The Nature of Love

Love is a largely misunderstood concept. Within psychology it is generally regarded as too esoteric and subjective in nature to be regarded as anything approaching objective. The study of psychology involves the use of cognitive mind only. Emotions are discussed but emotions and feelings are different things. There is no requirement to actually experience the other two levels of mind, the feelings and sensations. With all mental disorders it is generally accepted that our very clever cognitive mind will eventually sort out humanities problems.

But Janovian Primal Theory knows that Love is the only way to real mental and physical health. Love is the force within the brainstem sensations that keeps humans bonded and healthy. My own journey down through the three levels of mind has lead me to the very seat of Love. From my perspective, Love is no longer esoteric, but a very objective force that gives my life the awe and euphoria beyond my wildest dreams. I now see psychology as the subjective entity, in the fact it is a bunch of theories that are not doing much to stem the tide of mental disorders.

Love in its pure form, when it is not suppressed because of Primal Pain, is all the spiritually that humans need. In this present day and age, when all our universities and teaching establishments only engage the cognitive mind, they leave behind the most valuable assets of being human, which are the feelings and sensations.

Religion says that God is Love, or Love is God and that we need religion to supply our moral underpinnings. But Love is a powerful force that is inherent in all humans, regardless of religious belief, or any other belief for that matter. Love is the feeling that gives humanity its moral code to live by. I would also add that Love was necessary during human evolution; as important to successful human evolution as feathers are to birds, and speed and sharp claws are to the big cats. In John Lennon’s words, imagine a world without the dogma and fundamentalism of religion but filled with Love. Love is all there is, Love is all there is, Love is all there is.

Many people from all parts of the world have developed ways of addressing their need for spirituality. If we are not Loved in the full meaning of Love as children, then that part of us that some describe as the ‘soul’ seems unfulfilled or something is missing in life. When I was suffering severe depression I explored the alternative and esoteric healing options. People were looking for spirituality, nirvana, euphoria, etc, but I can’t remember anyone looking for Love as a means to understanding the drudgery that was life for them. After I had spent many years in Primal Therapy I started to feel the power of Love, and then I knew that Love was really what everyone looking for. If we are Loved as infants then we can spend our time here on earth just enjoying the awesome journey with Love as our constant companion.

Birds without feathers and big cats without speed and sharp claws would soon become extinct, just as humans without Love are heading down the path to extinction.

Update on my personal journey

The Three Levels of Mind is not well known outside of those who undergo Janovian Primal Therapy, In this blog I write things that may seem strange, or are not part of the narrative spoken by the general population. In that regard I think it is time to update the process that I have gone through that enables me to write from a different reality – a reality that is ultimately available to all humans, provided we are not traumatized in childhood.

There are quite a number of factors that came together that enabled me to stay the journey that went deep into my feelings and sensations. The cognitive reality I lived with for 55 years of my life was super-ceded by a reality based on my feelings and sensations. They are two entirely different realities.

Money It takes money to travel from Australia to Los Angeles and stay there for two years while undergoing therapy and training. After thirty years of marriage I divorced and used my share of the accumulated assets to fund the process.

Time Many people struggle with making time for the therapy. I was on the verge of suicide and very unhappy with my life, so at age fifty I devoted the time to try and turn my life around. Living the way I was, was not an option.

Desire for a better life. The therapy becomes painful and the amount of it is unbelievable – it just keeps coming. There were times when I felt like quitting but I intuitively knew that if I walked out the door my physical body may well survive, but my ‘sole’ would be dead. The thought of continuing to live with a dead soul was unbearable.

Circumstances I went to Los Angeles in 2004 for two months and again in 2005 for two more months. After returning to Perth in 2005 I intended to buy a house but while I was away house prices had sky-rocketed, and I was not able to buy in. At that stage I knew how beneficial Primal Therapy was, so I decided to invest my remaining savings in going back to Los Angeles and train as a therapist. If I had bought a house and found a partner I may have got comfortable with life and not continued my Primal journey.

Openings into a different reality Through-out the early part of my seeking, when I had spent money and time, I often felt I was getting no-where. Then I started to experience a type of euphoria, only lasting seconds initially, but gradually increasing to minutes. While I was experiencing these phenomenon I remember thinking this must be the state of mind I was looking for, and if I can access them for a few minutes, then what does it take to have access to them at will. The answer was to clear out the primal pain and these euphoric and loving feelings are a common and natural part of my life. The time and money I spent has come back to me tenfold in the form of a soul that is truly alive and well.

