By John A. Speyrer

During the past twenty-one years, I have had only three primals in which very clear visual elements comprised an important part of the feeling. Many others have involved such scenes but lacked visual detail or were incomplete and/or fleeting.

Recent studies have confirmed the truth learned in primal therapy that vision in new-born infants is very well developed. There have been many reports of individuals in primal therapy (or in other regressive states) re-living early crib primals which involved the sense of vision. Recognizing one's mother's robes and other items of clothing, the shape and color of the crib, crib toys, etc. during these primals of early infancy are common.

"The eyes of the mother, and the entire face of the mother, are the child's first mirror."
-- from The Birth of the Living God (1979), by Ana-Maria Rizzuto, M. D.
Idea attributed to David Winnicott, M D. in Playing and Reality, (1971)


One of my most vivid early infancy primals dealt with visions of my mother's young face. During the primal I particularly noticed her eyes. Her eyes looked tired, but their most important characteristic was their indifference. During the primal I saw her eyes from different angles. These snap-shot like images were in the form of montages with one picture superimposed over the other. And the edges of the previous montage were visible! It was as though a command had been given to access my memory database to recover all images of my mother's young face in which indifference or tiredness was present.

During the primal I remembered my early childhood fears of people looking at me. The dread was so severe that I did not attend my grammar school graduation. In college, I often dropped courses if the oral presentation of a report was required. Being the center of attention for more than a few moments would make me anxious and I'd feel embarrassed, so recounting a long story was impossible. While I still am reluctant to recount a long story, I find that being looked at is less active as a trigger and I am more able to concentrate on getting my point across instead of the fact that other people are looking at me taking up all of my attention.

Since primalling began, I slowly became less self conscious about being looked at. it has become necessary to make verbal presentations. The dreaded chore has become easier. I used to not look at the audience, but I do now and have found that no one out there was out to get me, so I am able to concentrate on the presentation which then becomes even easier.


This series of primals involving surgery were always accompanied by much fear. I could visualize a number of people who were dressed in white, surrounding me as I lay down on a table. I wanted everyone to keep away from me. I raised my hands in a pushing away manner and felt and said ``Go Away'' and ``Leave Me Alone.'' I re-lived being on an operating table before surgery and wanted the surgical team to keep their distance. During the feeling I sensed and had glimpses of a shiny metallic tube being placed in my mouth. Invariably, the feeling of fear would increase until the primal would shut off itself. During a holotropic breathwork session I was able to go further into the feeling. I feel certain that I have more to feel about this feeling since each primal dealing with the surgery was not accompanied with insight.


The feeling involving this material had begun as had so many other birth primals. I lay on my back or side on my living room floor and had begun a birth re-living primal of choking, coughing, and spitting up of phlegm.

Soon I was age four or five and standing up in a circular wading pool in the Opelousas, Louisiana City Park, near its deepest part, which was about two feet, and near its center. The bottom of the pool, in that area, was slimy when suddenly I had lost my footing and fell backwards into the water. All of my sensory inputs recorded the memory of what had happened. I relived the foul taste of the water, the feel of the water and the vision of what I had seen through the pool's surface that summer day many years earlier.

But rather than being there, I was on my back on my living room floor re-living a near drowning of my childhood. During the primal scene, I could see the sun in the sky through the foot or so of water. Because of the angle of the sun, I knew that the trauma had occured relatively early in the afternoon. I re-experienced the discomfort as my lungs filled up with the pool water and tasted the foul water.

And then, very soon thereafter, I was back on my living room carpet, re-living my birth as I coughed, choked and began spitting up phlegm once again. It was obvious to me that due to a similarity of the physical and emotional content of both traumas, the two different re-livings had tapped into an unconscious although linked memory source.

During the near-drowning episode, I was very aware of my surroundings at the pool. The incident took place near the center of the pool which contained statuary and a fountain. During the primal the appearance of this area, where the near-drowning incident happened, was unusually clear. After an hour or so after the primal, I drove to the park where the incident had occurred since I had a strong need to compare the appearance of the immediate area with what I had "seen'' during the regression.

The area, where the water fountain was located, was different from its appearance in the regressive experience, since that center area had been remodeled. That was understandable since the incident had occurred some fifty years earlier!