Tag Archive | "emotional armoring"

From Freud’s Psychoanalysis to Orgone Therapy:


The Psychiatric, Medical, and Social Consequences

Orgone therapy originated from Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis and evolved into the body of knowledge that Freud himself no longer recognized as his own. Reich described the evolution of this body of knowledge in his book, Function of Orgasm. This book provides a synopsis of the development of Orgonomy from psychoanalysis so that the interested reader will recognize its scientific basis, logical development, and its importance in people’s lives.

Reich became involved with psychoanalysis in 1919 as a student at the University of Vienna. He recounted a time during an anatomy lecture when students passed around a leaflet requesting the creation of a seminar on sexology for medical students. He attended the meeting and by fall of 1919, he was elected as chairman of the seminar. In this role, it was Reich’s job to produce literature, so he interviewed a variety of well-known professors and specialists in the field. “Freud was different,” Reich wrote. “Whereas the others all played some kind of a role, Freud did not put on any airs. He spoke with me like a completely ordinary person. . . . [Although] I had been apprehensive about going to him, I went away, cheerful and happy. From that day on, I spent 14 years of intensive work in and for psychoanalysis. In the end, I was extremely disappointed in Freud. Fortunately, this disappointment did not lead to hatred and rejection. Quite the contrary,” Reich wrote. “Today I can appreciate Freud’s achievement in a far better and deeper way than I could in those days of youthful enthusiasm. I am happy to have been his student for such a long time, without having to criticize him prematurely and with complete devotion to his cause” (#1). Reich’s statement reflects his deep involvement in and devotion to the psychoanalytic movement, as well as his knowledge of the theory and techniques of psychoanalysis. His statement also reflects his devotion to and respect for Freud, its founder.

Freud’s theory and technique in psychoanalysis was based on making the unconscious roots of symptoms conscious through free association. He contended that by free associating one idea triggers another, eventually unearthing the unconscious roots of the symptoms. Freud suggested free association connect ideas to each other like links in a chain; one link connects to the next and eventually will lead to the unconscious roots of the patient’s neurotic symptoms. By unearthing these unconscious roots, he stated that the patient would improve. The technique of psychoanalysis requires that the patient lie on a couch with the analyst sitting behind the patient’s head, preferably out of the his/her sight. The analyst then gives hints or suggestions to guide the patient to a deeper level of the unconscious and provide a timely interpretation of the patient’s verbal associations. Difficulties in this process were many, most importantly, the patient’s resistance of free associating and revealing unconscious material. Freud suggested strategies to overcome this resistance; however, they did not always work.

The seeds of orgonomy and consequent departure of Reich from Freud date back to 1920 when Freud sent a student to Reich for psychoanalysis. The young man was suffering from a compulsion to ruminate and compulsion to count numbers. Reich treated this patient for several months and eventually an incest fantasy burst into his consciousness, and for the first time the patient masturbated with gratification. All of his symptoms vanished at once, but within 8 days they gradually returned. He masturbated again and the symptoms disappeared again only to return few days later. This went on for several weeks and finally Reich and his patient succeeded in identifying the root of his patient’s guilt about masturbation and by alleviating some of these irrational feelings, his condition visibly improved. After a total of 9 months, Reich terminated the treatment and the patient’s condition had significantly improved; thus, he was capable of working again. The patient remained free of symptoms over a period of 6 years during which Reich had minimal contact with him (#2).

Simultaneously, Reich was analyzing a waiter who was totally incapable of having an erection. During the third year of the patient’s analysis, Reich stated, “We arrived at the perfect reconstruction of ‘primal scene.’ He was about 2 years old when this occurred. His mother gave birth to a child and from the adjacent room, he had been able to observe every detail of the delivery. The impression of a large bloody hole between the mother’s legs became firmly ingrained in his mind. On a conscious level, there remained only the sensation of “emptiness” in his own genitals. Based on psychoanalytic knowledge of that time, I merely connected his inability to have an erection with his severely traumatic impression of the castrated female genitalia. This analysis was no doubt correct”(#3). Reich stated, “At that time I incorrectly assessed the total personality of my patient. He was a very quiet, well-mannered and well-behaved person and did everything that was asked of him. He never got excited. In the course of three years of treatment, he never once became angry or exercised criticism. Thus, according to prevailing thought, he was a fully ‘integrated, adjusted’ character with only one acute symptom (monosypmtomatic neurosis)” (#3). Reich presented this case to the older analysts and he was praised for his precise analytical work, and they considered the analysis to be successful. However, Reich wondered that if the treatment had, in fact, been successful, then why had the patient not improved? “It did not occur to any of us that it was precisely this emotional tranquility and unshakable equanimity which formed the pathological characterological basis on which erectile impotence could be maintained . . . . I terminated the analysis several months later and the patient had not been cured” (#3). Reich stated that the patient accepted the termination of treatment as he had accepted everything else in his life: with placidity, politeness, and passivity.

