I practice only primal therapy. I have a staff of seven, and a temporary, part-time staff of another five. We have a small facility where one three-week intensive and two one-week intensives live in the building. We have six hours of therapy a day, and we're on 24-hour call for them, around the clock. They have a key to the building so they can come and primal any time of day or night, on weekends and holidays, and I feel that's a very essential part of the process, to have access to a safe place to feel.
But not everybody wants to do primal therapy, and in the early years I met an incredible amount of professional resistance. My mentor at the hospital where I had a senior appointment said rather sarcastically to me as I journeyed across to your country, "When you've gone and found that it's all a fraud you can come back and have your appointment again." He's still there and I feel I've journeyed a long way, a long distance, since then.
In the early days I did a typical, to me, birth maneuver. I tried to persuade my colleagues that primal therapy was valid, effective, and meaningful. All I met with was a tight cervix, an unyielding tight cervix, that wouldn't give way, and I finished up bashing my head against a brick wall, literally, That hurt me a great deal because I was ostracized at staff meetings and at college meetings and people that I knew very well from years ago would make fun of me in the street; like, "Did you have a good scream this morning, Graham?"
The street I work in is entirely full of psychiatrists. They can often greet you in the street with "You're alright, how am I?" They really don't know who they are. So I did another thing, and I suggest to some of you that it may be a way to go in your own area if you're trying to get professional acceptance, and that's to wait. To wait until someone important in society comes along for help. In my experience it inevitably happens, because if you are valid and real and have something to offer, they'll hear about it, and they may come a circuitous way in your back door, but they'll come. And one such person in fact did that.
I'll show you a video of him shortly, but he came with his medical students. He's a professor of obstetrics at the Queen Victoria Hospital and the pioneer in our country of the test tube baby program. The fifth year medical students now rotate through my facility as part of their pediatric course. They come for a whole day and they have a didactic lecture in the morning and in the afternoon they have an experiential workshop where we show a film that I'll show a part of this morning, and then they lie down on the floor in the group room and they have a primal experience of their own. That's the best education that's possible to contrast the difference between knowledge and knowing.
These students are full of book knowledge, understandably, but very little personal knowing out of their own body awareness. Of course most of them are skeptical and cynical, and disbelieving, but there's always one or two, and as the years go by, three, four, and more in the group because their predecessors tell them about this workshop, and they're geared up to it by the time they come. They are scared. But more have come to do it every year, so there's a kind of 100-monkey-syndrome happening here.
So Professor Carl Wood came with his students unexpectedly one day to hear what all this was about and he stayed and had therapy. He stayed and went through an intensive for three weeks, became a patient and came twice a week to three-hour groups for three months. When he was getting closer and closer to his own unwanted, unplanned conception, he backed off. Since then he's shared with me: "Graham, if I'd stayed and really primaled my conception I'd have to stop the test tube baby program, because it's obvious to me that I'm putting together in test tubes people that don't want to be together." I think that's an extraordinary connection.
Knowledge and Knowing. Most of you who've primaled deeply are aware of the differences between the two. But to have profound knowing, I believe, you have to go back to your absolute origins to your conception and preconception, to have a total knowing of yourself. That's where I needed to go.
Not all conceptions are pathological, but I feel a great number are. It has been surveyed in the United Kingdom that 68% of all Englishmen and -women, are unplanned and about 46% of them unwanted. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if that applies in this country and in mine, so that in itself is a negative aspect of conception. But knowing has nothing to do with the aspects of knowledge, which have to do with thought, something to do with vision, but very little to do with movement, vibration, and light. Those three perceptions lead to an experience that the book The Mind of the Cells (Author's name unclear on tape recording) describes as "The new perception of this age." That's an experience of knowing, a total, global, knowing.
Any of you that have had a deep connected primal know what I'm talking about. You come out of it with that absolute conviction of knowing what you've just felt. It's an absolute experience. It has nothing to do with book knowledge, which of course has value, immense value, but in this world of the right hemisphere, it's knowing.
