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Here is knowledge to enable you to become more successful, earn more money, feel good, enjoy great health (while cutting your health bills), and extend your life...

A Few Health Basics


#34: Understand Sarno's Mindbody (TMS) Theory

#35: Beware Medical Scams -- Take Control of Your Health

#35A: Overcome Helplessness

Learned Helplessness

#36: Gendlin's "Focusing"

Core Helplessness

#37: Achieve "Actual Freedom"

Steps to Overcome Helplessness

#38: Personal Identity System Theory (PIST)

Personal Identity Parts

#39: Raise Your Energy Level

Success Technique #34:
Understand Sarno's Mindbody (TMS) Theory!

Our Most Valuable Knowledge

For decades, my associate Mark Lindsay and I (Frederick Mann) have been on the lookout for useful knowledge that's not widely known. We've identified a great deal of useful knowledge. Some of it is included in these pages.

Some time ago, I asked Mark, "Of all the things we've discovered, what do you think is the most useful knowledge? What would benefit people in general most if they knew about it and could apply it?" Mark didn't have an immediate answer, so I asked him to think about it.

About a week later, Mark said he thought Kellerman's The 4 Steps to Peace of Mind was the most useful. I replied that I agreed, particularly if you combine it with Sarno's "Mindbody" breakthroughs. In my opinion, Sarno's Paradigm overlaps Kellerman's work, and is more comprehensive. Sarno's work also has more profound implications. (My thanks to Mark for discovering both Kellerman and Sarno. He has also contributed generously to several of these pages.)

See The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain by John E. Sarno M.D.

"For fifteen years, my life revolved around my back. I took time off from work, conducted meetings lying on the floor, and slept with ice bags. Could this be psychogenic? I had considered Dr. Sarno's idea preposterous, but ten years ago I was talked into seeing him. I haven't had back problems since. If Dr. Sarno is right about other psychogenic pain, America is wasting billions of dollars. What a tragedy." -- John Stossel, Correspondent, 20/20

"My life was filled with excruciating back and shoulder pain until I applied Dr. Sarno's principles, and in a matter of weeks my back pain disappeared. I never suffered a single symptom again... I owe Dr. Sarno my life... I beg anyone who is seeking a solution to pain to study the amazing and revolutionary approach outlined here. I did and it changed my life." -- Howard Stern, Radio "Shockjock"

Dr. David Schechter Introduces MindBody (TMS) - 4 mins 28 secs

See and Seligman Medical Institute.

When we Experience Pain we Can't Control, we tend to Feel Helpless! and Hopeless!

TMS = Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS). Some basic principles:

See also John E. Sarno's The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders. Book Description from HarperCollins:

The Divided Mind is the crowning achievement of Dr. John E. Sarno's long and successful career as a groundbreaking medical pioneer. While his earlier books dealt almost exclusively with the common, virtually universal musculoskeletal pain disorders affecting the back, neck, and shoulders as well as various locations in the arms and legs, in The Divided Mind, Dr. Sarno goes beyond pain and addresses the entire spectrum of psychosomatic (mindbody) disorders. These include common stomach and bowel conditions (e.g., gastric reflux, irritable bowel syndrome), allergies, skin disorders, genitourinary conditions, headaches, and many more.

In Dr. Sarno's view, the crucial interaction between the generally reasonable, rational, ethical, and moral conscious mind and the repressed feelings of emotional pain, hurt, sadness, and anger characteristic of the unconscious mind appears to be the basis for mindbody disorders. The Divided Mind traces the history of psychosomatic medicine, including Freud's crucial role as well as his failures. Most important, it describes the psychology of the human condition that is responsible for the broad range of psychosomatic illness. Dr. Sarno believes that the failure of medicine's practitioners to recognize and appropriately treat mindbody disorders has produced public health and economic problems of major proportions in the United States.

One of the most interesting and important aspects of psychosomatic phenomena is the fact that knowledge and awareness of the process clearly have healing powers. Thousands of people have become pain-free simply by reading Healing Back Pain or The Mindbody Prescription, Dr. Sarno's previous books. How and why this happens is a fascinating story, and one that is sure to be repeated as readers experience The Divided Mind.

Some Profound Implications of Sarno's Mindbody Paradigm!

Jennifer Michael Hecht (Doubt: A History) wrote:

"As psychiatrist and theorist Wilhelm Reich explained it, the personality is created around moments of pain so uncomfortable that they are blocked off. A person's character or persona is thus a chronicle of where he or she has been alienated from his or her self. Ways of coping with psychic pains, which are themselves assiduously avoided, create our individuality -- that's the real reason why the ways of coping are so (boldly) defended. We hang on to our cocooned pain because the thought of looking directly at it seems unimaginably worse than what we suffer living around these cocoons."

Sarno's The Divided Mind includes chapters by M.D.s: Samuel J. Mann, Ira Rashbaum, James R. Rochelle, Douglas Hoffman & Marc Sopher in which they describe their experiences with Mindbody Medicine.

In addition, or as alternatives, to the treatment outlined in The Divided Mind, we recommend:

  1. Kellerman's Anger Theory (KAT)
  2. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
  3. Gendlin's "Focusing"
  4. Idenics

KAT (if you apply it purely on the information we provide) is free and easy to learn. Use it to "cure your anger!"

EFT is free and easy to learn in a few minutes. You can use EFT to relieve a wide range of symptoms in short order. You can also use it to dissipate underlying REPFs

Focusing is also free and faitly quick to learn. You can use it to both relieve symptoms and to dissipate underlying REPFs.

The great merit of Idenics is that you can make a list of all the "unwanted conditions" in your life -- even those you've suffered from for a long time -- and clear them all up in a few hours!

In The Divided Mind, Sarno relates the case of an engineer who had suffered from severe low back and leg pain for over eight months. He had seen a variety of doctors, suffered a number of failed treatments, and was given recommendations for surgery.

Then he read Sarno's Healing Back Pain. During a consultation with Sarno he mentioned a "major insight about his job," after which his leg pain disappeared. He still experienced some mild low back pain. He went through Sarno's treatment program, and after a few weeks was completely pain-free!