These contrasting cases formed the premises of two main orgonomic theories: the theory of orgasm and the theory of armoring. The theory of orgasm is illustrated in the first patient who was able to achieve orgasm and was ultimately cured. In contrast, the theory of armoring is evident in the second patient, who was unable to have an orgasm due to the makeup of his character—resistant to and armored against the flow of biological energy which energizes manifestations of rage, anger, love and sexuality. In order for a person to have orgastic potency, he must surrender to this flow, free of inhibition, and completely discharge the dammed-up sexual energy, allowing the involuntary, pleasurable convulsions of the body. These two theories, then, are inextricably bound: if one does not resolve this armoring, then one cannot develop orgastic potency.

The concept of sexual-biological energy that Freud called it libido energy and Reich named it orgone energy, has a central importance in orgonomy and will be talked about later in this article. For now however, let’s go back to describing the theory of orgasm and the theory of armoring,- the two main theories of psychiatric orgone therapy.

Reich reported several other cases and concluded that orgastic impotence is not simply one of many symptoms of neurosis; it is, in fact, the most significant symptom as well as the cause of neurosis. Reich argued, “Not a single neurotic individual possesses orgastic potency, and the majority of men and women are neurotic” (#4). However, some of Reich’s colleagues asserted that they knew a number of patients who had completely healthy sexual lives. Nonetheless, Reich claimed that if one looked more deeply at this proclaimed sexual potency, one would find it ingenuine or insincere because although these patients were capable of having erections and sexual intercourse, these sexual relations were contaminated with strange fantasies, reflecting a pathology, and these patients often could not reach orgasm or struggled with premature ejaculation, or at the time of ejaculation they would experience no pleasure and at times opposite of it disgust and discontent. Reich further elaborates on the orgastic potency of neurotic patients and states “The more precisely my patients described their sexual behaviors and experiences, the more convinced I became that all patients without exception are severely disturbed in their genital functioning. . . . It became quite clear that although they were sexually potent, such men experienced very little pleasure at the moment of ejaculation, or they experienced the exact opposite, disgust and displeasure” (#5). This reflects the fact that although these patients were erectively potent, but they were orgastic impotent. An orgastic potent person will experience the sexual orgasm as defined by Reich “Orgastic potency is the capacity to surrender to the flow of biological energy, free of any inhibitions: the capacity to discharge completely the dammed up sexual excitation through involuntary pleasurable convulsions of the body.”(#4)

While Reich’s theory of orgasm evolved from Freud’s theory of stasis neurosis (P-1), Reich’s own clinical observation and investigation and patients’ discussions of their sexual activity, his theory of “armor” grew as a result of working on patients’ resistances to treatment. He stated that all of his data and experiences with patients led him to conclude that a patient’s “personality” or “character” creates the chief obstacle in the curing of the patient.

(P-1) Stasis Neurosis: Freud’s initial theory of neurosis indicating that development of neurosis is a consequence of unrelieved sexual energy.

Discovery of the concept of the emotional and physical armoring is one of the most important discoveries in psychiatry. This claim was supported by Dr. Morton Herskowitz in a speech at the IOS spring conference in 2015 . (#6)

Dr. Morton Herskowitz

Herskowitz stated: “I think that the discovery of emotional armoring is one of the most important discoveries in the history of psychiatry. I think that it reaches places that have never been reached by therapy before. I think it does things to people that have never been done before. I don’t think it’s a cure-all for all psychiatric problems. It doesn’t help psychosis unless you work the way Reich did, which most of us can’t, and it doesn’t help Alzheimer’s and lots of disorders in psychiatry that it doesn’t deal with, but in the matters that it does deal with, it has an effect like no other therapy”. (#6)

The theory of armoring and the need to resolve it for successful treatment of the patient is evident in the aforementioned case of the waiter who did not improve even though the unconscious roots of his neurotic symptoms became conscious. As the reader may recall, the waiter discovered the unconscious root of his impotence, but he maintained his rigid attitude and passive demeanor. Consequently, he did not allow his feelings to surface. After 3 years of psychoanalysis, he accepted the results of the analysis without any protest as he had accepted everything else in his life. His character armor was intact and actively functioning throughout his psychoanalytic sessions without his or his analyst’s awareness. His character structure thus caused and maintained his neurotic symptoms.

