Libido is invested in two opposing directions: toward the world and away from the world. The energy that inspires an impulse concerned with contacting the external world is called object libido. Before gratification, such impulses coincide with a subjective feeling of tension. Union with the “desired” object relieves tension, as plainly evidenced by the relaxation which occurs when striving is ceased. In psychoanalysis, this is called catharsis and is said to coincide with a return of the libido to the “narcissistic reservoir.” When the libido is withdrawn from the external interest or doesn’t come out in the first place, it is called narcissistic libido (1). Note that this concept describes a phenomenon much more general and fundamental than the tangentially related phenomenon called narcissism by modern psychology. A narcissistic retraction is not always cathartic or satisfying. Often they result from frustration and do nothing to relieve the tension arising from the inability to reach the drive’s original goal. The only tension relieved by this retraction is usually that which signifies overpowering fear. In Character Analysis, Wilhelm Reich calls narcissistic withdrawals of libido flights of the “energy cathexis” toward the center (interior) of the organism (2).
An antithesis is formed by these two functions: towards (object libido) and away from (narcissistic libido) the world. Hunger and sexuality are object-libidinal, to wit, orientated toward the world. Both of these relieve inner tension. When the organism reaches out into the world to make contact with an object, and this endeavor is successful, unsuccessful or results in injury or a perception of danger, the energy is narcissistically withdrawn. To use a classical example, the genital attraction of a boy in the oedipal situation to his mother is an object-libidinal pulsion consisting of a quantity of moving energy and a corresponding expression: that energy’s animation of the body. If the consequence of this expression is the mother becoming enraged, the libido is narcissistically withdrawn for the purpose of self-preservation. This is evidenced by the fact that here, the body (whose movement requires energy) is not animated in outward expression. We will talk about how this is accomplished biophysically and what must be done with this energy in future installments. Similarly, when a squirrel endeavors to cross a street but sees an oncoming car, he must prevent his body from accomplishing the drive’s original goal through narcissistic retraction.
Although these two functions are in one sense antithetical, it is important to remember that they stem from a common substance, general biological energy. They only differ in flow direction and direction of investment. In orgonomy, such a relationship is called an antithetical functional identity; two seemingly opposing functions share a common identity. Investigation from the sex-economic standpoint reveals that we are dealing with definite, conserved quantities of libido. Further these can be divided and set against each other in order to create ever more complicated inhibitions. In such cases, object-oriented and narcissistic energies exert libidinal pressures on each other, leading to ambivalence and many other strange behavioral phenomena (3).
Finally, the oscillation of libidinal investment between these poles is identical to the orgastic function. The first half of the function, characterized by tension and charge, is in its purest form an object-libidinal endeavor. The end phase, characterized by discharge and relaxation, is a narcissistic retraction. In the coming articles, we will use this formulation to show that object libido and narcissistic libido compel the organism to make objective physical movements. We will also describe the relationship these energies have to sexuality, anxiety and the function of the autonomic nervous system.
In the 1920s, when Wilhelm Reich began to study under Freud, three approaches to psychoanalysis were commonly employed: the topographical, dynamic and economic approaches. The topographical approach was concerned with the conscious and the unconscious: the heights and depths of psychic life. In therapy, it was handicapped in effectiveness for reasons we shall explore later. Often it could only impart to the patient an intellectual understanding of his or her neurosis, leaving the neurotic symptoms and character traits untouched. A Freudian axiom, something to the effect of “neuroses are resolved when the analysand becomes conscious of the unconscious” was later revised to state that neuroses may be resolved if that parameter is satisfied (1).
Those who practiced the dynamic approach realized that a cathexis is more completely dissolved when the affects, viz. the emotions, surrounding the cathexis are re-experienced (abreaction). It was found, however, that certain personality traits function to resist the surfacing of these affects, and that the key to the resolution of neurosis lies in the cessation of these traits. The dynamic approach – though its assumptions are correct – failed to address these “resistances,” character traits that compel a patient to resist analysis.
The economic approach was able to overcome these problems. As the field of economics is concerned with the distribution of scarce resources, so the economic approach to psychoanalysis was concerned with the distribution of libidinal energy amongst the various drives and mannerisms. Thus it deals with ordinal quantities of libido. We will refer to this approach as libidinal economy or sex-economy and its subject matter is the economic or quantitative problem of libido. How much drive energy is invested in which ideas, neurotic symptoms, performances &c.? How do these investments regulate expression, conceal desire and relieve the pressures which arise from psychic conflicts? What factors determine the magnitude of catharsis during the gratification of a drive? These are the questions that sex-economy seeks to answer. Considering the libido in this fashion requires us to affirm the premise of the dynamic approach and further affords us a way to dissolve the resistances that prevent affects from surfacing. Sex-economy also refers to an individual’s libidinal metabolism, the ways in which one’s drive energy is exerted or frustrated. The interplay of instinctual demands with external forces determines the characteristics of one’s sex-economy. It is molded by specific experiences and the socio-familial atmosphere at large.
Sex-economic equilibrium is the condition which occurs either prior to cathexis or following the gratification of a drive. It is subjectively experienced as peace or satisfaction. By as of yet unknown means, drive energy continually flows forth from the organism and compels it to strive towards objects. Tension is experienced prior to this movement and the movement alleviates the tension. Before resolution, sex-economy is said to be in a state of disequilibrium and there exists a stasis or cathexis of libido which demands resolution. Object-libidinal union and other cathartic expressions function to regulate sex-economy and promote the increased health and vitality of the organism, but when these are precluded by internal and external conditions, we are compelled to vent drive energy in an incomplete, pathological fashion, e.g. fetishism.
In fact, neurosis is characterized by the acute fear of catharsis and a neurotic’s instinctual drives have, in a sense, been transformed to favor the upholding of cathexes. From a neurotic frame of reference, equilibrium becomes synonymous with libido-metabolic constipation since there is no conception of the repressed drives. I call this pathological sex-economic equilibrium and it will be discussed more thoroughly in future installments.
Investigation into the economic problem of libido has explained the failures of the topographical and dynamic approaches. The dynamic abreaction is handicapped insofar as the energies of the affect in question are bound in a neurotic’s character structure. Wilhelm Reich’s inquiry into sex-economy has yielded a theory of character formation which posits that chronic attitudes consume the energy which would otherwise be liberated in abreaction. These attitudes are adopted to resolve various conflicts between instinctual and societal demands; their performance exhausts the libido, preventing expressions deemed inappropriate by a life-negating culture. Since a purely dynamic approach does not consider the economic function of character formation, it cannot free the libido employed in the chronic upholding of neurotic character traits. Moreover, the study of sex-economy has shed light on a number of social and biological mysteries that will later be covered in this series.
(1) Reich, Wilhelm – Character Analysis – Chapter II. The Economic Viewpoint in the Theory of Analytic Therapy pg. 11
All organisms can be observed coupling with objects that exist outside the boundaries of their bodies. This reaching out into the world is inherently a process of motion, implying a reliance on energy. Consider for instance the amoeba’s expansive movements towards its sustenance. Here we have an object which seems to inspire in the organism an energized movement eventually resulting in the union of the organism with the object. Sigmund Freud called the energy exerted by the organism in this scenario libido, which means ‘desire’ in Latin. It will also be referred to in this series as ‘drive energy’ and later, ‘orgone.’
Psychoanalysis and everyday life have shown that tension is subjectively experienced prior to this object union and is dissipated thereupon. It is commonly said that in such cases, one desires, lacks or wants the object and that the idea of coupling therewith has become psychically charged, as it were, with libidinal energy. In theory, this energy is released and the drive is gratified when the organism unites with such objects. The charging is called cathexis or libidinal investment while the release is called catharsis or libidinal divestment.
is essential to the organism’s survival and health because it is,
by default, directed towards necessities. For instance, analysis has
shown that the infant’s breast-feeding is a cathartic, libidinal
process; this is evidenced by the fact that, for those in whom this
drive was not adequately gratified, the tension persists into adult
life. The libidinal drives are concerned with those things that
facilitate the organism’s power and thriving. Only when they are
inordinately frustrated do they assume the monstrous characteristics
that Freud erroneously ascribed to their nature (1).
though Freud predicted in the 1920s that psychoanalysis would be
shortly supplanted by a somatic “organotherapy” (2), the libido
is considered to be a purely psychic energy by psychoanalysts today.
As I will show in future installments, the libido is a physical
energy that does work on physical systems. For now, I leave
psychoanalysts with this question: how, if the libido is purely
psychic, does it compel the physical body towards objects and why can
it be exhausted in movement?
When, for whatever reason, a society adopts mores which are inimical to the organism’s objective, biological needs, children must censor expressions of object-libidinal striving, leading to a build-up of drive energy. However, these stases of energy still demand discharge and the organism devises various maneuvers in an attempt to vent them. Usually they are inadequately cathartic when compared with the attainment of the original goal. When a person’s drives are continually frustrated, the stasis of libido continually grows, outpacing the rate at which these maneuvers can dispose of the energy. At this point, the various symptoms of neurosis appear; they are a continuation of the body’s attempt to dispense with intolerable drive energy.
(1) Reich, Wilhelm – The Function of the Orgasm – Chapter IV. The Development of the Character-analytic Technique, Part 4. Destruction, Aggression and Sadism pg. 154-159
(2) Reich – The Function of the Orgasm – Chapter V. The Development of the Orgasm Theory, Part 4. Sexual Stasis – The Energy Source of the Neurosis pg. 114
A doctrine is a body. For
instance, the Marxist body is intuitively aware of some quantity of
libido being employed in a maleficial way. It is profit, labor energy
siphoned into a repressive apparatus. I am referring to the libido
consumed by the segmented regions of muscle armoring in the
individual body. While it may possibly be argued that these segments
correspond in some hermetic fashion to social strata, the pulsion to
restructure society must first be experienced as the individual’s
desire to convalesce from the emotional plague, the epidemic of mass
neurosis. That, however, would entail the dissolution of these
pathological, chronic muscle contractions – the maleficial
investments of libido. Because such convalescence is, in most cases,
initially intolerable to the individual, the will-to-convalescence is
displaced into the realm of politics at a great cost. Orgonomist
Elsworth Baker, in Man in the Trap
describes this displacement
in the controversial chapter on socio-political character types. The
Fascist body, in my opinion, also longs to live according to
biological principles. However, it is concerned with resisting
modernization, a symbol for the armoring process, often invoking a
lost or declined civilization that evaded the problems of modernity.
But the entire movement is a nationalized caricature of the
individual’s convalescence, from the lebensraum
to the purgation of perceived impurities. Further,
consider the pulsion to remove from society elements that are seen as
foreign or unproductive. This is an expression of that will as well
in that these elements become symbolic of an
character investments. Since
its tenets are merely
of the convalescent process and
never effect change on the individual level,
it is condemned to disaster like all social
endeavors that fail to
addresses the issues of the soma.
I mean to say here that doctrines are palatable because of
their symbolic resonance with different libidinal economies and
psycho-muscular character structures, not because they are
The Israelite body is another such doctrine.
With regard to men, the covenant of the circumcision functions to
barricade the sex-economic avenues afforded by masturbation. The
libido which would otherwise be discharged thereby is further
regulated by hundreds of commandments, viz. investments. When all of
these commandments are
obeyed, the sum of repressed drive energy – this represented by the
Ark of the Covenant – becomes a terrifying weapon. Moreover, each
commandment is inscribed on the Israelite body. Mosaic law is a
binding contract in that every illegal pulsion must be bound through
contraction by the individual character structure and, by extension,
the inter-somatic libidinal economy. “Thou shalt not kill” is not
enumerated in Exodus chapter twenty but in the thoracic armor segment
of every Israelite. The commandment concerning the Sabbath is not
written there either; rather it exists in the inter-somatic libidinal
economy as a mass hiatus from sublimation having a specific
libido-economic role. By virtue of its adherence to this law, this
body will persist while others of the same race and in the same land
will be lost to history. However, the Hebrew and Greek scriptures
imply that adhering to a set of commandments in this fashion is
ultimately untenable. According to the Evangelists, one minor
consequence is accidentally killing God.
Anyway, doctrine is professed
by a doctor, which in Latin means ‘teacher.’ A teacher professes
a doctrine, viz. a body, usually his or her body. However, in the
historic period, good doctrine is scarce. Why? Let us be reminded of
the fact that perception of the environment determines the virtue of
autonomic functioning, whether it is basically sympathetic or
parasympathetic. Moreover, the tenets of doctrine function as
characterological defense mechanisms in that they repress a general
uncertainty originating from one’s being divorced from deep
biological sensations. To a degree, armoring compromises our capacity
to be viscerally excited by external happenings or, in other words,
our capacity to react to situations in a rational way. The armored
character reacts to more or less every stimulus with the same
defensive posture, whether it be benevolent or malevolent.
Consequently, inordinate quantities of libidinal energy are consumed
by the muscular system’s contraction, i.e. mechanical work.
Divestment from this contraction and any corresponding psychic
defense must necessarily disequilibrate sex-economy. The unemployed
libido that would become apparent by virtue of this divestment is
subjectively experienced as anxiety until the pulsions associated
therewith are viscerally expressed. Thus data and statements that
contradict one’s doctrine can be interpreted as attacks on the soma
if the tenets function as character defenses. In the same way, the
therapeutic disruption of neurotic sex-economic equilibrium, this
being identical to the disturbance of the organism’s homeostatic
protocols, is interpreted as an attack and provokes a defensive rage
(1). For all these reasons, once a doctor is indoctrinated into a
certain doctrine, there is little chance that he or she can ever
recover! Doctrine is for the most part a disease and seems to be
identical to armoring, the cornerstone of the emotional plague. God
help us; the people who are supposed to be teaching and healing us
are deathly ill and often insane.
Wages of Dishonesty is Disease
A physician also imparts a
body through the adjustment of the humors, surgery, drugs &c. –
a body created in his image. He cannot acknowledge any level of
health superior to his own for the aforementioned reason concerning
autonomic function. For instance, to acknowledge the existence of
muscle armoring would entail the individual’s visceral and
depth-psychological exploration of the repressed complexes. Again,
this is usually intolerable, especially because divestment from
cathexes is conditionally associated with being destroyed. In other
words, the emotional plague conceals from the afflicted that it
exists at all wherefore there is a pitiful notion of what a normal
person is. For these so-called physicians, it is easier to say “Freud
has been debunked” (א)
or “Reich was insane” or “a pervert” and take refuge in the
fact that all the doctors with the same kind of indoctrination happen
to agree. It is impossible to believe that after a decade of school,
one has not learned a single thing about medicine. Their publications
are safe from the flames.
If our medicinae doctorhonorificabilitudinitatibus is still reading, let him be
reminded that his occupation pivots on the erroneous idea that
disease is either random or determined by heredity or microorganisms.
In reality, disease and susceptibility to disease are caused by
choices made by the afflicted and this means that Natural Law is in
effect. Hide your faces, you doctors of medicine! Disease
is natural justice and you are abetting fugitives. You are fugitives
yourselves, running from the Law wherever it appears, working
fourteen hour days to “save lives.”
What then does Nature’s Law prohibit? that which makes us sick, viz. dishonesty. Dishonesty is inextricably connected to disease and the science of orgonomy has shown this to be true. First, it must be said that honesty is identical to the uninhibited expression of pulsions. Parenthetically, we need not become overly concerned with the surfacing of antisocial pulsions. They are secondary drives that, while repressed by dishonesty, are ultimately born of dishonesty. Moreover, they can be expressed in ways that harm no living thing. Once the libidinal stases corresponding to these repressed pulsions are discharged through visceral expression, the subsequent, honest expression of pulsions will preclude the formation of additional libidinal stases and the antisocial pulsions that arise therefrom (cf.Genitality is Hypernatural).
pulsions that historic society finds intolerable all involve
expressive, plasmatic movements in
the viscera from the interior of the organism to the exterior such
that an outward expression takes place.
These are mechanical waves propagated in the soma (a
carrying the energy that Reich called orgone. Moreover,
identical to emotions,
evidenced by the fact that they
are increased in intensity and frequency upon one’s divestment from
the ego defenses.
repression of this
accomplished through the chronic contraction of the muscles. In terms
of libidinal economy, it seems that contraction consumes or exhausts
the energy which would otherwise be involved in the motor expression
of the now
Regardless they prevent the soma’s pulsation,
virtue of their rigidifying action.
We read from one
incinerated by the
and Drug Administration in
Function of the Orgasm:
muscular rigidity, wherever it appears, is not a “result,” an
“expression,” or a “concomitant” of the mechanism of
repression … somatic rigidity represents the most essential part in
the process of repression. All our patients report that they went
through periods in childhood in which, by means of certain practices
in vegetative behavior (holding the breath, tensing the abdominal
muscular pressure [sic],
etc.), they learned to suppress their impulses of hate, anxiety, and
So the repression of genuine and spontaneous biological pulsions – this being identical to dishonesty – necessarily entails the chronic contraction of the muscular system and the suppression of somatic pulsation.
Muscle armoring is the rigidification of the muscular system, but through the respiratory block – a system of chronic spasms afflicting the diaphragmatic and thoracic musculature – it indirectly contributes to the total organism’s cellular hypoxia. Again we are confronted with the disturbance of pulsation, exemplified by the chronic inspiratory position of the organs concerned with breathing. Sex-economically, the respiratory block functions to decrease the amount of libido that the organism has at its disposal at any moment. This is evidenced by the fact that in orgone therapy, the increased intake of air results in anxiety; this indicates that the organism’s ceiling level of tolerable, unemployed libido has been breached. Thus the respiratory block represses the subjective experience of anxiety for the price of oxygenation and general vitality (ב). In terms of Natural Law, the perpetrator of this inherently disingenuous behavior is met with the physiological consequences: a speedy trial. However, things get complicated when we consider the fact that it is socio-familial hostility towards the vitality of children which initially inspires in Homo normalis the formation of the respiratory block, a mechanism ultimately functioning to maintain the integrity of the pelvic armor segment and its psychic counterpart, the castration complex (ג). More on this later.