Some of you may know of the late Frank Lake who preceeded Janov by 20 or 30 years in his knowing about that is now called primal therapy. He wrote two books before his untimely death from cancer of the pancreas. He wrote the two books in two years-incredible effort. The second one is called With Respect*, which he devoted to the Pope. The Pope created an encyclical for the redemption of souls of people born in rape or incest. The encyclical says that it's not sufficient to be born again in Christ, one has to be conceived again in Christ. So the Pope really understands the truth and reality of cellular consciousness.
Most of you have experienced in a primal way your birth, and to remind you of the pathology of birth I'm going to show you a couple of videos, one after the other.
(Videotape transcript of Carl Wood)*
I was able to identify the feelings I had never felt in my life before so it was like finding a part of myself. I also identified problems, feeling states that I had. I realized when I was here very early that in fact though other people didn't see me as an angry person I really felt angry about 67% of my working week. It was partly related to my pride and my enthusiasm, and my intellectual interest. And then when I learned to find out more about myself by going back into ... to my birth. At different times in your life it's just your birth, but you can go back to different phases by moving back into yourself through feeling states that you feel when you're on the floor. ... Very often, my first problem was to find out about my anger and where it came from. And of course when I was inside, quickly discovered it in my own birth as I couldn't barely breathe at all... Every time I went into a deep breathing state and a deep feeling state I soon got to the point where I couldn't actually get my breath . . . it was absolutely terrifying. I used to think I was dying. ... I found it quite hard at first to face that...I began to understand that maybe my difficulty with breath may be related to some of the anger. That was very helpful to me in my work.
If you get one person like Carl Wood coming to therapy you very quickly get more important people. Dr. John Spensley, very soon after Carl came into therapy, followed him. He's the senior pediatrician in the same hospital. All his junior residents and registrars came after him. And after John came the senior nursing sister in the hospital in the midwifery department came, and some of her staff came. Before very long the three of them started the first birth center in Australia in a teaching hospital.
Then the opposing hospital thought they can't do that, so they created a birth center. lt just mushroomed all through my city.The teaching hospital started it and the smaller hospitals in the perimeter all had birth centers as well.
Carl came to Kubler-Ross's lecture. Carl created a distress room as he called it in the hospital. Actually it was in the chapel. They closed the chapel and made it a primal room. Women who'd had a stillborn child or even a miscarriage go to the room and have the agony. In fact, Carl even now allows them to take the dead baby to the primal room with them for hours. They stay there as long as they need to have their feelings about the tragedy.
Before we proceed down to the first ten days of life I just want to mention briefly two or three experiences that I've observed clinically in my practice that may be of some interest to you or may personally touch a note in the hearts and souls of some of you out of your own past. One thing I have observed of breech-birth adults is that many of them feel strongly in the midst of their primal that they showed their genitals first because they weren't wanted for the sex that they are and they hope that their mother can get over the disappointment of their not being what they wanted before they show their face.
John Spensley [editor's note: see Dr. Spensley's obit of Dr. Graham Farrant] is taking an ongoing survey in the hospital of breech-presenting mothers, asking them do you have a sex preference for your child. Almost 100% of them initially say no, of course not, we want whatever God gives us, or some such remark. So he always asks this three more times. It takes that kind of perseverance to get through the defense. Eventually they'll say, Well, If we had a choice, being Jewish we'd like a son, for example, and invariably the first-born Jewish daughter has a first-born son to give Momma and Dad what she wasn't able to be herself ...
Multiple Miscarriage. Multiple miscarriage is not a very common phenomenon because after about seven it becomes dangerous for the mother to have more and more, but I've seen two cases where nine and ten miscarriages respectively are experienced by the women, and in both cases the dynamic was severe guilt about a pregnancy in adolescence. One resulted in a live child that the Irish Catholic mother insisted be adopted out immediately even though it was the child of the girl's lover who later became her husband, much adored and cherished. But she had ten miscarriages to that man. And they don't have their own live child, someone else has it...