In orgonomy, armor is defined as the organism’s defense mechanism, consisting of emotional and physical rigidity, sometimes expressed by chronic muscle spasms, and functioning as a defense against the expression of emotions, primarily anxiety, rage, and sexual excitation. (#7) Armoring develops while a child interacts with his or her environment. The anti-sexual mores and authoritarian upbringing of children, prevalent in most cultures around the word, are the main cause of armoring and thus restrict the character in children and adolescents, inhibiting
natural drives and impulses.

Schematically, the process of armoring is as follows:

From the book, “Character Analysis” by Dr. Wilhelm Reich. (#8)

The primary and natural drives are prohibited by the outer world. Under prolonged prohibition of these natural drives, the primary drive force dissociates and part of it turns against itself; consequently, psychological and physical armoring sets in. Schematically, it is depicted below.

Id = Defense and change of function

C = Armoring and structural lack of contact

From the book, “Character Analysis” by Dr. Wilhelm Reich. (#8)

Children initially protest the inhibitions that are imposed on them by crying and throwing temper tantrums, but eventually they submit to the pressure for their survival and adjust. Part of them identifies with the oppressor and eventually they become the oppressor themselves and an enemy of anyone who expresses the wishes for which they had once longed. The orgonomic model of a healthy unarmored organism is the depicted as below.

Schematic depiction of psychological structure based on orgonomic theories (core, middle layer, and outer layer). (#9)

Diagram depicting basic functions in an armored organism. The inhabitation of primary impulses produces secondary impulses and anxiety.(#10)

Once the organism becomes armored, the primary impulses that are natural—rational love, natural sexuality, rational anger and rational hate—become distorted. Armoring thus changes a person’s behavior and demeanor, compelling the person to act involuntarily, a behavior that was unfamiliar to him as a child, before the armoring had set in. He does things that he had once hated when he was still healthy and unarmored. Many of my patients have told me, “Doctor, I hated it when my parents were doing this, and I never thought that I would do the same, but I am surprised that I am now doing it to my children.”

Herskowitz (1993) discussed the changes that armoring causes in human behavior:

Armoring converts free laughter into a chuckle or twitter; it may cause a woman to speak in a little girl’s voice. It does not merely change a function by degree but by a kind. It renders behavior more predictable, more stereotyped. Armoring puts life in constraint. Armoring is most often revealed in muscular tension but it is also revealed in eyes that are glazed, in excessive body fat, etc. [Armoring] is a dynamic event and it entails the consumption of energy. It constrains us physically, emotionally, and ideationally. It is a cocoon to which we gradually become accustomed. (#11)

While the human psychological structure model in psychoanalysis is based on the psychoanalytic theories of “conscious” and “unconscious” or “id, ego, and superego”, the model in orgonomy is based on the core, middle layer, and outer layer. Reich described this model as follows:

On the surface layer of his personality, the average man is reserved, polite, compassionate, responsible, and conscientious. There would be no social tragedy of the human animal if this surface layer of the personality were directly connected with the deep, natural core. This, unfortunately, is not the case. The surface layer of social cooperation is not connected with the deep biological core of one’s selfhood: It is borne of a second, intermediate layer, consisting 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 2, it represents the sum total of all so-called “secondary drives”. (#12)

Secondary drives, as mentioned earlier, are distorted and perverted byproducts of natural drives that develops as a consequence of armoring. The concept of secondary drives is specific to Orgonomy (See diagram depicting basic function in armored organism).

While psychoanalytic treatment of neurosis is based on free association and its goal is making the unconscious conscious, in psychiatric orgone therapy, the treatment is designed to dissolve the armor, liberate the energy encrusted in it, and restore the natural flow of biological energy. Dissolution of the armor brings about fundamental changes in the patient’s behavior that are quite impressive. The elimination of the armor restores the natural flow of energy throughout the body from the center to the periphery and restores the orgastic potency. The treatment technique for dissolution of character armor is thus called “character analysis”.