Let us now endeavor to understand the orgonomic concept of biopathy, defined as a “disturbance in the natural function of pulsation in the total organism” (3). The repression of emotions through armoring necessarily restricts this pulsation, resulting in the symptoms described above. Armoring also entails aversion to movement, intolerance of excitation and feeling, neurosis, all the complications that follow from hypoxia, and doubtlessly, innumerable other symptoms. Another dimension of biological pulsation is observable in the organism’s oscillation between parasympatheticonia and acute sympatheticonia (cf. Inter-somatic Libidinal Economy). By ‘acute sympatheticonia,’ I mean the “fight or flight” response, not the homeostatic sympatheticonia concerned with internal milieu (though these two cannot truly be separated). Armoring is the organism’s chronic upholding of that acute sympathetic response, it being characterized by the contraction of the striated muscles, among other things. For instance, a body that has been physically abused may exhibit perpetually raised shoulders, signifying the constant anticipation of an assault. Throughout the seven regions of expressive musculature discovered by Reich, similar contractions with specific psychic, biographical meanings can be observed. All these phenomena evidence the fact that, in the armored organism, the oscillation between parasympatheticonia and acute sympatheticonia is more or less arrested at the sympathetic pole. Consequently, the generative, erotic, metabolic and excretory processes of the parasympathetic pole are obstructed, contributing to or constituting illness. To summarize, biopathy entails the disturbance of somatic pulsation in many areas: emotional, respiratory, autonomic, orgastic (cf. prerequisite readings and Reich’s The Function of the Orgasm), &c.
Eventually, this processes
leads to what is called biopathic shrinking, in which the contraction
“is not confined to individual organs” but “encompasses entire
organ systems, their tissues, the blood system, the endocrine system,
as well as the character structure (4).” The appearance of
carcinomas is thought to signify the final stages of certain
biopathies wherein the afflicted’s refusal to inhabit his own body
becomes a de facto petition for its colonization by rogue
desiring-machinic polities. This can ultimately be traced back to
one’s escape from visceral sensations, a transgression against
Natural Law accomplished through muscle armoring. Reich reported
great success treating biopathic shrinking with – be assured it is
I who will have the last laugh – the orgone accumulator (ד).
However, the resolution of any biopathy is impossible without the
afflicted’s visceral and depth-psychological investigation of the
self, the attainment of orgastic potency, and the divestment from
cathexes, to wit, the expression of the repressed. There is no
panacea and no serious person has ever claimed that the accumulator
is a cure for anything.
is Fair, You Just Don’t Know the Rules
Why do bad things happen to good people? When faced with the task of envisioning a world in which the life in young children is no longer despised and butchered, we must come to a sobering conclusion: they don’t. It seems that much of what people think is good must actually be evil and vice versa. The confusion regarding good and evil is inextricably connected to the pleasure-anxiety transvaluation wherein eroticism becomes associated with being destroyed while the anxiety regarding this destruction becomes pleasurable in comparison (cf. Genitality is Hypernatural). Consequently, libido-economic self-regulation is compromised as drive energy becomes anchored in muscle armoring. The source of human joy, simply incarnate being, is thereby repressed and we are forced to seek it everywhere but its true abode; the opportunity cost of this seeking is the joy itself, the joy that has been renamed dread. This transvaluation also marks the advent of enmity between the conscious faculties and the body. Next comes the glorification of heaven, intellect, the afterlife and all things that stand in contradistinction to the body which, for those afflicted by the emotional plague, seems to be the source of all misery.
that stays true to libidinality
is more or less disturbing to armored characters. Therefore,
biological impulses, viz.
becomes virtuous in the eyes of those who despise life and the body.
As surely as objects fall to the ground, this resistance engenders
some combination of the aforementioned consequences, to wit, Natural
Justice. Since it is the nature of the emotional plague to conceal
itself, there is much confusion as to why “bad things happen to
good people.” It should not be surprising that the ostensibly
person who, in order to repress through sublimation the facts
regarding this trauma, assists others in their repression thereof is
subject to this or that misfortune. He
should first divest from his own pathological cathexes so as to know
That we have christened the cowardly postponement of catharsis
virtuous is irrelevant to this judge. Moreover,
us vulnerable to predation and aggression by corroding our
with the environment (ה).
those who blindly walk into some harmful situation, having ignored
all that indicates danger by virtue of that situation’s resemblance
to a repressed episode of
the past. Their failure to divest from such defense mechanisms
compromises discernment and renders them fugitives in the eyes of the
Law whereupon they are harmed
who are deemed innocent
by our standards are guilty
In the words of Heraclitus, “the
way of man has no wisdom, but that of God has (6).”
Also, many of those events
which people call unfortunate are often auspicious, but the condition
of armoring prevents them from realizing this or benefiting
therefrom. Nature is not a cruel, sadistic judge like the
dishonorable john clifford Jr., who ordered the most Hitlerian act of
censorship in American history. Every instance of Natural Justice
indicates a hitherto unknown pathology and admonishes the
bio-energetically wayward against progressing along their necrotic
paths. However, we have become so iniquitous that these warnings are
illegible to us and, in our arrogance, we perceive them to be
inconveniences and catastrophes. Unfortunately, it is considered
virtuous to insulate others from the one agent that can objectively
correct them. This is called ‘care’ – really a well-camouflaged
terror wed to a conception of mutual similitude – and is the most
insidious thing to have ever befallen us. Actual care entails
recognizing that there are worse things than death, that we are not
gods and that we are subject to the consequences of our actions.
The issue is that most of our transgressions against Natural Law are unconscious and encouraged by our communities. We come into the world abiding by the Law, allowing pulsions to manifest outwardly as expressions. These displays of aliveness are disturbing to our armored caregivers because their character structures are founded on the repression of that very aliveness (cf. Inter-somatic Libidinal Economy). Because infants perceive that they will be annihilated for such expression, they inwardly invest the libido of these pulsions in muscle armoring such that the pulsions no longer manifest outwardly. It is this initial suppression – the parents’ rejection of their children’s most essential aspect – that Reich believed caused in children the feelings that are later repressed and signified by the incest fantasy (7). Then, typically, the parent-child conflict ensues along with the rigidification of the pelvic segment. At this point, erotic sensations become associated with being destroyed through what amounts to classical conditioning. It is the pleasure-anxiety transvaluation. Under duress are children forced to violate Natural Law by armoring against their living impulses.
What psychoanalysts call the
castration complex is a sympathetic investment; while homeostatic in
terms of duration, it is as intense as an acute sympatheticonia –
the kind one would experience while being chased by, say, a lion –
in terms of the quantity of libido involved. We can even see from
therapy that it takes more kicking and screaming (mechanical work) to
divest from this complex than it does to escape a lion. It must be
noted that the soma spontaneously divests from libidinal investments
once it no longer senses the inspiring stimulus, unless it is upheld
by the ego for characterological reasons. Every time a child divests
from a sympathetic state consequent to an instance of the parents’
corrective efforts, he or she necessarily enters parasympatheticonia.
It is in this mode of being that the soma’s pulsions are
spontaneously expressed whereupon the hostility of armored characters
is once again invoked. This hostility in turn inspires the
sympathetic response, another libidinal investment. In order to
escape these wild oscillations, children take refuge in a chronic
sympatheticonia characterized by the perpetual contraction of the
pelvic floor muscles, the psoas major, the thigh adductors, the
genital musculature, the anal sphincter &c. as well as the
repression of erotic feelings.
In order to maintain the integrity of the castration complex, and to ensure that spontaneous displays of eroticism never manifest externally, additional cathexes must be formed. The rage pulsions concerned with the destruction of whatever frustrates eroticism must be expressed viscerally if sex-economic equilibrium is to be achieved. However, the historic family situation precludes this. Since the employment of the pulsion’s energy in the act of muscle armoring is far less cathartic than expression is, the remaining quantity of libido must be consumed by new, additional defense mechanisms. Thus the formation of character structure is driven in part by the difference between the quantities of libido exhausted by armoring and expression. After the pelvic armor segment is in place, it immediately is subject to forces of dissolution: the body’s tendency towards spontaneous expression and healing. Again, this entails expressions of misery, terror and rage and is unacceptable in historic society, whose mores are antithetical to Natural Law. The quantitative difference in libido consumed between the two options, motor expression of the pelvic hatred and contraction of the pelvic musculature, must – since the former’s consumption is greater than the latter’s – manifest elsewhere as these mechanical waves (subjectively experienced as emotions).
These pulsions are intolerable
to the historic family and society as well and their energies must
also be exhausted, now in the armoring of the abdominal segment. But
armoring can only arrest a portion of the libido so the episode is
recapitulated in a similar fashion throughout the five upper bands of
expressive musculature until the whole soma is armored (ז).
From this point on, surplus libido is exhausted in labor, mannerisms,
neurotic symptoms &c. All the while, the pulsions clearly
indicate both disease and what is needed to convalesce therefrom. No
one takes notice. And so children are forced to violate Natural Law
every step of the way and must be subject to its sentencing. I don’t
know how the suns and worlds are turned or why there is no
understanding for those coerced into committing unlawful actions.
What about people who are born
sick? Doubtlessly, a fetus has autonomic faculties and the capacity
to invest libido in homeostatic functioning. They are susceptible to
the anxieties of their mothers (8), who are for the most part
orgastically impotent neurotics and despisers of the body. The
organism does not distinguish between chemical and emotional toxicity
and, across all phyla, adopts the basic, sympatheticotonic, growth
inhibiting, contractile position upon encountering these. In the eyes
of the Law, we are not as distinct from each other as I would like us
to be. Fetuses and infants are subject to the failures of their
parents and all the adults who have chosen to create a poisoned,
life-negating world: half madhouse, half slaughterhouse. Let us stop
abusing our bodies, stop increasing our populations with cheap tricks
and live under Natural Law and then see if people are still born
Note on Natural Law
All our institutions are either redundant or endeavor, ostensibly, to correct some problem whose origin is the emotional plague. They have two purposes: to create an illusion of functionality against a backdrop of mass neurosis, and to exhaust the intolerable drive energy of all who labor to uphold them. Institutions resemble cathexes uncannily because they repress the facts of collective trauma and siphon into themselves the libido that would otherwise contact the trauma. Any idiot can tell us what they are supposed to be for but, upon closer inspection, every single one is found aggravating the very problems they are supposed to rectify. Similarly, the investment of libido in muscle armoring ensures the permanence of the pulsions the ego wishes to eradicate. One begins to suspect that repression can’t repress anything at all! Nor can our redundant institutions do anything but prolong the emotional plague. The institutions are not rationally created to correct specific problems. They spontaneously arise from mass sex-economic conditions in order to metabolize dammed-up libido. Our propensity to resist the genital metabolism of this drive energy guarantees the energy’s resurfacing in institutional piffling, “innovation” and the excessive laboring these demand. Not one of these institutions endeavors to resolve – has ever mentioned – epidemic orgastic impotence, the general constipation of human energy. Rather they together exist to conceal it, being facets of inter-somatic armoring. They must always fail because their basic, subliminatory functions guarantee the perfect preservation of the issues that they purport to combat, in part by protecting the integrity of their officers’ neuroses. This in turn blinds them to the true, bio-energetic nature of the issue. Consequently, the “service” of these officers is yet another affirmation of mass neurosis insofar as these institutions allow us to ignore the dysfunction afflicting our inborn, self-regulatory capacities. Thus our institutions are founded on the repression of biological pulsation and our estrangement from Natural Law. The justification for their existence becomes their sustenance.
And so our entire society is
an unlawful, unconscious, criminal conspiracy. Homonormalis
has no choice but to create a society that is as twisted as his own
armored character structure is and institute its paradoxical cathexes
into the macrocosm. How can this ever be resolved? We must consider
that Sumeria and Egypt spontaneously emerged from the dust with
basically all the institutions we have today. Since that time, no
amount of theory and revolution has put so much as a single dent in
any of these. It seems they are inseparable from the character
structures of the masses: a true Gordian knot. Save some
eschatological event, only our mass convalescence from armoring can
end the emotional plague; it is an inconceivably great work. Should
this be achieved, a genital society will rise from the ashes of the
old world and Law, Philosophy, Medicine and Theology will again be
one and the same. For now, we must take comfort in the fact that we
are subject to incorruptible Justice.
What is Today Unfortunately Called Medicine
Hide your faces, you doctors
of medicine! you barnacles who have fixed yourselves to the mouth of
a sewage pipe! To confuse the concealment of symptoms with the
treatment of disease is the greatest, most destructive error. You
swear to “do no harm,” but what does that mean to you who extol
anxiety over pleasure? What does it mean to you whose perceived
virtues are but a reaction against orgonotic sentiment? It is
translated into “do only harm.”
I am not concerned with
convincing doctors of what is true. Their practice of quackery surely
has a sex-economic role, ultimately that of repressing the antisocial
pulsions native to the historic character structure’s middle layer.
It is armoring, albeit a standardized, licensed armoring, and one
cannot just cease being armored. An essential part of this armoring
is their Enlightenment-era arrogance regarding scientific
“objectivity.” The human character structure colors all areas of
perception and that which it represses must be ignored, lest it
arouse the autonomic faculties and incite a state of intolerable
excitement. Therefore, only the most dead, machine-like aspects of
phenomena can be explored by the armored sciences. In the field of
biology, which E. L. Palmer said too often becomes “necrology”
(9), this is especially blatant. The controlled conditions required
for “objectivity” are – and I am being charitable – not
conducive to studying spontaneous, living things. One can never have
an understanding of the organism if it is dead or isolated from its
habitation. Moreover, the degree to which the practice of a science
is life-negating determines that science’s effectiveness when it
comes to studying life. For instance, it is impossible to breathe
deeply and entertain visceral sensations while doing any kind of
intensive intellectual work (e.g. the calculus). Similarly,
intellectual work functions to repress visceral sensation. Only
through these sensations can an understanding of life be apprehended
because the somatic pulsation signified by such sensations is the
fundamental function of the organism (10). When this function is the
object of a life-long repressive maneuver, the study of biology and,
by extension, medicine becomes a farce.
It is not surprising that
those who engage in mechanistic work at the expense of the soma’s
sympathy with the surroundings perceive a mechanistic world. The dead
must kill the living in order to study it, whereupon they say: “look,
it is dead.” Then they point to their doctrine’s internal
consistency but every fact that would destroy this consistency has
been thrown out for the sake of preserving it. Though subjectivity is
what carries out scientific observation in the first place, this most
central experience of human life is, on the face of it, forbidden in
the sciences. Really, it is the only thing science can ever
apprehend. Perhaps subjectivity is despised by these clock-makers
because it entails somatic excitation and pulsation, necessary
concomitants of sensation. It is equated with spontaneity, emotion,
passion and instinct: things strangely absent from an endeavor that
purports to study life. Disturbed by biological vitality, a
scientific countertransferrence takes place wherein the mechanistic
character structure of the observer is realized in the observed while
the most essential aspect of the observed is repressed, just as it is
in the observer. Data is
recorded in elevated jargon and sorted into ever-bifurcating
categories which ensure the job security of specialists currently
incubating in the universities. Of course this functions to exhaust
drive energy and protect libidinal investments. That is why the very
simple, self-evident laws that govern how life functions (ח)
are repressed by this new priest-class of nerds who must take their
impotence to its logical conclusion: the construction of the second
Tower of Babel. Point being, the subjective shines in the objective,
and the objective comprehends it not!
Anyway, I therefore
feel confident in ignoring the conclusions made about many biological
experiments and clinical trials. I will rather treat on what I know
to be true experientially and through my own observations which have
been more reverent of biological vitality.
A disease symptom betokens an
underlying biopathic disturbance, a chronic sympatheticonia. Though
the separation of psychology and physiology has created countless
jobs, it has done little to propagate the fact that disease symptoms
are really indispensable signals which admonish us to divest from
maleficial cathexes. They are not themselves the diseases. When we
become aware of an illness through the experience of symptoms, we
really have two choices. The first is to assume that health is a
precarious, fleeting miracle in a chaotic cosmos and that the body
tends towards decay and death. This idea is a psychic incontinence
betraying the repressed narrative: that of the historic child-rearing
ordeals and the subsequent armoring unto death. Among other things,
it represents a person’s identification with the necrotic process
and functions to repress the misery and longing that arise consequent
to the division of the psyche and soma; if this is inevitable and
normal, longing for an alternative is alleviated. Under this
assumption, it is logical to employ a doctor of medicine that we
might conceal the symptoms which prevent us from living as we did
before they appeared, to wit, in the way that made us sick.
Just as the intolerable feelings subsequent to the formation of the
pelvic block – these being disease symptoms – are repressed, so
too are the symptoms that doctors of medicine today concern
themselves with. Oedipal medicine I call it, and it allows the
armored body to persist far past the time by which it would normally
have killed itself, thereby granting us hitherto unheard of
capacities for repression. O you doctors of medicine! What would we
do without you? Worst of all, it preserves the integrity of the
armoring, promoting the misguided actions of Natural Law fugitives,
now with unnaturally long lifespans, to the detriment of the whole
The second choice is
contingent upon one’s having realized that the cosmos is rationally
ordered and that life tends towards health, growth and expression.
From this point of view, the disease symptom signifies an obstruction
foreign to that order which can be rectified through critical
investigation into its origins and the resolution of the offending
libidinal stases. Making a symptom unapparent without addressing its
cause is tantamount to malpractice. Such abuses deprive a person of
the opportunity to be jolted out of his or her trance-like
With regard to issues
considered somatic, disease symptoms signify the disturbance of some
pulsatory function. With regard to infectious disease, symptoms
signify that the defensive faculties are compromised, owing to their
being exhausted from constantly defending against visceral impulses.
With regard to hereditary disease and birth defects, the symptoms
signify the unspecific estrangement of society from Natural Law; this
includes historic child-rearing tactics, the poisoning of the
environment, the dampening of our sympathy with the land, and the
diluted, sleep-walking existence that is so prevalent today. With
regard to neuroses and psychoses, symptoms have the clearest meaning
and deserve the most careful attention. It is in the total
functioning of the organism that disease manifests, not in the
molecular machinery which is merely a partial object whose remainder
has become obscured by mechanistic philosophizing.