Adoption. That brings up the whole issue of adoption and the feelings around that. My senior female therapist, who is my niece, adopted out a child that she had when she was 15. My secretary adopted two children because she's sterile, And my other senior female therapist is an adoptee. So in my clinic we feel we have primaled back all the nuances of the three poles of adoption. It's crucial in my experience for an adoptee to find his or her parents---crucial. Life is never resolved until you know where you came from. It may be important to have adopting parents be present at the birth of the child if they can possibly be. And I think that's one thing you can legislate more out of primal knowledge, to allow the adopting parents to be present at the birth.
The other case of multiple miscarriage is a woman who when she was 14 was pregnant and her mother tried to abort it with a knitting needle. The guilt and shame in that Catholic family was plunged on the girl. She was obliged to go to the priest and reveal her sin. She had nine miscarriages to expiate the guilt, and it's never enough. Neither of those women came into therapy. I met them through the professor of obstetrics.
Abortion. This is a true story of a young woman of 25 who came to me-just graduated from the physical education college, which was dear to my heart because my second son just graduated from the same place last year. She had four older sisters and a twin brother.The brother, sadly, at birth was brain-damaged and became retarded and autistic and is in a sheltered home 5OO miles away from where all the sisters in the family live. The mother put him away, she just couldn't bear the agony of seeing the only male child she had, damaged. It's this young woman's job, every time her brother comes to Melbourne, to take him back to the airport for him to fly home. On this occasion a fog came in over the city and the plane couldn't take off. Phoebe was stuck in the airport lounge with her damaged twin brother. As she tried very hard to resolve her chronic ambivalence about the relationship between the two of them she developed a splitting headache right across the top of her head which became so bad she eventually said to me later "I felt it was killing me." Time went on. She menstruated in the middle of her cycle out of synch with her normal periods. Eventually the plane left and she raced to the center and began to primal. It suddenly dawned on her like as in "I know that's what it was." So she rang her mother who said "Before you start I've decided to tell you something I've never told you before."
Phoebe is renowned in our state as being what you people call a "polar bear." We call them "icebergs." They swim in cold pools in the winter. Phoebe, being a very powerful physical person can swim miles and miles, and does daily; but she never gets out of the pool feeling she has swum far enough. She never feels completed. When her mother admitted, Yes, I did try and abort you ... I had four girls and I had twins, and I thought, My God if it's another two girls I just can't cope. So I tried to kill you and I did it by jumping into a ice-cold pool and swimming and swimming and swimming."
I myself am a survived attempted abortion and in Denver it took me four months of three sessions, two hours each a week for that to gel. I had a toxic headache, confusion state, irritability, terror, rage, all confusedly mixed. It was like a jigsaw puzzle that I would put a piece of each time I primaled and one day the final piece went in and I knew. So profound was the knowing that I rang my 79-year-old- mother and told her what she had done. My mother and I never had what you call a close relationship. My mother in 1927 was the equivalent of Miss New York-Miss Victoria-she was a fashion model, very gregarious, flamboyant, hystrionic, coquettish, with a svelte-like figure. When I came along the figure changed shape, so she didn't like that. My father was obliged to run the business because my grandfather had died suddenly. It was the end of the depression, and she decided they would all be better off if I weren't there. So she took a bunch of pills and got into a hot bath, which is exactly what I told her she had done. She burst into tears and revealed that I couldn't possibly know that because she had not even told my father, she never told anybody. But it enabled her and me to develop a relationship. It was such that before she died we really felt very close.
It's wise I feet always to have it out with your parents. Primal therapy for me has not only enabled my wife and me to feel close to the children, but close to our ancestors. It's a kind of healing that reverberates backwards as well as forwards. Before I primaled my abortion -and I think this is applicable to many abortees- it's possible to develop a personality that is either the chronic victim (Oh, you can't imagine what a day I've had; it's been terrible. This one, that one, and that one did that to me), or you can become verbally very sarcastic and very biting, cutting, or even annihilating, cynical, and sarcastic. Or you can be both. I was both, alternating. I also had an irrational phobic terror of social, new situations. I hated professional cocktail parties where I didn't know anybody. I had this bizarre feeling that they wouldn't like me and they'd ask me to leave shortly after I had arrived.