In character analytic technique, the most important considerations are the patient’s demeanor and behavior; whereas in psychoanalysis the focus is on the content of the patient’s statements, i.e., what the patient is saying. Once the patient becomes aware of his idiosyncratic behaviors, he will likely recognize the defensive function of that behavior. For instance, one of my patients’ was unable to open his eyes without squinting. When confronted with this specific behavior, he stated, “Doctor, I feel a great deal of shame, and that is why I am unable to open my eyes.” Another patient maintained a constant smile during most of our sessions. After I pointed out that she was smiling while describing an emotionally painful event in her life, she understood the significance of her facial expression and explained, “Doctor, I’ve hidden my feelings all my life by maintaining a constant smile.” Her smile immediately faded into sadness, tears began falling and she soon broke into sobs. (P-2)

(P-2) Sex-economy is the body of knowledge within the orgonomy which deals with the economy of the biological energy (orgone energy) in the organism

A distinction between character analytic technique and psychoanalysis is the emphasis on how a patient says something rather than what he says. Words can lie, but behaviors and attitudes do not. In psychoanalysis, for example, it is common to interpret the verbal material as the patient speaks; however, in character analysis, we do not necessarily follow that pattern because by experience we know that as long as the patient’s demeanor, behavior, and attitude remain untouched and intact (i.e., as long as the armor is in place), the therapist’s interpretation will, at best, give the patient an intellectual understanding of his symptoms but no relief from them. Thus, the symptoms will persist, as described earlier in the case of the waiter. In contrast, character analysis brings unexpected, intense changes in patients. Reich provided the following examples:

Quite spontaneously, the patients began to experience the moralistic attitude of the world around them as something alien and peculiar. No matter how tenaciously they might have defended premarital chastity beforehand, now they experience this demand as grotesque. Such demands no longer had any relevance for them; they became indifferent to them. Their attitudes toward their work changed. If they had previously worked mechanically, not demonstrating any real interest, and had considered their work a necessary evil which one takes upon oneself without giving it much thought, now they became discriminating ….

The change in the sexual sphere was just as pronounced. Patients who had felt no qualms about going to prostitutes became incapable of doing so….Wives who had patiently endured living with unloving husbands and had submitted to the sexual act out of “marital obligation” could no longer do so. They simply refused; they had had enough. (#13)

Discovery of character armor and its treatment technique character analysis has a deeper biological base. The demeanor and the behavior, the tone of speech and muscular attitude of the patient, muscular contractions etc. reflect a physical state which its manifestations are the character of the patient that we are able to observe on the surface, in the realm of psychology. Chronic muscular and physical attitude of the body inevitably brings changes to the tissues. Body and psyche in the depth are connected with each other and in orgonomy their relationship is depicted as the following schema.

From the book, “Function of Orgasm” by Dr. Wilhelm Reich. (#14)

Currently, neither medical nor psychiatric professionals deeply understand the relationship between psyche and soma partly due to their lack of familiarity with orgonomic theories. Therefore, they are unable to treat psychosomatic illnesses. Psychiatry textbooks that discuss these topics usually start with the promising idea that psyche and soma are inseparable entities, but as one continues to read, he soon discovers that the author is, in fact, discussing two distinct entities, psyche here and soma there. Consequently, current psychiatric suggestions for treating psychosomatic illnesses are vague and ultimately confusing and ineffective.

In treating psychiatric patients, doctors often encounter patients with psychological symptoms who are also suffering from physical symptoms without any detectable medical reason. For instance, patients with high levels of anxiety often suffer from shortness of breath, pressure on the chest, contraction of the throat, feeling of suffocation, gastrointestinal symptoms, and skin disorders such as rashes or itching and so on. These somatic sensations can, at times, reach delusional proportions. Because of this experience, a patient might see a number of physicians, and he may subject himself to many unnecessary tests to no avail.

I treated a man who offered considerable resistance to the uncovering of his passive homosexual fantasies. This resistance was overtly expressed in the extreme stiffness in his throat and neck (“stiff neck”). A concentrated attack on his defense finally caused him to yield, though in an alarming way. For three days he was shaken by acute manifestations of vegetative shock. The pallor of his face changed rapidly from white to yellow to blue. His skin was spotted and mottled. He experienced violent pains in the neck and back of the head. His heartbeat was rapid and pounding. He had diarrhea, felt tired, and seemed to have lost control. I was uneasy. True, I had often seen similar symptoms, but never in such a violent form. Something had happened here that, while somehow a legitimate part of the work, was not immediately intelligible. Affects [emotions] had broken through somatically after the patient had relinquished his attitude of psychic defense. Apparently the stiff neck, which emphasized austere masculinity, had bound vegetative energies [bio-sexual energy] which now broke loose in an uncontrolled and chaotic manner. A person with an ordered sexual economy [healthy and natural sexual function] is not capable of such a reaction. Only continuous inhibition and damming-up of biological energy can produce it. The musculature has served the function of inhibition. When the neck muscles relaxed, powerful impulses, as if unleashed from a taut coil, broke through. (#15)