The right zone Francis Janov said that the people who do best in therapy are the ones who can understand how the therapy works and can use that to advantage. I was fortunate to fall into that zone. Some people are highly emotional and distraught and so are above the feeling zone. Others are so depressed and lack any access to feeling at all that they are well below the primal feeling zone. Also some people have so much pain that they can’t stand the experience. Then there are many millions of people in the world who struggle through the daily grind of life, not aware that life could be so much better.

Primal Pain – Humanity’s Greatest Danger. Part 2

Primal Pain is created when we do not get our needs met as children. Another way of saying that is when our primary carers do not love us we suffer pain. It is not just ordinary pain that can be easily felt. If we are not loved as babies and children then that lack of care is a threat to our very lives. Regard Primal Pain has having a life or death quality about it. Then we can begin to understand how Primal Pain shapes who we are and how we act in a monumental way.

When Primal Pain is relived during Janovian Primal Therapy it is released in small modules. For example I have probably released something like two hundred “modules” so far. However each ‘module’ was as much Pain as I could physically and emotionally deal with at one time. It is my experience that the mental health industry and brain scientists grossly under-estimate the amount of Primal Pain each of us carries, and the effect it has on our lives. All Primal patients are always surprised at how much Primal Pain they carried, and how much the pain had influenced who they became as adults.

After we suffer Primal Pain we unconsciously develop a defence system that keeps the pain from coming to conscious awareness. I will briefly discuss three of the worst ways (in my opinion) that Primal Pain and its associated defence system make a human life more miserable than it needs to be.

Primal Pain stops or reduces all feeling

The pain and pleasure pathways in the human brain use the same neuronal tracks. Therefore when the brain blocks Primal Pain from coming to consciousness it also puts a block on any good feelings, and especially on our feelings of love. Love is the feeling we need to bond and communicate in meaningful ways. Who would disagree that there is a huge lack of love in the world today. We have psychologists who approach brain science in an intellectual way, but I have heard it said that Primal Therapists should be known as ‘Feelologists’ because we understand feelings and sensations, and how important they are to healthy human functioning.

Primal Pain causes irrational minds

When we carry Primal Pain we have to think and talk in ways that keep us from our Primal Pain. We do this unconsciously but it has a tremendous negative outcome in just about every area of human life. In the twentieth century humans killed around 250 million other humans because one group irrationally thought that making a better world involved killing all those in ‘different’ groups. And even today that irrational thinking is still causing many deaths, and nobody seems able to stop it or understand what causes people to think and act in such obviously pathological and idiotic ways. Another common thing that irrational minds develop are belief systems. The most obvious one is a belief in a God. Now it would not worry me if people wanted to believe in God and kept it to themselves, but religion is the basis of so many conflicts within communities and also the world at large – so much so that surely we must all realise that maybe there is a better way. (This better way involves understanding the Three Levels of Human Consciousness, and how Primal Pain distorts these three different levels to create the mess we humans find ourselves in.)

Primal Pain is the underlying cause of nearly all mental disorders and many physical disorders as well.

The common mental disorders of depression, anxiety and suicide have their basis in Primal Pain. Depression is the repression of Primal Pain. Anxiety and panic attacks happen when the defence system is unable to completely block all painful feelings, and so some of them come to conscious awareness. Suicide, or not wanting to live in this world, is the result of painful things that happen to us, mostly in early childhood. We get physically sick because when the brain represses pain it tends to repress all systems, like the immune system and also our sexuality. Low libido and painful sex ruin many promising relationships.


When undergoing Primal Therapy the therapist targets the Primal Pain. It does not matter so much what the symptoms are, because once Primal Pain is released from the system, the human organism can return to good health. One of the most profound things to happen to a person undergoing Primal Therapy is that FEELING comes back into the body. When we can feel our own feelings we become a lot more aware of other peoples feelings – we will be less inclined to shoot and bomb our neighbours.

Irrationality disappears because during Primal Therapy we have confronted our Pain – which is facing the horrible truth that we were not loved much, if at all. Facing that truth makes it easier to face the reality of life, and although life can deliver us some horrible blows, it is still mostly a wonderful world to live in. If we can learn to replace Primal Pain with Love then the world can become our oyster. Our need to believe in a heavenly father will disappear when we understand the real power of love. Loving parents are all we need to establish a sound mind/body to experience this world in all its glory.

