that humanity is 2 ½ million years old and gave me a tour of the “skull room” at his school. I was amazed that every single skull in that room was over 10,000 years old yet demonstrated a full complement of 32 teeth with no decay, impactions or gum disease. We had remarked on it but thought no further about it for 20 years.”

  192. Patrick says:

    Sorry……….the beginning of the last post should have said “Not to” not “notice’. So it should have read “not to re-ignite any ‘diet controversies’ really I don’t want any ‘controversies’ right now.

  193. Larry says:

    On Sunday evening I arrived back from my visit in Manitoba with family and friends for Christmas. While there I stayed with my youngest brother and his family, and their new 8 week old German Shepherd pup. The only pre-planned event was a large family gathering on the Saturday after Christmas of my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, spouses and third generation toddlers. The rest of my time that week I had to juggle time and people and find who would have a visit from me and when. The Christmas season is a roller coaster of emotions for me, ranging from lows of feeling very alone and unwanted, to highs of clicking with decades long good friends and sharing activity and conversation we mutually enjoy.

    Not having any opportunity or place to cry when I needed to, I had to manage a tumult of feelings. I had to present an outward demeanour of happiness and contentment, which was partially a true reflection of how I felt when visiting, while trying to subdue the swelling feeling that something was missing and just below the surface I am very alone. Instead of talking to people, a lot of socializing always seemed to be loud talking by people at people, which rattles me and makes me feel fragile and lost. Usually though, after spending time with someone one on one, the person would calm down, open up and share more honestly with me aspects of their life, and I felt privileged for the connection.

    Family genuinely enjoy each other and want the best for each other, but we are walled off from each other by fear of feelings, by failed communication, by failure to understand, failure to empathize. Christmas is supposed to be a happy time of love and good cheer. We try to make it so. But there is a lot of fear and sadness in people’s lives. We are all aging. Many who I visited have been hit with very serious health problems. Many have relationship troubles. Many wrestle with demons they aren’t aware of. Long ago I thought when I had enough therapy I would finally fit in and be healthy like them. Now I see we are each and all troubled and lost in some way, but only I and we in Primal Therapy have a way out.

    The Saturday big family gathering was in the house that I grew up in from when I was 4. During; the party I got away on my own for a while and wandered through the house and my memories. I peered into rooms where I am still a child, into closets and shelves small and cramped that seemed big and dark when we played hide and seek. The wall and shelving unit in the dining room is still the same as when we kids lined up side by side backs against it for a picture taken by my uncle with his new brownie camera when I was 6. The small change room in the basement is much the same as it was almost 60 years ago, just after I had moved from my relatives in the City back to the farm and the brand new house and my family, and I tentatively followed my excited brothers and sisters downstairs to see Dad who had just come in from the evening’s milking. I was always tentative and scared and unsure of his acceptance of me, never receiving from my parents the signals that I needed that would tell me I was loved and I belonged. The disconnection, fear and paralyzing aloneness followed me all of my life and almost made adulthood impossible to live.

    Noreen was a miracle in my life. Primal Therapy showed me how to let her in. With her my life happened in a more normal way that had no chance before.

    The week before I left for my Christmas visit in Manitoba, I talked on the phone to the young lady in my bereavement group. She invited me to. It was nice, exciting. Some kind of relationship is budding, without our saying so. On the morning of my leaving for my trip, I phoned her again and left a message wishing her a Merry Christmas. It felt bold and kind of reckless of me. I wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do. I worried it was too forward, too presumptuous.

    Yesterday morning, my first day back at home from the family visit, the pressure of pent up feelings burst the dam and abreast the rising swell I cried up feelings that are hard to see, that I never let myself see before, ….all the senseless emptiness that deformed my life, emptiness that froze my insides the day I moved from my relatives in the City to my parent’s new house.

    Yesterday evening I went to the bereavement group meeting. The young lady was there. We sat near each other, one person between us. We excite each other. She was happier than usual. Someone else commented to her about it. I guess it was OK that I had phoned and wished her Merry Christmas the week before. We conversed with each other a little, being careful to socialize with everyone else, though all I wanted was her attention only. I was jealous of a guy next to her who gave her a little too friendly of a hug.

    At the end of the meeting we all exchange hugs. She and I seem to save each other for last. When all the hugging others is done, we find each other and hug and linger in conversation as long as we want. I was nervous. I wanted her and felt nervous and afraid that it would be apparent to all that I want her. I tentatively went towards her, and she threaded her way through the group toward me, and we hugged. She hugged me for a long, long time, three or four times longer than normal hugs, and told me it was nice to see me. I felt nervous and scared, and melted inside as I realized something real and good and scary is happening between us that I have to explore and not run from. We talked for a while. It seems we want each other but are afraid to say so.

    It has occurred to me that she may be underestimating my chronological age, perhaps by as much as 10 years, judging by the guesses some people I work with have made of my age. I have to find a way in casual conversation to reveal my age to her, and give her time to assimilate it, because she is so much younger than me.

    I’m scared and alone at home this New Year’s Eve. I so much miss Noreen. I cried and cried this evening, deeper than ever, how I need her, what a shock that she’s been taken away, how alone I am now, how afraid, have been since early childhood, and how uncharted the territory ahead.

    This time a year ago I was heavily weighed down and almost overwhelmed with realization of how much work lay ahead of me to make my life better. It has turned out to be a good year. I’m ready to see what the next one brings.

    Happy New Year and all the best to you my primal friends.

    • Tom Verzar says:

      Hi Larry
      You are an inspiration to me, and I suspect to some other members of the Primal Fraternity, as well. But I’ve said this before.
      I’m excited to hear the development of your relationship with the young lady from your support group. I’am willing to bet that she may have some idea that you are an over the hill, old fart, already. After all, looks can be deceiving. You don’t look your age. Or is it the other way around?
      .Wishing you a great 2014.

  194. Happy New Year ! Gretch and Barry

  195. Patrick says:

    Below is something I wrote to a friend this morning………….for some reason I wanted to put it on here, I suppose to show maybe there is another side to me which I am often afraid to show here…………

    I am sorry today also I’m afraid I wont be able to contribute a positive moment in that I saw this heading in the Guardian yesterday that global temps will warm 4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century like twice what they had estimated before. I don’t read the article I cannot, I am afraid of it’s effect on me. But it still affects me very much , didn’t sleep very well because of it and today D. and I are going to see S. and it’s like ‘top of mind’ for me this disaster in the making, I get SO obsessed/bothered by that. I can imagine living over there and how cold and wet it gets it might seem academic but I dunno………………this I find truly disturbing.

    To talk about how it makes me feel even though that feels a bit of a cop out, a way of avoiding it in ‘feelings’ about it still…………..I think me and my Dad around the farm, there was such love for the environment, specifically his fields, his crops his horse his cattle and cows his roads (crying) in many ways that’s what he REALLY loved, he loved that above all. As I think I said before even that makes sense the people including him and me were just moments in time we would pass like the wind but the wind would still be there. And my Dad was a ‘thinker’ he would think thoughts like that and even sometimes verbalize them sometimes and me with my big open brain would pick up on it. Anyway I think this ruin of the environment hits me like a punch in the guts remember we grew up with no running water, no bathroom or showers or any of that, we got electricity when I was 3 and at my grandparents they did not have it all until quite a bit later. So I know viscerally also that this ruin of the environment has to do with ‘progress’ cars, electricity and so on. Also one of the things I ‘discovered’ in the past year was the mystical ecstasy and union I felt with my grandparents this was the real ‘ancient’ world the world before everything started to get ruined so now when I read these stories………………well it touches off a lot of that I think like the world is getting ruined and we are on our way to total ruination at some point. Anyway I don’t want to bring you down I think you have you own ways of dealing with it as we all must have. There is feelings underneath but that does not take it away in some way even exacerbates it…………..anyway yesterday I was going on about it to D. and he is all like it doesn’t really bother him. T. kind of the same but they are both English and a bit different in these aspects in some ways I am a real ‘primitive’. It is no accident the primal and paleo are my ‘touchstones’ in thinking you know the way maybe some people would see genetic manipulation or engineering of some kind or other as the future, for me the future has always been the past, the past I felt was where true wisdom was and I guess I thought of my grandmother with her smoky pots over the open fire, the smell of smoke mixed with the food, the darkness lighted only be little candles if she had them, ducks running around the yard, streams of water everywhere, there was a lake just down the road………….that was actually my only experience of ecstasy in my life, I tried to re-create it in the hippy days or in different ways later but it was not the same, the feeling of union had been so ripped and broken there really wasn’t a way back though I tried. Still trying I suppose my ‘cold treatment’ at the beach I am still trying to get that union feeling back the ecstatic union of my mind and nature itself (herself). I remember the thing that touches me the MOST in the whole of the Primal Scream at the very end there was a long diary by “Tom” I think and he went on at the end about going back home and ‘thanking’ the bridges the roads and stuff like that for giving the little boy some measure of what he needed……………….I STILL remember reading that and it’s like my mind was breaking, breaking with recognition, NEVER before in all my reading had anything expressed the deep ‘core’ of me so accurately and so truly…………………so you see I love primal too as much as I put it down……………which if you think about it is just more self hatred.

