Primal Therapy and Sex Differences

Plenty of stuff to discuss in the world, with the focus on causes
John
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Post by John »

Dennis,

I had too hard of a time giving a concise answer on status, so I got some help from a friend, and his definition is below. It's so all-encompassing that I find it almost impossible to reel in. I'm getting it more ( especially when given the opportunity to discuss it). It's best to look at the end point of this. Better primal therapy. I wish I knew how that would apply specifically, but I don't. What I DO know is that most certainly both men and women are losing if they don't take status into account. I also want to say that I don't accept your concept of "adapting". What we've done in the "modern" setting "with technology" is so recent and so clearly unsustainable, that genes haven't even registered it yet. Nothing goes unpaid for. It's not punishment, just the way it is. Action-reaction. A primally-suppressed world is going to think like an addict does: "We can control everything because we must."

I'd like to later reply sp?cifically to your comment about rituals-initiation. As you can see, knowing the context of status would be pretty important .....to know what each of us is saying relative to the other. For now it would be enough to say that liberating the pain in the form of a group-witnessed wound is primal therapy. Not cruelty. Some rituals of course were cruel...but they always make "sense".

Note: Identity is strength in the purest form....and hopefully what primal therapy can give us ( feeling...the end of the split). If we are releasing the trapped feminine side ( pain) and not the masculine.....there may be some very large defence networks still in place. Also for women who agree to be in support groups with men and act as if it's "equal" ( in kind) between man and woman. I hope you can start to see the link of status to identity and why it's critical to primal therapy.....and support in primal therapy.

This topic is really worth it in my opinon...although it takes a while to understand what is actually being presented. I needed a hand on status...but I think I understand the identity issue better. It's a real challenge to make the link, but it's a huge boost to therapy if achieved.

My friend read your letter and responded with this....

John

----------------------

Status

Status is tough for me to define.

But Dennis himself hints a bit on the real meaning.

Status, in few words, is your real or perceived position in the social hierarchy. (Which is why I said status is always relative).

Dennis seems to claim that because status used to be determined by "strong muscles", it was the only way a man would obtain high status. It's really a big fallacy, isn't it. Not only because muscles aren't the only (not even the principal) way of obtaining status, but because it means as much now as it did back then.

Status is more a state of mind than anything else. The key word is "perceived social position" (I believe Mystery calls it "social proof").

When two or more individuals meet (let's leave the online thing out, because it's just a detail). the first thing they do is negotiate status. Usually, it's easy given the state of minds of the individuals. However, when two individuals who claim the higher status clash, it can even get violent. (Wars are just that, clashes of status).

People with strong identity tend to get higher status because they don't look for social proof. People with low identity tend to seek aproval, or protection from higher identity individuals.

Identity means looking inward for aproval, instead of outward. This, naturally, means that high-identity indivuals show leadership, because they go to where they want to go, while the rest follow. (Also, mentally ill people can be high-status because they don't seek aproval either... they just do, in their own sick ways).

Women are immensely atracted to high-status individuals, because they usually have more power and resources. They make the best candidates to give their children the highest ability to survive. (Mystery's Survival & Replication model is valid here).

The fact that men are biologically built to be leaders (they instinctively seek higher status, and are more aggresive to pursue it), makes them more "male" and thus more attractive. Which is why identity and status, are considered to be "male" qualities which women love.

Women's strength does not lie in their ability to be leaders or seek high status. Their strength is in their youth and healthiness (protrayed by beauty).

This is why Identity -> Status -> Attraction.

I can't think of any situation where people socialize without some exchange of status. It makes the interaction "fake". Even in theatre or the movies, status is always present. It looks weird or "unnatural" when status is absent. Movies make huge money on low status people becoming high status. ("Run Forest, run"). Comedy is usually about making humour out of high-status individuals, etc. It's fucking everywhere!

Online exchages might give the perception that there is no "status exchanges", but there is... you just have to look closely. (For example... "trying to be right" is a status exchange, "proving you're funny by telling jokes" is a status exchange...).

Technology does not affect status in any way. It only may help those who are powerful with it gain higher status (the geek gets good money, and can attract more females). But it's still status that gets the women. It does nothing to alter the basic laws... it's still there, very much so.

And once status is established, changing status is HARD.
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Dennis
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Post by Dennis »

John, you're not responding to my arguments in which I deny the importance of status and gender, within primal therapy. You just come up with examples taken out of the media or society, and make generalizations to make your theory fit in your believe system.

I'm not denying the fact that status seems to be very important to many men (because that's how we are taught), but how does status and gender influence a 3-month-old baby?

It's about acceptance. People seek acceptance, if they think that comes through status, they will pursue that road. But it's not just about status. A leader of a country wants also to be loved by his people. Someone who has a a high status but no acceptance, doesn't feel satisfied. A male rock star who has admiration, status and a different beautiful woman every day if he wish so, doesn't automatically mean he's satisfied. Can it be that men who are seeking acceptance through status, really are insecure about their own existence, their own personality?

You bring genes in the discussion and I'm always suspicious when anyone who's not a genetic researcher uses genes to prove a point. Genetic is a very complicated field. When it comes to behavior, genes are not responsible.

Long time ago, strength was the highest value in society, nowadays there are other things that are valued and hierarchies are different and multiple.
Some rituals of course were cruel...but they always make "sense".
Justifying cruelty is denying the pain it caused. This is exactly the reason why so many cruel acts are passed on from one generation to the other. 'It hurt but I needed it, it made sense, it made me who I am today' It's the poisenous pedagogy all over again; the adoption of the parents voice.

