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And so life goes on

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:30 pm
by Alan Selk
I remember nearly six years ago I had my last Primal, though I didn`t know it was the last at the time. It was Halloween night. Somehow that seemed fitting.

After that I wanted to get as far away from the whole primal world as I could. I felt as if I had been looking in a mirror for 9 years and just needed to get away from all that self analyses. In the period of time I was in therapy I always had the feeling in the back of my head that life was on pause to some degree. From early on in therapy all I wanted to do was finish this thing and get on with my life.

Relatively early in therapy I was in contact with someone who had finished primaling years ago. I was in a car with him and asked what life was like now that he had finished therapy. He stumbled around with the question for a while, then said something that stuck with me. He said Primaling was just another trip he went through. He clarified it a bit and said that he had been through alot of different trips in his life, and even though primaling was a significant piece of the pie, in the end it was just another trip.

So I`ve done some trips since I finished primaling.

In the past year or so I have somewhat reversed my flight from the Primal World and have had some interest in getting in contact with the Primal community (if such a thing exist) and especially the post primal community.

Primaling is a interesting experience and it would be nice to hear from other people who have been through it.


Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:31 pm
by Dennis
For me the word Primal has never been connected to a community. The desire to belong to a community could be connected to the desire belonging to a family, your family. But when we (meaning I and people who have read the primal-based books) start dealing with all this suppressed and repressed pain, we want to avoid it. That's why it's repressed in the first place. Our intellect seeks ways to avoid feeling the pain, by inventing excuses. That's why it's important to know people who can tell you to continue the process.

But when all that pain is integrated and expressed, life goes on yes. But like a person who lost his legs, he can learn to love himself but still lives in a world that's designed for people with legs. That's how I see post-primal (or post-flood) people. Feeling and intelligent people are in the minority in this world and I wonder why post-primal/post-flood people haven't made a bigger mark in society.


Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:32 pm
by Phil
What I think is that it can be easy to forget what it was like before
primalling. It is a good idea to try to remember progress made.

Yet, it is impossible to know exactly what life would be like now without
having been involved in primal. That also makes research into the benefits difficult.

For me, it hasn't been just a trip. It has been a really transformational
process. I wouldn't have done well at all without it.

For a lot of people the therapy never really finishes, it is just an ongoing process. Mine isn't finished even though I started a long time ago at a young age.
I don't envision it finishing. It is better not to.

So "post primal" may not really exist, there can always be more.
One may seem to be done, but only be at a stuck point.
"Post primal" might be better thought of as post any particular primal.

These comments may not be encouraging to people looking into primal.
But I don't think it is necessary to have in mind a goal of becoming "post primal" since it is, at least it has been for me, beneficial all along the way.


Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:33 pm
by Alan Selk
To Phil

On the concept of post-primal, I`ve always had problems with the idea that primaling never ends. I`m not saying your wrong, but I am saying that I simply don`t understand it.

Just a very short history of my Primal experience. I started out on second line stuff, worked through that, dropped down to first line, birth ( a long time on that) prenatal, and that was it. It took me a good deal of time and work to go through the whole thing.

I just don`t know what else I could primal on.

I have tried to do some primaling since then, but nothing came of it. If I was feeling lousy or bummed out about something laying down and trying to feel what it was just led me right back to the hear and now. It`s stuff I have to work out in the present and not the past.

Having said that, I know that everyone has there own trip to go through on this. I know people who had a very different style of primaling then I did, something that would never work for me, but it worked for them, so; there`s no way I`m going to say your mistaken on primaling never ending. I am going to say that it may not be a universal trait, as I`ve met to many people that had a similar experience as I did.


Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:34 pm
by Phil
Hi Allen,

Well I can't dispute what you say. Maybe there is little or no more
for you to primal.

But for me, a period of little primal activity has never meant that
I was finished. There was always more, even if I couldn't get to it at
the time.

It also probably depends on a lot of factors, like how much pain there is
and the nature of the defences.


Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:37 pm
by Dennis
It probably depends on the age on which one starts dealing with Pain. The process of integration does end eventually. Ellie van Winkle gives it 3 intensive months and a year of ups and downs. But there are of course the defenses that differs from person to person. If one could recognize it as just a defense to the past, and express whatever comes up, it speeds up the primal process.


Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:38 pm
by Linda Smith
Something I often wonder about is -- what does it mean to be post-primal? What would a post-primal person look like?

Of course, we should each decide for ourselves where we start and where we stop the primal process; there is no right or wrong.

However, I guess I'm an idealist. I believe that we are divine beings and that if we've cleared out all our sh** then all that would be left is our natural, divine selves. Some signs of this would be a person that is completely physically healed, a person who is at peace and in harmony with the universe/nature, perhaps a person who is multi-dimensional -- a person who is "conscious".

Spiritual literature often talks about becoming "conscious". Isn't that what we are doing with primal therapy -- we are making the unconscious conscious? When there is no "unconcsious" stuff left, then we are "conscious".

Although I do feel like I am becoming a much more conscious being (and perhaps if anyone is interested I will post more on that at some point), at the same time I have also found that the removal of each primal layer always opens up the next layer of pain that was stowed away somewhere in my past. So, I've never felt like I've arrived at that blissful place of peace and harmony that I believe is possible. Sometimes it seems like pain piled on top of pain piled on top of more pain.

Linda S.

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:39 pm
by Mojo
Hi Linda

If I remember correctly, Arthur Janov said the "post primal" state is when a person is finally content with their life. I find it hard to imagine that anybody could be truly content unless they are on good terms with most of the people who are part of their everyday life. That might necessitate distancing oneself from certain cantankerous individuals, but there do seem to be people who are blessed with the ability to get on well with almost everybody they meet.

Ellie van Winkle gives it 3 intensive months and a year of ups and downs.
Not even Janov claimed it could be that fast. If the post primal state is feeling content with life, do people achieve that after a year or two of practicing Ellie van Winkle's method?

Another question: in the primal-box thread you asked Phil if he had read Ellie van Winkle's criticisms of Janov. I don't remember the URL of her site, but I did look at it a long time ago. To save us searching through lots of text, would it be easy for you to summarize her criticisms briefly?

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:39 pm
by Alan Selk
To Mojo

I did a google and found this site for Ellie va Winkle.

I have no opinions on it as I`ve only lightly skimmed it.


Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:40 pm
by Mojo
Thanks Alan. I looked at the site and found links to and, but I couldn't find a summary of her criticisms of Janov's methods. They weren't on the FAQ page. There's so much reading material on these various sites that I wasn't prepared to trawl throught it all to track down Ellie's views on Janov. On the home page visitors can download a 4.4 megabyte zip archive containing 84 files. That's too much for me. Dennis hasn't posted since last week. I'll wait and see if he can provide a brief summary.

Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:41 pm
by Dennis
Ellie van Winkle's former forum is indeed quite long. I haven't read everything either, about 70 percent, but it's mostly very interesting. If I recall well, but I haven't found the exact quote, she once wrote that a person shouldn't relive the original trauma because that would be too cruel to do again, but to express/ re-direct the pain.

I did find this quote by her:
Speaking of Janov I hear he has a new book, but from the reviews he still does not understand all the biology. I haven't read it. I sent him my paper, yet he sounds like he's still into some misconceptions about the biology. But he made a great contribution to healing with his primal therapy. The self-help measures based on my discovery of the true biology of all this bring us to post flood, (same as his post primal, ie no more major detox crises...a primal is a detox crisis) much faster than primal therapy. I have friends who have been in primal therapy 20 years and with the self help measures you can be post flood in a few months.

After most of the anger is gone, and you're in the muddy basin period, the anger will be a mix of anger related to present and past, but with diminishing amounts related to the past. After a year or so, the anger will be mild and about current situations. The fight or flight reaction will be restored. It is this physiological response that was suppressed and which caused the toxicosis. In recovery we have normal anger, and what is so wonderful, is that it is no longer mixed with fear. Neurotic fear is due to the release of toxic amounts of adrenaline that accumulated as a result of suppressing the fight or flight reaction.

I guess if Van Winkle's discovery is real - and it does seem so - you can't ignore it in regard to primal theory and healing in general.