Treating a patient’s psychological symptoms by recognizing and treating corresponding somatic manifestations has been an advancement in psychiatry and psychology. This connection between the psyche and soma in humans and higher animals is controlled by the vegetative nervous system, also referred to as the autonomic nervous system, which functions automatically , involuntarily. For instance, the pulse or heartbeat in higher animals as well as in humans is controlled by the vegetative nervous system. Understanding this connection prompted Reich to transcend treating physical and psychological symptoms separately. Instead, he began to treat patients by considering both psychological and physical symptoms as an interrelated entity, an approach that he referred to as vegetotherapy. By comprehending emotional armoring and its connection to physiological conditions, orgonomists comprehend the depth of psychological symptoms that are anchored in the body. Psychological symptoms can only be fundamentally changed if the physical roots in the somatic realm are also changed. Otherwise, the changes are superficial and often only provide a patient with an intellectual understanding of symptoms that continue to persist.

The combination of character analysis and vegetotherapy is referred to as psychiatric orgone therapy. The application of vegetotherapy, described by both Reich and Herskowitz in the book of emotional armoring, brings about impressive, observable changes. Clinicians may become inclined to use a vegetotherapeutic approach more often than character-analytic approach . However, Reich advised that both be used alternately depending on the patient’s response since s/he may respond better to one approach at one point in therapy and the other at another point. (#16)

The dissolution of character armor and its corresponding muscular, physical armor, releases emotions embedded in the armor. Consequently, doctors may observe patients expressing intense emotions such as sadness, crying, anger, or fear. At times, doctors may also see unexpected episodes of laughter, often resulting from patient’s sense of relief from the armor that had constricted the patient with painful feelings of irrational fear and anxiety throughout their lives. In such episodes, one can observe a period of elation in patients whose laughter may last for an unexpected period of time. Dissolution of the armor often is accompanied with revival of distant and forgotten memories that are attached to these feelings. Dissolution of the armor ultimately improves the flow of biological energy that has otherwise been blocked or distorted. Often, these distorted impulses manifest themselves as secondary motives which were described earlier. At times, patients are aware of these strange, irrational impulses. Secondary motives evaporate and disappear by dissolution of the armor. For example, a distorted sexual impulses contaminated with sadistic impulses evaporates and disappears not because the patient continues to suppress the expression of these impulses but because the energy source of it cease to exist and consequently the impulses disappear altogether. Everyone knows that it is far superior not to have a sadistic impulse than to have one and suppress it. In essence, dissolving one’s armor enables patients to function well by expressing primary impulses without distortion. As such, these patients attain a sense of morality that is self-regulated.

While Reich provided some explanation and description of the technique psychiatric orgone therapy in The Function of Orgasm and Character Analysis, Herskowitz, Reich’s last student, describes this therapeutic approach in detail in his book Emotional Armoring. (#17)

The biological energy which often was mentioned in this article has a central importance in orgonomy. Its source is considered to be autonomic ganglions, mostly concentrated in the lower abdominal area, solar plexus, and hypogastric and lumbosacral plexus. This assumption was supported in the experiment done in 1961. (#18)

The initiation and propagation of this energy is depicted in the following diagram. (#19)

The basic functions of the vegetative nervous system. From book, “Function of Orgasm” by Wilhelm Reich. (#19)

The concept of biological energy was first postulated by Freud, who had observed human psychological functioning and could explain certain phenomena only by acknowledging the existence of an energy, which he termed libido energy. While Freud’s followers and students began to dilute or ultimately abandon this concept, Reich recognized its fundamental importance and began to expand on it; he called it orgone energy and demonstrated its’ function in the living organism. Thereafter, he designed instruments that physically accumulated this energy and manifested its effect. (P-3)

(P-3) For further knowledge in this subject the reader is referred to the books by Dr. Wilhelm Reich, “Function of Orgasm, “Cancer Biopathy”, “Ether, God, Devil”, “Bion Experiments” and so on.

The discovery of emotional and physical armoring and the theory of orgasm has far-reaching effects in medicine, psychiatry, biology and sociology, for if psychological symptoms are rooted in the body and one’s psychological state corresponds to changes and distortions in the body tissues, then one can assume that some physical illnesses are a consequence of armoring as well. In fact, contemporary physicians and psychiatrists acknowledge the relationship between the psyche and the soma, evidenced in physical disorders such as cancer, asthma, gastrointestinal and dermatological illnesses as well as immunological deficiencies. And Reich discussed this psychosomatic relationship in the book “Cancer Biopathy”.

