Why am I in therapy? Nothing so horrific happened to me ! By Joanna


Over the years I have heard many appalling stories of childhood traumafor example, children witnessing a parent killing the other parent, relentless alcohol-fuelled beatings and abuse, children locked in dark cupboards and horrendous neglect. 

These events are truly horrific and as a result  I have found myself asking  “ So why am I in therapy? Nothing so shocking or horrific happened to me”.

I now believe this to be an effective defense, this little voice in my head that says “my stories are not important compared to…” Little did I know.

After all, my early childhood appeared idyllic, middle class, ‘privileged’set in a beautiful, tranquil, unspoiled part of England, I had enough to eat and beloved pets. 

My behaviour consisted of being shy, the proverbial good girl, with the occasional act of willfulness (my father’s word) bursting through. As a teenager this all translated into a mix of behaviors. At once silent, sullen and rebellious coupled with neediness and people-pleasing. It wasn’t too long before a new phase of my life began. It consisted of young married life and raising my children . This for some time became my main focus.  

Eventually however grandiose thoughts and behaviors began to surface.  Looking back I see clearly my impulsiveness and  depression. It was all punctuated with a wild phase of drugs, alcohol and nymphomania not to mention an inability to be employed for any length of time and a lack of trust within my relationships. It may be difficult to understand but at the time I was unaware that any of the above might be act outs.  From my late teens onward I was ( and still am) a mixture of outgoing and introspective. As a result I did have reflective moments, moments when I realised I was suffering, hurting or  fearful as these  act outs wove in and out of my everyday life. 

These were the clues (ha! ) that lead me to think that all was not so idyllic.  Eventually these revelations led to my decision to begin Primal therapy. I grabbed that opportunity about 15 years after reading ”The Feeling Child”. 

What began to unfold over time was the true impact of specific events in my life.  A very early hospitalisation that I was told about, two subsequent hospitalizations that I vaguely remembered, and being sent to boarding school at seven years old just to name a few. I began to feel and remember that  I had experienced terrifying trauma after all…

(Note the various definitions of trauma in a thesaurus…agony; anguish; blow; confusion; damage; injury;  ordeal; shock; strain; stress; suffering; torture; upheaval; wound; collapse; derangement; disturbance; hurt; jolt; outburst; upset

I found that I could name at least 12 of the above definitions that were relevant to me. 

I thought mine was (merely!) the normal middle class somewhat ’subtle’ trauma that results from communication by a myriad of facial expressions, disapproval, some direct anger, sadism, and being sent away to school stood out. This was all true and clearly painful but still I had no real sense as to how deeply damaging it really was.

What has, at times, felt like snail-paced progress created an awareness that “I’m not important is actually a feeling , a memory and that to eventually feel not important” in my case means “I am someone who my mummy and daddy did not  want”.

Now in my 70’s, I feel I’m a work in progress, still some of the layers have peeled away.   Thanks to persistence with Primal, I am more able to realistically look back at my life. I find I have far more access to my memories and the feelings attached to them.

The experiences I have of suffering emerges frequently in the present. They remain profoundly hurtful as I feel pieces of my trauma and with that I gradually become more in touch with the terrifying reality of feeling unwanted and alone.   

I’m not diminishing the feelings from my past so readily any moreespecially now that with the pain, I can also and often experience moments of real joy, contentment, hilarity, creativity, and receptivity to love.



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1,900 Responses to Why am I in therapy? Nothing so horrific happened to me ! By Joanna

  1. Sylvia says:

    Wow, Joanna, wonderful post. I’ve asked the same question, myself, of why needing therapy with no overt trauma can be remembered. Like you slow but sure, they appear for me. And what might not faze one person can crush another if their foundation is too poor to deal with it because of a bad and unwanted beginning in life.

    • Jo says:

      Thank you for that Sylvia.

    • Jo says:

      Do you feel like sharing what your foundation was Sylvia? Of course, there’s no obligation 😉

      • Sylvia says:

        Hi Jo. I think my poor foundation started in the womb, as odd as that sounds. Once born I think I was wanted but not before. I had mentioned that my mom said she hated that thing growing inside of her. She was stressed, smoked and drank coffee like mad and had little help from female relatives taking care of me and my 4 siblings. There prob was too much stimulation in the womb. I’ve had lifelong anxiety, insomnia, more than my share of illnesses and poor impulse control–doing and saying stupid stuff. Sweets were my tranquilizers growing up. Dental visits were frequent and alas, a losing battle.

        I’ve fought depression always, and tried very hard not to slip into that rabbit hole of negativity and bad decisions. Positive thinking helped but thank goodness I no longer have to make such a big effort in that dept because feeling those feelings of panic, and the utter aloneness, unbearable as it was to feel, has lessened the need to fight depression. Feeling rejected still hurts but is not as devastating as it once was.

        Now when I am anxious about something I can think logically and find there is no real problem or there’s an easy solution. I suppose a lot of people already have that calmness but it is new to me. My dad once said, ‘there’s always a way out of things,’ and I thought, yes, for you but not for me, everything felt like a life or death situation. Lucky for me that I could lean on stable people in my life.
        BTW, Jo, I really liked the Eleanor Oliphant book. Such a good writer and a primal story, really.

        • Larry says:

          It’s nice to get to know you more, Sylvia. Thanks.

        • FRED says:

          This is a beautiful and emotionally compelling song from Neil Young (1970), and I’m sure a LOT of people from our generation felt EXACTLY this way, especially those of us who recall the Days of the Big Wave, when Primal Therapy and Theory were introduced into the world, say from 1970-76.

          But, we know it is a tribute to the FEELING of “it’s all hopeless” and the its unimaginable grandeur, but by following the feeling we are led to the antithetic, that exists in all dimensions and is allied to the Greater Good of God-Goddess-All That Is which is the creator and creation. We are, after all, quite engaged, mesmerized in this three-dimensional reality where we are learning to perceive our shadows.

    • FRED says:

      August 15, 2018

      I had an insight early this afternoon Wednesday, Pacific Time as well as a confirmation of another insight I had a couple of months ago. I had a Primal, nothing new these days.

      It wasn’t the biggest or badest primal ever but a REAL sad one. As this is the site of the Primal Institute, founded by Arthur Janov, and where I do occasional one-on-one’s, I don’t think it inappropriate to comment on the primal. Please stop reading if you might feel uncomfortable.

      Of late so-called “baby stuff” has been “coming up” in my primals, perfectly melded in with the “regular stuff”. I can HEAR the infant within the larger “primal scream” (usually into pillows as there is a couple downstairs although their bedroom is on other side of house and sound doesn’t travel all that well in this house-cum-duplex in West Hollywood).

      The insight is that “baby stuff” is NOT traumatic. There may be trauma, depravation, helplessness but the “scream” itself is actually PEACEFUL. I’m thinking back in the Early Days of Primal Therapy when people were “trying” to get into “birth primals” or “baby stuff” but the suffering afterwards was not as a result of First Line Pain but current day “trying to force something”. As Janov might say, “this is out-of-sequence”.

      The other insight is; and I really don’t think Janov ever actually said this exact thing, may have “talked around” it; but that (I will use “The Child” although it technically only applies to me as I can’t subjectively speak for others) The Child knows that crying is “the answer”. The Child may have had many “Primal Scenes” where this natural function of the self is thwarted, cut off, but The Child knows how essential it is.

      Maybe, around age 5 or so The Child actually embarks in its way, on its own “primal program”. This would entail the child reminding itself to cry whenever it has the opportunity to get out these feelings. I understand that The Child is WAY short of its cortical development (see A. Janov), but I believe there is a Knowing, call it The Real Self.

      For me, I remember bawling my eyes out when my kitten was killed in the street but my sister’s was okay (and later went on to have many litters of kittens). I stood there in the living room looking at the dead kitten in the shoe box and cried SO loud but PART OF ME had a Knowing that this wasn’t just about my kitten. I was a sad child in many ways, yet happy too.

      I would quote Eric Burdon of the Animals, in their 1967 song “When I Was Young”:

      When I was young it was more important
      Pain more painful, the laughter much louder, yeah
      When I was young
      When I was young

  2. Jack Waddington says:

    Not sure who wrote this but I assume Jo. Yes indeed, that happened to me also, UNTIL I had a reliving event that shattered me for months. It was some seven years later that I read “The Primal Scream”, then that event made total sense. There-on-after I was an immediate convert and have stayed that way ever since.

    Some have suggested I’m a fanatic … maybe so. That is not important to me. All I care about is that I stay in the ‘feeling zone’ for the rest of my life. Some feeling are awful; some are dreadful; and some even pleasant. All I am able to do is express them the best way I know how, and take all of them on board.

    That simple …….. yet also that elusive.


    • Jo says:

      Way to go Jack

      • Jack Waddington says:

        Jo: Yep … ways to go ……… and I hope it last’s at least till I’m 100 y/o
        Just another 14 years.

    • FRED says:

      The True Feeling Zone is where the Mysterious, the Blessedness, the Real Hope lie. It is characterized by a “buzzing” in the psyche. The buzzing (internally audible, by the way), could be likened to an alarm clock awakening a sliver of consciousness, previously in, what Janov termed, a “half world” of a kind of neurotic stupor, but with these little baby steps is a concomitant responsibility, which means you can never completely go back.

      Brave new world, inner explorers.

      It beckons you on for the Growth Principle is the absolute immutable rule of reality.

  3. Erron says:

    Thanks for this, Joanna, and best with your primal process.

    • Jo says:

      Thanks Erron, you too

    • FRED says:

      September 12, 2018

      You might say: “There is hope”, real hope as Arthur Janov put it, versus “hope of finally getting mommy and daddy to love me for who I am”. The real hope is integrating feelings because, like the Feeling Child, they are by definition “innocent”, no matter how we choose to “view” them (e.g., dangerous, lewd, devastating, utterly despairing).

      As Daniel pointed out, the Feeling Child is innocent too. Feelings and the Feeling Child are two sides of the same innocent coin.

      While it is true than one can rather easily overwhelm oneself with feelings, Janov created a theoretical framework where the process can be reversed. In fact it is more natural to integrate feelings than not, essential repression notwithstanding.

      From “The Primal Scream”, Ch. 7, first paragraph: “The central demand of the body is to be felt”. Read more for a fuller explanation.

      Okay, maybe things didn’t pan out quite as dramatically and we might have hoped after reading the book. Maybe, if we’re honest with ourselves, we aren’t “Post Primal”, so we ask “why?”. I would posit that it is because truly we’ve only just begun. “Oh my God! You are saying, that it would take years and years more? If so, I cannot do that.”

      Again, we’ve only just begun but what we missed along the way were the FEELINGS themselves and their subjective message. We listened, which is the habit of humankind, instead of being the intrepid Primal voyagers we thought we were.

      No, we did NOTHING wrong, we simply became discouraged and more or less gave up Real Hope. However, the Feeling Child never gave up hope.

      I suspect the Feeling Child is as an aspect of the eternal soul so it will NEVER lose hope. In fact, it IS hope but this posits reincarnation and that isn’t the focus of this post.

      The feeling is “it’s hopeless”. It is so vast we simply erred and took it at face value and did not actually FEEL “it’s hopeless”. Again, we did not sin. We’re simply human, at a certain place in the “spiritual and psychological” evolution of the human race, but there is NOTHING stopping us in actuality. However, we’ve not paid close enough attention to the little Feelers that make their way into our awareness in this reality, largely lived on the surface of events.

      These feelers may be uncomfortable little messages and, as is our habit, we interpret them in a subjective manner instead of examining them objectively.

      Actually ALL primals occur because we were able to objectify a feeling. We were able to BREAK the focus and the psyche then allowed a measure of feeling to come forwards and flow.

      There are any number of defenses we use to ignore the feelings. I think we know many of them, that is, the standard addictions.

      However, I would like to point out three that usually go under the radar.

      One is food. Even if we don’t overeat and are height-weight proportionate, we need to fast. Fasting allows the body to flush out both physical and emotional toxins. I believe it is crucial to most Primal people to seriously go on periodic fasts. Possibly this is the big thing Janov overlooked.

      I would counsel all: “Please do your research”. A few books to look at are “Fasting, the Ultimate Diet”, “Fasting Can Save Your Life”, “The Transformational Power of Fasting”, etc.

      Warning: if you “seriously” fast, you will find “ideas-feelings” that you thought were dealt with decades ago re-appearing and they may disguise themselves as “reality” instead of ideas-feeling ABOUT reality. It can get rocky but the rewards are immense. For most, these experiences will truly kick-start one’s reality anew.

      Another is oversleeping. In reality the body rarely needs more than six hours sleep per night.

      A third is, orgasm. I kind of hate to say this but for most people, sex and (especially) masturbation, serves more for the draining off of feelings rather than true sexual experience. Another way to put it is: “The goal is not to feel ‘good’ but to feel”.

      Unfortunately, this is where we are at this point in the time-line of this civilization. We do not fully understand the true nature of human sexuality. Please do your research in Janov’s books (not that he is the all-knowing guru but he IS brilliant and has a lot to say).

      To not “yield” to these defenses (not fasting, sleeping too much and the “immediate” gratification of orgasm to feel “better) allows some self-discipline, obviously. However, it’s getting a bit late. We don’t have “all that much” more time and we are at this juncture in our path. Growth is the absolute rule of the universe.

      Ultimately, we must have a conviction that we ARE going to “get well”, that we ARE going to be “cured” (Janov’s word) and are even MORE willing than before to feel our reality.

      • Sylvia says:

        Hi, Fred. I see where you are might be saying sex can be an act out to want to feel good. And along with other act outs we probably don’t realize it is unless we use discipline and see what surfaces from the anxiety of refraining from an act out. This could go for anything; running, binge tv watching, gossiping, etc.

        There is a video on sexuality from the Janov website that talks about when painful (past) feelings have a high energy and they aren’t felt they are rerouted back into the system evolving into hypersexuality. Also it can come out in illnesses. I guess we can always carry that energy within us without even guessing what is driving it.

        I saw the other day on world vision tv channel that a speaking female human-like robot (developed I think by a Japanese co.) has been programmed to mimic sexual responses from touch. Many have been purchased. Brothels have opened in some countries ’employing’ them. I guess that says something our about human interaction problems.

        • FRED says:

          Over 25 years ago, I saw a well-known male adult entertainment at a club in West Hollywood. That club is no long there. Now it is a Bristol Farms Market at Doheny Road & Beverly Blvd. It was on Oscar Night which I thought odd (why would a porn star be at a Hollywood Oscar Night party).

          This is a guy who, over probably more than a decade, had orgasm on camera countless times, maybe hundreds of times; that is, draining off feelings for the “cheap thrill” or “orgasmic ecstasy”.

          I was rather shocked when I saw his face. Truly, it looked like so much life energy had been sucked out of him. His skin was like a prune. I’m also convinced the addiction to orgasm is a factor in premature graying. I base this on a friend of mine. He is in a marriage where they no longer have sex. He says he masturbates almost every night. His hair is all gray, so is his beard. I am actually slightly older than he and I have very little gray hair.

          • Sylvia says:

            Really? And I thought it caused hairy palms. Maybe your friend should buy Grecian formula for gray hair (and Nair, of course.) Just joking with ya. Gray hair could be genetics too.

            • FRED says:

              In this case I believe his “massive grayness” is largely related to lifestyle such as constantly draining off feelings via orgasm rather than exercise self-discipline and maybe, just maybe FEELING.

              Also pot is an issue.

              Although I see him as a good friend I feel rather pessimistic about his future.

              • Sylvia says:

                People don’t always know that feeling is a solution unless they read a ‘feeling’ book. Some feelings need guidance too from a therapist. You could offer your friend a book about it.

                • FRED says:

                  Indeed a therapist can sometimes guide one. My friend is totally lost, a hopeless case in this regard. One could say, “he’s pretty much as the ‘mercy’ of repression”.

                  All this brings up, what could be termed, the “existential” framework of reality which I’ve alluded-to in some posts but to which I won’t here, except to ask this question. The question came to me back in October 1973 when I was lying in a darkened room, surrounded by fellow “primalers” in-group who were mostly, for lack of a better term so I’ll borrow from Arthur Janov, abreacting.

                  The question was/is “Why does every person have such an utterly different set of experiences in gestation-birth-infancy-babyhood-toddlerhood-childhood?”

                  For example, why did this person have a mother who put him in a clothes dryer as punishment? Why did that person have a father who burned him with a burning cigarette, apparently out of cruelty? Why did that person have a father who made her put her kittens in a bag and drown her kittens in a pond? Why does that kid over have there have a mother who screams at him in the store “you shut your mouth right now!” while grabbing his arm and jerking?

                  Meanwhile, why do those three kids have parents who at least WANT their children, make efforts to care for them including good pre-natal?

            • erlt83 says:

              HAAHHH…good one Sylvia….. a patient of mine told me the Baptist run orphanage he grew up in would hang a fish around the neck of exposed masturbators..

              • Jack Waddington says:

                erlt83: Try looking at George Carlin on religion. He says it all … with respect to Religion.


              • Sylvia says:

                83, how awful. What humiliation, and cruelty. It reminds me of a movie i saw where a boy who wet the bed, whose mother hung out his bed sheets every day to dry for all the neighbors to see and he would run home after school to take them down so his friends would not see them. He became a fast runner, and most likely ashamed of something he had no control over.

  4. Leslie says:

    Wonderfully done Jo! I could hear your voice and words so clearly that I could have sworn you were right here with me.
    ox L

  5. Larry says:

    It’s great to hear you explain your life, Jo. In my case I’m discovering not so much why I’m in therapy, but why I’m in therapy for so long. Same as you, I had thought of my childhood as not so traumatic as others’ have been, even though before Primal Therapy I was a basket case socially. My therapy has been a slow, careful process of gradually awakening and appreciating ever more deeply the pure horror of being a child feeling alone and abandoned and how that ruined my entire life. The past couple of days I’ve been going through another wave of sinking further into the feelings and this evening taking a breather from them even as an adult I feel disturbed by the feelings I had to cope with and the truth I couldn’t face as a child. As I sink into the Primal, I think “Please Gretchen, say it isn’t so. Not this awful truth and that’s all–that I get out of therapy.” I mean, if we get into the Primal and face that we got nothing, it is still our reality in the present that we got nothing. Yet the more that I can face that I’m all that I’ve got, the more of me that I can summon toward getting what I need for my life. Primal Therapy is a real upheaval of my mental-emotional terrain. The gradual, careful process is the only healthy way it would have worked for me, and all along the way my life gradually improved. So I keep at it.

    • Larry: having read you all these years and meeting you it boggles my mind how you, and some others I know, survived it all. Further that for all the pain you kept at it. That sure is so remarkable.

      It is for this reason that I somehow want to stop the madness where it all begins. It’s become a pre-occupation of mine. I know that education is not going to “cut” it, nor is proselytizing Primal theory. Also my writing book goes no-where either. Yet I feel the need to persist.

      Since I feel you have a great command for writing, I wonder if you have thought of a book that might make the shift to getting potential parents to know just how easy it is to destroy their own off-springs. The theory is so, so simple … it’s the implementing it that is so complex.

      Just my thoughts on reading you.


      • Larry says:

        I hear what you are saying, Jack. Personally I feel that the most effective way to offer insight to prospective parents is to write about the effect that our own childhoods had on the rest of our lives and the cost in time, effort and money that it takes to heal from our childhoods. We are experts about ourselves. That is where I would have the most credibility when it comes to influencing parents, agencies and institutions involved in the care of kids, I think.

        • Larry: I certainly have gone that route, but I have not had great success with it. Even with my own parents when they were alive.

          However, what I was ‘grasping’ more for, was a way to make a broader claim to people at large. The only way I seem to have is through blogging in cyber space, and trying to write books. So far not that successful in either. BUT I’ll keep in trying.


    • Jo says:

      Hey Larry, to quote you…”Yet the more that I can face that I’m all that I’ve got, the more of me that I can summon toward getting what I need for my life. ” …exactly!

  6. Jo says:

    Sylvia, interesting to read how your life started and unfolded, and, yes, ‘Eleanor Oliphant’ a primal story too!
    Actually, you and Fred writing about pre-birth and baby stuff, jogged memories of my mother being in pain on and off through my (and my older brother’s) childhood with trigeminal neuralgia. It’s likely that she was on painkillers before I was born.
    Yes, suffering starts early.

  7. Jo says:

    BTW, I’m writing in GMT time zone

  8. Sylvia says:

    Hope we don’t get jet lag reading each others comments–ha, ha. Have a nice day.

  9. Chris says:

    Jo after having been your buddy for the last retreat I can say with much confidence that you definitely need therapy.

  10. i am miserable, nothing new. feel like i have nothing, nothing new here. just saying. not happy. never will be. now i go suffer some more.

  11. Margaret says:

    last night I had an unpleasant, puzzling dream.
    I want to write about it here trying to process it some more.
    In the dream I was in a toilet, needing to pee, when suddenly someone started slapping on the door, clearly to bother and frighten me. I noticed the upper part of the door was transparant, and it seemed to be a kid, teenager, if it wasn’t a dwarf.
    I was frightened as it came acrross as hostile, and at first I tried to raise my voice to chase him away, to no avail.
    I managed to close the lock of the door, while he sat down in the corner of the small corridor in front of the toilet door.
    i still could see him, he looked more like fifteen or so years old, and while I was still sitting on the toilet, to my horror he started peeing in my direction, a huge stream of warm urine showering me to my disgust and terror.
    I felt scared, but also very angry and frustrated.
    there was no way for me to get away, and it got worse when while urinating he also started to masturbate, but a small luck in all the disgust was what came out as a result ended up on him instead of on me.

    in the next stage of the dream I was out of the toilet, on some kind of street passage, a lot of people around, while I still felt very frustrated and upset.
    suddenly I spotted a guy who I thought might be the person who had terrorized me, and even while I was not a hundred percent certain, my anger broke out as he had a smirk on his face.
    I punched him right in the face, hard, and he fell down, face down, on the pavement.
    i jumped on his back, and started smashing his head, and face, against the floor, as hard as I could, several times, in extreme rage, and then even started slamming his head against the wall nearby.

    I woke up still upset and startled about the content of the dream, such strong feelings, such violent response from my side, and the feeling of having been abused and soiled while being defenseless.

    I tried to figure out where the dream came from and could relate to, but found no conscious memories, no books I had read or events I had watched on tv.

    but the feelings were very vivid and intense, so all I can think of is maybe some scary event happened to me when at the age of 2 I had to stay in some institution for several weeks hwile my mother had to be hospitalized for a severe operation.

    I have always felt that period was traumatic in its sudden shift from being at home to being in a strange environment full of strangers, but who knows what has happened there during my stay, maybe bigger kids abusing me in some way, scaring me and making me angry and frustrated?

    as I said, puzzled, and al I can do is let the feelings come up as they do while awake or in my dreams.

    one explanation might be I was too young to make sense of what happened in an internal story and only the feelings remained with their original impact.
    then my brain needs to come up with some related story to recreate a similar setting to let the feelings come up in an attempt to connect them.

    just a hypothesis, as often my dreams make a lot of sense, so I do not want to discard this unexpected one as trivial, speciallly not with its also unusual ending of me letting out all the agression in one big go.

    never thought I had that kind of agression in me, that amount of anger.

    sigh, it feels good to have shared it, does anyone have similar stories?

  12. Margaret says:

    reading your comment made me wonder if you ever considered writing to her as you write on the blog?

  13. Margaret says:

    Hi jonna,
    nice post, thanks.
    it sounds familiar, I remember telling Barry at the start of my intensive how I ‘felt’ I had had a perfect childhood, lots of nature around so playing outdoors with my brother a lot of the time, nice hardworking parents, etc.
    until very soon that surface gave away with just some minimal amount of scratching and pain erupted almost out of the blue so to say…
    but it felt so right and useful right away, connecting with my true almost forgotten child gave me some euforic hours right after that session, and never after did I ever regret having started therapy, on the contrary, I still keep getting the benefits, even while sometimes the process is very tough.

  14. Margaret says:

    I was moved to tears hearing the sad news about Aretha Franklin. of course hearing her songs , specially ‘natural woman’ with Carole King and Obama in the audience, but mostly because she is such a ‘grande dame’, one hell of a big lady, admirable and inspiring.

  15. Margaret says:

    all week long feelings of anxiousness and some nightmares have bothered me, probably triggered by having to prepare to go away for the week’s sailing camp. the weather getting colder did not help, and today, last day before leaving I started to feel almost paralized with the upcoming feeling.
    I was reading, finishhing a moving book in which at the end one of the characters says to his brother ‘please don’t forget me, not another time…’, and for some reason the sadness and vulnerability combined with the reaching out triggered me finally into crying.
    my feeling had no name, no specific content, but very soon shifted to baby wailing.
    I just let it happen as it went on for a while.
    I realized how disconnected I had felt, how alienated from the world in the upcoming feeling, overwhelmed with ‘can I cope?’
    even my cats seemed far away at the high of the feeling, I am still a bit in it but count on my experience I will soon start to feel better and more able to do what I need to do and to enjoy the true bond with my cats once more.
    I can only imagine how i must have been separated from my mom for periods way too long by the nuns running the birth clinic, when I was still wide open and needing to be with her, or at least with another warm human being.
    maybe that even connects with my dread of feeling cold , and being stuck in that situation.
    my main worry lately has been how to protect myself from that on the trip, thinking about which cloths to take but to an extent that clearly indicates old feeling at work…
    in any case it seems useful to have had this feeling before leaving, with half a day still and a night to recover…
    several of my comments seem to be on hold so they might all appear at once at some point, but they are written with some time intervals of several days.
    hope you are ok, Phil, and having a good time,

  16. Margaret says:

    it is amazing how much difference that cry made.
    after it I did not worry at all anymore about the packing of which cloths in the suitcase anymore, I knew it was ok already, and the few things I still need to add I can easily add tomorrow morning.
    so from high tension which was very unpleasant and paralizing to a feeling of relaxation.
    it was nice to spend the rest of the afternoon on bed, with the cats, listening to another audio book and doing little chores every now and then.
    it is very reassuring to experience how if necessary I can go into the feeling, even if it is so early that little rationality is involved, I mean I would not know how to describe this very early wailing as it had no specific clear focus.
    but it sure made a lot of difference, enabling me to start enjoying my vacation already and to drop the unnecessary and extremely unpleasant worrying.
    just heard today in Cuba it is the first time there is a general access to the internet, which maybe Phil will be able to enjoy.
    if he is there now….
    wish you a nice trip, Phil, in case…

  17. Phil says:

    Great article! I can relate to a lot of what you said.


  18. Phil says:

    We just got back from Cuba last night. We had a great time, it;s a very interesting place.
    Sorry Margaret. They sell WiFi cards and around Havana people congregate at hot spots usually next to hotels, but we could not get it to work, so have been out of touch the whole week.


  19. Jo says:

    Margaret, a horrible nightmare and anxiety going on in your daily life is not pleasant..I am sure you’ll get much positivity out of your upcoming trip.

  20. Jo says:

    Phil, glad you had a great trip to Cuba.

  21. Phil says:

    In relation to this post, I think it’s family members not understanding and minimizing traumas I went through,or not even recognizing them, that made them so much worse.. I think of my father telling me I had a good childhood, after he found out I was doing this therapy. Totally and completely unhelpful. I was around him many more times after that, and that was the one and only time we discussed it. Hardly any different with any other of my important family members.
    The comparison I might make is with all the people in the world who had something similar to what what I experienced,,and yet, don’t seem to have been so traumatized by it, or in need of therapy. And the typical attitude is, well that’s sad, but it happened in the past. It’s really all about minimizing it, so no wonder to have those kind of thoughts.


    • Sylvia says:

      Phil, it seems it hasn’t been accepted by the general public that what happened in the past has an effect on how we are now, and how it limits us, or that therapy can help. But I think those of us who suffer know it does matter what happened.
      I’m seeing on the internet there are a few websites where people are commenting on their bad childhoods and how it affects them. Maybe things are changing.

    • Phil: They outwardly may seem like they are not suffering the trauma of the past, but I suspect somewhere inwardly , they are suffering. I could be emotionally, behaviorally, or physically (illness) even a combination of them.


  22. Sylvia says:

    Phil, como fue el pais de Cuba para tu y tu esposa?

  23. Phil says:

    Sylvia, We liked Cuba a lot, it was quite an interesting experience, although, upon getting home my wife was complaining about the heat and humidity and said that for next time she’d like to go somewhere cooler.
    There is beautiful, very old, colonial style buildings all over Havana, but quite a lot of them are crumbling and falling apart. However, the old, historic center of the city has been restored and is in very good shape. That is the main tourist section. We were staying miles away from there in a very nice airbnb apartment. We walked all over the city even very late at night and into the early morning and it is a very safe place. Other times we took taxis and learned how that works. I never felt threatened even in what appeared to be very run down areas. So many people seem to be living in houses under renovation. There are so many with bags of cement and construction debris but clearly not active work sites. probably in that condition for many years. A complaint of ours is that in many areas there is a lot garbage all over the place. The city has a lot of unfulfilled potential, I think, probably because the country is very poor.
    There are very many old 1950s American cars all over the city and they are mainly taxis. I think they maintain them out of necessity but they have also become another kind of tourist attraction. There are many newer cars as well, mostly European and Japanese, but no luxury brands.
    Tourism is the largest industry there, and that’s easy to observe. Everyone wants to get tips from tourists but they aren’t excessively pushy about it; the people are very friendly.
    My wife asked a guy for directions, and he didn’t actually know where the place was, we were looking for, but we finally got there. Then he requested a tip, which we gave him, and wanted to be our permanent guide. He was a very nice guy, but we were more careful after that about asking directions. I find it much more fun to do my own exploring.
    Something funny is that that the uniform for women working in government jobs is a mini skirt and fancy fishnet stockings. I thought that was great. We saw that first at the airport and many places around the city. Another thing is that it’s easy to see that Cuba still has a cult of personality especially with Che Guevara, and also Fidel Castro. There are pictures of them all over and book stores are mostly about them and aspects of communism and socialism. Some of Cuba’s main products are sugar and tropical fruits. It was sad to see that fruit and sugar are not easy to find, it’s all exported apparently. We did find an unofficial fruit stand and enjoyed a lot of good mangoes. I heard and understood a lot of Spanish but didn’t say much because I really was with my wife at all times, so I let her do the talking. They immediately could identify us as tourists, and when she spoke, could pick her out right off as a Spaniard. It seemed to confuse them that she was with an American. The grocery stores are very poorly stocked and missing a lot of things that we would expect. Milk, eggs, cold cuts, and bread are hard to find, for example. I thought the restaurant food was quite good, and good music was everywhere.
    We went several times to a beautiful beach close to Havana and enjoyed that a lot. There was a mix of tourists and locals there.
    We learned a lot about Cuba. The people are quite poor and the government still controls the economy but things have loosened up a little. Salaries are so low. A doctor makes 40 Cuban pesos a month and a waiter 20 pesos. A peso is more or less equivalent to one dollar. You can spend most of that on one trip to the supermarket there. They must depend so much on tips from tourists, but not everyone can work in that industry. It’s also sad that they are mostly trapped on that Island, although it is a nice place. Only certain people are able to leave, those well connected in the tourism industry, and with special permission by the government. American culture is admired but there are no signs of US businesses. I’m sure that will change in a few years, after Trump is gone, and Cuba loosens up some more.
    I would go back there to explore more of the Island as I think there is a lot more to see and experience, and it’s not a long flight from here.


    • Sylvia says:

      Phil, it sounds like an adventure and an adaptation. I guess it will change when foreign business can help their economy in the future. What a treat to visit there.
      Thank you for sharing.

    • Larry says:

      Sounds like an interesting visit, Phil. I just now added it to my bucket list of things to do while I’m still able to.

  24. Larry says:

    I was a summer baby. In an unguarded moment when the door to consciousness drifts open I feel alarmed to see more than 6 decades later that I’m still being born–that I never really knew my parents, my siblings, my school mates–that only now am I learning how my life fits me and who I am, only now after so much time and opportunity has passed and only the minor fraction remains. I question whether I can really stay sane while going where this therapy wants to take me and while seeing what it wants to show me…that if I take the risk I have a chance to be born, finally, but after most of my life has been lived and so little is left, my youth spent and my parents dead. Do I dare to awake to the aloneness, the emptiness!

    • Sylvia says:

      A lonely song, Larry. I hope we all can take that risk to feel the aloneness, for each one is probably different. I’m glad you can write about it.

    • Larry: Your comment is a very searing message of loneliness and despair that keeps hitting me for hours after reading your comment.

      What it does to me is not to raise my moments of loneliness, which I did have on very rare moments; the very first one being my first half hour after birth, but wondering very deeply, how to change all this with us humans. I’m not totally aware why this is so for me, other than feeling some empathy for people I know that are suffering just like you.

      I do have an idea, but I have a huge problem getting that idea across and just this morning, pondering why that is so. It brought me back to a nick name I got at 10 years of age which was “professor” … “prof” for short. Why and how did I come to be thought of as such, is still a puzzle to me and the only thing I can think of is that I am considered a “know it all”. Maybe also that I come across as always having an answer. So I put it out there and ask if there is anyone on the blog that might give me a clue. Not sure it will solve the problem unless I can go back to see what, in my life, prompted it.

      It is helpful to just write about it. For now, all responses are welcome, and I promise to refrain from any act of retaliation (defense).


      • Sylvia says:

        Jack, if I give an answer will I be guilty of needing to have an answer or solution? I do have the same problem, thinking I have an answer to someone else’s problem. Maybe it is as simple as when we were children and saw a friend cry and we said, ‘don’t cry, don’t be sad,’ cuz we didn’t want to see our friend hurt. Quien sabe, I go to bed now, tis late.

      • Larry says:

        Maybe see what happens if you don’t try to explain to everyone how to make it better, Jack. See how you feel as a result, what it brings up for you.

    • William A. Walters says:

      Very good post in my opinion. As Paul McCartney said “There will be an answer but I suspect it will be up to us.

      Sent from my iPhone


  25. Margaret says:

    almost through catching up with the comments after my week of sailing.
    that was wonderful, a lot of sore muscles today but a mind that has been blown free of cobwebs by the wind (and water), and well, a body too that feels invigorated by all the canoeing, and the sailing in strong winds.
    on various types of sailboats, including a very spectacular trip on a trimaran in strong wind, fast and well, splashy, like riding a young fast Arabian horse kind of.

    but well, I wanted to respond on what Fred wrote, as he made some very good points.
    tiny child feelings for me almost literally feel as if felt with a thinner layer of the brain, mostly just expressing some kind of natural need, but often too when that need is not met turning into sad hopelessness finally.
    but it always always feels such a natural and healthy connected ‘function’, just right.

    I think the trauma lays in too often the need not being attended or responded to in a wrong way, in my case that is.

    if there is one thing I would have to pick to illustrate primal works, it is this natural way of shifting from adult crying to baby wailing, and back if necessary.
    something one could not fake, as it would be clear to anyone a bit on the road in primal it would be.
    but I think in the actual way therapy is done in the PI, and a natural flow is followed, it takes its natural course.

    it is good to hear about your consecutive insights Fred, thanks for sharing.

  26. Margaret says:

    thanks for sharing all of that as well, you sound like such a nice person always.

    p.s. Fred, I was moved by your story about the kitten, that must have been so very painful

  27. Margaret says:

    dear Jack,
    your comment with the question about the professor thing touched me with its vulnerability.
    I think you are on another important point in your primal travel.

    if I would make a wild guess, of course from my own framework, with its own feelings, I would think there is a very sad lonely little boy there frightened to hell about how he will get nothing at all if he does not struggle for the bits of attention to get, by a dad who seemed to make debating as some kind of contest to show off , maybe his own need involved there.