Let me show you very briefly a primal of my abortion:
One of the more interesting and erudite clients of mine, Chris Miller, wrote these two monographs. One is on birth and the other is on conception. Chris Miller is a doctor who took a year off from medical school to do primal therapy. Of all the things that he talks about in here-he's a very artistic, creative person, so he knows a lot about Dylan's poems and songs and music and understands the train journey that's mentioned so often in Dylan songs-the sperm journey. (If you ever want to really experience your sperm life, organize it so that your spouse or lover is at the station far away, and you get on the train and journey towards her. Her preferably for the guys, but him if it's not. Overnight you will dream a sperm journey dream, like it or not. The first sperm to the egg is not necessarily the winning sperm. Chris feels quite sure that in his experience he was one of the last. His egg actively excluded all other sperm from penetrating until the preferred sperm arrived. He says there is a definite drawback to being a successful but straggling, struggling sperm. Indeed the drawback may be the cause. By the time he arrived he was close to death. His fellow-travelers were dying around him. The egg on the other hand, was strong and powerful, and all-knowing. She knew which sperm she wanted. Absolutely knew. The sperm was overwhelmed and he felt "I was almost completely emasculated. Thus are my feminine qualities strong and my masculine qualities weak. For me I feel quite sure this was the source of my homosexuality."
He primaled that frequently. He has since married, and has a beautiful baby son. His homosexual fantasies, thoughts, and ideas are gone.
Let me show you another film that will get you into the mood for conception. I would like to make a gift of that video tape to the IPA for you to show at the beginning of every conference. There's more to that video. It goes on to show a lot more births and eventually test tube baby births-creation and experience.
I want to move on to the video of conception.
One way we human beings always had of expressing our artistic creativity is through music and dance. We use dance and music as a non-verbal form of communication and our aborigines have transferred their dream time to each successive generation thousands of years through movement and dance. Nothing's ever written down. The essence of dance is movement and the essence of music is sound. Music and sound expressed separately or together are the essence of the preverbal communication experienced during primaling. As early as 1976, I felt that I was primaling my life as an egg or sperm, principally a sperm. It took me three years to develop the courage to have myself filmed doing that for posterity if nothing else, because I felt that I was mad, that this primaling had gone too far and had taken me into some craziness that was beyond reality. But my staff insisted that this be done and four years later the very first film ever made of actual human conception was made in the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm by Leonard Nielson. It's a brilliant film that I'm sure some of you saw in your country. I paid the Swedes a considerable sum of money to be able to show you this video. I have copyright. What I've done is to make a split screen. I've put myself videotaping my conception on the left and actual human conception on the right. I hope you can see the similarities.
Last year the author of these IPF slides published a book which I brought in with me in case any of you are interested. It's an atlas of conception. They simply show very clearly that not all sperm go in head first. And in fact you get these arms of cytoplasm coming out and engulfing the sperm. In fact, that work was used by the IPF doctor when I went to ask him for some slides to show you. He said, "You know, when I look down the microscope and see that egg put her arms out and take the sperm, I feel as if she's engulfing, devouring, and destroying," and I fell off the chair because I have a tape of myself saying those three words after my very first sperm primal in 1976. Engulf, devour, and destroy. Incredible that the same words are used so many years later when he sees physically down the microscope what the egg is doing. Maybe some conceptions are like that and some feeling imprints remain through adult life. In men especially in relation to some women.
Deep primaling for me and for other people to cellular consciousness level has enabled us to refute our parents' absolute insistence as to the nature of our conception. I want to record briefly two strange clinical cases for you to clarify what I mean.
The first is one of Australia's more famous television personalities who has had a very successful show on television called "Young Talent Time." For ten or eleven years now it's won every award in the country. The man who started it came into therapy with me with a fear of heights. He was asked to come out to America and he couldn't come because he couldn't get in a plane. So his career was beginning to suffer because of this. When he primaled his anoxic cord anesthetized birth, his fear of heights disappeared.
