On Primal Therapy , Purnananda says it’s an inner journey of self discovery, that allows you the freedom to be more responsive rather than reactionary, more loving than critical, more compassionate than judgmental. You begin to trust yourself. The answersare in you, to discover your own feelings, and to go with them. When you start stepping into the unknown, you realize it’s the only way to be alive. People live in fear, primal helps you face your fears, and take the risk to go through them. People ask me what will it cost me to do Primal, I say, ‘Your life, as you know It.’, the old has to die, in order for the new to be born.’ Primal is one half of a whole. The other is witnessing or meditation. You can’t have one without the other. Osho used to say Primal is either the first or the last therapy you do. The first if you are all in the head or the last if you’ve done many other therapies.. Arthur Janov, author of The Primal Scream, has a background in neuro-physical psychology and is a graduate of Claremont Graduate School and the University ofCalifornia. He was working with insight therapy before he discovered primal therapy. He realized that conflicts in peoples present situations have their origins in their past, in their childhood. And any traumas that we haven’t been able to fully experience can become encapsulated in the body in the form of chronic tension or as emotional baggage; behavior patterns that cause pain, misery and suffering. In Primal these repressed feelings are released in a neuro-physiological sequence. Feelings run like this – fear, anger, pain, feeling.., a lot of what people call anger is really fear. Death is the one thing people fear the most. The other is being alone, which is also a death.
John Lennon went through Primal in 1970. He felt it was a huge improvement on his time spent with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It seems that Janov had come up with a cure for the cure, screaming as a remedy for the Maharishi’s meditation technique. Afterwards he made the first primal album, which was considered the most important solo post-Beatles record – John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band in which on the track, ‘God’, he rejects all his past belief systems and declares, ‘The dream is over’.
Purnananda says, when I did therapy with Janov, it saved my life. It would be just another step on the way. The final step was Osho. I came to India biased against meditation as Janov was against meditation. He felt it was not existential. Of course, people do meditation techniques and think that that’s meditation. Meditation is a happening, it’s not a doing. An enlightened master can take you right through it. What are masters for? To wake you up!
Purnananda came to Osho in 1976. He remembers a darshan with him, when he had asked “Purnananda, something to say?” I said, “Everyday is different”. His reply was, “Yes it is. And if you think it isn’t, it’s only the mind”. I was like a kid. How to keep that space..? Primal has played a part in that. You can’t do Primal from the head. It’s not something you can figure out; it’s not some systemized thing that you can follow. That’s the beauty of it; you’re flying by the seat of your pants. If you’re a technician you’re going to fail because you have to have a presence. I am at ease with it now. It’s not a struggle, not a doing, not a performance. It’s being here, its meditation. Sometimes you have to be as gentle as a feather, and other times like a hammer. Sometimes the feather can be heavier than the hammer. The beauty with Primal is watching people come alive.
Purnananda says, go with what you feel, you will benefit from it. If you keep doing it long enough you will get to where you trust you, and then you are open to existence. Love is the key, to live totally and enjoy. Everything is an opportunity, if you look at it correctly.
Purnananda is a Primal therapist and has trained with Arthur Janov who discovered Primal therapy. He is based in Pune, India where he conducts groups and trainings, as well as travels the world where his work takes him.
Primal therapy is also available at the Osho Meditation Resort, Pune.