A person’s general attitude
and presentation contains beneath it a biographical account of all
the chronically held cathexes, meaning each case of biopathy has a
specific treatment plan which must be “deduced from the structure
of the case and applied to it (11).” Each contraction, gesture,
posture, habit and tendency has a specific, sex-economic function
from which indispensable clinical knowledge can be derived. Reich
discovered that these most superficial mannerisms are the pinnacles
of immense psycho-somatic structures extending into the depths of
character. They are long chains of defense mechanisms which reach far
into the individual’s remote past and preserve the chronology of
their formations. In other words, the personal facade conceals a
repressed disposition which in turn conceals another &c., all the
way down to the earliest traumas of life (12). Under these layered
psycho-muscular defenses, the keystone cathexis awaits resolution and
it is to this locus that medicine should ultimately, in a
character-analytic sense, direct the attention and libido of the
diseased. However, it is doing the opposite by conspiring with the
forces of armoring to further conceal the fact that something is
wrong. Therefore, the second choice is to metabolize the arrested
expressions, starting with the most superficial cathexes and
progressing into the interior of one’s character structure in order
to rectify the hidden stasis of libido which obstructs the body’s
natural and effortless tendency towards health. That which we have
suffered will lead us to God, says the empyreal Gustav Mahler (13).
How insidious it is that
deprivation now masquerades as medicine, having cloaked itself in the
skins of tenderness and reverence towards life? How can it be called
medicine when fear of getting to the root of the problem outweighs
the will to effect cures? At this point medicine becomes armoring
because it spares a patient the discomfort of entertaining repressed
content (otherwise they wouldn’t buy it!). True medicine endeavors
to understand disease itself rather than classify the infinite
symptomatic permutations into different disease pictures so as to
fill up volumes and justify the designing of new drugs. All these
manifold symptoms betray biopathy for which the expression of the
repressed is indicated.
Oedipal medicine is a
continuation of the armoring process, something that can be traced
back to before the parent-child conflict. Before treatment begins,
the disease symptom manifests as an expression of somatic desperation
imploring the afflicted to reevaluate his ways and genitally
equilibrate his libidinal economy. Such equilibration is identical to
the resolution of infantile trauma and entails the expression of
repressed pulsions often pertaining to the parent-child conflict,
namely anxiety, rage and pleasure. If this complex is dissolved
through visceral expression, the pleasure-anxiety
transvaluation will have been reversed and the organism will no
longer be terrified by its plasmatic pulsation and pleasurable
sensations. All the organism’s senses will have been recalibrated to
fancy what it needs to thrive, and libidinal economy will have
regained the capacity to regulate itself automatically. Let us keep
in mind that somatic pulsation is what invokes the wrath of armored
caregivers and that the initial investment of libido in chronic
sympatheticonia, from which disease originates, functions to conceal
it. Moreover, a characterological defense is synthetic with respect
to both the stimuli to which it is an adaptation and the underlying
defense. Any disposition in character, be it superficial or
repressed, is a logical reaction to external demands encouraging the
concealment of the disposition that preceded it. These layers
correspond chronologically to episodes wherein some pulsion needed to
be repressed, the libido thereof having been conscripted into the
upholding of muscle armoring. Since the contemporary disease symptom
is a piece of the foremost layer of character and, therefore, a
reaction to the sum of underlying dispositions – these constituting
a chain reaching down to the most primordial libidinal stases – any
treatment that merely masks it ultimately contributes to one’s
ignorance of the castration complex and, in turn, the preservation of
pregenital, incestuous sexuality. That is why I call it oedipal
When our criminal ways
inevitably begins to kill us, instead of taking heed and reevaluating
the situation, we go to the oedipal doctor and confess a surplus of
energy involuntarily expressed in the disease symptom. Thereupon we
are restored to the ideal condition of somatic reservedness and
emotional constipation at the expense of authenticity, not just in
psychiatry but in all oedipal medicine. If a disease symptom happens
to be relieved by thereby, I hazard a guess that the patient, to an
degree, has divested from the aforementioned sympatheticonia because
his panic is alleviated, having been put under the “care” of a
doctor. Nonetheless, it is only an illusion of health.
Marriage of Medicine and Disease
“Socrates: Is it not a fact that injustices, and the doing of injustice, is the greatest of evils? Polus: That is quite clear. Socrates: And further, that to suffer punishment is the way to be released from this evil? Polus: True. Socrates: And not to suffer, is to perpetuate the evil? Polus: Yes. Socrates: To do wrong, then, is second only on the scale of evils; but to do wrong and not to be punished, is first and greatest of all? Polus: This is true. Socrates: …he who escapes punishment [is] more miserable than he who suffers (14).”
In Gorgias, Socrates and Polus come to agree on the fact that for a criminal, punishment is to the soul as medicine is to the body. But Wilhelm Reich discovered that the soul and the body are one and the same. It follows then that punishment is medicine. Since we have already established that we are all Natural Law fugitives and that disease is punishment for violating Natural Law, we are forced to conclude that disease must actually be medicine.
why then are we harmed by disease if it is identical to medicine?
First let it be understood that ignorance of the repressed is consent
to the progress
of armoring and
that, after the pleasure-anxiety
extols that which nourishes
the maleficial cathexes; one is thus sustained by death, so to speak.
In that regard, disease is the logical result of our actions and, in
part, the willed
are our bodies first
and foremost and
will be realized if we hold disease
symptoms to be inconveniences rather than indicators of fundamental
one can say,
as Socrates implied
that fateful day
sacrifice to Asclepius,
that incarnation itself is a disease and
to die is to be cured therefrom.
But by the same token, we may well say that incarnation is medicine!
approach to understanding the identity shared by medicine and disease
is to recall that the disease symptom is merely the most
superficial expression of the
through the armored body.
Biopathy is the
only disease and all the
symptomatic permutations classified as disease today are but symptoms
spontaneous expressions of the body, these
symptoms must be
considered in relation to the entire character structure. Like every
characterological layer, each disease symptom
must connote a libidinal
flow or cathexis and
a specific, analytic meaning. Furthermore,
we must remember the most important thing I have ever learned, that
defense mechanisms are nothing more than the pulsions they repress
operating in reverse (15).
Therefore, the sum of
maleficial cathexes, all the libidinal stases corresponding to those
events in which vital expression was
crucified and sepulchered, contains
within itself the antidote. In
the words of Wagner, “only the
spear that smote you can heal your
is the afflicted’s responsibility to assess
the sum of cathexes, determine which of these are wasteful or
pathological, divest therefrom and redirect the libido towards
the confrontation of the
medicine applied against itself is the disease inasmuch as a portion
of a pulsion’s libido is directed against the remainder in
repression. Character is the sum of these counterbalancing
interactions, many of
which are pathological.
Convalescence then entails the withdrawal of that quantity of drive
energy which we divert from a sex-economically preferable expression
and, as orgone therapy
has shown, true divestment entails this same quantity being
discharged in the preferable expression. These now-liberated
quantities must – and this is why they were arrested in the first
place – inevitably mobilize in expression the muscles whose
contractions comprise the remaining cathexes. This process, more or
less a reversal of the biopathy’s
formation, must continue until the most primordial cathexes are
dissolved, and the energy loosed therefrom is exhausted in genital
fortunate are we to be subject to incorruptible justice? But
arising from epidemic sex-economic constipation gains
prominence in a land, the unwitting evildoers avow each other’s
transgressions and, believing they are in the right, must ascribe the
deserts of Natural Justice to chance. In
ignore the consequences
and their cause,
society must erect those
institutions concerned with masking invaluable diagnostic information
order to create an illusion of functionality.
the same way, the armored character, forced in childhood to
the self-regulatory faculties of libidinal economy, must employ his
energies in an inferior, redundant fashion in
the repressed antisocial
the facts regarding the bio-psychic injury from which they arise.
suffer because we refuse to suffer; we have forgotten what suffering
is and have invented something far worse. Whoever
inters longing invites longing, but to entertain it, to express it
viscerally and completely is to be fulfilled. Whoever inters terror
guarantees perpetual anxiety, but to express terror is to be
liberated therefrom. Whoever inters fury
invites aggressions and vexations, but to express fury
is to become able to love. This is the rectification of the words:
the undoing of the transvaluation. Know you then that disease is
Natural Law and medicine, and therefore, Medicine is Law, Law
by God. Thus the study of the Law and Medicine is Theology, and the
way of God, having wisdom, is Philosophy.
* * *
A sample of one-thousand psychiatrists were asked “do you want to
have sex with your opposite- sexed parent?” Less than one percent
Today it is known that oxygen gas is reduced in the mitochondria such
that an electric potential can exist on that organelle’s membrane,
allowing biological work to be performed. This does not in any way
contradict the sciences of orgonomy and sex-economy.
While I use the word ‘castration,’ I am describing the armoring
of the pelvic segment in boys and girls around the age of six (the
usual time of the parent-child conflict). It does not matter what
kind of genitals one has but that they become deadened and
suffocated, i.e. a functional castration. Similarly, the word
‘oedipal’ here refers to the pregenital fixation of psycho-sexual
development in both sexes.
Whoever would dismiss this without investigation must be smarter than
Albert Einstein, who after meeting with Reich in 1941, agreed to
replicate the experiment called T-T0, or “Temperature
minus initial temperature.” An astonished Einstein confirmed the
thermal anomaly, namely that space inside and directly above orgone
accumulators becomes slightly warmer than the surroundings, defying
the so-called second law of thermodynamics. His assistant suggested
that it was caused by convection, and he readily accepted the
explanation in order to dismiss this Earth-shattering result. Reich
replied that when he buried the accumulator, controlling for any air
convection, he still got a positive result but Einstein had already
decided to abandon the issue (5). I am not yet a physicist so all I
can say about the Reich-Einstein Affair is this: make love, not
(ה) I hypothesize that there is an emergent property of the inter-somatic libidinal economy whereby the disturbed, criminal characters, as a consequence of their repression of biological pulsions, are repulsed by those who are virtuous in the eyes of Natural Law, viz. the orgonitous. Orgonity is identical to immunity against disease and functionally, from the point of view of the autonomic faculties, the aggression of microorganisms is identical to the aggression of criminals.
Undoubtedly there will be certain people
who, upon hearing these claims, will become
enraged, preferring to ignore
any information that could
possibly lead to the prevention of such incidents. They value their
own comfort – which, due to the transvaluation, is actually misery
– more than the well-being of those they purport to advocate. I
believe that such characters are incapable of love and they conceal
this from others with various performances. They
lash out because their hidden
filth was stirred by the
truth and then they
disguise this as concern for
others. Nor am I condemning
people for this or that behavior. Nature
will be doing the condemnation, not me; I am merely trying to observe
and describe it with the hope that one day we can
obtain a causal understanding of Natural
prevent tragedies and divest
from redundant institutions.
This is evidenced by the fact
that the waves reappear when the contractile
postures are divested from,
to wit, when the muscles are relaxed.
These laws are to some extent understood by common people who work
with their bodies, but I am sent to gather the lost sheep, viz. the
intellectuals, who have become so big-brained that they can’t find
what’s right under their noses.
(1) Reich, Wilhelm –
Character Analysis pg. 83
Reich – The Function of the Orgasm
Reich – Selected Writings: An Introduction to Orgonomy
(from The Discovery of the Orgone Volume II: The
This is about an example of how those afflicted by the emotional plague must destroy whatever reminds them of the pleasure-anxiety transvaluation and the atrocities they suffered in childhood at the hands of armored characters. Often I ask myself if I should rather keep silent. Should I let them whither away and watch while they guarantee the misery of their children and grandchildren? This is their foremost desideratum, as evidenced by the fact that whoever points to these discoveries at best becomes a mockery. However, for those of us who understand sex-economy and endeavor to cultivate the virtues concerned with the tolerance of life energy, there must be instances in which our ways evoke the hostility of the diseased.
At a certain school, I enrolled in a certain course on world religions. The teacher, without getting into the details, was very armored. She often mentioned “oppression,” which, being translated from the dialects spoken in slaves’ quarters, is to say ‘repression.’ She would not acknowledge that Christianity has the most adherents and made many resentful comments about rich people. For the final essay, we were to research a population, symbol &c. and to analyze it through a “theoretical framework” so I chose orgonomy, queen of the sciences. Then I produced the following analysis and submitted it for her to review.
* * *
August 3rd 2019
The Garden of Eden Myth in Judaism and Christianity: An Allegory for
the Emotional Plague
Whereas today our language reflects
a world that
is becoming ever more like a machine, ancient people spoke
and wrote in a way that was
more harmonious with the unarmored body and more similar to its lost
modes of communication. Although the ancients – in this case, the
Hebrews – were closer to this condition than we are, they were
to romanticize and mystify it as
they did in the Book of Genesis. The myth of the fall is
paradoxical, baroque, tragic and ironic, making it the ideal
description of the phenomenon it describes, that is, until the
neologizing of orgonomic parlance. Orgonomy is truly the
antelapsarian science; it alone can defeat the cherubim tasked with
guarding Paradise. In other words, it deals directly with the
bio-psychic injury (the emotional plague) that the composer(s) of the
Torah alluded to symbolically as well as that injury’s
rectification through the expression of the repressed. The
Garden of Eden represents the
condition of orgonity which is the body’s enlivenment with currents
of biological energy (orgone*) and the absence of muscle armoring and
neurosis; this is evidenced
by the etymology of the word ‘Eden,’ midrashic commentary and
Christian theology relating
Adam and Christ.
In The Murder of Christ,
Wilhelm Reich wonders: “if you eat from such a tree which bears the
fruit of knowledge and you become like God himself, why then do you
lose paradise? … if the
tree is a tree of knowledge, to know the difference between good and
evil, what’s bad, then, in eating of its fruits? If you eat of its
fruits, then you certainly can follow God’s ways better, and not
Right away, this observation shows that the story is not merely a
creation myth made by ignorant ancients;
it must have an esoteric meaning. But what
is the Garden of Eden anyway?
Let us explore a
possible double-meaning for
the word ( עדן
According to one H. Ausloos,
Eden is not simply a toponym but a noun which means both “abundance”
and “pleasure” (9-10).
From an orgonomic perspective, the garden can be symbolic either of a
hypothetical, idyllic prehistory, the pre-oedipal conditions of an
individual or both. Both of these would be characterized by a
condition of relative orgonity when compared with history or
Regarding the somatic
anorgonity inherent to history, Reich
considered the emotional plague, the epidemic of armoring,
to be identical to
or possibly coincide with the
advent of the historic period. Similarly,
the expulsion from paradise is shortly proceeded by the rise of
agriculture which, according to the Torah, was the
occupation of Cain. Regarding
the pre-oedipal conditions,
the generational transmission of armoring in the parent-child
constitutes a transvaluation
of pleasure and anxiety in which, by virtue of a
child’s association of
pleasure with being destroyed
by their same-sexed
anxiety is erroneously considered to be pleasurable. The
story of the fall represents this transvaluation. The confusing,
terms of Edenic existence questioned by Reich in the above quote were
deliberately employed in an attempt to remind the reader of
this transvaluation which has
in general from
what it purports to describe.
Thus Ausloos’s assertion
is, when considering the esoteric meaning of the biblical text,
supported by orgonomy. Interpreting
the word ‘Eden’
to mean ‘pleasure’ allows
for great insight into the meaning of this myth, namely that the
garden represents the condition of orgonity enjoyed by infants and
possibly prehistoric people.
was unaware of this but the Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides was
asked the same question almost eight hundred years earlier. In the
Guide to the
the Rabbi begins his answer by pointing to the fact that man was
created in the image of God and therefore already
had intelligence and could
not have been improved by eating the fruit. He
then goes on to state that prior to the fall, man possessed knowledge
that was concerned with truth and falsehood (muskalot)
rather than knowledge
good and evil (mefursamot),
these being merely moral conventions.
To Maimonides, whose argument is built on the interpretations of the
Midrash, this inferior moral knowledge is inseparable from
According to one Meyrav Wurmser:
Maimonides believed in the existence of a secret body of ultimately inaccessible knowledge whose study is the purpose of one’s life. A man’s life is measured by his ability to approximate and get close to understanding this secret. The closer one gets to attaining this knowledge, the more one’s mental and emotional suffering is resolved and the society of political hardships is alleviated [sic].
Although Maimonides is getting close to muskalot here, orgonomy is certainly better at approximating this body of knowledge than the doctrine of the circumcisers is. The Rabbi’s claim that Adam’s sin ushered in an era of moral, conventional knowledge perfectly corroborates an orgonomic interpretation of the myth if the fall indeed represents the emotional plague. In The Function of the Orgasm, Reich writes “the psychic contradiction between sexuality and morality operates in the biological depth of the organism as the contradiction between pleasurable excitation and muscular spasm (256).” The continued existence of mass neurosis pivots on the fact that historic moralities ignore the biological, objective needs of children and adolescents, preferring to embrace imagined conventions (mefursamot) which are actually the sources of all the ills they purport to prevent. Before eating the fruit, Adam and Eve possessed this knowledge: that of how life functions (muskalot), viz. of orgone energy, which was considered by Maimonides to be divine.
