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Osho on Arthur Janov Primal Therapy


Arthur Janov



Osho on Arthur Janov Primal Therapy

Question - Beloved Osho, Janov says that negativity is electrochemically driven by endomorphins, the chemical effect of pain. How is "yes" possible without exhaustive primal therapy?

Osho - Primal therapy has contributed something very essential and significant to human growth. But just as other therapies in the West are amateurish, primal therapy also belongs to the same category. Sigmund Freud used to say that exhaustive psychoanalysis would free man from all tensions, all worries; would give him for the first time freedom from the past, and a tremendous energy to create the future -- not as a continuity of the past but totally new, fresh, discontinuous with the past.

But the whole problem is that exhaustive psychoanalysis is impossible. There is not a single person in the whole world who has gone through exhaustive psychoanalysis, which means that now he does not need any psychoanalysis. People have been in psychoanalysis for fifteen years, twenty years, and yet they are exactly the same as they had begun. Only one thing has changed: they have now become full of psychological jargon. They have become knowledgeable. They can drive you crazy very easily, just by talking all the nonsense that they think is psychoanalysis.

Primal therapy is a simple method. It is helpful in releasing the deepest repressed emotions. And the person has to come to a point where he's not holding anything back -- his scream becomes primal. The moment the child is born, he goes through a great trauma. Changing from the mother's womb into the cold, strange world is a great shock, and that shock remains deep in your unconscious for your whole life.

Primal therapy is a process to release you from the trauma of birth. You have to scream for days together. Finally, the ultimate scream comes, as if your whole being -- every cell of it -- has screamed with totality, wholeness, intensity. And that scream leaves you so unburdened, so light, weightless... because with the primal scream, many other small screams that are in you are all released.

But Janov has failed the same way as Sigmund Freud has failed. Psychoanalysis has not been able to give man his spirituality, his being, his freedom. Of all that it has promised, not a single thing has been delivered, and millions of people have wasted their time and money for nothing. Now Janov has done the same number again.

One primal scream releases you, but only for a short time; tomorrow you will be the same. It was good, it gave you a good sleep because you were so relaxed. But your mind is accustomed to accumulating tensions, anxieties, worries. It will do its work. Tomorrow morning, you will find that you are the same person. Those few hours that you lived after the primal scream will become slowly, slowly faded, like a dream, far away.

Then he came up with the idea of "exhaustive primal therapy." Exhaustive means you go on doing it for ten years, fifteen years, twenty years. There is not a single person -- many have tried -- who is freed from all tensions through primal therapy.
Even Janov himself has no experience of his own being, has no experience of relaxing into the universal life forces, merging, meeting, and experiencing the eternal, the endless, the deathless.

Primal therapy is just a toy. You can scream as much as you like. It is not going to be exhaustive for the simple reason that you don't have only one life. There have been hundreds of lives before, and an exhaustive primal therapy will mean that all the tensions, all the anxieties that you have gathered in thousands of years which are part of your deepest unconscious, are all released. Perhaps you will need a few lives just to scream, and go on screaming! More probable is that you will be exhausted but primal therapy will not be exhaustive.

Seeing the situation, now Janov does not talk about exhaustive primal therapy... because it is not possible, and Janov has no idea about past lives. If this were the only life, exhaustive therapy would be possible. It is only a question of twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years -- you could throw all the rubbish that has gathered in you. But it is a question of thousands of years -- it will take thousands of years to throw it. And all the while you are throwing it, your mind is collecting it. So you are in a vicious circle: by the time you are finished with ten thousand years of screaming and you look at the mind, he is ready with fresh problems -- start primal therapy again!

These are childish approaches. And it is not a coincidence that all these therapies are born in California. Once you know that a thing is born in California, you can be absolutely certain that it is childish, and it is going to be only a fashion for a few days. Now in California, people are thinking about primal therapy as if it is something very ancient. They have gone to other therapies because there are other geniuses, and any type....