Understanding Sarno makes it possible to grasp why methods like EFT, Focusing, and Idenics can be used to clear up all kinds of "unwanted conditions" in a few minutes or hours.

Sarno's Mindbody Psychology

Chapter 3 of The Divided Mind has the title: "The Psychology of Psychosomatic Disorders." A few highlights:

We haven't researched this extensively, but based on a news report about the incidence of allergies in the U.S.A. having increased by about 300-400% over a period of about 5-10 years, it's possible that at least some allergies constitute "common psychosomatic disorders... currently in vogue!" The following statistics are from

What if many of these allergy sufferers could relieve their symptoms just by reading Sarno?

(Hives is an interesting and mysterious symptom. Google "hives" and you'll find that hives can appear in your skin when you wake up in the morning, and disappear by noon... and later reappear in a different location. The UDM "playing tricks?")

[Sarno doesn't mention helplessness. This could be because of unawareness, or because the TMS therapeutic process automatically relieves helplessness, so it doesn't come up as an issue for Sarno's patients. But think about it... In order for your brain to render you incapable of knowing about your repressed emotions, it has to make you relatively helpless!]

Success Technique #35:
Beware Medical Scams -- Take Control of Your Health!

Arrogant Doctors Can Kill You --

Dr Whiting on Indigestion, Heartburn, and Acid Reflux

Dr. Whiting: Indigestion, Heartburn & Acid Reflux:

When it comes to nourishing the body, you are not merely what you eat, but rather what you absorb. If you cannot properly and completely break down nutrients from food and food supplements, you can be starving for these essential factors even though you think you are eating reasonably well.

After the age of 40, many people find themselves suffering from indigestion, heartburn, bloating, constipation, and feelings of fullness after meals, especially evening meals. This is due to a breakdown in the production of natural hydrochloric acid production in the stomach. Without this acid, proteins cannot be properly digested. In the absence of these stomach acids, many enzymes, necessary for the digestion of other foods, become deficient as well. The end results are the many common complications of digestion, which include feelings of fullness, gas, bloating, heartburn and constipation. The over-consumption of anti-acids such as Prilosec, Mylanta, Tums and others, in an attempt to correct what many people erroneously think is excess acid, has contributed greatly to such conditions as osteoporosis, arthritis, heal spurs, kidney and gall stones and calcium deposits on artery walls, leading to atherosclerosis.

All of these conditions occur when the body becomes too alkaline and calcium crystallizes and falls out of fluid solution. Those who have been suffering from long-term digestive problems such as indigestion, heartburn, bloating, constipation and feelings of fullness may have already set the stage for mineral depletion and protein deficiency. Digestive disturbances such as heartburn, bloating, constipation and feelings of fullness can be prevented by ensuring that your body is properly breaking down the vital nutrients necessary to health, found in the foods you eat and the supplements you take.

We use a broad-spectrum approach to digestion, covering protein, fats as well as carbohydrates. Our combination formula provides natural stomach acids and enzyme precursor agents to help the body manufacture all of the digestive enzymatic substances for complete digestion of all food groups. Enzyme formulas should provide digestive components for protein, fats, and carbohydrates. This, together with natural digestive acids, will, over time, help the body to begin producing these enzymes once again on its own. In the beginning, digestive enzymes should be taken with every meal to help the body to balance its own production of these enzymes once again.

What if Much of the Antacid Industry is a Scam? What if taking antacids can damage your health and shorten your life?

Truth about Acid Reflux, Heartburn, Austin Wellness

For more comprehensive information on indigestion, check out Why Stomach Acid is Good for You: Natural Relief from Heartburn, Indigestion, Reflux & GERD by Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. and Lane Lenard, Ph.D.

Appendix 1 of Why Stomach Acid is Good for You -- "Is Depression the Result of an Amino Acid and Neurotransmitter Deficiency?" -- starts with: "Depression is never caused by a deficiency of drugs!" [emphasis added] This is a most important observation. It suggests the general question:

"What deficiency might be causing my condition X?"

The above does not imply that all poor health conditions are caused by deficiencies. See also Effect of antidepressants exaggerated due to buried data and Raise Your Mood Level.

Heartburn: Don't Let Your Doctor/Antacids Burn You Even More!

At the time we wrote the original version of this section, there was a series on heartburn -- also called "GERD" or gastroesophageal reflux disease -- on a certain TV network that employs a "resident physician" (medical editor). The theory the TV news anchor and medical editor promote is that heartburn is caused by a faulty valve at the top your stomach, just below your esophagus (your "lower esophageal sphincter" or "LES"). The supposedly "faulty valve" allows stomach acid to rise from your stomach into your esophagus, causing the burning sensation we know as "heartburn."

According to the resident TV physician and the news anchor, the solution is to take antacids to neutralize the "excess acid." In some cases it may be necessary to take prescription drugs to reduce the amount of acid created in your stomach. The TV station also airs advertisements for a certain "purple prescription pill" that's supposed to correct damage to the esophagus caused by stomach acid. The TV network probably earns millions from these ads. The drug company that sells the "purple prescription pill" probably earns billions.

So the "conventional heartburn theory" is very profitable for the drug companies and the TV networks who air the "antacid ads." What if the commonly accepted "remedies" in the long run tend to make heartburn worse, increasing the demand for antacids? The drug companies would earn even more. What if some of the drugs have side effects that result in doctors describing other drugs? The drug companies would earn even more.

Now consider an alternative theory. As you age, your stomach produces less acid -- sometimes not enough to digest your food. After you've eaten, if there's not enough acid in your stomach to digest the food, gas is generated. The gas puts pressure on your esophageal valve (more accurately, your "lower esophageal sphincter" or "LES") and opens it. Acid rises through your LES and you experience heartburn. Paradoxically, the heartburn is a signal that your stomach needs more acid. So you take some apple cider vinegar (acid), dilute it with water, and drink it. Within a minute or so the heartburn is gone. Your stomach uses the extra acid to help digest your food. No problems with side effects or worsening the heartburn condition.