But his baffling, recurring, irrational mood of depression did not. I encouraged him to continue on with his therapy and eventually he got down to what he felt was his life as a sperm and it just was not anything like his father. So he went to his parents and said "I don't believe you're my father." The man got terribly indignant and the wife got even more indignant. So he went back to the floor shattered and torn, and primaled it again and again. After the fourth recurring convictive primal of his sperm life, he decided to take a risk. He had remembered his maternal grandmother mentioning the name of a man who was a friend of his mother's back in Holland during the war. He rang a detective in Holland and asked him to locate this man. When he found the man, the man said, "I've been waiting 35 years, son, for you to ring me." Johnny took his wife and two children over to Holland and met his real father and grandparents and stepbrothers and sisters and cousins, a whole tribe of people that were his. He felt he belonged at last, he really belonged. He never had a sense of belonging, and the depression just disappeared.
The other case is that of Christine, who is a 26-year-old nurse. She came to therapy angry, bitchy, irritable, petulant, sulking, hated men, had no social relationships, had never had sex, and never intended to have sex. Bloody men, really vicious bitchy remarks. She related the story that she had been conceived in rape and that her mother had been the victim of this angry, abusive, destructive, selfish, sexual, violent man. So how could she possibly trust any man ever to be any different? When she came into therapy and descended right down to her early depths her experience of herself as sperm was tota!ly the opposite of what her mother had described. So she began a search for her real father. With the aid of the police she found him. He's a beekeeper on the side of a mountain outside of Sydney, has a little orchard with his bees and fruit trees and wildflowers. He's a poet, a very gentle, soft, lovely man, who when she phoned him from the nearest village to say "It's me and I'm coming," he was waiting at the gate. You'll hear her tell you how she got on when she greeted her father.
I wasn't relating well to people, particularly to men. I was unable to relate to men sexually at all. I had trouble expressing my feelings appropriately and l was having more difficulty in making new friendships. I was basically just a little girl. I was too scared to take anywhere and to grow up. I come from a family of two-my mother and myself-my parents never having been married. I had never met my father and I had very very little information on him. I had never acknowledged any interest in my father. He was just a subject that I never brought up and that nobody ever brought up. The subject never came up around me. In my early teens my mother told me that he had raped her and that was how I was conceived. After beginning primal, someone suggested that I might like to seek out and to meet my father and my immediate response was, "You have to be kidding. I'm just not interested in doing that. "But decided I would make a few moves in that direction and see what came up. In the process of finding him I was talking to one of my cousins on the phone and I realized for the first time just how scared I was in relation to anything to do with my father. Just talking to another really close family member brought up a lot of fear. The fact that I knew had a father and the desire to know him once I recognized that I was really scared of my father and the whole situation of meeting him, I also became aware that I was incredibly interested and really wanted to meet my father. So after about four months I located him and decided and arranged to go up and meet him.
In your advertised material you advertised me as a pioneer of cellular consciousness. It brought to mind one of Australia's most famous adventurer-pioneers who very excitingly has been a client of mine for some years on and off. He lives 500 miles away and he frequently goes to Nepal where he takes people adventure-climbing into the mountains, He takes people down white river kayaking, he jumps out of planes, he drives fast cars, he does anything that is slightly likely to result in death. I hadn't seen him for some years when he phoned me from Sydney and he said "I'm flying down on the next plane. I must have an appointment with you tonight or tomorrow at the latest." I said first, "What on earth has happened?" "Well," he said, "You know that I've always dreamt of taking a hotair balloon over Mt. Everest." I said, "Oh, why?" He said, "Well I finally got a sponsor and I'm terrified. This time I really can die, so I want you to help me primal the one thing I have never been able to have the courage to do. That's to feel splitting into twins." So he flew down and primaled between the second and third cell divisions, cloning into his identical twin brother. You can hear him talk about that on the tape and you can see his face. The twin brother died at birth; you'll hear that too.