    I am just thinking of bits and pieces you talked about in the past which seem related.

    a little boy needing to be loved and liked simply for being there just without having to do or say anything at all.

    you have helped me a lot in the past on difficult moments at retreats by simply coming up to sit next to me and sometimes put an arm around me without hardly saying anything.

    that meant more than a thousand words then.

    you are a kind and generous person.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Margaret: thanks for the acknowledgment and the kind words, but It’s not totally the whole of me; there are the bad bits as well. For now though, I will accept the compliments and stay with it.
      The sad, shy, often confused little kid me little, did get by, as I did have something. What I see from some on this blog; they got NOTHING, and often just reading their stories put’s the ‘heebbie Jeebies’ in me. Yes! my dad (poor guy) got his fair share of trauma as I learned later in life.

      The best I have gotten from this therapy is that there is always the tendency to look back, when I have a problem, and invariably it has some roots in my childhood.
      Now, that I am well into my eighties, coming up to the nineties, is that I feel very lucky, for the most part, things turned out the way they have. I am thoroughly enjoying living here in the land that is ‘nether’ (meaning below … I gather). I love our little chalet and the bit of ground it stands on where my Jimbo has made a lovely garden with flowers and lot of colour, surrounded by gigantic Beach trees and one Willow tree that sways in the breeze. I can sit on the swing couch and look at it all and other times in my deck chair facing the sun as it crosses the sky each day.

      I feel lucky to have a partner, were things are getting better, as time passes and my only fear is; if anything should happen to him before me. I’m not sure I would be able cope and in that sense I NEED him. The only other bother I have is with Brexit, which threatens my UK pension for living outside the UK, should the exit happen. I do wonder if Trump might try to deprive me of my US one also, that is not a full pension, because of my UK citizenship.

      Meantime, I will blog along and contiue to ‘pipe-in’ from time to time.


  28. I am home alone while wife is in Prescott for some required meeting for her course to get her masters. Masters late in her life and of course the student loan will horribly impact me dollar-wise if I live long enough for her to finish her courses. Yes, I am just that kind of asshole; did not congratulate her for getting her bachelor’s a year ago. Yes, I am very self-centered. Anyway, home alone, took the dog for a short walk and then went back to bed, tired from gorging myself on horrible food last night while home alone. I will just write, no one has to read it, just write, since I will have no other chance to express it. No Friday group this month, but so what, I can barely get my mouth open in group, and if I do get it open, it will be at the end of group when all the patients have had their share of speaking and they just want to go home, so I get a few minutes maybe. I know you don’t have to speak in group, to get something out of group, but I have noticed in groups throughout the years, that patients will announce that they were wondering what they would speak about in group, as they were on their way to group. So I am convinced that everyone WANTS to talk in group and most EXPECT that they will talk in group. Along with that, I see some of the same people ALWAYS speak their week’s experience in group, some are actually ASKED to speak in group, and some of them speak a long time, and maybe they will say they are sorry for having spoken so long in group. Maybe they have more of a right to speak in group since they go to group and sessions consistently, which I have never been able to do from the beginning (1985) due to money constraints, constraints that I invariably blame on my lovely wife, whether true or not. But to not speak in group just pisses me off greatly and I do not feel a part of group ever (lots of old feelings there). I don’t have money to go to sessions to make a relationship with a therapist (and I don’t want any charity in that regard). Yes, I know some other people in group have a hard time jumping into the fray also, but it seems like they will ALWAYS get asked to speak anyway. Knowing there are fellow shy people in group does not mitigate the way I feel when I have to sit there in silence, often holding big feelings down and when I might actually have something to say. Sometimes, I have been able to go to another room and actually feel the feeling, but I barely go to the p.i. any more so that is kind of moot. Whatever. I could go on and on forever with this topic but that is enough. Like I said, it pisses me off, but I would never be able to say that aloud in group. Anyway, I was seeing memories in my mind’s eye about my aloneness while I was lying in bed a while ago, and I will write something about that in a minute. These memories came to mind probably because I DID speak in group last time when a feeling opened up, triggered by another patient’s feeling, and the 100 year cloud-parting happened and I got my mouth open before anyone else did. The memories I was seeing in bed today did not bring up any feeling, I don’t think they were any great insight, they just kind of streamed through my head seamlessly (life in hollywood, age 5 to 10 approximately). Now I will grab a bite to eat since my new diabetic pill makes me hungrier all the time, one cat is crowing because he wants to be petted, and maybe I will start to soak some dishes. The house is all messy and I am hoping to clean it, even though most of it is not my mess. Yes I am my cold, bitchy house-cleaning grandmother, cold like her since our shared experience was of losing my mom to polio. I say little to anyone on this blog, or to anyone but myself in real life.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Otto: “I say little to anyone on this blog, or to anyone but myself in real life.”. I contend that is enough Otto: You my have ‘sealed lips’ in group but you sure open up very honestly, as I see it, on this blog … good for you.

      One suggestion (merely a suggestion) how about in group, when the occasion arises, to just say that three words phrase:- “I’m pissed off” ,

      Just a thought whilst I was reading you.


    • Larry says:

      Geez Otto, your life sounds so miserable no wonder you don’t try to talk about it. It’s good that you can at least write about it here.

    • FRED says:

      September 14, 2018

      A book to read: “Why You Get Sick, How You Get Well: The Healing Power of Feelings”©1996, by Dr. Arthur Janov, Dove Books.

      This, in my opinion, has some very extraordinary “passages”.

      First let me say. I haven’t read these books by Dr. Janov “Imprints”, “Biology of Love” and “Prisoners of Pain” (I’ve got a pile of un-read books including these three–I’ve got to read more “paper” and less “computer”.

      These two passages might be a bit sobering to some on this blog:

      To repress childhood feelings is to move partially unconscious throughout life. Pg. 8
      Neurosis and its physical manifestations is a lifetime sentence from which there is only one escape: consciousness. Pg. 9

      Babies have a wide-open sensory window and nothing to filter or attenuate the force of a trauma,. Pg. 40

      The endorphins are the origin of the unconscious, and in some ways I believe they are the bedrock of evolution and the backbone of civilization. Without repression, I doubt that human life would have come as far as it has. Pg 51

      Disconnection from excess pain has been a sine qua non for human evolution. For survival we needed a functioning conscious-awareness to steer us around during the day without the organism losing itself in unfinished business. We needed a mental agency that could make us oblivious to suffering inside. The development of the cortex allowed us humans to deceive ourselves and keep the lowest levels out of sight and out of mind. Self-deception was an evolutionary necessity, and nothing is quite as infinite as self-deception. Pg 51

  29. Margaret says:

    maybe it would be safe for you if you’d marry as to be able to stay in the Netherlands?
    no idea how the regulations are there, if you’d have to love there first for some time but maybe it is worth checking it out.
    mm, seems kind of romantic as well, but that is just me, smiley.

    • jackwaddington says:

      Margaret: we did go and become legal partners and got the necessary papers for it and yes the relationship is very romantic but not sexual … that has passed us both by. It has saved me tons of time from all the cruising I did, being such a sex addict. Jimbo never was addicted like me.

      The problem is because the Brits seem to want to throw anyone out, that was not born there, after exploiting all other peoples and lands, OR seems traitorous by leaving to live somewhere with a less dreary climate.

      Thanks though for the suggestion.


  30. Margaret says:

    what will your wife be graduating in?

  31. Phil says:

    This was a pretty hard week for me. Especially difficult to come back to work after such a nice vacation. It had me thinking of retirement, but it’s still a few years before I can do that..
    Today I moved my younger son back to college. he surprised me about how punctual he was on getting ready for the trip, so responsible and everything. It turns out the reality was he had a plan
    to meet up to do some skateboarding with his buddies in the city. But anyway, he is doing very well,
    which I am glad about.
    The drive home by myself had me reviewing my college career and also all the stupid mistakes I made during those years and later. Mostly maybe because I made all my decisions in such isolation. They might have been what I wanted to do at the time, but that doesn’t mean they were good ideas. I certainly would have done a whole ot of things differently if I could do it over.

  32. Margaret says:

    sorry to hear the transition back to work is so unpleasant.
    and thanks so much for sending me all those comments I was not able to read until then.

    It was a big transition for me too from living with over 30 people on the sailing camp to being on my own here again.
    kind of depressing, specially the first few days.
    soon some routines will start again luckily and next sunday I can go sailing here in Antwerp.
    we were lucky to have nice weather and a lot of wind last week, now it starts to be much cooler.
    I broke a tooth on a cookie there, and will go see my dentist here tomorrow, luckily they made time for me.
    it is one of the front teeth so I have a bit of a witchy look now, hopefully not for too long!

  33. Phil says:

    This morning I found out that some important mail of mine got thrown out. That’s a bit of a triggering incident for me even though the problem created can be easily fixed. I can get overly upset if my stuff is messed with, even if it isn’t important.
    I have a vague memory of my mother having moved my toys from where they were kept, and I couldn’t find them. That’s the only connection I can make, butI’m sure there’s a whole lot more to it than that.
    My wife tends to want to organize things, clean up, and throw things out, whereas as I tend delay a lot on doing any of that.
    This didn’t result in a big problem between us this morning but this type thing has been the source of a lot of bad feelings in the past.

    • Phil says:

      Well, what I could add is that my mother didn’t treat me as important, or remember about me, as I recall. That was reflected also in her lack of concern about my toys. So it’s maybe just part of the whole pattern.
      In my case, I give a lot of attention to my kids belongings and interests,, I guess as a reaction to my past history. Whereas my wife didn’t always tend to do that, and that was the source of issues between us. Now that our kids are big, this issue rarely comes up anymore.

      • Sylvia says:

        Phil, that sounds like that was a big trigger for you that your wife did not care about your stuff or give as much attention to your kids’ belongings. A feeling: ‘I’m not important, you don’t care.’ I wonder what dissolves that; more feeling I guess. I wonder, if in your feelings you could ask your mother ‘to please see me, listen to me, love me…’

  34. Phil says:

    I’m not insistent, that’s just how it is,
    based on experience. Thanks for your reaction.
    I’m feeling it helpful to have shared this.

    • FRED says:

      I’ve come to realize that it is actually want we “believe about feelings” is how we experience them. This is a throwback to Freud’s dark picture of the unconscious, something to be avoided due to its horrific contents.

      The truth, in my opinion, is that it is our CONVICTIONS with concomitant feeling that colors an experience. In terms of “Primal Theory” I see this as THE major stumbling block. We believe-feel that “this is the way it is” and because we have this intimately-held conviction, indeed that IS the way it is so much of the “pain” is “It’s so hard”. This is a kind of prescription for failure, if you will.

      In full disclosure, my psyche is littered with these types of convictions.

      Just one guy’s opinion.

  35. Sylvia and Phil, interesting thoughts you are giving. like: “what I meant is we can only feel what we can take at one time. But as you say it is too big a thing and it is waiting for us to be ready to feel more in bits when triggered, safely.” There is something in this arena that bothers me, and i can’t put my thumb on it, or finger, or whatever. One thing is i can feel one of those bits and feel cuckoo for days after, (maybe longer since i have kept myself in non-therapy mode, most of the time. this also reminds me of therapist LP, who might have told me once that he had to have someone stop him from screaming, or he would have gone into psychosis. or something like that. and another therapist BB, when i complained about our marriage sessions, time after time, not resulting in much change, and why didn’t we delve into feelings in those sessions (instead of talking on the surface how i did something to bother my wife, and she did the same to me). And he told me he would have to be seeing me privately on a somewhat regular basis so as to monitor me. I am probably misrepresenting what both of these tnerapists said, so forgot about it. i am miserable, my feelings are overwhelming (with very infrequent release) and there is no solution. i work hard and i feel i have nothing (old feeling, always just below the surface). Just let anyone at work, or my wife, touch or move or throw away anything that i have claim on, and i am pissed. extremely pissed. and it is not my imagination that my wife is insane with money (40 plus years now) and i feel like her idiotic behavior has killed part of me every one of those years. and when i drew that picture (at some retreat years ago) of her stabbing me in the back as money was flowing down the drain with my cartoon caption sarcastically saying “we dont need therapy, keep throwing money down the drain” or something like that and she was upset that i left it on the table with everyone else’s beautiful drawings, but you know, it was the fucking truith. maybe i could have grown a heart and tried to communicate the issue of her spend-aholism in a more loving manner, but 10 or so years of discussing this in joint sessions did little to change her actions. anyway, what the fuck was i talking about? fucking shit, glad i can go to work tomorrow, the young kid is off so i can grumble and grouse freely about what a fucked up place i work at and the fucked-up people that i really like but they are always asking me for more than i can possibly do. nah, not going to go back and make sure any of this makes sense. just my daily angst that either is keeping me alive or killing me, i don’t know which.

    • Sylvia says:

      Probably good to feel your feelings a little at a time so as not to let them build up, I’m thinking. Supposedly even small feelings count. Looks like you are pretty good at those and the not so little ones too as you write here. Good stuff. Sleep well.

    • Larry says:

      The more your write about yourself here, Otto, the more I understand you. I hope your writing is helping you too, to understand yourself.

  36. and what i just wrote makes me a little teary and sad, but now i go to bed and forget about it. or have bad dreams. good night.

  37. I was driving home from walking the dog and wife at the duck park. Wife just loves seeing the geese at the park; I do too but all the dog wants to do is smell smell smell, for gophers or other dogs. Geese don’t like the dog, so I never spend much time with the geese. Old people (like me?) who go there nightly to feed the geese; I almost got into their car this evening since all white cars look the same to me. Seeing the setting summer sun, i feel depressed, summer is ending and i feel i got so little. i had some somewhat decent summers as a kid, going to the bay in long beach with a neighborhood friend. every day to swim, lay in the sun, and run into the water and splash older girls in their bikinis. i don’t thinik that was my iidea, but it seemed like fun at the time. i dont think those girls liked it. we were just 2 latchkey kids with no adult supervision. anyway, now the stray thought that this could be my last summer dares to cross my mind. It does not help much that I heard a lady speaking years ago when my wife was doing teacher training. She said some things, but what I still remember, and of course she was using a dramatic tone, saying something like “and things that we will be seeing for the last time”. Wow, that sure got 5 tears out of me. not that it matters much when you are dead. as i wrote earlier this summer, i got a cheap thrill out of driving a few miles up some streets with my wife 2 days in the late afternoon. looking at the businesses or trees or air or whatever. Not san tropez or anything, just the smallest of pleasures. that fizzled out after those 2 days. i was almost getting my hopes up, but wtf. no beach no nothing this year. No restaurants because my wife went vegan and I did not, or actually I have nothing much to talk about with her, like some other old married couples, and I do not really want to talk to her, because the responses I get from her make it meaningless to me. i never have anything. working like a dog at work because of the fiscal year ending and tons of equipment overflowing the warehouse, hectic days. only some good people at work makes it worthwhile. otherwise, i am just negotiating with full cardboard boxes in a lonely storage area. negotiating with those boxes as to where they want to be placed and how much brain-power it will take for them to do my bidding. not really. just running on auto. otto running on auto. i recall having such boxes as friends when i was locked in an attic with such boxes as a kid. jesus fucking christ. all this disturbing smelly oozing shit resides in me, always just below the surface, always poking its head out when i drop my guard. I moved to l.a. from long beach in 1989 so as to make primal friends, destroying my kids in the process. Due to my infrequent therapy groups and my not-a-people-person personality, that dream did not move an inch. Actually it did move an inch as we were seeing roland at the time and my wife always made friends easy, so I tagged along with her and her primal friends somewhat. But then she lost her job and therapy went away and even that small hope became crushed once again. Wah wah listen to the baby crying. Stupid baby. I can try to force myself to go to barry’s group Saturday, but I guess I went to many groups over the years where I would go home in an angry mood, having gotten little relief; going home to where there was no relief either. Anyway, maybe it will rain here this year, that perks me up a little. Yeah, right, fat chance climate-change deniers.

  38. caught the last half of A Special Day. sophia Loren and Marcello M. sad but not dark. carry on until the end. tcm

  39. Jo says:

    Such a feeling of despair Otto…I can relate to that end of summer feeling, and am never very far away from catastrophic thinking…group wise, at the end of the day, I find that 1) the effort to go, and/or 2) even minuscule contact with aware people, is progress.

  40. FRED says:

    August 31, 2018

    Perhaps, no, undoubtedly, Arthur Janov’s second greatest book (after “The Primal Scream”, 1970) is “The New Primal Scream, Primal Therapy 20 Years On”, 1991.

    I did not actually read the book until 1997 after I purchased it at the discount table at Crown Books on La Ciénega Blvd in Los Angeles.

    I’ve chosen a few quotes with my comments following some of them. All page numbers are from the hardback, Enterprise Publishing edition.

    He puts away the pain, or rather it is automatically put away from him by our miraculous system of repression, pg 4-5 (FRED: And, what if Repression caused aging? Is the Natural Human Being actually designed to live hundreds, a thousand years and then only with minor aging not past, say 35? I’m just throwing that out there. Note: most people who have had Near Death Experiences see dead relatives and loved-ones on the Other Side as being young and beautiful like they were in their 30’s)

    • Primal Pain is the great hidden secret of our day, part of the mass unconsciousness–the unconscious conspiracy through which we all agree to deny the central realities of our times, our dubious legacy of repressed needs, feelings and pain, pg 35 (FRED: or as William Shakespeare said “All the world’s a stage”…see at END of post for full poem.)

    • Pain is a blessing because when it is felt, it sets in motion the forces of healing. We mustn’t treat it as an anathema. Even though it looks like a threat, it is a benevolent force. It just waits until we are old enough and strong enough to feel it, pg. 47. (FRED: You could say that “Pain” is either the food of the gods or the poison of the wretched.)

    • The body is always aware of pain and shouts its message…, pg 48 (FRED: To say the least!!?)

    • Why do we store the past? Because in it lies the keys to future survival…, pg51 (FRED: Why, though, did each of us have the pasts that we did, each one so different, so diverse? Dr. Janov never satisfactorily answered this “existential” question. No, I think he felt subconsciously that he was the reporter, not the rabbi, the theologian or philosopher. The question, however, must some day soon be answered).

    • Endorphins are released regardless of the nature of the stress, be it physical or psychological. The system simply says, “pain is pain”. This system allows us to be unconscious, and that unconsciousness is our genetic legacy. It means we can ignore, deny and be unaware of a vast amount of trauma while living our daily lives.

    The endorphins are the agents and the origin of unconsciousness. They are also partly responsible for our current civilization. Without repression, most of us would suffer so much that it is doubtful whether civilization would have progressed at all. With the benefit of repression, however, we can keep on producing and working, even though racked by pain…, pg 51 (FRED: Brilliant, Dr. J. You REALLY went “beyond yourself”, if you can perceive this from your current vantage point.)

    • In essence, active suffering increases survival while repression decreases it, pg 52.

    • Due to global repression a good deal of our genetic codes is dormant. When the imprinted load of stress has been addressed and experienced, there is less repression, hence less inhibition of genetic expression, pg 125. (FRED: I believe this is “new” which would lead one to ask “Truly, have we only just begun as a race and by extension, the individual?” The answer must be “Obviously and thank you, Karen Carpenter”.)

    • Having friends around all the time is a way of avoiding that early pain; it is an act-out against the feelings, pg 127.

    • Hopelessness is at the bottom of so much acting out, pg 132 (FRED: explains radical and obnoxious groups such as Antifa as well “Do-gooders” such as the political left–and their progenitor the modern Democrat Party in America; these would be those who focus on children separated from parents at the Mexican border instead of their own secret, unexamined convictions of hopelessness and powerlessness.)

    • Being in the struggle for approval in the present is at least being on the right track. The symbol is just one step removed from reality, pg 133. (FRED: This is actually very revolutionary and is actually a preterition of basic consensus psychological “truths”.)

    • …a deep despair and hopelessness lies within these needs–a hopelessness which is very difficult to confront, pg 139 (FRED: Not as “difficult” as it used to be, as we’ve now isolated this state. This will allow us to objectify it, a crucial step to assimilation. Thanks, again, doc.)

    • The distortions in the fetus that arise with trauma in the mother tend to be fixed. They endure as prototypical distortions. The pain surrounding birth is imprinted as a prototype (an original model on which something is patterned) that affects a variety of related behavioral traits. Prototypic behavior means that a certain trauma imprinted in the developing brain and physiology causes a kind of response to that pain which will remain forever as an engraved tendency or pattern, on both physiological and psychological levels, pg 147 (FRED: Many thanks, doc, you’ve just upset The Whole Apple Cart that the Psychological Establishment has tried to pawn off on us, not to mention the Money Changers at the temples of the same Psychological Establishment.)

    • We must remember that the catastrophes that happen to a fragile fetus or newborn are happening to an organism with a wide-open sensory window, who receives all impulses and all pain directly and can put nothing between her and what is going on.

    The newborn cannot call a friend and talk about how unjust the experience via a proper verdict; he can’t go to the refrigerator and eat it away. He just suffers. When the baby is born crying, doctors regard this as normal. The screaming newborn screams because he has been traumatized. Screaming is not a normal result of birth., pg 151 (FRED: Yesssss!!!!!!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!! Screaming is CRYING, for crying out loud, Medical Profession!!!!!)

    • The birth trauma is surely one of the wonders of the world. Although it drives civilization, it is never detected. If someone points to it, he or she becomes a pariah. It is part of the general “conspiracy of the unconscious.” Millions die from it, but no one can say what “it” is, why is it there? What is it doing there? How did it get inside of us in the first place?…Earlier, we talked about the birth prototype–a design for a personality which becomes imprinted in the course of a traumatic birth. The profound implication of the prototype is that it is the first determinant of personality. (FRED: No wonder I’ve been on the outside looking in my entire, mostly sad life. Thanks for the re-affirmation.)

    • Riding feelings through the vehicle of time back to the past unlocks the present and opens gates of access to the unconscious, pg 275. (FRED: Now the “challenge” is for so many of we “Primalers”, “How?, we’ve reached a plateau of a sorts”. This is a discussion for the bravehearts, inner adventurers and gypsy souls for a future time.)

    • There seems to be a silent conspiracy about our neurosis, pg 275. (Mirrored perfectly in our current-day political situation, that is, The Deep State.)

    • The original purpose of crying for a baby is to be comforted, to have her needs fulfilled; long before the infant has a sense of tragedy, it has raw need, pg 318.

    • We all have the capacity to be that child who is open, warm, curious, engaging, unafraid, daring and alive. That is not just the capacity of children. It is a human quality we must try to recapture. (FRED: Does this not send goose-bumps up and down your arms? Is this not the true challenge that Dr. Janov, albeit a Moses-like figure who didn’t quite make it to the Promised Land himself, nevertheless lovingly left us with?)

    THE SHAKESPEARE QUOTE (talking about the course of Repression over a lifetime)
    from PoemHunter.com

    All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;
    They have their exits and their entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
    Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
    And shining morning face, creeping like snail
    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
    Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
    In fair round belly with good capon lined,
    With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
    Full of wise saws and modern instances;
    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
    His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

    William Shakespeare

  41. Sylvia says:

    Fred, I say amen, mostly, to what you wrote here. Thanks for the reminder of the Janov’s meaningful words.
    I do think, though, that the left (I guess that includes me since I don’t go along with the right) and even some republicans found the separation of children from their parents so atrocious that they had to raise an uproar. I really do think, even though it may resonate with something unfelt, it stands alone as an abominable situation. I also think there are many feeling people about in this world who didn’t have a lot of pain to contend with in their beginning and can see things clearly. Thank goodness for them.

    • FRED says:

      I am humbled that you took so much time to read my screed. I am simply BLOWN AWAY by the mind of Janov. I DO believe he, on one level, fell short, maybe even failed, as did Moses, to make it to the Promised Land but he pioneered a trail, a trail of tears to sort of paraphrase the journey of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Indians who were forcibly removed from their ancestral homes in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and southeast Tennessee, maybe bit of Alabama. Many were re-located to what was then Indian Territory, which now is Oklahoma sans the Panhandle. This was in the early 1830s I think, well before the Civil War.

      But Dr. J’s Trail of Tears is a Shining Path to the Self, if you will. His theory falls short, no doubt in that he saw himself not as a rabbi or philosopher, given to explanations of the why of one’s personal circumstances. Instead he was The Great Observer of how The Split came into being. It was almost as if he channeled other dimensional information that was “larger” than his “every day self”. I liken this to Bob Dylan in the Early Days. Dylan’s poetry and strange melodies were so other-dimensional that I’m positive he had a channel.

      Dr. Janov, if we paid attention, and maybe sorted wheat from the chaff, gave us a guidebook to our subjective reality, if followed, was liberating and began the process of learning to cry and feel again, like that five-year-old kid, standing there on the sidewalk; wailing his or her eyes out about the Core Belief-Feelings of Mankind:
      “Nobody loves me”.
      “I’m never going to make it”.
      “I’m dying”.
      “I’m starving”.
      That’s about it, folks. Four pillars. That covers it all, just about, admittedly using language to describe emotional information that is partly pre-verbal.

      NOBODY LOVES ME is certainly devastating enough!!!!

  42. Larry says:

    Did any of you follow that link to Primal Memoirs (1)? I did, thinking that it was a new blog post by the Primal Institute. It’s a lot to read, and to tell the truth felt like a waste of my time, until near the end. That’s when I finally realized that Primal Memoirs (1) is a pingback or a link to another blog. Anyway, at the end of one of the articles about Primal Therapy on this other blog is a list of the references that were cited in the article. The reference that caught my attention is an analysis of the cultural roots of Primal Therapy. https://journals.openedition.org/ejas/3022

    My summary of the analysis is that the authors describe how the therapy was born, grew, and then faded in popular consciousness alongside the birth, growth and demise of the youth counterculture revolution of the 1960’s to 80’s. The analysis kind of shook me up. If I was 20 years old in today’s youth culture, I might not be as receptive to the idea of Primal Therapy, nor would I likely know of Primal Therapy since it is not a popular as it was, nor are there Primal centers taking in 100’s of patients every year. I shudder to think that if I was 20 years old today I would likely be trapped in all of my pain for all of my probably short life. In a parallel universe I’m likely long dead from suffering with my pain. Even though I feel miserable currently, thanks to Primal Therapy I know it’s possible to break through the misery.

    Otto, I feel very sad for the patterns that your life has locked you into.

    Summer is a lonely time for me because in Spring organized activities stop and I’m left to my own devices. Families and couples go on holidays. I keep feeling reminded that I don’t have anyone to care for, to feel deep sorrow or joy with, to share life with. For the past 6 weeks or so I bought some new furniture and appliances, did sorting and cleaning, bought new shelving and rearranged my storage area in my condo. It felt like a good and necessary thing to do. But I feel all empty and lonely now. I’m sad that summer is over already, so soon, and that I spent a lot of it alone. Now into my second year of retirement, I feel further and further away from the work community that I was a part of. I feel farther and farther away from family life that centered around my parents when they were still alive. I feel alarmed at how little I am a part of any community, or anyone’s life.

    The Unitarian congregation’s Sunday services will resume in September, but I’m sad that the congregation has become fractured. Last April a very serious and public rift opened between the Minister and B, one of the major leaders in the congregation. I admire and respect both the Minister and B. They both have had a big positive influence on me. B and his wife, both stalwart, long time leaders of the congregation, have cancelled their membership because of what has transpired between B and the Minister and Board.

    I don’t see that the rift will ever be resolved. A lot of the older members who have known B for a long time feel disillusioned and upset by what they perceive as mistreatment of him by the Minister and the Board. Those members, who I consider to be my friends, are stepping away from participation in the congregation, maybe for a year or until some kind of healing happens, if ever. Meanwhile the Minister and Board have their supporters who feel that the Minister handled the situation with B as best as possible under the circumstances. I feel that I’m the only one who understands what is going on in all parties and that they need to really talk to each other and get to the root of the childhood pain that is driving their behaviour causing the rift.

    I think of these people as an important part of my life. I kind of counted on them to always be there. I’ll be seeing them a lot less or not at all now after the rift because mostly I saw them at organized church activities. I’m realizing that there are very few…too few… people who I have informal, casual or deep relationships with.

    Seeing how alone I am is disturbing. Tomorrow thank goodness I will be going to dinner and a movie with about 20 people in a social group for people over 50. I don’t see them often. It’s scary to me that at this moment they are my tie to sanity and normalcy. I hope the evening out will help me forget my deep and disturbing sense of aloneness for a while.

    But geez, if I hadn’t found this therapy, and if Barry and Gretchen weren’t the quality therapists who they are….keeping this therapy going, I’d sure be in trouble, if I’d have even made it this far.

  43. Magnolia says:

    I need to tell this, but not be obviously publicly identifiable, so please accept that, even though some of you will know the people involved. I just don’t quite feel safe from one person.

    Three years ago, my brother (not the one in PT) had two diabetic strokes, and remained afterwards in a wheelchair. He was active and not overweight, but did not seriously take his insulin regularly (sometimes from not having money, he borrowed from me). At first he seemed to improve, and was hopeful, but he got minimal support from his wife, who continually criticized his efforts. She refused to take him for physical therapy, claiming he wasn’t doing the exercises, while he said he was, it looked to me like he was giving up fighting for his needs. Well over a year ago, she took him out-of-town, to their storage-lockers in Bakersfield, and my other brother & I did not see them for a year, but in that time his health deteriorated to where in January, the hospital found a urine-burn on his back (which nurses told me happens from laying in it for awhile), and gangrene, so his toe had to be amputated. She would not let me know where he was and we had no contact for months. When they finally returned home in June, he was emaciated, and looked two steps from the grave. He asked me for a throw blanket and pants; he had on a diaper, but no pants, his legs covered by a blanket, so I got him the blanket & pants. But he claimed he was “getting better”, and that she was taking good care of him.

    I saw him one more time, in July, then nothing more until he died two Sundays ago. His wife came to tell me in the evening, that he had been in two hospitals for 9 days, was brought home late Saturday night, with a feeding tube installed. At 9:30 Sunday morning when she checked, all he could say was “pain pill”, but she somehow did not manage to give it to him, and when she got back to him an hour later, he was dead. She did not tell my other brother or me about any of his last two weeks, so we had no chance to visit him or say goodbye.

    As if that’s not bad enough, the week after he died, we received half-a-dozen long angry emails flogging us because we won’t give her money to pay for his funeral, and she wouldn’t tell us when the service will be because she doesn’t want us there unless we “show respect” by contributing. Her rants include detailed insults about everything she’s been angry at us about for over 40 years, justifications for her behavior, and lengthy diatribes about what a cult our “therapy” is, that has “manipulated” us into abandoning our family. She twists everything in her self-absorbed view of her victimhood, and almost never has admitted any responsibility for all her years-long problems.

    It continued this past week, with her latest news that my brother will remain frozen “almost indefinitely” at the mortuary, until she decides otherwise. So we have to accept he may never be cremated or buried. Her expressions of grief have been perhaps 10% about “yes, there were fond memories”, but then 90% about how awful he was as a provider, how incompetent, stupid, etc. She conducts “research”, and repeatedly “explains” in detail that our whole family has ASD, our intelligence is overrated, and she obviously wants us to admire her knowledge, wisdom, and “common sense”, and give her all the money and attention she wants, but also says she doesn’t care about.

    As you might imagine, I have had a lot of feelings on a number of levels, from recent years, back to memories of when he and I were toddlers together, when I felt we only had each other, because we didn’t really have our mom and dad. We never lost that affection for one another, even though we sometimes forgot about it over the years, and worse as his wife took over, and he repeatedly gave in to that. He said he mistreated her (drinking for 24 years), and still felt he had to “make up” for that (after 31 years sober). She never forgave or let him forget his guilt, and I believe he gave up the rest of his life for it. While remembering scenes of him throughout the years, I also realized I had “tried to save him” when he was little, and then throughout his life, but he was long-since lost to me, as he became lost to himself, in destructive behavior. We all lost the 20 or more years he should have had — talks, and meals, and things I will never get to do with him.

    I find his wife’s toxic emails also nauseating. They easily remind me of my mother’s bullying, and leave me overwhelmed in heavy feelings. So I am trying to skim them for bits I may need to know, and not get sucked in to her craziness so easily, but this is very hard for me to avoid — given the bad quality of my own childhood, that black-hole is always waiting for me.
    I took about 3 days off work, from just being too shaky, but with talking to my friends, I do feel like I am slowly recovering now. Just often sad.

    • Sylvia says:

      Gosh, Magnolia, so sorry for the loss of your brother. Please take care of yourself. What an ungrateful narcissistic in-law. She’s sounds crazy, like you say.
      Glad you can write about it here. Again, take care. Too much to process at once for you, so hope you are patient with yourself.

    • Larry says:

      It sounds like a horrible, horrible nightmare, Magnolia.

      • Magnolia says:

        Thanks, Larry. Every day, I still realize as I feel I am a little bit in shock, as if I can’t quite believe he’s gone, and all the bad stuff happened, and some is still happening.

    • Jo says:

      Magnolia, what an unbearable chain of events…I’m so sorry for the frequent loss and anguish of your brother over the years, and your final loss, though there is barely closure it would seem. It is so distressful for you with ongoing bombarding from crazy-inlaw.. I hope it has helped to write it down, and glad you are talking with friends.

      • Magnolia says:

        Thanks, Jo, it is quite crazy. Talking to my brother is very helpful, as he knows a lot of this first-hand, himself, and he has helped me in dealing with her, when I actually have to.

    • Phil says:

      Magnolia, I am so sorry. Such a terrible and disturbing story. I am glad you could write about it here on the blog and that you have your other brother and friends to talk to. I was already outraged and I’m shocked to hear what has happened now. I hope you will continue to write about all this here, if it helps.

      • Magnolia says:

        Thanks, Phil. I woke today feeling that writing was good, but also realizing that I am in a lot of inchoate fear, and somehow, writing the story down here, keeps that fear going, so I am having doubts that it was a good thing to post it. Somehow I can’t get away from the notion that she will find it and see it and “come after me”, even though part of me says that’s crazy and won’t happen. I feel that she is almost like a rabid animal, so much out of my control, and too close for comfort, hanging over my head. And some old feeling there! I feel almost like my skin could crawl with it. Leaves me feeling very insecure.

        I am going to try and focus more on doing practical, physical things today, and see if that relieves my fear or anxiety. I wrote the story here, because I didn’t like the feeling that I was somehow having to hide. I guess it’s that I want people to know she’s scaring me, and she is scary, truly a loose cannon, and I can hardly stand it. That feels more like my grandmother, who was a nightmare, and I had to sleep with her, and she kicked me awake at night, when I was 5 (saying I had moved in my sleep, kicking her). I have had parts of other feelings about her hauling off and slapping me silly, and hitting me for peeing when I was a baby. So I still can’t always distinguish between current and old fear.
        Again, thanks, Phil.

    • Magnolia says:

      Someone asked me, ‘Did he indicate to you what he wanted done with his remains?’

      I responded, ‘No he didn’t, but we all know he would have wanted to be buried next to his daughter in the family plot, if his wife could afford that. But he would not have been fussed about cremation. For her, I think a coffin is about twisted guilt, about “proving that she cared for him”, in spite of her inability to actually care for him, the reality of her neglect, which he played a part in, by not being stronger than he was.’

