Beyond Belief: What we do instead of getting well

Continuing Dr. Arthur Janov’s May 2016 book Beyond Belief:

“p. 61 Heavy pains with no place to go just pressures the cortex into concocting an idea commensurate with the feeling..The feeling itself makes no sense since the original feeling has no scene with it nor verbal capacity; it was laid down in a preverbal time without context, sa[v]e for the feeling itself.

..we cling to those ideas as strongly as the feelings driving us are..Sometimes we argue with someone not realizing that we are battling a defense which is implacable. They don’t want to hear what we have to say. They want to protect their psyche.”

“p. 63 ..suffocation at birth is registered not as an idea, but as a physiologic fact. It becomes an idea when the brain evolves enough to produce ideas. Then it can produce, ‘There is no air in here.’

..A slightly stifling atmosphere in the present can set off this great pain and with it an exaggerated response. ‘I have to leave this woman because she stifles me.'”

“p. 64 It doesn’t matter about the facts we know if we cannot stop drinking or if we cannot maintain a relationship with someone else.”

“p. 68 My task is to examine why individuals adopt belief systems, whatever they are, and how certain feelings provoke specific kinds of belief systems..to demonstrate how feeling feelings can alter those beliefs without once addressing the beliefs at all. Deprogramming is not necessary. Probing need is. Resolving feelings seem to render belief systems inoperative.”

“p. 71 ..we are a nation and a world of seekers, a people who seek refuge in all manner of beliefs.”

“p. 75-76 Later in life, equipped with the cortical ability to substitute ideation for feeling, the traumatized baby can call upon a god to save him from his inner pain, even when he doesn’t know where the pain originated, or even that there is pain. He just calls upon a god to watch over him, to see that he gets justice, who won’t let him down, and above all, who will help him make it into life..”

“p. 106 Neurosis is the only malady on the face of this earth that feels good..numbs the feeling. Numb feels good – not ‘good’ in the absolute sense, just not ‘bad.’

So we settle..we get numbed out and feel no pain and in return, life is blah blah. The person then feels she is not getting anything out of life and seeks out salvation or a guru in one form or another.”


“..we are a nation and a world of seekers, a people who seek refuge in all manner of beliefs.” Variations of the patient’s story in pages 89-105 could be written by tens of millions of people in the U.S. alone!

Why isn’t the internet flooded with stories of people facing their reality and doing something to effectively address the real causes of what’s wrong in their lives? Said another way, why is the internet instead flooded with stories of people NOT facing their realities, and doing things to prolong their conditions and avoid getting well?

The many reasons why people do things that don’t truly get them well are covered in Beyond Belief and Dr. Janov’s other publications. One obstacle for people who want enduring therapeutic help is the intentional misrepresentation of Primal Therapy.

Every day I look at the results of an automated search that uses “primal therapy” as the search term. Along with the scams and irrelevancies are the “scream” results.

This misrepresentation is addressed in places such as here:

“Primal Therapy is not Primal ‘Scream’ Therapy. Primal Therapy is not just making people scream; it was never ‘screaming’ therapy. The Primal Scream was the name of the 1st book by Dr. Janov about Primal Therapy.”

People who perpetuate the “scream” meme are only a few seconds away from search results that would inform them and their readers of accurate representations of Primal Therapy. What purpose does it serve to misdirect their readers away from doing something to effectively address the real causes of what’s wrong in their lives?

Beyond Belief: The impact of merciless beatings on beliefs

Continuing with Dr. Arthur Janov’s May 2016 book Beyond Belief:

“p. 17 When someone insults us, we immediately create reasons and rationales for it. We cover the pain. Now imagine a whole early childhood of insults and assaults and how that leaves a legacy that must be dealt with.

..The mind of ideas and philosophies doesn’t know it is being used; doesn’t know it serves as a barricade against the danger of feeling..It is why no one can convince the person out of her ideas. They serve a key purpose and should not be tampered with..We are tampering with a survival function.”

“p. 19 It seems like a miracle that something as intangible and invisible as an idea has the power to transform our biologic system. It makes us see what doesn’t exist and sometimes not see what does. What greater power exists than that? To be fooled is not only to convince someone to believe the false, but also to convince others to not believe the truth.

The unloved child who cannot bear the terrible feelings of hopelessness shuts down his own feeling centers and grows insensitive, not only to his pain, but to that of others..So he commits the same error on his child that was visited upon him, and he does so because of the way he was unloved early on. He cannot see his own hopelessness or that of his child.”

“p. 56 ..all defensive beliefs must have a kernel of hope inside of them..it is the embedded hopelessness that gives rise to its opposite – hope – and its accompanying biochemistry of inhibition or gating. To be even more precise, it is the advent of pain surrounding hopelessness that produces the belief entwined with hope..

All defensive belief serves the same function – repression, absorbing the energy of pain.”

“p. 57 An unloved child is a potential future believer.”

“p. 58 ..no one has the answer to life’s questions but you. How you should lead your life depends on you, not outside counsel.

..we do not direct patients, nor dispense wisdom upon them. We have only to put them in touch with themselves; the rest is up to them.

Everything the patient has to learn already resides inside. The patient can make herself conscious. No one else can.”


“p. 29 The personal experience stories throughout the book are written by my patients and, with the exception of a few grammatical corrections, they are presented here exactly as they were given to me.”

All of the Primal Therapy patients’ stories thus far started with horrendous childhoods that resulted in correspondingly strong beliefs.

I came across a public figure example today in 10 Defining Moments In The Childhood Of Martin Luther King Jr. The author included two items germane to an understanding of how beliefs may develop from adverse childhood experiences:

  • 8. King Sr. “..would beat Martin and his brother, Alfred, senseless for any infraction, usually with a belt.”
  • 6. “By the time King was 13, he’d tried to kill himself twice.”