Maimonides also gives us orgonomic insight through his interpretation of the serpent’s role. He claims it represents what he calls the appetitive faculty, something all creatures are endowed with. It is “that faculty by which a man desires, or loathes, a thing, and from which there arise the following activities: the pursuit of an object or flight from it … fear and courage, cruelty and compassion, love and hate … All parts of the body are subservient to these activities, such as the ability of the hand to grasp, of the foot to walk, of the eye to see, and of the heart to be bold or timid (qtd. in Wurmser).” This can be nothing other than the autonomic faculties of parasympatheticonia and sympatheticonia which, although already identified in physiology, were expounded upon with regard to psychology by Reich (The Function of the Orgasm 288-292). The serpent, with its wave-like gait, represents the oscillation of libidinal investment and the cycle of cathexis and catharsis exhibited by the unarmored organism, to wit, the orgastic function which manifests quintessentially as the orgasm reflex. In other words, it is a “symbol of wavy, living life” (The Murder of Christ 14). The Rabbi then goes on to state that the serpent is not acting of its own accord but is under the influence of the archdemon Samael, who is merely a symbol of the imagination (Wurmser). Interestingly enough, Reich found that the imagination compromises this cyclic function both in sex (The Function of the Orgasm 109-110) and in the case of armoring, wherein the organism is inhibited by its perpetual, paranoiac self-defense against long past, imagined threats (Character Analysis). Furthermore, Maimonides claims that the third chapter of Genesis is an allegorical description of something that takes place in the mind – and Reich would add, the body. It describes the usurpation of the appetitive faculty by imagination as well as the now modified appetitive faculty’s corrosion of our ability to discern biological truth from social convention (Wurmser).
The Tree of Life
and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are mutually exclusive. As
soon as one eats of the latter, one is expelled from Eden and can no
longer eat of the former. Moreover, one can either be in Eden or
expelled therefrom. According to one Leah Gordon, after their
expulsion, Adam and Eve “continue[d] in a limbo, in what Bonhoeffer
describes as ‘twilight’, a state between good and evil, wanting life
yet held in a spiritual death.” This describes the condition of
armoring which is characterized by the repression of any somatic
orgonotic currents, these being experienced as emotion. It
constitutes the loss of an organism’s capacity to respond to the
outside world by virtue of its constant upholding of defensiveness
(sympatheticonia) and emotional deadness. To Gordon, only Christ can
return us to eternal life; she claims that the word ‘he’ in
Genesis 3:15 refers to Christ, the seed or progeny of Eve (Gordon).
To Martin Luther, this verse is a promise that Christ will overcome
evil in the world and undo the devices of the serpent who in this
case is the Devil (Gordon). To Reich, Christ is “the inborn,
naturally given Life Energy” (The Murder of Christ
17). Like the life energy of all children in the historic
period, he had to be murdered by the armored characters he interacted
with, in accordance with the epidemiology of the emotional plague.
How then is Christ to redeem the world? Gordon quotes Heinrich von
Kliest who says “that, paradoxically, humanity, in order to recover
its innocence, has to ‘eat of the Tree of Knowledge a second time in
order to fall back into a state of grace.’” Similarly, the task
of orgone therapy is to have patients emotionally, viz. viscerally,
relive and express the repressed pulsions which could not be
expressed in the past. This entails the divestment from muscle
armoring (the condition symbolized by the fall). In order to divest
therefrom and regain orgonity and the capacity to experience visceral
excitations, on must completely enter into the autonomic mode of
parasympatheticonia. Because of the draconian child-rearing tactics
employed by armored characters in the historic period, this condition
universally becomes associated with being destroyed. Therefore, one
must figuratively die in order to convalesce from armoring. Gordon
expresses this in antiquated theological language by saying that the
Tree of Life becomes the cross and that Jesus’s suffering thereon
redeems the world from the condition that Adam brought about. She
invokes the words of Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians: “for
as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive (15:22).”
That is to say, only through enlivenment with orgone energy,
symbolized by the figure of Christ, can humanity be redeemed from the
condition of armoring that Adam and Eve introduced into the world.
The condition of orgonity has been explored by the ancient Hebrew
composers of the Torah, Midrashic scholars and modern Christian
theologians, although it was not called so. They, along with the
orgonomists are describing a real phenomenon. King Solomon is
supposed to have said “She is a tree of life to them that lay hold
upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her” (Pro 3:18).
The Tree of Life is the tree of muskalot, the tree of knowledge of
the life function and the orgone. Whosoever retains this knowledge,
discerns it from the vulgar moral conventions of the armored and
holds on to the vital fountain which is the birthright of the
righteous will have not just happiness but even eternal life. For the
opposite of life is not death, but armoring, and therein lies the
crux of the primordial wound. If the light within us is darkness,
then how great is that darkness (Mat 6:23)!
*Orgone is a physical energy, not a metaphysical, New Age or spiritual energy. It was described as an energy in the classical-mechanical sense because it is carried by mechanical waves propagated in the soma, a super-saturated fluid.
Ausloos, H. “‘Garden in Eden’ or ‘Paradise of Delight’? The
Septuagint’s Rendering of עדן
in the Book of Genesis.” Acta Theologica,
vol. 37, no. 1, Jan. 2017, pp. 6–17. EBSCOhost,
Leah, Gordon. “From the Garden of Eden. Reflections on Disobedience
and Restoration.” European Journal of Theology, vol. 27,
no. 2, Oct. 2018, pp. 139–146. EBSCOhost,
Wurmser, Meyrav. “The Garden of Eden and the Origins of the West:
Reading Maimonides’ Guide to the Perplexed.” Perspectives on
Political Science, vol. 43, no. 3, July 2014, pp. 133–142.
Characteroligcal Resolution of the Infantile Sexual Conflict.”
Character Analysis, by Wilhelm Reich, 3rd ed., Farrar, Straus
and Giroux, 1972, pp. 153–160.
of the Orgasm Theory.” The Function of the Orgasm, by
Wilhelm Reich, vol. 1 of The Discovery of the Orgone, Noonday
Press, 1971, pp. 109–110.
Breakthrough into the Biological Realm.” The Function of
the Orgasm, by Wilhelm Reich, vol. 1 of The Discovery of the
Orgone, Noonday Press, 1971, pp. 256.
Breakthrough into the Biological Realm.” The Function of
the Orgasm, by Wilhelm Reich, vol. 1 of The Discovery of the
Orgone, Noonday Press, 1971, pp. 288-292.
Trap .” The Murder Of Christ, by Wilhelm Reich, Simon and
Schuster, 1953. pp. 13-14.
Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.” The Murder Of Christ, by
Wilhelm Reich, Simon and Schuster, 1953. pp. 17.
would I submit this to a highly armored person? because I am
incapable of writing five pages (double-spaced) on anything besides
orgonomy. Sometimes it is good to throw yourself into the wind and
let what happens happen. Moreover, I should not have to inhibit my
expression because other people want to live in misery and poverty.
She insisted that it is not an analysis and kept repeating that, since we are no longer in high school, “we are now moving beyond define and describe.” I, in my ignorance, insisted that it is an analysis, believing so up to this day. Then I said that she and her colleagues are concerned not with discovery, but with dividing up every area of research in order to create jobs (for the sake of sublimation), and that they hated orgonomy because it can unite various disciplines. She denied this.
The issue came up again, whether it is or is not an analysis. She said “you’re saying the sky’s orange,” to which I replied “you’re saying the sky’s orange.” She asked how it is an analysis and what “theoretical tools” I used. I did not know what this meant. Nor did I want to explain orgonomy to her because that would have meant talking to her about sex, something I didn’t feel comfortable doing. I maintained my position, and she commented on the fact that we could argue all day. At this point I told her “an F to you is an A to me” and that I didn’t want to write like she does. I got up and walked out of the classroom. The doctor of philosophy thought I was bluffing. I felt like I had found two-thousand dollars on the sidewalk. The analysis received a zero.
Then there was the following exchange of emails:
you get my comments for your paper? I submit letter grades on Monday
and will need a revised version by Sunday night…”
got your comments but there was so little context, I could not
understand them. I will not be revising the paper because it is
perfect in my eyes … I accept that we will never agree, but I will
never contort my mind to write something that I don’t believe unless
I am making a joke. Saying what I believe is worth more than getting
comments asked to add your name and date to your poster. That will
allow you to receive 10 additional points representing a significant
jump in your grade.”
colleges for educating or for making sure everyone who pipes is
danced for? It is from Matt Gilinson, it was finished the day it was
uploaded. Have a good summer.“
when you enter the kings hall you dance the king’s dance. And when
you voluntarily participate in higher education, as you and I have
done, you play by their rules. I am merely enforcing the rules of
academic rigor, and whether you like them or not, you have
voluntarily chosen to enter that domain. The only person you are
hurting here is yourself. I assign Cs all the time, but I really hate
to give a C to someone who I think could’ve earned a lot more. I
bend rules for you without bending them for all. So I’m not going
to make an exception here. It will not affect me in anyway to select
C when I input grades tomorrow, but it will affect you. So sometimes
you need to pick your battles. If something as insignificant as this
is that important to you, then fine. Lucky you. But I really hope you
reconsider. Because sometimes you just dance the dance, knowing that
it will put you in a better position for when it really matters.”
“Dr. [redacted] I did play by the rules wherefore I got a C. This does not hurt me, the alternative would have hurt me. I never asked you to make an exception, nor did I expect you to. I love battles, I must be really sick like Spartacus. I feel compelled to state that this was not a tremendous strain and was for me the path of least resistance. Also, the king is crippled and everyone is doing the tarantella (א). And as Wagner said in Parsifal, only a pure fool enlightened by compassion can heal the sick king.”
I could not resist employing dramatic effect; my friends can tell you I am not that enlightened or compassionate. Nonetheless, I am still concerned with the king’s pelvic wound and the Passion relics. I hope to have shown how institutional and characterological forces must suppress orgone energy and the knowledge thereof for the sake of preserving the pathological structures from which they arise. These past two months, my cervical armor segment has been loosened considerably, and I have been using my voice to speak the truth, combat such injustices, and condemn all the diseased people who have wronged me. Believe me when I report that it is a high ecstasy!
am referring to the epidemics of hysterical dancing in medieval Italy
were thought to be caused by tarantula bites.
When it comes to
so-called sacred texts, for every verse, chapter and book, there is
at least one vulgar interpretation and at least one useful one. To
Christians, the myth of the fall of man is one of the most important
for explaining the contemporary situation of humanity. Unfortunately
for generations of children, the interpretation of this myth is
contingent on the neurotic character structures of lapsarians and
this fact can truly jeopardize one’s faith in God. Alexander Lowen
likened neurosis to “closing the [barn] door after the horse is
stolen and then believing the horse is still inside. Of course, one
dares not open the door to find out (1).” Our reaction to the
bio-psychic injury represented by the fall is one of forgetting and
then forgetting we forgot. In order to live this delusion, an obscene
limitation of being is required. This limitation is libidinal and
somatic whereas the religious, metaphorical confession thereof is
epiphenomenal. And for reasons that are only fugaciously implied by
the composers of these texts, Homo normalis must,
since there was no fall,
make his own. That is to say, when his children are born unfallen, he
must make them fallen
because, of course, there was a fall
and we are all “born in
The truth is this:
the antisocial pulsions attributed to the fall, or primitive
accumulation, or survival of the fittest, or the id, or the war of
all against all, whatever, arise from conditions the propagators of
these fall myths themselves create and perpetuate. That these drives
are not innate has been proven in character analysis and orgone
therapy. Why doesn’t anyone care? Their entire character structures
are founded upon the repression of antelapsarian identity and the
oedipal transvaluation of pleasure and anxiety (cf. prerequisite
reading). On this rock, Satan, whom the vulgar call Christ, has built
I am nauseated by these musty symbols! True faith is only found in apostasy, but that is not meet for Christ-killers to understand. To begin to fathom our profound situation on Earth, we would do well to first dispel the common, vulgar interpretation of the fall myth which is itself a characterological defense mechanism. It functions to conceal the fact that we have been rent in two, that our bodies have been overtaken by a malignancy so subtle, it has eluded public discourse for sixty centuries. It is the emotional plague, an epidemic neurosis whereby the afflicted chronically contract regions of expressive musculature. Energy metabolism is compromised and sexual dysfunction ensues as muscle spasms – the somatic elements of the ego – preclude the orgastic convulsions which equilibrate sex-economy. The resultant libidinal surplus must then be sublimated in historic behaviors like production and war. You’ve never heard of it? A fish has never heard of water.
We will not be analyzing the fall myth, merely its characterological function. Its explanation of our condition is comforting when compared with uncertainty. Moreover, it is a palatable thing to believe because it symbolically depicts the demise of authentic sexuality experienced by adherents and practically all people throughout history as children. As described elsewhere, this consists of their caregivers irrationally aggressing against their expression of pulsions and the establishment of libido-metabolic pathways concerned with production. Of course this whole episode is repressed, not only because of the intolerable excitation and trauma it entails, but because the ego which would be doing the remembrance first diverges from the body as a consequence thereof. We can even hear this trauma in the Christian’s catatonic repetitions: “man was born in sin.” Try to take it from them; they will fight tooth and nail to keep this morbid belief. What if we are not “born in sin?” That would mean we have become sinful, which would mean that it happened at a certain time under certain conditions. This train of thought is intolerable to them. It would imply that the fall of man is not the fall of man, but the fall of you, Christian, and it did not happen six-thousand years ago, but in childhood. Naturally, you have established entire communities so you can mutually lie to one another and preserve each other’s neuroses in the name of “the good” and the most iconic victim of the emotional plague. Therefore, I left the church and call you Christ-killers, crucifiers of somatic libido on the cross of the armored body.
What of the war of all against all? With no evidence, almost everyone assumes that such a war would exist were it not for the state. I am so glad you asked! The advent of chaos upon the ostensible collapse of the state is not evidence of the contrary. For what is the machine of the state if not the aggregate of neurotic characters who must repress biological spontaneity? So in these cases, although the macrocosmic state has collapsed, the state within is intact. Since awareness of inter-somatic libidinal economy is repressed by the historic character, non-verbal indications of hostility or the lack thereof are illegible in times of so-called anarchy. This promotes a paranoiac shoot-first-ask-questions-later attitude. The folding of the macrocosmic state now exposes that the people have been alienated from animal political economy. From a characterological perspective, the state represses the war of all against all and this is of course the position of Thomas Hobbes. Similarly, when the internal state, viz. character structure, loses its facade, the antisocial pulsions whose libido was formerly consumed by its superficial mannerisms must surface. However, we must remember that these antisocial pulsions themselves repress fundamental eroticism, the default parasympatheticonia of the organism. Their actualization is then a misdirected divestment from an unnaturally prolonged sympatheticotonic anxiety. In short, repressed anger felt towards whatever agent inspired this cathexis becomes apparent by virtue of characterological deconstruction. When characterological defenses of the masses are externalized onto the state, it follows that the state’s dissolution unearths repressed dispositions: the war of all against all.
Furthermore, it is
armoring which transmutes the erotic pulsion into aggression and
since the internal state stands throughout this chaotic period, and
is fortified by the paranoia inherent thereto, the war of all against
all is not truly cathartic and is not a tenable way to effect
lasting, positive social change. That being said, I believe mass
convalescence from the emotional plague (orgastic potency) can bring
about a stateless but peaceful enough society. But this would be
equivalent to the Eschaton.
And the id? So
plentiful were Freud’s omissions that Wilhelm Reich thought Freud’s
refusal to speak thereon contributed to his jaw cancer! Briefly, the
most fundamental thing in the psyche is purely erotic and all the
destructive pulsions arise in order to vanquish obstacles thwarting
that eroticism. Somatic psychotherapies have shown that the
anti-social pulsions are the body’s effort to mobilize libidinal
stases and metabolize arrested expressions in order to regain
sympathy with the environment and others. There is no “Thanatos”
in itself. Once pathological investments are dissolved, antisocial
pulsions dissipate and authentic, viz. genital, sexuality begins.
Reich discovered that the function of expansion and contraction of
the organism in general (that which the ego represses) was operative
in the atmosphere and the cosmos at large, hence the orgone.
What a mistake it was to ever call it the id! Moreover, Freud
couldn’t have failed to realize that the cathexes he discovered
were operative in the social hierarchy, and that it would be turned
on its head if Reich had his way. It would all depend on the
separateness or oneness of “Eros” and “Thanatos.”
What of primitive accumulation, the original sin of the master class? The veracity of this concept is irrelevant because Marxism, like Christianity, is yet another confession of the same repressed tragedy. It is simply necessary to set up the initial differential from which a dialectical history must proceed. The real question is how did the sex-economies of the masters become so pathological that this unfathomable maneuver of exploitation became preferable to genital sexuality? How did the sex-economies of the soldiers they must have hired to enforce their dictates suffer the same fate? Why were the masses, if they were so honest, righteous and innocent, unable to muster enough self-respect to prevent this? Owning capital alters sex-economy. It permits the subliminatory repression of authentic sexuality, thus preserving the integrity of characterological defenses and, therefore, neurosis. Since neurosis can only be considered as a weakness, one must ask how the alleged exploitation was possible in the first place. Certainly the powerful do not exploit and are not exploited.
To avoid being
condescending, and if the situation is ever to be rectified, we must
place the blame squarely on those in the slave class and their
descendants, the “proletariat.” Let’s just try it one time.
They have unthinkingly corrupted generations of children for
thousands of years, replicating their own slave character structures
in those who initially have the libidinality of the legendary kings,
to wit, infants. Their rationale was and still is, implicitly or
explicitly, that libido must be repressed in order to work and
survive. Not even this is correct in light of studying the genital
character’s labor habits (2). Ironically, their children do not
survive because the opposite of life is not death, but armoring. We
do not work because we need to eat. We need to eat because we work.
pleasure-anxiety (PA) transvaluation is again the culprit. In his
English unemployed did not become workers to survive, they – hang
on tight and spit on me – enjoyed [ifs ont joui de] the hysterical,
it was of hanging on in the mines, in the foundries, in the
factories, in hell they enjoyed it, enjoyed the mad destruction of
their organic body which was indeed imposed upon them (3)…
from the cathexes which comprise the ego has become associated with
the possibility of being destroyed and abandoned, children take
refuge in a chronic sympatheticonia. This wing of autonomic function
is concerned with labor, homeostasis, tension, stress and fear. This
is the oedipal anxiety which becomes pleasurable only in comparison
to the terror regarding the castration that we feel would inevitably
result from our descent into fundamental, parasympathetic eroticism.