Part of the remedy for heartburn could simply be to drink more water. Another part of the remedy may be to stop eating the foods that lead to your heartburn. In any case, you may never need to buy anything other than apple cider vinegar to treat your heartburn. (Though, part of the remedy may be to also take digestive enzymes, or their precursors.)

You can buy a bottle of apple cider vinegar for $3-$4 or less. If you use it to treat your heartburn, you may find that you experience heartburn less frequently. You may only need to take apple cider vinegar once or twice a week. Your bottle costing $3-$4 or less may last several months.

If the "alternative heartburn theory" is correct, then heartburn sufferers can treat their condition easily, inexpensively, and without visiting a doctor for a prescription. If enough people were to switch their "allegiance" from the conventional to the alternative theory, the drug companies, TV networks, and doctors would earn less money -- a lot less!

If the TV medical editor and the news anchor were to tell viewers about the alternative theory, they might be ordered to issue a "correction" or "retraction." They might even be fired. It's in the interest of the TV network and drug companies to push the conventional heartburn theory all they can. Billions are at stake.

But what if the alternative theory is correct? If so, then heartburn sufferers would be massively victimized by following the advice of the resident TV physician, the news anchor, the drug companies' antacid ads, and the doctors who prescribe antacids. What if the conventional heartburn theory is a massive fraud and a hoax -- a scam to victimize the gullible?

Why would the drug companies and TV networks promote such a hoax? Because they earn billions. If the alternative theory were correct, and they were to promote that, the billions in earnings would disappear.

You can do your own research to determine which of the two theories is more plausible. Do Google searches for +heartburn +"apple cider vinegar", +heartburn +naturopath, and +heartburn +"natural cure". If you or anyone you know experiences heartburn, you and/or your contacts can take some diluted apple cider vinegar and see what happens.

(Note: The heartburn issue can be complicated by medications that produce heartburn as a side effect. There are literally dozens of medications that may relax the LES, making it easier for stomach acid to rise into the esophagus. These medications can produce the apparency of a "faulty valve" condition. Do a Google search for +medications +"cause heartburn" to compile a list. (Smoking may also relax the LES.)

If you're currently taking medications that cause you heartburn, you may want to explore alternatives such as "natural cures" for the conditions the medications are intended to treat. Part of your solution may be to stop taking the medications in question, or to reduce your dosages. Some people can get caught up in a vicious circle. They may suffer from chest pains associated with their heartburn. Some doctors call these chest pains "pseudo angina." Other doctors may prescribe medications to treat the misdiagnosed "angina." However, these medications may cause more severe heartburn and make the associated chest pains worse.)

Sarno's Mindbody Paradigm

A "third heartburn theory" is most important: Heartburn and related symptoms caused by the brain as a distraction to protect you from REPFs ("repressed emotional and psychological factors") -- see Understand Sarno's Mindbody (TMS) Theory.

Sarno contends that during certain periods, certain symptoms become "fashionable." He cites research findings in The Divided Mind to back this contention. If Sarno is correct, then it's quite possible that a plethora of TV antacid advertisements will help make heartburn and related symptoms a "malady du jour!"

For some people, the best cure for heartburn might be to switch off their TVs -- or at least to flip to another channel whenever antacid ads appear!

In any case, if your heartburn is a mindbody disorder, then the best treatment would be along the lines suggested by Sarno in The Divided Mind -- or These Methods.

Article in The Arizona Republic of August 4th, 2007:

Acid blockers may up dementia risk in older Blacks
By Thomas H. Maugh II -- Los Angeles Times

Elderly Black people who are chronic users of acid-inhibiting drugs in the family that includes Zantac, Pepcid and Tagamet have 2½ times the normal risk of developing dementia, Indiana researchers reported Friday.

The drugs block production of stomach acid by inhibiting histamine-2 receptors. The stomach releases hydrochloric acid when stimulated by histamines. But they also inhibit the brain's cholinergic system which is involved in memory and cognition.

Low levels of cholinergic activity have been linked to dementia.

In the past, there have been hints that the drugs, known as histamine-2 receptor antagonists, might be linked to dementia, but previous studies have come down on both sides of the question, said Dr. John Morris of Washington University in St. Louis, who was not involved in the study.

"This is certainly not the final word on the potential risk of these drugs," he said. "But what it tells us is that, for older adults, drug use should be considered very carefully."

Dr. Constantine G. Lyketsos, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University, who was not involved in the study, added: "This is one of the medicines we worry about when people with Alzheimer's are taking them. It can make memory worse and lead to confusion. Whether they will make it more likely that someone will develop Alzheimer's dementia is still an open question."

GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures Tagamet and Zantac, did not return calls seeking comment.

The study did not look at Whites, and there was not enough data to suggest a risk from a different family of acid-inhibiting drugs called "proton-pump inhibitors," which include Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid.

The histamine-2 receptor antagonists are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United xStatesx with more than 16 million prescriptions dispensed in 2005 in addition to over-the-counter sales. They are used to treat ulcers, acid reflux and other gastrointestinal disorders.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, was conducted by Dr. Malaz Boustani, a geriatrician at Indiana University School of Medicine.

(Note: In an interview published in The Arizona Republic of April 24th, 2007, Phoenix physician Dr. Art Molen (who regularly appears on radio and TV) said: "For years, people have taken Tums, Maalox and Mylanta to reduce acidity. Now prescription medicines known as proton-pump inhibitors, including Nexium, Protonix, Prilosec and Aciphex have become the gold standard." He was asked about natural remedies, but didn't mention apple cider vinegar.)

Article in The Arizona Republic of August 10th, 2007:

FDA will investigate 2 popular heartburn drugs
Data seem to link Nexium, Prilosec to heart ills, although there's no proof

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar -- Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators said Thursday that they have opened an investigation into two popular heartburn drugs -- Nexium, marketed as the "purple pill," and Prilosec, its older chemical cousin... Nexium was the sixth most commonly prescribed brand-name drug last year, according to Drug Topics, an Internet magazine... A higher number of patients taking either one of the drugs suffered heart attacks, heart failure or sudden heart-related death, the FDA said. But the number of patients in both studies was relatively small, and other larger research studies showed no indication of heart problems...