If Primal Pain causes so much sickness both mentally and physically, then it follows that not imprinting Primal Pain, especially in young children, will have a huge impact on the future health outcomes of all peoples. (This is already becoming known with research like the Adverse Childhood Experiences, which shows how trauma in childhood is strongly correlated with mental and physical ill-health later in life. Primal Theory and Therapy knew this fifty years ago and has developed a process to reverse most of the damage. The orthodoxy are still looking for a viable cure, but not towards Janovian Primal Therapy).

Primal Pain – Humanity’s greatest danger ! Part 1

Humanity’s greatest danger is not coming from Global warming, as many scientists are predicting. Humanity’s greatest problem lies in the fact that the nature and power of Primal Pain is not understood.

The future of mankind lies in understanding how our brain works. The world rejoiced when we landed a man on the moon, and the general feeling seemed to be that if we can achieve that wonderful technical feat then we can achieve anything we put our minds to. Amongst all the euphoria of the time I can clearly remember some important scientist saying that  now we have conquered outer space, the next great achievement for mankind will be to conquer ‘inner space’ (meaning how the human brain works).

By all accounts the efforts of trying to conquer ‘inner space’ is proving more difficult than landing a man on the moon. Despite billions of dollars being spent on brain research, the mental health industry cannot fully explain what causes anxiety and depression, and therefore are struggling in their efforts to find cures for these common disorders effecting millions of people in every country on earth. Primal Pain is rarely ever mentioned, and yet it is one of the strongest forces within the human brain. Imagine getting a rocket off the earth if scientists did not understand the force of gravity. The same applies to issues within the human brain. Our “rockets’ in medical science are not getting off the ground because hardly anyone understands the force of Primal Pain,  much less the effort it takes to overcome that force so the journey into ‘inner space’ can blast off.

So what’s the problem? Why don’t brain scientists understand Primal Pain? For that we need to understand that the human brain has three different levels of functioning – the cognitive mind, the feeling mind and the mind that deals in sensation. The cognitive, or intellectual mind is used when putting a man on the moon, because physics is an intellectual type of knowing. Sensations and feelings are put aside when a scientist is trying to work out gravity and how to build rockets and the mathematics of moon landings.  Primal pain, depression and anxiety are functions of the feeling/sensing brain, but brain scientists are trying to solve these problems from their intellectual brain. Just like a rocket scientist needs to put his feelings/sensation brain aside to land a man on the moon, a brain scientist should put his cognitive mind aside when dealing with feeling and sensation – and Primal Pain is a function of this part of the brain.

Putting my cognitive brain aside was one of the things I experienced during Primal Therapy. The primal journey starts in the cognitive mind and the patient is guided to gradually open up into the feeling brain.  As the journey down into deeper feeling progresses. the ability to talk and think gradually decreases until the pain of reliving childhood trauma completely over-rides the ability to talk. Then the journey continues down into the sensations, where the body /mind relives the original trauma, and responds in reptilian like movements because sensation is generated from the reptilian part of our brain.

The most notable thing about experiencing my feelings and sensations was that they carried  with them a huge amount of knowledge, not about how to put a man on the moon type of knowledge, but knowledge of the power of Primal Pain and how it stopped me from enjoying my life to the fullest.

This year I have decided to finish the units I need to complete my bachelors degree in psychology. My visit to a University  bookshop had me up to my shoulders in academic books of all kinds. I stood in the aisle and reflected that my journey back to excellent mental health and better physical health did not require any textbooks at all. Instead I had to lay down on a mattress in  a padded room where a therapist guided me into my feelings and then deeper into sensation. The knowledge that I gained from my ‘inner space’ of feelings and sensation was more beneficial to how I experience life on this earth than all the intellectual books I was surrounded by.

(The next post will focus on the debilitating effects that Primal Pain has on individuals, and how that shapes our beliefs and actions).

Evolution and Healing

As you the reader may be aware, my knowledge of the three levels of mind comes from my healing journey through Janovian Primal Therapy. Arthur Janov used to say that the therapy he developed to work with the human brain was actually evolution in reverse.