As I have written elsewhere, almost the entire economy is a mass
sublimation repressing this eroticism and keeping us in perpetual
sympathetic excitation which precludes divestment. On the one hand,
draconian child-rearing tactics hew the libido-metabolic pathways of
production, turning the body into a machine. When the orgasm reflex
is precluded, libidinal stases can only be vented through sublimation
(labor), providing the avenues of perversion and delirium are also
barricaded. On the other hand, the work environment is almost
identical to the familial situation so as to maintain the integrity
of characterological defenses and prevent the anxiety that surplus
libido is subjectively experienced as. Therefore, Homo normalis
can be said to enjoy or
prefer this so-called
die is basically
the same divestment. If
we are ever to progress beyond our miserable state of affairs, the
fact that death is the alternative to being coerced must lose its
status as an acceptable excuse for capitulating to
slave drivers. Death
is the price of capitulating to slavery, not the alternative thereto.
We read a dialogue from
eternity’s perspective out
The Gay Science:
“You are moving away faster and faster from the living; soon they
will strike your name from their rolls.”
“That is the only way to participate in the privilege of the dead.”
“To die no more (4).”
Pardon me for asking, but what exactly is so horrible about death? And what life is being preserved in the slave and master? Show me! Where is the life? I see through you, you live-savers! you mourners and charitable ones! You don’t want your company to divest! You fear their catharsis as you fear your own divestment from the labor fetishism which voraciously consumes the despised orgone. Whence is this fear? The subjective observer is itself born of cathexis. Thus catharsis and relaxation are interpreted by the ego as its own destruction by virtue of its oedipal condition. If we fear death, it is because we are already dead. We already died and the fear we think pertains to death is really the fear of becoming alive, viz. unarmored, of rising from the dead. Now we must die in order to live, says the sublime Gustav Mahler (5). This paradoxical complex consists of a libidinal stasis corpuscled by overlying characterological layers. It is the cornerstone of all that is pathological in character, an arrested quantity of biological energy unable to make contact with the world that inspired its pulsion. It is the germ of subjectivity, but now let us dress the stone the builders forgot.
Central to this is
the psychic equation of death with the orgasm. The orgastic function
is the life function, recapitulated in pulsion expression,
respiration, mitosis, the seasons and in the cycle of life and death
itself. It is the fundamental function of the orgone, an immanent
monistic substance. The life function’s suppression by the armored
is the source and consequence of the PA transvaluation and the
narcissistic, delusional slave-morality whose application perpetuates
the emotional plague. The adherence thereto constitutes a bio-psychic
stagnation. These neurotics must insulate themselves and their
company from natural forces, but this act of insulating is first and
foremost a repressive exhaustion of energy (sublimation), not an act
of caring. In hindsight are these anti-libidinal mannerisms deemed
good and just. One cannot separate ignoring the natural facts of
sex-economy – as it is done in pitying – from the repression of
sexuality in children and adolescents which has created the epidemic
of orgastic impotence and all the pitiful wretches.
But I digress. We must now ask what a world in which people prefer death to servitude would look like, and if such a world is even possible. It is almost impossible to imagine.
The Origins of
For ages, we have
attempted to explain the historic condition by positing hypothetical
utopias which fell from grace. Rousseau in On the Origin of
Inequality maintains that
historic society came about because floods and earthquakes
“surrounded inhabited districts with precipices or waters,”
creating isolated societies which developed language and civilization
(6). Whence is this sentiment that cannot be substantiated? It is
symbolic of the catastrophic division of the infant body and the
chronic investing of libido. Similarly we have Engels’s conception
of the stratification of society at the advent of history (7). But I
have already described the stratification of animal society (cf.
prerequisite reading), so what can we make of this? Again, his claim
looks like the catastrophe of somatic division, viz. the
establishment of muscle armoring segments which stratify the body and
record every last stasis. I am commenting not on the veracity of
these ideas but on their analytic meaning. All political philosophy
is displaced somatic psychology.
What is the fall
myth’s purpose here? Its espousers endeavor to preempt the
Hobbesian rebuttal: it is human nature to kill, rape and steal. Since
ancient Greece is long dead, perhaps it is time to abandon this
neurotic dualism, “nature versus nurture.” What follows is
not a matter of opinion.
In light of the
revelations of orgone therapy, we have learned that our anti-social
pulsions are contingent on the frustration of our autonomic
faculties. The body enters sympatheticonia in order to destroy or
escape that which frustrates default eroticism. When the infant’s
libidinality is irrationally aggressed against by armored characters,
an acute sympatheticonia results. It is a rage pulsion from the
interior of the organism reaching out into the world to effect
change. However, it is repressed by the familial inter-somatic
libidinal economy and therefore must be directed inwardly (cf.
prerequisite reading). In Character Analysis, Reich tells us
that the ego during its formation “identifies with the frustrating
reality as personified in the figure of the main suppressive person”
and “turns against itself the aggression which it mobilized against
the suppressive person and which also produced the anxiety (8).” In
other words, when the organism cannot escape or destroy the
frustrater, the libido of the pulsion is divided in two and the one
half is directed against the other like in an arch.
response is a libidinal investment in which biological energy is
devoted to a certain function, be it laborious or defensive. In the
case of being aggressed against, the investment should ideally be
proceeded by a divestment. This catharsis would consist of the
discharge of biological energy through the mechanical work that
escape and combat entail. When these two expressions are precluded,
they nevertheless manifest internally. The rage pulsion is directed
towards the initial eroticism while the escape pulsion manifests as a
withdrawal from being in general. One cannot be castrated if one is
already castrated. How then is the libido exhausted in such cases?
The internalized aggression against one’s own erotic pulsion is
accomplished through muscle armoring. Chronic muscular contractions
require mechanical work and therein lies the energetic consumption
which makes desire unapparent, thus repressing it.
armoring can never adequately exhaust the libido of a pulsion so many
psycho-muscular defense mechanisms must be constructed on top of the
oedipal cathexis. Each one serves to consume the surplus energy left
over by the underlying mechanism. The binding of libido in the
overlying investment also ensures the integrity of the underlying
investment by preventing its expression and cathartic dissolution,
these being one and the same. For all these reasons, the historic
character structure is labyrinthine and constipated. Sadism and
irrational aggression are the result of the character structure
buckling under this energy’s incalculable pressure. Here, the
erotic pulsion, transmuted into aggression by the characterological
layers, violently breaks out in a desperate bid for sex-economic
equilibration. Were it not for the emotional plague and the draconian
child-rearing tactics of the afflicted, these libidinal stases which
inspire irrational aggression would never exist in the first place.
This is evidenced by the fact that the attainment of orgastic potency
occurs after the infantile rage is completely expressed. Furthermore,
there are no anti-social pulsions following the attainment of
orgastic potency. Therefore, there is a kernel of truth in the
socialists’ rhetoric regarding human nature and condition.
That all being said,
by no means guarantees the sexual catharsis of all creatures. On the
investment is the basis of natural dominance hierarchy
Gestures of deference and
submission are sublimations, purposeful repressions of desire that
consume a pulsion’s energy until it can be expressed safely, if
adult males in tournament species ever have sex,
nature often appears forced, as
with chimpanzees, and many
female animals hardly seem
enthusiastic about sex,
appearing to go to great lengths to avoid it. While
better than modernity, Nature is hardly perfect. For instance, the
female spotted hyena is thought to have evolved to deliver young
through her large penis-like clitoris whose structure often
first litter of hyena cubs as they are being born. Some
hyena biologists claim that
this masculinization of the
“an incidental by-product
of selection for raised foetal androgens (9).”
More androgens, they
say, mean greater
reproductive success and
larger, more phallic clitorises which make
birth, already characterized by the rupture of the clitoris, even
Here the desiring-machinic
quality of nature is
exemplified, well defended against romanticization and
do men want women who are voluptuous because they are voluptuous, or
do the women whom men want just happen to be voluptuous? The
evolutionary psychologist will tell you it is the former and that, to
“the unconscious,” big breasts mean more milk for the children.
They neglect to tell you that the unconscious is simply that which
we, the egos, are unconscious of, viz. the repressed visceral
excitations of the body. Those excitations are quantities of orgone
that gain relevance and context by existing in relation to material
structures (morphological investments) and situations. If Reich and
Einstein were correct about material being a concentration or
contraction of energy, then the anti-libidinal virtue of the ego may
be recapitulated in matter; the character structure is to the body as
matter is to energy. As this character structure has recorded every
stasis of libido with its muscular cuneiform, so those afflicted
thereby record history. But this text is inscribed on a somatic
tablet. The ink informs through its negative masking of
now-delineated regions in the once undifferentiated void. It is the
fertile soil through which Aleph the ox silently pulls his
letter-plow, that the seeds of naming may be sewn. If the unconscious
is orgonotic, what then does it want with these anti-libidinal
(material) structures, namely, big breasts? I have never heard
anything so ridiculous!
it surprising that Oedipus, fixated in pregenital sexuality, is
concerned with breasts, and big ones at that? It is not the body, but
the ego with its armored ocular and oral musculature who wants such
The emotional plague is driven by the cyclic oedipal machine.
Unconsciously, and in order to maintain sex-economic equilibrium via
the repression of sub-oedipal eroticism, a neurotic must seek out
circumstances that are analogous to the oedipal situation,
circumstances characterized by deprivation and the perpetual
forestalling of gratification. In other words, it is the chronic,
pre-cathartic sympatheticonia which coincides with muscle armoring.
Any lapse in the upholding thereof threatens the integrity of the
armoring. In order to prevent libidinal abundance and maintain the
state of deprivation, the ego employs the visual lusting after bodies
in its arsenal of psychic defenses. This of course is a set of
mannerisms which require the mechanical work of certain muscles.
Oedipus is unconcerned with catharsis because of its equivalence with
castration so the lusting has a paradoxical irony; the sensory
excitation creates tension but only the motor convulsion of the
organism can relieve tension in a gratifying way. This is the same
arch-like irony at the core of every repressive structure, psychic,
somatic or social. In this case, the energy of the repressed libido
resurfaces as a pseudo-sexual behavior, a masochistic voyeurism, as
the conditions of lack are neurotically replicated.
the historic workplace, the historic marriage also functions to
preserve the integrity of the oedipus complex and perpetuate the
emotional plague. It is characterized by “fatherliness and
motherliness … and by mutual, slavish dependency – in short, by
disguised incest (11).” The pregenitally fixated (orgastically
impotent) marriage partners cannot satisfy each other and this
further inflames their paranoia and envious hostility towards their
same-sexed children. Only in this macabre situation can the child’s
natural life be seen as threatening. As Deleuze and Guattari put it,
“Oedipus is first the idea of an adult paranoiac before it is the
childhood feeling of a neurotic (12).” However, all these ideas of
jealousy are merely linguistic epiphenomena of an energetic process.
As Reich discovered, the historic character structure’s investments
are threatened by the perception of and proximity to unarmored
children and other orgonotic bodies. Therein lies the true cause of
the emotional plague’s transmission; the child is forced to hate
and fear its own life as its parents once were.
Such marriages are devoid of love. In order for an adult to be fixated in pregenitality, he or she must be afflicted by a heinous poverty of being. There must be hatred for oneself and one’s partner who has been dehumanized and reduced to a characterological defense mechanism. These partnerships preclude both parties’ convalescence from neurosis. Thus the two go to great lengths to prolong each other’s incarnation, no matter how disgusting it is.
Now let us return to the postulate of Der Ewig Evolutionary Psychologist. We must recall that the ego is an extension of our natural, homeostatic faculties, so maybe this oedipal machine is part of nature in that a man shall “leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh (13).” The lusting after the most exaggerated fertility traits may very well promote the production of “the greatest number of copies of one’s genes.” If this is the case, we have become as the spotted hyenas; it cannot be denied that the oedipal machine, which necessarily precludes orgastic potency in its human linkages, now thereby threatens the continuity of our species in innumerable ways. But according to the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, this machine was, at least in 1927, absent from Trobriand matriliny, whose social arrangements were “in almost complete harmony with the biological course of development, while the institution of the father-right found in our society crosses and represses a number of natural impulses and inclinations (14).” One white crow proves that not all crows are black.
Freud was correct that the oedipus complex is natural, but it is
fallacious to delineate between the natural and the artificial
because artificers are natural and nature is an artifex. However, the
oedipal machine seems to be the collapsed remnants of something
greater, like the disembodied torso of a once great sprinter that now
drags itself around with its arms. It seems that the subliminatory
activities of production and war were sex-economically unnecessary
before the historic period began (ב).
That would imply that our inter-somatic sex-economy existed more or
less at an equilibrium. No, it is not because our progenitors were
too stupid to have a war of all against all! For this equilibrium to
exist, there would have had to have been widespread orgastic potency
or some biological mechanism whereby the pulsions of the sexually
undesirable were repressed in such a way that anti-social behavior
would not arise to the extent it does today.
may be that the macro-biological mechanism which would otherwise
maintain an equilibrated inter-somatic libidinal economy (something
enjoyed by animals) is collectively damaged by historic child-rearing
tactics. I have shown armoring to be a temporally exaggerated version
of the autonomic investments that animals make to repress pulsions in
certain social situations (cf. prerequisite reading). Perhaps the
aforedescribed oedipal repression compromises this inborn
equilibrating faculty. What am I getting at? Animal political economy
arises from the aggregate of interpersonal, orgonotic transactions in
which individuals excite each others’ somatic orgone by being
perceivable. Again, perception is sensation and sensation is
excitation. Armoring prevents us from being viscerally excited and
from perceiving things such as repressed psychic content. Moreover,
it splits the human psycho-soma into a private, biological “id”
and a social facade. As Freud discovered, people often have no
conception of this side of themselves.
Repression, as I said before, has a natural function in animal political economy; it is the means by which one avoids being harmed. To reiterate, an animal’s tolerance of excitation determines whether it defers to another in competition or not. Two organisms of like orgonity will meet and excite each other with various sensations whereupon sympatheticonia, a libidinal investment, ensues in both bodies. In order for them to ever descend again into relaxation, they must viscerally express their sympathetic pulsions. In the case of combat, the victor’s cathartic divestment from sympatheticonia will consist entirely of fighting. The defeated’s divestment will consist of fighting and escaping; these are motor convulsions that exhaust libido. When the defeated can no longer tolerate the excitation that is the perception of being fought against, its combative sympatheticonia adopts a withdrawing, submissive virtue. Thus the conflict ends with mutual catharsis but the defeated must repress the pulsion to couple with the cathartic opportunity that was fought over. By virtue of this repression, successive losses eventually result in a more labyrinthine sex-economy and increasingly diminished orgonity, as investigation of armoring and the parent-child conflict has shown.
Now, armoring’s splitting of the psycho-soma does three interrelated things. First of all, it compromises the capacity to perceive one’s own somatic orgonity. Children are aggressed against irrationally by their parents for displays of emotion, these necessarily coinciding with the pulsation of the organism, i.e. its enlivenment with orgonotic currents. As I said before, armoring is the adaptation to this hostility and it functions to repress that which inspired it; it is an obscenely exaggerated version of the aforementioned animal scenario. Thus people become unaware of their power or lack thereof. Since armoring universally compromises this faculty, people have defaulted to using symbols to signify power (it doesn’t work). Second, armoring compromises one’s capacity to perceive an other’s somatic orgonity. In order to perceive orgonotic systems, one must tolerate visceral, orgonotic excitation. Whoever cannot do this is powerless because any strongly orgonotic system will disequilibrate that person’s armored sex-economy. Failure to equilibrate sex-economy results in the becoming conscious of repressed content and that is intolerable to most. To equilibrate, that person will escape the strongly orgonotic system’s stimulation, i.e. it will comply therewith. The third thing armoring does is disintegrate the body and mind by creating an impregnable wall between the soma’s deep biological pulsions and the superficial persona. The persona is the foremost layer of the character structure and it often appears to be either absolutely submissive or absolutely aggressive without any regard for somatic orgonity. Therefore, our pathological political economy is characterized by conflicts that are not grounded in any biological legitimacy. Often we see people with extremely disturbed sex-economies employing their reservoir of repressed drive energy to kill people whom they aren’t even competing with. It is literally senseless violence. In animal political economy, a dispute is almost always settled before anyone can be killed.
I have described combat but for sex, things are slightly different. Orgastically potent men and women are effortlessly attracted to those with equally healthy sex-economies because they seek the highest possible discharge of libido. Similarly, Oedipus and Elektra, with their disturbed sex-economies only want pathological, incomplete gratification that preserves a neurotic equilibrium. Everywhere in between, there are partnerships of those with similar sex-economies. An orgastically potent man or woman would never voluntarily have sex with an armored person in the same way that gold would find it disagreeable to be amalgamated with lead. The armored person would never be able to divest from his or her defenses such that a reciprocal communication between the bodies takes place. Moreover, the armored person despises that which the orgastically potent man or woman has cultivated (orgonity), hence his or her armoring.
Even without morality or the characterological defenses that enslave the armored, the orgastically potent man is sex-economically disincentivized from committing rape. Just as a stone does not roll up a hill by itself, there is no reason for the self-equilibrating sex-economy to contort itself in order to carry out that act. While defense mechanisms indeed repress the pulsion to rape in Homo normalis, the Freudians and other thermodynamic pessimists ignore the fact that this pulsion is itself a defense mechanism ultimately repressing the sub-oedipal pulsion to love purely. Like unwarranted killing, it arises from the aforementioned splitting of the body and ego. We have become alienated from the biological matchmaker and some among us have become so deluded, having committed the incalculably cowardly act of dismissing the facts of their impotence and then aggrandizing some heavily invested conception, that they now employ their repressed drive energy to rape others. So the pulsion to rape represses the facts of one’s orgonotic destitution and the orgastically potent person is of course immune to this. Hesitantly, it may also be that the orgastically potent woman is less likely to be raped because her orgonity is offensive to the sadistic character.
