Humanism and Existentialism: Part 5 - Wilhelm Reich - The Orgasm and the Character Shield

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The Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism, and Decentralism
Humanism and Existentialism: Part 5 - Wilhelm Reich - The Orgasm and the Character Shield

"Love today is a fuck at first sight." - charlie777pt

1- Introduction

"Shit, I'm Lucid" - Fernando Pessoa

Today, populisms and exacerbated nationalisms blur the wisdom of the citizen, which sovereignty is being manipulated by a mastermind plan that erases the rationality needed to plan the planet's future and ourselves.
The Digital Age transition is not focused in fighting the injustice of the growing inequalities, the decarbonization problem, climate change, pollution and the untreated garbage like plastics, that can bring a ravaging plague that will finish in ecocide.

We live under fear and conformism instead of courage and action that could lead us away from the actual politics of intolerance, public ignorance, and lack of hope when we can't tell what is true or false, good or bad and right or wrong, and the freedom of the Press is to say what they want in news are not real.

We have a global justice based in utility, without ethical values or intellectual honesty, we need a new equal and fair system of direct democracy based on human solidarity.
Today's empty narcissistic individualism, has a predominant "I" and "Me" over the "We", with human relations intermediated by cold screens, that are replacing the human encounters between people.
The pillars and the construction of Western civilization, today is totally dominated by the principle of private wealth for the privileged classes and the impoverishing of the public sphere, by a total lack of sovereignty and human solidarity.
The will to power of this system of domination must be replaced by our will power, to stop this pseudo-democracy transformed into a market of monopoly players, where there is false globalization that is in the hands of warfare.

Wilhelm Reich wanted to change the world he lived in but when you challenge the established archetypes of power, the system always kicks back with persecution and harassment, that in some cases will crack down the psychological and physical resistance of the contender and ruin their lives and mental health.
The actual most evident example is what they are doing to Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, a crucifixion process that the public is watching, but they don't do anything to save him, because the system has demonized them, to show what happens to the individuals that try to shake the foundations of Western civilization.
Social liberating heroes can be targeted until they get mad, ill, or die, and it can happen to anyone that wants to stop living in fear and the anxiety of conscious conformism.

One cannot equate "capitalism" and "democracy". ― Wilhelm Reich in The Mass Psychology of Fascism

2 - Wilhelm Reich (1897 - 1957)- The Orgasm and the Character Shield

"Love, work, and wisdom are the fountains of our life. They should also rule it" - Wilhelm Reich

Our body is the picture of the mechanisms of unconscious and social repression, revealed in our physical posture and our muscular shielding blocks, obstructing the free flow of the sexual energy in the body, and the cure is a catharsis at the somatic and mental levels.
Psychoanalysis focuses its intervention at the mental level, but during the process, if we are not aware of the somatic blocks correlated with the ones of personality traits of mind, the somatic force will remain and in a few years it will take over and create a regression in the cure pushed by what I call the "body character".
Reich also showed that there is a dialectic relation between individual character and mass ideology, that results in the indoctrination for voluntary servitude, the denial of freedom and life, as well as, the inhibition of the personality, molded like clay by the sexual and socio-economic conditions.
When I was in group analysis, I read the work of Reich and I applied a series of methods and physical exercises to unblock the "body character" as I was becoming aware of the corresponding mental structures.

Wilhelm Reich has shown that the authoritarian personalities have a projection of despotism, and he wanted to make a sexual revolution that could reverse society into a "work democracy" for self-empowered human beings without the imprisonment exercised by centralized powers with mirrors, smokes, and games.
This is very well expressed in his book "Mass Psychology of Fascism", and the easy reading "Listen, Little Man" written for the common man, that Pier Paolo Pasolini exuberantly expressed in the movie Saló, 120 days of Sodom, how fascism can shape the mind and body of the masses.
I recommend this movie to everybody who has enough internal self-security and courage to suffer for two hours and see what authoritarianism does to our bodies and spirit and feel the agony of the ghosts of social conditioning that inhabit inside us.
After reading this text it is much easier to perceive the webs of the unconscious that this film moves and to see alive how it works in the mass psychology of fascism.

"Because you have no memory for things that happened ten or twenty years ago, you're still mouthing the same nonsense as two thousand years ago. Worse, you cling with might and main to such absurdities as 'race', 'class', 'nation', and the obligation to observe a religion and repress your love." - Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!

People infected with this disease see the others as evil, liars, and cheaters, and they get obsessively involved in the search for power, with an "emotional plague" visible in the authoritarian inflexible character and expressed in the body armor and muscular rigidity.
We have seen in the last post about Erich Fromm, that the individual's phobia of freedom grows up in social and economic uncertainty, and make them identify, submit and venerate strong dictators with archetypes of authoritarianism from ancient, hierarchic and patriarchal society tempered with divine powers.
Wilhelm Reich demonstrated again that individuals can be their own jailers participating in their own submission, like a masochist happy to be sucked by the sadistic leader in the spiral of dependence in obedience.