The therapy starts with a discussion about what is happening in the present and this process takes place within the prefrontal cortex. This brain area is the most recent one to  evolve. After establishing context in the present through thinking and voice, the patient is encouraged to let the underlying feeling come through. Science tells us that feelings arise in the limbic system, and in evolutionary terms is older than the prefrontal cortex. When the feeling comes through talking becomes more difficult and the therapist remains quiet so as not to disturb the patient. Any talking will mean the patient will need to close down feelings to enable the thinking process to dominate.

Science does not fully understand the three levels of consciousness but it does know that thinking and feeling involve two different areas in the brain, and  when one is active the other quiets down.

In therapy it may take many months exploring and dealing with traumatic feelings, and during this time the person becomes aware that his way of thinking and acting in this world is really dominated by the underlying feelings. The next step is to enter the brainstem sensation, and rather than being a conscious decision, the sensations tend to arise when the deepest of feelings are being explored. At this stage sliding into the sensation is also sliding way beyond where science is currently at. They are still exploring the gateway between thinking and feeling, not aware of the lower gateway between feeling and sensation.

Jaak Panksepp was a scientist who did some ground-breaking work in this area. He says “The PAG  (peri-aqueductal grey) is the most ancient , and most highly concentrated, emotional convergence zone within the brain. The PAG is much more important for the generation of raw emotional feelings than the amygdala. The amygdala is the cognition-emotion interface.” (what I referred to as the thinking- feeling interface above). From what Panksepp describes and my experiences in therapy, I would assume that the PAG is the gateway between feeling and sensation. The PAG happens to be situated between the limbic system and brainstem, so it is in the right location.

The brainstem was one of the first areas to evolve, so millions of years ago we survived by sensation alone. In fact when I attain this state of mind during therapy, feeling, and most certainly the ability to think and form words, shuts down. I know without doubt that accessing the brainstem sensation and dealing with imprinted trauma at this level in the brain was the reason I became emotionally and physically healthy. It is difficult to bring this knowledge back into the (mostly false) reality that humans now live in, because it is a profound personal experience that simply cannot be shared.

But I would like to point out that it makes sense in evolutionary terms. To survive in a harsh environment our organism must have needed to develop survival and healing  mechanisms from the very beginning. This means ‘sensing’ a safe environment and developing an immune system to deal with all the virus’ and bacteria that would have destroyed us.

Psychiatry uses psycho-active drugs, psychology uses a vast array of cognitive methods, and medical doctors have an armoury of pills to alter symptoms of disease. None of these methods treat the underlying cause which is a wrongly programmed  brainstem.  ( the Adverse Childhood Experiences research is heading in the right direction).

There are also dozens and dozens of different psychotherapies evolving to address the ‘sicknesses’ of humanity, but as far as I can tell Arthur Janov’s Primal Therapy is the only one that  fully understands the three levels of mind, and knows how to take a person from cognition to feeling via the amygdala gateway, and then continue from feeling to sensation via the PAG gateway.

If we want to heal emotionally and physically in the present then we need to understand the three levels of mind in  evolution, and work with that and not simply ignore it as something we no longer need.


In 2014 I wrote a chapter on suicide in my book ‘Love Sex and Mental Health’ and in 2016  wrote a blog about suicide and how it works within the three levels of human consciousness.  In this 2018 blog I will review as to where the medical profession are in their understanding of the causes of suicide.

Beyond Blue is an Australian organisation that provides information and support for people suffering from mental health problems, especially anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. They state that 200 Australians will attempt suicide every day, and on average eight will die.

From 2016  to 2017 the suicide rate increased from 11.8 to 12.7 deaths per 100,000 of population. These sorts of figures also occur on a world-wide basis. This is despite the fact that billions of dollars are being spent on research and help facilities like Beyond Blue.

Medications have been the main treatment protocol, but there is a growing acceptance in the medical field that they often do not work. As further proof there are many websites and facebook pages where people describe their battles with mental health despite undergoing prescribed treatment plans.

John Mendoza from the Suicide Prevention Society in Sydney, Australia, was interviewed on television earlier this year. He discussed the fact that since 1954 there has been an inquiry into mental health about every two and a half years, on average. Practical help is not working and there is a severe shortage of personel. He added that clinicians dealing with depression, anxiety and suicide burn out in five years.

It is my view this all this occurs because people simply do not understand the forces they are dealing with, and that they do not understand how these forces play out within the three levels of human consciousness.

Elizabeth Gilbert is a well-known author who writes about the human condition. Although I am reasonably sure  she has not experienced the three levels of consciousness as separate entities, she has done a good job of describing the effects that our sensation level of consciousness has on our individual lives.