Like rape, voyeuristic lusting arises from a similar narcissistic delusion. First it must be said that since animals with exaggerated fertility traits are less submissive, they must have less complicated sex-economies and consequently, higher orgonity. Since people with similar sex-economies are attracted to each other, it follows that the same goes for animals. The invested, submissive male animal would be disturbed by the orgonity of a highly fertile female. His sex-economy has already been molded by competition and rejection such that cathexes restricting erotic and violent pulsions are in place. Her orgonity excites his, his sex-economy becomes disequilibrated, and he must either withdraw or entertain that which the disturbed cathexis represses. In the parent-child conflict, we see an obscenely exaggerated analogue of this. Homo normalis is penultimately anti-sexual, in that he is castrated and orgastically impotent. That is to say, his sexuality is a performance of the ego, not a spontaneous expression of the body. Oedipus does not want anyone, not even Jocasta. Nor does Elektra want Agamemnon with all his spoils of war. Then whence is this lusting after big breasts? from the abject estrangement from the body and inter-somatic libidinal economy. Orgonity is the source of beauty and the orgonitous love the orgonitous, but when a person has murdered his body and repressed the fact, the last vestige thereof, like a little ghost that thinks itself alive, likes to believe it is a king. Thus he escapes the situation in the most backwards way possible. If subjectivity was to entertain the body, the characterological defenses would be challenged, but instead, it is somewhere else. And after discovering these things, I alone can rightfully utter this dangerous verse which has been utilized to justify untold misery: “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (15).”
But the Christian wants to “transcend” the body, and the conservative becomes ever more devoted to “morals!” The flood is coming, but you have no seats on my ark! Nature has been groping her way through the darkness to find something. She is a sleeping artifex, groping to the spotted hyena over there, now groping to the oedipal machine over here. Who can enumerate her embarrassing accidents? We don’t need to hearken back to a primitive horde to justify our entrance into eternal life. If the primitive society was so great, why was it stratified, colonized and digested? There was something it must have repressed, and God does not forgive ignorance! That all being said, there really was a fall, but if you are of the persuasion that there should be no sex outside of wedlock, you have greater things to worry about. We, the Gay Scientists have always wanted to say this, but there were no words to say it with and even fewer ears with which to hear it.
Though muscular, these armorings are alien to the body and have
psychic corollaries. Therefore I say they are of the ego and not of
the body. Or more correctly, the oral and ocular armor segments are
are the product of the reaction between pulsions and anti-libidinal
(ב) The historic period did not begin one day in 4,000 BC., but begins locally wherever people begin to record history, this usually coinciding with the advent of other institutions. There are peoples for whom history has not yet begun and possibly never will begin.
(1) Lowen, Alexander
– Fear of Life pg. 52
Reich, Wilhelm – The Function of the Orgasm pg.
(3) Lyotard, Jean-François – Libidinal Economy – A Desire Named Marx pg. 111
Nietzsche, Friedrich – The Gay Science – Book III:
Aphorism 262 Sub specie aeterni (from the point of view of
Mahler, Gustav – Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”
– Movement V.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques – On the Origin of Inequality – Part
Engels, Friedrich – Origins
of the Family, Private Property, and the State – IV.
The Greek Gens
Drea, C. M., et al. – Exposure to Naturally Circulating
Androgens during Foetal Life Incurs Direct Reproductive Costs in
Female Spotted Hyenas, but Is Prerequisite for Male Mating. –
Sciences, vol. 269, no. 1504, pg. 1981–1987
Contrary to academic belief, one does not gain an understanding of libidinal economy by reading books. In Ether, God and Devil, Wilhelm Reich explains that the most powerful research tool in the orgonomist’s arsenal is subjective organ sensation (1). In fact, one’s perception depends upon one’s sensory awareness of the soma’s dynamics. For instance, the reductionist scientist can’t entertain the possibility of libidinal energy because his entire character structure, notwithstanding his subliminatory occupation, serves to repress it. Thus he perceives the world to the degree he perceives himself; his cosmology is an allegory and a confession of a repressed tragedy. In the beginning, there was a singularity of pure energy. It became imprisoned in matter and now slowly peters out into oblivion, in accordance with “laws.” He is no better than the mystic with his Eden and Fall, but at least the mystic believes in the Resurrection!
Moreover, we are confronted with the unusual perceptions associated with the failure of armoring in psychosis. The schizophrenic’s inability to identify his visceral sensations and subsequent attribution thereof to the external compromises reliable navigation of the world. Though a feeling of cosmic unity is gained, it is impractical, to say the least. Again, we find that perception has a relationship to sex-economy, particularly to armoring: less is more. What then can be said about the anomalies allegedly observed at Orgonon outside of Rangley, Maine? Were Reich and his associates suffering from mass psychosis, or had they to some degree escaped Plato’s cave through the deconstruction of inhibitory mechanisms?
Let us look to the Orient and find techniques which both seem to counter armoring and are purported to enhance perception. For instance, in the tradition of kundalini yoga, there are thought to be several energetic loci, the chakras, situated on the spine. An energy originating at the base of the spine is said to ascend through these loci to the forehead, this coinciding with the practitioner’s endowment with divine understanding and awareness (2). Similarly, orgone therapy is tasked with the dissolution of seven segments of muscle armoring oriented perpendicularly to the spine. Armoring and the emotional plague are accused of preventing mankind from discovering the cosmic orgone energy. Moreover, the practitioners of qigong, which in Chinese means ‘bio-energy work,’ are concerned with “opening the qi gates” through which qi, a biological and atmospheric (4) energy, passes. According to qigong master Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, one purpose of his art is to prevent energetic stagnation and subsequent damage to the organs. This is done by assuming various postures, some of which are reminiscent of movements from Alexander Lowen’s somatic psychotherapy, bio-energetic analysis. The traditional Chinese medical paradigm is similar to orgonomy, because in orgonomy, stagnation of somatic energy is thought to cause diseases such as neurosis and cancer. Like kundalini yoga, qigong is sometimes concerned with “enlightenment” by means of energy ascending the spine. The Daoist method for this entails the direction of qi from the kidneys up into the brain (5). Here, without explaining the enormous difference between orgonomy and these traditions, I hope to illustrate that the consideration of biological energy with regards to pathological, ordinary and extraordinary perception is much older than orgonomy. Reich came to his conclusions independently of his ancient Eastern counterparts through investigation into the quantitative problem of libido and the inadequacies of Freudian psychoanalysis.
is not my intention to convince the skeptics, though I anticipate the
day when every tool with which they evade
this energy is stripped away
from them. To the practitioners
of yoga and qigong, to
the convalescent and many
ordinary people, a somatic and inter-somatic biological energy is
obvious, as evidenced by colloquial language. In
his The Mystery of the Cathedrals, philosopher
Fulcanelli says of such
he calls cant, this:
…cant is spoken
by the humble people, the poor, the despised, the rebels, calling for
liberty and independence, the outlaws, the tramps and the wanderers.
Cant is the cursed dialect, banned by high society, by the nobility
(who are really so little noble), the well-fed and self-satisfied
middle class, luxuriating in the ermine of their ignorance and
fatuity…I would add that argot (cant) is one of the forms derived
from the Language of the Birds, parent and doyen of all other
languages – the one spoken by philosophers and diplomats…To them
[the ancient Incas – M.G.]
it was the key to the double science, sacred and profane. In the
Middle Ages it was called the Gay Science…men spoke it before the
building of the Tower of Babel.
In other words, cant is rejected by high society and descends from a sacred and profane tongue which can unite men in a construction project so ambitious, it would make God Himself fear His usurpation. The Language of the Birds, from which cant is derived, refers to the hidden, communicative order inherent to nature, viz. the inter-somatic libidinal economy (ILE). It is a language only understood by the likes of the dragon-killer Siegfried (7), who symbolizes the confronter of repressed pelvic terror. Clearly, the academy since its inception has been unequipped to study this phenomenon, despite a few heroic efforts by Lyotard, Deleuze and others. Is reading, writing and lecturing not vanity and sublimation? Academia is not so honest with itself. Its research is an escape from the body and its conventions are couched in the very politics it claims despise, an inescapable politics. Academia can never happen upon ILE because of its thoroughly subliminatory nature.
The Physiology of Cathexis
academia surrendering its
duty to explore this subject-matter, politics eagerly takes its
place. Or perhaps it is
better said that politics has been concerned with libidinal economy
since before the first humans stood erect. Let
us begin our investigation by exploring the process of cathexis, to
wit, libidinal investment. First,
it must be said that there is
a fundamental erotic pulsion in
organisms which inspires
out into the world. Reich
believed the pulsion to be
a consequence of organismic
default mode of
orgone is characterized by gentle motility and
superimposition, viz. the
union of orgonotic systems and
Superimposition, the most
basic function of the orgone
is most notably recapitulated in sex but it is also
thought to underpin a variety of material, biological, atmospheric
and galactic processes.
the default mode of this energy is pulsatory and erotic. Similarly,
the default autonomic
disposition of organisms.
certain circumstances, the organism is inspired to hide that which
makes it alive from the covetous and predatory who wish to assimilate
such vitality into their own beings. In
physiology, this is called the sympathetic response. Here
the organism is sympathetic to some perceived
danger it must anticipate and react to. It must be noted that
all organisms, whether they have nervous systems or not, display
these two modes of being in the same circumstances:
parasympatheticonia in perceived safety and sympatheticonia in
perceived danger. That being said, the organism is perpetually under
the implied threat of death, it seems; if homeostasis is ceased,
death ensues, it seems. Biological blackmail. Therefore, as long as
they respire, organisms exist in a constant low-grade
sympatheticonia, an arousing dialogue with the environment (8).
In other words,
staying alive seems to require work and if that work is ceased, death
must follow. Presumably, such work consists of the displacement and
deformation of biological molecules, e.g. in signal transduction,
protein folding, muscle fiber recruitment &c. The body has many
ways of adapting to environmental stimuli including regulating
temperature, developing immunity, hypertrophy and atrophy of the
muscles &c, many of which seem to require work. Other
adaptations, like the habituation of a slime mold to the presence of
a bitter substance (9), seem to entail a relaxation of the organism,
although this may only be possible by virtue of a labor concerned
with absorption and cataloging of such substances (10). In higher
animals, we find more sophisticated behavioral adaptations.
I have treated on
the homeostatic function of sympatheticonia, but let us now explore
the acute stress response, something which is not entirely
distinguishable from homeostasis. Across all phyla, we see a general
contraction of the organism in acute stress, from the shy amoeba
retracting its pseudopods, to the tortoise withdrawing its limbs.
This response coincides with the fortification of organismic
boundaries, an increase in separateness from the environment and, I
would argue, increased individual subjectivity. Its function is to
prepare the organism to destroy or escape that which frustrates its
parasympathetic existence. The therapy character analysis first
showed that these mechanisms employ libidinal energy and their
activation necessarily creates a state of tension; the organism is
aroused and suspended above the default parasympatheticonia.
parasympatheticonia is characterized by regenerative processes, all
sympathetic processes carry opportunity costs. Evidently, the
expenditure of energy on sympathetic processes can be beneficial
insofar as prolonging incarnation is a benefit. Thus the organism
invests energy in the upholding of adaptive states to meet
environmental demands. Once whatever inspired such defensiveness is
gone, the organism must divest if it would resume its erotic life.
Whoever fails to liquidate such investments in their lifetime,
assuredly, their children will inherit them. That is the curious
situation of the emotional plague, the epidemic of armoring whose
effects are all its causes and whose causes are all its effects.
The armoring described by Wilhelm Reich is a pathological
extension of our natural autonomic faculties. However, the stimuli to
which the armored character has adapted are not exactly immediate.
Ostensibly, they have long since passed. Strangely enough, their
anticipation invites analogous stimuli into the life of the armored
character. If such anticipation is somehow forgone, an acute terror
arises. It is as if the anticipation itself is a vital necessity.
Inquiry into the economic problem of libido has elucidated this
seemingly absurd situation. Reich discovered that healthy emotional
expressions of all kinds roughly mirror the orgastic function in that
tension is accumulated and then completely discharged, ad
infinitum. Neurosis is caused by some stasis at any point in the
cycle. Ideally, pulsions should manifest as outward expressions but,
because of the pervasive atmosphere of biophobia throughout history,
children have always had to conceal their desire under perceived
threat of destruction, usually by the same-sexed parent. Because the
pulsions must take place regardless, they are directed inwardly
through the perpetual contraction of the muscles which would
otherwise be mobilized in the outward expression of such pulsions.
The act contraction consumes the libido of the now repressed
Let us recall that,
for a child, the historic family setting is characterized by wild
oscillations between libidinality and terror. This results from the
antithesis between the vitality of the unarmored child and the
character structures of the caregivers (ב).The
infant is unarmored and, notwithstanding the morphological
investments that together are the material soma, its libido is
basically un-invested and apparent. The character structures of the
armored caregivers are anti-libidinal and are therefore disturbed by
the infant’s unbounded expression. Just as they would quell any
unbounded libido within themselves through sublimation and other
types of repression, they similarly offend the vitality of their
children through circumcision, schooling, encouraging relative
affectnessless, and most importantly, signaling disapproval or terror
at various libidinal franchises. Thus the libidinal economy of the
individual caregiver does not end with the skin, but rather extends
to other bodies, as evidenced by the child’s disequilibration
As I said before,
the default mode of being for organisms is parasympatheticonia, this
being characterized by growth, regeneration and eroticism. Therefore,
the most natural thing about children and life in general is at odds
with the anti-libidinal character structure and evokes hostility
therefrom. This hostility constitutes an aggression against the
child, who, as a consequence, naturally enters a state of
sympatheticonia, a general contraction of the organism. Analysis of
neurotics’ repressed complexes has shown that children often
perceive a threat of destruction, castration or abandonment (11) when
their caregivers act with such belligerence. In this state of
adrenalism, biological energy is invested in the contraction of the
muscles and other sympathetic processes. Divestment from this state
entails the return to baseline eroticism and parasympatheticonia.
Especially in the denouement of the oedipal situation, such
divestment is sure to evoke ire from caregivers and other
self-murdered characters. Simultaneously, more and more
responsibilities are foisted upon the child, these serving to consume
frustrated libido as well as prepare him or her for initiation into
the workforce, which is to say, those who force themselves to work.
To adapt to a life-negating culture in which they are constantly
under duress and discouraged from being themselves, children take
refuge on the sympathetic pole of these aforementioned oscillations.
Thus they enter into and remain in a pre-cathartic state of perpetual
vigilance, censoring authentic motor expressions of sexuality through
Thus the typical
person, Homo normalis as
Reich would say, is in a constant state of anxiety. In fact, the
object of historic child-rearing is the transvaluation of pleasure
and anxiety. In the scenario described above, true pleasure becomes
almost inseparably associated with destruction while discomfort and
anxiety become pleasurable in comparison. Relaxation
subsequently becomes intolerable to a degree and, depending
on individual differences, a
certain portion of somatic
be employed or anxiety will
we uphold cathexes in order to equilibrate sex-economy when orgastic
impotence precludes the discharge of libidinal stases.
disparate facts have been put forth thusfar; eventually,
they will be tied together…
only is orgone energy the
currency of libidinal economy; it is also the currency of political
economy. I believe that all power relations are quasi-fatalistic
of the orgone.
Let us explore
the misunderstood concept of power before
these dynamics are explained.
Power, even political power, is energy’s
capacity to do work in time. Field
guns are rolled, pencils are pushed, skulls cracked &c. However,
power is not something that
we have, but something that has us. We
are only powerful, viz. full
power, insofar as we surrender to this energy. This is the source of
power in the animal kingdom. With humans, what is called power is
actually weakness, as the princes of Earth despise the most precious
thing. Abetting their subjects in their own miserable occupation,
these princes are able to keep themselves in a perpetual state of
excitation. This ensures the
perpetuation of their
they never divest from their characterological defenses. They are
rigidified and libidinally incontinent and
their lives are hell because
they must drown any inkling of authentic
vitality in sublimation as
soon as it arises. They can
never let go. There is no
greater poverty than to be
Oedipus Rex, Rex Oediporum.
Remarkably, these people seem to have control over
others. In actuality, they have merely by birth, effort
or chance found themselves atop
what amounts to a festering tumor leeching
of our races. Moreover, their
subjects are responsible for their own misery and we must never
insult them by attempting to
deprive them of this honor.
We must now ask the classic
people come to desire their own repression?
The same mechanism whereby
children take refuge in sympatheticonia to “identify with the
father” is the source of all tyranny. The character structure of
Homo normalis is held
in armoring by an acute fear of divestment. As
soon as the people become more
free, the ILE,
arising from the collective of
libidinal economies, becomes disequilibrated. The freed
or unemployed energy is quickly exhausted
a Red Terror or some
other kind of terror; they
are truly tiresome! This is
universally followed by the reinstitution of a despot who
with equilibrating the
In fact, the
state is itself a cathexis which serves to, on the one hand, exhaust
the intolerable energies of all those who labor
to uphold it, and on the
other, repress libidinality (freedom) as
much as it can without jeopardizing its own continuity.
instills in Homo normalis
a craving for repression and authority which in
turn functions to conceal the
erotic energy conditionally associated with destruction (castration).
For all these reasons,
the masses coalesce under the princes into the great machine tasked
primarily with burning its fuel – the
order to understand human political economy, we must first explore
animal political economy,
is very different in some
either by lack
of complexity or
the absence of
the emotional plague.
Animals are subject to
various pulsions which are probably consequent
incarnation and orgonity. In
the words of Deleuze and
Guattari, “Desire does not
express a molar lack within the subject; rather, the molar
organization deprives desire of its objective being (12).” Here,
desire (orgone) is
a fundamental substance whose coagulation
as material begets a
morphology animated by desire
according to structural properties. Animals
accumulate orgone energy
energy is exhausted through
which seem to promote
continued incarnation and reproduction. Further,
the nature of these behaviors depends upon specific capabilities
based in morphology.
There seems to exist an
intolerance of energy
across the whole biosphere whereby
organisms must always work and move, if only at the cellular level.
Onlookers say that the
organism desires something which
it does not have and then
works to get it. I believe
that desire is a function of orgonotic superimposition, wherein
the fundamental energies of two systems merge, e.g.
All ascriptions of negative,
arise from the armored
character structure that has transvaluated pleasure and anxiety and
mistakes the advent of true
life for death. To such
characters, being itself is abhorred while
disembodying bromides are sought to approach some Apollonian ideal.