The term biopathies refers to all disease processes caused by a basic dysfunction in the autonomic [vegetative] life apparatus. Once started, this dysfunction can manifest itself in a variety of symptomatic disease patterns. A biopathy can result in carcinoma (carcinomatous biobathy), but it can just as easily lead to angina pectoris, asthma, cardiovascular hypertension, epilepsy, catatonic or paranoid schizophrenia, anxiety neurosis, multiple sclerosis, chorea, chronic alcoholism, etc. We are still ignorant of the function that determines the direction in which a biopathy will develop. Of prime importance to us, however, is the common denominator of all these diseases: a disturbance in the natural function of the pulsation”. (#20)

Understanding emotional and physical armoring has illuminated the concept of psychosomatic illnesses, transcending the disciplines of psychology and psychiatry and entering the spheres of physiology and biology. Once the concept of emotional armoring is fully understood, we will understand its causes as well as its social and cultural ramifications. If children are to be raised as healthy individuals as ordained by nature or God, then social and cultural institutions that cause emotional armoring should ultimately be changed, for these institutions cause armoring and emotional and physical illnesses en masse.

Neurosis in the individual is not always manifested in disturbing, torturous symptoms that torments the patient inflicted with it. These individuals may live less productive lives due to anxiety, depression, obsession and compulsions, or phobias. However, distorted impulses caused by armoring can also manifest themselves as sadistic impulses that harm others. In ogonomy such impulses are referred to as an emotional plague, and those afflicted create leaders who cause catastrophes like war and genocide. Thus, recognizing and ceasing the epidemy of armoring will inevitably create social and cultural change. Preventing armoring therefore becomes an important goal of orgonomy, transcending the spheres of psychology and medicine and impacting the social and cultural domains.

Like any other institution that combats armoring and emotional plague, institutions promoting orgonomy are vulnerable to destructive attacks from both outside and from within. But this vulnerability should not dissuade us from teaching and promoting Reich’s scientific foundation of orgonomy. I end this article with Reich’s advice to his students to persist in the discovery of scientific truth without compromise:

The scientist is duty-bound to preserve the right of freely expressing his opinions under all circumstances, and not to abandon this privilege to the advocates of the suppression of life. There is so much talk about the soldier’s duty to give his life for his country and there is too little mention of the scientist’s duty to defend, under all circumstances, what has been recognized to be true, no matter the cost” (#21).

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References

  1. Reich, W. (1973). Function of orgasm, 2nd Edition, translated by Vincent R. Carfagno (Page 35) – Original edition was published in 1942.
  2. Ibid (Page 84).
  3. Ibid (Page 85).
  4. Ibid (Page 102).
  5. Ibid (Page 100).
  6. Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy
  7. Orgonomy Glossary Selected Writings, and Introduction of Orgonomy Chester M. Raphael M.D. 1973.
  8. Reich, Wilhelm Character Analysis 1972.Third and Enlarged Edition (Page 299) – original edition was published in 1945.
  9. Reich, Wilhelm Ether, God, and Devil (Page 120) – original edition was published in 1949.
  10. Reich, Wilhelm 1973 Function of Orgasm Second Edition (Page 294) – original edition was published in 1942.
  11. Excerpts from Dr. Herskowitz lecture in Germany December 1993. Journal of Psychiatric Orgone Therapy. https://www.psychorgone.com.
  12. Reich, Wilhelm Mass Psychology of Fascism 1970. Third Edition Revised and Enlarged (Page XI) – original edition was published in 1946.
  13. Reich, Wilhelm 1973 Function of Orgasm Second Edition (Page 175) – original edition was published in 1942.
  14. Ibid (Page 266).
  15. Ibid (Page 269).
  16. Ibid (Page 330).
  17. Morton Herskowitz D.O. 1997 Emotion armoring, and introduction to psychiatric orgone therapy.
  18. Zamiatine, N. (1961). Electrophysiological analysis of excitation conduction through ganglia of the solar plexus. Journal of physiology of USSR. 47(6), 1-8.
  19. Reich, Wilhelm 1973 Function of Orgasm Second Edition (Page 293).
  20. Reich, Wilhelm Cancer Biopathy the Carcinomatous Shrinking “Definition of Biopathies”. 1973, (Page 151) – original edition was published in 1947.
  21. Reich, Wilhelm 1973 Function of Orgasm Introductory Survey (Page 16) – original edition was published in 1942.

