The Four Quadrants

The  Four Quadrants
The Four Quadrants

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Process Layers of the Emotional Self

1) the non aware layer - distraction, smooth over, endorphin production, role playing, surface feelings, phobic of deeper layers

2) the compressed crust layer - like baked and compressed filo dough (solid emotional impasse)

3) the death layer - implosions, frozen

4) the melting layer - emotions starting to loosen and flow - glacier like

5) the explosion layer - anger, tears, etc.

6) the primal layer - deepest layer of feeling - tracing to origins

7) the released authentic emotional self

Monday, February 22, 2010

Really! Being Real

to think what one really thinks
to feel what one really feels
to need what one really needs
to do what one really wants
to see what is really there
to be who one really is

to say what one really thinks
to say what one really feels
to say what one really needs
to say what one really wants
to say what one really sees
to say who one really is

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Consider the Different Awareness Processes

Consider that there are big differences between being fully aware (no-thingness), being fully aware of something (everything above the threshold of detection or limen), fully experiencing something (with every fiber of ones body-mind), fully allowing something to arise (elastic attention), allowing something to fully arise (completing gestalt) and being the space in which something fully arises (full emptiness). Is it possible to do all? (and chew gum)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Primal Morality

Arthur Janov


Out-worn heart, in a time out worn,
Come clear of the nets of wrong and right;
Laugh, heart, again in the gray twilight,
Sigh, heart, again in the dew of the morn.
William Butler Yeats

My basic hypothesis is that morality does not exist on the deeper levels of human existence. Morality is a third-line concept involving the "shoulds" and exists when individuals have lost their internal access. On the feeling level of existence there is no morality, no notion of right and wrong, only what is. Feelings, unlike morality, are never judgments; they are states of being. Morality is what fills the gap when people leave their feelings behind. Because they are only third-line deep, moral principles must be invoked time and again to have any effect. They must be drilled into people, accompanied by a variety of real and imagined punishments in order to counteract natural feelings and impulses. Thus, when one is allowed his feelings, morality vanishes. Feelings are the only moral principles for natural man. They direct him to be honest, considerate, kind, thoughtful, generous, etc. When neurosis prevents feeling, when man is frustrated and angry and cannot trust what he feels, then he needs to be kept in check by morality. Neurotic man cannot be kind or considerate, and have all the virtues we usually extol in any real way.

When people cannot live by feelings they must live by categories: right and wrong. For them, all behavior must be so classified. When Grandma says the children are "bad" because they never call or see her, she isn't considering their desires. Their feelings never enter the picture, only her needs count. Indeed, it is the moralist who creates "sin," not only in the semantic sense that it takes a moralist to conceive of a notion of sin, but because it is the moral principles themselves which counteract feelings and reduce aberrant "sinful" behavior later in life. Those principles block natural, pure impulses and transmute them into immoral acts. Consider the man who drinks, comes home to beat the children and then goes to confession to be "forgiven." If he could feel his Pain he wouldn't have to drink it away. If he could feel his old rage at his parents he wouldn't have to take it out on his children. And after beating them he certainly wouldn't have to go somewhere to have his behavior labeled "sin" in order to be forgiven. Indeed, the notion of "forgiveness" changes nothing, erases nothing. It allows a person temporary relief for his behavior until later or until he again acts out in the same way. Feelings nullify morality and make it an extraneous concept; classifying a behavior does not automatically help us to understand it.

Feeling people cannot harm others or even harm animals. Because they can feel, they experience the impact of their every act. They can feel the Pain of others and would not do anything to hurt them. Feeling people have no need to be immoral in the societal sense. They don't want more than they need; therefore they require no outside exhortations not to be greedy. Of course the whole notion of morality is based on the premise that we are inherently evil and must be exhorted against natural "evil" impulses. We have been observing neurosis with its attendant immoral behaviors for so long that we have come to accept base living as the nature of things. It is only when we finally get man to his feelings that we see what a pure, honest and moral soul he is. And the strange dialectic is that the most moral of institutions - the church-spreads the kind of anti-feeling ideology which produces "immoral" behavior-drunkenness, etc.

When you cannot offer people what they need you must give them morality. Morality is the enemy of the people; as the suppressor of feeling it makes us act immorally to one another. In countries where religion has the strongest hold we often find rampant starvation. Where society is acting most immorally against its people, morality is powerful. The whole notion of a future reward serves to keep people from fulfilling themselves in the present. it keeps them working under exploitation, producing profits for others. For without the future reward in heaven the populace might decide to make a better life for itself in the "now". The more needs are denied to the people the greater the need to inculcate in them moral principles which will make them tolerate that denial. Morality is truly the opiate of the people. The superstructure of morality is built into a society in inverse proportion to how feeling it is.

Morality is basically a totalitarian notion since it involves an outside power coercing people into certain modes of behavior. It contravenes the principle of self-determination. The less a society attends to need, the more suppressive it must be. The fewer feelings allowed, the more external guidelines must be offered. Suppression and moralism go hand in hand. Moralism is the way suppression is carried out, and suppression is the wellspring for moralism. It is nearly always the church-dominated moralistic societies which permit the most immoral of acts, which perpetrate wars and develop the vigilante mentality of punishing those who feel and wish to act on their feelings instead of on moral principles. For a feeling person the notion of morality would scarcely enter his mind. By fiat of this feelings he is continually acting morally; thus morality is not life, not something superimposed on him against his will.