Gilbert writes ” There’s this tremendous psychological and spiritual challenge to relax in the awesome power of it until it has gone through you. Grief is a full-body experience. it takes over your entire body – its not a disease of the mind. Its something that impacts you a the physical level… I feel that it has tremendous relationship to love: First of all as they say, its the price you pay for love. But, secondly, in the moments of my life when I have fallen in love, I have just as little power over it as I do in grief. There are certain things that happen to you as a human being that you cannot control or demand, that will come to you at really inconvenient times, and where you have to bow in the human humility to the fact there’s something running through you that’s bigger than you.”

I have read and heard of other people also describing something as ‘bigger than themselves’, but it really is part of us – Mental health experts and the population at large generally do not understand the power of our brain-stem sensations. Grief, suicide and love all generate their power at the level of sensation and we try to understand it at the level of cognition only – to our severe detriment.

My freedom from suicidal thoughts and depression came about because I went down into the basement of my mind (the brainstem) and dealt with the awful imprints that I had carried from an unloved childhood.

The really big turnaround in my life is that I now know these forces are not bigger than myself- they are me – and when I accept that and let them overpower my thinking mind, life itself becomes a powerful and exhilarating experience.

I would love to see the next inquiry into mental health in Australia include some research into the three levels of human consciousness. Only then will we truly understand why people suicide, and when we have that understanding we can come up with protocols that will work.

Depression 2018

This post is a follow-on from my previous post about the causes and cures of anxiety and how the modern medical view differs from primal theory and therapy.

I suffered from suicidal depression nearly twenty years ago. The medical profession through psychiatry put me on medication, and I took myself off after 8 months because the side effects were as bad as the original problem. What frustrated me at the time was that nobody had an explanation as to what was going wrong inside my brain.

Undergoing good Primal Therapy cured my anxiety and depression, and also provided the deeper knowledge I was seeking as to why my brain malfunctioned.

That was twenty years ago and I thought at the time that primal theory and therapy was going to change the direction and understanding of all mental disorders in a big way, and in a short time.

But that has not happened and medico’s and researchers are still groping in the dark, going this way and that way with no firm direction and no over-riding paradigm in which to fit their theories and research. Meanwhile the simplicity of primal theory and what its therapy can achieve completely astounds me when compared to the multiplicity of supposed causes and the confusing myriad of therapeutic approaches that we have now.

The following are some of approaches taken to address the growing depression epidemic in the year 2018.

The Flory Institute in Melbourne is a world-class research facility that is trying to find the causes and cures of mental illness. A recent media release gave ten steps to good mental health. They are, eat a Mediterranean diet, exercise regularly, remain socially engaged, stay mentally active, Quit smoking and drink in moderation, get plenty of sleep, check blood pressure, look after gut health, avoid air pollution and check how well your brain is ageing.

There are two things that stand out for me in the above advice. The first one is that this advice formed the basis of my natural therapies studies twenty years ago. Twenty years on and millions of research dollars later the Flory Institute is backing what natural therapists knew decades ago!

The second, more disturbing feature of the above advice is that nowhere does it mention that reducing primal pain is by far the best way to good mental health. Also there is no recognition that the human brain has three distinctly  different areas of brain function – cognition, feelings and sensation.

The headline for the article read “Cracking the Brain’s Code” The brain’s code will not be ‘cracked’ until neuro-scientists understand the three separate levels, and sadly that means the scourge of DEPRESSION will continue until they do.

I have given my books to two Universities and approached various other media outlets to run a story on the three levels, but all approaches have been rejected.

Re-connection is becoming a common theme, or perhaps I could say ‘meme’, in the treatment of mental disorders.

Johann Hari has written a book called “Lost Connections – Uncovering the real causes of Depression – and the unexpected solutions”. Hari describes depression as “one of the biggest issues in our world today. With record numbers of people suffering from the dark cloud, and soaring suicide rates, depression is a crippling disease reaching epidemic proportions”.

Simply put, Hari states that depression is caused by dis-connection from a multitude of things like meaningful work, from other people, childhood trauma and the natural world. The suggested cure is to reconnect with all these things and that is why going out into nature is proving to be of some benefit in reducing the symptoms of depression.