Dennis
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Dennis,

I think I see what you are saying, and I believe I am understanding you. I?m actually not talking about genetics, but something related to it. The way a society lines up to do it?s number one task?.procreate life. And this is done in a social system. I?m actually trying to point more towards social dynamics where status operates. I know almost nothing about genetics. You are right I think that there are other things that are valued and hierarchies are different and multiple. Status operates in all of them. Without a single exception. Imagine for a moment being able to clarify the operation of status inside the context without ?trashing? the frame you are using. Your frame is about being humane. It?s about being real. It?s about releasing pain and having people work together to achieve common goals. To end discrimination and to stop the brutal oppression of people who are weak in society?who also have as much value as those who are strong. To educate people, to stand up to the ?media machine? which simply supports the power structure?which in many ways duplicates the very abuse that we try to cry over in our primal therapy. I do understand this, and can often forget that when one is a hammer, everything looks like a nail ( the status argument can become an argument in isolation and that creates a misconception about what it really is...status is inert. It's relative). This discussion of status-identity and primal therapy can look like that, but there is something else going on.

What I am saying is simply that status is operating in social networks of all kinds. In innumerable ways. And that the natural selection factor
(however we understand it) is operating powerfully. We can certainly agree on that. And that it is part of who we are. Identity. Now with that we can get to a bit more of why primal might be involved. The idea of basic needs being met in the cycle of human life being played out in social interactions?where status is the ?money?. And imagine the importance of this to a man and his primal pain ( which is wrapped in his identity). Imagine his unwittingly leaving a myriad of defences standing, due to massive pain repression in society.

My idea is that to deny this or to ?leave it out? as a factor can have me
(as happened) connected to deeply feeling people ( in therapy this happened in powerful ways) and end up disconnected to aspects of my self: Particularly what is absent in modern society?.men in communities bonded in purpose and love. Starting with self-love ( acceptance of self). But this self must first be known. FELT. Thus the immense value of primal therapy. But imagine the defences that stay in place when I form relationships in my group therapy community and I am DECIDEDLY FEMALE. And this is what happened to all of the men there. I witnessed it. And the women who were intimate with me had issues with emotionally unavailable fathers. The more I "felt" the more they kept coming. This was "intimacy". This is not intimacy for a man. Nor for them. Women do NOT relate to male energy in this way. They kept their primal pain trapped just as I did as a result. Just as my therapist did?.not knowing how to guide me to a place where she could not go.

This is not to say HUGE gains weren't made....they were. People did become far more real. I'm talking about a big blind spot here.

I think there might be another way to get at the importance of status and gender in primal therapy. Addiction. Addiction is of course codependency. This is how it lives ( in family systems?and in social systems). What is at issue? The core of primal therapy. Identity ( what I feel). And Step One says??I admit I am powerless, and my life is unmanageable.? From there, the steps move into power ( a Higher Power relationship instead of controlling uncontrollable pain). This is primal pain. What a marvelous tool in 12 step this is. RST-primal therapy. Wonderful. I had to leave ACOA because my particular group IGNORED the very primal pain that was hurting me most?..bonding with mother and hating men ( myself). That was to be handled by "letting go and letting God" while SURROUNDED by codependents. VanWinkle warns of this directly in her writings. She was 20 years in 12 step groups.

Perhaps that is why this seems ?over the top?. Because I see the implications of blocking the pain ( primal pain) via the ?one size fits all? error. Status is a miracle discovery to me due to watching it?s connection to power. With identity, I have very very high status. Because I love myself and don?t seek approval from others. This streamlines into how men and women mate, since women are attracted to power in it?s real sense. Perhaps this is why faith moves mountains. Let?s not forget that the 12 stepper who releases real primal pain is a SERVANT. He serves himself ( because he has got his split self back amidst the ashes of the abandonment trauma?.or split?Janov?s context). And in serving himself he can INTERDEPENDENTLY relate in his family and society. He loves. He gives what he already has. His needs are met.

What does a man do as a human being in this context? Serve. He is in his tribe. He loves men, and he has mission. Purpose. He is unafraid to enter the feeling world of women because he is connected to his identity. He won't get eaten alive. He has BOUNDARIES because he has a self. Not a human self only....a masculine self! He can love woman. There are poles. Men aren?t bad?.nor are women bad. They are different. They are complementary. And BOTH men and women have both male and female in them. obviously this most often means men have less female and women less male. Thus the need for complementary conncetion. Status saturates this process. Identity is power in this process. Real power. Not abuse....as we see in modern societies. The very societies that are pain packed.

When I am with a therapist or a group who doesn?t live this reality, I will fall to the reality of reference group. My release of primal pain will go to that level. Like a water level.

Does traditional primal therapy allow a man to do this kind of work with this kind of goal? I think the very evils you spell out so clearly are BECAUSE men have lost their identity and become cruel. Unfeeling. Addicted. Women are left to do the job, and nobody knows what's what. Things fall down to irrelevant ( in this context) concepts of "fairness".

Status is power....and the biggest power of all is identity. Self-knowledge. This is different for a man and a woman. Very very different. I don't see this being acknowledged. I think a good topic would be HOW to liberate masculine pain in this context. How can the man get supported? His women...women in general are WAITING.
But they don't wait forever. Someone has to do it, if the men aren't. Thus angry masculine women. Fighting for "rights". Yes, it's good...because clearly there was cruelty before. Hopefully you can see I believe that to be wrong too.