  44. feel like i have a bug that came out of nowhere and so i slept in most of the day. and so i did not go to barry’s group as i was hoping too. but going to group has always been a crapshoot for me anyways. beyond the bugl i feel devastated that summer is gone and i did no summer things this year. i am depressed out of my gourd, and there is no relief possible. i feel old and decrepit. i can’t wait to go back to work on tuesday. i slept all day, now my wife is napping, and there is nothing for me. i think i heard barry tell someone at the end of group way many years ago something like, go do something that you like to do. i could be wrong, i think i came into the big group room from some other room, i thought maybe the patient was saying he was devastated, and how was he going to stay sane once he left group. and that barry was saying, go do what you like to dom, you like to eat stir fry, go eat stir fry. i don’t know if i am right about the circumstances around barry saying go eat stir fry, but i am sure he said that. or maybe it was some other therapist, who knows? way back when i still was full of hope and not totally drenched in dispair as i am at the moment.

  45. in recent summers, my wife and i had gone to the beach a few times with my oldest son. i have not seen him in 2 years, since he moved back east to work. not that we were close, it was just mostly about ME getting something out of life that i somewhatf still enjoyed. i think the last time we all went together, i was out in the cool water up to my head, just soaking and people-watching. i went to the beach last year with my wife only, but it was pretty anxiety-raising for me for some reason. now going to see younger kid and his kids tomorrow evening. i am so fucking depressed. i can’t eat stir fry because my wife eats that every friday night after her meeting and she does not like to eat the same thing a second time in 2 days. i feel like i am crammed into a box, cornered, beaten down. too depressed to read your post, larry, maybe later. i go to get a burger or something, but it won’t help much at all.

    • Larry says:

      Don’t worry about reading my post, Otto. Doing something that you like to do sounds like good advice. But you must know that it’s important, since you hung on to the memory of a therapist giving that advice long ago.


  47. Margaret says:

    that is such a terrible story.
    it must have been so very frustrating and painful.
    i am so sorry for you.

    • Magnolia says:

      Thanks, Margaret. All too true. I know I have to, but it’s hard for me to just accept it, and “move on”. Too many deep feelings I have to fight, not to just pull me down to hopelessness. My brother goes back almost to my beginning, and the morass of my family. Images of decay, emptiness, and painful brutality keep coming back to me. I’m sure we all have that to feel. For me, his death has made it all more resonant.

      • FRED says:

        September 3, 2018

        Magnolia commented on Why am I in therapy? Nothing so horrific happened to me ! By Joanna.

        in response to Margaret:

        Magnolia, that is such a terrible story. it must have been so very frustrating and painful. i am so sorry for you. Margaret

        Thanks, Margaret. All too true. I know I have to, but it’s hard for me to just accept it, and “move on”. Too many deep feelings I have to fight, not to just pull me down to hopelessness. My brother goes back almost to my beginning, and the morass of my family. Images of decay, emptiness, and painful brutality keep coming back to me. I’m sure we all have that to feel. For me, his death has made it all more resonant.



        I love those trees, by the way. They conjure up images of the more genteel aspects of The South. I lived in Oklahoma, though not truly the South and I could be wrong, but I believe there were a few varieties or species of Magnolias that could live there, or at least in eastern Oklahoma, like Muskogee, maybe even Tulsa.

        It seems to me that your morass exactly that, kind of a knot of feelings.

        I don’t believe anyone could integrate this on this form. It seems that one would need to objectify the entire gestalt (gestalt, NOUN, psychology: an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts).

        In this way there isn’t such subjective reaction.

        In my opinion, this is actually the process whereby true primals are allowed (whether we are aware of it or not).

        My experience is that we develop a skill in “primaling” by gradually learning to divert focus from impediments such as a war-wagon of depression, anger, feelings-of-failure, feelings-of-hopelessness. This allows a pathway for real feelings because the ego is more flexible with the more trusting and thus more adventuresome.

        Steve Stills said it well in his song: “We Are Not Helpless”.

        To “objectify”, say a big, inter-tangled, judged-as-negative ball of disparate (and basically un-assimilatable emotional flotsam and jetsum) is a conscious effort (and an affirmation) of the fundamentally innocent and childlike nature of the human psyche.

        For me, when this kind of stuff comes up, if I remember, I simply say to myself: “This is a belief (feeling) about reality, not a condition of reality.

  48. very angry. Or depressed probably mostly old feelings. my wife got money from her college which she thinks is hers to spend however she wants. this is actually student loan money. she has racked up close to $ 100,000 in student loan debt in the past few years, half of which is for these fucking “grants”. she did hot really even tell me she was getting these at the beginning of this mess, a few years back. She will have a masters degree and still keep earning less than $1000 a month for the next few years that she is able to work. If she did find a good paying job, she would need the car to drive to work. I would be back on the bus like I was when our kids were young. 3 hours on the bus a day, how good a father was I going to be after that horrible trek? Yes, I wasn’t. whenever she makes more money, she fucking spends it all anyways. i told her she had to discuss with me EVERY expenditure from now on when i found out she had gotten $7000 this time. I told her she would need to save every bit of it for her rotting teeth. yeah yeah yeah. no she doesnt. no she wont stop. i am tired of living with this bullshit. there is no real solution. i feel trapped and tortured and angry and cheated. there is no solution. divorce would cost me even more. i am just writing to say how much i hate her and what a fucking drunk she is. I am not wishing to turn anyone against her. i just need to take a tiny bit of anger off of myself. she just cannot stop herself. another one of her crowns fell off 2 days agoi. i owe $10,000 for prior years of her brentwood dentistry and am waiting for the creditor to take me to court, since i cannot pay them. there is no solution but is there any reason at all that i should like her? Mother of our children. A fine fine human being, other than the fact that she has tortured me for 42 years plus with this insane behavior, including the sink being constantly full of dishes, the broom never touching her hands. I wash her dishes, mountains of dishes, and 1 day later, the sink is full of the entire 5 loads of her dirty dishes again. joint sessions did not help like i said there is a ton of old feeling attached to this. nothing i can do, my life is shit. we saw the grandkids and my son last night. which was ok. but i am fucking tired of this shit. drowning in shit. I feel cheated. no solutions. My eyes are getting worse and I am too depressed to go to the eye doctor or the heart doctor or 5 other doctors I am supposed to go to. Work has become too too impossible. Retirement with this b is not going to happen. My retirement will consist of someone finding me face down on the floor at work, finally at peace. I cannot even approach any of the old feelings in this situation. Cannot cry or scream about this. Cannot afford therapy for myself, ever. We got married because she said her parents would give us money for primal therapy. Ha. What a laugh. I take this up the ass because that is the way I was raised, but I doubt if ANYONE could get her to stop her asshole behavior. Well, not really. When I die she will find some asshole who will tame her. After she has spent my life insurance money within 2 days. What fucking ever. Leave me the fuck alone. i know I am an asshole also. Fuck off everyone. She wonders why I am angry with asshole drivers on the road. Ha. Well maybe saying this on the blog will keep me from being angry with her. Please do not try to help. I just needed to say this. There is no fucking solution to her insanity.

    • Magnolia says:

      Divorce has got to be better than being a doormat and feeling like shit for the rest of your life. I am sorry, but get a clue. Be worth it to yourself. Otherwise you must want to stay frozen in fear, which is worse — that is a lot of what my brother did, and it did kill him.

    • Larry says:

      For any normal couple I would say, at least to myself, it sounds like the end of the marriage to me.

    • Phil says:

      Otto, that sounds so bad. There must be something you can do that would be an improvement. I don’t know what it would be, but that’s my reaction. Phil

      • FRED says:

        September 5, 2018

        Otto, that sounds so bad. There must be something you can do that would be an improvement. I don’t know what it would be, but that’s my reaction. Phil

        Let’s see now. Is there “something” one can do to improve the subjective experience in life? Let’s see.

        ¶ Firstly, let’s explore psychology, more specifically therapy, which in this society is a common recourse individuals take when they feel that the subjective quality of their life experience is, on an ongoing basis, not acceptable when contrasted with whatever criteria or expectations held by the person concerning what daily life should be.

        Cutting to the chase, in 1970 Arthur Janov, a practicing psychologist in then-unincorporated West Hollywood, California, introduced to the world a radical new psychotherapy which he called Primal Therapy. The introduction came in the form of a riveting book “The Primal Scream, Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis”. For a certain segment of the mostly under-35 population in the English-speaking world, the book, theory and therapy became a cause célèbre, that is, it generated worldwide excitement and controversy, among these Seekers as well as the larger psychological establishment.

        Here, then are a few possibly apropos quotes from the late Dr. Janov, whose life work is the raison d’être of this blog, and the Primal Institute itself.

        On psychology (from Random Thoughts, Arthur Janov–date omitted and now unknown)
        If the field of psychology understood and accepted the notion that healing can only occur in its ORIGINAL CONTEXT, it would immediately change the face of the profession.

        FRED: In my opinion, one must realize that Dr. Janov is a revolutionary. A commitment to Primal Therapy will almost certain be “disillusioning”. It well may be that if an individual really “gets going” and uncovers a lot of previously pushed-aside emotional information, that the “Post Primal” nirvana is not exactly Shangri La. This said, one MUST be loving and gentle to oneself. In the interest of full disclosure, I am far from this ideal. I’ve been known, albeit unconsciously, to flagellate myself, sometimes mercilessly.

        On repression (from Random Thoughts, Arthur Janov–date omitted and now unknown)
        The number one killer in the world today is not cancer or heart disease. It is repression. Unconsciousness is the real danger, and neurosis the real killer. In order to lie, you need to know the truth. The BODY ALWAYS tells the truth, and overwhelming truths force the mind to lie.

        FRED: And this, in my humble opinion, is an almost quantum understatement. I believe, and it is simply an unproven belief of mine, that the “mysteries of the universe” are mostly hidden away by the iron grip of Repression.

        It seems as if Janov was, in a way, wrong. We don’t live in a half-world as he stated in one of his books, but more like 90 percent of our kundalini energy (life’s energy) is spent in the service of repression! If the RAM in your computer were slowed down by all this percent, I dare say, you would scream out in utter frustration and would do EVERYTHING in your power to change the situation but, sadly we humans don’t feel quite the exigency when it comes down to the personal self.

        On “Leaky Gates: When Repression Fails (from “Why You Get Sick, How You Get Well, The Healing Power of Feelings”, pg 97-8, Dove Books ©1996, Dr. Arthur Janov)
        But if the pain is too great, something strange happens: It turns into no pain. There is an amount of pain above which agony DECREASES, and intolerable level that sets repression in motion. Reactivity diminishes and pain abates. The feeling goes into storage. There is no longer a grimace or a cry for help…

        FRED: I hope Janov is saying more or less, that the only thing that suffering does is to teach us how not to suffer. That said, I believe that at least some of we “primalers” understand that the goal is not to suffer more, not to suffer less per se; but that it is to assimilate the ideation, integrate the feelings, transmute the condition that I believe Dr. Janov calls neurosis.

        I think that we sense that there is a not-totally-definable Knowing and that the stated goal of finding the cure for the suffering is simply reclaiming our true (but largely “lost”) heritage as humans.

        Anything that argues against that–e.g., a conviction-that-we are powerless, implied in the statement “Must be something you can do”–is an abdication, hopefully temporary.

        I believe we “primalers” sense in our Knowing that there indeed IS “something you can do”, i.e., it is exigent in that the voice of Daniel’s Feeling Child (see blog, “In Memory of Arthur Janov” By Daniel) that is calling us on, beckoning us to follow a New Path that leads into uncharted waters, yet paradoxically into a world that, strangely enough, is not the Unknown we always feared but the Known! We knew it all time or as the Egyptian guy in the 1981 movie, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, exclaimed when the revelation came upon him vis-a-vis the Ark of the Covenant, “We’re digging in the wrong place!”

        On inability to integrate (from “Why You Get Sick, How You Get Well, The Healing Power of Feelings”, pg 192-93, Dove Books ©1996, Dr. Arthur Janov)
        Until that (ability to integrate without drugs) happens a person can be driven by feelings he cannot recognize because the precise message never reaches conscious-awareness. Worse, the unconscious feelings warp our conscious appreciation of them so that by the time we can “rationally” discuss them, their meaning has been obscured.

        FRED: Can we accept this at face value, that is, that partly underlying our daily reality is a Larger Vitality, for the most part, excluded from awareness because of our own fearful judgements (inculcated psycho-physiologically in gestation-birth-babyhood-infancy-toddlerhood-early childhood-childhood-adolescence), with their concomitant innocent-in-themselves feelings, but that warp (morally unfairly) our experience?

        An Afterthought
        FRED: Would that I add this afterthought. I have only personally met the late Dr. Janov one time and that was a very brief 2-paragraph discussion in1998 at his Primal Center at an event called “Primal Therapy in the New Millennium”.

        I am aware of criticisms of him personally and of his capriciousness that some people who knew him have articulated. I am aware of an hypocrisy when contrasting his books to his “real self” that many think was glaring.

        I personally am in no position to rule on these statements but I don’t doubt that there was not at least some validity.

        As a result, I am perfectly willing to stipulate that he was a flawed Moses, but a Moses he was, and that is the most important thing. He gave us ENOUGH, enough of a guide to get to The Promised Land, even if he himself were stranded on a mountain overlooking it (“Post Primal-land”). The guide is quite well laid-out too, a little something for everyone: the intellectual, the angry guy, the weeping willow, the traumatized.

        Arthur Janov was the only human who could have done what he did, that is, utilize his genius to assemble a vast body of work over his lifetime. There was no one else. He was effectively a Prophet cum laude.

        Above I stated that “firstly”, we should look at psychology. Here is “secondly”, “thirdly”, “fourthly”.

        ¶ Secondly, if psychology is not your cup of tea at this time, try the nobler aspects of Judeo-Christian thought. I kind of like the Ten Commandments and the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt; and the Eight Beatitudes of Jesus, especially “Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted”. Exploring this world is not a fool’s errand. Moses and Christ did not incarnate into this reality out of their own personal ego.

        A truly well-made movie that even atheists would enjoy is the 1977 mini-series, “Jesus of Nazareth”, that appeared over Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday weekends on NBC. The cast is magnificent, stunning: Laurence Olivier, Anne Bancroft, Ernest Borgnine, Christopher Plummer, James Mason, Michael York, Anthony Quinn, Rod Steiger, Olivia Hussy as “Mary”. Need I say more; need I rue how far Hollywood has fallen in 40 years!?

        The DVD is 6½ hours but it is excellent film-making, by Italian director Franco Zeffirelli, shot in 1976 in Tunisia and Morocco. Zeffirelli directed the acclaimed 1968 adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. Enough said.

        ¶ Thirdly, explore alternate reality stuff. It can especially help the damaged individuals (like me). I like Near Death Experience-videos on YouTube, some channeled material books. If you seek, you will find. What these can do is provide succor that we survive death, i.e., that there is a soul.

        ¶ Fourthly, read great literature such as the aforementioned Shakespeare. Silly me, I like Larry McMurtry and Philip Roth. Such wisdom!

        Try the fantastic book “Therapy Gone Wild” about the Center for Feeling Therapy, by Carol Lynn Mithers. This center “broke off” from the Primal Institute in 1971. At first, it seemed they simply left over a few small differences with Dr. Janov, but soon that changed. I was completed riveted. I took a day off from work in June 2001 to finish it. I had been in that center in 1972. As it turns out, I live not far from where their “compound” was above Sunset in western Hollywood near the Ralphs grocery story. I got in my car that morning, over and over playing “Empty Garden” by Elton John, his great tribute to John Lennon. I drove to the exact location of the compound and pulled over and wept my eyes out, in effect, a primal; for those people, of my generation, those seekers.

  49. Magnolia, so sorry about your brother. it must be horribly painful.

  50. i cant feel much myself. wife begged to go to the beach so we drove down to santa monica in the late afternoon with the dog. many people. nice breeze. ok walk with the ocean in our view.. drove home and listened to old country songs on the radio. they never ever play such good songs but the clouds parted on that ride home. she never much likes music. of course all the young and other happy people we saw at the beach make me feel like a relic. wife stroke me and we hold hands. songs make me sad. some make her lauigh. well of course some country songs are hilarious in their premises. but i am so so sad. wish i could cry. Sammi Smith – Help Me Make It Though The Night https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLQAAxcBTQs

  51. Margaret says:

    that sounds like some tenderness is still there between you two.
    maybe that is a way in to communicating, at least I keep hoping you can indeed find a way to improve things in one way or another.
    so good you share here, you are not on your own.

  52. whether my emails to democrat senators grilling kavanaugh have any effect on these democrat’s “attack, comeon boys, lets go, bayonets on!”, it is certainly an old-feeling rising when i see these attacks look like they could work. makes me cry. i am heard.

  53. M, are right. i just will use anything to keep from getting close. a little better now.

  54. ALL RIGHT BOYS, OVER THE HILL! THIS IS IT! Bring On The Lucie (Freda Peeple) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q90TEF-Ph3g

  55. Margaret says:

    it is so sad that what you need most is also what you fear most.
    it might also be one way into some huge feelings which could relieve some of your ever present pain.
    wishing you the best.

    • FRED says:

      I would add to that:

      Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted AND:

      In the stead of conscious, integrating mourning, the body-and-psyche-as-one will mourn in their own way but a toll will be extracted for this is the Way of Repression.

      Also, I too was and still am going to write a letter! Isn’t this strange?

      For weeks, on my To-Do List, I’ve written down the intention of writing a letter to former Nevada Senator Harry Reid, who admitted that he lied about tax returns of Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.

      I submit this from The Washington Examiner, 3/31/2015

      Harry Reid, D-Nev. has no regrets about his 2012 claims that then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney paid no taxes for 10 years. The outgoing Senate Minority Leader even bragged to CNN that the comments, which had been described as McCarthyism, helped keep Romney from winning the election. “They can call it whatever they want. Romney didn’t win did he?”, Reid said.

      In my letter I plan to ask: “So the means justify the ends?; and all is fair in love and war and politics, even intentional false witness?”.

  56. jackwaddington says:

    Hi anyone: I am not getting emails of postings to this blog and suspect I once did not cgeck ther boxes supplied when submitting a post. Now I don’t get those check boxes. I’ve tgrien in vain to contact wordpress to no avail. Anyone any ideas. Jack

  57. Jo says:

    I never get emails re posts! I’ve tried every which way, nothing works..so I just check in daily

  58. Leslie says:

    Canadian style policing with a shout-out to Larry! 🙂
    ( musical video spoof of Backstreet Boys song Margaret)

    • FRED says:

      September 9, 2018

      “Still I’m Sad”, by the Yardbirds, from 1965 I think resonates with the rather emotionally sober people who have, or are going through Primal Therapy as well as “Primal”-fellow travelers who have read Janov’s book, maybe several of them. Therefore, I believe it qualifies as a “Primal Song”, maybe like “Puff, the Magic Dragon” does in different way.

      For me I feel another connection too, to the love of my life, my beautiful wife Suzanne Virginia Evans.

      There are actually four verses in the song but the first and third are “instrumental” only. I’ve written additional lyrics for those two verses. The other two are by the two members of the Yardbirds, listed below.

      Still I’m Sad, The Yardbirds, ©1965
      Songwriters: James Stanley McCarty , Paul Samwell-Smith
      © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

      by Fred: additional lyrics for the first verse where, on the recording are only guitar and drums.
      All creation rejoices at the early summer dawn
      “This day is new”, the angels whisper, so green the fresh-mown lawn
      The pain and grief your soul presents awake you from a sleep
      A crow above, it looks down on you, as you begin to weep
      Out loud
      Still I’m sad

      See the stars come falling down from the sky
      Gently passing they kiss your tears when you cry
      See the wind come softly blow your hair from your face
      See the rain, hide away in disgrace!
      Still I’m sad

      By Fred and the rock group, Rainbow, where in actual recording entire verse is guitars
      Look into the mirror and you see a mocking face
      All those plans, your true love made are rendered into waste
      Autumn storms bring darker days, the drops they play their role.
      Chilly rain and bolts of light they crash
      Upon your soul
      So hard.
      Still I’m sad.

      For myself my tears just fall into dust
      Day will dry them, nights will find they are lost
      Now I find the wind is blowing time into my heart
      Let the rain fall for we are apart!
      How I’m sad.
      How I’m sad
      Oh, how I’m sad.

    • Larry says:

      Ha. Nice to see the nice side of Saskatoon, Leslie. 🙂 Of course Saskatoon has its skeletons in the closet, too.

    • Larry says:

      Looks to me like it was filmed during our smoky skies this summer, Leslie.

    • FRED says:

      Brave new world! Some areas ARE overpopulated, India horrible example. I know a guy whose wife is from there. On the other hand there is plenty of room to grow in others.

      What disturbs me the most is how we don’t recycle. So many materials could be kept out of landfills. I live in a so-called “progressive” area. I assiduously recycle. Having lived here 24 years, I’m sad to report this is the exception, not the rule.

      Over the years, people thrown away electronic waste such as computer monitors. I can’t count how many times I’ve found used batteries in trash bins (not even acceptable for the blue “Recycle” bins).

      Every Sunday I bring out the bins for Monday pickup (somehow over the years it’s fallen to me to be the trash guy). There ALWAYS are lots and lots of recyclables in the black bins; glass, plastic containers, cartons, etc. I have gotten material from the West Hollywood City Hall and distributed it to EVERY tenant over the year. It is to no avail. People can’t be bothered. They ABSOLUTELY don’t walk their talk.

      LA streets are a disgrace. People litter without conscience. Some of this goes into the storm drains and is washed into the oceans. Now there are metal nets where the drains meet the water and most of the MASSIVE debris is caught but it is ALL TOO MUCH.

      Here is a final terrible story. Around Thanksgiving 1999, a guy behind us (my wife and me) died of complications of AIDS. His partner/caretaker threw USED medical waste including hypodermic needles into the black bins (trash). I must infer that his belief that the health of the Hispanic trash worker was worth less than the more “privileged” people living on this street in West Hollywood.

      At any rate, these attitudes are the rules, not the exceptions in my experience going back to the 1990s. These truly endless experiences have helped me realize the profound hypocrisy of progressives, or “the left”.

      I’ve learned a lot about the city council of West Hollywood over the years also. Short version is that it is up for sale (to developers), and that sexual and job harassment is alive and well in the gay community. There have been a number of pay-outs of lawsuits which of course, come out of the pockets of the residents of West Hollywood.

  59. Finally: after one hour of trying various things, and trying to respond to Magnolia I now have the check boxes.


  60. Vicki says:

    Margaret, this excerpt from the linked article should interest you, if you haven’t seen it already:

    Blitab’s debut product, a portable tablet (also called Blitab) designed for blind and visually impaired people …”will soon be available for pre-order on our website,” Ms. Tsvetanova said. “We plan to ship by the end of the year.” Design-wise, Blitab looks like any other tablet-style device. It is slightly thicker than an iPad… Blitab’s liquid-based technology to create tactile relief …that outputs content in the Braille alphabet… alters the surface of the tablet to convert text, maps and graphics into Braille, by creating a rising sensation under the user’s fingertips. “Blitab can translate any type of content into Braille using our cloud-based software and displays one page of content at a time”. Priced at around $500. The impact of Blitab on the lives of visually impaired people is potentially enormous. “Only 1 percent of published books is available in Braille,” she said.

  61. Margaret says:

    that is very nice of you, but I almost never use braille, as all my devices are working very well with Voice Over, as it is a standard part of any Apple device and is very flexible and has numerous options.
    that works much faster and easier than braille, unless for some people who have used braille since childhood but even they mostly work now with a combination of speech at least.
    but it stays very useful for people with a double disability, hearing and vision impaired, they are truely dependent on braille.
    but thanks very much for thinking of me and making the effort to share this.

  62. Mmmmm! still not getting emails. Ha ha! Maybe I’ve been banned for some behavior I’m totally oblivious of . AND I stupidly thought I was cured. 😦 shame on me. Jack

  63. Phil says:

    Here’s an interesting article, it’s about declining sperm counts in men found in studies over the last 50 years, mostly in developing countries. But there’s reason to think that it will happen to men in all areas of the world eventually.
    It’s not the first I’ve seen this, but there are more details in this piece, and it makes some predictions for the future. Birth rates will start going down because of decreasing male fertility, to the point that there might only be high tech babies. Men no longer will be men, because of drastically decreasing testosterone levels, and the changes will be inherited epigenetically. In the future, through technology, women will be able to conceive without men. The truth is, this could solve a lot of world problems, like over population etc. It’s thought that some chemical pollutants in the environment are responsible because they are endocrine disrupters, and are unavoidable and ubiquitous around us. Nothing is being done about this.. What isn’t mentioned is that you might think that animal populations would also be effected.


    • Larry says:

      Thanks for bringing to our attention the interesting article, Phil. Personally I don’t feel like declining sperm counts is a bad thing. I feel like the greatest threat to current and future life on our planet is burgeoning human population size. We are too many people exerting too much demand on Earth’s ecosystems and finite resources. The distortion of the biosphere caused by the sheer force of the demand exerted by our numbers looks to be leading us along an accelerating spiral of suffering.

      • Phil says:

        Sperm counts have been reduced drastically, shown in multiple studies, and the graph is pointing down, over 50 years with no let up. It’s just another sign of how severely we’ve effected the environment. The article speculates about our extinction, since reproduction wouldn’t be possible. In another 50 years it’s probable that reproduction would only be possible artificially. We are entering or will be entering very dire times.


  64. Still no emails even after checking the “Notify me of new comments via email.” and the “Notify me of new posts via email” check boxes Maybe age is catching up with me … or something. Ah well!!! BUT I did love those emails.. Jack

    • Phil says:

      Jack, after checking off those boxes and posting, there may be a confirmation email containing a button you have to click.

      • Sylvia says:

        Also, Jack, on the top of this web page on the right side is an email subscription to sign up. And further down, below the blog calendar is more kinds of sign ups from word press you might check out (I’m not sure what they are) are under “meta.” Good luck.

  65. Margaret says:

    just want to write a few words.
    have been on the seaside last weekend, and went sailing there on sunday, accompanied by my best girlfriend and two owners of a very nice yacht.
    we sailed over 30 sea miles, so almost 60 kilometers, with nice weather, and we spotted one brown ‘dolphin’. but it is clear sailing on the sea on such a yacht is not as active as sailing on a smaller vessel, simply less tasks to do. steering was nice, but that was it, otherwise just enjoying the company, wind, water and sun. felt slightly almost seasick but no throwing up.
    had a nice weekend with that friend there.
    now yesterday evening fell of bed at home, playing with one of the cats and had to go to emergency with a very sore wrist.
    it did not seem to be broken, but badly sprained so it is taped in now and mostly out of use for any task that needs even a little bit of force or turning movements.
    but it could have been much much worse.
    it was frightening and a hassle to go there but I was lucky to get nice taxi drivers and a fairly fast treatment there.
    yeah, dangerous being on bed after all the sports, haha…

  66. Margaret says:

    thanks Phil, Jack, Sylvia and Larry.
    those reactions feel heartwarming right now as it is getting hard trtying to do chores and even typing with one injured hand….
    but well, it could have been so much worse…
    and I can’t blame the cat as it was my own ‘playful’ jump off the bed I had planned, but initiated from a very bad starting point near the edge…
    still I like it I was feeling so up to want to jump off like that, which goes well normally, smiley
    ok off to try and clean the litterboxes now with my left hand…

  67. Leslie says:

    “Wild Geese” poem by Mary Oliver that I like…

  68. Sylvia says:

    Thank you for the lovely poem, Leslie, it was very soothing.

    • Leslie says:

      Glad you like the poem Larry and Sylvia – me too.
      I don’t read poetry regularly Larry but do like when I come across something that moves me.

  69. hot ahd crahky, not sure if related in any way to last night group. more like it is muggy here, which drives me up a wall. i feel the need to come oh blog and spread my misery around, so don’t look to me for any joyous or comlmiserating remarks. wife is on phone with my son who is in ohio. of course the 2 of them have dis-included me for years. mostly it is her, i think. buit it brings up my sense of loss, grief, desappointment, lack of anything in my life from almost the beginning. actually, from the beginning, since i grew in my mom’s womb, her womb and body that were depressed (i assume) from the death of my father early in her pregnancy.

  70. i have a hard time speaking up in group to others in the group, and also about myself. i used to ask a questioh to somebody who was speaiking, maybe one group out of 10, but now i am afraid to say a thng that will impact a person’s feelihg that they might be going into. also my very depressed and negative manner of speakihng probably affects people in a bad way, at least that is one thought i had last night. i asked one person if she was still going to school before the group started and she said yes, or sometihing and i gave a dismal and depressed ‘yeah’ to what ever she responded. had had the power to speak last night, i would have remarfed on it in group. i felt i was giving that person a discouraging word, and i knew she did not need negativity abouit school.

    • Phil says:

      I would say you should go ahead and say something in group, if you feel like it, and not worry too much about impacting someone. Especially since I’m hearing you don’t usually speak up. It sounds like you had things to say.

  71. Sylvia says:

    Fred, i know what you are saying about existential things or how the universe rules. I guess the astrologers would say the general plan is all laid out. Growing up I’ve had to use my intuition a lot so i plugged into the idea too that things happen a certain way to be able to make sense of the world around me. I’m thinking all kids are probably good at this. I haven’t always been correct in my observations. When my best friend was pregnant with her child i said to my mom and brother: “I wonder if ‘K’ will have a boy.” They both answered, “No, I see her as having a girl.” Like they could see what type of person would have a girl, and she did give birth to a little girl. Then maybe again this is just being in tune with ours and other’s biology. I guess it is satisfying to know the universe should go a certain way–unless, of course you are at the bottom rung.

    So I guess you are saying that your friend would not be open to reading a primal book. I know people too, that I care about, who could benefit from feeling, who would resent being given a book about feelings to help with their bad childhood (of growing up in foster homes.) Some will automatically say, no, that’s not for me. How cheery a subject. Let’s hope some of those abreactors at the ’73 group found their way to true primal healing.

    • Phil says:

      Your mother and brother had a 50% chance of being right that your friend would have
      a girl. So, that probably wasn’t any special ability or anything.

      • Sylvia says:

        Phil, I think there are other variables too, scientifically speaking. Do some women carry eggs that are more receptive to the female chromosome of the sperm and we intuitively see that? I don’t know. Supposedly what you eat, an alkaline diet or acid can make the reproductive environment more hospitable for either the sperm or egg to determine the gender at conception, (I forget if it’s the egg or sperm is affected.) But anyway they had a feeling about that, that she would have a girl. I don’t expect the scientific mind goes that route. Differences make the world go ’round, as they say.

    • FRED says:

      September 15, 2018


      Dear Dr. Janov,

      First and foremost, Dr. Janov, I come not to bury you or your legacy, but to praise you for your life’s work and for your perfect timing vis-a-vis, your introduction of “the Primal Scream” into the (the largely English-speaking) world. Your insights and subsequent commitment to this “cause” until your very death very much changed, for the better, the lives of many people. Moreover, the Psychological Establishment, in all its self-congratulatory arrogance, will never be the same for they will never quite have power they had amassed.

      It’s been almost a year since your departure from this plane. I’m wondering if one year ago, on September 15, 2017, you were conscious and if you had an idea that your days were numbered. I suppose this isn’t really important in the grand scheme of things but I do believe that the date of one’s physical death (in your case, October 1, 2017) is not random, that is, that one dies when he or she decides upon it even if that decision is usually not conscious but I digress.

      I only met you once, on April 27, 1998, at your public workshop “Primal Therapy in the Millennium” and that was only a brief exchange, but I’ve read more than half of your books, the first being “The Primal Scream” in August, 1971. It was perfect timing for me. The book changed the course of my life. There was a kind of synchronicity for me.

      I wonder about your “current”reality.

      Are you able to “look in” on this dimension and perceive what your acolytes, apostles and other admirers are doing?

      Do you believe we are leaderless?

      Do you think, in any way large or small, that you may have misled your disciples, acting in some ways as a kind of “Primal guru”, making Primal Theory as a kind of de facto religion?

      When you were alive, you rather avoided any questions of why each individual had such disparate and idiosyncratic (your word) life-histories, “existential questions” if you will; but upon physical death were you “forced” to face this “dead zone” in your ideational framework about the nature of personal reality?

      Be honest. Do you think you could honestly answer “I did” to the Biblical admonition (Luke 4:23) “Physician, heal thyself”?; or were you, in reality, a relative neophyte as this process of accessing, allowing, integrating and understanding feelings and their relationship to personal reality?

      Dr. J, I did want to tell you. Because of your life’s work I have learned to really cry again. This was especially beneficial in my life’s path, for example, when my dad died in 2/04/1977 or mom on 12/29/2014; but the “skill” is hardly reserved to deaths of loved ones. It has so helped me in certain relationship situations such as with “lost loves”, extremely painful work situations, my move to Southern California more than 30 years ago, when I learned my cat in Oklahoma did in 1991 and even the first time I heard a couple of recordings on “The Apartment Tapes”, a 2-CD set of early recordings of Buddy Holly including his adolescent and teen years. For all these kinds of events I was able to primal. Thank you!; no words for the gratitude.

      Your very extensive writings, much of it that I’ve read (usually the less scientific), my being in Primal Therapy and my own life-long dedication to my own personal “salvation” have enabled me to expand and deepen my ability to primal.

      Most mornings these days, the “Pain” shows itself to my awareness. I now seem to be brave and intrepid enough to listen to The Feeling Child and oftentimes I can down and allow my feelings, the tears of sadness, the infant-anger, the frustration to flow.

      I want at this time to make only one other point but will expand on this in subsequent posts.

      Although I see you as a visionary, I believe we’ve just begun. I base this partly on my own experience. See, good doc, I had The Primal in November, 1996.

      If you will recall, I tried to tell you about it in 1998 but you wouldn’t listen. I forgive you of course. The massive, non-drug induced opening in my psyche altered my direction because now I had a much more profound reference point.

      Moreover, I am still downloading from it. It was truly the Breakthrough I intuitively knew was possible. It lasted, I’m going to say, 20 or so minutes but it opened, for lack of a better term, a portal. Possibly from your vantage point, you may be able to perceive this series of events in my life. If, because you have an expanded perspective in your reality but before you can actually explore a personal experience of someone here in this reality, you require permission from that person, I grant it to you.

      I was not a chosen one in any way. I had the experience because I, to use another Biblical saying: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). If I am nothing else, I’m a seeker!; maybe that’s sad. Maybe that’s pathetic but it is my lot in life.

      If it is at all possible (and I understand that your wife France Janov has stated that she’s received communications from you), I would much appreciate any input to any member of this blog, any patient at any “primal center”, anyone else who has an interest, and in any form of communication I would appreciate your input as to where the Primal Movement should go in the coming years.

      Finally, do you not think that there is a kind of insistent Now, a Spacious Now, that more and more demands an attitude of exigency about the healing of mankind?

      • Larry says:

        I wish that he is listening to you, Fred.

        • FRED says:

          One possibility is that, upon leaving his body, he had the panoramic life review in which all events of one’s life are “relived” in an instand. This kind of experience is common in people who’ve had “Near Death Experience”. There are innumerable videos on Youtube and a lot of literature.

          Possibly Dr. Janov feels a “responsibility” to “come back” and right certain errors.

          Who know? He may be looking for you to step up, take over the reigns, bring a measure of “reform” to the Primal movement; you or maybe Barry.

          I believe in, what is termed, reincarnation, and for many years I’ve speculated about such things. I’m fairly certain that this kind of motivation explains a lot of life circumstances. It’s actually a complex subject.

          Standing the chance of receiving much ridicule, since I was five I “remembered” two very similar past lives in early medieval England, both as a peasant. It is hard to explain this kind of knowing. At five I could not even articulate this but I “knew”.

          I had an past life “movie” play out in a dream when I was 19. Over the years I’ve had a number of “past life” memories. This may be heretical to Primal Theory.