But early childhood trauma, as shown by the Early Childhood Experiences (ACE) research, is the main cause of mental illness. The early dis-connection from unloving parents causes a great deal of emotional pain, and this pain has to be dealt with before the human organism can come back into balance. Trying to re-connect with other people and nature once the damage is done provides some momentary relieve but does not provide a long-term cure.

Hari is somewhat correct in his Dis-connection – Re-connection views but unfortunately he does not understand how the three levels of mind work in creating depressive states of mind.

For the benefit of depression sufferers everywhere, I hope the next twenty years sees in the adoption of The Three Levels of Mind in understanding all mental disorders, and that Janovian Primal Therapy becomes known as the best way to deal with not only depression, but also most other disorders.

Anxiety 2018

In 2004 I started my journey into the Three levels of Mind by undergoing Janovian Primal Therapy. In the house analogy I use in my writings, I had to go from my penthouse (cognition) and into my feeling rooms (limbic system) and then down into the basement of my mind. (brainstem). The basement of my mind was where the anxiety was experienced as pure terror. I had to enter this space many times during therapy to release all the terror that imprinted at this level. While in this space I realised that imprinted terror from childhood experiences of a brutal father, plus facing death from parents who where not meeting my needs, was an unconscious driving force in how I formed my character and how I conducted my life.

At the time I wondered why the mental health industry was not aware of the importance of the three levels of mind, but thought it must become obvious to them quite quickly. It is now 14 years later and much to my dismay the mental health industry are still pretty much on the old path.

Darlene Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist  who has written books on human relationships. This is what she has to say about anxiety. “Anxiety is the apprehension of experiencing fear in the future”

“The danger that is feared isn’t normally imminent  – it may not even be known or realistic. The anxiety is an emotional response to something that hasn’t occurred, so there is nothing to fight or flee”.

However, after undergoing Primal Therapy I knew my anxiety came from past experiences and was very real. The fact I was anxious and fearful about the present and future was because my past was so terrible. My anxiety was caused by past experiences, something that DID occur and was threatening to my very survival. After reliving the terror that had been repressed my present life is much better.

Darlene Lancer continues, “Tension, therefore builds up inside our body, but there is no action we can take to release it”.

My goodness, Darlene, you should become familiar with Janovian Primal Therapy because this therapy gives us the means to release the awfulness of the underlying terror in a way that is permanent. Fear and anxiety ruin so many lives. You and your colleagues would do well to become familiar with the importance of the three different levels of mind, or consciousness.

David A Carbonell PhD wrote a book “The Worry Trick” He says  “Psychotherapy empowers patients to reduce anxiety by changing beliefs, thoughts and behaviour throughout their lives without the side effects of prescription drugs”.

What David Carbonell does not understand is that our thoughts, beliefs and behaviours – that are manifestations of  our cognitive minds – are driven and formed by the imprints in the basement of our minds. If we have had good experiences from loving parents in our childhood then our adult life reflects that loving goodness. My adult life was a mess because my childhood was horrible. Undergoing Janovian primal therapy has released the primal pain and so now my beliefs, thoughts and behaviours are automatically more in line with a healthy and happy life. I don’t have to spend the rest of my life trying to manipulate my mind as David Carbonell suggests is the only way to a half-reasonable life.

I have used the writings of Darlene Lancer and David Carbonell to illustrate where the mental health industry is at in 2018, because  in my experience they  reflect the views of the overall  industry and its current paradigm.

The Three Levels of Mind is a real liveable experience and the mental health industry will struggle to understand the human condition until it adopts the three levels into what promises to be a species altering paradigm – much greater than Darwin’s Origin of the Species.


Tribute to Art Janov

It has been nearly twelve months since my last post. During that time I put my focus into writing my third book and getting it published “Anxiety Depression and the Three Levels of Consciousness”

Arthur Janov was the discoverer of a therapy that was successful in treating nearly all mental illness because it understood and dealt with the human brain on its three separate levels of functioning.

Art wrote many books and had his own blog where he tried to explain the importance and nuances of this revolutionary new therapy. In June this year Art stopped posting and so his followers, including myself, became worried about his health – after all he was 93 years old. In early October our fears were realised when notification of his death appeared on his blog site.

The basics of Primal Therapy and how it utilises the three levels was discovered by Art and Vivian Janov in the late sixties, and was immortalised in his first book ” The Primal Scream”. Since then the therapy has been altered and refined to a stage where it really can be described as a science of psychotherapy.

