Love is the Answer: The Legacy of Dr. Arthur Janov
Love is the Answer: the Legacy of Arthur Janov
I along with many others am a fan and disciple of Arthur Janov and his great legacy of love for all the world. I state here some of my thoughts born of his game changing discoveries in the field of psychology.
I have said before that integration is love, and that loving trusting communication is that integration. I have said that the perspectives that are creative, objective and empathetic are the ways we can use to love, and that creativity(looking with many perspectives) needs the trust shown in playfulness, that objectivity needs the trust shown in “mindfulness” (the power to both concentrate and relax our focus which gives us an “open mind”), and have further said that the love from empathy needs the trust shown in honest expression of feeling in order for it to have a full effect.
Regarding religion I am not religious in any isolated sense, and that I am atheistic regarding most concepts called “God”. All true, but it is not because I reject any of the good in religions, it is because I integrate them with ways to practice loving and trusting communication. I have had the experiences of the various religions, but I left the experiences as they are: experiences. I do not “believe” in anything, I simply follow what I for the moment trust to explain life, others and myself, and the universe.
Our great spiritual teachers of our day are scientists and people who practice healing arts with a scientific eye. I have called all good communication forms of integrating our more reflective self with our more directly feeling self which is mirrored in some yogic teachings and the “spiritual joining” instructions in many religions and in psychology today.
The great mythologist Joseph Campbell has said that we need a modern mythology to open us to the realities of our times and tie us to the wisdom found in the past. Tethered to our real past we can transcend it and grasp the future, while feeling the “bliss” that Joseph Campbell said we should find in our sense of the present. Carl Sagan also wished we could transcend simplistic beliefs and embrace the wonder of the universe which of course a real appreciation of life: Bliss.
What we need is a sea change, a paradigm shift appropriate for our time, that will guide us securely into the future.
I have had many experiences in the religions that were amazing and hard to explain, some would think they were proof of something “beyond”, I just say they are things I do not fully understand but found valuable, ways to connect to love and life.
I haven’t rejected religion, or today’s forms of psychology, I have integrated them within a theory of communication appropriate for our modern age, a form of communication to be practiced within ourselves and between ourselves. What I see as wrong in these forms of “understanding” becomes left behind as we use all of the perspectives of caring and trusting together, then their differences become transcended and false comforts left behind. The attractions to the various theories in psychology and religion are forms of communication that mirror the three basic categories of communications between love and trust in the modern myth I endorse: Creativity and play, objectivity and mindfulness, and empathy and honest expression of feeling. These forms of communication are separated and therefor less effective in some ways even though each can be seen as useful.
Within ourselves these communications naturally breakdown false comforts and reveal the damaged faith in love, the learned helplessness in connection with our needs, the pain within us that Arthur Janov calls Primal Pain, and I call “pained need”. When these forms of loving and trusting are separated there is room for what I call “hope dope” a struggle for love that can never be fulfilled.
These forms of loving trusting communication are what my good friend David Sotelo termed “the template”, because understanding them explains so very much about ourselves, others and life, and about how we can best communicate.
Think for a moment about four major religions: Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. These are highly symbolic expressions of the three communication perspectives of love, and the feeling perspective that expresses the forms of trust that compliment these offerings of love. Christianity and the Christ focus mainly on empathy, Hinduism and Krishna focus mainly on creativity, while Buddhism and the Buddha focus more on objectivity. Finally, it is Islam and Muhammad (may peace be upon him) that focus on the trust the surrender to these higher reflections and sources of virtue that are aspects of God.
This pattern is seen in families where the more creative centered grand parents are at play with the kids (the more feeling elements in the family), where the father loves with his teaching (the objective directing role), and where the mother loves with her empathy, her heart. Happy blissful kids are born of these three forms of love and the trust they learn from confidence in them. (Obviously these roles are not exclusive to each of the players in the structure of this three generation family, it’s more about the major perspectives used as they cannot be fully separated in reality. This is why I call this view a useful myth.)
We even see this pattern in major social forces. Business being more about survival is the more feeling element in society, government the more objective, extended family organisations often called Churches here in the United States are more about empathy and emotional support, while the “media” of all kinds represent the more creative (multi perspective) element.
When these voices in communication are heard, and sufficiently balanced and free, we have free societies that tend to better take care of all their trading partners and their families.
I am a Democrat because this party is more about liberating all these voices. I am a progressive because loving communication that grows trust is core to real progress.
I should mention that in psychology many of the approaches can easily fit into one or more of the forms of loving reflective communication I have mentioned. Some as in play therapy emphasize a more creative approach, cognitive therapy emphasizes a more objective approach, and trauma therapies tend to be more about the use of empathy. The paradigm shift from them doesn’t leave them behind, it joins them into more effective therapies. When you use real caring in communication from many types of perspectives, the false comforts, or symbolic needs born of damaged faith in love that made some real needs too painful to feel, these false comforts gradually crumble away.
In the myth I present I say that your higher more reflective self (the paramatma or super soul) sits in transcendental time where all time meets together. This Artist of your life reaches into your future as the Director or Objective comforter, and into your past as the Caregiver or Empathetic comforter, and as the Artist’s arms effectively comfort you, your feeling soul (atma), freed from anxieties for that moment from the past or the future, is at play with the Artist in ways that appreciate all of life, and finds his or her bliss in a timeless now, a glimpse of heaven. Here we find a moment of joy in the midst of sorrows and feel a music just out of the range of our hearing, so beautiful that it brings tears to our eyes.
These insights all evolved from the paradigm shift, the big bang, of a more scientific and useful psychology born in a flash of insight by Arthur Janov. I suppose I bring the rational “spiritual” vision of this discovery as I speak of the Artist who gives us the virtue of Art (the appreciation of life), the Caregiver who gives us the empathy from which springs Goodness (our moral compass), and of the Director who through objectivity brings us the virtue of Truth (the increasing ability to ask the right questions).
I feel like Arthur Janov has brought about many forces for good and personally I feel like I am a part of a triumvirate with a more medical scientific mind of caring: Bruce Wilson, and Peter G. Prontzos an objective political scientist with a core vision that sees through the uncontrolled greed of corporate capitalism. I hope this pattern will repeat many times.
We were all children of the 60s and I think we all love one song the Beatles sang: All You Need is Love. It is more than an insight about pain that Arthur Janov brought us, it was a deep insight about what real love is, and how revolutionary that really is, for ourselves and for our children, and theirs.
The realizations, the experiences, from which all of these words come, need to be experienced in order to best define them and see their reality and importance. However, I would recommend a blog by my more educated and intelligent friends: Bruce Wilson and Peter G. Prontzos: The Primal Mind.
My friends in the Democratic Party here locally in Collin County Texas, might well be listened to also and here is their blog: Collin Democrats Pay attention also to the great progressive blog by Michael Handley: Dem Blog News.
I am David “Mitch” Sotelo
Love and Peace to all of you wherever you are in your journey, there exists a wisdom that embraces the wonder of life and it is your birth right, embrace it and find your bliss.