    • Larry says:

      Thanks for this, Patrick.

    • Barry M says:

      Thank you for sharing that Padraig. I am so, so interested in hearing more about the life of this reflective, real, interesting and vulnerable primal patient. Your description of your grandmother’s day to day life made me miss my own time in your homeland, and reinforced my desire to go back and see once more the beauty of Ireland and it’s people.
      Happy New Year, Patrick!

    • Tom Verzar says:

      Wow Patrick.
      Wow, wow, wow.
      That’s all I can say.
      Wish you a great 2014.

  196. Patrick says:

    Thanks to both of you guys (Larry and Barry M)…………Barry I may have more to say later but not now, shagged out from a day of doing nothing much! And I don’t mean ‘shagged’ in a umm ‘good’ way…………….

  197. Patrick says:

    One of the things I did to day was see a movie (I am on kind of a binge on that for some reason) “Nebraska” Bruce Dern is the main character and though it might not be to everyone’s taste I liked it in a low key kind of absurd comedic way. I always liked the script writer/director’s work Alexander Payne and this maybe while not as catchy as “About Schmidt” or “The Descendants” still it was interesting. About an old man who ‘wins’ a million dollars in one of those bogus schemes and kind of how that plays out (nature of beliefs, fantasy world etc) and he goes on a ‘trip through the past’ with his son. Guru for various reasons I thought of you set in the Upper Mid West and that you might like it, kind of sad and funny at the same time. Anyway kind of fulfilling my self appointed role as film critic here……………


  198. vicki says:

    A song I had never heard before, “Come A Little Closer” by CAGE THE ELEPHANT. A song is always so much more than its lyrics, I liked the song when I heard it, but could not understand most of the words, so I had to hunt for them. Here are the lyrics, for those who can’t play the link:

    Time shakes, found you at the water
    At first you were my father, now I love you like a brother
    Earthquakes shake the dust behind you
    This world at times will blind you
    Still I know I’ll see you there

    Come a little closer, then you’ll see Come on, come on, come on
    Things aren’t always what they seem to be Come on, come on, come on
    Do you understand the things that you would see here Come on, come on, come on
    Do you understand the things that you’ve been dreaming
    Come a little closer, then you’ll see

    Heartbreaks, the heavy world’s upon your shoulders
    Will we burn or we just smolder
    Somehow I know I’ll find you there
    Oooh, I wanna see if you can change it, change it
    Still I know I’ll see you there

    Ten thousand people stand alone now
    And in the evening the sun sets
    Tomorrow it will rise
    Time flies by, they all sang along Time flies by, they all sang along
    Time flies by, they all sang along Time flies – bye, bye

  199. Jack W says:

    One thing I meant to write on the blog for the beginning of this year was to thank my buddy … Chris P for giving me the space to learn how to be a relative good buddy. It may sound trivial, but I have learned a great deal this last year or so, about this phenominon we call “buddying”. Not only was I able to apply it to buddying with him, but I was also able to do this for my friend and lover Jim and now my neice in the UK, also along with Jim, a non Primal person. It’s all part of the ongoing process of therapy for myself … and is in essense, so, so, so simple. Thanks again Chris P.


  200. Margaret says:

    good to hear from you here again.
    how are you doing?
    best wishes to you too and to your daughter.

  201. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    This is for Miguel & Patrick:

    Miguel: Thank you for your New Year’s wishes and I agree with Margaret that it’s nice to hear from you again. I wondered over these past few months what happened to you.

    I know you’re a serious proponent for taking action on climate change and for cold therapy….So, my question to you is: Would you find Robert Palmer to be an utterly incorrigible person?

  202. Patrick says:

    Guru – I would be a serious proponent of doing something about climate change if I had ANY idea what to do. The problem is so ‘global’ you might say that any tinkering or ‘geo-engineering’ usually at most address one aspect of it. So if we could say shield ourselves from the sun a bit that would not do anything for what is happening to the oceans. I WISH I had any ideas but I think that’s one of those things like it’s our very inventivness that has brought us to this pass………….so we can’t ‘invent’ our way out of it. Didn’t Einstein say something about that like we can’t solve a problem using the method/tool that got us into the problem. (I even sometimes think that can be a problem in primal therapy – if your ‘mind’ is screwed up can you rely on it to steer you out of the mess. Or won’t it only do it in a ‘screwed up’ way ? still better than ‘doing nothing’ I would say………..

    As far as cold therapy that is at most an individual solution but though it may be a simpleton kind of attitude cold therapy even helps me a bit with global warming. I mean if you are shivering your ass off you do tend to forget the bigger picture for a while at least. On a bit of a serious note it is by far my favorite ‘hack’ right now of primal therapy. I even see a ‘grand synthesis’ between Dr Kruse and PT involving the use of cold. Some of this is only dawning on me very recently so I don’t want to jinx myself too much but stay tuned I suppose I would say. But as the “Ultimate Guru” you will be one of the first to know or be told about it at least

    Robert Palmer I don’t know I have never been a great fan of his it feels like he kind of hits one over the head with a sledgehammer “you might as well face it/you’re addicted to love” and so on. Do you like him ? I preferred Huey Lewis and the News around the same period

    • Jack W says:

      There is something about this kind of writing/thinking that has it all upside down. “Didn’t Einstein say something about that, like we can’t solve a problem using the method/tool that got us into the problem. ” Not sure if he Einstein did or did not, but was does that kind of statement really mean??? It’s a seemingly cleaver statement … like many that Churchill put forth about his prize nemesis … Lady Aster.

      As for “a ‘grand synthesis’ between Dr Kruse and PT involving the use of cold” Seems like you’re off on your ‘hobby horse’ again. If getting “cold” is that beneficial, stick yourself in the fridge for a while.

      How about expressing some feelings on this feeling blog !!!!!


      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        Just to address a few brief things with Jack & Patrick:

        Trying to solve a problem using a method, tool, or mind(!) that made the same mess:
        You may have a good point about using the same method or tool to reverse a problem, but a mind? No, a mind is infinitely more malleable, and potentially productive than a single method or tool.

        Cold therapy: Sorry, Patrick, cold showers and baths are out of the question for me.
        I don’t want to be a shivering blob with pruned skin. Hot, but not scalding hot, please.

        Global warming: Patrick, have you considered starting an air conditioning business to offset your brother’s potential climate-related farming losses?

        Uhmmm….Oh yeah, music. I didn’t say I was a huge fan of Robert Palmer in particular (but Duran Duran was cool). The 80’s rocked and so did my car stereo once…

        • THE Ultimate Guru says:

          I was joking around with my question about Robert Palmer being incorrigible and I expected a tough, military drill sargeant-type response from Patrick. Something like: “You’re damn right he’s incorrigible. He’s dead! Can’t be any more incorrigible than that. Oh yeah, and I hope you didn’t wank off to that video when you were a kid because that model turned out to be a transgender!”

      • Patrick says:

        I can see you as “Lady Astor” some pompous English twit………………

  203. Margaret says:

    I still wanted to respond to what you wrote a little while ago about the feeling of unification with nature

    I can relate so much to that, it is such a huge thing to me as well.

    I really pity the children that grow up in a city without ever having known how our earth is supposed to be, and how incredibly beautiful wild or semi-wild nature is.

    the thrill of merging with it to a certain degree, feeling part of it, I cannot describe it well enough.
    I think that might be what I miss most, together with looking other people in the eyes.

    • Patrick says:

      Yes Margaret the connection with Nature is very basic and a big deal. I think as kids more and more grow up in conditions of being away from it they are even less likley to ‘go back’ to it since in a sense they have never been in it…………though in my own case I looked to Nature because the human element was missing…………even now it’s more natural for me to look for ‘caresses’ from the wind and the waves and the sunshine than a person……………oh well we are all left what we are left with………………..

  204. vicki says:

    I found a thought-provoking article by cartoonist Scott Adams. Here is his opening paragraph:
    “I have no expertise whatsoever on the topic of happiness. But I do have a knack for observation and simplification. That’s what I do for my day job as the creator of Dilbert. Today — as some of you are already backtracking on those New Year’s resolutions — I’m going to strip out all of the mumbo-jumbo around the topic of happiness and tell you the simplest way to get some.”

    • Leslie says:

      I I enjoyed all of that Vicki -thanx!
      On my way out tonight with my brother – who is recovering so well from the heart surgery- to a club to see son sing and play guitar with his childhood friend who also plays guitar. They sang and danced in so many talent shows while going to school together so it is cool to see them now in real clubs!
      ox L.