Now one of my sannyasins who is here invented a therapy -- hugging therapy. The whole hour, the whole session, everybody is hugging everybody else... but in California, everything goes, and he was earning a lot of money. The strangest thing is, that you can tell the Californians any stupid thing and they will do it -- and they will pay for it! Two hundred and fifty dollars at least. And when you have paid two hundred fifty dollars for screaming in a room for one hour -- which you could have done for free -- you come out smiling. You have to come out smiling; otherwise what will people say? that you are an idiot; you paid two hundred and fifty dollars and then you screamed for one hour, unnecessarily. You have to come out smiling -- a big smile, spread ear to ear -- and tell people, "Wow! It is far out!"

And people go on coming because they hear from others: "There is nothing like primal therapy. If you have not experienced primal therapy, your coming into existence is useless. You are here to do screaming."

The question is that Janov says man accumulates negativity, and that negativity is a chemical phenomenon. It is out of man's pain, misery, that certain chemicals start gathering in him which create the negative mind, which wants to destroy.
The miserable person always wants others to be miserable. The miserable person feels happy only when he sees somebody more miserable than himself. The miserable person becomes incapable of saying yes -- to life, to love, to beauty, to poetry, to existence. He can only say no, he cannot say yes. Yes is impossible because in his life he has not felt anything for which he should be grateful.

Janov is saying that because it is a chemical reaction, the no.... The questioner is asking: if this is the situation, that the no inside us, the destructiveness is a chemical thing, then how can you expect sannyasins to say yes to existence, to love, to joy? It is something significant to understand.

I accept the idea that misery, pain, anxiety, anguish, create certain chemical changes in your body. Just as love, joy, blissfulness, ecstasy, silence, peace -- they also create tremendously great chemical, physiological changes in your body and mind. The question will be difficult for Janov to solve, because these therapists do not believe that there is anything beyond mind, that there is anything more than the body. You are confined in a prison of physiology, chemistry, biology and you cannot be free from them just by meditating.

But neither Janov nor the questioner understand that meditation is not an effort that your chemistry which is ready to say no, should say yes. Meditation simply ignores mind. It bypasses mind; it reaches beyond mind, and once it is beyond mind it has a far superior power. And in that space beyond mind, pain has never entered.

Bliss is simply the very atmosphere beyond the mind. Once a person has touched something beyond, he has a new power. He can say yes, although his body chemistry is saying no. The body is a servant. Just wake up your master, and the body is a servant, the mind is a servant. And once the master is there... and the master is never negative, that is beyond its nature.
It is intrinsic to your being to be creative.

You are coming from the universal creativity, you are born out of it. You are part of it, you are still connected with it. You cannot live a single second without the connection. Yes can be said, and the mind with all its chemistry will remain silent. Before the master, it has no power. All that power was derived from the master. But the master was asleep; now the master is awake and is not ready to give anything to destructiveness, to death.

No represents death.
Yes is the heartbeat of life.

So I am not saying that your mind has to say yes. No, I am saying you have to go beyond the no-saying mind. And once you have gone beyond, it is not a question of saying yes -- you are yes. Your very being is nothing but a totality of acceptance, with gratitude. Out of this, the real prayer arises. All other prayers -- in the synagogues, in the churches, in the temples, in the mosques -- are just carbon copies. The original is within you, and the original has no words. It is absolute silence, but totally positive. Silence, but so full of music... silence, but so fragrant... silence, but so luminous.

Once you have entered your real being, the mind is such a small thing... it simply starts wagging its tail. No need to hold the tail and wag it -- then perhaps it may get angry; the dog may start barking. Even a dog has a dignity of his own. He wags his tail out of his freedom -- freedom of expression! Now you are holding his tail and moving it... he will start barking: "This is too much! You are going beyond your limits, you are entering into the territory of somebody else. It is interference."