I just can't agree that pain IS being liberated all the way when I see men and women in denial about how social structures operate. Not genetic structures...social structures. You could of course relate genes to everything. The medical community has done that to mystify emotional illness ( suppressed pain) and keep everyone swallowing pills. I think RST makes this point very well.

John
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Dennis
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Post by Dennis »

Feeling is not exclusively feminine. Baby boys do not cry less than baby girls. Social structures do exist, for societies. But a three month old baby knows nothing about social structure, nor society, nor status.

Though status seems to be important in our society that is based on hierarchy, I believe that system is taught not a natural one.

I'm always distrustful when I hear a man say that he knows exactly what women want. Not only is that a generalization, I doubt if this is an important issue. You can only know yourself what you want, from yourself and from the people you value.

However, identity (or individuality) is different for women and men. I don't see that being denied within Primal Theory. But there are many cases that the male aspect of my individuality has no impact on what I do.

Could you give an example of masculine pain?

You wrote:
And the women who were intimate with me had issues with emotionally unavailable fathers. The more I "felt" the more they kept coming. This was "intimacy". This is not intimacy for a man. Nor for them. Women do NOT relate to male energy in this way. They kept their primal pain trapped just as I did as a result.
To use a quote by Janov again, from Prisoners of Pain:

Another disappointment is when the partner can't give the other 'the feeling that I'm a man' or 'that I'm a woman'. As if there's someone who would be able to give that. In a way they don't want an equal relationship. The woman wants a 'man', who guards, who's aggressive and deals with the problems. She wants to see him as powerful and strong; she claims she will feel like a woman with that. In reality what she wishes for is a father, to whom she doesn't feel like a woman but like a child. And the spouse or husband in that relationship wishes for a woman who supports him, flatters him, gives him attention, cares for and is friendly, has his food ready in time, keeps track of his clothes and even picks them out for him. He too is looking for a parent, but he doesn't know that. All these acts couldn't make him feel like a man, even if he thinks so. They will let him stay as the child. They want everything that they didn't get from their parents. If they did have, they wouldn't be expecting all this from a partner who's after all not their parent.

In a bee colony, the queen bee is the one with all the power. I used to think that such bee was a special breed or genetically stronger but anyone can become a queen bee. The bee that becomes the queen is just an ordinary bee who's been taken care of in the best possible way - already when the bee is still in the egg - and therefore gets stronger and therefore gets status. For humans it's a bit like that as well. We like to think that those high up in the hierarchy are special people, genetically ahead of the ordinary ones, specially skilled. But they are just put there by other people. That's how structures of power come to rise.

Dennis
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Post by Guest »

Dennis,

I think that the issues you raise here could be vital to a successful primal therapy practice ( for the individual) and I'm hoping that the discussion can reveal new value for me. I can see that the most real human being is the one most closely connected to his own identity....found in his feelings. Naturally those feelings are going to be instructed at a deep level by his nature. To me, this would be the overall shell of what we're trying to get at here. The cost of polarizing these themes and coming out with "more of the same" is high if a "nature" aspect is being underestimated or even ignored. I glanced through the over 35,000 messages on the support group offering ( there is little support....so it's not relevant to criticize someone for trying to do something). It was clear that the people in the group as well as their therapists behind them....were clearly missing a lot of identity. The outcome ( at least for them) of unisex primal therapy was clear. Masculine energy was completely missing. Why? It's a point of interest to me because I've gone around the horn many times with a lot of therapy with people who simply said..."feel...it's enough". Which it is....but the reference group created nature-cancelling defences. Thus my primal pain stayed intact ( as I later found out). My belief in authority and lack of trusting myself
(authority even meant organized socialist groups with good "humanist"arguments) meant there was little hope to go as far as I needed to. This is changing dramatically....mostly due to RST, but also due to some new information out there now about male-female nature in human social structures.

Rather than answer all your questions in this post, I'd like to know a bit more about your view first ( concerning male female).....in how men and women get together. For example. A post primal man and a post primal woman. They kind of seem neutered to me. I was getting this from VanWinkle and your quote about Janov seems to cloud the couple too. It seems as if it's this deep individualist democracy.....somehow impelled to act "for the greater good" in a socialist setting.

I just need more clarification of where you are going with the idea of children-men-women-couples-society. Not a huge thing....nor something perfect ( obviously we are in an area of therapy that's not got a lot of history....and we are only now really learning more about human nature). Just to understand what your world view is.

I do want to answer your questions directly. My take would definitely be aimed at the nature-nurture side in order to get at more defences ( or at least be able to get a variety of therapists to ensure this....Phil's point).

The 6 year 35,000 message support forum might have revealed something about primal therapy. I'd love to talk about that. I will also answer those points you raised.....and am asking for a little more about your world view ( instead of assuming).

John
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Post by Dennis »

My world view has changed over the years and now I understand I cannot grasp the world. It's simply too big. Maybe we still try to bring everything back to the tribe, where everything and everyone could be understood. The world as a global village.

Post-primal people or healthy people do have relationships. But as I said before, they enjoy life as an individual and as a couple.

Before I started with Primal Theory, I was dedicated to existentialism (as a philosophy) and anarchism (as a political and individual freedom). Anarchism taught me that the indoctrination by authorities is a fact and supported by traditional child-rearing and education. I consider Janov an anarchist as well.

