Mr. Ahmadinejad, the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, visited New York in September of 2007. He was invited to speak at Columbia University on September 24, 2010. Among the different issues that he talked about, which elicited some applause from the audience, he was also asked the following question; “Mr. President” a student asked, “Iranian women are now denied basic human rights and your government has imposed a doctrine of punishment including execution on Iranian citizens who are homosexuals. Why are you doing those things?” President Ahmadinejad through a translator replied “… We in Iran do not have homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country, in Iran there are no things like this. We don’t know who told you those things.” This prompted laughter and booing of the audience.
Mr. Ahmadinejad in a way is right. There was no homosexuality “like this” in the United States too about fifty years ago. There were no gays in the military, the policy of “don’t ask don’t tell” was unheard of, let alone repealing it. There was no issue of gay marriage. Such issues were unheard of. So one may ask, where did this issue come from and how did this issue gain such importance today in the United States. The answer to this question is that the issue of homosexuality existed then, but was harshly repressed and therefore was partly hidden and partly denied. Now how does this matter relate to orgonomy and what is the Reichian prospect of it?
The character analytic technique which was discovered and introduced by Dr. Wilhelm Reich, leads us to the recognition of the human psychological structure in a way that is different from the previously comprehended one. It leads us to the realization that the human psychological structure is composed of three layers. The outer layer, the middle layer, and the core. The outer layer of the human character structure is the one that the person superficially presents to the world, usually restrained, polite, compassionate, social, etc. The middle layer however, through character analytic techniques, is discovered to be full of conflicting feelings and secondary drives consisting of different sexual and violent perversions, desires, fantasies, rage, sadness, and in short, whatever is repressed. This corresponds to the Freudian unconscious segment. In the core however, we find the good characteristics of humans, with genuine love, compassion, sexual desire with love and affection, industrious potentials, etc. Dr. Reich, in the book, Mass Psychology of Fascism, says the following;
“Extensive and painstaking therapeutic work on the human character has led me to the conclusion that, as a rule, we are dealing with three different layers of the biopsychic structure in the evaluation of human reactions. As I demonstrated in my book Character-Analysis, these layers of the character structure are deposits of social development, which function autonomously. On the surface layer of his personality, the average man is reserved, polite, compassionate, responsible, conscientious. There would be no social tragedy of the human animal if this surface layer of the personality were in direct contact with the deep natural core. This, unfortunately, is not the case. The surface layer of social cooperation is not in contact with the deep biologic core of one’s selfhood; it is borne by a second, an intermediate character layer, which consists exclusively of cruel, sadistic, lascivious, rapacious, and envious impulses. It represents the Freudian “unconscious” or “what is repressed”; to put it in the language of sex-economy, it represents the sum total of all so-called “secondary drives…
If one penetrates through this destructive second layer, deeper into the biologic substratum of the human animal, one always discovers the third, deepest, layer, which we call the biologic core. In this core, under favorable social conditions, man is an essentially honest, industrious, cooperative, loving and, if motivated, rationally hating animal.”
Our social structure and social institutions correspond to our individual character structure. In fact, it can not be any different. Under the superficial but harsh repression of strict, compulsory moralistic social structure, many desires and impulses are repressed. Some of these core impulses become distorted because of environmental pressures. Aggression becomes hate, spite, meanness, etc. Warm, open contact becomes superficiality, turbidness etc. Others are simply repressed because they are punishable or merely dishonored in society.
We know by our experience in treatment of individuals that unless the functions of the outer layer are exposed and the secondary layer is revealed, one cannot reach the individual’s core. This process is also true in the social domain. In the book Reich Speaks of Freud, Reich says the following:
“It goes very deep. I don’t know whether you are acquainted with the orgonomic picture of the structure of the human character–the “core,” the “middle layer,” and the “periphery.” It gives one a very practical tool with which to work with patients. It is a bio-energetic tool. You can’t get at the human character by psychoanalytic means. You have to reach it with character analysis or orgone therapy. Human beings live emotionally on the surface, with their surface appearance. Correct? In order to get to the core where the natural, the normal, the healthy is, you have to get through that middle layer. And in that middle layer there is terror. There is severe terror. Not only that, there is murder there. All that Freud tried to subsume under the death instinct is in that middle layer. He thought it was biological. It wasn’t. It is an artifact of culture. It is a structural malignancy of the human animal. Therefore, before you can get through to what Freud called Eros or what I call orgonotic streaming or plasmatic excitation (the basic plasma action of the bio-energetic system), you have to go through hell. Just through hell! This is true for the physician as well as the patient. In this hell, there is confusion, schizophrenic breakdown, melancholic depression. They are all there. I have this in Character Analysis. I don’t have to repeat it. But why bring the Life Force in here? There is only one reason: to show you why nobody wanted to touch it or to get at the biological core where I was working at that time. Before you can reach that core, you must encounter hate, terror, murder. All these wars, all the chaos now–do you know what that is to my mind? Humanity is trying to get at its core, at its living, healthy core. But before it can be reached, humanity has to pass through this phase of murder, killing and destruction. What Freud called the destructive instinct is in the middle layer. A bull is mad and destructive when it is frustrated. Humanity is that way , too. That means that before you can get to the real thing–to love, to life, to rationality- you must pass through hell. This has very grave implications for social development. I don’t want to go into it now, but I wanted to explain why the psychoanalysts refused, unconsciously, to touch what I was working with. If I had fully known its consequences, I would have run myself. I don’t want to make myself better than the others, you understand. At that time, I would have run. I couldn’t run today. The bridges are burned behind me. Looking back, I understand it. It is very dangerous…”
So, if our observations, our theories, our deductions and generalizations are right and logical, which seem to be so as we see them in our patients, and which history also reflects and attests to it’s righteousness in the social domain, then Mr. Ahmadinejad and for that matter any other leader, should expect the emergence of repressed elements, some of them undesirable and not social, and some of them progressive and social, but unacceptable in the present day social structure. This is of course if the repressive, compulsory authoritarian and harshly punitive structure in the process of democratic movements softens up. This, from our point of view, will be a good thing, and is the only hope that eventually societies and humanity will reach to it’s core and embrace the values that humans are ordained to have.
Orgonomy, based on principles and guidelines set forth by Dr.Wilhelm Reich, can provide an understanding of natural and healthy versus unnatural and distorted, and can function as pharos to navigate through this process.