Re-Union With the Positive (Self), Part 3, First Draft

“This Fool Can Die Now”

We put our Primal benefits into action on behalf of something other than ourselves. The Real Self Becomes the Transpersonal Self. You merge your Primal Benefits Into something you care about and that’s much bigger than you.

It is the biggest “high” in life and even higher having done your Primal work because you won’t have any second thoughts about it, can be totally committed, and can give all of yourself to it (very satisfying).

And it is truly the final phase of the Primal part of growth because you find that your desires to serve with your Authentic You puts you in a place of caring, love, and compassion, which Is beautifully poignant and makes you feel that you were meant your whole life to be where you are.

As Scout Niblett says in the title of a recent album: “This Fool Can Die Now.” And certainly you begin to get that feeling that you are even eroding that fear, that fear of death, the ultimate primal fear. For that fear was always about dying without ever having lived, which is part of the reason we all do Primal: We don’t feel like we are really living, our lives are not real.

And thinking that way — that we have blown our life and not lived it the way it could/should have been lived — the idea of death is ever so tragic. For it is not some nameless stranger that could die without having really lived. No, it is precious, special, beloved-by-you, all-important (according to you), deserving but tragically screwed, deprived and ripped off (guess who?)…. Why You!

But as we grow more and more through the third half of The Cure, and even beyond it, we not only think less about death — as it fades away and stops disturbing our nights — but most fantastic of all, our caring and passion pulls us out of our Pain –finally! — into realms of adventure, satisfaction, pleasures so high and pure that even singular pleasures like sex, food, entertainment (by “singular” I mean primarily pleasurable in a sensory way that may be great, but it passes), and so on, fade by comparison.

“Post-Primal” Hedonists

About those ordinary sensory pleasures: It is important to point out that they become less interesting in the Third Stage of The Cure, for Janov thought experiencing them fully and having as many of them as possible was the only end, or goal, of life. He wrote that “cured” people would put their time in on jobs, not mattering much what they were, to get the fun coupons (money), with which these “post-Primal” people could buy pleasure and fun in their lives to offset the Pain inherent in it, even on an adult level (like going to that job you don’t like perhaps?).

It’s a sad commentary on the early stages of Primal, when you’re still struggling with your Pain and feel it will be part of you forever. In that context of having accepted that one’s life was the fucked-up way it was, putting out the vision of a life of sensory pleasures piled one upon another is at least something better than the loss one feels about one’s life before Primal. But this perspective is only true at that early Primal stage.

When, in later stages, one begins to dip below the Pain Grids into the Joy Grids, and beyond them to the Spiritual Grids, that prospect of a life piled high with pleasure, alternating with Pain, is not all that enticing anymore; in fact it appears as rather empty, bleak, colorless.

It is because Janov locked himself into this bleak goal of a “pleasure principle” that works — so very Freudian — that he could not accept the idea of pleasant, good, or spiritual feelings occurring in Primal that were anything but a cover-up for Pain.

It’s Not All About Experiencing Pain, It’s About Experiencing Whatever It Is That You Tend to Repress

Certainly that is true in the early stages, i.e., that people have a tendency to cover up their repressed Pain by distracting themselves with pleasant, good, or spiritual thoughts. But even then it is not an absolute that these positive feelings are a cover-up.

For example, the second time I gave my wife a “real” primal session, she spent practically the entire time describing, in detail, one incident after another of happy experiences from her childhood. Do you think I led her away from them, or busted her telling her that wasn’t going to do any good because only feeling the Pain will make you real?

Hell no! You see, I knew my wife very well. I knew that in our several decades of marriage, she had never once shared these experiences with me. So I knew that, for her, in that moment, to be opening up about her childhood, even though it was the pleasant things about it that she wanted to relate at first, WAS incredible progress for her. It was a breakthrough for her to feel enough self-worth that she could finally share some of her early childhood — doesn’t matter what she shared — with another person.

Sure enough, in later sessions, the Pain came up and got talked about. But the point is that growth is about letting up whatever is repressed, and sometimes what is just under the surface and ready to “pop” is not Pain, and in fact can be something quite pleasant, happy, or fun, that for all kinds of Primal Pain reasons was always kept inside and never brought to consciousness, let alone shared out loud and integrated.

(to be continued)

  1. #1 by Mickel Adzema on March 12, 2010 - 8:00 am

    Thank you for the feedback. I hope my writing was helpful to you.

  2. #2 by Julie Eliason on March 12, 2010 - 8:00 am

    Being in touch with myself through years of primal makes me in touch with that spark of life that is in me called God by some. I experience God closely. I make my choices based on this deep inner knowing. I delight in my free will. It doesn’t cause me existential anxiety to have a myriad of choices.I didn’t realize that my spirituality was caused by my primal work till I read your writings on spirituality.

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