"All forms of government have this in common: each possesses more power than is required by the given conditions; in fact, this excess in the capacity for making dispositions is actually what we understand by political power. The measure of this excess which cannot, of course, be computed precisely, represents the exact difference between administration and government"- Wilhelm Reich

For Freud libidinal problems and symptoms were the prison of man, while Reich saw it as an escape plan that was materialized the character analysis and in vegetotherapy as proposing to unblock the somatic and psychic defenses, to allow the experience of pleasure and be aware and feel a genuine pain that he/she tries to avoid all life.
The character structure is an armor functioning as the individual defenses and where lives all the ghosts of repression, that can be observable in the bodily structure, that remains mostly unconscious, predetermining our reactions like a hidden clockwork machine we can't see in our consciousness, blocking the access to our feelings, emotions, and biological impulses.
The muscular armor of the patient expresses the symptoms of the psychopathological traits showing that body and mind is one functional bio-system unit visible in its external shape (periphery), as the product of the the chronicle tension of the muscular system, used to block the memory of the traumatic unpleasant feelings as a mechanism of defense.
He took the Freud's concept of libido (sexual energy) and wanted to find out why some people could experience pleasure in sexual relations, while others(the neurotics) could feel it, due to painful or nauseating feelings.

"The pleasure of living and the pleasure of the orgasm are identical. Extreme orgasm anxiety forms the basis of the general fear of life." - Wilhelm Reich

He called it orgone the sexual and cosmic energy accumulating and discharging in the Human battery, using the orgasm as the main escape that leads to relaxation after a bioelectrical discharge.
Pleasure is energy flowing out to the periphery of the body, while anxiety is energy flowing inside to the center.
He explained that differences in the curve of the orgasm formula revealed the different psychopathological features that could also be seen in the external position of the body and in the type of orgasmic release, and that it was conditioned by the individual's "orgastic potency", that is inhibited in the neurotic character.
The curve starts with mechanical tension to fill and arouse of the organs with energy - the orgonic fluid - then growing up exponentially, until it reaches a pick(excitation), where it happens a sudden bioelectrical discharge(release) that induces body relaxation and joy of fullness after the orgasm.

Sexual freedom meant to him the expansion of the self while the anxiety of non-released tensions leads to the contraction in the muscular armor resulting in immobilism of the self.
The lack of orgastic satisfaction mingled with the infant sexual conflicts accumulates until it creates a psycho-somatic "skeleton" that can be "broken" by the vegetotherapy.
The orgone flows in the body but it is blocked by the neurotic character armoring, and as it can´t be discharged, it accumulates in the body blocks.

"Sometimes armoring is temporarily useful, as when a child is hurt and holds its breath to diminish the pain.
But if this armoring is allowed to continue untreated, the child will learn that it lessens the intensity of feeling and to protect itself the child will continue to use the armor as a form of pain-killer. In summary, armoring distorts us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In so doing, it blocks us from more rewarding and productive lives."

3- Wilhelm Reich - the Character Analysis

Every threat from reality and the childhood traumas compose a heavy armor of defense at the physical, mental and emotional levels, that will be a burden and weight we have to carry in the journey of life, and we have to learn how to get rid of it in all the crossroads, to find new liberating ways.

Reich created a typology of for the structural character based in the bioenergetic economy of the sexual energy, and we will use the original designations: the Schizoid, the Oral, the Psychopath, the Masochist, and the Rigid

He described the Symptomatology, somatic repercussions and energetic configuration of the flow of energy in relation to the curve of the sexual excitement and the orgasm discharging structure of sexual energy blocked by tensions.

In order to perceive the main observable characteristics, we have to pay attention to body posture, form, mimicry, gestures, and breathing style, which are the domain of nonverbal language, which humans pay little attention to but contain 95 % of what the person is expressing.

Every block is an electrical resistance that limits the escape of sexual energy, creating tension and postural rigidity in the neural and somatic network, that constitutes our bio-psycho-social entity.

There is no perfect type of the characters Reich defined, because we are a mix of all of them, with some predominating types that express the psychopathologic traits of personality influencing our neurotic behavior, that can vary and change in the lifetime.