There's no perfect world and no perfect people. That's probably a christian concept. Something mankind always seems to long for. But I do see many threats in this world and I do wonder where the evolution of men went wrong. Alien DNA?

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Post by Guest »

Dennis,

There are no definitive answers here, and mental health is a goal that is very subjective. As is human nature. The better way to go here might be just to shine a light on what could be some hidden opportunities. Such as masculine energy. Some have even said that men feel more deeply than women, since women generally have an easier time of accessing feeling. This may be due to the fact that the male ( in his hardware) is more of a "do'er". Feeling is a human. It is strong in both sexes. Nowhere is status more prevalent than amongst children and babies ( and especially in pre-natal life). This is where the concept of identity is formed. The shell in which human life is unfolding is passed on and programmed as software on to the hardware. Feminized social structures that deny male-female realities form a large part of what VanWinkle uncovered with RST. The "soap bubble" of modern society which has offered the greatest threat of all to human identity is hardly an evolutionary or adaptive event. It's simply....and event. I don't think it has made it into our genes, or will. That is a matter of debate I'm sure.

A baby in the womb who grows up to be a man will gain most of his masculine power from those times....as well as his earliest years. Forming human beings are literally a "we" before they are an "I". Primal therapy and RST exist due to codependency. A feminized male has not made it to "I"....and it's not because of what he's doing out in the world as an adult. It's because he's an adult child.

From VanWinkle's FAQ on http://www.gocure.com :


--------------
Q What is codependency and why do you call it our primary addiction?

A Codependent relationships are formed unconsciously with parent substitutes for the purpose of setting a stage to re-enact the childhood relationships and get the anger out. The behavior of these parental substitutes is stimulatory and triggers detox crises. Other addictions to food, alcohol, drugs, and psychologically stimulatory activities such as sex, shopping, gambling, etc. also trigger detox crises. These addictions will linger until the toxicosis is gone. See the section Addictions in The toxic mind article.

------------


Children are most susceptible to fight or flight repression at the level of identity. Female. Male. In the last part of the 20th century and up to now, the fight or flight suppression has probably gotten even bigger. It's hardly questioned now that male and female are "taught". If you sit amongst a group of people from European countries and watch how they interact, you can see that to erase identity at this level is almost considered a virtue. It isn't noticed because of the trapped primal pain. Men and women can do this because they don't feel the consequences of it. Society is designed to medicate the pain of lost identity.

The idea of people with "status" ( queen bees) being propped up to become leaders in society ....and holders of resources and power....is a fallacy. These people are merely gang members in most cases. They don't have status, they have more "drug". They have nothing and feel nothing. They are trying to remove themsleves even further from themselves. The answer in my opinon would not be to attack this structure to gain re-distribution of the drug ( whatever form it is). Nor is it to aspire to the same position.

Status operates in social systems. Codependency shows where it has gone wrong...where identity ( in this case male-female) has been erased or lessened dramatically.

Michael Moore is a good example of someone "exposing" status where it doesn't exist. He is a man on a political agenda and even plays to the gang-member structure...as if it was legitimate. The opposite of unfair isn't the Democratic Party of the United States. A closing of a biscuit factory that alters the mood of people packed with primal pain isn't a bad thing. Moore is probably as much as 100 pounds overweight. But it makes great entertainment. It doesn't accomplish much. All it really does do is entrench unfeeling power structures. I suppose this is the attitude of an anarchist....but for me I don't see political activism as relevant. Moore is a great example of that.

I just remember sitting in a theatre in Chile as the saying...."U.S. installs Pinochet government.....5,000 Chilean's murdered".

The U.S didn't install that governement. And that's a fact. The broad brush of activism covers the real point. MY PRIMAL PAIN. A story for each person.

Masculine pain?

Not knowing who I am or what I want and making women a purpose to solve primal pain ( having been emotionally incested as a child...and not initiated or brought into a male community).

Thinking relationship with the opposite sex is more important than relationship with myself.

Complete isolation from others due to not being able to "act".

The list is very long indeed.

John
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Post by Guest »

On the Prisoners of Pain quote:


To use a quote by Janov again, from Prisoners of Pain:

Another disappointment is when the partner can't give the other 'the feeling that I'm a man' or 'that I'm a woman'. As if there's someone who would be able to give that. In a way they don't want an equal relationship. The woman wants a 'man', who guards, who's aggressive and deals with the problems. She wants to see him as powerful and strong; she claims she will feel like a woman with that. In reality what she wishes for is a father, to whom she doesn't feel like a woman but like a child. And the spouse or husband in that relationship wishes for a woman who supports him, flatters him, gives him attention, cares for and is friendly, has his food ready in time, keeps track of his clothes and even picks them out for him. He too is looking for a parent, but he doesn't know that. All these acts couldn't make him feel like a man, even if he thinks so. They will let him stay as the child. They want everything that they didn't get from their parents. If they did have, they wouldn't be expecting all this from a partner who's after all not their parent.

Do you notice the values used by Janov here? He jumps around making assumptions and clearly showing his lack of understanding regarding male-female identity. Of course he is right that another can't give the feeling of gender to a partner. So what would Janov call the identity of gender? It slips through the cracks in his statement of "equality". "They don't even want equality". I would certainly hope not! It appears what was going on in Southern California in the 1960s had a very deep impact on this man.