We don't know what percentage of the prescription drug business is a scam. What if there are many "Medical $cammers" (some deliberate; some unwitting) who predominantly "play their patients (victims?) for suckers?"

Extracted from Mind Hacks:

Effect of antidepressants exaggerated due to buried data

The New England Journal of Medicine has just published a study that found the effectiveness of 12 of the most popular antidepressants has been exaggerated because pharmaceutical companies have been 'hiding' data from negative drug trials.

Known as the 'file drawer effect,' it involves submitting only positive results to be published in scientific journals.

This type of selective publishing was recognized as a pervasive problem in medicine, and to try and combat this, a rule was introduced that required all clinical trials to be registered before they began.

This means no-one could claim that a negative study didn't occur and others could try and track down the data if needed.

The researchers in this new study decided to do exactly this. They examined the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) register and requested data from all 74 trials of the most commonly used antidepressant drugs.

They then compared the results from all the trials, to just the trials that had been published in the medical literature.

The findings are quite shocking:

A total of 37 studies viewed by the FDA as having positive results were published; 1 study viewed as positive was not published.

Studies viewed by the FDA as having negative or questionable results were, with 3 exceptions, either not published (22 studies) or published in a way that, in our opinion, conveyed a positive outcome (11 studies).

According to the published literature, it appeared that 94% of the trials conducted were positive. By contrast, the FDA analysis showed that 51% were positive.

In other words, when all the studies are examined, there's only about a 50-50 chance that a scientific study of an antidepressant drug will find it more effective than a placebo in treating depression.

The Wall Street Journal has a good write-up of the study, from which I've also taken the graph below. It describes which antidepressant drugs have their apparent effect most boosted by the hiding of negative findings.

As we live in the age of 'evidence-based medicine,' doctors will use the available evidence to decide which drugs to prescribe.

Needless to say, distortions in the published results can affect individual patients owing to the effect on doctors' decision-making.

Link to abstract of study.
Link to good write-up from the Wall Street Journal.

If they mislead their customers about the effectiveness of their drugs, what else might they be lying about?

What if the above is just the small tip of a huge iceberg?

"Health care in America is in a state of crisis. Certain segments of American medicine have been transformed into a dysfunctional nightmare of irresponsible practices, dangerous procedures, bureaucratic regulations, and skyrocketing costs. Instead of healing people, the broken health care system is prolonging people's suffering in too many cases. Instead of preventing epidemics, it is generating them. ...Millions more are suddenly being treated for gastric reflux, at an annual cost of billions of dollars. Who says heartburn can't be profitable." -- John E. Sarno, M.D. (See also Understand Sarno's Mindbody (TMS) Theory!)

If you do a Google search for "iatrogenic death", guess who or what is revealed as the leading cause of death in America?

Success Technique #35A:
Overcome Helplessness

Learning is the foundation of the therapeutic process to heal TMS. This learning reduces helplessness and increases personal power.

Learned Helplessness

The book Helplessness by Martin E. P. Seligman contains a theory of helplessness. He doesn't seem to address the "deep helplessness imprints" identified by Janov. (Seligman is also the author of What You Can Change and What You Can't, in which he writes (in contrast to Janov), "Reliving childhood trauma does not undo adult personality problems.")

A basic experiment illustrates the nature of the origin of helplessness (as described by Seligman): A "naive" dog (one that hasn't been specially treated or conditioned) is placed in a "shuttle-box" (a box with two compartments, separated by a barrier a dog can jump). Electric current is applied to the compartment with the dog, shocking it. The dog soon jumps across the barrier into the other compartment, escaping the shock. A second dog, secured in a hammock, is "conditioned" with electric shock. This dog can shut off the current by pressing its nose against a panel. It quickly learns to do this. When this dog is placed in the shuttle-box and current applied, it also soon jumps across the barrier, escaping the shock. A third dog is also conditioned in the hammock. But this dog has no way to escape the shock. When it is placed in the shuttle-box and the current applied, it lies down and whines, enduring the shock.

(Note that in the above paragraph, dog one is shocked in a shuttle-box, dogs two and three first in a hammock then in the shuttle-box. It may be necessary to read the previous paragraph several times so you understand the mechanics of the experiment.)

According to Seligman's theory, the third dog acquired "learned helplessness." In the hammock it learned that no action it could take would change the outcome of being shocked. It learned that the outcome was independent of its actions -- and it generalized this "conclusion." The dog was affected in three important aspects: motivationally, cognitively, and emotionally. In the shuttle-box the third dog was not sufficiently motivated to persist in finding a way to escape the shock. The cognitive link between action and consequence (outcome) had been severed in the dog's brain as a result of the conditioning in the hammock. And the dog had become more prone to anxiety.

Many (if not most) humans have to some extent been conditioned like the third dog. We were all helpless babies... and human babies remain relatively helpless for a much longer time than the babies of most other mammals... Many of us experience a variety of situations where we are helpless to influence certain outcomes -- exemplified by phrases like "nothing is as certain as death and taxes."

Learned helplessness tends to be a generalized phenomenon. When a dog or human "learns" that there is no connection between action and outcome in a particular domain, this is often generalized to other areas of life...

Helplessness, then, can be recognized by:

You could apply this procedure in an attempt to cure your helplessness:

The above section on learned helplessness has been adapted from some of our earlier writings. We now realize that, because of the deeper helplessness imprints identified by Janov, as well certain aspects of "Kellerman Anger Theory" (KAT), some of the above may only become useful to "deeply-helpless" people once they've handled their Core Helplessness.