  205. Fiona says:

    “Nothing outside you can ever give you what you’re looking for.” (Byron Katie)

    I like this – a good reminder for me. Sometimes I still try…

  206. Margaret says:

    what you said resonated with me.

    I remember once thinking about what the word ‘home’ meant to me, which picture it raised in my mind.

    an empty beach, the breaking waves, the wind and the sunshine came to mind, which is also very sad of course.

    hills full of flowers and the smell of thyme and rosemary and tiny butterflies whose bright blue color only showed on the moments of their brief flight, that is when my heart got filled most, filled with the warm beauty and unconditional realness of a welcoming kind of nature

    there too was always some sadness mixed into the bliss, a feeling of unfullfilledness mixed into the gratefulness of being part momentarily of this indescribable real and vibratingly living surrounding with all its beauty and surprises.

    there is also the contrast with the complicated and sick environment at home, so crooked and deformed where one had to be constantly on the guard about how to behave to survive and make the best of things, how to avoid the pain of terrible truths hitting you in the face, how to avoid people you loved and depended on visibly hurting, or hurting each other.

    outside, in the garden, or the meadows or the woods, I could simply open up completely and be me.

    all of a sudden I feel like crying, remembering also how my mother said something similar once, about how nature helped her to survive during her difficult childhood, and how she regularly escaped into the woods for an entire day although it gave her the label of being ‘weird’..

    there is something so soothing and peaceful in the natural world.
    it is sad we tend to make a separation between us and that world in our present society, as we actually do form part of it and are soiling our own nest with plastics and nuclear waste material.

    but as you said, after everything is gone, the wind will still be there, and another form of life will sprout again.

    as a person you can only do so much, some people more than others, all we can do is our best and to accept ourselves with compassion, forgive me the language, I am just freewheeling here and never reread my comments, haha!

    but hey, I hope you know what I mean, best to all of you.

    yesterday was a good day for me, and each day will be its own challenge to make the best of things.

  207. Patrick says:

    Margaret – it reminds me one time you were here and I was talking about ‘global warming’ and what I remember is the URGENCY I felt, you were like ‘oh it will take a long time’ etc but to me no it won’t it will be soon and it is happening now. So for me I suppose there is two things going on the beauty and peace to be found in Nature but also the danger and the ruination which is close at hand and imminent……………so close at hand something has to be DONE………….but everyone is la di da whatever………………. (I wonder if Jack will find that ‘upside-down’ and give me an “F” once again, whoever appointed him my teacher and judge I don’t know, still I suppose it gives him something to do, he is bored apparantly gets his jollies from abusing me still it is not a good feeling to be ‘followed around’ by someone who does not mean me well……………feel almost like Trayvon Martin…………..being ‘followed around’………….he was violating some ‘rules’ of private property in a gated community, I apparantly violate some ‘rules’ of primal correct thinking at least according to some ‘gate keepers’…………….Gate Keepers of the Crypt in my opinion……………sounds like a good title for a movie………….)

  208. Margaret says:

    if you mean I am also one of the ‘la di da” people, I don’t know what you base your opinion on.

    I never said anything about any time span and wish I knew what I could do other than support Greenpeace.

    I only try to look at things in my own reality perspective as I know I will never come up with the energy and motivation to dedicate my life to saving the environment or part of it, unless there is a direct opportunity I run into;

    I am not proud of that but admire the people who do fight for this cause.

    what exactly is it you would want us to say or do? you yourself said you don’t see what you can do right now apart from well, what most of us do I guess.

    The concern about the environment is growing, which is good, but yes, it might be too late, but it is what it is, and that is what we have to deal with.

    I have ccome to a point myself recently where I can’t stand anymore to listen to programs about the disappearing rainforest etc because it is too painful.

    That is something else than putting my head in the sand, although of course in a way it is,.

    But if you have a good suggestion for something more we could do, other than support or join Greenpeace or other movements, feel free to say so.

    Something else seems to be going on there for you making you lash out to the supposed ‘la di da-ers ‘ among us, which really are very much like you are and very concerned.

    • Jack W says:

      Margaret: I am responding to you, but in effect I suppose I am just expressing myself out there, in the way I felt you were doing.

      My feeling about what we, ‘mankind’, have done to the planet and the REAL nature I fear, has gone beyond repairing. My sense is that some 400 years ago some small group of people, began to realize that we (that is all of us without exception) had so many things wrong. That group of people were living then in central London in the mid to late 17th century and knew there was another way and moved out into the ‘sticks’ to what is now called Hendon, to some common land. Even so, they were soon repressed, and the authorities of the time quashed their efforts and brought them to what was considered “back in line” However, as I see it, it was already far too late … we’d started the process of “controlling nature” instead, like all other creatures …. save those we had domesticated for our own purposes … “living with nature”. Even farming the land as we have been doing now for millennium is NOT NATURAL since the creature (us) that was doing even that, was already un-natural in-so-far as he/she was by this time ‘neurotic’

      It would be a nice thought … if I could bring myself round to it … to think and feel that Primal Therapy might … just might, reverse the process. I fear, (and yes it’s as scarey as all hell), to fear, it will not happen. Primal Theory laid out the problem more succinctly than ever before … but alas, even the practice of the therapy is not going to reverse the thinking … that those ‘authoritarians’ way back in the mid to late 17th century, thought out. Others since have thought through the same problem, Proudhon for one and Marx for another, but neither were able to offer a total solution … getting back to our REAL nature.

      All I am left with is a contention … which is:- that by the end of this century … or very soon thereafter, we humans will blow the planet up, under some guise of trying to save it … and more than likely take most of life (living creatures) on the planet with us.

      All I am left with is to cry about it … and I do cry often about just that … and many other sad things in my life, both in the present and in the far distant past. “Que lastima”. I can think of no other statement … I merely have to live with it … but meantime, I do have someone who cares for me as I care for him. Not a total compensation, or even a shoulder to cry on (he hates me crying), but at least something!!!!!!


    • Patrick says:

      Margaet – this ‘la di dah’ comment was not meant in ANY way to reflect on you. I am sorry if it came across that way – and you’re right I am as ‘la di dah’ as anyone else. I was trying to express my own feeling of urgency and the feeling that something had to be DONE but I admit I am as clueless and as out of ‘solutions’ as anyone else.

  209. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    We’re now fast approaching 500,000 Americans killed in automobile traffic since the hysterical hyping of 9/11 that so many prime military contractors used as a vehicle to rape and pillage trillion$ of dollars from the ordinary American taxpayer.

  210. Patrick says:

    Talking about ‘urgency’ reminded me of these lines from Bruce Springsteen’s “I came for you”

    ‘Cause I’ve broken all your windows and I’ve rammed through all your doors
    And who am I to ask you to lick my sores? And you should know that’s true
    I came for you, for you, I came for you, but you did not need my urgency
    I came for you, for you, I came for you, but your life was one long emergency
    And your cloud line urges me, and my electric surges free

  211. Margaret says:

    that was a nice and honest reply you wrote to me.


  212. vicki says:

    I like Michael Sheen, whether he’s playing Prime Minister Tony Blair, the lycanthrope Lucian in “Underworld”, or vampire leader Aro in “Twilight”. He now is portraying William Masters in Showtime’s ‘Masters of Sex.’ Interviewed by the L.A.Times, Sheen says, “Bill Masters is almost repelled by intimacy, or at least hugely conflicted about it, and yet something inside him wants to let go of control and move toward something more vulnerable, connected and authentic.”

    About scenes between Masters and his mother: “Those were very difficult scenes to be involved in — there’s so much conflict in them, so much pain. We see a woman desperately trying to connect with her son and put the past behind her, and a man who has to keep hurting her because he can’t put the past behind him.”

    And: “What I’m most drawn to in playing characters is how the things that allow us to survive as children end up being the things that threaten to kill us later on. Whatever situation you might be in when you’re younger, it’s as if an unspoken deal gets made: Here’s a way out, and you go through that door, but when you grow up, you have to pay the price. And we see that most profoundly in the scenes with his mother.”

    “When those of us who work on the show talk about it, we very rarely talk about sex. It’s an area that is very mysterious to Bill Masters — he wants to turn it into science, to define it with figures and measurements, but, of course, you can’t. It’s bound up with everything that is complicated and difficult about us as human beings. It can’t be a coincidence that he’s drawn to study this area that goes to the very heart of the biggest problem he has in his life.”,0,820915.story#ixzz2pTIYquFS

  213. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    That was a beautifully insightful interview with Michael Sheen, and I definitely agree that when people are vocal about larger life issues it often has strong echoes with personal issues they may be dealing with.
    I ask myself: What does this mean for what I talked about today? Does this mean employees of news media organizations that overhyped 9/11 to the ends of the very Earth itself were raised in households led by emotionally overbearing and intimidating blabbermouth parents who didn’t understand elementary school mathematics and they never let their kids speak up or think for themselves?