In the quote you have provided, Janov accurately moves to the nature of primal pain in the buried codependency. This is a mirror of VanWinkle's statement. But I'm left waiting. Where is the man and the woman? What is this identity? Does he also feel that this identity emerges at ...I don't know....age 18?

His argument is simplistic and predictable ( at least today....it was perhaps novel when he wrote this passage).

It's as if natural sex differences are sneered at as being codependent. If there is severe codependency, then he's right...there are no sex differences. So let's emerge from the ether. Codependency is healed. Each person is post-primal. Where are the sex differences? How does attraction work? Since the current voice on this is said by evolutionary theorists who don't focus on primal pain, should the baby go out the window with the dirty bathwater?

A healthy woman is surely going to want a man to be a man. I would hope she would enjoy that. A healthy man is going to want a woman to be a woman. I would hope that he would enjoy that. If they are codependent, they'll likely just do what is suggested in the paragraph. No gender. So that's codependency.....and sex differences? What about that? What about a healthy model of relationship? I don't get it.

Isn't primal therapy about identity?

With this kind of value statement, it is no accident that many defences regarding getting to deepest primal pain would remain in place. People are still talking about "equality"? What has that got to do with anything?

I feel this quote really missed the boat.

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Post by Dennis »

So, if I understood you well, you think it?s natural for a man to dominate a woman, simply because men have been doing that for thousands of years and that?s the way our brain is wired (?programmed?). But do you believe that a healthy woman prefers having a relationship where the man dominates her in issues that relate to her own existence? I doubt that very much. Just because some behaviour has been around for thousands of years, doesn?t mean it?s natural. And even if it was, women evolve, too.

If you?ve grown up without a father (figure) and been objectified by a possessive mother and have painful experiences because of that, I don?t see this being denied in Primal Therapy. Looking for masculinity is perhaps looking for a father that you never had. Or a reaction to a mother who punished or ridiculed your masculinity.

What?s the biological function of pain? What else is there to do with the experience of pain, than to feel and express it? You cannot think away pain.

Yes, Michael Moore is a political activist and overweight. He does look like Joe Sixpack and that's been his strength. For him, such apearance opened doors that would have stayed closed if he had looked like Tom Cruise. Moore reacts to injustice, by exposing how dumb those in charge actually are. While at first he supported Ralph Nader, he later turned to the Democrats not because they're the opposite of unfair but because they were the lesser one of two evils. He acknowledges that political change goes slow in the US and that he had to find a compromise. For young people growing up in a totalitarian media world, what a joy it is to have people like Michael Moore around. And it's not only entertainment, he has acomplished social change, on a small and large scale.

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Post by Guest »

Dennis,

I think the real payoff in recognizing the defence-reinforcer of unisex primal therapy is that it can lead to more identity. More feeling. More self. The argument you make is clearly the one Janov made in Prisoners of Pain. He doesn't even realize he has an incorrect assumption buried with his knee-jerk "equality" high water mark. Imagine Southern California in 1967 and imagine the impact of 40 years of feminism. Any woman today knows she is less satisfied with men than ever before. Older women who have lived all this period are very clear on it I'm sure.
So, if I understood you well, you think it?s natural for a man to dominate a woman, simply because men have been doing that for thousands of years and that?s the way our brain is wired (?programmed?). But do you believe that a healthy woman prefers having a relationship where the man dominates her in issues that relate to her own existence? I doubt that very much. Just because some behaviour has been around for thousands of years, doesn?t mean it?s natural. And even if it was, women evolve, too.

You started with the phrase ".....you think it's natural for man to dominate women" and went from there. Any man who is "dominating women" is hardly a man. Consider how hard this discussion can be to get going when there is no working definition of a man and a woman ( and the key role of status is relegated to some kind of oppressive irrelevancy propped up by rabid evolutionary theorists). Again, the bottom line needs to be kept in mind. The cost in not gaining deeper feeling via huge defences kept in place. For a clinic on that, check the 35,000 message primal support group reference made on the forum. Lot's of people were feeling deeply....but the WALL associated with identity-blocking unisex is formidable. It's no accident since Janov himself talks of "feeling all the way down" as basically a common "human" ( not male or female) venture in primal therapy. "Pain is pain...feeling is feeling...you can't think you're way out of it". And on it goes.

If you?ve grown up without a father (figure) and been objectified by a possessive mother and have painful experiences because of that, I don?t see this being denied in Primal Therapy.



I agree with what you are saying here. This is a common story in Western society. This is my story too. I also believe you don't see that this is being denied in Primal Therapy. I believe it absolutely is.

What?s the biological function of pain? What else is there to do with the experience of pain, than to feel and express it? You cannot think away pain.

Absolutely. This is Primal Therapy. The problem again is the defences. A person will NOT feel the pain that is held behind his defences unless those defences are broken. There is almost no way that these deeper defences could be broken given what you are saying. Back to an earlier question of yours. "What is masculine pain?" Consider this as the core of the point here. I believe asking that is your way of saying that you really do believe that pain in a female is in the same places as that of a male. Is this what you believe?

An adult child ( most western males) will make women a god. Consider then this the root of spiritual bankruptcy in the culture. And consider true masculinity a spiritual reality. A man who is MORAL (feeling, self-referred, leader, servant) and is in community, in service and in love with life and nature ( his context).