          • Fred: Upon your letter to Art:-
            What was the mailing address you sent your letter to, OR are you writing this letter to us on this blog, to make a point of your opinion. 🙂 I suspect the later.
            “Do you think, in any way large or small, that you may have misled your disciples” I don’t feel he did any particular misleading. The theory is very simple and straight forward. It is the neurotic us (and that sure includes you Fred), that confuses what he stated and his intent on stating it, that, to me, is the cause of most of the confusion. Especially when you seem to see him as some sort of Indian “Guru”. The other is your choice of words suggesting, we his patients, are “disciples” … there’s a religious belief connotation in there somewhere; which as I see it, was another ‘fairy story’ imbued into us little children, that promoted neurosis IMO.

            “you rather avoided any questions of why each individual had such disparate and idiosyncratic (your word) life-histories,”. I don’t think that is unique to Art Janov. It’s sort of obvious the we each had different background from different location, and in different times.

            “if you will; but upon physical death were you “forced” to face this “dead zone” in your ideational framework about the nature of personal reality?”. Another:- “Do you think you could honestly answer “I did” to the Biblical admonition (Luke 4:23) “Physician, heal thyself”?”.
            He did put himself through his own therapy and took two years off to do it: according to his own writings. Your words here Fred suggest (subliminally) you put more faith in biblical writings than in contemporary psychological work, especially Art’s contribution to that body of work.

            “….my own life-long dedication to my own personal “salvation” have enabled ….”. There you go again making religions analogies. Life is pretty straight forward:- you’re conceived, born, go through life sensing it all as best you know how then you die. Just like all other creatures and vegetation. All this reincarnation and other life stuff is our best way at keeping ourselves from our own separate truths. My truth is not necessarily your truth.

            ” I tried to tell you about it in 1998 but you wouldn’t listen. “. I doubt he wasn’t listening, and suspect he felt you were more than a little off track. However he did admit on one his blogs that he was not perfect. None of us are … depending on what ‘perfection’ is

            As I understand it; when someone, you are deeply in love with dies, there is a tendency to feel, somehow we are still able to communicate with them. That is sort of natural, particularly if the valance of the love is very, very deep. That does not validate that one is able to do so. It’s just another feeling.

            “One possibility is that, upon leaving his body, he had the panoramic life review in which all events of one’s life are “relived” in an instan[t]. This kind of experience is common in people who’ve had “Near Death Experience”. There are innumerable videos on Youtube and a lot of literature.
            Possibly Dr. Janov feels a “responsibility” to “come back” and right certain errors.” Fred; you are still in this neurotic (my take) quasi religions mode. Sort of “A returen of the Messiah”. It’s common and shown down history that many had reliving events BUT all EXPLAINED it in spiritual/religious terms … because it kept the ‘denial’ intact.. My own mother and brother had it and resorted to it as:- “a calling from God”. Even Michael Holden fell into the very same trap … in-spite of the protestations form many of the therapist at that time.

            “I believe in, what is termed, reincarnation, and for many years I’ve speculated about such things. I’m fairly certain that this kind of motivation explains a lot of life circumstances. It’s actually a complex subject.”. Fred it may seem to explain ‘life’s motivation’ to you, BUT you can only speak for yourself. I feel it is NOT a “complex subject”
            I ask you to bear in mind what I have said in replying to you. I feel you complicate and convolute things for yourself. Not uncommon for most of us since we each are ‘recovering’ neurotics … and it’s a never ending process. I get the feeling YOU ARE LOOKING FOR SOME SORT OF FINALE.


  72. other thjings i would have asked people, if i was not afraid of iintruding on their feeling: “was your father a farmer?” and something else. to tell you the truth, gretchen, i asked you a few groups back about what Art would have considered a grave mistake by a therapist, and your used what i wouild call a primal jargon word, which i cannot remember, but i took it to mean, dont kick the damn patient away from what he is saying that oould be feeling-related. so now i am more paranoid than ever about saying something to another patient. somewnere in my past, one or more times or another, i said something that brought pain to me. for example

  73. for example, my aunt was giving me a bath when i was 5 or 6 or 7 maybe, and i was washing my chest vigorously anc i exhuberantly told her that i was doing so because it would give me a chest like superman or something like that. she retorted my name in a disgusted tone. she was born in 1900 so she must have been think i was being wicked or something. anyway, i am sure there were other times of saying stuff and getting pain back from it, but that one sticks out in my mind.

  74. another thing i wanted to ask of someone in group was, are you and/or your partner working. i was kind of interested in their life, or more accuirately, i was trying to make sense out of their life. making sense out of things is ultra-important to me, for some reason. i once took a bunch of amphetamines and was looking at a hindu to english translation book, trying to figure out how the indian word had become that word, what did the word have to do with their reality when they created that word. i still think about stuff like that now; no amphetimines, acid, pot. i am always trying to figure out life, and that is impossible.

  75. Now, thisz stite is telling it unable to post my comment. Have I been band?????


  76. I should have jumped in when everyone else was talking about doing laundry. how when my kids still lived with us in younger days, i would get to the laudromat at 6am on Sunday so i could be sure to get enough washers to do a week’s worth of clothing. early enough to get enough quarters out of the machine, if i had not already gone to the bank to get rolls of quarters in advance. how i would read the newspaper while waiting for the wash, how boring it actually was, how my grandmother turned me into a fucking woman. boring. boring me. boring disappointing life.

  77. Ok that one went through, but still no check boxes to get emails of post/comments.


  78. Otto: “i am always trying to figure out life, and that is impossible.” Yeah!!!! totally.

    I figured out years ago that was no meaning to life … just the living of it.


  79. i was feeling somewhat alive for some minutes now, possibly due to 2 yells i let out last night in group, or maybe just from talking 5 minutes in group. but back to square 1. my wife has been going wild with her student purchase card on amazon, after we agreed she needed to save that money for her breaking teeth. frankly, there is nothing i can do about her behavior. i had been thinking that i should get more sessions than one or 2 per year, but every paycheck, i look at our budget and we are always short. kind of disheartening.

  80. by the way, in reference to what somone said in group about their possible breathing issue since july; i have had breathing issue since before july. either it is a summer blend/car pollution issue from the summer heat, or i have lung cancer or fungus in my lungs. i will see once the weather changes or when i go see a doctor, whichever comes first. also as related about tiredness, my wife gets these bouts of tiredness and says maybe tooth infection or candida. people in the group said flu season or other bug. who knows, go to chiropractor and get medieval test and they will tell you heavy metals. anyway, the bugs and birds will inherit the earth. also what i could have said when someone talked about their partner shushing them and telling them to go away because they are busy, well i would have chimed in that i do that all the time to my wife.i won’t go into what an asshole/non-person that i am, just saying that if my mouth-opening apparatus worked, i could jabber on and on a about my miserable life in group. my grandmother never stopped talking until she got put in a shitty nursing home by her daughters, who could not keep her in their homes because granny was a pain in the butt, always talking, always criticizing. not that she wanted to be that way, my poor grandma. she had some nurturing things going on,not too many though.

  81. yes, motormouth me, thjis weekend.
    Not sure if other old people have this, or if it is just me: every thing i see triggers a memory. For example, drove past a yardsale today on the way home from walking the dog. bunch of books on a table marked FREE. I used to love reading books and going to bookstores in my younger years. But now the stacks of books brought to mind BORING. And i said aloud, Boring because those books serve no purpose anymore. My original purpose in reading was to win a reading contest at the Boys Club in Hollywood. And i used to scrounge stuff, like you might at a garage sale, such as this one which had a sign saying EVERYTHING FREE. When I was young\ I had a purpose for scrounging. i walked down the alley behind our house in Long Beach looking for an empty refrigerator box to make a prop submarine out of it, for a movie i was making. i scrounged up interesting old tv or stereo consoles, the old big ones, and somehow brought them back to our garage to see if they worked. What was the purpose? Don’t know, just needed something to do, or i wanted my own tv or something. EXCITING not BORING. A lot of time on my lonely hands. Now i find little purpose in anything except my job. If i described my job, it would probably sound boring. And i do occassionally say aloud THIS IS BORING. I HATE THIS JOB. now i got to wash the bacteria off the damn dog and go get her nails trimmed. No desire to do so. anyway. i might have more fo write. i am definitely BORED.

    • FRED says:

      Very creative though, your imagination, scrounging around. I still do such things on occasion. There is an alley behind the Office Depot on Pico Blvd in Los Angeles. More than once a “little birdie” has told me to exit via the alley instead of onto Pico. The alley kind of winds around a block before exiting to Beverly Blvd. I have actually found stuff I need like once I needed just ONE banker’s box. I did not want to have to buy a pack of 10. Lo and behold, in the alley there was one.

  82. Sylvia says:

    Fred, I did find a lot of stuff about past lives on the web. There is a lot. But I kind of take it like there is a lot about psycho therapy too that doesn’t help people that is offered on the web. Art said that the pains we have, have a pressure that comes up and floods the left brain making us create strange ideas and past lives, etc. I myself had a very rich fantasy life about many things before I rid myself of many pains. If you take an objective view then one would need to research both sides of the past life perspective. Some of the reports on accuracy and verifiability come up short for past lives. People do want to believe, and you have to ask why is that so important. It must fill some need. In the end, what is the meaning of a past life for one’s therapy, you still have to feel childhood hurt to change your life.

  83. FRED says:

    FRED: Thanks, Jack, for taking the time to read my post. Some of my posts are just too long. I’m endeavoring to be more succinct, to only introduce one topic.

    Jack: What was the mailing address you sent your letter to, OR are you writing this letter to us on this blog, to make a point of your opinion?

    FRED: Let’s say for the sake of humor:
    Arthur Janov
    c/o General Delivery
    Fourth Dimension, Transitioning to Fifth

    FRED: I was probably addressing anyone who would read the blog, members or Arthur Janov himself, if he has the ability and need to “drop in”.

    Jack: That does not validate that one is able to do so. It’s just another feeling.
    It doesn’t invalidate it either.

    Jack: I don’t feel he did any particular misleading. The theory is very simple and straight forward.

    FRED: These were rhetorical questions, not damning. I stated that I was writing to praise him. However, that doesn’t exclude a dis-incarnate personality, Arthur Janov, from “reading” the ideas or even somehow acting in any way to clarify his writings and correcting errors that he now perceives as being too three-dimensional, assuming he “now” has additional perception into this reality and depending on his freedom to do so. It may be that some information cannot be imparted to mankind in this means or at this timing.

    Jack: Especially when you seem to see him as some sort of Indian “Guru”. The other is your choice of words suggesting, we his patients, are “disciples” … there’s a religious belief connotation in there somewhere; which as I see it, was another ‘fairy story’ imbued into us little children, that promoted neurosis IMO.

    FRED: There was no intention to compare to any religion. It was simply an analogy. Again, I believe I posited everything as a question, sorry for the mix-up.

    In 1973-74 when I was in primal therapy at the Social Growth Center/the Oakland Center in Berkeley/Oakland, it was at the zenith of the Primal Therapy Movement. There were at least eight “primal centers” in the Bay Area at that time. Circa April 1974, we patients at The Oakland Center actually had a party. We invited people from all the centers to attend. There was a kind of understanding that all the centers could be likened to various churches. As I recall people joked about this. There was ZERO religious connotation. It was a fun party by the way. It was held at a hall we rented, something like the VFW.

    Thinking of those early voyagers, I am sad but feel love for those souls. It was maybe like an end to an era, not unlike Woodstock in August, 1969 that was not a beginning but the beginning of the end.

    Jack: Possibly Dr. Janov feels a “responsibility” to “come back” and right certain errors.” Fred; you are still in this neurotic (my take) quasi religions mode. Sort of “A return of the Messiah”. It’s common and shown down history that many had reliving events BUT all EXPLAINED it in spiritual/religious terms … because it kept the ‘denial’ intact.. My own mother and brother had it and resorted to it as:- “a calling from God”. Even Michael Holden fell into the very same trap … in-spite of the protestations form many of the therapist at that time.

    FRED: Again, there was no religious intent per se. As far as “spiritual”, that is a word that has been so prostituted, so adulterated that it is basically meaningless.

    I am aware of Michael Holden’s “detour”. It is a shame he had to die so young. He was so brilliant. I do, however, think I understand why he followed that path. Personally, I believe there was some validity in this chapter in his life but I was not there. Perhaps, in his way, it was his own unconscious protestation to what he perceived, was a shallowness in Primal Theory. Maybe he was being informed by his angels and this was the best way that this could manifest in his psyche.

    I would note that Bob Dylan had his “Christian” episode. An accomplished studio musician friend of mine a couple of years ago told me that Dylan attended Church of the Shepherd on Ventura Blvd, I think in Encino. Pat Boone attends that church, I think.

    Jack: I ask you to bear in mind what I have said in replying to you. I feel you complicate and convoluted things for yourself. Not uncommon for most of us since we each are ‘recovering’ neurotics … and it’s a never ending process. I get the feeling YOU ARE LOOKING FOR SOME SORT OF FINALE.

    FRED: I hope I’m even more than recovering and that the donkey-slow pace speeds up. I hope I’m a healing neurotic and pray (maybe to my angels) that I might see the light more clearly. I am convinced that Primal Therapy is barely past, maybe its own First Line. There is much to come in human experience and we “primalers” have a say in this process at a personal level. We are not here to suffer though but the goal is not “to feel good” either.

    I have not wavered from the opinion that Janov provided essential tools and theoretical basis to begin to access feelings.

  84. Margaret says:

    I am glad you replied to Fred as you make a lot of points I entirely agree with.
    primal practice is so simple and uncomplicated really, no need to mystify it, on the contrary.
    as it is practiced now in the intstitute it is such a natural process one learns to incorporate in daily life.
    to be honest I do not even like the division in first and second ant third line etc., it only complicates what is simple and what should follow its own natural flow for each individual.
    and indeed the word disciples is not at all in place.
    also all the strict guidelines sound almost orthodox while in my view getting better is to be merely in touch with one’s own body and soul, if one feels like sleeping in at times that is fine, if one does not that is ok as well, as long as we are aware of what goes on beneath the surface and are honest with ourselves and open to our own reality.
    therapy gives us more freedom, not a strict set of rules and generalizations.
    reading some of your comments, FRed, the word ‘pontificate’ comes to my mind, and I wonder what drives you, what need , to be heard or to be regarded as worthwhile maybe?
    we all know those kind of needs, believe me, but it might be useful to take a good look at your feelings and motives on these matters.
    if any advice I would say keep it simple, don’t intellectualize and focus on your feelings one step at a time without giving it all too much thought as it seems to lead you astray.
    this probably does not help, but well, just speaking my mind here in an effort to do so anyway.

    • FRED says:

      Thank you.

      As an accounting professor, old time guy–his last semester teaching, told me when I had a meeting with him about my preliminary semester grade (not official yet with the university”; to discuss the final grade, which I wasn’t too thrilled about: “I call ’em as I see ’em”.

      They don’t make ’em like him anymore.

    • Margaret: thanks for you reply, it was encouraging for me, and yes, I too feel there is little need for a patient to know if a feeling is 1st, 2nd, or 3rd line. A feeling is a feeling and the only thing for patients is to fully express it … however long that takes and how many times we need to go through it.

      There might be a reason for a therapist to categorize it, but of that I know not. I do feel Janav’s use of it, was more in line with demonstrating to the rest of the mental health professionals.

      I also acknowledge Fred’s reply, but still like Margaret, get a sense that he’s not completing the feeling. However, Fred is his own best expert.


      • FRED says:

        True, a feeling is a feeling but the nature of feelings can vary vastly, profoundly. I think we all know this. Jack is probably correct if I am understanding him. “Don’t over-analyze which Line and why”, simply trust that the feeling itself will lead you to what you need to experience and learn.

        For me, Janov’s “discovery” of First, Second, Third Line was truly a breakthrough in understanding. It truly connected a lot of dots. Also, I am personally convinced that within each “Line” there are multiple “sub-lines”. This would partially account for the infinite variations between individuals. For me though, his discussions provided a structure. This is a LONG subject and I don’t even remember which books covered this but they are worth re-reading.

        A “graphic” example of how different individuals are is my sister’s first husband and his identical twin. When they were in high school, they used to pull pranks on girls. “Rick”, the brother would sometimes show up at the door for a date with a girl who thought she was going out with “Mike”. Mike, meanwhile, was waiting in the car, funny enough!

        They had some profound similarities. Both were EXTREMELY talented artistically. My sister’s husband, Mike, did ice sculptures that were truly awe-inspiring along with his almost magical artistic abilities. On the other hand, Rick, did sketches that were truly unique, had an almost a mystical quality to them.

        Both were absent fathers. Both flunked out of college in 1969 so both joined a (different) branch of the Armed Services to avoid the Draft. Both made many bad lifestyle choices later on in life. Both developed adult-onset diabetes. I’ve made a case for how similar they were, haven’t I?; but actually when you got to know them; they were very, VERY different.

        Rick was much more introverted. Rick died last December. His twin brother is in a Veteran’s rehab facility in Norman, OK, a sad guy who had two strokes and was blessed with talent that, although he did exploit to a degree, could not could not conquer his “demons”.

  85. Phil says:

    Today on the way to the beach with my wife, we stopped by to see my childhood home. I think I would have had some big feelings come up if she wasn’t with me. Well they were coming up but I couldn’t do anything with them. No opportunity now that I’m back at home either, but maybe tomorrow.
    When I see the house, the neighborhood, and the town, it is a brig trigger. There is an unreal feeling about it all. It’s recognizable yet so much has changed. It was on a short dead end street. I noticed that one of the houses had been torn down up the street and a big new house has been built. This was where a friend used to live and I know his parents were in their 90’s and still living there like two years ago.
    I feel doubtful that it will feel normal any time soon visiting there.

    • Phil says:

      This morning I had a big cry about all of this. The house looks very much the same from the front. Right there is where I lost my mommy. I can remember her leaving one day to go to the hospital; I was in the front yard watching. She may have come back briefly but then was gone for good.
      Something might have changed a little because after the feelings this morning I have the urge to go back there to take photos, as I don’t have any. Just to have them, or maybe because they will be useful for more feelings.

  86. Magnolia says:

    Today I talked about my brother’s death, for the first time in group. Telling about his wife’s insane emails and neglect of him, mostly just keeps me in anger — but there’s so much of that, and having to deal with her is still ongoing, so it remains the main event. Another patient had a reaction, that “after 35 min.” of my talking, she was “irritated”, wanting to “move on”, and was “impatient” about it “going on”. I was quite surprised, but since I have made similar complaints at times when other people “drone on”, or “take the long way around the barn” and “never seem to arrive at a point”, I didn’t feel I had room to object. But I felt a bit hurt. And at the end of group I realized this doesn’t feel right, my brother died!!

    Anyway, in group, I was feeling a bit bad about it, and said something more about the feelings I’ve been having, since his death, but that since I have so much to be angry about, sometimes people will be tired of hearing it. And then someone told me they were not tired of hearing me talk about it, and I thanked her, it was so nice that she said that, and then I burst into tears. After a minute or so, I knew I needed to leave to use a small room, and continue.

    What followed was anger and tears, but no words to either. My anger was not “feeling angry”, but more primitive, just physical, pounding the pillow in frustration, almost like wanting to bang my head repeatedly. My crying / pain / horror finally turned into “you’re hurting him”, “stop hurting him” and I felt I was little, and it was about my mother and grandmother hurting my brother, and I wanted them to stop. I looked, but saw no images or scenes, I don’t know more about it. But I got relief from feeling that was what I wanted, what I felt. I just sat with it quite a while. Later back in group, someone came who had not been there earlier, and I was hoping he would be there, so I could tell him about my brother, which I did, and talked a bit more about it with several people after group, before we left.

    And I have been thinking about it all since, but kept kind of feeling like maybe I wanted to call my other brother, and tell him what all went on in group today. But something held me back, I sat down, and as if talking to him, said, “They hurt me…”, “they hurt me”, and started crying again. And then I had to shift to talking to my brother who died, crying to him, “They’re hurting me!”, over and over. He knew when we were little, he was almost my age, and so he understood that they hurt me. Over and over I cried, “They don’t wanna know,” (meaning they didn’t want to believe and know they were hurting me, they were in total denial). So I was also crying that I’ve lost my brother that way too, the connection is only in me now. As adults, he sometimes told me things he remembered about what happened to me, like when my mother and grandmother dragged me screaming into the bathroom to give me enemas, and it made him feel awful. Or when I got beat and screamed at, and he hid under his bed, afraid they would come for him next. Or when I gave my dad a gift, but he simply chewed me out for the way I wrapped it, and my brother remembered how miserable I looked, when that happened.

    But today I felt that it was about when I was three, and my parents overwhelmed me with making me eat. They said they had to force me to eat because I wouldn’t, and they felt I was too thin, and my mom said she was dressing me in thick pants so I wouldn’t look so thin, because she was afraid people would think she wasn’t taking care of me. My parents said that was the beginning of my overweight, when I was three. I don’t remember that event, at all, but today I just kept having the idea that that’s what I was crying to my brother about. It’s consistent with things they did later, forcing my brother and me to sit for 3-4 hours trying to gag down bits of egg, that we hated. So much for today’s load of feelings — good night.

  87. David says:

    Fred, Margaret, Jack,

    I don’t know if reincarnation is real or not but I had a profound experience some years ago where I deeply felt the essence of myself, call it the soul if you will, and knew instantly that it was indestructible. That it couldn’t be destroyed by anyone or anything, not even death. What happens after death I don’t know except that this essence will endure. Does this mean my fears are significantly reduced as a result? Well, I know that if I get triggered into survival terror, I still have to feel “I don’t want to die”. In all it’s intensity. My mind/body knows where I need to go to heal, and there’s no delusional belief system (that I’m aware of) obstructing that healing. I have to say, that I’m more inclined to believe in reincarnation than not. There’s an awful lot of anecdotal evidence for it. But if it is real, I believe that like anything in life, we will always have a choice – “do you want to go back”? We won’t just get automatically “recycled”. I also don’t think people’s experiences should be dismissed because they don’t happen to fit into current primal theory or Janov’s world view or whatever. When I was visiting my birth mother in Tororto some years ago I worked with a very good primal therapist who told me he had been primaling feelings from past lives for years. He wrote an interesting article about it which can be read here:

    • FRED says:

      September 17, 2018

      I remember this website. A guy name John Spreyer from Lousiana served as the administrator. He passed away a number of years ago. He seemed to be such a diligent and good soul.

      Smart guy. The point is well-taken. It seems he is saying what I think, that there is a kind of an emotional undercurrent running below our consciousness, which by association would connect various events from “past lives” based on the theme.

      This is surely outside of the Janovian framework but still Janov gave us potentially powerful tools to access this undercurrent.

      Ultimately, as Jack stated, we’re pretty much our own therapist. All this is good news, actually, as freedom is the goal so as far as I’m concerned, there is nothing threatening, no apostasy of Primal Theory. This is an attempt to explain the “why” we were born into the particular circumstances we were. For some, this information may be almost essential; for others immaterial at this time.

      This song came out the spring of 1971: “I Want Freedom” by Grand Funk Railroad. I consider this a Primal song. Unlike today’s most “music”, it has REAL feeling.

      • Fred: “Smart guy. The point is well-taken. It seems he is saying what I think, that there is a kind of an emotional undercurrent running below our consciousness, which by association would connect various events from “past lives” based on the theme.”

        As I understand Primal theory; it is totally based on the fact that there is:- ’emotional undercurrent running below our consciousness’. It’s called the “subconscious” and all it contains (according to Janov), is Pain … more definitively “Primal Pain” Go figure!!!! All this:- “below the our consciousness” is our conscious attempt to figure out what that elusive subconscious/unconscious is … and we neurotic humans have been doing this ‘figuring-out’ all down times since we humans became neurotic.

        When and how that time was, is still not be ascertained … as yet … though there are a couple of theories out there.


        P.S. I listened to the song; and did not feel it was very feeling-full and a bit mono-toned.


        • FRED says:


          Thanks for the compliment. I want to tell you. It’s been a rough road hammering all this out, regardless if you think I’m full of sh*t, or just a bit misguided. It was a dirty job but somebody had to do it (do you really think it was ALL fun and games for Janov? but he probably felt “if not me now, then who and when?).

          While Janov may “blame” Danny Wilson for his lot in life, I can mostly “blame” my mother. I was assigned the life’s task of “finding the answers”. Thanks, mom!–for nothing! However, I love you profoundly as does everyone their parents.

          I’m also glad to report, mom, that it hasn’t turned out all that bad. This quest gave me an excuse not to have children and ALL that entailed. That saved a lot of dough. There were other benefits too like having to instill a lot of discipline on my thoughts to integrate seeming disparate ideas and traditions (e.g. Primal Theory and Christianity).

          It does seem we are in agreement even if we express it in different ways. You say there is much to be ascertained. I have said 3 or 4 times “We’ve only just begun”.

          Okay, let’s stipulate just for the sake of discussion that, what we think of as, “past or future lives”, exist, Arthur Janov’s cynicism on the subject not withstanding.

          I think one could then say that there is a main “theme” of a particular lifetime, and that there are “groups” of various past (and, for that matter, future) lives that share somewhat similar themes. They are sort of like planets, orbiting a sun. These lives would be most likely the ones “remembered” (they were of course, never forgotten, just repressed).

          The “theme” would be the fundamental “feeling tone” of that lifetime. Of course there would be many “sub-themes” with concomitant “sub-plots” and interpersonal relationships but we’re not locked into these themes. We do have free will. We can alter our reality.

          However, when we “feel” we are “helpless” then, in Primal terms, we are subjectively reacting to “Birth Trauma” of that particular lifetime.

          Much of Birth Trauma is simply birth itself, no matter how easy or hard. This is because the personality is straddling two entirely different dimensions with the one into which “it” is entering being full of strife, fear, pain, very very solid. This isn’t a knock so much on three-dimensional reality but on this particular reality at this point in time and space. This may explain SIDS. The personality changes its mind before it’s “too late” and is required to stay in the body; and decides it isn’t ready to swim against the stream for 80-90 years.

          This is probably an over-simplification.

          • jackwaddington says:

            Fred: this whole post of yours, seems to me to be very complicated and convoluted, like you seem not to get to the point and are then off on some other tangent.
            Eg. “While Janov may “[BLAME]” Danny Wilson for his lot in life, I can mostly “blame” my mother. I was assigned the life’s task of “finding the answers”. Thanks, mom!–for nothing!”.
            I have no recollection of Janov “BLAMING” Danny Wilson. On the contrary it gave life to a whole new way of seeing ourselves and how we are caught up in those old, old feeling.
            OR!!! Am I mis-reading you?

            It’s like you are acknowledging the discovery of primal pain, yet rejecting what that pain, when relived, does for us … via personal ‘insights’.

            The line of logic you seem to offer, is somewhat crooked to me.
            One last one “We do have free will. We can alter our reality.” I am far from sure that the “WILL” is free. I feel our choices are connected to our old, repressed feelings. sort of:- pre-destined.


            • FRED says:

              I do think you missed a bit of the humor.

              Ultimately, “we” will all have to answer the question of free will, in “Primal terms” and for mankind as a whole. I am hoping my letter to Dr. Janov (if you happened to have read the post) will not fall on deaf ears. Not that he is any kind of evolved being with advance knowledge of the universe, but possibly he feels an “obligation” to correct a few putative errors in his theories and ideas. Who knows? Maybe he is crying a million tears, tears he pushed aside during his life over his secret intentions. In other words cry now, or cry later, but cry you will.

              Maybe he is communicating with us but it is we who will not listen. I don’t know, I’m just saying.

              Look, the letter was really not to him. I think everybody knows that. It was a convention to possibly stimulate some discussion and also maybe to nudge “us” out of the dominate “woe-is-me” mentality. Maybe I’m only trying to convince myself. That’s okay with me.

              We’ll all get there, will it be worth the trip?

              Yes, but we control the audio, the video, the station, or as Shakespeare put it:

              All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.

              Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/william_shakespeare_166828

        • FRED says:


          FRED: …emotional undercurrent running below our consciousness.

          JACK: It’s called the “subconscious” and all it contains (according to Janov), is Pain … more definitively “Primal Pain” Go figure!!!! All this:- “below the our consciousness” is our conscious attempt to figure out what that elusive subconscious/unconscious is … and we neurotic humans have been doing this ‘figuring-out’ all down times since we humans became neurotic.

          FRED September 23, 2018:

          This was not exactly my meaning.

          Let me attempt to explain.

          I was positing a kind of river of consciousness running well (, well, well!) below daily awareness. In this context, I was saying that there are general themes which could also be called “Core Beliefs”. In this framework, they are common to, say a series of similarly-themed reincarnational lives.

          I was theorizing that this might explain someone remembering events from five or six lives when say, they had 100 (what we think of as) past lives.

          The definition of a theme or Core Belief, in this context, is:

          An intimately held value judgement about the nature of personal reality with an idiosyncratic “spin”, or flavor of intent/meaning.

          I was positing that so-called past lives may be grouped by the Self (capitalization intentional) according to general themes. I could give examples but I wanted to keep this brief.

          I think you were talking more about the subconscious, basically blocked off from daily awareness but theoretically accessible through integration of, “Pain”.

          What I intended to communicate, then, was a “deeper”, multidimensional connective flow between, what we call, incarnational personalities, hence my use of “river”.

          Sorry for being careless in my easily misunderstood term “below our consciousness”.

  88. Margaret says:

    thanks for sharing that, i was touched while reading it as it sounded very real. you are good in getting to the core of your feelings and in taking time to see what more needs to come up before doing something that might give you relief.
    these sound like very important steps.
    wish you all the best.

    well, I have always thought reincarnation would be a fine explanation, and all the nicer in combination with a good ending in the form of an eternal world where all is right, finally, heaven or nirvana.

    but well, I am an agnostic really, feel we can’t say anything as there is little to no proof for one side or the other.

    what made me all the more cautious is one evening where we were with a small group of people, mostly primal patients, just starting to watch TV when a program started about people who testified about their experiences of being abducted by aliens at some moment in their past.
    we al sat and listened, all the stories had points in common, lifted out of a warm bed, and then the frightening experience of being on a cold hard table, beings with big eyes poking in them and sometimes sticking needles in them, very scary and unpleasant, and then finally ending up again in the warm bed at home.

    we all sat there, and found we all had heard the same thing, a distorted primal memory of babyhood, like when being a newborn and being lifted out of a warm and safe crib to be examined by doctors, maybe with mouth masks so the eyes were most obvious, but well, eyes always attract most attention anyway.
    a cold table, being poked and stuck with needles, all scary and explainable, well, it sounded so obviously primal, specially hearing the testimonies where feeling seeped through the cracks.
    our minds try to make sense out of anything but our conclusions are not always right, being the point.

    I am fine with having learned to allow my feelings and to get along so much better with myself, and to feel the universe is still a splendid and mysterious place we hardly know anything about.
    that is enough, no religion needed, and it does not even matter much if there is reincarnation or not, as all what matters is to do what seems right, and to do our best to make the best of our life and that of others around us.
    I have been very close to death a number of times, but never saw any light etc., but that too does not lead to any final conclusions.
    i like not knowing it all, and to go with the flow and see what the future will bring.
    what brings reincarnation as an extra, apart from giving an idea of consolation against the feeling this life is all we have with the conscience we live with in this present body?
    what would be the difference anyway if things merely start anew with a new baby being conceived?
    a flame is a flame, whether being passed from one candle to another or whether it gets blown out and lit again.
    conscience may well be just a function of life, and if it is more, and expands beyond one physical lifetime, well, who knows, would it be better? I am not even sure it would, but just have an open and curious mind that is in wonder of all it does not know about.
    and that is ok.

    • David says:

      Margaret, you’ve conflated opinions about past lives with the subject of alien abduction, which seems a bit random to me. I don’t see what they have to do with each other. And I’ve got nothing against trying to do the right thing, going with the flow, appreciating the mystery of life – this is how I live too. I don’t see that that negates the possibility that we might have more than one life.

    • FRED says:

      September 17, 2018

      Paradoxically enough, the reality of reincarnation may be the Big Cover-up (I suppose these lost scrolls and writings are secreted-away in the Vatican’s vast archives) in Christianity. There are a few oblique references in the Bible to it such as the Pharisees asking Jesus if we were John the Baptist, come back to life, or when Christ meets Elijah and Moses in the so-called Transfiguration.

      I once read a supposed “lost writing” (albeit with suspect provenance) about Jesus, “The Seventh Letter of Hillel the Third” which would make him the grandson of the great Jewish thinker Hillel, a contemporary of Jesus.

      Hillel III (allegedly) writes, on Jesus:
      “He came with supernatural control over the order of nature, such as is most striking to the unsophisticated understandings of mankind, to persuade them of the connexion of its possessor with God. His touch healed the sick, his will changed the elements, his commands stilled the tempest, his voice raised the dead. But what was quite striking to those with whom he associated, he could read men’s secret thoughts, and tell them the transactions of their PAST LIVES (capitalization mine) and foresee what they were hereafter to do”.

      This letter is taken from a much larger collection of supposed lost talmuds and scrolls. One of the accounts has fairly well been debunked but the person, Rev. William D. Mahan, who collected these into a book died a hundred years ago so he cannot respond to the “charges” that this account of the Three Magi is a plagiarized from the novel “Ben Hur”.

      Mahan claims he and two translators traveled to Rome and Turkey and were given access to these documents. Supposedly at the Vatican, a guard stood by while the translator busily wrote down the translation of the scrolls and parchments.

      This was supposedly in the mid-1880s. They traveled from Rome to the then-center of the Eastern Orthodox Church in Constantinople, now Istanbul, Turkey. They were supposedly in Latin, Greek and ancient Hebrew (Aramaic).

      I did my own amateur analysis of one of the accounts, the supposed letter of Procurator Pontius Pilate to the Roman Senate on the Crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. As Pilate was a Roman governor, I assumed that he would have written this letter in Latin. I took some pains in trying to determine if this letter could have been translated from Latin.

      I determined that it certainly was possible. There were several Latin-based nouns and verbs, used that are rather uncommon in the English language (most Latin-based words in English are derived from Old French when the Norman French occupied the British Isles for two centuries I think around 1000 AD).

      In reading the text you would think the translator would use the English equivalent but plausibly could have scribbled down a lesser used Latin-based translation if his time were limited. This would comport with Rev. Mahan’s assertion that the Vatican guard stood over them while they were working.

      Moreover, there was the very obvious use of the subjunctive mood in this putative translation. The subjunctive mood is largely understood in modern English but is fully conjugated in modern-day Romance languages such as Spanish and Italian.

      The phrases possibly translating the subjunctive in Latin to English often were a bit awkward, something that would lead you to believe that the translator was doing a more literal word-for-word translation because time was a constraint.

      • Fred: On the point about religion I have my own notions of the whole subject that pre-dates Judaism. Also at my high school I took classes in religious instruction and was shocked to learn that the very first writing of the life of Jesus Christ was 40 yours AFTER his ascension into heaven.

        My take:
        As a child I was forced into going to Sunday School and Sunday morning chapel (it was a congregation chapel). I remained, as did my mother, a very devout Christian. up until I went into conscripted military service. It was there that I met others with other faiths and I began to slowly question some of my preconceived notions By the time I left the two years of military service I was an out and out Atheist, and have remained so ever since.

        Back to my opening point. Religion according to the anthropologists started by the worship of totem poles, then developed into the worship of celestial bodies and later by “the gods of:-” weather conditions. Then we got Abraham and the single deity concept. Judaism from my understanding of it. has been awaiting the Messiah. According to Orthodox Jews, he has not yet arrived.

