cover image Primal Connections

Primal Connections

Elizabeth Noble / Author, Ashley Montagu / Foreword by Simon &

Noble, an obstetrical and gynecological physical therapist, offers the premise that people's pre- and perinatal experiences greatly affect their lives--and particularly the way in which women give birth, as they tend to repeat the pattern of their own birth. But she carries this initially intriguing theory too far, as when she insists that metaphors like ``I'm in a pinch'' refer to emotions experienced in the birth canal. Her thesis that people can actually recall the moment of their conception and get in touch with the feelings of the egg and sperm involved in that process is hard to swallow, and Noble completely ignores the tremendous political implications inherent in the idea that people can remember their mothers' failed attempts to abort them. Her personal recollections are the least convincing material here; the correlation between her artificial insemination and her daughter's losing a finger in an accident is painfully forced. There is fascinating anecdotal material about primal regression--in which people imagine themselves back in the womb and figuratively re-experience their own birth--but little of the evidence is documented in a scientific manner. (Feb.)