Core Helplessness

We use the term "Core Helplessness" to describe a deeper form of helplessness than "learned helplessness." The following aspects of Kellerman Anger Theory" (KAT) -- read the "KAT basics" here --indicate why Core Helplessness is a useful concept that represents a real phenomenon:

Kellerman claims that thwarted wishes to have things tend to produce symptoms that relieve tension, while thwarted wishes to avoid things tend to produce symptoms that increase tension. This relates to Eagerness Orientation being healthier than Vigilance Orientation.

From a ""Janov perspective," the Kellerman and Sarno theories are gross oversimplifications. Janov goes all the way back to the brainstem, which after the first month in the womb, can start recording painful traumas as imprints. The brainstem is involved with basic survival mechanisms. Breathing and heart problems can literally have their origins in traumas imprinted in the womb. (Janov calls the brainstem the "first line or level of consciousness.")

"Chronic high blood pressure is a good example of how memory lives within our brain system -- it is an expression of a memory, a neurological imprint, which manifests physiologically."

Janov's "second line or level of consciousness" is the limbic system, including the amygdalae (a human brain has a left amygdala and a right amygdala). The amygdalae can be a factor related to helplessness in that they can cause "shutdown to prevent overload."

Part of the limbic system is the thalamus -- a "relay station" or "central switchboard." The thalamus includes the sympathetic nervous system (controlling aggression and assertiveness -- compare to Eagerness Orientation) and the parasympathetic nervous system (controlling repair, healing, and rest -- compare to Vigilance Orientation).

Janov's "third line or level of consciousness" is the neocortex, "responsible for intellectual functioning, generating ideas, and thinking.

"Essentially, neurosis is driven by lower brain centers that are trying to communicate to the left neocortex but can't because disconnection has occurred, a disconnection caused by the imprint of an early lack of love that spells hopelessness and helplessness. For instance, the limbic system, the brain's second level, is able to react all on its own before the neocortex is even engaged, so we react systemically before the frontal cortex is even aware of what's happening. It is not ideas coming from the prefrontal neocortex that drive a reaction within our bodies and nervous system, but emotional processes that are unfolding neurochemically from the limbic area."

For more on Janov, see Clear Imprints Path.

Before embarking on a course of Primal Therapy, it may be worth checking out The Seven Stages of Primal Therapy and DEBUNKING PRIMAL THERAPY.

A serious shortcoming of Primal Therapy is that it seems to take years. So, are there more efficient and effective ways to deal with "primal imprints?" I don't know for sure, but here's a suggested course of action from which you could select the specific steps most appropriate for you:

Steps to Overcome Helplessness

1. Make a Fundamental Decision to overcome whatever helplessness may constrain you.

2. Examine and Reorganize your Priorities and Time Usage and make enough time available to "complete the job."

3. Implement the Why-Can-Do Booster.

4. Apply the One-Small-Step Booster, if necessary.

5. Use Afformations, as appropriate.

6. Create Structural Tension so the Path of Least Resistance will lead you out of helplessness.

7. Check out Kellerman and Sarno, apply their methods, and determine if they work for you. If you successfully handle all your "unwanted symptoms," then you've found your solution!

8. Seeing that your brain is biochemical, you may be able to boost its power by upgrading its biochemistry. Maybe you can use natural foods and supplements to Raise Your Mood Level.

9. Raise Your Energy Level.

10. Read Janov's Primal Therapy. You can also do online courses from Janov's website.

11. Check out the Daniel Amen book. Apply any of his prescriptions that are appropriate for you.

12. Check out Idenics. Typically, you can handle a long list of "Unwanted Conditions" in a few hours.

13. You may be able to successfully use one or more of the following:

Note that Procrastination may be an important aspect of helplessness.

Helplessness may be a pervasive constraint that has debilitating effects in several areas of your life. It may be an MBI you need to handle first, before you can expect significant progress toward greater success.

Success Technique #36:
Gendlin's "Focusing"

Gendlin's Vast Space

Text accompanying video (edited):

"Psychologist and philosopher Eugene Gendlin devised a technique he refers to as 'Focusing,' which allows individuals to develop a 'felt sense' of their bodily responses to information and circumstances. A key metaphor within this technique is that of 'space'; problems and issues are conceptualized as objects within an imaginary space of mind, separate from the self."

Marilyn Ferguson (Introduction to Focusing by Eugene T. Gendlin, Ph.D.):

"Our brains and bodies know far more than is normally available to us. We are conscious of only a fragment of what we deeply know. The central nervous system perceives and processes a great body of information that is stored outside the range of everyday awareness... The complex body-mind can provide new steps. Our deepest bodily knowledge can be welcomed and then lived further. Focusing, whose steps are described with care and clarity, taps and articulates new subliminal knowing. It befriends and listens to "the body," a term Gendlin uses comprehensively to mean the total brain-mind environment as we sense it."

Dr. Eugene Gendlin's "Focusing" Technique

"Focusing" is a profound yet simple technique developed by Eugene T. Gendlin, Ph.D. (philosopher and psychologist at the University of Chicago) to get in touch with your feelings and to allow your body to help you to free yourself from anything you're stuck in by using a special kind of "inward attention" called the "felt sense."

Part One of the book Focusing is called: "Unlocking the Wisdom of Your Body." According to Gendlin:

"It will enable you to find and change where your life is stuck, cramped, hemmed in, slowed down. And it will enable you to change -- to live from a deeper place than just your thoughts and feelings."

"No longer need the change process be in charge of therapists. People can do it for themselves and with each other... Human problems are by their very nature such that we are each inherently in charge of ourselves. No authority can resolve our problems or tell us how to live. Therefore I and others have been teaching more and more people to help themselves and each other."

From the Fact Sheet:

"Focusing is a mode of inward bodily attention that most people don't know about yet. It is more than being in touch with your feelings and different from body work... Focusing occurs exactly at the interface of body-mind. It consists of specific steps for getting a body sense of how you are in a particular life situation. The body sense is unclear and vague at first, but if you pay attention it will open up into words or images and you experience a felt shift in your body... In the process of Focusing, one experiences a physical change in the way that the issue is being lived in the body. We learn to live in a deeper place than just thoughts or feelings. The whole issue looks different and new solutions arise."