        Christianity is an off-shoot of Judaism, with the mother of Christ having had sex with a ghost and then when she was pregnant she and her husband, went off tho pay their taxes. On the way in Bethlehem she went into labor, but couldn’t get a room at the inn, but was given permission to spend the night in the stable where-upon, Jesus was born. Like his dad he grew up to be a carpenter, but was in constant arguments with the rabbi’s of the time. Then for the last two years of his life, gathered 12 men around him and began to teach his version of Judaism. He told Peter, his favorite, of the 12, to go off to Rome and set up his church. The one now, in great peril because of the child abuse scandal by priests, and the cover up.

        What I find interesting is that it seems to me obvious that neurotic mankind would feel the need to worship something or other since being neurotic we are disconnected from a part of our brain.
        Why is it that as children, we have to be taught about the existence of a God. Why is it not some inner knowledge/consciousness from the moment we are born? Why are there so many rituals surrounding it all.

        I feel, this applies to all religious faiths in that it a sort of subliminal reasoning to reckon with this amnesiated part of ourselves. It’s very convenient to most that do not understand neurosis .. it being the pathology of feelings.

        Just my take … I can not speak for others … including my own mother, who devout right up until her death.


        • FRED says:

          Fred: On the point about religion I have my own notions of the whole subject that pre-dates Judaism. Also at my high school I took classes in religious instruction and was shocked to learn that the very first writing of the life of Jesus Christ was 40 yours AFTER his ascension into heaven.

          That timing is probably about right. I wish I could comment more intelligently but I think scholars generally agree that the Apostle Matthew wrote the Gospel attributed to him, and the same about John.

          Luke was a consort of Paul and the presumption is that he heard stories in traveling with Paul, probably some from Apostles themselves.

          Mark was probably dictated by the Apostle Peter. The letters of Paul to the various churches are what they say they are.

          I won’t comment on the other books of the New Testament except that generally there is little debate as to their provenance except for Hebrews which may or may not have been written by Paul and Revelations which supposedly was written by the Apostle John. John is the only Apostle who wasn’t eventually killed. After an “exciting” life, he eventually retired to an island I think off Greece but I’m not sure. He could have received the “revelations” at that time which is the belief of most Christian scholars.

          I’ve already gone out on a limb and am exposed, with my dearth of knowledge.

          My take:
          As a child I was forced into going to Sunday School and Sunday morning chapel (it was a congregation chapel). I remained, as did my mother, a very devout Christian. up until I went into conscripted military service. It was there that I met others with other faiths and I began to slowly question some of my preconceived notions. By the time I left the two years of military service I was an out and out Atheist, and have remained so ever since.

          Interesting. I think my dad’s grandfather was a Congregationalist minister in England. His dad (my grandfather) was either born in England and his family emigrated soon after, or he was born in the United States shortly after they left England. I think this is the case.

          Back to my opening point. Religion according to the anthropologists started by the worship of totem poles, then developed into the worship of celestial bodies and later by “the gods of:-” weather conditions. Then we got Abraham and the single deity concept. Judaism from my understanding of it. has been awaiting the Messiah. According to Orthodox Jews, he has not yet arrived.

          Probably from anthropologists with an agenda and I’m sure all Christian and Jewish scholars would annihilate this theory with irrefutable evidence, volumes of proof-positive documentation but I am not the person to do so. I don’t have the time, interest or energy.

          Irregardless, you seem to have feelings about the subject. Can you get into those feelings (as my therapists in group used to say while lying down in the darkened room)?

          Christianity is an off-shoot of Judaism, with the mother of Christ having had sex with a ghost and then when she was pregnant she and her husband, went off tho pay their taxes. On the way in Bethlehem she went into labor, but couldn’t get a room at the inn, but was given permission to spend the night in the stable where-upon, Jesus was born. Like his dad he grew up to be a carpenter, but was in constant arguments with the rabbi’s of the time. Then for the last two years of his life, gathered 12 men around him and began to teach his version of Judaism. He told Peter, his favorite, of the 12, to go off to Rome and set up his church. The one now, in great peril because of the child abuse scandal by priests, and the cover up.

          Again, I don’t have the time, energy, will or research at-the-ready to address any of this except to say that the Catholic Church and its probable cover-up of many pedophiles is unrelated to the teachings of the historical Christ.

          What I find interesting is that it seems to me obvious that neurotic mankind would feel the need to worship something or other since being neurotic we are disconnected from a part of our brain.

          I would not use the term “worship” because it, like so many other words, it has become diluted, distorted and rendered almost useless.

          I think it is more that man perceives a kind of indefinable divinity in creation; a sacredness; a holiness, which could be called Creation/Creator but we, specially those of us in Western civilization, have “trained” out these more “fundamental” states. I theorize this is partly because of damage done by Freud and Darwin.

          I fear we in the Primal Community have, to an extent, discarded valuable information that the more fundamentalist-evangelical-charismatic Christians have provided us. We should pay attention. I discussed this yesterday but again, these people are not just hallucinating or channeling their “Pain”. These are valid subjective experiences. We may not agree with some of their intellectual interpretations but “Who are we to say what their experience is if we, ourselves have no reference point?”.

          Pretty closed-minded of us in the “enlightened” Primal Community, if you ask me. This is an admonishment.

          I’m not knocking Primal Therapy or anything like that, simply trying to advance The Cause which is the healing of this broken-hearted race and I’ve already praised Arthur Janov for his massive contributions.

          I’ve acknowledged my gratitude for his genius that let to his theory, therapy and writings, but he is not my guru. This was a break I had to make decades ago. I never looked back but, by God, I use this primaling technique virtually every day. It has saved my life.

          I’m sure, to one degree or another, EVERYONE has “broken” from Primal Theory/Therapy; probably Janov himself.

    • Magnolia says:

      Thanks, Margaret, for your kind words. I am just trying to follow the trail of whatever feelings come up. Sadness, and then more about my parents.

  89. Margaret says:

    I did not intend to negate anything.
    I tried to give an example of how primal disconnected memories can lead people into interpretations that have a very real ‘feeling’ about them but that also are a distortion of their past reality.
    merely indicating a danger to keep in mind when trying to form conclusions.
    so I draw very few conclusions really and leave much questions open-ended.
    i am a very active dreamer but so far have no experience whatsoever with what felt like a past life. but that does not mean anything apart of its literal words, many vivid spectacular dreams, three dimensional galaxies sometimes, but in my case it seems just ‘me’ in the dreams, no former me and no former life, but well, that’s just me so far, smiley.

    I am not keen on exploring numerous cases, too much other things to do, but do you know personally of some in which the memory came first and then , afterwards, some proof was found of it being true?
    as I say, I do not exclude options, am merely cautious in my conclusions.
    would love to know about real UFO cases as well, but so far I never ran into anything convincing.
    two years ago in the news there was this big thing about a huge cigar shaped ‘asteroid’ passing by earth, and scientists where going to probe its structure to check what it was made of, usual asteroid materials or more materials that indicated some artificial making, as the shape was so unusual.
    but since then I did not find any notices about this scientific explorations.
    with the past life issue, one question rises, as we are growing in numbers so fast, not all of us can have many past lifes can we?
    or is that a dumb thought of mine? it just occurred to me right now.
    but hey, really, I am not negating the possibility, I assure you.
    yesterday I looked up actual findings about Kyrlian photography as that is intriguing, or used to be for me in my young age, and I suddenly remembered it.
    the bit I ran into said scientists studied it since and found out it was an interaction of air with an electrical field, under a strong voltage.
    it can’t be done in a vacuum.
    then again that does not explain it wel enough for me, I had hoped for more scientific details, but with my injured hand got tired of searching around on the web.
    another question rising to mind right now, would other species also have different lives or just humans?
    consciousness is miraculous in any case, even in just one life, but well, I am open to any type of interesting feedback!

    • David says:

      Margaret, reincarnation is not something I really devote any great time to as a subject, I just thought I’d drop in on a conversation. I did see a documentary on Youtube some time ago where various people with memories of past lives where able to track down and give historical information about locations in the real world they could not have possibly known about before hand, and this was pre internet. It was quite convincing to me. Also, a friend of mine from some years ago told me that she had spontaneous past life memories come up when she was in her teens and as it was so against the prevailing Christian culture, and she had no one to relate to about it, she found it very lonely and frightening. She tried drinking to keep the memories suppressed and then ended up in therapy to try and deal with it all. What Carol and the therapist Bob Holmes both told me independently of each other was that they felt these memories, as opposed to regular childhood memories, were stored outside the physical body. Well, that’s pretty darned weird. I mean, how does that work? But that’s what they both said, and they are both very sincere, honest people, that I would in no way describe as delusional.
      Interesting question about do animals reincarnate, I really don’t know. But if I have a soul, then my cat sure does too! I don’t think there’s any danger of any of us coming back as a frog or a spider or something. The path of evolution is up, not down, right?
      As you say, consciousness is quite incredible. And as one of my favourite writers said: “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreampt of in your philosophy, Horatio”.

  90. Margaret says:

    Phil, sorry, I got sidetracked by the past life issue, while what i wanted to say was it sounds like a very good idea to take those pictures.

    • Phil says:

      I can see the house on Google, but can’t find a way to save the image. Maybe I’ll go back next weekend or sometime soon. I guess the most important image is the one in my head, from when I lived there in the past, but I do like the idea of taking some photos.
      No need to worry about being sidetracked by other discussions here.

  91. Margaret says:

    do you feel like telling us some more about that experience you mentioned?

    • David says:

      It’s hard to put into words. It happened years ago. I was at a very low ebb, physically and emotionally, and rather than having a primal, I suddenly felt that I was getting a message from a very deep (or maybe high?) part of me, a message to me about me, the meaning of which I could instantly delineate. That the core essence of me was indestructible. This doesn’t really do it justice, but I remember it was an experience that I drew strength from.

      • David says:

        Margaret, a PS on this subject of past lives that I forgot to mention. I’ve just seen staring at me from my bookshelf a book I read about the subject called “Only Love is Real” by Dr Brian Weiss. In his therapy he was using hypnotism to regress his patients and found them spontaneously describing past lives. Two of his patients, completely independent of each other, start describing exactly the same events from the distant path. He realized that they had shared a life together and had been partners. So at a certain point in their therapy, without disclosing anything, he arranged for them to “bump into each other” in his waiting room. They were drawn to each other and ended up falling in love and getting married. It reminds me of the wonderful movie “Cloud Atlas” which has the theme of soul mates meeting again and again in successive lives. It’s a very romantic idea but it seems there could be some reality there. But I think that book would be a good place to begin to investigate the subject

        • David: I’d like to suggest that there are better and more feeling-full things to do in life than read books,watch videos, on subjects like;- re-incarnation, past lives, spiritualism, even faith in an after-life and all religious hopings, that there’s a “Saviour” out there. But if it gives you a good feeling, then ‘hey hoo’; go for it.


          • David says:

            Jack,, my recent postings give only an extremely thin slice of what I find to do in life. I do like to read books and watch movies on all kinds of topics. But for the moment I was keeping it on topic for what was being talked about in the blog.

        • Phil says:

          David, maybe that therapist induced the two patients to have similar past life regressions without knowing it. I witnessed such a session one time and noticed that the therapist kind of sets the scene for what will happen. Also the patient has the expectation of having a past life regression, because that’s what it’s about. What I mean is, it may not be that spontaneous. It sounds like an interesting book in any case. Phil

          • David says:

            Phil, from what I can remember there was a level of corresponding detail in what the two people were reporting that would have been difficult for a therapist to “plant” without them becoming suspicious. As far as I’m aware, people remain conscious under hypnotism, they don’t just totally zone out. I had hypnotherapy one time ( didn’t work) and that was my experience. Anyway yes, it was certainly an interesting book.

  92. Larry says:

    A beautiful song, I think. They should have titled it “the struggle”.

    • Larry says:

      Sorry. Ignore that. Wrong song. This is the one I meant.

      • Larry says:


        There’s something I didn’t get
        There’s something I missed
        Was it something I didn’t say
        Or was it something I did
        When I look into my precious mirror
        Well it only shows my darkest features
        I try to get a grip of the old me
        But you take it away when you’re on the scene

        And you make it all wrong
        You make it all right
        The minute you’re gone
        The minute you’re back

        I know it’s been a while since we talked
        That doesn’t erase feelings
        And since my pride went for a walk
        I don’t answer to nothing
        And there’s a thousand roles I could have played
        And there’s a thousand words I could have said
        And there’s a thousand rules that I never knew
        And there’s a thousand fools that could be you

        And you make it all wrong
        You make it all right
        The minute you’re gone
        The minute you’re back

        Do we stop here and reboot computers
        Or do we linger still until it crashes later
        I’ll shoot my brains out again if you come back around
        But I won’t suffer the blame to watch us go down

        You make it all wrong
        You make it all right
        The minute you’re gone
        The minute you’re back

        You know it ain’t right but you will be back
        We might as well rest ’til dawn
        We’re making the best of it all
        Tonight we’re immune
        Say we’re bulletproof
        And no matter how hard we bleed
        Doesn’t mean that I want to leave

        • sylvia says:

          Thanks for the song and Lyrics, Larry. It does sound like a struggle, a hard time letting go, since time doesn’t erase feelings, as is said. You find very soulful songs. I really like her high voice. Seems she is locked in the struggle with conflicted feelings.

          • Larry says:

            I’m glad that you like the music, Sylvia. It touched me as soon as I heard it. I feel that it beautifully renders the poignancy of two people drawn together but then pushed apart by the pain of being close or of being wrong for each other, yet they don’t want to give up on the relationship, and never confront their fear and pain and work through toward the deeper relationship that they (or at least the woman in the song) yearn(s) for.

  93. Margaret says:

    hypnosis seems to work only with people who have a high level of suggestibility. with other people it won’t work.
    for me that already makes me very cautious .

  94. Larry says:

    Last spring I took part in a book discussion group that ran for a couple of months. I developed an interest in one of the two women who hosted the group. The other host is a friend of hers and mine. Anyway, because of the way the meetings were structured, I never had an opportunity to talk informally in person with the lady of my interest, to get a clearer sense of who she is versus who I think she is. After the discussion group accomplished it’s purpose and disbanded last June, I vowed to myself that I would try to contact her to explore whether there really was the mutual interested between us that I sensed there might be.

    Well I dithered, not nearly as confident about reaching out to this mysterious woman of my interest as I’d like to be, and summer quickly flew by. Finally, last week, through our mutual friend, I finally made contact with her. Yes she’d like to join me for coffee. We will meet in 10 days.

    I feel suddenly quite inadequate. I suddenly seem focused on the so many shortcomings in myself and my life, compared to how much more capable I perceive her to be and how much fuller her life seems to be than mine. Any confidence I had in how I’m growing my life in meaningful ways has dribbled and disappeared into the shifting sand beneath my feet. I’ve become inescapably aware of how alone I am. The truth and feelings of it, comprised of the thread of present reality entwined with the threads of life damaging experiences of abandonment in my childhood, make me prone to believe I am undesirable.

    If she and I show ongoing interest in each other, as has been the case in small steps so far, it plunges me into the feelings of the frightening empty void of my childhood and the damage that the alienation did to me and my entire life. Part of me resists seeing that truth and wishes I could be satisfied with just hanging out with lonely friends and watching TV for the rest of my life.

    But I have a more powerful pull to get to know her and see where that goes. I couldn’t go there if not for Primal Therapy.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Larry:You sound like you are in a difficult spot with this “lady”. I suspect she might have her own set of feelings about herself. What I feel would be great, as I see it is; if one of you could be brave enough to tell the other how you felt coming to this meeting. It could be that the other of you, would also open up about their trepidations. It’s worth the risk … or as Vivian was wont to say at retreats: “Take a risk”.

      Yep!!! easier said than done, but then life is full of those kind of risks and in the end there’s not much to lose.

      Meantime, I wish for the best for you …… and her; ‘cos’ I feel she would have a great catch in getting you. A very sensitive guy. There’s not that many around like that.


      • FRED says:

        Some real insights here. The worst that could happen?

      • Larry says:

        Thanks for your support, Jack. I think it is best, as always, to risk life as bravely as possible and work through the feelings that get in the way along the route. Between now and when I meet her, I’ll be working through feelings erupting as a result of my having risked making contact with her. Now every other day I seem to be crying big stuff that not too long ago I was too scared to go to. There is no therapeutic easy way out of this for me. Whatever the outcome of that coffee meeting, I’m sure more primals will be stirred from meeting her, especially if we decide we want to meet again although that might not be the scenario that unfolds.

    • Phil says:

      That’s great that you are following through on that, I hope it goes well.

    • Bailey says:

      Gosh, Larry. I always feel inadequate, word-wise, when it comes to responding to your posts.. Your last 2 sentences sooo resonated within me.
      Here’s assuming that by today, the 28th, you have been able to feel some more of the wrongful events in your life that lead to your feelings of not being desirable. As to your:.” make me prone to believe I am undesirable.” I think the key word here is “believe”. The definition of belief is: accepting something as true. I assume you know that you are not undesirable. Right?. I hope, NO, I don’t hope. I Assume that you have dispelled enough of this feeling of undesirability to be able to have a really nifty ….dare I use the words…’.date with’ this person that you like and have share/common interests with.

      You continue to an inspiration to me.

      • Larry says:

        Hello Bailey. That is a nice of you to say. Thank you.

        I’m glad for your sake that you were able to overcome whatever feelings of inadequacy and wrote it. It seems like many of us primal bloggers are always at war with those feelings that hold us back. We have to eventually push through them if we want to eventually take steps toward achieving what we want. I’ve learned over and over and over how being in primal therapy makes it more possible to work though those feelings.

        I’m glad it’s been two weeks between first email contact with the lady I hope to get to know more and our first one-on-one meeting this coming Monday . The two weeks have given me more time to work through paralysing feelings of childhood aloneness, leaving me more able to accept my adult aloneness and cope with it in a more adult way. I hope that something nice grows between her and I after the meeting. I feel there is a possibility that something will. I also feel there is just as much possibility that we will discover no spark at all between us. I seem to be expectant and ready for both outcomes.

        In the meantime, I continue to push myself to be involved in several communities and activities that matter to me, despite my feeling of being inadequate to be accepted in them. I feel like I can’t sing, but I accepted an invitation to join a choir. It is a stretch for me to be in a choir, but I’m made to feel welcome, and it’s fun and a good experience even though I continually wrestle with fear that I’m not good enough. Ditto with my feeling inadequate about being chairperson of a small environmental committee that matters to me. Ditto with my feeling inadequate about submitting some of my photographic prints to an art show fundraiser next month. Despite struggling with feelings of inadequacy, I discover that I feel enriched and get positive feedback from being involved in those activities and people that mean something or a lot to me. And of course, primals get stirred from being involved in life.

        I’ve had time to do my homework. I’m about as ready as I can be for my Monday coffee meeting with her. I’m no longer content to be lingering safely in an austere cave on a cliff. My parachute is strapped on. I’m ready to plunge into the unknown.

        Welcome to the blog Bailey. I do hope to see you write more often here and tell us about yourself whenever you need to.

        • FRED says:

          I have a feeling that your angst, etc. will be much ado about nothing. That is, you will find out, after getting to know this woman a bit better that there isn’t all that much common ground. Either way, your courage is rewarded.

  95. magnolia, you went through a lot in your childhood. i am sorry that it happened to you and i am glad you are still able to make your way through that pain and feel it. sorry again about your brother. he did care about you.

    • Magnolia says:

      Thanks, Otto. Your words easily apply to yourself, as well. I wish you well, in trying to find a way to deal with your marriage, too, as it continues to hurt you. After his wife sent me hostile texts, saying my brother wanted nothing to do with me, my brother sent me one text, “Apology for last email. I will explain later. No worries.” So I knew that actually came from him, after she returned his phone to him. We never got the chance for him to “explain”, but at least I knew something of how he really felt, after having not heard from him in a year.

  96. Jack Waddington says:

    So! I am now getting the check boxes and before posting my response to Larry I checked those boxes. BUT still now getting emails for the 4 that arrived overnight.

    I must still bed doing something wrong. Guess that’s what comes with old age. ARRRRGGGG.


  97. Margaret says:

    your words sound so familiar, I can relate very well to the roller coaster of feelings you have to face with respect to the upcoming date.
    I remember how when a possible date was still in a stage of being maybe possible but probably not, I felt all hopeful and had nice daydreams about the possibilities.
    then all of a sudden when it turned into a more concrete stage I was unpleasantly surprised at how my feelings shifted to acute insecurity and fear to be rejected.
    reality seemed to strike and jerk me out of my rosy daydreams into ‘why on earth would someone want me?’
    but I feel very confident you are truly able to work through all your feelings Larry, and wish you a very nice first date, hopefully followed by more and even nicer ones.
    for me after a few days of facing my feelings it helped to accept my own imperfections and look at how I cope with them and at my qualities.
    so in a way just having that possible date did a lot for me feeling wise.
    my date did not turn into a romance but was ok still, and was certainly a positive process.
    keep doing what you do Larry, you are inspiring!

    • Larry says:

      Thank you for the affirmation, Margaret. I need that. I feel proud to be a member of the cadre of inspiring people who are this blog.

  98. David says:

    A few words on where I’m at. For the last four years or so what has been coming up for me almost exclusively is the pain of having been raped by my father when I was 3 or 4 years old. I have no visual memory of this but I have had for some time what I’ve come to identify as body memories. For two years or so I had no idea what I was feeling, only that something really, really horrible must have happened to me for me to be screaming the way I was. Then I felt more of the pain, the fear, the disgust and found myself crying out “why did you have to do it daddy” over and over as more of this felt truth came through. Another related feeling is for needing my mother at that time. The clues are there too in thinly veiled dreams. In one, I’m lying naked face down on a bed and my father sticks a syringe in my butt and injects me with a serum that paralysis me. Pretty obvious symbolism there I would say…The body memories come exclusively at night and when they first started happening, I thought I was badly constipated and so would sit on the toilet for long periods in agony without any relief. Whereas some years ago when they emerged they would be agonising and last for about half an hour, now they only last about 5 minutes and are only mildly painful. I’m hopeful that this is some indicator that I’ve managed to resolve a good chunk of this pain. What feeling this has also done is surface painful. unconscious beliefs about myself, predominantly that I am not anyone worth helping. I can see how this could have contributed to my isolation over the years. It also seems to be transforming my relationship with my mother. I used to be resentful and hostile to my parents in equal measure, but now the main villain has been identified, I seem to have softened towards her recently. Whenever she would call me on the phone I could be extremely terse and sharp with her for “no reason” and this has completely gone over the last year. Of course I want to know if she knew, but so far I’ve been afraid to have that conversation. Also I’ve been waiting for the surfacing of visual memories which I feel would empower me. Still, I’m working towards that talk.

    My mother is in her mid eighties and lives alone, my father having died some years ago. When I visit her, I find one of the things she preoccupies her self with is the poring over hundreds of old family photographs, going back generations. She seems to delight in sharing them with me. One somewhat anomalous one that really piques my interest shows my grandfather in the Amazon dressed in only a loin cloth and with a bow and arrow. I comment that I’m a lot more interested in her side of the family than my fathers. She is silent for a few seconds, then responds saying “So am I!”. I ask why that is for her. She replies, expressing disdain for my father’s side, saying they couldn’t handle money and never seemed to be able to make anything of their lives. Then we come across a photo of my father’s mother. It’s a disquieting photograph and I feel repelled. To me she looks completely mad and I say so. My mother retorts defensively: “There was nothing mad about granny ____”. But then shortly after, she confides in me a time when she felt my grandmother had put her down for no reason and how much she resented it. My takeaway from this, and other talks with her, is that she doesn’t know anything about the horrific abuse my father inflicted on me. So that talk is still pending.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      David: That must be so devastating for you and it kind of ‘cut’ through me. Not that I ever felt a similar matter with my father. Mine is that he was never really there for me … when I desperately needed him.

      What I feel is worth bearing in mind is, if you wait too long before asking your mother it could be too late. Even though for the most part, I did have my dialog with my mother; now that she’s gone, there are a few things I wished I had asked.

      There is an added dimension for me, in reading all this, and that is:- what must have happened to the parents that commit such atrocities on innocent little children. They in their turn must have gone through unimaginable trauma themselves … not that, that is ANY excuse.
      Neurosis begets neurosis.


    • Larry says:

      David, I feel a lot of respect for you, for the way you are confronting your horrendous childhood. I hope your healing continues.

    • Phil says:

      That is such a terrible story, what your father did. It’s courageous for you to write about it here.

    • FRED says:

      Please know that the body in tandem with the psyche has the ability to integrate all traumas. The timing is largely up to us. For example, if we drown our miseries in alcohol, we shouldn’t expect a lot of assimilation any time soon, same for if we stuff feelings back with food. God speed, love you, fellow journeyer.

  99. David says:

    Jack, Larry and Phil,

    Thanks for your kind, supportive words. Jack, I believe you are right with your comment about waiting and I have been warned about this before. My mother is mentally sharp and in relatively good physical shape for her age, bar the odd health scare. But people of all ages seemingly in good health have died suddenly, so there is no telling when your time is up.

    Horrific as what happened is, it does clarify what was always a terrible relationship between me and my father. I basically stopped talking to him when I was about 14 and really couldn’t stand to be in the same room with him. I didn’t understand why this was as while he was controlling, he was not verbally abusive and he didn’t beat me. Now it is becoming clearer.

    Yes, the healing continues. I feel a lot, but (I suppose like many of us) I wish it would go faster. Years go by and primal pain continues to wreak havoc on many aspects of my life, especially my health. But I suppose it has it’s own timetable that I can’t do much to tamper with..

  100. Jack Waddington says:

    Hi everyone, Just thought I’d put my 3 cents in … again … as a few days ago I had a sort of insight.
    I’ve lone been saying “don’t get old, it sucks”, but got to seeing it was a silly thing to say and so I got to thinking why I said it. The first part being that I didn’t like getting old; least-ways older than 60, BUT; and I might have said this a couple of posts back, I really meant; that on adding the years, at least try to keep young in spirit.
    Like:- have fun, do silly things for time to time, joke and laugh, Play silly games and know they are silly, stop trying to be right and a real biggy:- be the little kid, all over again again … in spirit.


    • Jack Waddington says:

      The above, perhaps not for everyone.


      • FRED says:

        Why not? It’s not BAD advice.

        Several years ago, I recall that when I reached I think 50, thinking “I’m getting OLD!–but here I am”. I realized I had 2 choices. Continue to get older or not. I chose to continue, knowing that lifestyle choices would have a big effect on the quality of my life and appearance, going forward.

        Two, I realized that I actually have a LOT of input into my aging. This is related to (1) above but I think it’s deeper.

        I came to the realization that repression is the major cause of aging. I cannot prove it yet but what gave me the idea, actually, were accounts on Youtube and in books of individuals who have been declared clinically dead and then “came back” (Near Death Experiences).

        A common phenomenon is seeing “dead” relatives and loved ones on “the other side” who looked like they were in the mid-30s at the peak of their youth and vitality and not, say, 97 (like my mom) when they died.

        I got to thinking.

        Is there an additional message here? There does seem to be something tragic and unfortunate (as in primal pain-repression) about aging and I already that the body largely give us feedback.

        From subjective experience having primals and other events in my life, I realized that, if anything, Janov actually understated the scope of repression and its massive job of holding at bay our virtually godlike vitality and wisdom (talk about acting out!).

        My working theory is that repression is the main culprit in aging.

        Remove repression through assimilation and you have a veritable fountain of youth.

        This next section will, to an extent, seem like a non-sequitur but I don’t believe it is as we are discussing “the whole man” (women too, of course).

        We in the Primal World would be well advised to broaden our somewhat narrow outlook and expand, be more open.

        However, if we primal in good faith with a minimum of self-deception as to where we “actually are”, there will be a psychological expansion and more appreciation of others’ realities.

        The best example are the more evangelic and fundamentalist Christians groups. I am not saying we need to embrace some of their beliefs but I promise you. They are connected to SOMETHING and it not some hysterical hallucination. I call it Creation (Birth-First Line). I don’t necessarily go long with all their intellectual (Third Line) interpretations but I wouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water. To do so, is to discard a KEY clue to the mystery.

        If one does completely discount the reality of these people, they are DOOMED to reincarnate and THAT life will be largely in a similar reality to the fundamentalist Christians.

        This may actually be what Christ meant by “hell”. In other words, you are creating the circumstances of your “next” life now so be careful.

        This is exceedingly important so I would say that we need to stop fooling ourselves and realize that we TRULY have just begun in this process but as Jack says, be silly, joke and laugh. That well might remind us that the process is actually not THAT hard, just the belief it is that hard and it is actually that very belief that is the feeling. Talk about a closed loop but that is the nature of personal reality. It is our intimately-held personal value judgements that create the feelings. They are one in the same.

        • Sylvia says:

          Fred, as far as seeing dead relatives at their youthful age when we are ‘half-dead’ or in an altered state might just be an inhibition of the cortical brain leaving the lower brains still functioning. My mom had Alzheimer’s and believed my brother was her husband and she remembered her mom as being younger and alive and eventually thought she should go help her little brother with his wagon. She could not imagine having had children or that she was 91 y/o. The lower brain holds past memories too. When I dream and the cortex is asleep I dream my mom is here and intelligent and my dad is well or recovering.

          My view of the evangelicals is that they are tapped into the energy of their pain but don’t know what it’s about. Some of the most open giving people in my life were religious, but not fanatically so.

          If someone wants to believe in an afterlife or in past lives then that’s okay. What matters to me is how caring they are.

          Fred, do you have a feeling about primal people not being accepting of others–is there a feeling there?

          • FRED says:

            It is just my opinion. As my accounting professor said way when “I call ’em as I see ’em”.

            I would advise ANYONE not to mock the experience of others, however. We, or at least I, am not having their experience.

            Again, it is my view they are tapped into something that we more intellectual types have walled off.

            • sylvia says:

              Maybe they are acting out pain, of abandonment, trauma, and found an outlet or release of that pressure and energy that those reverberating circuits creates. I would not mock anyone’s pain or how they cope with it, and as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, no problem. Not that we will be fast friends. There is a lot about unorthodox ways people deal with their pain in Janov’s book, “Beyond Belief.”

  101. just another miserable rant. tired of this lifestyle. i can barely stay afloat; job, bills, wife, pets, health, old age, kids. i don’t have much to do with kids, but i did say in group that you always worry about your kids (forever after). big kid in ohio has had horrible back pain since he moved there and now much worse and he is taking pain pills which are not helping much and will affect his sobriety. very stupid doctors in ohio, from what i can see. is he coming back here to try back therapies? he bring his monster dog, so that my dog and cats have to be confined? he leave his girlfriend there since she cannot leave her job because she needs her health insurance because she is way diabetic? i cant do much to help, i am useless trying to find medical solutions for kid. wife is superbusy as usual and only wants me to do more even tlhough i can barely function as is. wants me to help her clean out her office to put a bed in there for the kid. will kid lose his goodpaying job? i am fucking tired of this shit and there is nothing else to say. of course it is all about me but i feel horrible for my son. i feel powerless. and i am way angry and tired. tired of this shit. fuck it.

    • FRED says:

      As Jack says, I’ll put in my 3¢. The back pains are actually un-assimilated thought, pushed here, pushed there, etc. NOT a criticism but symptoms suggest the cure. They “hurt” so FEEL the emotional component within them. There is a learning process here but the basis of this is “Nothing is out there. Everything is internally generated”. He might start by acknowledging this truth. This alone will make a difference. It just MIGHT not be too long before he discovers how to divine the thought-feeling that is part and parcel of the symptom. Almost all physical pain can actually be at least ameliorated by assimilating the actual cause.

      Again, no criticism, more like compassion.

  102. 2 for 2. other kid in San Pedro was in accident yesterday. he has mnor injuries but his car is totalled. i should be happy he is ok. but high blood sugar and anti-depressants keep me guarded from happy. i just have easy anger and sadness. well he has no car and just started a new job. i had been channeling thoughts of an accident for a while now, but all you have to do in L.A. is get on the road and images of accidents come to mind. so i doh’t know if i am psychic. i don’t know whether people can see the future or feel images from close family members through the air waves. i did not feel anything from him when he had this accident. what does it matter anyways. i am full of shit and tired to death of shit. i don’t feel anything good on a normal basis to counter the overwhelming garbage that i call my existence. good that the kid is ok though. he did not have the kids in the car thank god. watched one of the episodes of war and remembrance last night that showed gassing at auschwitz. fucking germans. just like trump’s hicks. fuck you, life. you always do what you want. fuck you you stinking bitch.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      Otto: You seem to be going through a lot, but you do have the courage to write about it, and that to me is a good start.

      I feel I may be watching too much TV … CNN in my case, and it all seems to be making America crazier by the day. Before I ever came to the US I met a lot of Americans who thought the US constitution was a great document, written by some very brilliant “Founding Fathers” Using the very same initials I feel they were anything but. More like Floundering F******. Of course, I’m an Englishman looking in, so I would … would I not?

      Two major flaws in that document, as I see it today, are the 2nd amendment, and the other is that a President is not elected, but is selected by ‘electoral collage members. Another flaw is that a second chamber is comprised of two from each state, irrespective of the number of citizens in those states; thus giving those less populated states more than equal say, in representatives of the Senate.
      All this comes down to:- the US government is not a democracy Even democracy is a case of winners and losers. Why can’t we live in a world of “win-win”???

      I’m aware this is all a head trip on my part, but like with The British and Brexit, it’s all going in the wrong direction. To quote Art. We know it’s all wrong … but “we’re looking in the wrong places for answers”. We talk glibly of opinions, biases, ideas and studies … little realizing that all those things got decided way before we had word … but reason otherwise.

      All this bothers me greatly. I just want to cry. Maybe I’ll just go off to bed after posting this and do just that … into my pillow 😦 😦 😦 .


      • FRED says:

        The United States is not a democracy. It is a republic. The Founding Fathers knew exactly what they were doing. The history of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution the Bill of Rights (which truly makes this country different from Great Britain) is actually extremely inspiring and compelling. By far the best scholar on this is Mark Levin who’s written on this very subject. He has a number of books. He is acknowledged by all as a world-class thinker and attorney. He is licensed to practice in front of Appellate Courts and the Supreme Court. I’m sorry I can’t recommend a specific title of a book but get on amazon and read the descriptions.

        I’ve always decried the the parliamentary form of democracy with I think the stupid thing that the Prime Minister tends to resign such as Cameron after Brexit. By the way, I think May is a disaster. I liked Cameron far better even if he didn’t support Brexit. Nigel Farage is my man, Le Pen my “man” in France.

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Fred: You sure show your biases in this comment of yesterday . However, let me show you more of mine. The F. F. of the US were governors picked by the British parliament, with the exception of Washington, a Westminster picked general. The so called ‘bill of rights’ was created by slave owners (a British idea I grant). Those “Rights”, in that bill were and are, still not fully implemented to this day for everyone in the US, since children are being separated from their parent at the border. What this Republic you seemingly love does is:- decides on who has the right to live on that piece of ‘dirt/soil’ called the US and who doesn’t. It’s a British idea that got carried over by those colonials that stole that bit of dirt/soil like many other ideas brought over by those colonials. Britain does not need a bill of rights. It sort of evolved gradually over a few centuries up to the point of beheading the authoritarian King Chalie boy. The whole Brexit notion is based on the very same idea.

          All government talk glibly of their own version of freedom, but none ever totally grant it. All so called, nations/empires, way back to the Egyptians, through the Romans. Russians with Alex the Great, British, now America; impose their own idea, by what ever means they have, on everyone else. They are ALL terribly flawed.

