I have recently been reading ‘The Feeling Child’ by Dr Arthur Janov, and there have been a number of things that have caught my attention. This is a fairly old book but it is still full of powerful content.
Based on the research that I have done over the years, I would say there are certain things that don’t really change when it comes to psychology. When it comes to information about how the brain works, for instance, this is something that changes as time goes by.
However, regardless of whether a book is four or forty years old, not a lot will change when it comes to how projection works. What was said about this defence mechanism decades ago is still accurate to this day.
I would even go as far as to say that a number of these older books do a far better job at describing the basic components. So, in the same way that reading old English books can help someone to improve their English, reading old books on psychology can help them to improve their understanding of psychology.
At the beginning of this book, the author talks about a patient who had a premature birth, with this being something that had a big affect on their life. This person wasn’t told that this was what took place; it was something that they had come to believe after they had got in touch with the trauma that was trapped within them.
Through connecting to this pain, along with the memories associated with it, it enabled them to see why they had always held onto things, had wanted things to stay the same, and felt overwhelmed when it came to changing their life. This was seen as a sign that part of them was hanging on - waiting until they would be given the chance to have a ‘proper birth’.
What takes place in the womb and during childbirth is often overlooked when it comes to trying to understand why someone experiences life in a certain way as an adult. In today’s world, what is taking place in someone’s adult life can be put down to their genetics or seen as a result of them having a ‘chemical imbalance’.
Consequently, what took place during their childhood is then going to be completely overlooked, let alone what happened before this stage of their life. Perhaps this is merely a reflection of how out of touch most of these ‘experts’ are, with them living on the surface of themselves.
So, when it comes to the person who got into touch with what happened when they were born, it shows that their body remembered what took place. Up until this point, their mind had forgot that it had forgotten (another defence), which is why their current life challenges didn’t make any sense.
They were then a neurotic adult, but it was as though there was no reason for them to be this way. Unsurprisingly, if they were forced out too soon, it would have been incredibly traumatising.
At this point in their life they wouldn’t have been ready, and this is why they would have wanted to stay inside. As an adult, holding on and not wanting anything to change would have been a way of them to keep this pain at bay.
Instead of being able to go with the flow of life, they would have done everything they could to resist life. Living in this way would have made their life far harder than it needed to be, causing them to experience unnecessary stress.
What this illustrates is that even if we don’t remember a traumatic event in our past, it doesn’t mean that it is not impacting our life. Our mind can forget anything, whereas our body doesn’t forget a thing.
Therefore, while our mind can have absolutely no idea why we behave in a certain way or experience certain feelings, our body will know exactly why this is. Just as gold is found deep in the ground, insights are found deep in our body.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.