The Focusing technique consists of Six Steps:

  1. Clearing a space. What I will ask you to do will be silent, just to yourself. Take a moment just to relax . . . All right -- now, inside you, I would like you to pay attention inwardly, in your body, perhaps in your stomach or chest. Now see what comes there when you ask, "How is my life going? What is the main thing for me right now?" Sense within your body. Let the answers come slowly from this sensing. When some concern comes, DO NOT GO INSIDE IT. Stand back, say "Yes, that's there. I can feel that, there." Let there be a little space between you and that. Then ask what else you feel. Wait again, and sense. Usually there are several things.

  2. Felt Sense. From among what came, select one personal problem to focus on. DO NOT GO INSIDE IT. Stand back from it. Of course, there are many parts to that one thing you are thinking about -- too many to think of each one alone. But you can feel all of these things together. Pay attention there where you usually feel things, and in there you can get a sense of what all of the problem feels like. Let yourself feel the unclear sense of all of that.

  3. Handle. What is the quality of this unclear felt sense? Let a word, a phrase, or an image come up from the felt sense itself. It might be a quality-word, like tight, sticky, scary, stuck, heavy, jumpy or a phrase, or an image. Stay with the quality of the felt sense till something fits it just right.

  4. Resonating. Go back and forth between the felt sense and the word (phrase, or image). Check how they resonate with each other. See if there is a little bodily signal that lets you know there is a fit. To do it, you have to have the felt sense there again, as well as the word. Let the felt sense change, if it does, and also the word or picture, until they feel just right in capturing the quality of the felt sense.

  5. Asking. Now ask: what is it, about this whole problem, that makes this quality (which you have just named or pictured)? Make sure the quality is sensed again, freshly, vividly (not just remembered from before). When it is here again, tap it, touch it, be with it, asking, "What makes the whole problem so ______?" Or you ask, "What is in this sense?"... If you get a quick answer without a shift in the felt sense, just let that kind of answer go by. Return your attention to your body and freshly find the felt sense again. Then ask it again... Be with the felt sense till something comes along with a shift, a slight "give" or release.

  6. Receiving. Receive whatever comes with a shift in a friendly way. Stay with it a while, even if it is only a slight release. Whatever comes, this is only one shift; there will be others. You will probably continue after a little while, but stay here for a few moments... IF DURING THESE INSTRUCTIONS SOMEWHERE YOU HAVE SPENT A LITTLE WHILE SENSING AND TOUCHING AN UNCLEAR HOLISTIC BODY SENSE OF THIS PROBLEM, THEN YOU HAVE FOCUSED. It doesn't matter whether the body-shift came or not. It comes on its own. We don't control that.

You're welcome to find your own best process -- "No knowledge can push you out of the driver's seat of your life. Especially not our knowledge here, which is to be about finding your own process!" Several Focusing Teachers have developed their own Versions of the Process.

Success Technique #37:
Achieve "Actual Freedom"

"Richard Actualist" is the founder of Actual Freedom. We describe part of his experience in our own words. For the complete text, see "A Brief Personal History."

Richard's experience was far more than an intellectual understanding. It was also deeply emotional and visceral, and shook him to his core.

Richard's questioning of life, the universe, and what becoming a completely free human being entails, started in June 1966 at age nineteen. At the time his body was inhabited by an "identity" with an extensive repertoire of feelings. A Buddhist monk in religious robes killed himself gruesomely as Richard watched by dousing himself with gasoline and setting it on fire.

The monk represented the "spiritual way to peace." Richard was a soldier in uniform, with a loaded rifle in his hand. He represented the "secular way to peace."

This was a major turning point in Richard's life. He had been raised to believe in "God, Queen, and Country" - all false idols ("cultural garbage") he would later cleanse from his brain -- as suggested by Krishnamurti. To make it easier to grasp this, consider what Don Miguel Ruiz wrote in The Four Agreements:

"Humans are dreaming all the time... The dream of the planet includes all of society's rules, its beliefs, its laws, its religions, its different cultures and ways to be, its governments, schools, social events, and holidays... We are living in a dream of hell... It is as if we live in the middle of a fog that doesn't let us see any further than our own nose...

Children are domesticated the same way that we domesticate a dog, a cat, or any other animal. In order to teach a dog we punish the dog and we give it rewards. We train our children whom we love so much the same way we train any domesticated animal: with a system of punishment and reward...

[W]e start pretending to be what we are not, just to please others, just to be good enough for someone else... We pretend to be what we are not because we are afraid of being rejected. The fear of being rejected becomes the fear of not being good enough... We become a copy of Mamma's beliefs, Daddy's beliefs, society's beliefs, and religion's belief... All our normal tendencies are lost in the process of domestication... We didn't choose these beliefs and we may have rebelled against them, but we were not strong enough to win the rebellion. The result is surrender to the beliefs with our agreement. I call this process the domestication of humans...

The domestication is so strong that at a certain point in our life we no longer need anyone to domesticate us... We are so well trained that we are our own domesticator. We are an auto-domesticated animal... Our personal power is dissipated by all the agreements we have created, and the result is that we feel powerless. ...[W]e have many agreements that make us suffer, that make us fail in life."

Richard was shocked by the inhumanity of what both he and the monk had been doing. The political treatment of "subject citizens" was driven home to him, leaving him with a sick revulsion. He was appalled, horrified, terrified, and repulsed to his core.

Richard later realized that no one really knew what was going on. Nobody was really "in charge" of the world. There was nobody to "save" the human race. He saw that all supposed "gods" were false idols, figments of feverish imaginations. Richard saw and understood that he was as "guilty" as everybody else. There was "good" and "bad" in everyone. Some people were better at controlling their "dark side." But the "control" vanished during war and "evil" ran rampant.

Richard saw that the world was ruled by fear, aggression, nurture, and desire... and that he had been born with these instincts. He decided to change himself fundamentally, radically, and completely -- to free himself from the "Human Condition."

