Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

A new simple straightforward therapy to remember the past and regain flexibility

Our brain does more than continuously broadcast thoughts, audio clues, feelings, and dreams as hints of what memories we are ready to clean up. It also sends us visual images constantly, if we would only pay attention.

I assume that you don’t know what I’m talking about. Something that is always there, visible, but ignored by all forever? Yes! What did I discover?

When we close our eyes and look into the dark, we see a stream of black-and-white images. (I don’t mean the negatives of what we just saw around us. Just get used to the dark and these aftereffects will disappear.) We don’t see a blanket gray of black. It may have geometric shapes, snapshots, or even moving pics from our early years. When we describe what we see, we immediately will have associations of memories, of feelings from then.


At pivotal moments, when our brain synapses fused from tension (so to speak), we seared into our retinas (our visual cortex), what we saw then. And, we can see these images in black and white whenever we close our eyes. Clear clues to go back there and unfreeze these desperate memories.

Grownups are not just larger than children and more knowledgeable. We also are often more rigid. And we may have learned a ton but we also forgot much. Our lost memory and flexibility can all be restored. We only need to talk about what comes up when we describe what we see in black and white when we close our eyes.

First, let’s talk about these are pictures from the time that we froze and got stuck. Then, let’s ask ourselves what we needed then, to not freeze and stay flexible. What piece of hope or information would have prevented us then from getting stuck then?

We still can supply this mental boost to get a new lease on mental life.

If only I would have known that thing would get better. That I’m lovable and will be well-loved later in life. If only someone would have held my hand and said, you’re not alone/you will not stay alone/there are many others like you/it’s not your fault. If only someone would have whispered into my ear that I don’t need to always feel the way the people around me feel–that I will have alternatives later in life. If only …


It’s a new simple therapy. In addition to another new longer therapy that I described before in two articles. These two therapies are based on much respect for our brain. It knows exactly what it is doing. Let’s profit from it.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry, and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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