 

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Fascistic Irrationalism
“Let There be Peace on Earth”


“Let There be Peace on Earth”

The atrocities that we are witnessing today–the destruction of cities, mass murders, people fleeing war-torn countries for unknown destinations–have recurred throughout history and are not much different from the atrocities that Reich described during both World Wars. Reich explained that this violence and destruction was a consequence of denying the natural, healthy impulses of human sexuality. In The Function of Orgasm (1973), he stated:

There is ample evidence to support the contention that the cultural upheavals of the 20th century are determined by mankind’s struggle to reclaim the natural laws of sexuality. This struggle for naturalness and harmony of nature and culture is reflected in the various forms of mystical longing, cosmic fantasies ‘oceanic’ feelings, religious ecstasies, and above all, in the advance toward sexual freedom. It is unconscious, imbued with neurotic contradictions and anxiety, and is often manifested in the forms that characterize the secondary perverse drives. A humanity which has been forced for thousands of years to deny its basic biological law and, as a consequence of this denial, has acquired a second nature which is anti-nature and can only work itself up into an irrational frenzy when it wants to restore the basic biological function and, at the same time, is afraid of doing so. The patriarchal, authoritarian era of human history has attempted to hold the asocial impulses in check by means of compulsive moralistic prohibitions. It is in this way that civilized man, if he can be indeed be called civilized, developed a psychic structure consisting of three layers. (p. 233 )

The most superficial layer, according to Reich, is the artifice, the mask of sociability that is presentable, polite, and kind. Hidden below this layer are distorted emotions, perversions of all kinds, rage, hostility, sadism, and lust, all of the feelings associated with Freud’s description of the unconscious. These distorted feelings are masked by the superficial layer of politeness, but still contain all of the repressed energy that is submerged. This second, unnatural layer is a product of the authoritarian and anti-sexual upbringing of children. However, in the third layer at the depth of the human structure, is the core of natural love, genuine sociability and natural sexuality. Reich considers this third layer the core of the human organism and believes that it remains the best hope for humanity.

During the social upheavals of his time, Reich states that after World War I European governments wanted to establish democracies, but they failed to see that human structures that were the product of thousands of years of suppression of human’s natural longings had deformed the structure of the people to a creature who carried with him under the mask of sociality, rage, hate, and distorted, antisocial impulses. These impulses broke through the superficial mask of the same people who were striving for freedom and democracy. Reich gives an example of these atrocities. He states that these repressed, antisocial feelings were manifested:

. . . in the concentration camps; in the persecution of the Jews; in the annihilation of all human decency; in sadistic, playful moving-down of entire cities by those who are capable of feeling life only when they goose-step, as in Guernica in 1936; in the stupendous betrayal of the masses by authoritarian governments claiming to represent the interest of the people; in the engulfing of tens of thousands of young people who naively and heedlessly thought that they were serving an idea; in the destruction of billions of dollars’ worth of human labor, a fraction of which would have been sufficient to eliminate poverty the world over. In short, in a St. Vitus dance which will return again and again as long as those who work and have knowledge fail to destroy the mass neurosis in themselves and outside of themselves, the neurosis which calls itself ‘“high politics”’ and thrives upon the characterological helplessness of the citizens of the earth. (In The Function of Orgasm 1973 pp. 233-234)
Depiction of Guernica by Picasso

Seventy-five years later, similar atrocities are recurring, the “St. Vitus dance” that Reich predicted would recur, repeated itself with the destruction of lives and a homeland for millions, dashing the hopes of a people who long to live their lives as they were ordained to do so. As we helplessly witness the eradication of all human decency, we are seeing only a fraction of the immense injustices around the world.

Reich’s theories were largely ignored in his time as well as in the 21st century. Not surprisingly, the same catastrophes and tragedies that plagued the 19th century continue to recur in the 21st century. According to Reich and orgonomists following him, authoritarian, anti-sexual child-rearing practices, the norm in most countries, produce people whose psychological structure is distorted, neurotic, and susceptible to fascist ideologies. In fact, this wide-scale, repressed upbringing creates individuals who are ripe for fascism. Psychopathic leaders then use this susceptibility to manipulate and mobilize the masses to fulfill self-serving profits and antisocial, destructive goals.