Right and wrong are obviously abstractions, not realities. We refrain from cruelty to our children not because to hurt them is "wrong," but because a feeling person cannot hurt anyone else. We don't avoid beating them because someone gives the act a symbolic label, "bad" but because feeling people are intrinsically moral in the real sense of the term. If we have to tell people not to be cruel it is only because we expect that without some kind of restriction they will be-thus, morality is based on a basic distrust of human intentions. We have yet to learn that the only meaningful discipline is feelings. They negate impulsive, antisocial behavior.

The logical question which arises from this discussion is, "Won't the absence of moral principles in a society lead to anarchy?" The answer is "yes," but we must hasten to explain the meaning of anarchy. It is my assumption that the need to be governed, to be told what to do and how to act, declines with the ascendance of feeling. We always need some ground rules in order to make social intercourse work more smoothly but to be submissive to the rule of law instead of the rule of feeling is another matter. To be governed by feelings lessens the need for law as an external force. It is our current unfeeling society which produces anarchy-an "every man for himself" attitude. Society produces a proliferation of laws because people cannot be trusted. In a feeling society each person is doing "his own thing." That "thing" does not involve exploiting others because no one has excess buried need. In a neurotic society each person "doing his own thing" means true anarchy.

When I say that we must be governed by feelings I must explain that neurotics think they feel. Until they experience deep Primal Pain they cannot know that they have never felt deeply. The neurotic may think of himself as moral because he has "risen above" anger, but that attitude does not eradicate his anger; it only keeps it buried. To "sink into" one's deep rage eradicates it and truly makes us unaggressive moral beings. Otherwise, what one gets is superficial piety and unctuous behavior which is never real. It is specious morality. Obviously, if one grown up frustrated and deprived there is going to be real anger and perhaps vengeful thoughts inside. If we rise above these feelings we are only pretending to be moral and it is all a sham. Thus, for neurotics, Pain is the avenue to true morality, and neurotic morality is the road to Pain.

Once we understand how neurotic behaviors such as perversions are driven by past Pain, there is no need to moralize and create "sin." We can never transcend sin until we get beyond morality. It is first- and second-line Pain which leads to third-line immorality; and it is the experience of that Pain which leads to true morality. Pain is the price we pay for the truth, and sin is the failure to feel that truth-the failure to be ourselves. So long as people have no inner access to the painful truth they must operate from the third line alone. It is at this level that both morality and sin occur. Once into feelings there is neither.

I consider the Primal Institute a moral institution precisely because it invokes no morality. There is no judgment and no blame. Relationships between staff and patients are based on feelings, not rules. There is a hierarchy of expertise, not a chain of command. There is no higher morality to which we appeal to settle our difficulties; feelings take care of that. In the outer society the entire superstructure has a moral bent because of the absence of feeling-dominance. Each social institution is designed, however unconsciously, to deal with a failure of feeling in one way or another. Even in the mental hospitals there are "bad" behaviors which must be conditioned out. Imposed morality is so absorbed into therapeutic ideology that it is not even noticed. Schools are every bit as moralistic as churches; here too feelings are considered extraneous matters that interfere with the rules. For some reason it never occurs to school authorities that to allow feelings fully is to diminish the need for rules. When feelings predominate there is no need for external forces. Contrarily, for each abrogation there is even stricter enforcement-a treadmill and a web in which the real lesson is never learned.

The appeal to feeling is the only real moral principle to be found. It is no doubt a terrorizing and lonely thought to realize that no one is "up there" judging, ready to even the score for all our previous suffering. It is scary to think that we must be guided only by feeling, because this means an end to our "safety." No more can we calculate our actions on formulas of social approval or disapproval. No more guidelines and advice from others. No more "how to" books, eternal truths, Eastern philosophies to guide us. No leaning on family tradition, etiquette, etc. It is just a matter of being honest with oneself. Agony is the price of a moral life

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hierarchy of Fears

The fear of existing and of not existing
The fear of being and of not being
The fear of needing and not needing
The fear of having a need meet or not having a need meet ("starvation")
The fear of feeling and not feeling
The fear of thinking or not thinking certain thoughts
The fear of expressing and not expressing
The fear of shame
The fear of being and not being "in the right"
The fear of doing and not doing or acting♠
The fear of having and of not having or receiving
The fear or dread of "repeat"

All these fears can create "stuck points" or "impasses" in ones self and ones life.
The "hierarchy" above is only roughly linear and can vary.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I define "psychosis" non-clinically as the state of "not being in touch with reality". Since the state of "being in touch with reality" is a rarity for most people (I would say two standard deviations above the mean), "normal" is actually a type of psychosis.

Since we are raised in "psychosis" and are surrounded by "psychosis" we accept psychosis as normal, become psychotic ourselves and then project our psychosis on the the world creating a double layer of mass psychosis.

Using the word "psychosis" is a harsh and brutal judgment, however Reich's "emotional plague" and Fritz Perl's "mass psychosis" are real phenomena which must be looked at and explored unflinchingly and with even more than brutal honesty. Sometimes through our desire to be kind, sensitive and compassionate we can lose some of our honesty and some of our ability to question and find out.

Deep Processing

Deep cognitive processing is naturally followed by deep emotional processing, which is naturally followed by deep sleep processing. Most people don't follow this rhythm. Deep cognitive processing alone is rarely enough, even though people who live in their head may think it is.

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