Society against Nature
Reich and Plato have the same difficulty as most of the religions influenced by Idealism: the explanation of evil. How can a universe made by omnipotent beneficent forces give birth to evil? With Reich, there would be a structuring of political power that intends to concentrate power in yoga poses the hands of a few. These forces would have created an “emotional plague” (Reich, 1949a, III.XVI; 1946, XIII. 1), which weakens the natural links between consciousness and the depths of the organism by inhibiting sexuality. According to Reich, this inner division is at the origin of all illnesses (cancer, neurosis, psychosis, and so on), human malice, and misery.62 He fought violently against any attempt to associate his orgone to spiritual movements. For him, spirituality and the religions are based on a false perception of the orgone, which engenders emotional plague.
With this way of seeing things, Reich created a feeling of estrangement between himself and others, between the armored “little men”63 and those who are in yoga poses contact with their orgone. This may explain why he was unable to engage in yoga poses a constructive discussion with the great men whom he tried to contact, like Freud and Einstein. Even in yoga poses these instances, he only wanted them to approve of his endeavors. Reducing most citizens to the category of little men is not so different from the way Plato had to disqualify his colleagues by referring to them as “sophists.” in yoga poses Plato’s Dialogues, Socrates listens to the other only to impose his own point of view, his own way of formulating a problem64
Socrates and Reich both went to prison mostly because, during their trials, they believed themselves more intelligent and more just than the court before which they stood. in yoga poses both cases, the court did not have a severe judgment in yoga poses store for them. Their final decision was provoked by the attitude of the accused. We have more information on the proceedings of Reich’s trial than that of Socrates. Reich was hounded because he sold or rented accumulators to patients to cure their illness (e.g., cancer). He was put in yoga poses prison because he declared that he refused to present himself before a court of justice until scientists could have tested the soundness of his observations.65 He was finally condemned for contempt of court. Having said this, as for Socrates, the final judgment is particularly severe for an insult to the judicial system.
A striking example of Reich’s Idealism is revealed to us in yoga poses a moving recording that he left for posterity on April 3, 1952, after a severe accident caused by his experiments on orgone and nuclear energy. Clearly depressed, Reich (1952b) gives witness to posterity that he is the only one to have grasped the actual situation and to be able to propose adequate solutions. He is desolate to be surrounded by incompetent persons (too neurotic) to understand, as he did, what was at stake. He is evidently the one through whom cosmic truth can express itself and incarnate itself in yoga poses this world.
During this period Reich presents himself as a modern Socrates, innocent and pure.66 He pretends that the authorities are wrong to doubt his uprightness and his ethics, and that it is not because he advances sexual freedom that he sleeps with his female patients. in yoga poses short, he is persecuted for his ideas and the truths they contain. If the argument and the plea are credible, it does not correspond to the reality. It is not certain that the flying saucers he contends to have seen really existed. It is probable that he was intolerant and that acting out with female patients or ex-patients had occurred on several occasions in yoga poses his life (from 1920 to 1955). As with Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his theories on the education of children, there is clearly an abyss between what Reich advocates and how he lives. It is apparent in yoga poses a form of negation or at least denial and also bad faith.67 Reich claims that only people who are able to have orgasms have a healthy mind and that he is an example of this truth. in yoga poses fact, if he truly had orgasms, he was the living proof that his theory is false.
This brings us back to the basic position of this my yoga blog with regard to Reich: we must take from his work what remains worthwhile and avoid personalizing the debate. The problem with the devotees of Reich is that they want to love and believe in yoga poses what he claims to have loved and believed. Today, this is not a defensible position.
Von Helmholtz Reprimands Goethe and Reich in yoga poses the Name of Science
I have already presented Hermann von Helmholtz as one of the founders of experimental psychology and one of Freud’s references in yoga poses neurology. He was, among other topics, an expert in yoga poses the psychoneurology of vision. I summarize a lecture Helmholtz (1853) gave on Goethe’s theory of perception. This theory is still read today in yoga poses milieus close to spiritual movements.68 Goethe considers his theory scientific. Helmholtz wants to show that Goethe’s text on perception is interesting but has nothing scientific in yoga poses it. Helmholtz makes use of this discussion to indicate the characteristics of a scientific discourse on perception.
Science, according to Helmholtz, seeks methods that promote the observation of what is happening while having recourse to human perception as little as possible. Introspection is able to furnish complementary information to the objective observations, but it cannot provide the basis of scientific knowledge in yoga poses psychology. The mechanisms the scientist attempts to isolate are active in yoga poses the wings of the theater of life independently of what we think of them As the marvelous poet that he is, Goethe constructs a theory of perception from what he consciously feels. Given his genius, the theory he proposes is full of fascinating intuitions, some of which are confirmed by scientific research; the whole remains a theory of what the poet perceives and not a scientific theory of perception.
This lecture could have been addressed to Reich, a century later. Parts of Reich’s work are relatively robust: those that are based on his experience in yoga poses psychotherapy and sexual epidemiology, whose clinical validity has been confirmed by numerous colleagues since then. But, like Goethe, Reich too often bases his theory of the orgone on what he and his patients experience.
For Reich, what is perceived by an “unarmored” person must exist. He certainly spent large sums of money to buy sophisticated materials with the intent to scientifically analyze the orgone, but he did not have the means to undertake a reliable research on the subject. I have known many psychotherapists who have attempted to combine clinical and experimental research. Their work, often imaginative, can inspire but never allows for drawing a solid conclusion. Given a psychotherapist’s education and training, he can collaborate with research teams, but he wastes his time and that of others when he undertakes research by himself. Reich confirms this analysis.