    • vicki says:

      I dunno about “what this means”, UG, but I do know that fear drives and fuels a lot of craziness.

      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        Thanks for replying and I had some time to think about what I said today. I was just very, very angry about something I’d rather not discuss in detail here. Someone got the best of me in an argument about this topic 5 years ago and I came up with a beautifully damaging retort that was perfectly suitable for the manipulative shithead I was dealing with at the time. The only problem? My insight came along a week too late.
        Even Gretchen told me I should “avoid nuts” like the one I dealt with during this argument, chance to fight back was denied forever and it has gnawed at me on occasion ever since.

        Man, I’m pissed about that!!!!

        • vicki says:

          That does make sense, UG. I know how it feels, when something comes back to haunt me, repeatedly, until I can feel it.

  214. vicki says:

    The band ‘Ten Years After’ sang “I’d Love to Change the World” in 1971:

    Everywhere is freaks and hairies
    Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity
    Tax the rich, feed the poor
    Till there are no rich no more

    I’d love to change the world
    But I don’t know what to do
    So I’ll leave it up to you

    Population keeps on breeding
    Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy
    Life is funny, skies are sunny
    Bees make honey, who needs money, monopoly

    I’d love to change the world
    But I don’t know what to do
    So I’ll leave it up to you

    World pollution, theres no solution
    Institution, electrocution
    Just black and white, rich or poor
    Them and us, stop the war

    I’d love to change the world
    But I don’t know what to do
    So I’ll leave it up to you (more)

  215. Patrick says:

    I shouln’t do this and it makes me look bad I’m sure but sometimes I don’t have total ‘control’ of myself. Anyway Jack wrote:

    “All I am left with is to cry about it … and I do cry often about just that … and many other sad things in my life, both in the present and in the far distant past. ”

    What strikes me about this is a guy who is always ‘winning’ he wins at therapy especially his main focus. So he ‘cries’ about the state of the world and often, see the sensitivity displayed, he is a totally caring human being. He cries too (and often) about sad thing in his present life AND the distant past…………he covers all the bases (and often) …………….but he never much says WHAT he cries about or WHO he cries about. See ironically though to cry is to ‘win’ at therapy if you go into details it might make him seem like a ‘loser’ . Can’t ever have that! So a kind of fine balancing act there full marks for crying (and often) but keep away from any content because well that might well have the taint of a loser. In his own way he is a kind of Charlie Sheen type figure W I N N I N G through F E E L I N G S!!

    People may well find this very objectionable……….all I can say is I feel he craps all over almost anything I try to say (and often). I get sick and tired of taking his crap and if makes me look bad going down in the gutter with him so be it at this point. As I said before I do feel I have to punch back sometimes, sorry here to all the ‘sensitive’ people who are ‘above’ all that. But I do believe in ‘being myself’ even if people may not like it sometimes.

  216. Patrick says:

    Here is something I wrote to a friend this morning and I put it on here not to score more points against Jack but to let him know even if indirectly he does affect me a lot. To him it may be a kind of ‘sport’ to mock and find everything I say ‘upside/down’ but it DOES affect me and affect me a lot here. Also to let the blog in general know the kind of problems I have here……………….

    “It’s interesting what you say about the blog……………I was thinking a few days ago the way I write to you is almost like the confessional even down to a ‘screen’ a screen to write into just as the priest had a screen that he then pushed aside but there was still a dark curtain I could see his outline but not his features so it was/is ‘through a glass darkly’ with you too you are there but on the other side of a screen I can ‘see’ your shape but not your features…………….I suppose the only time I felt safe talking even talking about my sins as it usually was/is. That’s all I really know about intimacy, to sit down and project through a screen and talk about my sins. What’s bad about me, even yesterday what I wrote though honest still is in the shape of what’s bad about me. Can’t seem to do it any other way …………..

    The blog is a different matter, that is more like the schoolyard and one big bully who is ALWAYS out to get me (Jack) I know he is there at all times and have unrelenting hate and spite for me………….sometimes I wonder if he was not there could I let down with them like you say………..maybe I could but also I would likely pick fights with somebody else Tom V, Chris P if he would talk to me yes I probably would but I could be a lot better, I feel under the gun with Jack just as I did in the schoolyard. There was more than one bully, there were lots at times it felt like THE WHOLE SCHOOL, the whole school hates me hates me and my loser family. So there that’s what I have to deal with how do you deal with that? You don’t you hide inside and bide your time, wait, have patience which as you point out I even don’t have but even that I put aside and waited waited for the day I could get out of there. And I did but at such a cost, what I left behind was myself and my own trusting nature left on the school yard ground like the trash paper from our lunches.”

    • Larry says:

      I feel it takes courage, Patrick, to reveal your vulnerability to all here, Jack included, that you feel Jack takes advantage of. I think it also shows strength to let yourself be vulnerable like that. I shake your hand.

  217. Margaret says:

    thanks for sharing that with us.

    it seems to me specially meaningful what you say about the fact that if Jack wouldn’t be there, you would probably look for someone else to pick a fight with.

    I think it might be interesting for you to try to find out why that is.

    which kind of feeling would you feel if you would not pick a fight, for example.

    what is there beside the anger?

    I hope you keep writing like this.

  218. Margaret says:

    from time to time I phone an uncle of my late husband.

    he and his wife were really nice people,visiting us often in Spain, and always open and supportive, even in our difficult times of drug addiction.

    she died years ago, and the last time I really saw him was at my mother in law’s funeral maybe five years ago.

    my husband died already 23 years ago.

    at that last funeral it was so nice to have him by my side, he was so warm and funny and I felt so much ‘at home with him I almost felt like falling in love with him, despite him being almost 80.

    since then we sometimes called each other, although months could pass in between.

    he lived in another town, but the calls were nice.

    now for a while I could not reach him, his number was out of order.

    I called information, but that was all they could say.
    Then I called information again, asking them for a number on his brother’s name, to no avail, and then asked them to mention other first names until I found one that might be his son, and called him.

    there I indeed got the news I feared, that he had passed away., from liver and nacres cancer.

    . I had nown already he had arious health issues before.I cried just a little at first, but soon felt my throat aching, a clear sign I should allow myself to cry out loud, and lay down.

    almost immediately it turned into small child or baby wailing, so sad and lonely, the best way to describe it is ‘there is none to take care of me”..


    • Leslie says:

      Sorry to hear the sad ending to this sweet story Margaret. It is so hard when people you love and care about and who you know love you die…
      ox L.

  219. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    -12F, -30 F wind chill…polar vortex….I have some cold therapy over here for you & Dr. Kruse, Patrick! Come and get it while it’s….err…hot! This is Larry’s weather over here now.

    I now see why I clasped both of my thumbs in between my index & forefingers in my cuddly, bubbly little winter baby pictures. I once thought it was just a weird idiosyncrasy, but after having frostbitten thumbs yesterday it’s now obvious the baby was simply trying to keep his thumbs warm….

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      Big natural gas furnace running full blast 24/7 and it’s still only 68 degrees. Not even room temperature with full throttle!

      • Tom Verzar says:

        Hi UG
        The only solution to the northern winter is to spend your winters Down Under. It does get cold here too. It is only 24C today, that’s 75.2F only Brrrrrr. On a good day you get get a tan……
        ( couldn’t resist it…)

        • THE Ultimate Guru says:

          Well, yes you’re enjoying the Summertime Down Under. Good for you. Here it’s so cold that if I stare at a streetlight for a short while there is a semi-blurry “halo effect” because of the light bouncing off miniature ice crystals in the nearby atmosphere.

  220. Patrick says:

    Guru – I agree the logic of cold is on the surface a difficult one and something I have not really attempted to explain. It is I would say one of Dr Kruse’s more controversial ideas and I would admit in some way the jury is still out in some ways………………..but on the simplest level it is part of getting back to nature. A big topic for sure but isn’t the idea of ‘feeling pain’ also part of that and that it also a pretty ‘hard sell’ sometimes. But I can imagine you there in the middle of the vortex it might seem very absurd.

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      Two things:
      a) Thanks for your empathy about the cold, but this is not a serious problem for me because cold such as this does not strike my area as much as it would in Canada. I can handle short spurts of cold. It’s an adventure with fresh, crisp, pristine air!

      b) Back to nature? Nature sounds appealing and I like it, but not all natural things are necessarily good. Have you ever tried a big bowl of crispy, crunchy black widow spiders fried in olive or canola oil as an appetizer or side course? That’s a natural, organic meal, isn’t it?