          My take:- This planet belongs to all the creatures upon it, and no particular spot ‘BELONGS’ to anyone. That’s why Brexit is a backward step in the wrong direction. Wrong IMO because subliminally we all feel the right (desire) to travel wherever we feel that desire takes us and then settle wherever there is a spot we can comfortably reside on, for as long as that desire remains, AND with the other occupying that same spot, and it become desirable for us all to get along with those others, in or around, that spot. THAT, in my very biased Opinion, is my sense of real FREEDOM. No government agrees with anything close to that notion. Governments are the problem, along with all the trapping (bull shit) they bring with it … ‘wars, cruelty, our way, else incarceration, my religious notions cos I/we are always right’. Hence we keep on needing more laws to the point that there are whole libraries of millions of books written by highly neurotic people deciding for all others. Gezus; what a fuckin mess.

          There … got that off my chest.


          • FRED says:

            I wouldn’t know where to start but I am glad every single day that the United States decided to go its own way.

            • Jack Waddington says:

              Fred: Good for you if “I am glad every single day that the United States decided to go its own way.”

              One problem:- The United States NEEDS stuff form outside it’s own borders. AND, like the British before them, interferes in the affairs of many other states. If you wishing to be an isolationist, so-be-it, and join North Korea and some other isolationist nations. It seems that your wish is being granted.

              I hope, in hindsight, you don’t regret it.


              • FRED says:

                I am not at all concerned. I am completely confident in my government, my President, my Congress, etc. I’ve never been more so and I was born under the Truman Administration, albeit I don’t remember then, maybe due to Birth Trauma? (a bit of humor, come on, lighten up!)

                Look, I love GB. All my ancestors come from there: England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland. My great-grandmother was from “Ireland” but it HAD to be the Protestant counties that nowadays are Northern Ireland because she was a staunch Methodist.

                My dad’s dad, my grandfather; He was VERY English, had to sit at the head of the table, had to do the carving of the meat, but a character he was! Unfortunately, they lived in the Chicago area and we lived in Kansas and Oklahoma.

                I loved the British Invasion. Hands down, Britain had more great music per capita than the second place country during that era, the United States. Nobody touches the Beatles, nobody even came remotely close and it was the Mercy Scene that fostered it all, albeit British teens in the late 1950s idolized Elvis, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and other American artists. And London was no slacker. The Rolling Stones, are you KIDDING me! The Who, the Moody Blues, the Animals, later; Led Zeppelin and so many more. There will never be ANYTHING like it.

                And, of course, there is Shakespeare, no words! He indeed was a Speaker. He spoke to mankind from a place of Knowing, rather he I think “channeled” information, a veritable Hurdy Gurdy Man, if you will. And speaking of “Hurdy Gurdy, Man”, I MET Donovan at Tower Records on Sunset Blvd, in November 2005 when he was signing his books! What a Scottish folksinger and songwriter he was!

                I think Winston Churchill was the greatest leader of the 20th Century. He SAVED GB until FDR we finally got the U.S. into the war. I still recall the day when he died in January 1965. Even at 15 I was sad.

                It has been my personal observation, though, that one of the problems with GB now is the lack of a Bill of Rights. Nigel Farage, as I said is the hope for GB, in my opinion but I already said that.

    • FRED says:

      Maybe you do have precognitive abilities. Did the details of the accident match your visions?

  103. David says:

    The double whammy of Trump/Brexit woke me up to politics whereas before I didn’t really have much interest in the subject. I always voted Labour but really only because my father was a staunch conservative. I discovered that when I was raped by him I made an unconscious decision to be the opposite of everything he was. This has made me something of a contrarian in life, which has admittedly not always been to my advantage. Trump especially has become quite an obsession. I watch MSNBC online everyday because the British media is not giving me enough of the up to the minute info in particular about the progress of the Special Council The US president is like the daddy of the world and therefore should be an empathetic leader who knows what he’s doing, not an incompetent, abusive idiot, like the present one. Which is exactly how I felt about my father. As for Brexit, I remember the Leave victory made me very sad that my country would vote for opting out of the greater freedom of movement and interconnectedness which the EU provides. It was like a vote against togetherness. Although the validity of that vote is more being brought into question by the emerging fact of illegal fund raising in the Leave camp and the presence of Russian bots as in the US election. So I continue watching current events closely, hopeful of a second referendum and the ASAP removal of Trump.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      David: Removing Trump is more likely to bring in a worse one with Pense. My feeling is get the Dems to occupy both houses and block Trump. Of course there’s a risk in that for Dems to then be viewed as obstructionist, and for them to get voted out in 2020.

      My view is to scrap the whole capitalist thing with No Laws, No Government, and No Money … and then just let us humans seek out our own desires and wishes, having to bear in mind that they/we need to be aware of others and their feelings in order to make life bearable for ourselves.

      It’s exactly how, as I perceive it, other creatures behave towards their own creature types and how we operated, before we became neurotic … I contend somewhere in the region of 20 to 30 thousand years ago. That; out of the 100 thousand we’ve been human beings. According to those supposedly in the know about our evolution.


      • David says:


        Pense is super conservative and undesirable, yes, but I don’t see that he’s worse than Trump. I don;’t see anyone who’s worse than Trump. The Dems look certain to take the House of Representatives and could at a pinch take the Senate. Trump has mobilised a great deal of energy within the dems, particularly with women, that could easily carry over to 2020. But as Michael Moore has been saying, the only elections that count right now are the mid-terms and it’s so vital for people to get out and vote.

        As for your manifesto, it seems to me to be just unrealistic and unworkable. How would you even begin to make that happen? Politically, I feel most closely aligned with the democratic socialists in Scandinavian countries. Over and over this part of the world tops polls in equality, happiness and general wellbeing. Their policies, when espoused by the likes of Bernie Sanders, get called radical in the States, but often they are really just common sense.

        • Jack Waddington says:

          David: the two questions you asked:- 1) “…. it seems to me to be just unrealistic and unworkable.” and 2) How would you even begin to make that happen? Politically, are questions that I have spent the last 50 years working on and contemplating.
          So this is not some glib thing I’ve just recently picked up on. I have gone to the trouble of writing a 30 page book on the subject, that I have offered (as a .PDF file) for free, for anyone wishing to read it.

          I would only need an email to me at jackwaddington@yahoo.com, requesting it, and I will send you that book/pamphlet. There: I go into explaining all the questions you ask, and many others that others have posed to me.

          Question a) Is the question everyone asks and then go onto state “unrealistic and unworkable.” My curt retort is:- How the fuck would you know? Unless you’ve seen it tried, you couldn’t possibly know, BUT that’s the reply that most use after, at best, two seconds of consideration.

          I suggest you stop and think and contemplate a little further.
          The second question b) is far more tricky, and for those thinkers that have contemplated it (Karl Marx being the most famous … with a “dictatorship of the proletariat). It is assumed it needs to lead from a political standpoint, when in-fact a political solution defeats itself by virtue of the fact that the end result is to be apolitical. I take another tak in my book on the subject.


          • David says:


            I think it’s extremely unlikely that your pamphlet could turn me into a political anarchist, so I’m going to pass, but thanks for the offer. I just don’t believe in the basic premise. That getting rid of money and government will solve all our problems by somehow returning us to a pre-neurotic state. Money is just a medium of exchange. If someone has a problem with ,money, it’s in their relationship to it, not the thing itself. Also in my life I find I’m having a greater appreciation for things like democracy and the rule of law now that those things are being increasingly threatened by the likes of Trump and other populists. So that might be another reason why I’m resistant to your ideas.

            • David says:

              As a PS to the above I would certainly agree that there is a problem with the distribution or redistribution of wealth/money. When Jeff Bezos is making $280 millon a day, I think the figure is, while his workers are being treated like slave labour – that is surely a problem. But something like higher taxation or a maximum wage would be the way to go I would suggest.

              • Jack Waddington says:

                David: further:- “I would certainly agree that there is a problem with the distribution or redistribution of wealth/money”. I don’t see you offering a solution David … er daddy …. merely ‘putting a band aid on a wound, due to falling off a tree’. How about not climbing up a tree in the first place????? If you genuinely see a problem with the wealth distribution … wouldn’t it seem logical to abolish the root cause???????

                I have long pondered the same aspect about the root causes of neurosis. Education does not seem to cut it. Most don’t want to be educated by matters they’ve made up their minds about. Those minds being stimulated by trauma from womb-hood and/or early child-hood. Yeah?
                I am certain that when I say David … I’m really saying Daddy

            • Jack Waddington says:

              David: It was nor is my intent to “turn [you] into a political anarchist”. I suspect that couldn’t happen at this moment in time, BUT … asking you to merely give it more than a cursory thought. Just as you, for one, gave Primal therapy/theory more than a cursory thought, which it appears, is ALL (cursory thought) that the mental health and medical professionals give to Janov’s idea.

              What most neurotics fail to see, is that all our ideas and opinions are set in motion, long ago, before we even had word and were able to think. {According to Benjamin Lee Whorf; we can ONLY think in language}. That accounts for the different ways ideas circulate in countries with different languages. However, I am also aware there are many that refute Whorf … but give no credible reason for their argument.

              The effects of democracy is being shown glaringly for what it is; in the current attempts of the Republicans to rush and squeeze a doubtful candidate into the supreme court. I say doubtful since as I view him, he has a very obvious dubious motive as do the Republicans on that committee: there is a subliminal feeling underlying their arguments, namely, to make sure their side win and (to put it crudely) “fuck the women that might have to suffer the consequences of his adjudicating on the court.

              Lastly: Democratic governance is not what the word, DEMOCRACY actually means. From the Greek it mean governance by the populous of people. Not as Lincoln defined it … by,for and of the people. That’s not what happens. You get to vote once every so many years, and then those that get voted in, run the show their way until forced to go back and ask, for your vote … again. In my case (and I can only speak for me), no-one REPRESENTS ME. I am the ONLY representative of me. As for your P.S. there you go again, proffering how to rectify all the misgivings of the current status quo. We’ve been doing for eons and until and unless we change our way of thinking (better yet, Feeling) then we’ll still be in this same mess until such times as we blow the fucking planet to smithereens. Go figure!!!! If you dare. 🙂 or maybe 😦

              P.S. Yep!! you guessed it … there’s a lot of feeling going for me in this reply … all to do with my daddy, who thought he had all the answers … BUT didn’t … nor do any of us.


  104. David says:


    Actually, it wasn’t that much more than a “cursory thought” that got me into primal. When I read just the introduction to “The Primal Scream” I threw the book in the air and yelled out “I’ve found it”” So it seems there are some ideas that can grab me and fire me up almost instantly. While other ideas, not so much… Systems, including political ones, are imperfect and need to be evolved, not junked. Unless they are obviously wholly corrupt. Janov famously said that neurosis must be overthrown by force and violence, but there are few primal therapists who work like that now. Presumably because it didn’t work. But you seem to be recommending a sort of societal level “bust” and I don’t see how that would work either, (assuming you could actually do it) for the same reason. That how we survived and got to where we are needs to be respected.

    It’s been said about politicians that they arrive in power to do good and stay in power to do well. What we need are altruistic representatives who have our best interests at heart, but increasingly we have people (like Trump and Putin) who due to their own pain and trauma are driven to seek positions of power and are taking us over the cliff with them. But it also needs a lot of people like them to support them and put them there in the first place and keep them there. But progress happens, just not in a straight line. Trump is an obvious set back. But taking a broader view, the 21st century is already significantly less violent than the 20th century was this far in. As for the root cause of problems with wealth distribution, that would be good old fashioned greed as I see it. Which as I said before is about our relationship to money, not the thing itself.

    If you had a father who laid down the law and insisted on always being right – when he was actually there – well, I can certainly relate to that. My father was the same,,and when his arguments didn’t work, he would draft in God to bolster them. I feel like saying who needs fathers anyway. I would have been better off without mine.

    • Jack Waddington says:

      David: Firstly; I thoroughly enjoy these back and forth between us, which keeps me on my toes … cognitively speaking. I do feel we might be alienating others. I hope not, and that is why I attempt to put forward my overall feelings into the mix.

      Two points in this last comment of yours.
      1) “But you seem to be recommending a sort of societal level “bust” and I don’t see how that would work either, (assuming you could actually do it)”
      there’s an a) & b)
      a) Anarchism is NOT to “bust” the current system out of existence; though I do confess, some anarchist feel that is the only manner to bring it about. I don’t … I have taken another tak
      b) You ” not seeing how that would work”, assumes on your part, that Anarchy, once installed, has to “work” Anarchy as I define it in my pamphlet is about the antithesis of having to be managed. It’s something akin (allegorically speaking) to what happens in ‘pedestrian-ism in any given city or town. No-one controls it, no-one directs it … it is not a frightening situation, it is just that every individual does whatever is their thing, to go to where they want to go, when, how fast, and where. The only time there is any outside control, is when we step off the pavement (sidewalk). Accordingly:- we cease for that moment, to not be pedestrians.

      2) “As for the root cause of problems with wealth distribution, that would be good old fashioned greed as I see it.”
      a) I talk about many factors of our ‘Behaviour’, rather than our “Nature’ in the pamphlet. Greed is a factor of the current political system. It’s a behaviour stemming from being controlled from above … as happened to most of us in childhood If that system ceased to exist such ‘behaviours” as greed, would never occur as an option. However, in order to wrap ones mind around that concept requires we start to think “outside the box” of our neurotic creation. Something most of us are unwilling to do, BUT often suggested at Primal Retreats.
      b) then you continue with:- “Which as I said before is about our relationship to money, not the thing itself.” Our relationship to money, a la “The Seven Laws of Money” by Michael Phillips, Random House, 1974, states it very differently. There is no attitude about money until we introduce it. It’s initial introduction was as a means of CONTROL. It CONTROLS you, even if you deny it, as stated clearly in Phillips book.


      • FRED says:

        2 points

        1) Greed is kind of symbolically “getting love”. I would suggest that instead of addressing the symptom, we get in touch with the cause.

        2) Some of this utopian, natural anarchic society that Jack envisions might some day organically come to pass when man is “ready” but, in the meantime, let’s go back to fundamentals, follow feelings and assist that process by changing our habits. I believe this would involve eschewing some of the “little things” we do and consume daily, things that serve to keep feelings at bay.

        For me, number one is that I tend to “snack”. I “feel hungry” but I’m not really. Here is an example.

        I’m in the kitchen of the apartment (where all the food is) and, in my mind, instantly there is a picture of say tortilla chips and the guacamole dip I bought at Bristol Farms last night. Yummy!

        But I’m not really hungry. Surely, I can wait until tonight when one or more of the cats and I are watching either sports (OMG! “Primal” people don’t watch major league baseball) or, even worse Fox News (Tucker, Hannity & Ingraham–I might as well say “Lions and tigers and bears, oh no!”). I do watch other cable channels of course, like History (if something like UFOs are on), Science (if something like ancient civilizations are on), American Hero Channel (if something like WWI or WWII is on), ID (I can’t watch the violent ones but I like Lt. Kenda of the Colorado Springs PD and a couple of others), etc. On weekends, I’ve been known to watch some movies such as on Starz or On Demand.

        Fortunately, I can work at home quite a lot with the computer technology being as it is and I can attach files, scan, work from PDF’s.

        Tonight I’m having Chinese from Mandarette on Beverly Blvd, just east of the Beverly Center if some of you remember where that is. Wish you were here, Jack. I’d treat you to Chinese even though you’re a Commie! By the way, Jack, I can discern that you are at heart, gentle.

        Seriously, for me, not snacking, not drinking 2 or 3 red beers (½ 5% Mexican beer, ½ Campbells tomato juice) per night is another way I’ve changed my lifestyle. I’ve not completely eliminated alcohol consumption but it is WAY down (like 90%) and I’ve saved a LOT of money too. I’m GLAD, by the way, “they” introduced money! It can be FUN and is almost necessary for one to really travel Freedom Road. At the very least, it sure beats barter!

        Because this is a primal blog and we can be a bit more personal. A third way I exercise self-discipline it by not masturbating. I believe it drains off feelings better dealt-with by allowing.

        By the way, I’m not saying “be an ascetic, or never eat, drink and be merry”, of course not, but these are behaviors that I’ve garnered, come to the aid of repression. Take my ideas with a grain of salt.

        Now that I’m talking about my day, I must add, I have primals on average over 3 times daily. They tend to be like a sudden intense thunderstorm in Oklahoma in May. This process began when my wife’s dad died on July 2, 2017 and intensified greatly when she went on hospice on November 10, 2017. I’ve had up to 9 in one day. This usually happens when I’m fasting.

        Ya wanna REALLY unloose the dam? Try fasting a week or 2! You will learn many things. Your sleep will be altered and you will discover, to paraphrase John Lennon, that you are not quite as clever, classless and free (from “Working Class Hero”) you supposed you were.

        One day I will talk about my life-changing Breakthrough Primal of November 17, 1996, an inner event that manifested into a 45-minute primal that included 20 minutes or so of build-up and heavy breathing; a Primal that greatly sped up my downloading process, and the key factor, I’m convinced, that led me to finding my wife about 10 months later; the love of my life with whom I spent 20 years.

        I bring this up only because I mentioned my having primals.

        Thanks for listening while I prattle on.

        • Sylvia says:

          Fred, do you feel comfortable enough to share some about your primals–do they mainly have a physical component or are there emotions and feelings also? No problem if you think it is too personal, just wondered if they were about your growing up.

          • FRED says:

            Thanks very much for asking. I will of course provide, say a description of a primal, typical of what I have almost every day, if you will do the same, that is, recount a specific primal or a typical one if they are fairly frequent.

            Write it up, say on Word, edit it and then post. You don’t have to “go first” but I would just appreciate you saying you are willing.

        • Jack Waddington says:

          Fred: A very revealing comment, and I read it all; some of it twice. I liked the remark about finding the love of your life and getting 20 years out of it was lovely to read. Few of us seem to ever find that kind of love.

          Three points a want to comment on further:-
          1) “I’m GLAD, by the way, “they” introduced money! It can be FUN and is almost necessary for one to really travel Freedom Road. At the very least, it sure beats barter!”.
          Sure! carrying paper and/or coins, is better than having to lug a pig or a whole cow around, BUT why do we have to have either It’s “fun” if you have it, but when you don’t and can’t get it, then it’s an UN-NECESSARY hell for those in that position. Mostly, not their own fault. What I am proposing is that we take what we need and we give whatever we feel like. What that does to our psyche is, if we can take what we need; we’ll inevitably give what we feel like giving and is required. Why this is so, is because that is our Nature (a la Primal theory). what we got instead is a behaviour, because we got deprived of our real nature. It requires that one ‘THINKS outside the box’ syndrome. Sadly the “utopia” OR “It would never work” concepts ARE:- our ‘boxed, DEEPLY within’ thinking … little realizing, just how ‘boxed in’ we are.

          2) Masturbating is in part a sex substitute and is partly sex addiction, which is a great pain killer. I know all about that one, as I did it for a greater part of my sex life … which has now left me, due to age … I guess.

          3) I am reluctant to call what happens to me as “having Primals”, since how I sense it, is that I am in a more or less high state of feelings most of the time. I say “high” in the same way I used to get high on pot (marijuana), LSD and psilcybin mushrooms. I have no desire to take them now, as I feel that kind of heightened sensibility most of the time. They are to me simply feelings … some old, some not so old, and some right here in the present.


          • Jack Waddington says:

            Addendum: Those feelings of mine, range from sad, angry, fear and often happy and many of the in-between ones also.


            • FRED says:

              You should have been a lawyer. No doubt if you were having a session with Edgar Cayce, you would find a past life in Atlantis.

              • Jack Waddington says:

                Fred: I take it that my use of the word “Addendum” puts me in the lawerly class. I could have wrote it more simple by saying “One other addition … and perhaps should have,
                On the matter of LAW, I am in the very opposite camp. , To quote Charles Dickens:- “The laws is an ass”. AND I couldn’t agree more.

                My only defense on the matter is that I am so stupid when it comes to languages … even my own English, that subliminally I’m all out to appear relatively competent … while knowing deep down I’m NOT.


                • FRED says:

                  Maybe in that past life in Atlantis or Lemuria, you were a kind of lawyer in the context of that society? Maybe “this life” you are rebelling against the restrictions on your soul you felt having to interpret many things in an unfeeling way.

          • FRED says:

            Not being at all sarcastic or disrespectful but what flavor is that pie-in-the Sky? I just LOVE boysenberry but it MUST be made with dried organic cane juice or agave. NO processed sugar! Hey, you might still be around when the Blessed Day that man lays down his swords and turns them into plowshears. I’d say that is around 500-600 years from now.

      • David says:

        Jack, it’s good talking to you too but it looks like we’ll have to agree to disagree. It could be that at some distant point we can live without any inhibiting external restrictions on our lives and government exists just to hold the balance points. But for societies to deeply change, the individuals who make up that society must deeply change first. At least that’s what I believe, which is why I’m here and not on a sociology blog 🙂

        • Jack Waddington says:

          David: It’s not a case of “agreeing to disagree”. It’s more a case (for me least-ways) to express my sentiments, and for you to express yours. That is what I thought we were doing. What I was so intend on showing/demonstrating, is why I think the way I think, as well as expressing what it IS I happen to think, and also to suggest that it could be a way to bring us humans as a whole, back to our Nature and thus prevent neurosis from occurring in the first place. Few, as I see it, do that.
          I read you carefully and as thoroughly as I know how, and I clearly see your point of view. For me that is not hard since (as I read you) on this matter you in the majority, not only from those I encounter, but from my looking in on the world around me. The latter is not a pretty picture.

          I order to get to this point for me, was a 60 year process, culminating in Primal Therapy.


  105. Sylvia says:

    Fred, I haven’t had a big primal in a while, mostly mini ones. I’ve been at this, I guess about 4 yrs. in earnest though I did have a few about 30 yrs ago when people were trying to get to their primal feelings by reading ‘the book.’ About 6 yrs ago when i wasn’t trying to get to feelings, after about a year after my mom passed, I had one about how exhausted i had been taking care night and day of her before she was living in the care home. I, sometimes was getting very little sleep and had been sick with tooth infections. So, there i was, living on my own. I was on a special diet, just eating vegetables and was getting weak. I could barely get to the phone to ask my brother to come over and help me. Before he arrived, because i knew help was on the way, I was able to break down and cry about how abused i felt, like a horse that had been whipped, over and again with no energy left. I was breathing rapidly like the locomotive Janov talks about. By the time my bro arrived I was all cried out and he fixed me some eggs and a tuna sandwich and I ate like a horse for the rest of the week. I felt like i was about 3 years old and could barely carry on a conversation with him which I’m sure he thought was from weakness. I felt how my mom just did not care about me. probably not for several years.
    Many of my primals are small ones where i will tear up or have a stunned or panicky feeling from something i see on the news.
    The other day i had one about a neighborhood family. They were having a fight and i heard yelling and it stunned me as it was reminiscent of the fighting in my family i witnessed growing up. I felt stunned all day. The family appeared to be doing all right in the aftermath.

    I think I know I’ve primalled when for days after, memories, not necessarily bad, good ones too, will surface. Like i get a part of my history back. I will get little vision-snippets of the clothes i wore when i was little, or i will see a blue dress on tv and recall i had one that color in high school. Primal, i think, is like time traveling backwards and experiencing how you were, what you wore and felt at that particular age, for me, anyways.

    • FRED says:

      September 25, 2018

      I seems that because of your “naivete”, that you have had some success in the sense that you are like Danny Wilson in the introduction to “The Primal Scream”. Pretty amazing and insightful. You have had specific memories! I am assuming that you never did “formal” Primal Therapy.

      Since 1971 when I read the book I’ve had exactly two specific memories and one of them, brought on by reading the book itself. The other one was in group in 1973. That’s all.

      I have had a few vague images as if I were trying to tune into an ongoing scene “as it is happening” but I didn’t pursue it. These seemed to be in a really rarified world, like a dimension, and there was SO much hurt there that, at the time, I felt a little cowed.

      I think the problem for me and for most other “primalers” is that we judge the content of these repressed memories as being so terrible, so awful, so traumatic that we believe we they are virtually un-integratable at least for “now at this point in my therapy”.

      This conviction is so all-encompassing that we then develop a “plan” in therapy in which we will “get to” these traumas over time, bit by bit. We’re NEVER sure as to when it will be that we’re able to “integrate” them but, with the help of our well-meaning therapist, we will integrate “stuff” as it “comes up”.

      We say things like: “It took 12 years to create this ‘neurosis’, it may take years to get totally cured. Then time passes and five years later, it seems like not much has happened other than maybe a few times we were able to get into our feelings.

      We acknowledge that we learned a “lot about ourselves” and indeed we did!

      We acknowledge that we increased our ability to recognize and allow feelings and we are better at it. This is not untrue but there is a gnawing feeling that “this wasn’t quite what I envisioned”.

      We’re left with at least some disappointment. The “post-Primal” thing never quite happened. The quality of our lives, although in many cases, improved, is still somehow somewhat wanting when we compare it to some sort of vague blueprint we created.

      Here is my theory and it is only a theory.

      We have hit the Brick Wall. There is more than one reason for this.

      Please, please, please know that I’m NOT saying “don’t get into your feelings”, “don’t do Primal Therapy”, “Janov was a quack”–no, nothing of the sort. I’ve sung his praises any number of times on this blog and elsewhere.

      What I am saying though: “What ABOUT that Brick Wall?”; “Is this really enough?”; “Have I truly maxed out except that, over my lifetime, I will from time to time, get into feelings where previously I wouldn’t have, and that I have more skills in dealing with them. This is IT? Really!?”

      Herein, then, is part of the “problem”. We are seeing the trees but ignoring the forest.

      Because we are convinced that these events of birth, infancy and childhood are “SO traumatic”, “SO horrible”, “SO painful”, then indeed they are. It is circular. The forest that escaped our attention due to being mesmerized by the giant redwoods is the IDEA that these events are so horrific. That IS the trauma, the pain. EVERYTHING, then is ideational, ALL reality.

      I am in NO WAY saying that all one must do is kind of click one’s heels together three times and state “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home” and then voilá, we’re cured, of course not. What I am saying, however, is that the IDEA is the trauma. It contains ALL the emotional information because it is the CREATOR of the feelings. Followed, those feelings lead the individual or primaler to the intimately-held conviction. It IS that little sticker-in-the-finger that is causing so much inflamation. One this Brick Wall is beheld and assimilation (demolition in this analogy) begins, we potentially have access to vast worlds of experience and higher forms of feeling-thought (no need for LSD to provide us with a peek, one that could come with dangers).

      Thank you for the post. It allowed me to better crystalize my understanding of this three-dimensional reality in which we all find ourselves.

      I’ve been on a bit of a rant with the world out there (I live alone and sometimes I talk to “no one” in particular). My rant is that this dimension doesn’t receive the credit it deserves because how can you appreciate a reality that you refuse to explore? Even people who have had “Near Death Experiences” and traveled to the “Other Side” have necessarily have blinders on so their typical comment “It was so beautiful. The music was so heavenly (my word). The colors were so gorgeous. The souls there were so loving. The worst thing I ever heard was that I wasn’t finished with my life’s purpose yet and that I had to go back to my body”.

      Indeed, I believe them. I believe they had these experiences. However, what I don’t believe is what they think this reality is. When “on earth” they are just as blocked off, just as neurotic as anyone who didn’t have a near-death experience.

      • Sylvia says:

        Hi Fred, I think that’s a big order to try and feel traumas of birth and childhood. I would start with every day stuff. Like, how were you treated at the post office, not good? how did that make you feel? Feeling anxious at a get-together, not important or everyone else seemed more together? How did it make you feel? It doesn’t have to go back to childhood, just deal with the feelings at hand. The present will eventually lead you back to the past. I’ve heard that some primal groups have their patients listen to music or watch movies that will evoke feelings. You will start to open up one step at a time. You have the accessibility of the Institute now from what you’ve posted. I imagine there is a lot of help there when you need it. Get advice, ask for help.
        I would not recommend anyone do the therapy by themselves. The warnings are accurate about that, as I was overwhelmed at times and was fortunate to get through this intact.

        This blog is a wealth of information and talent too. You’ve only to ask for someone’s opinion or input and they can help. Feeling is rough business, in my view, but the most important thing is be honest with yourself, try not to take on too much, and be willing to listen to those who have been through the process. No one intentionally hurts anyone here or they are called on it, and if we were to take offense by something we can feel it and also let the person know if we want.

        Of all the things you have written here, I liked and could relate to your experience as an uncle caring for your niece who needed to have her tantrum. To me that seemed very grounding. To me that’s what life is about–family, relationships and caring for and about others.

        • FRED says:

          I of course agree with you about the sequence of feeling coming up. I know that many patients do try to force things but it doesn’t work very long and they learn from this. I think “forcing” is a form of acting out.

          I have had a few individuals. I try to schedule when I think I need to talk to a therapist. I went to one group.

          Fortunately, due to my living situation I can “primal”, have feelings at home. In fact, if I couldn’t I would be in big trouble but that’s a moot point because I do have a beneficial living situation. It BASICALLY a safe universe.

          Thanks for remembering so long about my niece. She is a “piece of work” I tell you. She got the best looks and skin and hair, etc from each parent and has a STRENGTH which I take credit for helping her bring out at age 4. This strength translates to “she won’t take any b.s. from any guy”. And, she has PLENTY of guys wanting to go out with her. She has been married twice. I told her to just stay away from men, especially the guys in Oklahoma. I said she’s too good from all the rotten bastards in the world! Thanks for helping me with a good memory. I have a wide grin on my face.

          By the way, she does well in business, doesn’t need “metoo, isn’t a victim, doesn’t need liberal politicians. She is truly her own person. Of course, she votes Repub although she isn’t very political but she seems to understand that conservative politics is more enabling to the true self in the long run.

          I do so adore her but because I do (and because she lives 1300 miles away) I leave her alone for the most part. I don’t demand regular phone calls or emails, etc. She has her own life! I do miss her and her two brothers. I have a LOT of regret I am not much part of their children’s lives. My 2 nephews and one niece have a total of 4 children.

      • Jack Waddington says:

        Fred: To me, your comment (September 25, 2018 at 11:51 am) is somewhat confusing though I did get the gist of it.

        You write: “We’re left with at least some disappointment. The “post-Primal” thing never quite happened. The quality of our lives, although in many cases, improved, is still somehow somewhat wanting when we compare it to some sort of vague blueprint we created.”
        Speaking for myself; I got just what I wanted out of this therapy and am NOT left wanting at all.

        Then later “and then voilá, we’re cured”. I wrote a whole blog article some eons ago on what I felt “Cure” in the Primal sense implied. I still stick with that. In short ‘cured’. is not the elimination of the feeling/s or the memory of them, BUT rather that they don’t affect me like they did to the point of gross acting-out. In my case an enormous sex addiction.

        And another “The worst thing I ever heard was that I wasn’t finished with my life’s purpose yet ”
        For me, life does have a purpose, or meaning, it’s merely to JUST be lived felt and duly expressed.


        • Jack Waddington says:

          Correction: Should have read “For me, life does [not] have a purpose, or meaning, it’s merely to JUST be lived felt and duly expressed” Sorrrrrreeeee!!!!

        • FRED says:

          I completely understand what you are saying and I would say we would have to agree to partially disagree, but you do bring up the very good point. Each person has their own intention(s), conscious or not. I think that a person’s intentions including his or her path in life are more complex than we might imagine.

        • FRED says:

          Addendum: The fact that you thoroughly read at least many posts and sometimes twice, indicates to me that within your “larger psyche” you had a “past life” as, what we would call, an lawyer.

          Under this thought, maybe you continue being very thorough in your “work” but rebel against the narrow, often unjust restrictions of the law.

          It is almost as if you “admire” certain aspects of the profession while hating the strait jacket.

          • Fred: When I left school I went in public health be become and inspector and had to go to night school to get my certificate to practice. Part of the curriculum was to study, read and know the 1933 Public Health Act. I hated it. Actually and fortunately I did not continue in that profession, since I was arrested for lewd conduct and had to resign.

            That arrest caused me to be told to leave home by my father. In hindsight it was the very best thing that ever happened in my life. Suddenly I was free of ALL family obligations.

            I was free and hitched hiked to London and from there got into the theater which had always been my dream desire.

            I do find your insistence on After life stuff and prior life, something of ‘Neurotic Hope’; hope that there’s more than just this one life, that for most of us was not perfect, or the way we think it should have been. On your part and on the part of all those that BELIEVE in this stuff which in my case includes all religions.

            If all this belief stuff was actual, why is it that we have to be taught it … and furthermore through fear and the wrath of God?


            • FRED says:

              I’d hate to know what the arrest was about. I’m guessing whatever it was, it wouldn’t be a crime now. I am personally conflicted in that part of me says: “The next step in pursuit of wisdom is realizing that ‘you’ live multiple lives” while the other part states “the reality of multiple lives is not necessary for personal growth (including Primal Therapy) and in fact can be a hindrance”.

              I do believe this: “We insist on our limitations”. I wish I could say I came up with that bit of wisdom but I can’t.

              • Sylvia says:

                Fred, I’m not exactly clear on what you mean by: “We insist on our limitations.” Are you saying that Jack has limitations in his thinking about past lives or something else.

                I just want to say something about your many thoughts about past lives, as it seems to be talked about as having a primary interest in your life. I think I know about creating a whole other universe in life, our own place that seems to have a life of its own–flights of fancy that is almost a split off feeling like a dream that for a few hours a night takes over. If I gave in to these Disney-type feelings I feel it would make me live in la-la land. It’s the further thing from feeling, a tangent I could go off on. If I were you I would resist this. Once a habit, giving too much time to this it may make you feel good, but like your denial of eating those chips when you aren’t really hungry or drinking that beer in service to let feelings come up, you may want to deny and resist these flights to another reality and see what it does. Maybe feelings will come up for you easier. This is just my opinion.

                Like the people who come back from the ‘wonderous other side’ being half dead but are still neurotic you may ask yourself, what good is this exploration and giving into this mystical world helping you, since you aren’t dealing with your past childhood pain–is it helping to change your life.

              • Fred: I state below why I am answering. The crime was that I was soliciting sex in a public place. (A bathroom as in US English, and toilet in UK English. AND it’s still a misdemeanor. That’s the extent that a sex addict, like me, is more often likely to still compulsively do. (The other guy was a willing participant). Why???? Because when I was asked by a police sergeant once, I replied “Because that’s were ‘dicks’ hang out”.

                I am not trying to be boastful, merely to be BLUNTLY honest, both to myself and to others like yourselves. The only shame I have, in going through with that particular arrest, was it being reported on the front page of the local newspaper and upset the whole of my family, and the local government office where i was an intern,

                My whole family and mostly my father was SHAMED about if for years, and even requesting to be moved to another location in his work. “Shame” on my part, is perhaps the not the right word … but for now the nearest I can come up with. “Regret” might be better one, but even that is not correct either.

                I am doing fine living a gay (homosexual) life, and lucky enough, at my age, to still have a very caring legal partner..


                • FRED says:

                  I felt it was something like. God, bless you (even if “God” is not your thing”). I suppose there is a “reason” for this within your personal reality, but to most FAIR people, the only crime here is by the constables.

  106. Leslie says:

    Still hoping to meet you someday Sylvia!
    Thank you for staying and caring and continuing to show yourself.
    Always so good to read you!

  107. Margaret says:

    a few days ago I got an e-mail, seemingly from you and Barry.
    it contained a link and I replied to you today asking what the link would lead to as that was not clear.
    in that case I dont open anything.
    but then I got a message my reply to your mail could not be delievered, do you have any idea what this was about and why I could not reply?

    • Leslie says:

      Hi Margaret. We did not send you anything recently. Sounds like a spam thing that is hopefully not a virus.
      I will e-mail you now. We never send a link without a greeting or explanation.

  108. i am just about tired of everything. i wish i could be in group or a session with this feeling and shout it out. but if i wa in a group or session, the feeling would not be there as it is when i am arriving at work, or driving home from the park. i never did like that about this therapy. seems like the feelings come when they feel like it. i guess that is why there used to be primal boxes. i am not sure why they don’t much get used anyjmore. now i check my budget to see if there remains a hundred bucks so i cah give my kid a birthday present.