Every reference I found tied King Jr.’s suicide attempts to his grandmother’s death, and not to King Sr.’s beatings or other preteen experiences.

Granted that it’s only the patient who can put together what happened in their lives so that it’s therapeutic. Beyond Belief and Dr. Janov’s other publications outline the framework.

Beyond Belief: Why do we accept being propagandized?

Continuing to read Dr. Arthur Janov’s May 2016 book Beyond Belief:

“p.13 Beliefs are medicine for the hopeless. They attenuate despair, vitiate loneliness, and dissipate helplessness.”

“p. 14 We need hope more than we need truth..Beliefs divert us from past traumas and current pains because inside the belief lies hope.”

“p.15 Hope is..’the meaning of life.’ It shimmers and sparkles and blinds us from seeing the bars of our prisons of belief.

..we are all, in one way or another, victims of early unfulfilled need. Never think that intelligence prohibits this kind of behavior.

We search for hope here and there based on early hopelessness of which we are unaware. Nothing in one’s current life points to the problem, and nothing even in one’s childhood clarifies it.

..one’s expectations may exceed reality when feelings are thrust into the arena of ideas..one no longer sees reality, but rather a projection of need.”


“We need hope more than we need truth.” Is this part of why we accept headlines as facts, and don’t pay attention to the stories’ subsequent corrections? Why we accept as facts news articles that don’t link to the cited sources?

I had dinner earlier this week with an intelligent woman. She mentioned that she constantly listened to National Public Radio. I asked her what value she got from it, and she replied that it kept her current with events.

I asked what other news sources she sought out. She said that she didn’t usually have the time, and that NPR was a reliable source.

I didn’t further challenge her beliefs. It’s up to each individual to realize that their beliefs are symptoms of what’s ruining their one precious life.

Last weekend I engaged in essentially the same conversation over lunch with another intelligent woman who relied on conservative news sources. She also became defensive, and ended that part of our conversation as a matter of “agreeing to disagree.”

Why does intelligence seem to have little to do with accepting being propagandized?

Beyond Belief: Symptoms of hopelessness

I’ve started to read Dr. Arthur Janov’s May 2016 book Beyond Belief. Here are a few thoughts I’ve expressed to friends that were prompted by the first dozen pages of the paperback version.

“p. 5 We need a painless liberation from our insidious emotional wounds..a leader who will take the place of an emotionally distant parent for whom we will sacrifice anything just for the promise of love, protection, and caring.”

The elections of the past two presidents were symptoms of the hopelessness that most Americans feel. Both elections promised hope.

“p. 6 Beliefs sell and sell well. People will pay dearly for even the promise of fulfillment, even if it is in the next life.”

Religion can have a much worse and lasting effect on people than any politician or political system can. Politicians can drag out and delay living up to their promises.

Religious leaders don’t have to deliver much at all during their followers’ lifetimes. In fact, it works in the leaders’ favor to minimally address their followers’ current sufferings, as that strengthens the appeal of the imaginary next life.


The past three weeks I’ve gone to 7-11 to get a morning coffee. More often than not, I see people buying lottery tickets during the 2-3 minutes when I’m there.

What accounts for this behavior? Not everyone who buys a lottery ticket is a math illiterate.

I’ll guess that the behavior is a symptom of hopelessness. People’s widespread feelings of hopelessness cause them to generate a faith that an exceedingly-improbable event can miraculously happen in their lives. The lottery-ticket behavior follows.

State governments are responsible for these lotteries. It’s one of the ways governments prey upon their citizens’ feelings of hopelessness.

I once worked as a contractor in a government office where everyone except me pooled money every week to buy lottery tickets. I was also the only nonreligious person there. Coincidence?

Epigenetics account for two-thirds of Alzheimer’s disease

The genetics percentage from a 2017 summary of Alzheimer’s disease research caught my eye:

“Although numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have now been robustly associated with AD via genome-wide association studies and subsequent meta-analyses, collectively these common SNPs are believed to only account for 33% of attributable risk and the mechanism behind their action remains largely unknown.”

This citation aligned with other studies’ findings per Using twins to estimate the extent of epigenetic effects that on cellular levels, our experiences account for two-thirds of who we are.


The promise of this category of epigenetics research?

“One of the most exciting aspects of identifying disease-associated epigenomic dysfunction is that these mechanisms are potentially reversible.”

Let’s make research on reversing epigenetic changes a priority for funding, and get studies underway here in 2017!

https://www.epigenomicsnet.com/users/27784-katie-lunnon/posts/14634-robust-evidence-for-dna-methylomic-variation-in-alzheimer-s-disease “Robust evidence for DNA methylomic variation in Alzheimer’s disease” (Registration required)

Epigenetics and addiction

Dr. Moshe Szyf of McGill University explains current rodent epigenetic research into addiction in this October 2016 interview.

“What happens during the time when there’s no drug [cocaine] exposure, there’s just the memory of the original drug exposure? And we found huge epigenetics changes during this time, the time of abstinence.

It actually suggests that abstinence cannot cure addiction. It might even aggravate it.

We found out that timing is very important. Pairing the drug [a DNA methylation inhibitor] administration with the cue was critical with reversing the epigenetic effects and the behavioral effects.

Epigenetic treatment should theoretically reprogram the animal to forget or erase the epigenetic consequences of the initial exposure. And therefore the animal should be protected from addiction for a long time if indeed we found what we thought we did with epigenetic reprogramming.”

https://www.epigenomicsnet.com/users/3002-georgia-patey/videos/13003-video2

On Primal Therapy with Drs. Art and France Janov

Experiential feeling therapy addressing the pain of the lack of love.