You see the opposite of this in western culture. This comes from the emotional incest and lack of father- male community as a child ( addict societies). Make no mistake about it. Loss of masculine energy comes from childhood....as the child is concieved into a family system matrix. Return of masculine energy comes from grieving this loss. How could a person could POSSILY grieve this using primal therapy with the values you are putting forth. What if my therapist believed in "equality" as Janov did? How far could I go? I assure you, I'd believe it too....and my lack of safety would stop me from grieving my masculine pain. Women would of course be in the same dilemma.

Women recoil from feminized men ( thinking masculinty and male sexuality oppresses women) and starve for leadership. Women must TEST for strength in men. They can't just mate with anyone.

The pains of these two sexes are explicitly played out in the "Prisoners of Pain" quote. But what about releasing those pains? Did you notice what Janov said? "They don't even want equality". OOPS. No sex difference....jumping to equality as a kind of "upgrade". Masculinity isn't even on his mind. Do you see the quantum leap and belief in genderless human beings? What about grieving the needs of each sex in their family system? The seeds that were not planted then are what cause each sex to be so unclear on their identity as they emerge into later stages of development building on what went before ( this is such a huge point...what greater identity than a person's sexual identity? This is rooted in feeling.....feeling that leads developmentally to a man being a man and a women being a women ). To grieve those needs NOT being met , the defences need to be cracked. It absolutely ISN'T going to happen if the social context ( therapist, friends, family, media etc) are all convinced that women have moved ( or should be moving ) from "being dominated" to now being in a "state of equality".

This is a tough subject because uninitiated feminized males have NO IDEA what this is about. Have you considered for a moment that thinking that being masculine is about "dominating women" is about protecting Mom? Chile is a machista society......thus it is feminized. Just as dominating women is feminized. And that's how it plays out here. The men are known to the women here as "Mamones". Mama's boys. That's what a machista is.

There is no working definition of a man here. But it goes MUCH deeper than that. The attitude overall is that there doesn't need to be one.

I have something to say about Michael Moore:

Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins:

"What I do is me: for that I came."


I never get that about Moore. Ever. I never get him. I see him finding the best way to crack a power structure, but I don't get him. Primal Therapy is as organic as it gets, and this man is NOT organic. He's not operating from an identity at all. I'm not saying we wait until we are perfectly healed, but c'mon. This is not a person I would see as someone in Primal Therapy could look up to ( my opinion).

What you term affably as "Joe Sixpack" might make his obvious repressed anger ( obesity) more of a "secondary issue". It's not in my opinion. The idea of overt lack of self-care meaning a "more real person" doesn't sell with me. Accessibility or not. I'm sure he cares about something....but I don't know what....and I have no idea why.

Here's something related to RST ( anger repression) and the issue of obesity ( pain suppressed America....that is what Moore best represents to me).

http://www.fairlandinstitute.org/addict ... A_14&id=14

Maybe saying that isn't considered "nice" or some might even make a big stretch and say it's "discriminating". The above article will show the streamline into VanWinkle's work very quickly. I see Moore in this context.

John
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Post by Guest »

This topic is so primal and basic that it's really hard to understand for me. But I've kept with it. A friend had these comments to offer..which I add to my last post:
There is great shame about being a man when he implied that "men SHOULD NOT dominate women". Domination!

Wow.

While it is not natural for a man to dominate a woman, it is natural for him to LEAD her. What a difference, eh.

I think this got closer to the cost of unisex primal therapy. Most men have such terror about leading and accepting that men and women are drastically different, that a big blind spot develops. In a relationship where a man isn't leading and is shamefully focused on 1967 Southern California, the women will ALSO suffer trapped primal pain. A woman is certainly defined by her social context, since this is where she acts out her humaness and needs unique to her as a woman.

Women don't trust men who don't lead.

And them trusting a man who leads is a part of INTRA-DEPENDENCY.

With Janov I'm getting that's it's either codependency or equality.

No wonder people have anti-bodies against status ( the engine of natural selection amongst human beings).

People want to evolve beyond what they ARE. Any hints about primal pain blockage in this?

Mom accepts nothing less.

It all boils down to intact defences when denying identity.

And I STILL assert that all identity emerges from feeling. None of this has to do with "thinking".

John
Phil
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Post by Phil »

Hi John,

This is all confused to me. Primal therapy is not unisexual. Therapy occurs at the level of the individual, man or woman, and not society.
Each of us have our issues to deal with and these come out in therapy.
Theories are good for books and message boards but in practice therapists mainly help clients express their feelings whatever they are so that healing occurs.

In therapy, and I have had good therapists, I bring up whatever issues are bothering me and explore them and try to primal with the feelings involved. So if I want to talk about gender identity or status issues that would be fine. But not in an intellectual way but about myself and my life directly. So I wouldn't primal about feminism or a machista society but I might primal about my father shaming me because I wasn't a tough little boy.

It really comes down to basic human needs and having them met as a child. Basic human needs haven't changed since Janov first wrote The Primal Scream. And anyway what matters is that I discover which of my own basic needs were not met and primal that. It doesn't matter to me whether that correlates with a theory or not.

Someone who has a strong need for status or power as an adult might not have gotten much attention as a child. That will come out in therapy.


Yes, men will have issues in common with other men and the same for women. And it is good to do therapy with both a male and female therapist. For most of us, issues with our mothers may be the major ones because they are the parents who gave birth to us and should have nurtured us in our early years.