In September 1981, Richard achieved "Spiritual Enlightenment" after an earnest and intense process that started in the January of that year. His "ego" disappeared completely during an awakening to "Absolute Reality." He lived in this "Enlightened State" for eleven years... with an intense conviction that someone had to develop the way that would "deliver the goods" so people could free themselves from the "Human Condition."

Then, in October 1992, Richard achieved Actual Freedom -- a condition very different from "Enlightenment" and a long way beyond it -- a permanent and actual condition of complete emancipation and autonomy -- no longer any sorrow or malice to rise above or transcend. He is no longer driven to "save the world," yet is free to speak with anyone genuinely interested in becoming totally free from the "Human Condition": sadness, loneliness, sorrow, grief, depression, suicide, corruption, domestic violence, rape, torture, murder, etc.

Among other things, Richard discovered the perfection, purity, and peace of being alive as a Flesh-and-Blood Body that has Come to its Senses. It required Determination, Dedication, Pure Intent, and Perseverance to dismantle his Social Identity, causing a mutation of consciousness.

Richard anticipated that Actual Freedom could spread like a chain-letter, bringing about global freedom and revolutionizing the concept of humanity. There would be a worldwide free association of people, a utopian-like loose-knit affiliation of like-minded individuals, citizens of the world. No more "sovereign states"; no "countries" with artificial "borders"; no military; no nationalism or patriotism; no police forces; no locks on the doors, no bars on the windows; no judges, juries, or jails; people living together in peace and harmony, happiness, and delight.

But none of this matters much once you live freely in the Actual World. In Actual Freedom, life is experienced as perfect as-it-is here on earth. The universe does not force anyone to be happy and harmless, to live in peace and ease, to be free of sorrow and malice. So the denizens of the Delusional World are likely to continue on their tried and failed ways.

So Richard now lives in peace and tranquility; beholden to none; no loyalty to bind him; nothing to defend; no need to attack; no sense of mission to "change the world"; not driven by mystical forces to evangelize, proselytize, or convert; yet available to assist anyone genuinely interested in freedom from the "Human Condition." This is an actual freedom. It is possible to be actually free, here on earth, as this body, in this lifetime. (Adapted from A Brief Personal History.)

Actual Freedom (How to Become Free from the Human Condition)

Getting to grips with Actual Freedom may be quite a challenge. Some key pages:


Instincts, Passions & Emotions

The Basic Process

The basic process to move toward Actual Freedom is the question: "How am I experiencing this moment of being alive?" (HAIETMOBA).

What is the answer to the haietmoba?

It's is an experiential answer. You keep on asking yourself until it becomes a non-verbal attitude or a wordless approach to life, how you're experiencing this moment of being alive... how you're personally participating in the events which are occurring at this particular moment that you're alive...

You may want to compare haietmoba to Gendlin's "Focusing" Technique.

You could also experiment with: "How does this Flesh-and-Blood Body experience this moment of being alive?" (HDTFABBETMOBA).

J. Krishnamurti with Mary Zimbalist, 1984: Cleanse Your Brain! (click to watch video)

Success Technique #38:
Personal Identity System Theory (PIST)

PIST ("Personal Identity System Theory" was inspired by the book: Come to Your Senses: Demystifying the Mind Body Connection by Stanley H. Block, M.D. with Carolyn Bryant Block. They describe an "Identity System" involving "Requirements," a "Depressor," and a "Fixer." This Identity System can be regarded as an "Interference System." (Although the book has some spiritual/mystical/religious content, we expect that rational/scientific types will be able to benefit from it, particularly if the spiritual/mystical/religious parts are ignored.)

"This revised edition of Come to Your Senses includes a new chapter describing the Ten-Day Plan that has proved successful in transforming so many lives. The book and plan do not urge you to reconstruct your past, banish negative thoughts, adapt new behaviors, or in any way "fix" yourself. Instead, you access your innate wellspring of healing, goodness, and wisdom by learning to recognize and rest your Identity System. A natural body system present in all of us, the Identity System has the ability to numb your sense, clutter your mind, tense your body, and create a false picture of who you are. This false picture becomes embedded in every cell of your body. When you learn to rest the Identity System and come to your senses, your life changes in every way." -- Stanley H. Block, M.D. with Carolyn Bryant Block (Come to Your Senses: Demystifying the Mind Body Connection)

Conceptually, the Blocks' "Identity System" is similar to Gallwey's "Alien Self 1," Gurdjieff's "Personality," and the Zanders' "Controlling Self" -- see Overcome "Interference!" -- Develop Your "Inner Game!" Some main points extracted and inferred from the Blocks' book:

Our "Personal Identity System" (PIS) is similar to the Blocks' I/S, but has many more Parts. Our PIS is also similar to Gallwey's "Alien Self 1," Gurdjieff's "Personality," and the Zanders' "Controlling Self" -- see Overcome "Interference!" -- Develop Your "Inner Game!" We Highly Recommend Come to Your Senses, particularly as a way of waking up and sharpening your senses, and becoming more aware.

We contend that you can make some great breakthroughs by waking up and sharpening your senses -- and Using Your Senses to Discern Reality! (In some areas, like religion and politics, many people use "Subjective Social Agreement" ("what everybody knows"), rather than their senses, to discern certain aspects of reality.)

"Over the years, easily 90% or more of everything I've been taught has been contradicted by direct observation. I suspect that at least a majority of what you or anyone has been taught is likewise contrary to what direct observation will show. Frankly, I trust what I can see for myself far better than I trust what I've been taught or "what everyone knows." How certain are you about all that you've been taught?" -- Dr. Win Wenger ("Master Intelligence Increaser")


There are thousands of "self-help" and "success" books. Typically, the authors are like blind men who discover the tail of an elephant. They may persuade themselves to believe that their "elephant tail" is the "whole elephant."

Unfortunately, many of these books don't work for the vast majority of readers, so the demand remains insatiable -- and one of the biggest sections in many bookstores continues to be "Psychology/Self-Help!"

