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Is There A Hole In Your Soul?
A Beginner's Guide to Primal Neurology

by Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D.

It doesn't matter if you have found the ideal mate and are deeply in love with the most magnificent and wonderful person in the world. Deep inside of you there may be a colossal awareness that love in the world is missing inside of your soul.

You may love your partner with all of your heart, soul, mind, passion, body, and strength and still feel something slipping inside of you. Could it be that love is at the core of the matter? Do you feel from time to time that love is missing from the world? Well . . . the pain has to break through the barriers in your brain and be released from that center of your feeling universe called the Limbic System.

You’re thinking, “I’ve heard of the Solar system . . . but what is the Limbic System?”

I'm glad you asked! The limbic system is part of the old mammalian brain, inherited by our ancestors as we evolved from reptilian creatures into warm-blooded, feeling, social, furry creatures. It is also the central relay center responsible for conveying neurotransmission messages from the old reptilian/hindbrain through the mid brain and into the higher cortical centers.

I'm sure that you don't want a long science lesson, so I’ll get to the point. The limbic system stores highly charged/primal feelings and memories. It is also involved in sleep and appetite cycles—and we should never forget the all important regions of mood, bonding, sexuality, and love. For emotional-limbic health, the all powerful therapeutic, deep emotional release method is unsurpassed in its healing abilities. (See Deep Feeling Therapy on my web site

The health of the limbic brain is critical in determining your behavior and survival as a vital and integral human being. It gives the capability of experiencing experience itself along with the emotions and feelings that you associate with those experiences. It is the existential core and center of your physical, social, spiritual and emotional life. Without the full, healthy functioning of your limbic brain you would be unable to experience passion, feelings, and the desire to make things happen in your world. It provides you with the emotional juices, both positive and negative, for living life itself!

Your limbic system is so important that without it, your higher brain centers could not adequately engage in effective problem solving, rational thinking, planning and hierarchical organization. Your limbic system sets the emotional tone for every experience that you have ever had, from before physical conception into the afterlife. So, have I got your attention?

When you over-activate your limbic system, you inflame this part of your brain and negativity takes over. Needless to say, love may go out the window and you will feel a certain lack, a hole, or a vacuum in your gut, heart and soul; this can happen when everything in your life is going perfectly. (I’m sorry! I forgot to mention depression and all the negative thoughts and physical problems associated with it).

So, how do you keep your limbic system running smoothly? The answer is: you monitor and patrol your thoughts, moods, and feelings. At the slightest drop in your healthy, normal feeling state, you can assume that your limbic system is getting overheated and negativity is on the rise. Basically, you feel like hell! So now you run to your doctor to get the latest brain-soothing medication that will put your limbic brain on steady idle.

That’s OK, but it's only one aspect of treating your limbic system with love, admiration and respect. It may also make you less of a problem to other people. But, do not kid yourself. If you do not know how to work the health of your limbic system, medication will be only partially helpful. You need to take a direct and proactive approach to effectively deal with your Feeling System.

Now, here is where the trouble starts. I have been doing therapy for over 35 years and have researched, applied, and explored just about every system known. I have to state unequivocally, that the most powerful method and most effective approach for creating emotional, spiritual and limbic system health is the Deep Feeling Method. I don't care what anyone says or thinks. I must tell the absolute and complete truth. If the problem and the pain exists in your limbic system, there is only one way to release it from your system—and that’s the deep feeling method.

If you are resistant to, defended against, or unable to willingly lie down on the floor and scream, cry, talk, verbalize, yell, gyrate, beat, roll around and fully express/exorcise/blowout/fully explode the pain from your system then you are unwilling to fully connect to your brain and body's need to eliminate the toxins (cortisol, negative thoughts/feelings etc.) from your system. It means that you are not really interested in or committed to your full resurrection and the overthrow of everything in your system that holds you back and holds you down.

If you are resistant, it means that you are unwilling to correct aberrant and abnormal neurological transmission processes. It means that you are unwilling to experience a healthy, unlimited, robust and expanded love life. It also means that you have reduced your life to limited, or even nonexistent emotional bonding to other people.

A healthy, robust and fully functioning limbic system allows you to experience the limbic high IQ and love skills that could make your life absolutely fantastic.

Are you willing to settle for a half or three-quarter life and miss out on your total potential for all that life wants to offer you? Remember: if you keep a close eye on your limbic health and do everything you can to keep this system healthy, you can restore your life to full joy!

Paul J. Hannig, Ph.D., MFCC is a licensed California marriage-and-family therapist in private practice in Chatsworth, California. He specializes in (but is not limited to) mood, anxiety and personality disorders, depression, phobias, relationships, psychosis, spiritual psychotherapy, and core identity work. His deep feeling therapy model is integrative, combining an individual and multi-generational approach. Author of Feeling People, Paul’s other books and articles can be found on his web site:

This article appeared in the March 2004 IPA Newsletter.  
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