      • Patrick says:

        No Guru I have not. But it sounds like it might be very good. Isn’t that one of the ideas people are dabbling in, in the future as ‘reality bites’ we can maybe fill our protein needs through insects, worms snails things like that. Speaking of snails I will never forget I was grape picking in France in 1972 and we worked and lived with a Spanish family and each day on their way to and from work they would gather snails, berries and I think trap rabbits, anyway each evening they had a giant frying pan full of live snails and as they fried them the snails would come out of their shell (that’s one way to get someone ‘out of their shell) and attempt to escape the heat eventually they would be standing virtually straight up all to no avail. Eventually as the heat overcame them (cooked!) they would drop down. Being a kind of ‘incurious’ type and rather traditional about my food I never asked them for a sample. But often wondered why I did not.

    • Larry says:

      So far no one has mentioned or perhaps even appreciated the reason why Barry B. opened this blog with a comment from Dr. Seuss:

      “If you want to catch beasts you don’t see every day,
      You have to go places quite out of the way,
      You have to go places no others can get to.
      You have to get cold and you have too get wet, too.”
      ― Dr. Seuss

      If you peer into the heart of Dr. Seuss’s wisdom, you eventually realize he is saying the best place for living the wisdom of Dr Janov and Dr Kruse is, of course, Saskatoon. In opening with that quote I believe Barry is implying that from now on the retreats will be held in Saskatoon.

      Here’s a warmer upper of a welcome song. I’m surprised it brought me to tears. I’ll have to explore what truths are in it for me.

      • Larry says:

        The truth in this song that stirs my crying, is I know full well the feeling and danger of the blizzard, and the fella trudging through it, at risk of dying, has the thought of being safe and warm with his loved to keep his hope alive and give him reason to push on.

        I had that once. We’d been through blizzards together. I don’t any more and the world is a lot colder and emptier and it’s harder to push on.

        The trouble is I want her back. I can’t accept that it’s over. I want us to be able to live out our lives and dreams together into old age. Even if someone new came into my life now, I couldn’t give myself completely over to her because I’m still wanting to get old with Noreen. In opening up to a new love, I imagine myself crying and crying in her arms, over the hurt of losing Noreen.

        I think the pattern of not being able to accept the unbearable truth and pain of separation was set when at 1 1/2 my parents left me at my relaitves’ and didn’t take me back home with them, and then was reinforced 2 1/2 years later after I had bonded somewhat with my aunt and uncle and was taken from them and brought back home. I pretty much didn’t allow feelings of attachment after that. I never could let myself feel how much those separations hurt, and still haven’t fully and deeply let in the pain of losing Noreen.

        • Larry says:

          Also in the song he gets so close to her, only a 100 yards to go, and ends up being infinitely far away. I got so close to Noreen, closer than anyone in my life. I feel like she’s close still, .. haven’t let it sink in that she is infinitely, unbearably, unimaginably, forever ..gone.

  221. Patrick says:

    Larry – I used to love Jim Reeves at one time (long ago). Speaking of cold………..wouln’t you know it this ‘polar vortex’ has something to do with ‘global warming’ as un-obvious as that might be. Rush Limbaugh doesn’t think so but scientists have a different story……………..

    • Larry says:

      Yes Patrick, I read or heard a year or two ago about how the warming and melting of the northern ice cap results in less of a temperature difference between the polar and more southerly air masses. The jet stream, that moves our weather from west to east across North America, is created and driven by the pressure differences between the cold north air and the warmer south air, and contains the extreme cold northern air to very northern latitudes. As the temperature difference between northern and more southern North American air masses lessens, the jet stream weakens and wobbles and more frequently allows more northern air further southward. Weather patterns become more unpredictable.

      So far, the cold this winter isn’t something I haven’t experienced before. It doesn’t happen every winter, but I pretty much expect it to go down to -30 C for a while in winter, and even down to -40c for a bit in January. What seems unusual to me is how it is pushing so far south this winter.

      I have no doubt that world climate is warming and we are the cause. Species are going to suffer, including ours, as air masses and the earth’s surface and oceans warm and climate changes. It’s a moot point. For thousands of years we have been the cause of dying out of species as ours grew in number and invaded and even changed almost every ecological niche there is. The question is whether we’ll see the danger of our ways and maybe try to lessen our harmful impact,

      Workplaces shut down at noon during the great Saskatoon blizzard of January 2007. Noreen walked 1/2 mile in it across campus to meet me in the parking lot in our car. The blizzard worsened as we drove home, through gridlock, often being unable to see beyond the car in front, vehicles getting stuck in the snow all around. It took an hour and a half for the drive home that normally took 15 minutes. When we got home we dropped our things on the floor and lay down and slept, exhausted but safe and warm .

  222. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Patrick? Were you bluffing me? You didn’t know I was kidding you about the crispy, crunchy bowl of black widow spiders? I was trying to convey that not all natural things are good. Maybe hopping in bed with a python would have been a better example?

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      If you had spoken to that Spanish family about those snails today, Patrick, would you have protested what was going on or pointed out exactly what they were doing in a more forceful manner?
      I can relate to the horrid desperation those snails were going through. In some strange ways I feel the same desperation when I was frantically searching for mother and there were no answers as to why such a big part of my life was coming to an end.
      This is hard to think about.

      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        That snail story really caught me off guard and it’s a very discouraging one. Completely and utterly unforgiving no matter what you did the result was the same (some bad final result from which there is absolutely no escape) and there was no way to know why it was happening..
        As much as I may need to wallow in this, I have to extricate myself from here and get back to today’s agenda. Life goes on. No one gets out alive, anyway, no matter who you are.

        • Patrick says:

          Guru – to kind of answer you all at once, I kind of figured you were kidding though with you it is hard to be sure sometimes, your humor is quirky and for a kind of basic guy like me sometimes I am not sure…………but people do eat insects and it is a coming thing but black widows have a bad connotation still who knows they might be quite palatable.

          The story about the snails……………first off that is exactly as it happened no embellishments from me so as far as what to make of it, I dunno I have to admit it didn’t REALLY bother me even at the time. But I grew up on a farm I saw my Mom bleed chickens to death and the thing is arn’t we all mostly just in denial about our food. Like if you were in a fancy French resteraunt you might eat snails or at least escargot (a euphemism) would you wonder where it came from? In Ireland as a child I remember sometimes hearing a pig squeal as it’s throat was cut, I dunno that kind of stuff was in the back of my mind. Also snails in my mind were a lower form of life on the farm I would see them and something would run over them and stuff like that so I was used to not considering them so much, but I have to agree the sight of them raising themselves up to escape the heat was pretty horrible, so sorry I did not mean to ruin your day or anything but that’s exactly as it happened.

          • THE Ultimate Guru says:

            Oh, I believed every word you said, Patrick. I only wish you had done your grape shopping at a grocer back in the 1970’s so I wouldn’t have been so saddened and discouraged by your story.

            Being a semi-vegetarian really helps me to avoid these ethical quagmires.

            • THE Ultimate Guru says:

              I also once went on a long-term project of collecting empty snail shells in my neighborhood when I was a kid. I had almost an entire pickle jar full of them when I “retired”. I still have that jar of shells in a pantry somewhere. Maybe there’s a “snail” connection there, too?

  223. Larry says:

    I saw the movie “The Book Thief” on the weekend. I didn’t know much about it beforehand. I was gripped by the opening scene, and until the close. It is a beautiful movie visually, aurally, and thematically. Until then I hadn’t appreciated as much how reading has shaped my life, how books helped me imagine and make a better life than the one I was in.

  224. Patrick says:

    Guru – maybe to leave you with a better image for snails that frying in a pan…………..I wonder what ‘frequencies’ they are picking up with those antennaes?

  225. Patrick says:

    A little more on snails………………….

    • Larry says:

      More smooching and……
      R rated everybody.

      • Patrick says:

        Larry – it is interesting how that is ‘acceptable’ (at least I hope it is) but and I was thinking about that later to show humans (us!) is not at all. I am not saying it should but I did have a random thought – like why not or why is that?

        • Larry says:

          Well, as beautiful and moving as it is, watching the snails go at it doesn’t get me aroused as much, and maybe it’s the same for everybody watching, so maybe that’s why.

          Got any snail movies the entire family can watch? 🙂

          • Patrick says:

            Well Larry for a snail I think reproduction is sort of the main point. I am sorry if I offended anybody it was certainly not my intention. Actually the first video I didn’t know WHAT they were doing and the second one was a Richard Attenborough legitimate ‘scientific’ thing so I though it was OK>

            • Larry says:

              Hey Patrick, don’t worry, I don’t think anyone would be offended by those videos. I thought you would realize I was ribbing you. I think they are beautiful and sensuous. Perhaps I should have put a smiley after my comments about the R rating.

              On a serious note, surely snails can’t understand that they are reproducing. Surely they are responding to a hormonal drive that brings them together to mate, just like happens with people. They respond to pain just like we do. Maybe they experience love and contentment.

              • Patrick says:

                Thanks Larry – with my background it is VERY easy for me to feel ‘shame’ or ‘guilt’ in that area. That goes kinda deep with me……………..