Sorry that the last tape wasn't as good as you wanted it to be, but actually it's better if l just say it as it comes into my mind. When I was on the floor at your place last time and I was trying to feel what the reason for all this underlying anxiety is that I have. As you know I've been coming to you for on and off to have some courage to try and tackle it. I started to feel fully, not for the first time certainly, but I feel for the first time really intensely. I started to feel what it was to be a twin. It's never been very important to me before, but this time when I was on the floor I felt split in a way I've never felt before. I mean I felt split in my everyday living for sometimes I want to do this and part of me wants to do that and maybe lots of people have those sorts of feelings, who knows, but this time when I was on the floor I was in such agony and such pain that the only way I could cope was to become two people. And I reckoned that at the point of my conception at the very moment of being I guess alive, feeling alive, for the first time in my life, the pain of life was so great that the only way to cope was to split into two people, and in fact that's what I did. I became two people, just to survive. In fact my twin didn't survive, unfortunately. He died, he died at birth, I believe from a crushed head, and that's a whole other story. But, at conception I feel that the conditions in the womb, perhaps the very reason for my conception was so painful, that conditions in the womb weren't very good. My mother was sick, she smoked and drank alcohol, I know that. But those conditions were so painful and so bad that the only way to cope was to try and split off from myself so as I could survive these alien conditions, these alien womb conditions, survive long enough to get out into the world as early as I possibly could. Perhaps that's the reason I was premature, I didn't want to stay in there. But I know that feeling starts at least at conception and it certainly started for me and it's been the hardest moment in my life to recreate on the floor at the primal place. I know that my whole life has been directed from this point of time that I live dangerously, as you know. I like to climb mountains, I like to kayak dangerous rivers, and fly balloons. I probably will do that for-a long time to come, I don't know what the future holds for me in my everyday sort of living action. Perhaps if I can feel the full trauma of just coming into existence that will change the direction of my life. Physical life at the moment will become different. I know right now I'm starting to feel different as a result of that primal experience and I think that probably with another five days on the floor, or who knows how many more days, but if I let myself go into this again and again a few more times, probably my life will change. I'm not thinking about things now like, going out into the country with my girlfriend and living on a little farm. In fact, I've put in an offer on a place in the Hunter Valley, a 40-acre property up there. I wouldn't have considered doing that say six months ago, it wasn't that important to me so it's interesting to me that my needs and my desire, I feel changes as a consequence, perhaps, of that attempt to recreate those moments of conception and the few months that go on after that.
Well, he did primal his splitting into twins and he did get the courage to take his hot air balloon to Mt. Everest. He's gone 30,000 feet--10,000 feet higher than any other human being in a hot air balloon. They didn't quite get over Mt. Everest, they ran out of fuel, but Sir Richard Achtenborough sent a film crew with them and they've made a documentary called "The Flight of the Wind Horse." If you ever get a chance to see it, do so. It's been nominated for the best documentary film of the year in our country. I'm quite sure he'll win.
I had hoped to bring you that video, Chris is giving me a copy, but to show you one minute would have cost me $10,000. So, if you don't mind ... wait 'til you see it on television.
Spirituality. Very long years of primaling have led many of my clients and myself into the worlds of spirituality. Seven of us have become devotees of Sai Baba. We've all been to his Ashram in India, I'm going back there when I leave America this time. Twenty-seven other Australians will be there at the same time. There's a whole group now that just left Melbourne to journey there. This magazine comes to me every month from the Ashram and as I do with everything I always open it ad lib. And the article I opened it to was "From Birth to Birth." The sentence I focused on (I never start anything at the beginning interestingly, I always get past the first ten days. I don't want to go through my abortion all the time.) It says:
In a sense we are pregnant with our own souls and the responsibility we face is the nurturing of our souls just as our parents nurtured us during our time in the womb. At birth a child is born, at death a soul is freed. The state of our souls at death depends entirely on our efforts or lack of them during our precious earthly sojourn, the soul's gestation period.*
So in conclusion I would challenge all of you to explore the fascinating realm of cellular consciousness, in your own time, in your own way, in your own chosen place. But for me as a result of doing that I have found the courage to change some aspects of my society around me in Australia. We now have feeling rooms in schools, grieving rooms in hospitals, primal rooms in places that you wouldn't imagine. Eventually if enough of us on this planet change our society, we may in time be able to change our species.
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