Phil
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Dennis
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Post by Dennis »

I agree with Phil that this discussion is getting too theoretical. John, you've ignored the 3-month-year old baby boy example. How is his gender of influence in his needs? Could you give a practical example?

You can theorize a long time on what women want, but what is it that you want?

It's natural for a man to lead a woman? Lead her into what? Or to what? And how does this relate to your own frustration? I don't deny it that in our society men are the leaders but it's taught behavior, not programmed in our genes. The hierarchical structure of power only lets people move up who are conform to its standards, by written and unwritten rules. So women at the top are often acting very masculine. In my opinion it's an incorrect conclusion that therefore men must be better leaders. The situation you describe is very much focused on the US. Here in Sweden, equality is more accepted and our parliament consists of 50 percent women, which is unique in the world. Women are a different group than men and should have its representation in places of political power.

Prisoners of Pain was written in 1980. I detect a certain frustration when you mention Janov being influenced by Californian hippies.

Not feeling like a man or woman is being dealt with in Primal Therapy. Have you read Stettbachers book? Or Alice Miller's For Your Own Good? If you have experiences with Primal therapists not being able to deal with this, then that says more about them than Primal Therapy in general. In the literature this is surely being handled.

Primal therapy doesn't tell you how you should live your life. It shows repressed and suppressed pain as a result of unmet needs and gives an expression to it. How you live your life is up to you.
Women don't trust men who don't lead.
I read that like this:

My mother didn't trust me when I wanted to stand up for myself.

Or:

My mother didn't trust my father who was too weak and left.

Michael Moore... I understand that it might be hard to see an overweight person caring for something when he doesn't care about his weight. I'm not looking for perfect people in this world. He's not the only person I value. There are many more. They all contribute to my life as I see it. I don't idealize them. But Moore is not afraid to express himself about injust acts. Too many are, because of status.

Dennis

Great is the truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. (Huxley - Brave New World, Forword 1950)
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Post by Guest »

Hopefully something new can emerge here or the thread may close without something different. That's ok too. I'm quite passionate on this new information I've learned ( and it's quite recent). I understand each of your points and see the disconnect on terms of reference here. Let?s start with theoretical. I?m hoping for as little of that as possible.

Much of what I?m faced with when connecting about deep work out there is either theoretical or feminine. It?s kind of hard to respond to your question of the 3 month old baby boy without there being an understanding of what status means. Perhaps that will emerge. I would say that that in my own personal case my masculinity ( and it?s a wee bit unfair here because the discussion in this particular topic on the other ?side? includes all known work?nothing that new in primal circles ?so to get anything new out there I have to expose more) was MOST impacted ( and in the ways you responded to ?women don?t trust men who don?t lead?.that is very good?very accurate) in the pre-natal and first year of life?.up to age 3. It was all done by then. Why?

Co-dependency and family systems.

This is all VanWinkle?s area ( see earlier quote about codependency being the primary addiction). In my family system there is alcoholism and sexual abuse, and these family secrets?as well as resultant lifestyles and beliefs and defences?..are absolutely communicated into the nervous system in the womb and during the first years of life. That is where I was most devastated. Feelings?not theory?communicated directly onto me as a developing male baby which directly conflict with the path of development leading to the healthy adult male. One who is aligned with his nature ( status seeking?..again, I don?t understand your use of the term status in this context?.and it?s clear that you don?t yet fully understand mine?.it?s an exciting place to do some work?with the goal of revealing more primal pain?more self. Leave that aside for the moment).

The effect of the matrix of feelings the baby is immersed in starts the fight or flight suppression VanWinkle talks about.
"The. . . unquestioning love of our parents is so deeply rooted that hardly anything can destroy it, and certainly not insight into the truth. It is grounded in the natural need to love and be loved."
-- Dr. Alice Miller in Paths of Life
This is what primal therapy ( RST) would get at for me. Assuming the sending and receiving in my reference group ( therapists included) weren?t mirroring my former emotional matrix (this is the point?and you can?t theorize out of that reality..even with really good therapists....we are all human). They usually aren?t totally mirroring codependency if they are good?.to a point. A point that is very clearly drawn in the sand here in this discussion. A point that becomes ever more clear as the modern society surrounding us is being used as some kind of sustainable model for male-female ( or even human) interaction. It?s an exceedingly small and unnatural sample. However, everything you say about people moving up this scale is absolutely true. But this scale and process is not connected to who we are or what we are. It's not an adaptation and it's not going to last. It's a result of denial coming from pain generation.

Perhaps your context of discusion has some relevance if men and women are connecting to primal self in the process. How? If they can go somewhere to rest from the mask. It can work if they have a community apart from ?normal? society where needs can get met in a male way or a female way?depending on the person ( and both men and women have both male and female in them?this is certainly true). But that is very very rare.

The point that has impacted me throughout my life is that the 3 month old MALE baby is me, just as in the original moment, who would today defer to the values and beliefs you?re bring out here. I did it for years. With people doing deep deep feeling work. Fortunately I had brutal PTSD, and as others came into balance, I did not ( please remember that the human brain will ALWAYS seek balance before health). I kept not sleeping, and kept falling into further ill health. I continued to be surrounded by feminized men and non-tribal energy. Why?

The 3 month old baby will not stand up to mom. Neither would the baby of that age inside those around me. But many were in balance...or years away from crisis. And they all were in a sophisticated codependent re-create ( I was part of that too...for them...just as they were for me).