  • The Schizoid Character is marked by prenatal or birth traumas, feels a menacing and unsafe world, want to escape a reality of which he/she is not worthy, and rejects other people to avoid being rejected by the others.
    The Schizoid avoids communication or does it in a depersonalized way, looking fragile and absent, with a weak individuation but feeling deeper inner violence towards the felt hostile world.
    He has a tall, very thin and elongated body that never seems to find the balance, with weak joints, arms and legs tight and stiff, normally with cold hands and feet because the energy is blocked in the bio core.
    The blocks of muscular tension are located in the pelvis, in the neck, center of the chest, and the shoulders.

  • The Oral Character comes from traumas related to the phase of development with the same name, fostering a sense of abandonment, fear about claiming his/her needs and thoughts, that are not felt as attainable, so they try to take more using passivity or aggressiveness because he/she don't need other people.
    The oral person can't charge and wants to steal energy from the others with demanding support, is always feeling bitter because he /she can never get enough creating a co-dependent personality addicted to sucking people's energy around. and we have to avoid being manipulated.
    The body is also long and seems undeveloped in long and few muscular mass with flaccidity, the shoulders are curved to the front and chest has a hole to the inside that reduces breathing a sign a person that does not give but take.

  • The Psychopathic Character was traumatized in early childhood due to manipulation of the parent of the opposing gender, creating a constant defensive mechanism to take the power, dominate and control the other, and they are always right about their opinions
    The body as an overdeveloped and rocky upper part of the body in underdeveloped legs putting the energy on the top and closing the flowing to the other inferior half of the body.
    Have a strong will and mind focused on being always the winner, asking for competition and starts with a big energy burst that vanishes later, that normally has the profile of an autocratic leader.

  • The Masochistic Character is marked by events around two years old in response to a controlling mother fixed in domination, creating in the child a sense that he/she has to hide his/her feelings and showing a false submission, to avoid the constant invasion with a growing resentment, that has to be hidden by the fear of repression.
    The Masochistic has a heavy and compact body, easy to gain weight in the bottom and ankles because the energy grows inside and is strangled above the throat and can't escape, creating a symptom of inner superiority but suffering and complaining about the outside pressure feeding the sense of control that kills the autonomy a breach on the self that can be invaded or invade the others, a good victim for the Psychopathic.

  • The Rigid Character has its foundation trauma in an experienced rejection of the parent of the opposing gender, leading to a total inner control of feelings and emotions hiding a will to be perfect and have a "proper" and a defensive manipulative behavior to gain control, with lack of authenticity.
    The body really looks like a rigid armor filled with tension but with the right proportions, showing and energy that is not originated in the bio core, with a range of behaviors from ambition and competition to seductive and demands , to create a perfect world with a perfect role, accompanied by a total denial of the real self and feelings living no space to connect and commit.

This is a very interesting way of identifying people by their posture and body form, as well as, the way to deal with these cases, and develop this subject, this is a good document to start.
Beware of the interpretations before going through the whole paradigm, for us at the beginning when we read, we discover that we have all these symptoms, but the most difficult is to perceive those that are more preponderant.
Our personal goal in life is to re-build our blockages of character to allow a free energy flowing system, that liberates our tensions, and get a more real connection and union with the loved person in mutual fulfillment, in a relationship with cathartic sexual relationships.

"Full sexual consciousness and a natural regulation of sexual life mean the end of mystical feelings of any kind. In other words, natural sexuality is the deadly enemy of mystical religion. The church, by making the fight over sexuality the center of its dogmas and of its influence over the masses, confirms this concept." - Wilhelm Reich

4 - Reich: "Mad Scientist"

One of his daughters, a psychoanalyst, suggested without any proof that Reich maybe was abused when in his childhood, explaining the choice of his life's interests in the sexual liberation and to fight the power of the figures of authority.

"Mistaking insolence for freedom has always been the hallmark of the slave." - Wilhelm Reich in Listen, Little Man!

Reich's Orgasm Theory and the Character Analysis of the Muscular Armoring are very important to help an individual to have a perspective of the forces that shape and dominate our sexual economy of the orgone as the energy of the psyche and the cosmos.

It seems that Reich after is stay in Norway where he developed lots of enemies and critics, hurt his ontological security, and then he is forced to leave to the US and loses his greatest love Elsa Lindenberg, giving rise to his already paranoid and belligerent personality.

After being expelled by Freud and his daughter for the Club of Vienna and a traumatic period he stayed in Norway from 1934 to 1939, and after that in the US, Reich goes into the slippery territories of the bions in the Orgone Energy and building Orgone Accumulators, and even a Cosmic Cannon ("Cloud Buster"), that could concentrate clouds to make rain in desert places.

Everybody should read the complete released FBI files of Wilhelm Reich, to understand how power can disrupt an individual's life, when he goes to jail for mistaken identity and later for a scientific position about the man and the world.