That is what the vulgar call ‘want,’ which means ‘lack.’
does not lack anything…
it is rather the subject that
is missing in desire, or desire that lacks a fixed subject. There is
no fixed subject unless there is repression (13).”
So we have a multitude of animal pulsions expressed through various actions. The observable portion of a pulsion, the expression, is inherently cathartic. An animal “seeks above all to discharge its strength (14),” says Nietzsche, and descend from excitation (into parasympatheticonia) in order to profit from whatever cathexis it has just divested from. However, in the natural world, there are scarce opportunities to relieve the tension which arises from incarnation. These include mates, food, spatial positions, movements and visceral expressions, some having certain social meanings. In many of these opportunities, only a limited number of individuals and a finite quantity of tension can be relieved. Therefore, in animal ILE, certain individuals exhaust themselves in cathartic opportunities more immediately than others. The submissive animals who have deferred to these must, until the more dominant animals are satiated, exhaust their own energies with various gestures. These gestures are conversions – sublimations – of the rage arising from the frustration of their wills by animals whom they cannot overcome (ג.). This means that in animal hierarchy, the most dominant individuals have the most honest expression, the smallest quantities of chronically invested libido, and the least complicated sex-economies. Conversely, the archons of historic human society seem to have the most chronic investments; many of these characterological defenses are externalized onto property and institutions.
Political Economy is Orgonotic
Wherever there is sensation or perception, there is somatic excitation. In Ether, God and Devil, Reich tells us that“sensation is a function of excitation; that, in other words, there is a functional identity between the [ordinal – M.G.] quantity of excitation and the intensity of sensation (15).” Although it is not that useful to delineate so, sensation here can be thought of as the subjective element of this functional identity. Excitation, on the other hand, refers to an objective and physical orgonotic charge in the soma. The degree to which an organism is armored is inversely correlated with its tolerance of somatic excitation and by extension, sensation. Therefore, the armored character, and to a lesser extent, the submissive animal, is handicapped in sensation. If it were to perceive certain stimuli, the concomitant excitation would disequilibrate its sex-economy, creating an uncomfortable tension which the organism would seek to resolve by avoiding, escaping or destroying said stimuli. This desensitization functions to protect the autonomic investments which guarantee the organism’s continued sex-economic equilibrium, this usually coinciding with “survival.”
animal and human
political economy, it is the
intolerance of excitation which makes one individual defer to
another. Let me outline this ancient episode of
which the fundamental transactions of historic society are hideous
opportunities arise in
nature and individuals become
attracted to them, perhaps
sympathetic arousal occurs in these
because of the finitude
of the opportunities
and the fact that others are
attracted as well and would
for themselves. As
I said before, the
sympathetic response prepares
an organism to destroy or
escape that which frustrates its
erotic parasympatheticonia –
in this case, the
is it then
that makes an organism either
fight or flee in such
situations? It is the degree
to which it can tolerate the excitation evoked by its perception of
the frustrating agent.
Rarely, this perception includes the mechanical sensation of the
competitor’s body in combat. Usually
it is a
glance, an odor, a subpoena
or something to that effect – some
kind of non-violent, albeit
the intolerance of this
contact is greater than the
intolerance of the
attraction to the
subliminatory gestures (ד).
This is the same reason why
destructive rage felt
the same-sexed parent is
repressed and transmuted
into anxiety bound in muscle
varying degrees, all subordinate animals seem to be afflicted by
something that resembles armoring in which expression and concomitant
pulsation of the soma are inhibited. The pursuit of such ideas may
give us insight into the origin of the emotional plague. Though
armoring is a function of our natural, autonomic faculties, there
are, in practice, significant differences between the politics of
history and those of animals. For instance, the most influential,
formative experiences of children in historic society are determined
not by rational anticipation of the environment, but by pathological
biophobia in adults. These experiences lay the groundwork for a
neurotic, constipated ILE complete with the gross excesses of
historic political economy. Many of our investments serve to abet
society’s ignorance and concealment of its obvious mass sexual
dysfunction and general absurdity. The child’s expression is not
stifled to avoid alerting some wild beast. It is stifled to spare
everyone from realizing that they were formerly living, pulsating
beings that were afflicted with a disease supposed not to be a
disease. The animal’s intolerance pertains to immediate, concrete
threats rather than temporally displaced potentialities and long
in humans is synonymous with orgastic impotence (16), the inability
to have the orgasm reflex (ה).
The convulsions of this reflex discharge libidinal stases through
mechanical work but are precluded by muscle armoring, especially of
the pelvis. Its function? to equilibrate sex-economy. When the
environment encourages the repression of eroticism, sex-economy must
be equilibrated through armoring and sublimation. The neurotic
sex-economy, overloaded with investments, binds energy in corpuscles
which can only be accessed through expression of the repressed. Since
divestment is conditionally intolerable, a constant, unconscious
effort is made which, being a labor, itself prevents the
parasympatheticonia prerequisite to the orgasm reflex. The neurotic
cannot discharge a quantity of libido equal to that which he or she
has accumulated. Since almost everyone is an orgasically impotent
neurotic, intolerable erotic energies must be exhausted in
production, commerce, war, bureaucracy, religious ritual &c. What
then can be said about the mammalian “tournament species” in
which most males never have sex? Are most bighorn rams neurotic? Why
are their gestures of deference sufficient to equilibrate their ILEs
such that they don’t spiral out of balance, into civilization?
Perhaps they haven’t been given enough time … What are we?
normalis’s intolerance of excitation makes him
vulnerable to various political and economic devices. For instance,
the reservoirs of repressed drive energy existing in populations of
young men are vented through war. Mass orgastic potency would
theoretically prevent such tensions from arising in the first place.
Similarly, this intolerance inspires his excessive laboring. In the
absence of the repressive family structure, the labor situation takes
on its role, ensuring the integrity of the cathexes and
libido-metabolic pathways hewn in childhood and adolescence. All Homo
normalis has ever known, save the antelapsarian ecstasy of
infancy (this not merely reducible to the breast), is the squandering
of libido such that the terror and purity of erotic being is escaped.
Therefore, and as we know from history, he is perfectly reconciled to
“oppression,” which is merely the epiphenomenon and complementary
aspect of repression, the latter resulting in and inviting the
former. Furthermore, he is vulnerable to talismanic words and images
published by the media which convince him to equate repressed
desires, fears and characterological dispositions with people those
“in power” want to destroy or alienate (17).
As Blake’s Devil says in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, “Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained… And being restrain’d it by degrees becomes passive till it is only the shadow of desire (18).” That is to say, desires are identical to actions which take place, not hopes and dreams. Fantasy is an expression of a desire to fantasize, not of a desire to experience the fantastic content. Our language even betrays this; we say “I will…” which once meant both “I desire…” and “I am going to…” Moreover, when energy is invested in armoring – characterological, muscular, institutional armoring – instead of expression, a congestion of the libido-metabolic pathways occurs. This results in a pathological sex-economic equilibrium whose disturbance evokes dread. Following this encrustation is anorgonity and a withering away of the organism. The constant rejection of power unsurprisingly ends in helplessness. Eventually we get today’s absurd situation: people who hate power using what little power they have to exhaust their power under the guise of demanding power – power which continually offers itself to every living organism for free. Next to them, the damned trying to save. Until Homo normalis rewrites the past and transmutes every “it was” into a “thus I willed it (19),” until he accepts that his character structure, over which he has control, is inseparable from the conditions he inhabits, and that his choices ultimately created the conditions, he will always be a slave and love it. Many people may already be too traumatized to do this and it is ridiculous to expect the living to contort their modes of being into something easily digestible to them because to do so would be a repressive negation of life.
libidinal economy exists between bodies, it follows that
inter-somatic armoring exists as well. Obviously, we are not
connected to each other by muscle tissue. And though I am ignorant
about the atmospheric orgone, its motility and stagnation, I believe
these things influence ILE if only because the climate determines the
quality and frequency of cathartic opportunities in nature. However,
what I want to treat on is the inter-somatic repression of pulsions
whereby individuals irrationally aggress against each others’
expressiveness. Unlike those in animal political economy, the
offenses inherent to historic society are irrational from a
sex-economic point of view. That is to say, the aggression an animal
employs to capitalize on scarce, cathartic opportunities is necessary
for the greatest possible discharge of static libido. The expressions
of the competitors are in part repressed by the victorious animal,
but for a rational, life-affirming reason. Conversely, the hostility
of Homo normalis towards the expressions of children,
strangers, eccentrics, psychotics and other undesirables does not
usually guarantee an opportunity to divest from sympatheticonia. Its
purpose is rather to safeguard and prolong the investments which
together form the historic character structure and, by extension, the
culture and state. In theory, a predictable cultural milieu should
allow for catharsis because of the infrequency of shocking events. In
our situation, it does not, partly because culture’s signature
predictability itself arises from the aggregate of neuroses which
only persist because catharsis is forever delayed.
is identical to and inseparable from ILE, complete with adaptations,
investments, repressions and sublimations. The labyrinthine route
libido traverses through armoring in convalescence may be
recapitulated in the complicated rituals of courtship and marriage.
The compulsive mannerisms of the neurotic may be recapitulated in
manners, religious ritual and other anti-libidinal conventions. The
violent contraction of the muscular system against pulsions is
recapitulated in law enforcement. The layered structure of character
and the congested libido-metabolic pathways are recapitulated in
bureaucracy. The madhouse is society’s pelvis. All the various
institutions function to manage our antisocial pulsions through
repression, primarily in the form of sublimation, foolishly
guaranteeing their immortality.
armoring is visible when somebody is doing something unusual which
evokes the disapproving glances of others. Having so glanced, I
realized this behavior arises from an aversion to empathizing with
such actors which itself is indistinguishable from a fear of acting
as they have acted. Often this is done under the pretext of curiosity
but it functions to arouse within the eccentric anxiety regarding his
standing within the group. The eccentric is implicitly expected to
alleviate the tension his actions evoke through self-censorship
(repression) or be ostracized. If his repression of his self is
insufficient, assuredly the ILE will equilibrate itself by cutting
him off, in the same way a child in the oedipal situation cuts off
his or her genitals from the rest of the body by chronically
contracting the pelvic muscles. Thus the eccentric’s libidinality
is akin to orgonotic currents in the body politic, challenging
inter-somatic armoring. One must only look at the life and career of
Wilhelm Reich to understand this.
from the rational, mutually utilitarian social dynamics which
effortlessly result from the honest expression of pulsions, Homo
normalis has created a paranoiac political economy characterized
by conformity, inauthenticity, repression and fear. People will do
the most self-destructive and cowardly things if only they are
considered normal. Medically optimal modes of living are often
antithetical to these standards. However, I have found that because
most people today are so ridden with guilt and uncertainty about
how-one-ought-to-act, and because of the increasing scrambling of
societal codes, expressions of libidinality are now more likely to be
met with avoidance than with hostility. Today, Homo normalis
has at his disposal more avenues of escape than ever before.
Historically, hewas forced to look at the eccentric and be
affected by his contact therewith. These new avenues of escape allow
him to repress through distraction the sensations corresponding to
his perceiving of the eccentric. Moreover, this avoidance is much
easier than his former persecution thereof and doesn’t require
repression on the eccentric’s end. In other words, incredible
opportunities never before seen in history are arising as the weary
neutralize themselves with technological bromides.
the externalization of characterological defenses onto technology
continually atrophies peoples’ capacity to tolerate visceral
excitation. Not only is visceral excitation repressed by the
operation of technology; technology creates precarious spaces which
deceive our senses and inspire our divestment from beneficial
cathexes. Atrophy of this tolerance necessarily coincides with the
atrophy of perception and the capacity to wield power (orgone). On
the substrate of our propensity to escape, technology, the seducer,
quietly grows like a cancer. It makes our load lighter but the
despisers of energy need to carry heavy weights. If things are too
easy, we will make problems for ourselves; is that not the essence of
neurosis? Problems, the despisers maintain, require machines, which
make our loads lighter ad infinitum, this accursed ring, until
the Rhine overflows its banks at Ragnarok and baptizes the new world
until and after then, the lovers of being will refine their science
and discover better ways to live. One account has it that the prophet
Zarathustra told the higher men this on the evening they dined in his
approaches—the hour when I shiver and freeze, which asks and asks
and asks, “Who has heart enough for it? Who shall be the lord of
the earth? Who will say: thus shall you run, you big and little
rivers!” … The purest shall be the lords of the earth—the
most unknown, the strongest, the midnight souls who are brighter and
deeper than any day (21).
The lovers of being will become more natural than nature herself. Man is the animal that can shape his perceptions, design his environment and thereby revise his investments … an exhortation sure to confound! I have not said anything new, but merely published it. When Prometheus stole fire from the gods, he knew that some would burn themselves with it!
Orgonity is the “condition of containing orgone energy; the quality
of orgone energy contained” according to the glossary of Wilhelm
Reich’s Selected Writings published by the Noonday Press.
(ב) The oedipal situation is ensconced in a greater rhizome of armoring which unites it with various repressive processes operating throughout the social field and possibly the cosmos in general. Thus the social milieu inspires the oedipalization of the vital infant through the general rejection of expressiveness and biological pulsation. Meanwhile, the next generation of Oedipuses and Elektras come to uphold the repressiveness of society by seeking to employ, and therefore repress, all antelapsarian energies, especially those of their own children.
Orgonomy has shown that the natural function of rage is to destroy
whatever frustrates parasympatheticonia, something the cathartic
opportunity guarantees. Moreover, it has shown that when a pulsion
does not manifest outwardly as an expression, its libido must be
consumed in some other way.
I make these claims after almost six years of investigation into
autonomic function and libidinal economy. It was not done in a
library or a laboratory, but through thousands of social experiments
and observations of people of all kinds as well as domestic and wild
animals and plants. I ascribe my findings to all species because of
the universal conservation of autonomic function in life. Of course,
there are many ethological variations and nuances outside the scope
of this article. Moreover, I may be wrong about everything.
The orgasm reflex is “the unitary, involuntary convulsion of the
total organism at the acme of genital embrace. This reflex, because
of its involuntary character and the prevailing orgasm anxiety, is
blocked in most humans in civilizations that suppress infantile and
adolescent genitality” according to the glossary of Wilhelm Reich’s
Selected Writings published by the Noonday Press.
The most glaring similarity between Wilhelm Reich and Socrates is that the two men were put on trial for crimes that were not crimes at all. Socrates was accused of blasphemy and corrupting the youth, ancient analogues of questioning the status quo and interfering with culture’s manufacture of docile workers. His defense consisted of claiming that he was rather a priceless benefit to society and that people’s anger towards him arose from their desire to wallow in ignorance. Reich, on the other hand, was arrested for contempt of court, among other things, after being accused of shipping orgone accumulators across state lines without FDA approval. He wrote to the court saying that it had no authority to evaluate scientific claims, something that can only be done by the scientific community. He allegedly died of heart failure in prison (1).
Like Socrates, Reich is certainly guilty of what some people would call corrupting the youth. He believed that providing privacy and contraception for adolescents is one of the most effective ways of combating all social ills. For a long time, the idea that sexual activity is not a medicine but a corrosive agent has enjoyed great popularity. After a failed sexual revolution, the idea is returning. But what is the mechanism of its corrosion? Let us look to the conclusions of clinical orgone therapy and its antecedent, character analysis.
Briefly, there is nothing mystical about orgone, despite what slanderers and New Age appropriators would have you believe. Reich discovered that upon an analysand’s divestment from cathexes, strange pulsations would occur in the soma. In other words, when one’s ego defense mechanisms are disarmed, various physiological phenomena such as flushing of the skin, vomiting, tremors, improved digestion, sensations of currents in the soma, &c. temporarily appear. I have listed the symptoms most relevant to our purposes: those which indicate waves propagated in the super-saturated fluid that is the human body. According to classical mechanics, waves do not propagate and bodies do not move without energy. This is the bare-minimum, most conservative definition of orgone I can conceive of. Reich’s more fantastic-sounding claims about orgone energy can be discussed later, but for our purposes, this will suffice. From a psychoanalytic framework, the ego is shown to exist in the soma as the sum of chronically held muscular contractions (muscle armoring) which conceal and consume this energy, while the pulsions of the id – the emotions – are identical to the freely circulating currents.
Now, back to sexuality’s corruption of the youth. We know from orgone therapy that muscle armoring functions to limit one’s vitality, desire and expression. It is the somatic component of the anti-libidinal character structure, whose erection is erroneously called psycho-sexual development. Rather, the historic character structure is for the most part pathological, hence the world it has created. It is founded on the negation of the pulsions that allow us to fulfil our needs and attain that which is necessary for survival. The goal of character analysis was to deconstruct the pathological character structure insofar as it inhibits the body’s natural, spontaneous convalescence and sex-economic self-regulation.
That is to say neuroses would spontaneously begin to resolve themselves were it not for the fact that the ego constantly disrupts this process. As soon as a child is wounded by the negation of his or her vitality at the hands of historic child-rearers, convalescence begins as it would with any other wound. It is identical to the expression of emotion, this itself entailing the pulsation of the soma and the movement of biological energy therein. And yet, this most basic reaction, exhibited by all life, is intolerable to the dysfunctional witnesses, the alleged guardians. Since children love their parents and fear disapproval, violence and abandonment, and since their displays of aliveness elicit hostility and disgust, they adapt to the situation by entering into and remaining in a pre-cathartic state. It is a chronic sympatheticonia, hence the contraction of the muscles which would otherwise be involved in the expression of emotion. Until these emotions are expressed, the muscles which are used to repress them will remain contracted, it has been found.
Neuroses, now known to be symptoms of more fundamental biopathies, are caused by this interruption of the cycle of arousal and relaxation proper to the expression of pulsions. Therefore, the purpose of Reichian therapy is to have the analysand divest from unnecessary energetic investments in sympatheticonia (libidinal cathexes). This is easier said than done because our character structures are comprised of layered defense mechanisms which form biographically. The structure’s oldest, most fundamental layers repress the rage any organism embodies when its sovereign libidinality is unjustly aggressed against, e.g. in the parent-child conflict. Due to socio-familial intolerance of expression, a pantheon of subsequent defenses must be formed to exhaust, divert and conceal libido. These manifest as segments of muscle armoring. The libidinal stases upheld by the oldest characterological layers cannot be accessed until the overlying layers are broken through. This is so because the overlying layers are themselves defense mechanisms which repress the more fundamental layers.