More feeling work?more treating everyone as if they were the same and expecting the body to simply ?present biological pain??..the greater the blockage. For man it worked....they can release a lot and still be genderless. I was fortunate. This didn't happen with me.

The thing always in common here? ME! That was a big realization.
My primal therapy was to deal with RST?..the fight or flight suppression. What many people here might talk about in concepts, I lived during the past 3 years as if I was swallowing and processing a half litre of Clorox a day. That is how successful RST was for me. And I saw the feminized men and angry women slowly drop away. But I continued to try to "explain" to deaf ears. That has also dropped by over 90%.

Again, codependency is in practical terms a new concept for primal people, but not so new for people in CODA or those who have chosen with addict systems work ( people in AA, Al-Anon, NA etc.). VanWinkle emerged from this stuff. This is such an important topic in my opinion because it deals directly with a very practical matter.

The concept of defences.

A therapist is both dealing with a family system when he is in front of a patient and is himself part of a substitute family system for the patient??and the reverse is true too. Limbic sending and receiving ensures this in a most elegant way. People just find each other and work off of the ego structures?.seeking balance. My point is to be aware of these errors I?ve made about men and women ( the one?s you both eloquently express, I?ve been expressing for years).

What am I getting at here? It?s not that complex and not theoretical. Too bad a term like status can?t be understood. Too bad that Janov looks at the individual in therapeutic process as in individual in practical terms. Phil, your argument is relaxed and reasonable. I could certainly make it and understand it. To give you an idea of how far away we are in terms of "status" understanding, those that seek status and power are those with the lowest status of all. And those that obtain it have nothing in real terms. It's a fallacy that these are "power" positions. Status has nothing whatsoever to do with this. You not understanding that may mean....you don't understand it. It doesn't mean it's not happening and a big point to consider in primal therapy. What I'm saying here is new.


Dennis, I am calling your assumption that women and men are interacting in natural ways when in places of political power, or that representation occurs there ( again, I hear you about perfection not being a goal?but we are talking about primal work here). It is my belief that you are making a quantum leap away from men and women and how they interact by considering this as a place to see ?humans in action? and then looking for "improvement" or change. There is no hope of that I am sure. You may believe this for now since the system is ?working? in that it exists?.but it?s not sustainable, for all the reasons Janov outlines. He would be even more right if he included the deeper levels of identity being squashed in human life in these social dynamics?which deny our natural reality ( male-female...and the status that drives them together to select naturally in reproduction).

You say ?how you live your life is up to you?. I doubt very much the same brain that fought so much to get past primal defences is going to just ?make a choice? and overcome invisible co-dependent networks?.that are as complex and denial-laden as the individual egos that make them up.

Lead a woman? To what? Don?t forget, the man who is leading is FOLLOWED. This man is a servant. He has a self. He is integrated.
And the woman can give her enormous gifts to this man in return.

Status is back.

Women look for it in men?.since it is hardwired into their very being to choose a system that will support their young. I?m sorry a fundamentalist took hold of this reality and created a pole. I don?t want to do that. My view is far more simple. My inner 3 month old baby will STOP my leadership and CANCEL me from the natural gene pool ( not in the shortrun....all my brothers have married angry women).

My natural information about how to socialize ( the hardware part) over millions of years I am now FIGHTING with. A very primal issue?

Instead of dealing with that, I lived with humanists ( yes I did) and a genderless reference group ( it was so European?caf? intellectual style?.and SO MUCH FEELING.). They had balance, I did not. I think I won ( but it hurt a lot more).

A low status male theorizes about what women want. This is the action of a 3 month old baby in the presence of a poisonous pedagogy. I?m with Janov, Miller and VanWinkle. These values are communicated LONG before age 3. It?s mostly all done by then. RST and it?s base in co-dependency is an enormous help in understanding this. Recognizing status is basically a gift for me. Like Bradshaw, Beattie, Larsen and a host of addiction specialists since the mid 1980s, I never included gender.

You aren't either. For now you can turn to the societal dynamics of a society that has no more longevity to it than a soap bubble. Activism in this soap bubble to me is merely delaying the release of primal pain. Fueled even further by believing that men and women have "adapted" to the soap bubble.

You are right about Michael...and what he has done. It's true. And I know that you likely have a rich group of caring mentors around you. No doubt. At the same time, the issue at hand ...was Michael. What is HE doing about HIM.

Perfection aside...it's not an issue. The answer is....nobody has any idea. It's not organic, it's not congruent....it's a grey area. And imagine speaking about Columbine without brining up RST? Yes, the issue for the boys who shot those students, and what has happened in the states last week and this...is primal. All about suppressed fight or flight response. And this is my personal issue. This is why it interests me. I have far less interest in theory ( I did for about 15 years).

I had PTSD ( and am coming out of this....I'm a walking miracle). So that changed everything. I had to keep going deeper. And I am.

One day if I can find an article on status that explains it in a way I can't ....I'll post it. Nothing urgent, but I'm passionate about this. I guess due to my own personal experience.


John
Phil
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Post by Phil »

Hi John,

I have to say that I can't see much of what you are saying. It seems excessively complex. How would or should it effect the practice of primal therapy.

A basic understanding for me is that most of my characteristics are innate. Those are the capacities that I am trying to recover which have been distorted by pain. It doesn't matter about society or anyone mirroring me.

Maybe you can define the word status, the definition you are using.

Phil
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