His already difficult life derails in a series of disruptions against the system that was frightened with the incomprehension of his work and its possible consequences.
First, he was targeted by a file confusion of the FBI of a subject with a similar name that was distributing communist propaganda, and it took a long time before they saw the "error" and cleared him of this accusations.

The US surveillance, persecution, trials, and arrests of Reich, started and enhanced some symptoms of paranoia, delusions of grandiosity, conspiracy theories and ideas of reference like "The airplanes flying over prison are sent by the Air Force to encourage me" showing elaborate psychotic thinking.

The system of Emotional plague demonized Reich, to drive him mad and murder him in jail like a bad witch, and he goes to jail because one assistant sends one accumulator to another state, that was ordered by an FBI agent.

Reich claimed he had found the cure for cancer and impotence, and in the end of his life with the concept of "Peace Weapon" using the organic cannon, (for example to make rain) he was approaching dangerous fields of investigation like producing alternative energy sources that also raised an eyebrow on the mighty oil industry.

In the States he starts to build "Orgone Accumulators" that he submitted to Einstein, that experimented with it, verified that there was a bigger temperature inside it, but he closed the investigation and gave no more attention to Reich's work.
Even Norman Mailer had some Accumulators and others like Sean Connery, Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Salinger, and one Orgasmatron appears in Woody Allen's film Sleeper in 1973.

The story of your life is the perfect mirror of what the system did and more machiavellically continues to do to all who believe in a better life for all, which is always an attack on the system that wants to determine our lives.
We should all act to stop the crucifixions and the witch-hunts -a ghost that haunts us from the Middle Ages-but the majority of the population passively watch their own subjugation when Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are crushed by the system that is his/her, and our prison.

Further Reading:

Institute for Orgonomic Science

Wilhelm Reich : Wiki


Wilhelm Reich - Man's Right to Know

Flash video: Radical thinkers: Wilhelm Reich's Sex-Pol

The Suppressed History Of Wilhelm Reich And Orgone Energy

The Dialectics of Liberation: Anarchism, Existentialism, and Decentralism.
Published Posts:

I - Anarchism
II - Existentialism
Next posts on the Series:
II - Existentialism(Cont.)
  • Humanism and Existentialism
    • Part 6 - Carl Gustav Jung - Myths and Archetypes
    • Part 7 - Thomas Szasz - The Factory of Madness
  • Existentialism and Anarchism
  • The Future : Posthumanism, transhumanism and inhumanism
III - Decentralism
  • What is Decentralism?
  • The Philosophy of Decentralism
  • Blockchain and Decentralization
  • Anarchism, Existentialism, and Decentralism
IV - Dialectic for Self-Liberation
  • Counterculture in the 60s
  • Psychedelics, Libertarian and artistic movements
  • The Dialectics of Liberation Congress
  • The Zen Buddism of Alan Watts
  • Psychoanalysis and Existentialism
  • The Anti-psychiatry movement
  • Anarchism, Existentialism, Decentralism and Self-Liberation
V - Conclusions and Epilogue
- charlie777pt on Steemit:
Social Reality: Violence, Power, and Change
Index of Chapter 1 - Anarchism of this series - Part 1 This Series:
Oizerman, Teodor
.O Existencialismo e a Sociedade. Em: Oizerman, Teodor; Sève, Lucien; Gedoe, Andreas, Problemas Filosóficos.2a edição, Lisboa, Prelo, 1974.
Sarah Bakewell, At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Others
Levy, Bernard-Henry , O Século de Sartre,Quetzal Editores (2000)
Jacob Golomb, In Search of Authenticity - Existentialism From Kierkegaard to Camus (1995)
Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society
Louis Sass, Madness and Modernism, Insanity in the light of modern art, literature, and thought (revised edition)
Hubert L. Dreyfus and Mark A. Wrathall, A Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism (2006)
Charles Eisenstein, Ascent of Humanity
Walter Kaufmann, Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre(1956)
Herbert Read, Existentialism, Marxism and Anarchism (1949 )
Martin Heidegger, Letter on "Humanism"(1947)
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power (1968)
Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism And Human Emotions
Jean-Paul Sartre, O Existencialismo é um Humanismo
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Sense and Non-Sense
Michel Foucault, Power Knowledge Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977
Erich Fromm, Escape From Freedom. New York: Henry Holt, (1941)
Erich Fromm, Man for Himself. 1986
Gabriel Marcel, Being and Having: an existentialist diary
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and The Invisible
Paul Ricoeur, Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences. Essays on Language, Action and Interpretation
Brigite Cardoso e Cunha, Psicanálise e estruturalismo (1979)
Paul Watzlawick, How Real is Reality?
G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia,
Robert C. Solomon, Existentialism
H.J.Blackham, Six existentialist thinkers
Étienne de La Boétie,Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, or the Against-One (1576)

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