Orgone therapy and character analytic “vegetotherapy” have shown that libido, i.e. biological energy, is the only agent that can corrode the segments of muscle armoring which comprise the pathological, historic character structure. An increase in orgonotic charge, accomplished by deep breathing (א), always brings about a state of discomfort (feelings) and the orgonomist’s concomitant application of pressure to certain muscle groups is sure to bring about a cathartic expression.
The rigid sexual mores, technically persisting through the so-called sexual revolution (ב), even up to the present, are an extension of the historic character structure. This character structure functions to repress libidinality wherever it exists. I have found that it externalizes its characterological defenses onto all historic institutions. It is no surprise that various cultures have sought to handicap their members’ sexuality through customs such as circumcision, draconian punishments for adultery and general hostility towards infant vitality. Things like adolescent sexuality, whereby youths’ drive energy is exhausted in the most therapeutic, enriching way, deplete the libidinal reservoirs which have historically been channeled towards production. Since all the institutions of society are technically cathexes, their preservation requires a constant input of energy from individuals. Love, not the contactless orgies of the 1970s, makes us less like hydroelectric dams through the discharge of neurotogenic libidinal stases. Therefore, from the standpoint of the vulgar, the armored murderers of life, sexuality corrupts the youth through the corrosion of maleficial character investments.
The Socratic Method and Character Analysis
What does this have to do with Socrates? While it is true that any account of the Athenian directly expounding on sex-economy would have been neglected or destroyed, we do not need to make such incredible leaps in order to compare him to Wilhelm Reich. The Socratic interrogation is uncannily similar to the therapeutic method of character analysis.
According to legend, the oracular pythoness, intoxicated on natural gases venting out of a fissure in Delphi, stated that Socrates was the wisest man in the world. When this news was relayed to him, he was perplexed, believing that he really knew nothing. And so he began to interrogate various experts and found that they too knew nothing, but unlike Socrates, they did not know that they knew nothing. It seems that Socrates’s philosophy was concerned, at least in part, with destroying the inconsistent narratives people create to navigate the world. His student Plato, perhaps sensing the yawning void, worked in the opposite direction, endeavoring to construct a complete theory of everything. Philosophy since then can be considered a battle between those seeking “firm ground” to stand upon and those seeking to shake things up.
To understand the most profound implications that the figure of Socrates projects, be it historical or apocryphal, we must examine others’ reactions to his deconstructive methods from a sex-economic standpoint. The character analytic method begins by disturbing the most superficial layer of the character structure, the general appearance and presentation of the analysand. The superficial persona, like every characterological layer, has a specific, libido-metabolic function. It conceals an immediately underlying disposition by exhausting the drive energy that would otherwise be consumed in the expression of that underlying disposition. Should the superficial layer be surrendered, the libido it consumes will become apparent to the analysand and demand expression. We read about a case of neurosis described in The Function of the Orgasm:
Overtly, he was very polite; covertly, his fear caused him to be very cunning. Thus, he yielded in everything. The politeness represented the topmost layer of his structure. He produced material on his sexual tie to his mother in superabundance. He “produced” without any inner conviction. I did not enter into any of this material but continually focused his attention on his politeness as a warding off of the really affective insight. The concealed hate appeared more and more in his dreams. As his politeness diminished, he became insulting. Thus, the politeness warded off hate. I brought it out completely by breaking down everyone one of his inhibitions. Until then, hate had been an unconscious attitude. Hate and politeness were antitheses. At the same time, his excessive politeness was a disguised expression of hate. (2)
disturbance of the analysand’s foremost
compromised its capacity to repress the underlying disposition of
hatred. The superficial layer and its accompanying mannerisms served
to consume the energy of the hateful pulsion, thereby preventing its
honest manifestation as a discernible expression. The analysand
dispensed with the polite defense, and that which it repressed was
expressed. Disturbance of the character structure often evokes
hostility and the expression of hatred. After all, armoring is
inherently defensive and its disruption must be interpreted as an act
of aggression. Since the historic character structure is formed
partly to repress destructive pulsions (these themselves ultimately
functioning to repress the erotic pulsion), its disturbance must
result in the expression of this rage or other intermediary defenses.
It seems that Socrates’s interrogation had a similar effect. What then does this say about the libido-economic role of beliefs? A belief is a doubt turned inside out. An orgonomist might say there is an antithetical functional identity shared by belief and doubt, in that any belief is antithetical to its corresponding doubt, but its exposition is a disguised expression of doubt. For instance, when Socrates catches Gorgias contradicting himself about whether rhetoric is just or unjust, Polus, student to Gorgias, becomes enraged, presumably because he holds Gorgias’s opinions. Initially, Gorgias states that rhetoric is an art defined by its concern for justice. He later backpedals on this, disclaiming that the teacher of rhetoric cannot be held responsible for the student’s evil use of rhetoric, thus implying that rhetoric is not, in fact, centrally concerned with justice (3).
We can guess that Polus constructs some part of his identity from his relationship with Gorgias and is personally offended by Socrates’s logical cornering of him. He invests many hours listening to Gorgias’s instruction and doesn’t want to hear that it won’t pay off. Moreover, Polus seems to rely on the idea that he himself is just and a rhetorician as well and therefore, rhetoric must be just. His vehemence towards Socrates suggests to me that he is, on some level, quite uncertain of his own justness and on a deeper level, certain of his iniquity. In this case, his belief in the goodness and importance of rhetoric is a characterological defense. When its integrity is threatened, the anger and terrifying feelings of uncertainty which it represses come to the surface.
I am not any kind of physician, but I believe that Polus was disturbed orgastically. He is shocked to hear that anyone would forswear the seduction of tyranny if given the opportunity. Perhaps his ideas about rhetoric’s inherent justice conceal his lust for power or serve to mislead those he would manipulate with his rhetorical abilities. His failure to grasp Socrates’s ideas regarding the pitiful nature of tyrants is indicative, to me, of an impenetrable disconnect between ego and body. It is significant that Polus envies the tyrant’s ability to gratify his every whim. What Polus fails to understand is that the tyrant’s gratification nourishes his characterological defenses by exhausting the libidinal energy that would otherwise threaten the integrity of those defenses. The tyrant is therefore at liberty to keep himself in a perpetual state of excitation by exercising his powers and escaping convalescence and embodied being through distraction. Like a heroin addict who has just won the lottery, the tyrant is in deep doodoo, as it were. Viscerally, viz. unconsciously, he knows that in order to become healthy, he needs to descend from his excitation and express his repressed pulsions. He needs to relax his armored muscles. However, his character structure has been established for the purpose of preventing this and thus it chooses to resist convalescence. It is in the best interest of such a man to renounce his so-called power and allow his neurosis to resolve itself. Socrates correctly states that the tyrant is the most powerless person in the city; he is a slave to the intolerance of excitation, libidinally incontinent, rigidified and brittle. Polus is also a slave to libidinal intolerance and therefore envies the tyrant, who can escape to a higher degree. Weakness corrupts but absolute weakness corrupts absolutely!
Furthermore, Polus seems to be in a constant state of paranoia which prevents him from comprehending the nuance of Socrates’s opinions. He is apt to see the world in black and white, like a vigilant soldier guarding his encampment at night, anxious to see if some figure cloaked in darkness is a friend or a foe. An acute tension is evoked by the unknown and foolish assumptions are often made to collapse the uncertainty, so to speak. Armoring, though it is composed of discernible defense mechanisms, functions in a unified fashion to shield our biological cores from any external influence. The armored character is too inflexible to respond to the various elements of the outside world. Conversely, the genital character, he who has convalesced from neurosis, employs sympatheticonia partially or completely depending on the situation. There is nuance in his defensiveness and his relaxation is thorough. The armored character on the other hand, is constantly in a contracted, paranoiac state no matter what is going on in the environment. Either he upholds his armor, or the pulsions which the armor represses will come through, these at first being experienced as acute anxiety. This dilemma, the choice between numbness and terror, I believe is recapitulated in cognition, hence the armored character’s black or white thinking. That being said, I cannot guess the material mechanism for this. Even still, Polus is somewhat honorable because, although he is iniquitous, he is so in an innocent, naive way, making little effort to conceal it. This is the secret to his capacity to converse with Socrates for such a long time, despite Socrates’s frustrating deconstruction of the beliefs he has adopted. The clowns of the modern world employ so much energy concealing their twistedness that their tolerance for differing opinions often lasts less than one second.
The Doctrine of Socrates
Socrates’s doctrine is corroborated by Wilhelm Reich’s discoveries. The Athenian holds that it is better to suffer injustice than to commit injustice. The unjust character’s lack of empathy arises from his rejection of the world at large. ‘Empathy’ is from the ancient Greek ἐμπάθεια (empátheia, literally “passion”) (formed from ἐν (en, “in, at”) combined with πάθος (páthos, “feeling”)(4). Therefore, the degree of empathy must be inversely proportional to the degree of armoring, a disease which inhibits feeling and prevents contact with others and the world at large. Armoring is a foreign middle-layer situated between an erotic, biological identity and a personal facade. In the unjust character, armoring corrupts the erotic pulsion as it emanates from this somatic identity, transmuting it through refraction into thanatosic (ג) pulsions such as sadism. These are in turn repressed by the moralistic outer layers of the character structure. To many nescient people, virtue is thought to be a constant struggle of the “higher” values against the lower “base” desires, a struggle of the smart brain above against the yucky genitals below. One must perpetually exhaust one’s self treading water and resisting what is seen as natural and primary. I believe that a man becomes unjust after he is totally exhausted in this struggle and can no longer repress his sadism. Thus the committer of injustice is biopathically disturbed and of greater evil.
Conversely, the sufferer of injustice is open to the influence of the world, hence his vulnerability to injustice. Such is the genital character, who generally chooses remaining open and risking being hurt over the upholding of absolute defensiveness. His advantage over the unjust lies in the flexibility and spontaneity of his character structure. For the genital character, virtue arises effortlessly as a consequence of biological incarnation. The thanatosic drives erroneously considered inherent to man are absent in such a character because, in the well-ordered sex-economy, drive energy has no reason to actualize as sadism. This is so because sadism is merely a putrefied, delayed, and misdirected variant of the legitimate rage exhibited in sympatheticonia. There is no libidinal stasis from which the sadism can arise, because (theoretically) this rage would be completely and initially expressed to whatever agent inspired the rage. The vulgar hold that descending into a relaxed mode ends in ruin because they have no awareness of their armor and its devices. Thus they attribute perversion to the unconditioned because they cannot perceive anything behind their perversion. Obviously, not everyone who suffers injustice has a genital character structure, but one’s capacity to be vulnerable is a sure sign of strength and indicates a lesser degree of armoring. According to Devin Stauffer, Socrates believes that everyone except he himself has adopted a superficial belief in justice which conceals a hidden doubting of justice that in turn conceals an innate belief in justice (5). This is analogous to the Reichian theory of the triune psycho-soma, composed of a mask-like layer, a pathological layer of armoring, and a benevolent biological core.
Socrates diverges from Reich with his distinction between soul and body. By ‘soul,’ he seems to mean what we commonly refer to as ‘psyche,’ but the things he considers proper to the body in itself are really proper to the armoring of the body, to wit, the ego or character structure. For instance, while trying to convince Polus that rhetoric is not an art but merely flattery, he says this:
… for if the body presided over itself, and were not under the guidance of the soul, and the soul did not discern and discriminate between cookery and medicine, but the body was made the judge of them, and the rule of judgment was the bodily delight which was given by them, then … ‘Chaos’ would come again, and cookery, health, and medicine would mingle in an indiscriminate mass.
To me, such mind-body dualism seems incompatible with Socrates’s doctrine. I suspect this comes from Plato’s adulteration or fabrication. Regardless, Socrates seems to be unaware of the transvaluation of pleasure and anxiety which occurs in children born into societies afflicted by the emotional plague. To the armored caregivers, the libidinality of children is intolerable because it is a manifestation of the same energy which their character structures functions to repress. Therefore, children are punished, neglected or otherwise discouraged for exhibiting aliveness. The parent-child situation is characterized by wild, autonomic oscillations between spontaneous libidinality and terror regarding destruction (castration) and abandonment. As I said before, children take refuge in chronic sympatheticonia, thus armoring against their biological identity. Consequently, divestment from sympatheticonia, this necessarily resulting in true eroticism, becomes associated with the destruction of the subjective observer! Therefore, things that make a person anxious, viz. contracted, are called pleasurable in relation to the acute terror of relaxation. We mistakenly call that which postpones catharsis pleasurable. The things which Socrates thinks the body prefers are really preferred by the ego, while that which the “soul” supposedly prefers is preferred by the body prior to its affliction with the armor biopathy.
Being prevented from postponing catharsis is what Socrates calls punishment. He and Polus come to agree that punishment is to the health of the soul as medicine is to the health of the body. Therefore, it is a great misery for an unjust man to escape punishment. Socrates even goes so far as to state that he would prefer that his enemies forever evade punishment and further become immortal, that they may be damned to an eternity of misery. This would imply that criminals are in a constant state of excitation, living a fast life in order to suppress the visceral feelings – these being identical to emotions – that would arise should their stimulation be ceased. The longer this goes on for, the greater the degree to which their beings are eroded, until they are reduced to mere conduits for volatile urges. Their abstinence from the mode of parasympatheticonia degrades their bodies while their souls, as Socrates would put it, become chiefly concerned with self-deception. Ideally, punishment is supposed to interrupt this behavior like some sort of drug-use intervention and equilibrate the sex-economy. To explore one sort of punishment, there is (in theory) simply nothing that exciting in the ice box and therefore, a convict should descend to a state of health through the expression of the repressed. Obviously, this does not work because being in prison increases paranoia and, if such expressions could take place, they would probably be interpreted as rebellion or madness, or elicit violence from other inmates. Perhaps it would inspire a prison-break! Regardless, this is one of many examples showing how the armored characters at the helms of institutions are largely ignorant of the functioning of the human organism. That being said, they still operate in a quasi-rational way, although such rationale is buried under unfathomable amounts of macabre irony and ignorance. Perhaps in the ancient world, prisons were more effective at correcting the unjust, to their benefit.
If Socrates really went about irritating everybody as he does in Gorgias, his fate is unsurprising. As I hope to demonstrate in my upcoming book History & Desire, all the institutions of civilization are externalizations of characterological defenses. The armor biopathy extends deep into the macrocosm, and with it, all its myriad contradictions. The middle layer of the psycho-soma is utterly twisted, composed of diametrically inverted desires which war against each other for no reason other than to conceal the most basic and natural thing about us. Moreover, these defenses are inherently dishonest, each one tasked with preventing the visible manifestation of desire. For the psychologist who acknowledges both the layered structure of character, and the antithetical functional identity shared by psycho-somatic defense mechanisms and the pulsions they repress, the therapeutic process should consist of exploring these contradictions and liberating the energy invested in them. Similarly, the philosopher should challenge the contradictions inherent to the historic social fabric, not arbitrarily as it is now done in academia, but proceeding from functional knowledge of the living organism.
Socrates certainly possessed this knowledge to a degree, as evidenced by his above-described assertions and his claim that no one does wrong willingly. He consistently directs people’s attention towards profound questions. What is our essential nature? Are we naturally good or evil? Can we know anything? Who should rule? The state and its companion institutions have their own answers. We are naturally evil. There are those who know best and they should rule … did you not choose them? They are not thrilled to have such questions percolating in the citizenry because consistent, diligent and honest discussion thereof, as it exists in Wilhelm Reich’s oeuvre, eventually jeopardizes the state by calling its legitimacy and necessity into question. Similarly, consistent, geological inquiry into character structure will resolve neuroses and psychoses of all kinds. Socrates and Reich, like many other figures in history, are therefore akin to currents of libidinal energy in the macrocosmic soma, the body politic. But in the words of Jesus Christ, “every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither come to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved (6).” Thus when men such as Socrates and Reich shine light upon the world, they must be put to the cross.
The state, being the armor of the body politic, cannot tolerate such libidinality and must arrest it to preserve itself to the detriment of the citizenry. Regardless, such characters must be honored for their refusal to adopt the backwards ways of the masses and for their creation of new ways of being. I will try to cut this short before it becomes hagiography. The situation of the emotional plague is perfectly captured by this question put forward by Callicles:
Tell me, Socrates, are you in earnest, or only in jest? For if you are in earnest, and what you say is true, is not the whole of human life turned upside down; and are we not doing, as would appear, in everything the opposite of what we ought to be doing?
(א) Suppose one takes a relatively conservative position and claims that all somatic orgone is reducible to bio-electricity. The reducing of oxygen gas in electron-transporting membrane bound protein complexes is responsible for the maintenance of voltage across a cell membrane. The less oxygen reduced, the less voltage, and the less an organism can do work, allegedly through the breaking of molecular bonds. This means it has less potential energy. Wilhelm Reich would have believed that all the micro-biological machinery is secondary to the functioning of orgone energy. Regardless, it is clinically irrefutable that neurotics have chronically contracted diaphragms which fulfil the sex-economic role of limiting organismic energy and repressing emotions. Thus when this respiratory block is challenged, psychic content, catharsis and expression result.
(ב) I write not of people’s erroneous conceptions, but of the mores as they materially exist: the armored muscles of the historic character, unfazed and perhaps strengthened by the so-called sexual revolution. There has been no sexual liberation yet.
(ג) Thanatos or death drive, sometimes called “death instinct” is not an instinct at all. It results from the frustration of the instinctual sympathetic response and the inability to divest therefrom. The most important conclusion of character analysis is that antisocial pulsions dissipate after the deepest layer of repressed rage is expressed. Once this happens, orgastic potency appears.