The Decline and Fall of Practically Everyone is a concise history of humanity. It is written from the point of view of someone whose outlook on life has been transformed by primal therapy and who has become a lifelong primal person. No other history has been written from this unique perspective. The Decline and Fall of Practically Everyone offers to each one who is ready for it a fresh glimpse into his own history and into a sound understanding of the course all human history has taken toward the devolution of original human consciousness into unconscious self-awareness. In Part I, the author defines consciousness, unconscious self-awareness, primal pain, primaling and what living a primal life involves. He pictures the primal life as putting one’s feet on the path toward greater consciousness. The author’s stated purpose is to wake us up to our condition of unconscious self-awareness. He feels that, unless we are awakened, humanity will continue to careen toward destroying itself and the life-sustaining nurture of Earth. The author’s approach to the necessary awakening is historical. If one can see history through primal eyes, one will not only see the devolution of consciousness into unconscious self-awareness down through the millennia, one will sense it in one’s own life and do something about it. Then in Part II, he explores various attributes of unconscious self-awareness that are relevant to a primal understanding of history. These subjects include the basic split, the point at which unconscious self-awareness completely suppresses consciousness; the location and upward movement of unconscious self-awareness in the body; the experience of time and space; the changing nature of the supreme deity and the four motifs of religion. In Part III, the author begins to explore the historical devolution of original consciousness into unconscious self-awareness. Subjects revealing the devolution include beliefs regarding the origin of the cosmos and of humanity; the destiny of the dead; shamanism; the several millennia-long invasions by Warrior God societies of Mother Goddess cultures and the revolutionary religions of Buddhism and Christianity. In the author’s view, everything that has happened since the 1st millennium B.C.E. is but a footnote to it, and he therefore skips to the Americas in the 15th century. In Part IV, the author concentrates on greed and lust for power as the chief characteristics of unconscious self-awareness in the modern period. He begins with Columbus and the euphemistically named Age of Exploration to illustrate how greed and the lust for power dominated the Western European Colonial powers. Next, he shows how the Age of Enlightenment and its major philosophers and economists provided the basis for our Founding Fathers to craft a constitution that enshrined themselves as a rich and powerful, elite ruling class. To illustrate the greed and lust for power of unconscious self-awareness in the rest of U.S. history, he discusses economics, individualism, class and class struggle, differences among people and between men and women in the degree of unconscious self-awareness, family parenting models, unilateralism as the national expression of individualism and the U.S. as a nation dominated by greed, by a lust for power, by a quest for world domination and by the willingness to use violence and terror to achieve these ends. In the final chapter, the author reiterates his purpose of awakening his readers from the state of unconscious self-awareness. In contrast to a strictly psychological approach to fulfill his purpose, the author has adopted, in addition, a perspective that encompasses the whole sweep of human history. He ends by offering a cautious optimism for the future.
Victor Novander is a child of the Great Depression, having been born on August 14, 1930, in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. As a child in neighboring Berwyn, he learned to eat every morsel of food on his plate, to not waste anything and to live within one’s means. Aside from the Depression, “sonny boy” suffered at the hands of a cold, sometimes cruel father and an unloving mother. He graduated in 1944 from Emerson Grade School in Berwyn and from Morton High School in Cicero, Illinois, in 1948. While attending Morton Junior College in 1948, he received a call to the ministry. He finished his undergraduate studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1952. In the summer of 1952, he married his high school sweetheart. That fall he entered McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. Two of his four children were born while he was in seminary. Even before his graduation in 1955, he was aware that he was failing as a husband, as a father and as a student minister, firstly in Ogden Dunes, Indiana, and secondly in Paw Paw, Illinois. For the next eleven years, he struggled with his sense of failure as a Presbyterian minister. At the end of that time, he realized he was not suited for the ministry and left that profession. His sense of failure as a husband and father continued. In 1966, he began working for United California Bank as a trust administrator. He retired from First Interstate Bank of California—the successor to UCB—when he was fifty-five years old in 1985. While working for UCB, he entered Arthur Janov’s Primal Therapy in the fall of 1974. The benefits were immediate and permanent. He no longer felt that he was a failure. Primaling showed him that he could not have been other than he was at any time in the past; he experienced self-acceptance. He realized that from his childhood on he had become unconscious, that is, without this knowing it, his every thought, his every emotion and his every deed were controlled by the buried pain of his childhood. He knows that as he continues on the primal path he is slowly restoring his childhood consciousness. For most of the twenty years since retirement, he has lived in Central Oregon. There, he spends his time writing, golfing, skiing, hiking, photographing, cycling, attending concerts, bird-watching and being in a loving relationship. During the past twenty-five years, two of his interests have been continuously active: writing and macrophotography. He developed a unique method of presenting slide shows and over the years has given numerous shows to rapt audiences. Wildflowers and abstracts are his subjects. Using two slide projectors and a dissolve unit, he superimposes the close-up images. With background music, his own commentary and the responses of his audiences memorable experiences of sight, sound and color are created. He writes about his life as a primal person because he wants to share with others the benefits he has received through primaling. It has taken over ten years to do the research and to make all the connections necessary to produce The Decline and Fall of Practically Everyone. By his writing, he hopes to leave this world a little bit more conscious than when he entered it.