  226. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    LOL, I do appreciate your putting up these snail videos, but it’s not an animal studies thing for me. It’s just that….I suspect I was disturbed a bit by your story yesterday because of possible spiritual (or lack thereof) implications for humans. Yes, go ahead and laugh your shrilly knowing laughs, you atheist Primal may very well be right that when we die it’s……the eternal void for every living cell everywhere whether it’s an aeronautics engineer’s brain cell or a humble prokaryote.
    I’m just trying to be a bit more circumspect about it as an agnostic fully realizing I could be blowing smoke up my own ass by taking this position.
    No more time or mental energy available for this topic. Just wanted to explain this to Patrick..

  227. Margaret says:

    thanks, ox M

    • Leslie says:

      You are welcome Margaret. I am wishing you a very happy and healthy new year!

      Also, have been meaning to say there is a very popular movie here from Belgium. We are hoping to see it as it is supposed to be very moving. “The Broken Circle Break-Up” is the title in English.

      Would like to hear about your husband and marriage too – when you have the chance and/or desire – 23 years ago is a long time…
      ox L.

  228. Margaret says:

    I finally got my spellingcontrol switched off, and also changed my keyboard setting to qwerty instead of azerty so if there are typos I a;m still practicing ha!
    ps apart fro; snails lobsters are also cooked in a cruel way, so I never eat them.

  229. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    “The truth will set you free, but it might make you as furious as you can be…”

    • Patrick says:

      Guru – I have one for you I just happened to read in the paper today: This is not ‘for you’ in the sense that it has any ‘relevance’ (gotta be careful!) but it is by Mark Twain which I also thought you might appreciate. I have never read his books but he seems to have been a damn smart (and funny) man. This reminds me of a lot of ‘politicians’ running around…………

      “At least get your facts straight first, then distort them all you like”

  230. Margaret says:

    it is quite touching when you are so open about yourself.

    today I have caught myself on several occasions feeling strangely good.
    sort of on top of things as opposed to not or hardly coping and I must say it is a very nice change for as long as it lasts.

    ;y teamviewer class about my voice software of yesterday evening might have helped me to get in this mood.

    we are making a lot of progress lately, which makes me feel more confident.

    I am really too tired right now to write as I keep making mistakes typing with the old keyboard settings and having to correct.

    i vividly remember the movie microcosmmos or something similar, and seeing those two snails in technicolor on a giant screen being both male and female the two of them so making love sort of double up, haha, being a snail must have its good sides seemingly and no battle of the sexes either!

  231. Patrick says:

    Thanks Margaret – I have struggled with feeling ‘safe’ here and I suppose to head that off I use aggression. Which is the way I grew up and survived. It does strike me also though that is ‘not all bad’ when I read about teenagers girls especially who commit suicide because of bullying, it seems so sad, sad also as in ‘un-necessary’ in the sense that if they had anyone in their corner they would not have to do that. My Dad ‘supported’ me in fighting back which in many ways saved my life maybe literally.

    • Jack W says:

      My response is to ask which came first: “the chicken or the egg”, or said another way:- who was the initial “aggressor?” … especially on this blog; towards me???

      My feeling is that being aggressive was never a way to feel safe.


  232. Patrick says:

    Jack – you tend to date everything from when I first came on the blog, you START from that point and find me to be completly in the ‘wrong’. For me on the other hand when I came on the blog was the END point of almost a lifetime of dealing with you which I was thorougly tired of. So that can be a matter of perspective,……………..I know you know all this but you are very good at ‘argument’ which in your own terms I would think you would call a ‘head trip’ But your ‘standards’ always seem to have been for others to follow, for yourself ‘not so much’ Reminds me of the joke about the Catholic Church “The Italians make the rules and the Irish keep them”.

    • THE Ultimate Guru says:

      I’d like to START at when I once made a $33,000 cash deposit at the bank and walked over to my safe deposit box to drop off another $20,000 or so and END it there. I also would like to apply an ENDLESS LOOPING SEQUENCE of this scene. Can anyone assist?

      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        (Yes, yes everything was legal and all applicable currency transaction reports properly filed. Was too young, dumb, and reckless back then)

      • Patrick says:

        Guru – I don’t think you can arbitrality decide what is the START and what is the END. ‘Real life’ is not like that it seems, in computer programming you can I suppose. Would be nice though? Maybe we all need to do a little more F E E L I N G…………..

  233. Barry M says:

    Vicki, Just so you know, I’ve replayed that ‘Ten Years After’ video ‘I’d Love To Change The World’ at least 30 times since you posted it. Thank you for the memories – and also for my fantasy of me singing it while Owen and his band played!!! I had hair like that before, honest !!

    • vicki says:

      I believe you, Barry! I’m glad you liked ‘Ten Years After’ that much. It feels like it “nails” the memories of that time, I liked it a lot. Your fantasy of leading the song with Owen’s band on backup made me smile.

      What got me on it was that Brian C. posted on Facebook when Albert Lee died recently, and I kept thinking of ‘Ten Years After’, until I figured out I was mixing up Albert Lee with Alvin Lee, so digging into it, I learned Alvin Lee died last March at 68 of “complications following routine surgery”, which is a shame. So I hunted out the song I had not heard in a few years. Similarly, I’ve listened recently to a few other Woodstock era tunes – Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”, “Somebody to Love”, & “We Can Be Together”. Nice stuff.

    • vicki says:

      Another not so well known Jefferson Airplane gem, “Pretty As You Feel”

      (Some of the lyrics):
      You’re only pretty as you feel
      Only pretty as you feel inside
      You’re only pretty as you feel
      Just as pretty as you feel inside

      When you wake up in the morning
      Rub some sleep from your eye
      Look inside your mirror
      Comb your hair

      Don’t give no vanity a second thought
      No, no, no
      Beauty’s only skin deep
      It goes just so far ’cause

      You’re only pretty as you feel
      As pretty as you feel inside
      You’re only pretty as you feel

  234. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Facebook now has a market cap of $142 billion.

    It boils down to $20 for every man, woman, and child on the planet Earth. This includes Somali warlords and Special Olympics participants.

  235. Patrick says:

    Some ‘light’ scientific news…………..and please Jack no need to call this a ‘head trip’ or give me any other kind of failing grade. (my usual “F”)………….come to think of it you too might do it this way if you ‘were more in touch with your feelings’ lol!

  236. vicki says:

    Because of the real-time details, I like this home video of an ice floe driven by wind out of a lake, up the beach, across lawns, and onto homes in Minnesota. It was in Dennis’s post on Facebook, and probably excerpted on tv news:

  237. Margaret says:

    haha UG,
    don’t worry about those comments, they were quite refreshing to me as I have been studying the mathematical program R all morning and how to operate it with a screenreader, and your comments in the mail were refreshing sort of…

    all my empathy for your struggle!

    I am making slow progress here, but definitely progress…

    I have always hated maths and felt scared of it for that reason, so this is such a huge challenge for me, but it is also all the nicer I am working my way into this jungle of numbers systematically.

    Mmy poor brain is sizzling right now and tendinitis threatens to invade my cramped arms, so high time for a break!!

    congratulations with your new computer!

  238. Margaret says:

    after some more hours with tables full of variables of all kinds I decided to give my poor brain and body some relaxation in a nice warm bath.

    i put the radio on to swipe any leftovers of requencies and percentages away and at some point they broadcasted a fabulous aria from Puccini from the opera Turandot.

    it really blew me away.

    it was such an incredibly direct way right into pure agony and sadness.

    but stillm despite I felt I could never go and listen to this in an opera house as I would not want to be there with a distorted face and strea;ing tears, something felt so good about it.

    and then it dawned on me what made this different.

    it both felt heartbreaking but almost unbearably beautiful, and for me it felt that was because the feeling was so purem pure sadness without anything else.
    there was no mixed in hopelessness or any other feeling, and I think it is because the mere fact of being an opera aria, pure expression being shared with anybody listening, lifted the feeling contenance up to that degree of hearttearing directness, pureness and intensity.

    I can only encourage anyone that feels like listening to it.

    It already hit me straight in the core of my being, now while I feel reasonably peaceful, so I imagine what it must trigger when being in touch or close to real acute old or present sadness.

    despair in its most beautiful shape, see Puccini,Turandot, the big arias.

    • Larry says:

      Thanks Margaret for the lead about Puccini’s Turandot. I looked for it and listened to it. I feel like I’m missing out because I can’t seem to appreciate opera. I do get it that the singers have amazing talent and ability, but I just don’t connect with their songs. I think Bugs Bunny cartoons ruined opera for me.

