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|A BRIEF HISTORY OF ORGONE
Where do mental problems come from? The answers given depend on one’s psychological theory. Most of what we know about the mind originates from Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory, which proved two major theorems: there is an unconscious and sexuality influences it. I will not address the behavioral or recent intellectual theories as I feel they are more concerned with behavior modification than with structural change.
Analysis works with the mind and the vehicle to influence it--language. Certainly, analysts have not discarded the emotions, and know that it is an important component for cure (transference, insight with catharsis.) But they have relegated the emotions to a secondary position, and perchance this is a reason why after many years in analysis, one is smarter, but not necessarily better. In my opinion, talk has limitations on three grounds: 1) talk can be empty, 2) not carrying any affect, or 3) deceiving. I shall follow up on my specialty, which is the second reason—having to do with emotion.
Emotions uplift us to heights that are extolled in great works of classic art, rightly pointing out the connection to the heavens. Great religions swear their hearts to the God in the cosmos. Are there truths to the metaphor of love being otherworldly? It was with the discovery of a specific biological energy by a psychoanalytically trained scientist, that the origin of emotions became known.
Wilhelm Reich, Freud’s student, was aware that not all clients became healthy even when insights emerged in therapy. The outcome was much better for those who were in a satisfying love relationship, hence adding credence to the libido theory of charge/discharge. Thus, the libido had to be more than just a mental thought--more like an energy that flows in the muscles and organs.
After scientific experiments with an oscilloscope to test the movement of feelings in the body, and a microscope to view simple life forms in motion (e-motion), Reich objectified a bluish pulsating energy that he called orgone. Much like the sun, it had life positive properties including killing bacteria and tanning the skin. In a (single-cell) amoeba, the energy was in the cytoplasm (the fluid material that made up the inner cell) behind the membrane. When the amoeba was unimpeded, the cytoplasm moved back and forth, concurrently pushing or withdrawing its pseudopods (false feet). When disturbed/threatened, it shrunk into a ball and remained so until the danger passed. Reich observed that these were very simplistic emotions of pleasure and unpleasure, and as a natural scientist, regarded this pulsation applied to humans as well.
Other forms of even simpler life forms were examined under the microscope, and they too had a bluish aura permeating them, consequently leading to the discovery of a radiating energy. With further experimentation, this energy was found to be present everywhere, including the cosmos, demonstrating that we are indeed part of nature. We just behave differently than a cloud or planet, since all biological life functions in a self-limiting and self-organized manner (i.e. a cat climbs, a salamander crawls, a human talks). It is within our self-organization where psychological problems lay, as trauma causes structural changes with the flow of orgone. Acupuncture, the theory of chakras, and yin yang are keenly aware of a blockage of life energy, but it was Reich who measured it objectively.
In orgone therapy, the emotional and physical aspects of the person are analyzed in order to identify the blocks and work to free them. This work takes time and must be done attentively, with the patient’s ego fully involved. As Freud discovered, there is a strong resistance to change; in orgonomy this simply means structured in the muscles. To form a positive relationship with the therapist and support the shedding of inhibitive defenses, the second component of orgone therapy, Character Analysis is used conjointly.
Character analysis analyzes a person’s character structure via the way they behave and think. We all have our character type stemming from the repression and/or unsatisfaction of erogenous zone development during childhood. Consequently, we all carry a specific “red thread” that mediates everything within us, from consciousness to habitual ways of acting. It is this misguided and defensive red thread that is unveiled during therapy, encouraging insight and collaboration from a client who has experienced their personal truth.