I don't want you to interfere in the mind. That's what I have been teaching for thirty years continuously: don't interfere. Just be a witness, far above. To interfere, you have to be there -- not far away, you have to be within the mind to interfere, to fight. Neither is fight needed, nor is interference needed. All that is needed is an aloofness. You are on the sunlit peak. The mind is in the dark valley. And because of your superior powers, the mind automatically follows you. You need not even give an order. It understands your new state of awakening.

You can say yes, but you will have to go into meditation. Through mind, you can force yes, but it will be superficial, hypocritical, forced. Underneath, there will be no -- vital, stronger, and soon it will throw away your yes. Let the yes come from above, from a greater, bigger source of energy. The mind will automatically follow, and when mind follows on its own, there is a beauty and there is a grace. When mind says, out of its own understanding -- because the master is awake, and now the mind cannot go on behaving in the old ways.... When the mind, out of understanding says yes, there is beauty.

One great Zen master, Hotei, was a strange man -- beautiful, very loving, but a little bit eccentric. That eccentricity adds much spice to his life. It makes his life not ordinary and flat but very meaningful.

Each morning when he would wake up, this was his routine, only broken once. The routine was that when he would feel that he was awake, before opening his eyes, he would say, "Hotei," -- that was his name -- "are you still here?" And then he would answer himself, "Yes, master." He would say, "That's good."

His disciples thought that this seemed to be crazy. Many times they asked him, "Why do you do this?"
He said, "One day, I will wake up and Hotei will not be there. And Hotei has been such a beautiful servant -- in good times, in bad times, in darknesses, in lights -- the first thing is that I want to be sure, whether Hotei is around or gone. And the moment he says `Yes, master,' I am filled again with great energy for the day's work. His `Yes!' is such a beauty, such a grace."
"But," his disciples said, "there is nobody. You are saying both things. You ask the question and you answer it."

Hotei said, "From the outside, this is how it appears, but all that appears is not real. From the inside, I am asking: `Hotei, are you here?' and it is my mind who says, `Yes, master!' As far as I am concerned, the question and the answer are coming from different sources."

But in his whole life, only once... that was the day he died. He opened his eyes and his disciples were surprised. A lifelong habit... they have also become habituated to listening to it. Something was missing -- what happened? There was silence.

And then one disciple asked: "Master, have you forgotten today? You have not asked, `Hotei, are you still here?' Have you forgotten? Are you becoming old, losing your memory?"
Hotei laughed. He said, "I am not losing my memory and I cannot become old, I am eternally young. I am not asking because I don't want to put Hotei in an embarrassing situation."

They said, "We don't understand. What is the embarassing situation?"
He said, "The embarrassing situation is that today, Hotei cannot say `Yes, master!' This is my last day. In fact, I would have died in the middle of the night. I simply managed to go on breathing for the morning, so that you all can come and I can see you for the last time. And perhaps you can also see me for the first time."

He closed his eyes and said, "Hotei, okay -- now we can go."
And he said, "Yes, master. I have been ready since the middle of the night, it is time."
Have you noted the beauty of Hotei's eccentric behavior? It looks eccentric... it is the sanest behavior possible.

Source - Osho Book "Sermons in Stones"

Related Osho Discourses:
Osho on Carl Jung and Western psychology
Osho on German Psychologist Wilhelm Reich
Osho - Accept your limitations, Accept your Imperfections
Osho on Sigmund Freud Life, Western psychology and Meditation
Osho on Psychology, Psychology is still a very very immature science
Osho on Psychology of the Buddhas and Alfred Adler idea of 'Will to Power'
Osho - Psychoanalysis and Psychosynthesisis cannot solve man's problems
Osho on Western Psychology - Carl Jung's technique in his psychology of Self Realization
Osho on difference in Western psychoanalytic movement & Eastern Meditation movement
Osho - Primal Therapy is part of prati-prasav. It is one of the oldest techniques of Patanjali
Osho - Freud, Jung, Janov, they all remain ill. They have never worked it out on themselves
Osho on Roberto Assagioli - Assagioli's idea of synthesis is more philosophical than existential

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