    • Larry says:

      I would feel completely hopeless if I could never eventually let feelings out that were needing out, whether at home, at work, or at group. I hope something works out for you eventually, Otto.

      • FRED says:

        I second that emotion. and I DO remember the boxes. I would say if you can’t say, feelings in you apartment using pillows if needed then a box might work.

    • David says:

      Cars can make good primal boxes. I’ve never used an actual primal box in my life. If I’ve needed to cry or scream loudly I put my face in a pillow. Therapy 101 I suppose. I do what I can to contain sound, but beyond that I long ago decided that my own mental health and survival took president over any discomfort neighbours might experience. Though actually, their inquiries about me have only ever come from concern. I hope you can get some relief. I don’t know how people live without this process.

  109. Testing: Cos I’m stll not getting emails, even though I click the check boxes each time I post a comment.

    Any ideas anyone.


    • Phil says:

      Near the top of this page, on the right side, is an area where you can subscribe to the blog by entering your email address. Maybe you have to do that, and watch for an email where you will have to confirm your subscription. Could it be the emails are going to your spam folder?

  110. Larry: Thanks; I found it above the calendar for and added my email address. I did that (I thought) a few days ago. So!!! I’ll now see if it happens.

    This whole thing is making feel very stupid, particularly since I did database developing in the past quite successfully. Maybe it’s a factor of becoming an ‘old fart’. Ah well!!!! … so thanks again to you and Phil.


    • Larry says:

      They will then send you an email to confirm that you do indeed want to subscribe to this page. If I remember correctly you don’t have to do anything in response to that email.

  111. David says:

    This was quite a find! I had no idea there was any kind of film footage of the PI from back in the seventies, or at any time, really. This is a pro made (albeit short), sympathetic documentary called “Primal Therapy: In Search of the Real You” made at the height of primal’s popularity in 1973. I was particularly touched listening to the woman talking about her experience of being raped by her father. Janov’s comments about her are empathetic, but when he says she will have to feel her feeling about this “dozens and dozens of times”, it’s an indicator to me of how green and naive the early primal community was about the extent of primal pain. I’d say hundreds and hundreds would be much closer the mark.

    • Phil says:

      So 70’s isn’t it, like a caricature of that decade. Group was like that in NY, but much smaller.

    • FRED says:

      I found it! I remember seeing this in the 1990s on old TV show “Strange Universe”.

    • FRED says:

      September 27, 2018

      thanks for sharing that video.
      I was also very touched by the individuals going into their primals, and cried along with them as their feeling was so genuine and intense.
      it was the first time i got a clearer idea of how groups were at the time, i am glad that changed, and now usually the entire group is able to listen to one person at a time, while he or she gets into a feeling.
      of course it still happens more than one person starts crying and that is perfectly fine as well, or sometimes people leave the big group to have a ‘loud’ feeling on their own, which i have done occasionally. it can give more freedom to cry loudly without inhibition or to scream if necessary. other times it feels better to stay in group, that varies.
      I am sure these mass group sessions did work very well for people a lot of the time, but I think they can also trigger people into pushing themselves into something without quite being there.
      but well, that is just my own reflection.
      but I am very happy with these examples of how moving it is when someone gets into his or her stuff, and how it comes up quite naturally, almost by surprise.
      how I wish I could do more to ‘promote’ the values of primal therapy, it is so profoundly healing.
      and every time it is a big step, even if there are more steps to take, they all lead into a better place, every single one of them.
      so glad I took the chance to start my therapy back in ’96. it returned depth to my life.


      September 27, 2018

      I think you are right. They tried to pack too many people into one small room and it did result in people forcing a few things. Nevertheless, it was GREAT! Brilliant find, David, and maybe the only film log of that length extant. I wonder if France Janov has seen it.

      The film is an extraordinary find. It was very very educative. This kind of film (now video) could not happen nowadays. There could be lawsuits for invasion of privacy, etc., HIPPA violations.

      I had the feeling I had seen this film before but I cannot imagine where I could have. I’m sure I didn’t but the guy’s voice was very familiar. If I saw it, maybe Katherine Vine, former trainee at the Institute had an 8mm copy at her house. I doubt it. I don’t think it was ever on PBS.

      I wish someone could clean it up with modern equipment and post on YouTube.

      There is another “primal” film from a TV show called “Strange Universe”. I know a guy who did therapy at that center in Chatsworth who might have a video.

      I am posting this again because it appeared only on website for me.

      • David says:

        I agree that a film like the one I linked to would be unlikely to be made today not because of “invasion of privacy issues” but because there just isn’t the level of outside interest in PT to motivate or inspire it. It has really fallen into almost complete obscurity. I don’t believe anyone in that film would have been filmed without their consent. But you’re right, it is an amazing, and seemingly one off document of the times and PT generally.
        Thanks for sharing the other video which I believe I’ve seen before, I was also moved hearing the patients in this film. Dr Hannig re-branded PT but it’s essentially the same thing.

        • FRED says:

          September 30, 2018

          Your statement that Primal Therapy has “fallen into complete obscurity” is partly the reason I got on this blog.

          I’ve stated that I came to praise Janov but that I had concern about the future of Primal Therapy. I hinted that practitioners and patients need to be a bit more flexible, especially vis-a-vis Primal Theory.

    • FRED says:

      Sometimes, I think we “wonder” why we don’t have much more of a daily reality of “higher consciousness”.

      Sure, we’ve improved our ability to recognize feelings and allow them, even transmute them, which is a somewhat different thing.

      Yesterday, I had this insight, for what it’s worth.

      It is Fortress Repression hogging out most of daily consciousness, led by the Mighty Birth Trauma Sequence.

      This insight followed five primals in the morning, three of which were QUITE profound It felt like one of those oil pumps on La Cienega in Los Angeles or many places you’d see in Oklahoma or other states in the Oil Patch, oil wells pumping and pumping and pumping, pumping–feeling and grief instead of crude oil.

      I then had to go to work, the best thing I could have done. This allowed me to alter my focus. Almost unannounced except for maybe some sadness and despair, my psyche “went there” or actually allowed me to travel along.

      In a BLINK of an eye, like the Biblical expression “like a thief in the night”, a mental picture washed across the panorama of my mind. It was both of childhood and, oddly, a scene from an old Humphrey Bogart B&W movie (I think “The Maltese Falcon”) with the concomitant feeling. Since I first saw that movie in the 1980s, there was always something about this scene, the room itself.

      There are NO WORDS for the experience but I’ll try with the pathetic tool of written language.

      The experience was VERY intense but utterly fleeting. It was truly “not of this earth (dimension)”. I could describe it as sort of like the inner language of “pain” rather like the relationship between machine language and the operating system of a computer, e.g., Windows. It had a massive STING. It was so lightening fast that there was “no time” for the defenses to scramble to intercept the emotional information or to dilute its message.

    • David: I watched the whole 8 hour show. Why? Because I am first a news junkie; second because it reminds me of the logic used my my dad, which at that time, 6,7,8, I didn’t have the capacity to respond to him; then thirdly, it was a circus and Kavanaugh and the Republicans were the clowns. She was a pathetic poor animal made to run around the circus ring, on the pretext of being civic.

      As I saw him, he was desperate to get a life long well paying job; to get a major boost to an over blown ego; come what may, and to use faked tears. They did not convince me.
      For her she was trying to relieve (not relive) a 36 year old feeling of abuse of her body and even the possibility that she might be killed.
      One of them was lying, and my gut feeling was it was him. No man likes his sexuality to be put in question, but to play the choir boy was unconvincing and his tears were more of the crocodile type.

      In conclusion I feel the whole show, will damage the US’s image as a fair and living democracy, and that the supreme court; if he is selected, will no longer have any basis of credibly. It’s been on a losing streak ever since, Clarence Thomas and “Citizens United”. The “sham” is democracy. It is not IMO what it’s cracked up to be. It’s not ‘left’, ‘right’, OR somewhere in the middle … It’s none of them. Simply put; there are 7 billion of us on the planet with 7 billion opinions … mostly … about how to control the other guy.
      The only control I, or any other of us has is:- to control ourselves. QED


      • David says:

        I watched not all but a good deal of the hearing and I agree with much of what you said. I could feel how scared she was and how upsetting it was for her to go through the process of reliving, or at least recounting, the assault in front of so many strangers and basically the world. In contrast, Kavanaugh produced from the get go a lot of fake indignation, fake emoting generally. At least that’s what I saw. No doubt he had been coached by his team to be aggressive, angry and defiant and that’s what he went about putting out. He was put on the defensive quite easily though when the obvious question about would he agree to an FBI investigation was put to him. If he’s innocent, why would he have a problem with that? But he obviously did and so did the republicans who from that point on abandoned their plan to give their time over to the female prosecutor, as they had with Dr Ford, and chipped in successively with their own “indignation” and “outrage”. It all unraveled for Kavanaugh and the republicans from that point on. But will that have an effect on the vote…?
        Kavanaugh reminded me of Trump in the way he became unhinged. He’s like Trump’s little brother. If he gets nominated it will be another setback as with the election result.

        • Phil says:

          What I think is that serious allegations should be dealt with no matter the point they come up in the confirmation process, which means more investigation before a vote. That isn’t taking place.
          In years past, in such a situation, the president would withdraw such a damaged candidate. What should happen is that Trump nominates a more moderate judge, more or less equivalent to Kennedy, the one who retired.
          It looks like the norms of institutional behavior which make democracy work are falling apart, showing all the faults in the system.


  112. Margaret says:

    thanks for sharing that video.
    I was also very touched by the individuals going into their primals, and cried along with them as their feeling was so genuine and intense.
    it was the first time i got a clearer idea of how groups were at the time, i am glad that changed, and now usually the entire group is able to listen to one person at a time, while he or she gets into a feeling.
    of course it still happens more than one person starts crying and that is perfectly fine as well, or sometimes people leave the big group to have a ‘loud’ feeling on their own, which i have done occasionally. it can give more freedom to cry loudly without inhibition or to scream if necessary. other times it feels better to stay in group, that varies.
    I am sure these mass group sessions did work very well for people a lot of the time, but I think they can also trigger people into pushing themselves into something without quite being there.
    but well, that is just my own reflection.
    but I am very happy with these examples of how moving it is when someone gets into his or her stuff, and how it comes up quite naturally, almost by surprise.
    how I wish I could do more to ‘promote’ the values of primal therapy, it is so profoundly healing.
    and every time it is a big step, even if there are more steps to take, they all lead into a better place, every single one of them.
    so glad I took the chance to start my therapy back in ’96. it returned depth to my life.

    • David says:

      the film was to me like The Primal Scream brought to life and not just in the sense of hearing and seeing Janov talk about his discovery and subsequent theory as he had in the book. The groups in the film were what I had expected them to be like when I started therapy also in the 90s after reading the book, but they were instead as you describe: lower key and more of a go round than a free for all . It’s hard to make a fair comparison really based on just the short examples in the film, but I felt there was more interaction between people in group when I was there and it was closer to real life. I haven’t been to a formal primal group in about 25 years so I don’t know how things have progressed.
      Your comment about people pushing for feelings made me wonder about the woman having her rape primals. I felt for her and her feelings were totally real but it took me well over a decade to get to those feelings myself and judging by her age and the fact that the therapy was only 6 years old, she must have got into that very deep pain quite fast. I felt in retrospect I had to approach that pain very slowly and get a stronger sense of self to really start integrating it. But I suppose everybody’s process is different and maybe that was really where she needed to go, it just seems like going very deep very fast.
      Like you I’m very glad I got introduced to this process. And once you experience profoundly deep feelings and how healing it is it’s natural to think: “everyone should know about this!”

  113. Phil says:

    I’m watching the big hearing, but no sound, because I’m at work.. All I’m seeing is senator Feinstein talking, talking and talking, and she’s sympathetic, in theory. Already that’s all wrong, the accuser should have a lot of time to tell her story. The whole thing is a sham, I’m afraid.
    It’s just politics.

    • Larry says:

      You would be pre-judging it then, Phil.

      • Phil says:

        Larry, it seems that most of the senators have already pre-judged it, even before the hearing started. Also the republicans aren’t allowing any other witnesses to testify. They aren’t actually interested in finding out the truth, they just want Kavanaugh to be confirmed.

    • David says:

      I’ve been watching the hearing as well. Dr. Ford did get all the time she needed to tell her story following on from the opening statements of the two senators. I could feel how upset and afraid she was in her recounting of the assault. To me she seems entirely credible.

      • Sylvia says:

        David, I just want to put my arms around her and be a friend. Such a hard thing to relive in front of the whole world, her memories of the event, still evoking pain.

        • Phil says:

          Judging by facial expressions only, Dr. Ford came off as vulnerable and scared, to me, and now Kavanaugh seems quite angry, which may not do him any good.

          • Sylvia says:

            Yes, Phil, he does look quite angry. I have him on mute, (with closed captions) only intermittently turning on the volume. Seems like a rant whether than talking to us, as he is putting on a defense for his reputation and future. I somehow knew he would cry thru it, as the stakes are high for him. I get the feeling he is lying to himself and with all the effort and momentum to convince the rest of us or those who count of his innocence. Where or where is the polygraph….I’ll just have to believe my gut.

        • David says:

          Yes, she’s very courageous. I’m just hearing a lot of fake indignation from Kavanaugh. It may well be that he has real fear for his reputation and career and he’s “using” that to feed into his testimony to try and give himself credibility. But I’m unmoved and unconvinced.

          • Sylvia says:

            Yes, he may get himself into hot water, like trump, trying to be forceful, he does not ring true but hope he is believed. He was himself with the first conversation with the woman attorney asking questions, trying to hold back feelings. hey, he is a little human. But he is defending again. Makes me want to scream.

  114. Bailey, What a sweet and thoughtful comment you made to Larry. Gretchen

  115. Jo says:

    This is a ballad that moved me..

    • Sylvia says:

      Very touching, Jo. I like Lily Allen’s voice.

    • Larry says:

      That brought unexpected tears to my eyes. I’ll explore the feelings later. Can’t let myself cry for the next little while. I am trying to get myself to go to a dance tonight. I don’t want to be red-eyed.

      Thanks Jo.

      • FRED says:

        Very sweet song, almost Primal, as if Lily, the singer, has actually been in Primal Therapy.

      • FRED says:

        I jotted down her name. Perhaps she has an album.

        • Jo says:

          I’m reading Lily’s biography currently “My thoughts exactly”, knowing she had a tough childhood..
          She has several albums, the latest is “No shame”, which is where this song comes from. I love the pureness of her voice..the lyrics are about the pain of her mum and dad not being there..which resonates deeply for me…”Please don’t go”…

          • FRED says:

            What is Lily Allen’s best CD, in your opinion? I am going to get on amazon.

            I recently got into a debate about Willie Nelson. I said that I found him boring and this country music guy called me a “stoner” which I’m not so I bought a “best of” CD which I hope to listen to when I get my car back with a CD player.

            • Jo says:

              Fred, I can’t recommend a ‘best’ album, I rarely buy an album…. I find songs I like by going to iTunes and searching for the artist I’m interested in, in the moment, and listening to the fragment (left of the title) before choosing.

              • FRED says:

                I do much the same thing, although I have a couple CDs from the old days and hundreds of vinyl records.

              • FRED says:

                October 5, 2018

                I ended up buying a 2009 album by Lily Allen, “It’s Not Me, It’s You”. It had a lot more amazon reviews (over 4 average). I’m always suspicious of newer stuff. I probably should have ordered from B&N as amazon has got TOO big, ruthless; forcing many businesses to close. For example, a WONDERFUL 3-story B&N store in Santa Monica on Third Street Promenade closed in January.

                I’ll give you my unvarnished review as soon as I give it a listen. I can’t listen immediately because both of my cars with CD players (one was Suz’) are in the shop.

                In June, I heard this song by a British vocalist, Robbie Williams, called “She’s the One”. It is from the early 1990s. It has literally brought me to primals because it IS about my beautiful wife.

                I was in Walnut Creek, California when I first heard it but when I got home, I immediately downloaded it from Amazon Digital and ordered the CD. However, except for the song “Angels” and of course “She’s the One”, the rest of the album was almost unlistenable. Horrible, derivative, crap.

                Now that I have brought it up, here is the story about hearing this song if you will indulge me.

                It was June 1, this year.

                I had stayed two nights at the Nob Hill Hotel in San Francisco where my beautiful wife and I stayed October 27-29, 2000. My wife had given me the trip as my birthday present in 2000 (July 15) but we had postpone the trip for some reason. When we checked out on that Sunday, October 29, 2000, I told the woman there that some day “we would return”.

                Well, WE didn’t return but I did, on May 30, 2018. The woman of course was long gone and there was new ownership but I kept my promise. I’m very sorry that Suz and I never went back.

                Checking into that (very unique, from early 20th Century) hotel was one of strangest experiences in my life. I felt as if I were going down “hallways” of my consciousness. The feelings were fantastical, if you will.

                The flight from LAX to SFO was canceled twice and by the time I got to the Bay Area, it was like 9pm. I didn’t get to the Nob Hill in SF until something like 11pm. After checking in, I immediately cried SO hard, that is, I had a BIG Primal into the pillows. “WHERE is my wife”?

                I then went out at 1115pm and had Chinese. My wife and I had had Thai that first night, 10/27,2000 but probably around 930pm but the strange aspect was that on this trip, it should have been in daylight when I checked in but due to two flight cancellations and 4½ hours of delays at LAX, I checked in at night, like we did in 2000.

                The next day was our anniversary, May 31, 2018. We would have been married 11 years although we were together more than 20.

                For me, there is no fun in these trips I’ve taken to remember her but I did kind of enjoy walking around San Francisco. I lived in the Bay Area from Feb-1973 to Jun-1974 when I was at the Social Growth Center doing Primal Therapy, and had been in SF a number of times (I lived in Berkeley and Oakland).

                SF did not seem quite as “safe” but I really didn’t feel in danger although I was accosted twice in the Tenderloin District (not far from the Nob Hill) by (I think) Salvadoran gangsters. However, it was in broad daylight and I spoke Spanish to them. However, had I had, say, beer in the bag I was carrying, I don’t believe I would have got past them without surrendering it because both times, they looked into my bag as if it was THEIR business!

                That night, May 31st, our anniversary, I ate at this little Italian Restaurant, Colombini, that is basically part of the hotel–it’s only open in the evenings for four hours. On the second night in 2000 that my wife and I were at the hotel we went out for Chinese so we didn’t eat at Colombini.

                On this day, I had the STRANGEST feeling that we would have gone to that restaurant to celebrate our anniversary AND that the return to the Nob Hill Hotel WOULD have happened for that very purpose.

                I could almost feel her with me. It was a decent pizza. I could almost see my wife, sipping her white wine, eating a salad across the table.

                After that meal, I went back up to the room and had another very large primal. I then laid in my bed and watched FoxNews where I received succor because I was seeing truth and righteousnes, a truth not unlike one knows when having a primal. I quickly fell asleep with the TV on in that wondrous room. I was also safe from the strange individuals and hookers I’d seen the night before when walking to the Chinese place.

                The next day was check-out day but I was able to arrange a late check-out at 3pm.

                I walked around the area. First I went to the Starbucks where I had been the day before but it was crowded and was not the kind of ambience where I wanted to spend a couple hours, rather much seeking shelter.

                Across the street was a Peet’s Coffee, where I’d also been and the situation was very similar so I didn’t go into either place.

                I walked around and had kind of an intuitive feeling to walk down a street and saw The Quetzal. I’ve been interested in the Quetzal bird (native to southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras) for nine years since I read a most blessed collection of Native American legends in a book called “He Walked the Americas” (recommended).

                I entered and perfection, huge place, only a few patrons. Indeed, this was a place where I could spend some time without the Starbucks crowd!

                I had more than one latte, had a smoothie and a veggie sandwich over almost three hours. I felt safe. I told myself that the next time I go to SF, this is my home base where I can look at my conservative websites on my cell, get on facebook, read and feel sheltered.

                The third night of the trip was to the Embassy Suites in Walnut Creek in the East Bay. I booked one night there because when my wife’s old company was bought out at the end of 2010 and she was only one of two employees retained; we stayed at the Embassy Suites January 30-February 1, 2011. She was there for her orientation with the new company, based in Walnut Creek. We checked into the hotel on Sunday, 1/30/2011.

                Her orientation was Monday, 1/31/2011, and we were scheduled to return to LAX on Tuesday, 2/01/2011 but I had to leave Monday afternoon because I had to do the sales tax for a client. This was “my fault”. I knew it was due 1/31/11 but procrastinated so I had to fly back, do the return, fill it out, write a check, have it signed and then drive to the airport post office (LAX post office that stayed opened until 11pm) in order to get a postmark (since 2014, I do these returns online).

                Suz, my wife, was so nervous that Monday 1/31/2011, morning, like a child. I gave her all the love and support I could as the Prius pulled up in front of the Embassy Suites and picked her up. Of course, as it worked out, she was a star with the company and was very much loved by the employees although they were 400 miles away in the Bay Area (the other employee retained by the new company was fired a couple years later so Suz worked at home after 2013).

                Back to my pilgrimage, this one night, 6/01-6/02/2018 was to “make up” for the night I left her alone.

                After checking out from the Nob Hill, I took BART from the Civic Center Station in SF and got off at the Walnut Creek station. I immediately realized that I had got off at the wrong station and then remembered that although her company’s office were in Walnut Creek, it was very close to the Pleasant Hill BART station.

                As a result I had to wait 10 minutes or so for a train coming from the opposite direction. I rode the one stop back and disembarked. “Something” told me to linger at the station an extra minute, an odd thought. I could see the Embassy Suites from the platform. I then walked to the hotel.

                Approaching the hotel, I remembered it well.

                I said hello to the valets out front and opened a door.

                JUST as I was opening the door a song came over the speakers. It was “She’s the One” by Robbie Williams, the British vocalist and a song I don’t remember ever hearing.

                I was FROZEN in place. The lyrics were TALKING ABOUT my wife! I must have seemed strange standing there two minutes with the door to the lobby half-open, not entering. I jotted down a few lines of lyrics and then entered just as the song was ending.

                I found a “good” Starbucks the next day and again had a late check-out before taking BART to Oakland International.

                My conclusion is that feelings are very sacred. They are the language of the soul, an unfathomably holy construct that is a kind of core to the personality. I think there is such a thing as an “oversoul” that “contains” many incarnational selves. It well may be that, what we think of as, “God” is actually the Oversoul.

                I need to go weep now, that is, have another Primal. The Sadness has returned.

                Here is a YouTube of “She’s the One” by Robbie Williams.

                • Jo says:

                  It was interesting to hear your story Fred, I’m glad you wrote, and that it lead to feeling more of your loss.
                  It’s a touching song, I hadn’t heard it before…though I know “Angels” – written after him being in rehab.

  116. David says:

    An article in the Washington Post on the affect the Kavanaugh hearing is having on some people: “Sexual assault victims are reliving their trauma, ‘triggered’ by Kavanaugh hearing” by Deborah Bloom

    • Sylvia says:

      The phone lines are busy in the rape crisis center in this area too. A lot of triggering happening. I have recalled an incident too I’ve cried about in bits of memories from the age14, since watching Dr. Ford speak, not nearly as terrifying as she had, but scary at the time nonetheless. I will stop the crying and go about the daily business of tending all the hungry cats, doing the chores and getting on with the day. I’m guessing others here had memories triggered too, from reading your comments over the years, so, God bless us that we can feel them.

  117. hungry cats, hungry dog. hungry me. hungry dog with big big heart murmur. hungry dog with decreasing desire to walk around the lake, probably due to heart murmur. hungry dog still barkihg at other people or dogs, but looks at both almost wistfuilly and i cruelly tell her, well you could go get near them if you weren’t always barking when you get close to them. but 50 percent, me being afraid of people, so i won’t approach people who want to let their dog and my dog be friends. i could contain my dog, i did it once by squatting and holding her t her chest. that was only once, when the dog advocate was mad at me for pulling my dog away because of my dog’s issue. i saw the dog advocate once and never again. i was hoping she was my lost mother or friend.

  118. hungry bored cats and dog. cats can’t go out because 2 got crushed by cars years ago, so no more outdoor cats. the 2 black and white feral cats, cappie 1 and cappie 2, have survived their brothers from cars and poisoners and dog catchers. they do not prefer dos equis or grey poupon, but birds but will also eat the dry food we leave on the porch. bored hungry dog with big heart murmur, soon to die in my opinion and how will it end; panting rapidly? howling? take to vet and put the last dog to sleep. gruesome. bored hungry frantically-scared me, seeing this inevitable writing on the wall, rapidly approaching. and no relief in sight.

  119. i could and should almost cry, and i feel it, but the clanking of dishes getting washed in the kitchen means i only have to wait a while until i am disturbed by: do you want to do anything? nice day to do something. oh another tooth broke. anyway, yesterday we did do something. went to santa monica to walk dog near beach. santa monica and anywhere in l.a. area we live brings up the horrible memories of all the mistakes i made in life, how i hurt my kids and pets through stupidity and ignorance and overwhelming childhood pain. so no, i generally don’t want to go out and do anything. my depression and fear are getting worse by the minute. if you ever see me writing anythung positive on this website, it will most likely be identity-theft.

  120. no, i was wrong. it was not do you want to do anything on this beautiful fall day; it was, if you have time do you think you can change the cat litter in the cat boxes?

    • FRED says:

      Beloved friend, can you see that you’ve painted yourself into a corner? But you did NOTHING wrong. Please generate opposite emotion for balance. Say you feel “It’s useless”, then the answer is actually in the statement. “It’s not useless. Things will turn around”. And FEEL it, even if it seems contrary to “fact”.

  121. and just to mention, even though i feel like i am a monster, i do feel empathy towards my wife more lately and feel horrible for what i have put her through over the years.

  122. FRED says:

    September 30, 2018

    Here is a “Primal” song I wrote, part in May and part in November, 1971. I titled it “I’ll Be Movin’ On”. It was partially inspired by the book “The Primal Scream” by Arthur Janov; and by the album “Plastic Ono Band” (1970) by John Lennon, which itself was inspired by John Lennon’s experience in Primal Therapy. I had not even read the book before I wrote the music and lyrics of the verses from May 1971. I read “The Primal Scream” in August 1971.

    The Beatles, especially John Lennon, were my favorite musical group from the beginning when their songs were introduced to the American radio audiences in late January 1964.

    I wrote “I’ll Be Movin’ On” while living in a rooming house in Norman, OK where I was a student at the University of Oklahoma.

    I have written approximately 45 songs and obtained copyrights on 14 of the compositions I considered best. I have two yet to copyright two. One of these songs my nephew, at age eight, overwrote in December 1977 when he was playing around with the tape recorder. I, of course, did not get angry with him or anything like that. My love for him is as close to being unconditional that I’ve ever felt for another human being.

    I obtained 12 copyrights in 2008, one in 2013 and one in 2014. It was a simple thing to do. One of my bookkeeping clients is an intellectual law firm in West Los Angeles and they do this kind of thing all time.

    All my songs, except three, were written from 1967-1972. As a reference point, I graduated from high school in 1967.

    This recording was made in November 1977 on a Sony cassette recorder. A friend transferred the analog tapes to digital, after which time, I obtained the copyrights. The “back-up vocals” were made today, Sunday, September 30, 2018.

    The photos in the video are of my beautiful wife Suzanne Virginia Evans who died on November 22, 2017, the day before her birthday and, as it turned out last year, Thanksgiving. All the poster boards were made by her sister Leslie Evans Bunnelle one of Suz’ sisters. She currently lives in the Chicago area. The photos were displayed at the service on November 30, 2017 for my wife.

    I am NO guitar player and I don’t claim to be. However, I CAN keep a melody.

    Here are the lyrics although a few words are missing in the recording. I consider this a VERY “Primal” song like Lennon’s songs on “Plastic Ono Band” (1970), “Imagine”(1971) and “Some Time in New York City” (1972).

    I’LL BE MOVIN’ ON © William A. Walters
    written by Fred Walters
    May 24, 1971 & November 8, 1971

    The four year old boy sits gazing
    At the new house they are building for him
    He wonders why they must move
    He does not want to let go again.
    He thought he had done that before.

    The nine year old boy is playing with his friends
    When daddy tells him they’re movin’ away
    He doesn’t have a word to say
    He must find new friends with whom to play
    In that strange new town they are movin’ to

    I’ll be movin’ on
    I’ll be movin’ on
    Our friendship was never fully realized
    But that is one of the tragedies of life.
    I’ll be movin’ on
    I’ll be movin’ on

    The young man is walking in the cold and the rain
    He is not dead, he stills feels the pain.
    He knows inside himself he’s so far from home
    He wonders why he has had to let go
    He now knows that life is full of death.

    The two-year old boy is lying in the crib
    He feels only life and love is all he gives
    But soon he will leave from his natural home
    He knows not why but he must let go.
    He may never return to himself.

    I’ll be movin’ on
    I’ll be movin’ on
    Our friendship was never fully realized
    But that is one of the tragedies of life.
    I’ll be movin’ on
    I’ll be movin’ on
    I’ll be movin’ on

    For more information on obtaining recording rights, please contact:
    Alan Abrams, Esq.
    c/o Abrams Coate LLP
    12400 Wilshire Blvd.
    Suite 1060
    Los Angeles, CA 90025

    • Jo says:

      Fred, I’m unable to access the video (maybe because I’m in the uk?) The lyrics you wrote resonate with me, as I was uprooted several times. Thanks for sharing your talent… and I’m sorry for for the loss of your wife.

      • FRED says:

        Thank you. I is on my Youtube channel now. It is BTLFAEN. The name of the video is
        ‘I’ll Be Movin’ On’ by Fred Walters with photos of Suz, over her life,
        I don’t know if this copy-paste will work but here it is.

        • Jo says:

          Fred, I searched ‘I’ll be movin on’ on you tube unsuccessfully. However, if you can be bothered, there’s a way to share. On the image you posted above, see the arrow top rhs? On your video if you click on that it says share, and click on the option to copy the link, then paste here. Thanks.

          • FRED says:

            Thank you for your interest. I was able to click on the link but I could not view ONLY because I am on Firefox and Windows XP.

            However, my YouTube account is BTLFAEN (as in Beatle Fan).

            I think you can see it on YouTube.
            1) Get on YouTube and type in BTLFAEN
            2) I’m looking at it right now. First up is “Los Gavilanes do ‘San Luis Postosi’ @Andale Puerto Vallarta 05-31-2010. (Incidentally, I wrote this song also and it was translated into Spanish by Héctor Verduzco Aguilar. He is the older light-skinned Mexican guy–his parents were from Spain–in the video. Singing my song is Arturo de Jesús Gonzalez.)
            3) Then select Videos. On my computer I’ll be Movin’ On by Fred Walters with photos of Suz, over her life 9-30-2018 is on top of the queue.

            • Jo says:

              Thanks Fred..that worked up to a point – I didn’t see that particular song, so it maybe only you can access it (I temporarily subscribed to try also, to no avail). I got a sense of your life, and love of Suz, and love of music though.

  123. Larry says:

    Maybe it will do me good to write here tonight. In taking this pause to sit down and write my thoughts, already I’m seeing how my childhood history may be inflating my feelings about present day concerns that are distressing me.

    This summer, when all organized winter social activities had ended and families were off on summer vacations together, I felt acutely aware how I am on my own and have to fend for myself. No partner. No kids. No grandchildren. I’m in my second year of retirement. The work community that I was a part of, that anchored my life, really is fast becoming my distant past. My closest family and friends are 800 kilometers away or more. Even if I moved closer to family, I feel that I would still discover that I’m not finding the connection that I’m yearning for, and that the void I’m trying to escape remains.

    I’ve made friends in the local Unitarian church community, but a rift erupted last spring between leaders in the community. People have taken sides. People say things second and third hand. Social truths get distorted. Truths even get distorted first hand. Perpetrators may veil their true intentions or not even be aware of their true intentions. Different observers have different reactions and feelings from the same event, because meaning are interpreted by each person through the lens of their unique life histories. Only the people at the centre of the rift know what was said and done, but they all have different reactions and interpretations of it. Some trust has been lost. It looks like the rift will never heal. I’m not taking sides. I don’t see any right or wrong side. I’m on all sides. I’m not choosing one tribe to belong to over the other. If these people were in group, maybe some resolution might be found if they wanted it. But that isn’t going to happen. I feel shaken that a community that anchored me can sift away through my fingers so easily.

    A void haunts me and won’t leave. I feel in danger of becoming untethered to this planet and floating off into the dark, empty, cold universe. Things that mattered to me and gave my life meaning, don’t, at the moment

    Not a good state to be in for my first meeting for coffee with a lady who I think could be an interesting addition to my life. I know that little Larry doesn’t want me to meet her. He doesn’t want me to get what I need and leave him there in the past, alone, never getting what he needed, ever.

    • Jo says:

      I hear you Larry

    • David says:

      Larry, I’m looking forward to hearing about your date. I hope it goes well.

    • Larry says:

      Thanks Jo and David. The meeting is postponed for a couple of Mondays. This Monday she has family issues to deal with. Next Monday I will be visiting family for Thanksgiving.

      I’m lowering my expectation for the kinds of relationship that could unfold with someone whose schedule is open on Mondays only.

    • FRED says:

      Larry, I had a primal this morning and although this is hardly a new “revelation” to me, it occurred to me while crying-my-eyes-out that it is the very idea “it is hard”, for example, that creates the reality of, as John Lennon put it: “It’s so hard.”. I think if we say to ourselves: “This is an IDEA about reality, not a condition of reality”, we can begin to objectify the (erroneous) subjective state. The feeling is of course real but the concomitant idea is not.

      • Larry says:

        Sounds to me like you are trying to distance yourself from your feelings, Fred. That’s understandable. No doubt you need to. We all do that in some fashion until we are ready to let them in, little by little.

        • FRED says:

          I would hardly call it “distancing” from feelings. It is objectifying them. When we “primal” we objectify our feelings whether or not we know it. This is an conscious acknowledgment that feelings are the emotional side of the coin. You believe something, it cannot not have a concomitant emotional elemental. In this context, I wouldn’t even go so far at to state that the belief is the intellectual component. They are intertwined.

          Thanks for the compliment but my “courage” was easy. This is a chapter in my life that has been life-changing.

          The “effort and perseverance” was more about lifestyle. I had little choice. It is just karma, if you will. It seems that nobody is “given” more than they can deal with, unless of course, if they are involved in a lot of behaviors which allow one to avoid feelings. To name a few: “excessive alcohol”, prescription drugs (sleeping pills, “anti-anxiety” drugs, tranquilizers), excessive sex or masturbation, etc.

          I believe (feel) that the future of Primal Therapy, post-Janov, involves the realization that we cannot cow to our beliefs (feelings). In this context, I am saying beliefs are “intimately held value judgements about the nature of reality”.

          I’ve discussed this a lot in the four or so months since I joined the blog.

          For the 10th time or more, in no way am I criticizing Janov, his work, his genius, his contributions to the healing of an heartbroken mankind. However, he took it so far and now, we the so-called Primal community should take the torch that he is handing off and run, even fly.

          In my Knowing, the preternatural focus (over-focus) on birth, infancy, childhood is really the problem. Of course, I’m not saying that, in our terms, they didn’t mostly, almost totally contribute to our “self” but the addiction to going into the past and looking for pain ultimately leads to unnecessary suffering and stalled growth.

          Thank you for your kind words.

          • Larry says:

            I think I know what you mean, sort of.

            • William Walters says:

              It is partly a conscious effort.