      • vicki says:

        Larry, I also have always had trouble with opera, I could not connect — until I heard one exception, Luciano Pavarotti’s “Nessun Dorma” (part of Turandot), which blew me away. I hunted it down and have listened to numerous versions. Pavarotti just nails it, emotionally, even though I knew not the meaning of the words, I was moved. This is the translation, it is part of the larger story of Turandot, of course, which I do not know:

        No-one shall sleep!
        No-one shall sleep!
        You too, oh Princess,
        In your cold room, watch the stars
        Trembling with love and hope!

        But my secret lies hidden within me,
        No-one shall discover my name!
        Oh no, I will only reveal it on your lips
        When daylight shines forth!

        And my kiss shall break
        The silence that makes you mine!

        No-one shall discover his name!
        And we will, alas, have to die, to die!

        Depart, oh night!
        Set, you stars!
        Set, you stars!
        At dawn I shall win!
        I shall win! I shall win!

        This recording does not have the best video, but does have good sound, and lyrics in both Italian & English to follow along with.

  239. Patrick says:

    Guru – your struggles with computers especially as regards wireless mice and touch screens brought to my mind something Dr Kruse wrote this week in answer to a question.

    “but man has destroyed season EMF cycling with modern technology……but what makes our situation really problematic is rarely can we get modern humans back to a state of optimal wellness because of the non native EMF risks. People have no idea how ubiquitous and dangerous the non native electromagnetic force is to mitochondria. Have a look at this video to give you another scale of understanding.

    To me at least is is sobering to think none of this stuff is really ‘safe’ and yet we go deeper and deeper in that direction, soon we will have our tooth brushes ‘talking’ to our cell phones, our fridges ‘talking’ to our cars, smart (really dumb) meters everywhere, smart (really dumb) phones everywhere, all of us touching screens like babies (that couldn’t be harmful could it – I’m afraid it could). One way to get human beings to do it seems almost anything is make it ‘convenient’ and appeal to the lazy side of us. When the future history of the collapse of the moderen way of doing things is written I imagine there will be a big chapter on how the allure of technology ruined us – by destroying our health.

  240. Margaret says:

    just some more doom:
    I have always felt and still feel very bad about the bio-industry and how it raises and kills animals.

    recently more and more problems rise to the surface as to resistent bacteria not only thriving on those poor caged animals that are stuffed with antibiotics, but also most of the people who come in touch with them carry around whole tribes of those germs in their noses and throats and heaven knows where else…

    somhow it would almost seem an appropiate punishment for the lack of respect we show our fellow creatures, if at some point severe epidemics would diminish the numbers of the creature that set up this barbaric bio=industry to start with.
    I feel the way we treat animals, and turn them into ‘products’ is one of our major sins nowadays,
    not our only sin as a species, that is for sure.

    I know many of us do care, and the more people that take a consequent qttitude the better.

    if any meat would be consumed at all, it should be an exceptional luxury and from an animal that lived a good life.

    I try to live by that standard, but must admit it is not easy as I do compromise regularly.

  241. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Margaret & Patrick: My posts made it appear as though I am a bumbling incompetent with computers. Actually I am OK with computers, it’s just that sometimes a tiny problem can create much larger ones. I simply was delayed longer than I should have been because of a small glitch that was easily overlooked and it created much larger problems than it should have..

    A tiny bug can render tens of thousands of lines of software code non-functional.

    I read your concerns about electromagnetism & the consumption of animals, but I’m not sure what I can really say to that at the moment…Kind of exhausted right now.

    • Patrick says:

      Guru – don’t you know you are personally responsible for both the dangers of electro-magnetism and the consumption of animals. That’s not even to mention global warming!

      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        Well Patrick, we all have our pet causes I suppose. I will be spending the rest of my days trying to repair a fatal two-second mistake that carried an unimaginable personal cost.

        • THE Ultimate Guru says:

          Man, that’s way too depressing for me to think about. Completely kills my functioning in the here & now.

  242. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Thank you very much, Gretchen! I appreciate your helping me with my request there.

  243. Margaret says:

    thanks for replying.
    I never liked opera myself, and to be honest still am not too keen on the male singing, but getting to know more of the music, I find myself completely blown away now by certain pieces.

    but we all have our own taste luckily, and I did always like bugs Bunny, haha, and even more so Tom and Jerry and of course Sylvester actually come to think of it Bugs Bunny was always a bit too arrogant to my taste, specially crunching away thaat carrot of his irritated me, smiley

  244. Patrick says:

    Just reading in the newspaper Google have bought this company “Nest Labs” for around 3 billion dollars. The company primarily makes ‘smart’ home devices. This is of course to be achieved using “wireless” and if Google are now getting into that area so aggresivly get prepared for a tsunami of all kinds of wireless devices. It is amazing (and depressing) to me that this whole area is taking off with hardly a murmer of protest or even discussion if it is any sense ‘safe’

    If Dr Kruse is correct (and in my opinion he usually is) this is a health disaster. I mean this is all going ahead anyway with wifi everywhere, ipads in schools for all the kids etc. Smart meters which thank God they do not at this point have in LA seem to be a massive health hazard. But it will get worse as they bring it more and more inside the home and the damn fridge will be ‘talking’ to your iphone blah blah blah. For myself I do not use a cell phone anymore, I have everything ‘wired’ as much as possible for example the computer is on a ‘wired’ modem not wifi. Anything I might be tempted to get I ask myself is there “wireless” in it if there is I avoid it totally. But it is hard to avoid much of this stuff, we swim now is a soup of electro-smog

    I can imagine all this might sound like some crank thinking or some latest hobby horse but it DOES concern me so I try to follow my interests/instincts including telling people here about it.

    • Jack W says:

      The first paragraph here prepares us (apparently) for “a tsunami of all kinds of wireless devices” and finishes asking the question “….. discussion if it is [in] any sense ‘safe’?” Now the second paragraph starts off with:- “’If Dr Kruse is correct (and in my opinion he usually is) this is a health disaster”

      There are so many “health disasters” that go way back in time (and I’m meaning more then 2000 years … maybe even 20, 000) I personally have found ‘health disasters’ … that I have been attempting to rectify with all those belief systems that were drummed into me when I was ‘knee high to a grass hopper’ or so small and vulnerable; I could do little about it. That is until I read “The Primal Scream”. Now I am able to do a great deal about it … without even having read a single line of Dr Kruse.

      The major wireless device was brought into being in the early days of the 20th century with the advent of ‘the radio’ and so far I haven’t noticed much by way of terrible health conditions in these last 100 years. However, what would I really know … other than that most of us seem to be living longer than our grandparents.

      I read this very morning an article by Art Janov questioning a Dr. Drew Pinsky, a television personality and doctor who treats addicts and helps in rehab. (See ) … who claims that addictions are incurable. So much for MD’s and the plethora of notions on health issues. For me the first and major health issue for us humans was in becoming NEUROTIC … all else seems to hinge onto that one disease, coined by Freud and finally defined by Janov. Real health and ‘Well Being’ seemingly rests with becoming ‘full feeling’ creatures … using both the right and left lobes of the brain … which for me takes me out of the realms of “depression”. Sadness; yeah, and sometime anger, and less often, but lingering there in the background: fear and terror.


      • Patrick says:

        Well I was pretty sure I would get my usual “F” (major league asshole!) and I did. OK does not change the fact that you don’t seem to care about ‘specifics’ just repeat and repeat and repeat your ‘primal faith’. To take ONE point (I could take more but why waste my time?) the ‘radios’ they are talking about now are quite a bit different, they are ‘transmitters’ and pretty powerful ones, radio as in the old days was ‘passive’ and probably had little or no effect. Wifi in the home is like having a mini cell tower. ‘Smart’ meters probably worse. And there ARE all kinds of research showing those things are hugely damaging…………………but I understand you want nothing to disturb your primal faith. I guess try to be ‘understanding’ you are old and for all your crap about not believing in medicine on all kinds of medications. Utter hypocrite but what else is new……………………as far as I have known you ‘hypocricy’ was a always a factor with you as it is with most extreme ‘religous’ people. I suppose it has to be that way if a ‘faith’ does not conform with certain ‘facts’ hypocricy would be neccessary to close the gap. Try to stop commenting on my posts……………..I learn nothing from you and you seem to be ‘acting out’ some uncontrollable spite and undying enmity. Sad for someone your age.

        • Jack W says:

          It seems that most of what I write hurts, bothers and bewilders you. Ah well! … lighten up … “life’s short”, to quote Calvin … the one dragging Hobbs around.

          In a funny sort of way, you inspire me to respond to your stuff. I had 30 years of you, but it did not bother me. As I reminded Gretchen ‘I loved the work’. Unlike others, seemingly you were not able to “verbally bully” me. I knew better than to let you.


          • Patrick says:

            You were/are the biggest bully of all. I know hard to believe that a f… like you could be a bully but yes you can and you are. When you ‘brag’ about how much you can do about whatever happened to you as a child………………..well you can never seem to do anything different in relation to me but spew your ‘failing grades’ and you twisted superiority towards me.