Our PIS is like a Huge Elephant. The Blocks' I/S can be regarded as an "introduction to our PIS." Many authors have illuminated Parts of the Elephant and how to deal with, and improve, Parts of the Elephant, including:

The way you apply PIST ("Personal Identity System Theory") is to use the above (and whatever else you can find that's useful) to Progressively Remove Negatives and Progressively Add Positives to your life, for the rest of your life!

Be Sure to Have Fun!

Personal Identity Parts

The essence of our Personal Identity System (PIS) is that the Blocks' I/S needs to be expanded to include many more Parts. Note what Kellerman says about certain symptoms being so powerful that they "overwhelm and take over your identity." Your own PIS may include any combination of the following. You may also have "Parts" not listed here:

Imagine someone whose Personal Identity System (PIS) includes "Dyslearner" (See Dyslearning & Learning) and/or "Helpless Maker" (an extreme form of the "Depressor") and/or "Quitter" and/or "Self-Saboteur!"

How would it be possible for such a person to run their own business?

If such a combination applies to you, maybe help is available, starting with the Why-Can-Do Booster!

Success Technique #39:
Raise Your Energy Level

(Simpleology includes some important information on increasing your energy.)

In addition to the suggestions in Food, Mood and Money under Mood Levels, we recommend the "Five Tibetan Rites," not only as energy-boosting exercises, but also for their health and longevity benefits. (On, check out: Ancient Secret of the Fountain of Youth: Book 1 by Peter Kelder and The Five Tibetans: Five Dynamic Exercises for Health, Energy, and Personal Power by Christopher S. Kilham.)

About two thousand years ago, a group of Tibetan monks developed the Five Tibetan Rites by condensing 21 yoga exercises into 5 exercises that can be completed in 10-20 minutes a day.

For thousands of years, healing practitioners have maintained that the body has seven principal energy centers which correspond to the seven endocrine glands. These centers are also called "chakras." The Tibetan Rites help normalize hormonal balances between the chakras, thereby improving health, vitality, and slowing down the aging process.

Regular practice of these exercises relieves muscular tension and nervous stress, improves respiration and digestion, benefits the cardiovascular system, and leads to deep relaxation and well-being. The Five Tibetan Rites can be a powerful vehicle not only for enlivening the senses but also for generating and harnessing vital energy for self-transformation.

When all the endocrine glands are functioning in harmony, a person has more energy, more vitality, and less discomfort. Often when one gland is not functioning correctly, so too the other glands are not communicating properly with each other. Balanced hormones also tend to "rev up" your sexual energy. Also, when the hormones are out of balance, you're more prone to mood swings and illness..

Following are some more benefits that have been ascribed to the Five Tibetan Rites:

The Five Tibetan Rites

Acknowledgment: This information has been adapted from

Rite 1 - Whirling Dervish

Stand erect with arms outstretched, horizontal to the floor. Spin around clockwise, until you become slightly dizzy.

Gradually increase (in increments of 2) practicing from 3 up to 21 repetitions per day, for each rite.

Rite 1 - Recovery Posture: Standing, for a few breaths, looking straight ahead (with eyes either open or closed), with the palms of the hands gently pressing the back of the thighs, helps to alleviate the momentary dizziness that is created, by the Whirling Dervish.

Rite 2 - Neck-Legs Flexion

First, lie flat on the floor, face up. Fully extended your arms along your sides, and place the palms of your hands against the floor, keeping the fingers close together. Then, raise your head off the floor, tucking the chin against the chest.

As you do this, lift your legs, knees straight, into a vertical position. If possible, let the legs extend back over the body, toward the head; but do not let the knees bend. Then slowly lower both the head and the legs, knees straight, to the floor. Allow all the muscles to relax, continue breathing in the same rhythm. Breathe in deeply as you lift your legs and breathe out, as you lower your legs.

Rite 2 - Recovery Posture: This posture produces a fine amount of stretch, which will be similar to the position that is held at the end of the Table (Rite 4).

Rite 3 - Kneeling Posture

Kneel on the floor, with the body erect. The hands should be placed against the thigh muscles. Incline the head and neck forward, tucking the chin against the chest. Then, throw the head and neck backward, arching the spine.

As you arch, you will brace your arms and hands against the thighs for support. After the arching, return to the original position, and start the rite all over again. Breathe in deeply as you arch the spine, breathe out as you return to an erect position.

Rite 3 - Recovery Posture: As you complete this exercise:

Rite 4 - Table

Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet about 12 inches apart. With the trunk of the body erect, place the palms of your hands on the floor alongside the buttocks. Then, tuck the chin forward against the chest. Now, drop the head backward as far as it will go. At the same time, raise your body so that the knees bend while the arms remain straight.

The trunk of the body will be in a straight line with the upper legs, horizontal to the floor. Then, tense every muscle in the body. Finally, relax your muscles as you return to the original sitting position, and rest before repeating the procedure. Breathe in as you raise up, hold your breath as you tense the muscles, breathe out completely as you come down. Continue breathing in the same rhythm as long as you rest between repetitions.

Rite 4 - Recovery Posture: This posture produces a fine amount of stretch, at the end of the Table.

Rite 5 - Up/Down Dog

When you perform the fifth rite, your body will be face-down to the floor. It will be supported by the hands, palms down against the floor, and the toes in a flexed position. Throughout this rite, the hands and feet should be kept straight. Start with your arms perpendicular to the floor, and the spine arched, so that the body is in a sagging position.

Now, throw the head back as far as possible. Then, bending at the hips, bring the body up into an inverted 'V'. At the same time, bring the chin forward, tucking it against the chest. Breathe in deeply as you raise the body, breathe out fully as you lower it.

Rite 5 - Recovery Posture: A comfortable stretching posture is pleasant, for the end of this exercise:

Introduction & Programs ~ Starting Out; Some Basics ~ Success Journeys ~ Accelerate Your Learning ~ Time: Your Most Valuable Asset ~ How to Feel Good All the Time ~ How to Overcome Self‑Interference ~ A Few Health Basics ~ Cause & Effect ~ Additional Articles

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