In Reich Speaks of Freud (1967), Reich asks and answers the proverbial question:

How is it understandable that a single Hitler or a single Diugashvili [Stalin] can control eight hundred million people? How is it possible? That was the question I introduced into sociology in 1927. And I discussed the whole thing with Freud. How is it possible? Nobody asked that question. You don’t hear about it. How is it possible that eight hundred million grown-up, hardworking, decent people can be subjugated by a single Modjue? [a character like Stalin and Mocanigo] The answer is this –and it’s quite sure and safe, and in hundred years people will know it, I hope—because infants are ruined in their emotional wanting, in their natural, emotional life expression right before their birth and after their birth. (p. 30)

… I don’t believe that there will be any solution of any social problem as long as children and adolescents grow up with stasis of biological energy—haywire, irrational, with neurotic symptoms, and so on, and so on. That is why I offered my help. Do you understand? Is it quite clear why I’m interested? I have a great interest in getting this point of view into the psychoanalytic movement.(p. 26 )

Reich states: I believe that there will be no lasting peace on our earth, and that all attempts to socialize human beings will be in vain, as long as politicians and dictators of one kind or another, who have not the slightest awareness of the actualities of the life process, continue to lead masses of people who are endemically neurotic and sexually sick Function of Orgasm (1973) (p. 12).

Reich believed that authoritarian, anti-sexual families distort and destroy the human psyche through the process of armoring during the early stages of a child’s life. This process has been discovered and discussed by Reich and by other orgonomists as well. Elementary school tragedy. During a recent lecture in Spring, 2014, Dr. Morton Herskowitz stressed the significance of the concept of armoring, stating that its discovery is one of the most important in psychiatry Dr. Herskowitz’s Speech in IOS 2015 Spring Conference. Unfortunately, this discovery has gone unnoticed in mainstream psychiatry, medicine, and scientific institutions, a consequence of the distorted characterological structure that prevails in scientific circles responsible for recognizing this discovery and implementing measures to prevent this phenomenon of armoring. Many sociological factors contribute to raising children against their natural needs. Among important sociological factors in perpetuating such upbringing of the children is the influence of the religion. In The Function of Orgasm (1973), Reich states:

Freedom of religion is dictatorship when it does not go hand in hand with freedom of science; for, when this is not the case, there is no free competition in interpretation of life process. It must be decided once and for all whether ‘God’ is a bearded, all- powerful, divine figure, or whether he represents the cosmic law of the nature, which governs us. Only if God and the laws of nature are identical is an understanding possible between science and religion. It is but one step from the dictatorship of an earthly representative of God to the dictatorship of divinely ordained savior of peoples. (p. 17)

What should be done? Reich realized that children and adolescents who grow up in oppressive, anti-sexual, families become damaged and neurotic, and acquire a second nature alien to their core nature, so he addressed youth directly in a pamphlet entitled “The Sexual Rights of Youth” (1932) The Sexual Struggle of Youth. In this pamphlet, he encouraged youth to demand their rights and gave them direction for their struggle. In The Function of Orgasm (1973), he reminded scientists, physicians and sociologists to rise to their responsibility and not to be afraid to speak scientific truth, regardless of the consequences. He says, “There is so much talk about the soldier’s duty to give his life for his country. There is too little mention of the scientist’s duty to defend, under all circumstances, what has been recognized to be true, no matter at what cost” (p. 16).

As students of orgonomy we are committed to destroying mass neurosis within ourselves as well as outside ourselves. We are well aware of the depth of emotional armoring and the immense challenge that Reich confronted to promote a healthy, unrepressed, society. As followers of orgonomy, we are committed to continue this struggle with the conviction that logic, science, and truth will ultimately prevail and “love, work, and knowledge are the wellsprings of our life. They should also govern it.” – W.R.

Posted in SociologyComments (7)

Dr. Herskowitz’s Speech in IOS 2015 Spring Conference


I think that the discovery of emotional armoring is one of the most important discoveries in the history of psychiatry. I think that it reaches places that have never been reached by therapy before. I think it does things to people that has never been done before, I don't think it's a cure it all for all psychiatric problems, it doesn't help psychosis unless you work the way Reich did which most of us can't and it doesn't help Alzheimer's and lots of disorders in psychiatry that it doesn't deal with but in the matters that it does deal with it has an affect like no other therapy.

 

Dr. Herskowitz
Dr. Herskowitz

To watch the video, please click on the link below

Posted in Biopathies & Physical Orgone TherapyComments (0)


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Wilhelm Reich – Founder of Orgone Therapy

Annals of The Institute for Orgonomic Science (December, 2015)

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