Although Art tried to promote this feeling therapy to his peers, researchers and the general public, his efforts remained largely ignored. I suspect Art approached death with the disappointment that such an important discovery was not recognised within his lifetime.

But history is littered with people who had stumbled upon great discoveries during their lifetime, only to be ridiculed, but then  become famous after death when science eventually caught up. Charles Darwin is one such example with his theory of evolution. Even though science has since proven the theory beyond all reasonable doubt, one hundred and fifty years after Darwin announced his theory, many people still do not believe in evolution.

Janov’s theory of the three levels of consciousness will be proved by science  eventually, because it is a real phenomenon. My only hope is that it does not take 150 years, because that equates to a lot of unnecessary human suffering.

Meanwhile I remember Art as the man who not only saved my life, but allowed me to attain a state of mind where I can now experience the absolute beauty of human life.

Are we really all that different?

The latest buzz phrase within the medical community is that we humans are all different. Leading the way in this evolving world view are the geneticists, who are busy trying to look into our DNA to find the genes that cause the individual disease states, both physical and mental. I keep reading of the latest breakthroughs in gene research, where they have isolated some gene or group of genes that are correlated with certain disease states. Then with great excitement they announce that isolating the defective genes will (somehow)lead to drugs that will correct these particular genes.

The promise is  that in the future we will be treated in different ways according to our particular gene profile.

Within the psychological industry there are many different ways of looking at disease states, with no obvious coherent way of bringing everything together. I read many books, websites and media articles to try and keep up with the latest trends and research. Below is just a small example of the many ways disease is understood.

EARLY LIFE STRESS   is said to lead to depression.

LACK OF CONNECTION to another person is the root cause of addiction.

CHILDHOOD EMOTIONAL NEGLECT causes many mental disorders.

HEAL THE MOTHER WOUND for good relationships.

ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES the number of bad experiences in childhood predicts the severity of mental and physical disorders later in life.


THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE. Brain mind and body in the healing of trauma.( a book by Bessel van der Kolk).

THE POLY VAGAL THEORY the polyvagal nerve  innervates large areas within the chest and stomach cavities.

SELF COMPASSION  to deal with shame.

EARLY LIFE EXPERIENCES leads to demoralisation, the driving features of which are individualism, materialism, hyper-competition, greed, hurriedness, debt.(J.F. Schumaken)

The list of possible cures for our human problems is huge and growing by the day. As the latest ‘cure ‘is embraced other hopefuls of the past eventually show their ineffectiveness and drop by the wayside. This process goes back as far as several centuries, when bloodletting was common practice. In more recent times lobotomies were often performed in cases of severe mental illness. It is interesting to note that ‘electrical’ lobotomies are now being experimented with.

Most of the common cures of today involve many forms of cognitive behavioural therapy and of course the myriad of medications. Also becoming popular are the latest forms of meditation and yoga, with ‘mindfulness’ being the key word.

When I got sick in my own mind to the  stage I was becoming dysfunctional, nobody could tell me what the cause was, and most frustratingly, what the cure was.

Compare all the above to what Primal Theory and Therapy and the three distinctly different levels of mind can bring to the understanding of human sickness.

The damage to the human psyche happens at the first level, or basement, of our minds. This is the level of sensations, and the level where the feeling of love originates. Most of the damage is done in early childhood, as much of the present day  research is showing. Not getting needs met in early childhood causes a level of emotional pain, which can be referred to as Primal Pain. It is the need to repress primal pain that causes neurotic behaviour.

Primal theory would say that nearly every human on the planet is suffering from some level of primal pain, which blocks access to our feelings of love. In this respect, at the deeper level of functioning (the basement level) we are all the same. The differences we see at the third level (cognitive mind) are mostly superficial in nature. For example a person can choose to believe in a certain religion one day and then change their mind the next.

In  Primal Therapy we know there are many thousands of symptoms on the third level but only one cure, and that is to release the Primal Pain that is stored at the first level. When the pain is gone the need for repression of all feelings goes, and then the person is free to experience loving feelings. It is the feeling of love that heals our physical and mental bodies, provides for a meaningful and happy life, and also drives our ethical and moral behaviour.

At this first level of  sensation the human race is all the same.

To Summarize : There is only one major cause of mental and physical disease – the lack of love which causes pain and dysfunction to the human psyche. There is only one cure – the release of the repressed pain.