  245. Patrick says:

    “But your empty eyes/seem to pass me by/leave me dancing with myself……………………..”

  246. Patrick says:

    “without even having read a single line of Dr Kruse.”……………….as I said before ignorance can almost be bliss though in your case I see little of any ‘bliss’ more resentment, spite and hatred but carry on old man……………….love is coming, coming to us all…………………

  247. Patrick says:

    I just read the Janov artickle Jack referenced about Dr Drew Pinsky and I found it rather odd.

    We have this ” Dr. Pinsky says he hopes he could take responsibility for the suicide of his rehab patients. I can help you doctor. You are responsible. Your lack of searching, even by inadvertence makes you able to claim responsibility.”

    And this “And of course he has had some suicides among his rehab group. He says he wishes he could blame himself but alas it is not true. He is not to blame. He did his best. Sadly, that best is not good enough ”

    And more “Of course he had suicides. His therapy was incomplete and ignored the crucial few months of life where deep depression gets its start”

    I kept thinking Doctor heal thyself and sort of thought Jack does not have a monopoly on hypocricy. I mean that is some pretty serious hypocricy so I suppose Jack has learned from the best. Never let ‘truth’ get in the way of making a good argument.

    But then we have this “I did put myself and my therapy in question years ago and decided to change”

    Ok that’s interesting but never is it said WHAT the change was, HOW it was changed or WHY it needed to change. And what was it changed FROM and TO………….

  248. Patrick says:

    That last post was not meant to ‘shock’ people into silence……………though in all truthfullness I do find it kind of shocking. To put the best interpretation on this I almost take as Dr Janov’s way to issue a ‘mea culpa’. After all he can hardly be unaware of his own ‘record’ in this matter but probably finds it impossible to just simply say he is sorry or he made some bad mistakes – who knows even for ‘legal’ reasons it may not be possible for him. But I imagine aside from any possible legal reasons he may find it very difficult to admit mistakes not knowing the man but that would fit with his personality I would imagine.

    I can relate a lot to that myself, even in all my jousting with Jack I am sometimes aware (some times more than others) that I had a large contribution to the ‘problem’ with him. Maybe in the end from my point of view I 100% contributed to it …………………..but given my history with Jack I find this very hard to admit and also because in my mind any ‘admission’ will be pounced on by him to show he was ‘right’ the whole time. So I don’t or feel I can’t. I mean I had events where this exactly happened but I do want to say I do believe Jack is a very ‘smart’ person but to me at least is missing the crucial element of empathy in terms of being of any ‘help’ to me. Again he may be for other people he has said more than once ‘he simply does not like the guy’ (that’s me) and I have felt and expierienced that quite severly at times over the years. In terms of any ‘progress in therapy’ I feel it is sort of a basic necessity to feel in some way ‘liked’ by the other person something I have rarely if ever felt from Jack. Luckily for me I have found one or two who do seem to like me so far at least………….

    It is not my intention here to be some kind of ‘trouble maker’ but at the same time I do feel the whole legacy of primal therapy needs to be shook up and the rose tinted glasses discarded (see above re Janov) and in terms of the future I don’t think ‘progress’ is really possible so long as something like that is not done………………though I am very aware how hard that is the ‘psychology of previous investment’ is a son of a bitch to deal with but kinda has to be dealt IMHO with so…………….

  249. Patrick says:

    To kind of change the pace here and get away from being overly serious. This is Jimmy Fallon and the REAL Bruce Springsteen doing a parody of “Born to Run” about Gov Christies traffic jam. The ‘joke’ here also is apparantly Christie is a huge Spingsteen fan and has been to like a 100 of his concerts over the years. This must hurt!

  250. Margaret says:

    Patrick, that was one fine and honest comment you made there about your own part in the struggle.

    way to go! you have come a long way and you might find out you are more likeable than you suspect…

    • Patrick says:

      Thanks Margaret – you know the way I usually am reminded of a song to cover a situation……….with Jack this comes to mind, he actually scares me , he will cut me up have ‘my guts for garters’………….that’s such a descriptive phrase……………imagine a guy cutting up your guts into very little bits……………..what’s going to be left…………not much

      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        I am concerned that you might cut up my ‘guts for garters’ when I ask you this question, but ask it I must…

        If you were so scared of Jack, why did you hurry over to his trailer to try to open his sliding door after he hung up the phone and you knew he was there and you wanted to talk to him?

        Just….trying to make sense of it.

        Now that I am ready to press the “Post Comment” button, will there be all sorts of hell for me to pay?

        I probably made this post against my better judgment.

        This “Post Comment” button metaphorically resembles the trigger of a gun now. Should I press it?

        • THE Ultimate Guru says:

          I know that if I was scared of someone and that someone didn’t want to talk to me, banging on the door of their house while that person is home would be the last thing I would want to do.

          • Patrick says:

            Guru – first off no need to be ‘scared’ ANY and ALL questions are valid! But I think maybe you are being a bit literal minded here,and of course there is a lot of ‘context’ you could not possibly know so it’s not like I am physically ‘scared’ of Jack but certain things did happen where he did scare me. Now to be fair he did this mostly to get something he wanted and maybe felt could not get it otherwise. And I would say he is not truly a ‘vindictive’ person though psychologically he can be IMO.

            Guru you are a little bit of a trouble maker but in a playful sense, I am fine with it (now at least) but you do like to set people up a bit or maybe play devil’s advocate which is cool, there are a lot worse things you could be doing……….

            • THE Ultimate Guru says:


              Thank you for your tolerant answer, OK? I’m not trying to give you a hard time here. I am being literal minded. My purpose was to gently nudge this matter closer to the core truth in a coldly logical fashion without any prejudice towards anybody.

              I, too, have issues/disagreements with Jack, but that’s another tale.

              I just finished studying the nature of Turing machines as a supplement to my coding lessons. Very cold & very unforgiving logic with no human nuances allowed…
              Alan Turing was a fascinating guy and I often wonder if Jack drew any inspiration from him. Similarly to Jack, Mr. Turing was a gay British cryptologist and mathematician who is often considered the “father of modern computer science” as illustrated by the Turing machine. Mr. Turing was chemically castrated for being gay by British authorities while Jack was still young.

              • Patrick says:

                Speaking of Turing machines have you seen the new movie with Joacquin Phoenix called “Her” where he falls in love with his computer operating system. I thought it was very well done and actually not too outlandish – it is set in the future but not THAT much in the future. I imagine you would like it. The ‘review’is a bit stupid esp when you consider that lady had not even seen the movie – she is reviewing the trailer! But for me at least I would recommend that movie though of course I am a bit prone to a fantasy life myself so maybe not everyone’s cup of tea

  251. Margaret says:

    it takes a lot of courage and honesty to talk about feeling scared.
    so well done Patrick

  252. Patrick says:

    Sorry better see it this way………..

  253. Margaret says:

    Patrick, and UG,
    you guys keep surprising me in a positive way.

  254. Patrick says:

    Margaret – sometimes I ‘surprise’ myself……………..I wish it was more often!

  255. THE Ultimate Guru says:

    Margaret: I just don’t want to be bullshitted anymore. Been used and abused enough by misleading, self-serving brainwashers.

    Patrick’s not my main target, though.

    • Patrick says:

      Guru – I thought I was ‘in the clear’ with you……………oh well it seems I have pissed EVERYBODY off in one way or one time or another!

      • THE Ultimate Guru says:

        Patrick: I think you misunderstood what I was saying. I was completely blindsided by an utter dearth of information & feedback that was supplanted by a bunch of misleading bullshit being spewed by self-interested individuals throughout my life.

        It has left me hyper-aware of when someone might be lying to me anymore. I say this as a generality, not as a specific towards you. So, no, I am not pissed at you. Haven’t been pissed at you for almost a year now.

        • THE Ultimate Guru says:

          Then again, I can’t tell for sure whether you already really knew I was not pissed at you, but it would be psychosocially useful for you to say that everyone was pissed at you anyway for some reason. I really don’t know. You’ve already discussed the theme where your family of pariahs were dismissed by everyone else in the world, didn’t you?

  256. Margaret says:

    I just saw Startrek on our belgian tv, one ofthe oldies.

    they discovered an inorganic life form on a planet that was almost destroyed during some terraforming process, almost got into a war with it, but then just in time came to some understanding to leave the planet to this life form and then they suggested a visit in the nearby future.

    the life form refused saying our species is still too arrrogant and primitive and as to wait another three centuries before coming back fo r a visit.

    it was a strange moment when the crew just fell silent and then could do nothing but accept

    it touched me to the point of tears for some reason.

    humility is a word that comes to my mind now, and my feeling there is so much truth in it, at least that is how I feel, to the fact we indeed have to become a gentler species, softer in a good sense of the word, and with more respect for its surroundings in a broad sense of the word.

    gentleness and respect which might sound like