              I would say it is not reacting to emotions.

              I think, to an extent, The ability to objectify is the foundation of “faith”.

              Maybe this is an example.

              Say, One feels like he or she cannot learn to conjugate verbs in Spanish.

              “I just can’t do it”.

              In our primal community we would recognize that, contained in that statement, is an old feeling .

              We might say to ourselves “ that is an idea (feeling) about reality but not a condition of it”.

              This would be objectification.

          • Fred: you state:- “In my Knowing, the preternatural focus (over-focus) on birth, infancy, childhood is really the problem.” then follow up with ” but the addiction to going into the past and looking for pain ultimately leads to unnecessary suffering and stalled growth.” is somewhat misleading.
            I would venture to put it more simply:- Pushing oneself to get into pain is not productive IMO, and I feel most on this site would agree. BUT to suggest it’s an addiction is a little “off” to me.
            Hence I feel it’s misleading. Jack

            • FRED says:

              Maybe “addiction” is a bit of a strong word. We’re probably saying about the same thing. At heart you are a kind soul.

          • Larry says:

            Fred, your manner of expressing yourself is kind of foreign to me, so It takes several readings for me to understand you. It is as if you are speaking a different dialect and I have to really concentrate to sense what you are trying to get across.

            If I decipher your meaning correctly, it seems to me that you are preaching here to the converted. Beliefs are hypotheses that we form to explain our world based on whatever evidence we take the time and energy to muster. In Primal Therapy we become aware of evidence how our reservoir of unresolved emotional pain accumulated throughout our lifetime shapes our experience of and our beliefs about our world.

            The impression I get from what you’ve written on the blog so far is that you got on the wrong track early in your therapy, and more recently are becoming aware of a healthier way to approach your therapy and it is more healing.

            My sense is that your are a smart guy and intellectualizing is your strongest defense. I could be quite wrong, but that is the belief I’ve formed about who you are and that is how I understand you.

            • FRED says:

              I would guess that I was probably one of the more successful patients at the Social Growth Center and Oakland Center in that fairly early-on I was able to ascertain, at least to an extent, what was a “real primal, or getting into feelings” versus, what Janov called, “abreactions”. Listening to other group members in those darkened rooms, their suffering, their screaming (seemingly trying to be “like the book”) was invaluable. (Boy, in some ways I miss those days!! 1973-74).

              Katherine Vine, my therapist (who was a trainee therapist whom Janov fired), on more than one occasion, laid down on the carpet and really got into her feelings. This was very helpful too.

              She was so brilliant. I haven’t heard from her in at least 10 years. She was living in Scotland but all this is beyond the point.

              From my own experience I’ve found it of little value, after a while, to go looking in infancy and childhood for the cause of my current reality. This is not to say in any way that, in our terms, these traumas, “scenes”, etc. are not the “cause”. No, but it is a simple concept of allowing, having faith that the “right” memory and feeling will come at the right time. You could say that the body has vastly more wisdom than our ego-controlled, conscious mind.

              When feelings come up, I feel overwhelmed and I can’t integrate them, I try to objectify them. This is simple too. I remind myself that these feelings (ideas) simply are ideas about reality, not a condition.

              As for feelings creating beliefs, Janov was half-wrong on this one, in the sense that they are indivisible, two sides of the same coin but if you have to say which “came first”, it is the idea or intimately-held value judgement; but that is a fool’s errand as they are part of the same phenomenon, they are simultaneous.

              The key is suffering. It is a huge guide because the only thing suffering can teach us is how not to suffer. Knowing this then give us information on how to make inner adjustments.

  124. Hi everyone: It’s one year today when Art died and I am still missing his presence here on earth. I can’t say for sure why … perhaps I’m still expecting something more from him.


    • Last night in bed I had it all figured out what I wanted to say this morning … and now in the cold light of day, it’s all gone and no memory of all the points I thought of.

      For the most part I feel very content with my current life, but there is a sneaking background worry that should anything happen to my Jim[bo], I may not be able to cope. I’m certain there’s something in my past pushing that.
      Just writing that, gave me the reminder of the very first reliving (Primal) I ever had, the present was in my early 30’s, the old event was me screaming for my very life at about age two and a half, when my mother, being upset by becoming pregnant for the fourth time, took my sister and brother (both younger than me) with her, to talk to neighbours, but left me in the cot (crib) asleep. I awoke and called for my “mammy” ……. but she did not come ….. I called louder and louder and she still did not come. I felt I’d been left for ever, and with that feeling I was going to die. I then began screaming for my very life ………… “I’m dying … I’m dying”.

      My mother corroborated that event to me many years later. On arriving back she saw me looking blue, and grabbed me in her arms, and shook me for almost an hour and; as she put it, I slowly began to recover some color and brought back to some semblance of normalcy… according to her telling.

      Phews!!!! That’s my “Primal Scene”.


      • David says:

        I don’t have any “primal scenes” as such. I’ve never had any kind of memory that wasn’t there before come back to me, but that’s just the way it is with my own process. The feeling is the memory. I relate to the terror, though, which for me only ever comes up when I feel my physical survival is threatened. That I won’t be supported or able to take care of myself. For me the feeling is “I don’t want to die” but I’ve no idea what the historical context is.

        • David: I see what you are saying, and we’re all different and had different feelings at different times. That’s the main one that have felt, and still feel even these many years later; though now it only for a second or two and a little uggh!! in my voice.

          I’m still not getting emails even having gone into the twice. I’ll just keep trying and hope it eventually happens. I still click the notify buttons when posting a comment.


          • Should have read “…….. having gone into the sign me up twice


            • David says:

              Jack, when you post on line, at the bottom of the “Leave a Reply” section there’s a couple of check boxes saying ‘Notify me of new comments/posts via email’. Did you check those?

          • Sylvia says:

            Jack, the other day I googled and you-tubed, (wondering about your problem): ‘How to fix wordpress not sending emails,’ and there is explanation of what to do. I didn’t understand what the tutorials meant, something about configuration and sml? (can’t remember precisely). Any way, with your background in computers you might know what they are talking about and if it applies to you. Try googling it; good luck.

            • Sylvia says:

              There’s another site that you can you-tube called: “How Recover Yahoo emails Deleted or Never Arrived” that you might try. I don’t know if this link will work,

      • FRED says:

        I would say that the fact you have some or a lot of memory indicates that you partially assimilated it. Otherwise, you would not remember.

      • Larry says:

        Wow! Your story rings a bell for me, Jack. When I was 11 months old they found me turning blue in my baby carriage/crib. In the story told to me there wasn’t anything about my Mom holding me in her arms until I recovered. The story I was told is that they rushed me to a hospital where I was left in an oxygen tent for a week. I think I might not live long enough to recover from that. In the story told to me I wish there were details about how she held me, but nothing like that was ever mentioned.

        Perhaps that is why you seem to relate so much to my pain.

  125. Margaret says:

    what is wrong with the way your wife asked you ‘can you, if you have time, look if the litter box needs cleaning?’
    that sounds like as cautious a way to ask for something as one could wish for to me. if you did not have the time you could easily have said so, no?
    sorry if this is not helpful but I guess I can relate to her in this case, to have to walk on eggshells and then to stil be criticized even if you bend over backwards to please.
    wish I knew how to help you, and her at the same time, to improve things, as this sounds so painful, and she seems to love you nevertheless, so there should be room for improvement.
    can you see anything you could be doing or trying to do more?
    communication seems such a key thing here, as even money issues can be dealt with better if some agreements and planning are made up.
    I wonder what holds you back from doing what you seem to want and need to do in general.
    is it hopelessness, is it anger, is it fear of the pain that might be triggered if you make yourself vulnerable?
    I ask because I care and miss the occasional positive sparks you were starting to post a while ago, about some moments you did enjoy back then.
    I also wonder what you are most afraid of.
    as I feel so intrigued there is probably something old in there for me as well.
    trying to reach daddy and to break through his shell possibly…

  126. margaret, these litter boxes ALWAYS need cleaning. I have never seen 2 cats so full of crap. ha. i just got on blog to post some more of my horror story and also my “stir fry” (as barry called it). now i go pickup my wife since she cant drive in the dark. me neither.

  127. margaret, i hope you can feel the feelings of not being able to reach your dad, and i do appreciate your comments. now, back to my misery. i had to drive down a street tonight that i dont usually use. this street, i used to carry my dachshund otto at 5 in the morning before i went to work. it was his “walk”; he could not walk because his hind legs had gone bad with age. i took him on the walk in an attempt to keep him from being too restless when i put him in bed with my wife after the walk. even still, he would make her sleep terrible, as he had some kind of painful cancer that made him restless, even on narcotics. long story short, driving down that street reminded me of those walks we had in the final months of his life. but my point is, even though i feel the tiniest bit of a tear right now, i will never be able to feel that loss, especially since i am getting a D grade in primal therapy. So i came home and watched 2 1/2 Men on tv, which cheered me up from that intolerable pain of mine. this pain is chained to many other memories of all the pets i have lost in my long life. it is big. anyway, 2 1/2 men is my “stir fry”. I think i heard barry say that to someone as we were all leaving group many years ago, but i did not really hear the patient’s story, but i just surmised that the patient felt bad and wondered how he was going to make it once he went home that night. and barry said something like do something you like, whatever it is, i dont know, do you like to eat stir fry? keep in mind it is highly possible that i misconstrued the whole episode, but i choose to beleive it. kind of like elton john and john lennon’s whatever gets you through the night, that’s alright. MASSIVE PAIN IS A BITCH. anyway, 2 1/2 men was my stir fry tonight, my dead pets and their dying days will haunt me to the end of my life.

    • FRED says:

      i will never be able to feel that loss…that intolerable pain of mine.

      This is actually IS the pain.

      In other words: Is our suffering the poison of the wretched? or The food of the gods?

      Do you get my point?

      I would proffer that the only “purpose” of suffering is to teach one how NOT to suffer.

      I would say that you have MUCH going for you. Your pain is a great example of your vitality, and you seem to hold down responsibility in the job place quite well.

  128. Testing, testing. Jack

  129. Margaret says:

    I like the one about stir fry.
    that is what I try to do on days when it gets hard to motivate myself to do anything at all, knowing at the same time doing nothing and staying in bed won’t make me feel good either.
    I then think of anything that seems slightly apppealing, usually something to eat or a cup of tea or coffee.
    or something I want to do for sure, as it means taking care of the cats, feeding them or even cleaning out the litter boxes, which I do twice a day.
    once I am moving part of the hopeless feeling dessipates and other things to do occur to me.
    that is the small level, then I also use things I can sort of look forward to which are coming up in the coming week.
    that usually has to do with some sort of socializing, which i need and at the same time often dread or hate, or well, fear while in reality it usually works out ok.
    and a very good stirfry is a good audio book, a very nice way to escape while often also being a way into feelings.
    I like books that make me laugh and cry and they feel like friends.
    when my device to read those audio books breaks down that suddenly is a terrible empty gap, a wide opening in my defenses, very unpleasant and unsettling as one needs some things to rely onn for a minimal amount of comforting.
    what also helps me is, sorry for the cliché, to count my blessings.when I feel I am going downhill, it does give me some perspective to not go into total bleakness.
    routines are very helpful too, like one specific day of the week to visit mom, one morning for the group gym class, once a month tango dancing when I can make it, those things help to give some kind of direction and to know there is something ahead, not total emptiness.

    I hope you can find more and more little things in your life to improve it, it can be very small things, music, a flower, a smile, a purring cat…
    but I had to look for a lot of them myself, search and make an active effort, like for the sailing and dancing, to make it come true in some way.
    do you have any friend Otto you can hang out with occasionally?
    I don’t have many at all, but it sure is important even to have one or two you can meet with every once in a while and just chat and laugh or whatever, feel at ease with.

    take care, me and the cats

  130. i’m tired of everything. Tired of my fingers being unable to hit the right keys while i am typing. tired of my pets dying. tired of my sex drive dying. tired of getting up at 4 in the morning and going to work (even though i cant wait to go to sleep so i can get up and go to work again). i am tired of eating roast beef at sunday dinner, grandma. and so i then had a fit of some kind, with my grandma, aunt and uncle watching. why would i be tired of (why cant i type this? i want to type this and not watch ncis, woman, stop interupting me). why would i be tired of sunday roast beef at age 9 (or near that age)? tired of putting on a suit and llistening to people talking about god. tired of going to the cemetery to see “my mother”; the mother whose personage i had no connection or memory of, who was lying under 6 feet of earth, under that gravestone. probably i was tired of no fun in my life on a sunday, hanging around old people or kids i really did not have any connection with at sunday school. anyway, i just keep saying it now, day after day, i am tired of this. sorry margaret, my wife wants me to watch ncis with her, and so i must. i will check out your comments above, tomorrow. good night.

  131. i will say it again…who are those who say getting old is just the best thing since sliced bread? not this young buck. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBpd26qa1eI HOPPY THE DEER YOUNG AND BOUNCY humbug. i did realize after writing above, that my old feeling about not having a lot of fun as a kid, mjight be keeping me from having fun 60 years later. and then some sage wise people will say, you cant feel that old feeling (that might be blocking me from seeking fun in the present), until you have fun in the present. catch 22. oh i am sure i probably mangled what somebody said once or twice on this theory.

  132. Margaret says:

    your post makes a lot of sense, no need to say you’re sorry!
    also what you wrote a bit later seems to make a lot of sense,.
    you made a good connection there, and to those who say you can’t feel the feeling I say you are in the feeling continuously.
    but as what you said about the catch 22 might contain a lot of truth as well, I hope you can find some stuff you do like, stuff to do or whatever else you like, to start to break through the cycle.
    keep telling your wife what you like and take initiative whenever you get the faintest idea of something you might enjoy I would say.
    not easy, I know as I can relate to most of what you say, but I have noticed in the past you can take pleasure out of very simple basic things.

    I was thinking about all of what you wrote yesterday, and I realized myself I learned to take pleasure out of chores I need to do, not the chore itself being so much fun, but the pleasure about it having been done and over with for a while, haha, gives me satisfaction.
    the start is always the most dificult, getting myself to go do it, but in my case not doing what I feel I should do makes me feel unpleasant as well so that helps, usually, haha
    have you had a good doctor look at your hand problems?
    take care and please keep writing,

  133. Phil says:

    I had a kind of big insight today, at work. Its not brand new, but I had a glimpse of how I could be different. It’s how I am always hyper alert with people, in my interactions. It seems I want to be steps ahead of everyone else, I guess to protect myself, and not be surprised by anything, which I suppose could hurt me. But the down side to that is not kind of flowing feelings, being relaxed, and taking things as they come, without all that excessive alertness. It was just a glimpse of how I’d like to be all the time.

  134. Jo says:

    Fredric Backman wrote a NY Times best seller called “A man called Ove”; I read another of his books called “Britt-Marie was here”..which is unusual, and heartwarming. I watched the movie “A man called Ove” yesterday… and highly recommend it. ☺️😢etc

  135. I saw a documentary tonight called “ Three Identical Strangers” that just came out on rental through Amazon or ITunes. It’s the true story of three boys separated at birth that discover each other at age 19. I won’t say more as I don’t want to ruin it for anyone but it’s quite fascinating from a Primal perspective! Gretchen

  136. Phil says:

    Yesterday I spent a little time job hunting on-line, as I was feeling discouraged about my boring job and that I should be making more money with better benefits etc. I was at work while doing that and realized, not for the first time, that it also has a lot to do with my desire to feel important. I don’t feel very important at my current job, although it is practically stress free, has a good schedule, and a short commute. I probably should be satisfied with it, but I’m not. Later that day in the evening I had some big feelings having to do with my mother; I don’t think I was of any importance to her; at least that’s the big feeling I always have.
    Today it occurred to me why being a father has been such a big thing for me. I was, and still am important to my two sons, it is an important job, and so it has given me a lot of satisfaction. And also, I guess, I have wanted to be different from my own parents.


    • Larry says:

      Cool. And so little by little, the reasons and pressure driving some of your feelings and motives become organically clearer to you. So magical almost. Mind you, I expect it was your courage, effort, perseverance and some luck that got you to that insight.

  137. it does not take a hell of a lot for “horrific” to happen, especially when talking about the very young. but anyway.

  138. i am in a bad place as usual but more so. my feelings of powerlessness are exacerbated by mocking lies of the most powerful asshole in the world, Donald Dump. not to mention his asshole cohorts lindsey graham cracker, susan collcrackhead and mitch gofuck yourself. there is enough anger is the u.s. to cause a civil war. fuck you white folks.

  139. Otto: I sort of feel the same as you; but not being a citizen and not even in the country, I feel that somehow, it’s affecting the whole world.

    I do have my own ‘pet’ theory as to why, so here’s my little theory:-

    We all know deep down there is something amiss by the way we are living our lives. Sadly other than those of us that caught onto Art Janov’s message… and maybe a few others; neurotic humans assume there is a fix out there and that the fix could be brought about by political means. To me, and I suspect Art, when he was alive, “we’re looking in all the wrong places.

    Politics is NOT the answere. The only fix is within ourselves. My gripe is that I have to go along with most of what these politicians are telling us we can, and what cannot do … little realizing, by their dictates, they are causing the very problems they then are trying to fix.


    • Sylvia says:

      Hi Jack, I feel that the Mitch M, S.Collins, L.Grammy, and darling Brett are power-hungry, stuck-in-their heads group. Not caring about others. Too bad they have failed the feeling test of these emotional heartfelt times. The trump base, daddy knows best following, to a no-where destination or inevitable crash.
      Otto, this sure does add to the daily problems we have–no wonder it is a time of helplessness and loss for us. And terrible things abound now–earthquake in Haiti, Limo crash in NY. Hope things can get better. We all can lean on each other. Take care and take comfort in the little things and in our friends and pets.

  140. here is a good short sorrow scene. War & Remembrance (Part 6) (Dec 20, 1942 – April 3, 1943) 1988 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs4DCQJcrNU MINUTE 40:05

  141. END 45:18. well at least it gave me a couple of tears. one son dead, husband leaving for a long time,, and time flies by…

  142. Larry says:

    I wish I never read The Primal Scream. I wish I still believed I could get love from my parents, and if I fixed myself, then they would love me. I wish I wasn’t discovering that there was nothing wrong with me, that they just didn’t love me the way that I needed. As adults we still need love and friendship. I wish I wasn’t discovering how all my life even through adulthood I was parched for parental love. I wish I wasn’t discovering that the thirst will never be quenched. Screw this therapy.

    • Larry: I have seen and read your pain for many years, and I understand your position about wishing you’d never read “The Primal Scream”. That’s all water under the bridge now, but I do see your dilemma.
      It’s the last line that struck me hardest. “Screw this therapy”. I’m sure you know all this, but I feel there are many other things, that you feel the need to “Screw”. It almost hurts me to read you.


    • FRED says:

      Yes, but you’re not alone. You have several billion other human beings in the same boat, but presumably, at least in some ways, you are ahead of the game in that you have learned to have feelings.

      At the bottom of all this is love or the need for love. In the very least you can cry for that. You’ve learned to drop into feelings at least somewhat so you have personal power.

      As a friend, I would counsel you not focus on the lack, what you didn’t get or think you didn’t (as if I’m a great practitioner of this). To always look for evidence of a fractured childhood, results in finding it but with concomitant suffering which actually results in divorcing oneself from the body. You could say that you are giving your conscious mind directions. There is very little integration.

      I would counsel, then, not to go looking for trouble, instead follow feelings that arise. This can unify your emotional, mental and bodily states.

      Dealing with thoughts and feelings roots you in the integrity of your present experience (not the past). Any emotion will change into another and resolved if you experience it honestly experienced.

      The “correct” memory of past events attached to a certain feeling will come in its own time. This is my problem. I try to “figure it” out. I’m not that spontaneous.

    • David says:

      Larry, I relate to what you’re saying. The feeling of needing to be loved in my present life came up very strong for me yesterday. I remember the first time I found myself saying “why don’t you love me mummy and daddy” in a primal. I could feel the words forming in my mouth and I didn’t want to say them because I didn’t want to know that I’d been an unloved child. It felt like opening a door into complete hopelessness and despair. I must have felt that feeling a couple of hundred times by now at least. Hopelessness is really tough, bottom of the barrel stuff. Best wishes to you.

  143. Larry says:

    Jack and friends. I should explain myself.

    I’m into my second year of retirement. The workplace that was such a regular part of my life for decades is a community I’m no longer part of. It had anchored my life. Not anymore.

    The Unitarian church that I frequent here has become an important community to me. This spring a rift in the leadership sprung out of the closet. The rift has split the congregation. Some of the people who I looked to for camaraderie and support are stepping away from congregation life for a while, some forever. The rift stirs up primal pain for people, just like it does for me, but they don’t realize their childhood pain is being triggered. I can choose to primal through that pain and heal, but all they know is that they need to stay away from congregational life so as to not keep triggering that pain that is so distressing to them and that they blame one side or the other of the leadership for triggering it. I feel like I am losing a crucial community in my life.

    For the past 4 years I’ve found meaning and purpose from participating on a small church committee that deals with environmental issues. Last year I stepped up to take my turn as chairperson of the committee for a couple of years. Some of the people on the committee are people stepping away from congregational life for a year or longer. They were on this committee, passionate about and leading big projects, and I helped out. One of those projects I have no interest in. Now I feel that the responsibility for those projects falls on my shoulders. I don’t want that responsibility. Neither do I feel good about washing my hands free of those projects and leave it up to the minister, the Board, and the remaining congregation to deal with…as if they don’t have enough problems now with coping with the rift. I feel abandoned by leadership I looked to for support. I feel overwhelmed. I’m losing a sense of purpose and meaning and belonging in the community.

    Today is Thanksgiving. I was sick with a cold and felt unable to make the long 600 mile drive to relatives and some old friends for Thanksgiving. A casual friend here invited me to her Thanksgiving family gathering which I attended yesterday evening at her home. They were friendly enough people, but most of the guest interactions dealt with long familiarity with each other and long-time habitual ways of socializing with each other and talking about each other’s quirks and memories and having fun and laughing but not going into any depth in any conversation. The “patriarch” present was pretty opinionated in a way that made me uncomfortable but I didn’t dare challenge his opinions. There is even more extended family who weren’t present yesterday. They seem to all be used to wealth. By the sounds of it they regularly go on vacations altogether several times a year. After the meal was over, I felt more and more the pained outsider, not being able to partake in their friendly jibes at each other and their regurgitating of their shared memories and experiences from all the times they spent together. More and more I felt how starkly empty my life is. Finally getting away and going home around 10 pm was no relief, because the worst part of the evening was the creeping realization of how alone I am.

    I was 4 years old when I returned to the farm to live with my parents and siblings. Something was definitely missing, but for the next two years playing with my siblings, younger than me, kept my mind off what I could not let myself see.

    At 6 years old I started grade 1. At breakfast that first morning, Mom and Dad reminded me to put my hand up if I wanted to ask the teacher a question. I looked forward to asking the teacher about God. When we asked Mom about thunder that summer afternoon as a storm approached, she explained that it was God walking.

    I had older cousins in the one room, eight grade schoolhouse. Mom and Dad said to approach them if I needed help with anything. Dad drove me to school that first morning. Being with him felt odd to me. It was one of the rare times he and I spent time together alone. I sat on the truck bench seat, apart from him, kind of excited. I had my brand new lunch kit, with a thermos full of milk, and sandwiches that Mom made and fruit. He smoked nervously as he drove. In ten minutes we arrived. We walked through the schoolhouse door. We must have been late. Kids were already in their desks. Dad and the teacher talked while she showed me where the boys room was, where to put my lunch kit, where to put my coat, and where the toilet was. She pointed to my desk. She was old and wrinkled, and seemed hard.

    Now a primal scene, which I’ve recently become conscious of. This was a momentous step in my life. I was leaving “childhood bliss” under my parents’ umbrella. My life was being shared now, between parents and outside community. I didn’t want to walk across the room to my desk, all by myself, in front of all those kids already there. Before I took this step away, I needed my Dad for once to hold me, to reassure me that he loved me, to make go away the aching void that was always in me but now I felt more keenly yet without daring to let myself know.

    Instead he just kept talking to her, explaining that I had asthma, then left. As I took the steps toward my desk and into my future, I blocked out the knowing that for the rest of my life, he would never be there for me, just as he never had been. I remained in my desk through recess. I remained in it through lunch, until the other boy in grade one asked wasn’t I going to come out and play.

    • Jo says:

      Your primal scene, Larry, very sad.

    • Larry: You are so adept with wring and very good at your use of language. I just wonder if you might think of wring a book of some sort. Perhaps even a biography. The reason I am suggesting it is that writing a book … least-ways for me, is so preoccupying. Even though it might be something of a painkiller and defense in one sense, I get the feeling, that for the moment, you might need that kind of distraction.

      Just a thought. Best wishes Jack

      • Correction: should have read:- “You are so adept with writing and …….”. the same thing later. (I think I must be losing it. OR may have lost it)


      • Larry: I thought of something else by way of a possible distraction for you. I would have rather done the this in private, but I don’t have your email address. Mine is:- jackwaddington@yahoo.com.

        Should you like, since you are retired; to come over here and visit us here in the Netherlands for a few days, we do have a sort of guest house where you could sleep and do a couple of simple things. We could also buddy, should the occasion occur.
        The point being that it would be something a little different for you, and see another place and we could go to some local towns and villages. If you could afford it, to hire a car, since we don’t have one, then we could all of us go and look around the country. Otherwise there is a good bus service here.

        Should you not feel up to it that would be fine also. I would not be disappointed or hurt. It’s just a simple offer. We could discuss further in private emails.


  144. Larry says:

    Friends, writing to you yesterday afternoon oiled the hinges on the gates holding the pain back and they opened a little more. After writing I cried more, off and on through the afternoon, until eventually arriving at the sweet spot where I cleaned out the pain and accepted the insights and reality at the level that was agitating me, then automatically shut down feeling, to regroup and have at it at a deeper, fuller level another day. I had a good sleep last night and to day feel more like myself who for now is willing to tackle my world so long as it doesn’t throw anything too calamitous at me. Actually I feel just a little more self-assured and wiser than I’ve ever been, like having confronted a demon that’s been haunting me since grade 1. But I know that the demon isn’t vanquished yet and will come back with greater depth and force to break me. But I’ll be ready, or should I say will break but reassemble stronger. Thank goodness for The Primal Scream.

    Jack I hope to come out of my mold and in the years ahead travel outside of my comfort zone to see friends in parts of Canada and the US that I haven’t been to and in Europe. It would be cool to visit you and Margaret and see some of your part of Europe. Thank you Jack.

    I think though that traveling won’t be easy for me. It can loosen unsettling feelings of being alone in this vast world. The great thing about visiting primal friends is that you’re more likely than most people to understand if I need to spend a day crying.

    • Larry: That’s fine … if and when you feel the desire to come over.


    • Phil says:

      Larry, that sounds like great progress. What a way to start school, with your father so unaware.

      • Larry says:

        More like what a way to start life, Phil, which I think you would understand. It’s amazing how we enter adulthood believing our lives as having been fairly normal and we just accept that for some reason we are messed up, then in therapy we gradually open our eyes to how messed up our growing up was and we see how we are normal but hurting terribly.

        • Phil says:

          I remember my first day in school having to go with older neighbor kids. There was no one in my family to go with me on that big day. But it’s another day that I remember more. A day when my mother just stayed in bed, as she was too sick and depressed to get up. I was supposed to get myself up and ready for school, kindergarten, but didn’t do it. I didn’t want to go. A big scene signifying to me I wasn’t going to ever have a mother for love and support. On that day my Grandmother showed up and made me go to school, but she couldn’t give me what I wanted or needed; she was a poor substitute. So I relate a lot to what you have written.

        • FRED says:

          The BIG question is, that is there is this hulking, snarling, scary 800-lb gorilla in the room that primal-screams: “why did we have the pre-natal period, birth, infancy and childhood that we, in fact, did”? Ignore it at your own risk which usually basically results in the flat-lining one’s personal growth, especially in the area of getting to one’s feelings.

          When we can answer this question, we have completed one of the requirements to enter the Road to Wisdom. Even Freud, for all the long-term damage he created, observed that there are no accidents and in this case, there are no accidents in the circumstances of one’s birth and family. This is actually a revolutionary idea when you put it within (and it can be done) the framework (albeit larger and muli-dimensional) of Primal Theory.

          As an aside, Janov called the question itself a defense but a massive gorilla cannot be ignored. That the, albeit brilliant Janov, disdained the obvious, and as far as I know he never wrote about this “existential question”, ultimately cemented the bricks in the wall. It is the wall that all Primal patients hit.

          Again, in my humble opinion Janov was like a Moses figure. He led us to the Promised Land (true self-actualization). We got “manna from heaven” for 40 years (which would work out to be 1970-2010) but then died, literally and figuratively. Don’t get me wrong. I feel indebted to him but if you say there is a perfect man (or woman) on earth, I’ll ask: “Oh, is Christ back?”; bit of humor there.

          • Jo says:

            Not quite sure what your point is Fred..it appears you’re chewing over Primal theory, and refer to Art Janov a lot, which is fine, given we’re thankfully here today slowly (in my case) healing because of him…
            Onward and upward, there are a great many of us working through stuff with the help of Barry, Gretchen and Mark..

          • Larry says:

            Earth’s environment isn’t static. It changes. Change puts stress on life, resulting in some life not getting all the nurturing it needs. Nothing is guaranteed, unless you have a time-limited warranty from the the company, that guarantees replacement of defective parts or product. People try to reduce risk, but risk is an inherent quality of life.

  145. inspiring, larry. is that “relief”, or is that too simple a term for how you feel?

  146. larry, i wish i had your courage to put myself out there, as you did by going to someone’s home for thanksgiving and being around people who had a shared past and were pretty ignorant of real reality. anyway. i am pretty much done with that shit. glad to hear that you are still moving forward.

  147. larry, i hope the old wrinkled teacher was not too hard on you. how momentous (maybe not the best of words but i have to go watch ncis with my wife) that sentence of yours “I blocked out the knowing that for the rest of my life, he would never be there for me, just as he never had been” is pretty profound.
    once again, i realize how little i understand about primal therapy. primal scene? no idea what that means, and since i am only in end-stage primal therapy (not in a good way), i don’t want to know.
    i am sure that what was done to you by your father, was done to me by my grandmother, and other relatives who acted as parent to my poor orphan ass. and the same way i probably treated my own sons (unconsciously) and some of those years were when i was in pt (but just barely in pt). sad.

    • Larry says:

      The hard, old wrinkled teacher made me cry in grade 1, while we were learning to read “Look Jane! See Spot run.” I wouldn’t run up and down the aisle for her, to demonstrate the word “run”. She offered me a gold star if I would do it. Raymond, the other boy in grade one, got up and demonstrated “run”, so he got a gold star. A gold star wasn’t worth it to me so I shook my head no I still wouldn’t “run”. She resorted to her only other motivating tactic. She threatened me, got up, went to the back room and came back with the strap. I was shocked by her abrupt change in demeanour and was heaving bawling by the time she returned. She took pity and didn’t strap me. She was wondering whether I was having an asthma attack and got concerned and asked my older cousin across the room whether I was. I remember thinking to myself while bawling, how could you mistake this for an asthma attack, but mainly I was hugely relieved that she changed her mind about using the strap. If she had used it, I think it would have caused me huge psychic damage. When I got home I told Mom I wasn’t going back to school. When she asked why and I told her, she replied that I have to do what teacher says.

      All the kids hated that teacher. She was a spinster who lived in a shack provided on the rural school grounds. Imagine what a lonely life that would be, except for the 30 kids in her charge five days a week. She beat up on some kids relentlessly, the ones who frustrated her because they were slow to learn. Or she yelled and ranted at whoever was unlucky to trigger her just because she was having a bad day. When caught up in her angry rants she would actually physically accost a kid. She would penalize older kids by tying them by their wrist to their desk to keep them pinned down during recess. One kid in grade 5 ran away from school and the rural community had to search for her and eventually found her in a nearby cornfield. When I started grade 7, that teacher was gone. Enough of the other parents (not mine) got together and got her fired because of her cruelty to the kids. She was in her 60’s and close to retirement anyway.

      In grade 3 she made me cry because she angrily raged at me for not writing my 4’s in the way that she wanted. In grade 3 I went through a stage of frequently wetting my pants because I was too afraid to put up my hand to ask to go to the toilet and I couldn’t hold it until recess. In grade 4 she had both me and the other boy in grade 4 bawling as she raged at us trying to get us to pronounce or spell some word correctly that we apparently both kept getting wrong. In grade 6 she hit me because I hadn’t positioned my winter overshoes correctly on newspaper that she provided but there wasn’t enough room . I was among the luckier ones though. I wasn’t usually her target because most of the time I kind of liked learning and usually had the answers she wanted, despite my mind racing anxiously when it came my turn to verbally answer a question on the assignment she was going over in the class.

      It would have helped me if my parents had been a refuge for me. When I got to high school, I discovered I was a frightened, withdrawn, quiet, asocial, lonely mess. I never participated in any social or sports activities with the other kids. I never talked to girls unless I had to work together with one in class. Eight years later, when I was finished school, I had no concept of how to get on in life. The future looked completely bleak. Then, that same year, I stumbled across the Primal Scream. Art Janov, around that time curious about a patient screaming for Mommy on his floor, changed, no, saved my life. And now he’s gone and the world doesn’t believe in the miracle of his therapy. So weird. I am so….very…..lucky…that my life intersected with his when it did.

    • Larry says:

      What do you mean by end-stage primal therapy, Otto?

  148. I am so fucking tired of this same old shit, day after day. niagara falls. slowly i turned. step by step. jesus fucking christ. arghhhhhh

  149. Jo says:

    Larry, so horrible to have your parents not want you (from very early), and then feel isolated at infant school, made unbearable by such a hard old sadistic dragon ‘teacher’.

  150. Jo says:

    A few days ago I began to touch on the emotion connected to being in hospital at 18months, and knew that that feeling of being scared, alone, hopelessness is dogging me daily. It surfaces immediately when I realise I’ve been “grown up” in my life..from the littlest things like getting domestic chores done, to a tennis match, to a journey, and more recently, applying to volunteer at a hospice. It’s probably the volunteer thing that’s brought this on, as during the process of being interviewed, (which went well), I had to contain crazy feelings while explain my life to a (very nice) stranger..a very intensive hour.
    Until today, I’d been overwhelmed while trying to carry on with daily life, unable to realise why I felt stuck/depressed/hard to describe…I had several small bouts of crying, so obviously each crying bout was unfinished..it’s too much. At least I feel some relief today.

    • Larry says:

      Yeah Jo, being grown up seems to eventually open us to feelings that bog us down and make it really hard to function. Sometimes I think that being retired is good for my therapy because on days when I’m bogged down with a feeling I have the freedom to spend hours crying through it off and on, if my agenda is otherwise open that day. On the other days I have to be grown up and fill my agenda, establishing and maintaining connections with the outside world in meaningful ways for me, because if I don’t no one else will do it for me and I end up completely alone, hopeless and my life fucked.

    • FRED says:

      Where do you volunteer? in UK?

  151. David says:

    Larry, what a horrible, horrible teacher. I actually laughed when I started reading your account that a teacher could be that abysmal but I went quiet very soon thereafter as I read on. School years should be a time of making new friends, relating more with the opposite sex, having some of your intellectual curiosity satisfied, developing your talents. It certainly shouldn’t be about abuse and surviving that abuse. But how many of us endured these kinds of horrors in our school years. I went to an all boys boarding school from the age of 10 on my fathers insistence and wasn’t around girls till I went to art school much later. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie “Dead Poet’s Society”, it’s one of my favorit