Customer Reviews: Wilhelm Reich and Orgonomy: The Brilliant Psychiatrist and His Revolutionary Theory of Life Energy
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on May 18, 2011
This book will give you an excellent overview of the extensive work of Dr Wilhelm Reich, arguably the 20th century's most ground breaking (and latterly most forgotten) natural scientist, from the viewpoint of a man who knew him personally and professionally during the most productive decades of his life. Vilified by powerful opponents, both political and scientific during his action packed life time, Reich's astounding discoveries and legacy are long overdue for re-examination and further development. This very accessible book may hopefully prompt the curious reader to further exploration of Wilhelm Reich's equally readable original writings.
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on August 3, 2015
This is a very informative and well written piece of work about a fascinating individual that was done wrong by the United States government, whose persecution of Wilhelm Reich went even into book burnings. Ola Raknes did a wonderful job writing this book and gives the reader plenty of valuable information about Wilhelm Reich. I highly recommend this book!
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on January 25, 2016
I'm Ola Raknes' great grandson. I read this book about ten years ago and found it very well written and very informative and inspiring. My great grandfather was known for his ability to popularize difficult academic material, and this book is a classic example of that. Strangely, even though its first edition was published in Norway by the Norwegian University Press ("Universitetsforlaget", now defunct), the book was never translated into Norwegian.

I'm 51 years old now, but oddly enough, it wasn't until about 12-15 years ago that I started acquainting myself with the work of my great grandfather and that of Wilhelm Reich. Among the rest of Ola's descendants I'm unaware of any other than myself who have taken up working with this material. It is still too contentious, and although I can understand this, I find it to be a sad state of affairs.

Although Ola made a conscientious effort to remain close to Reich's continued research, even after he left Norway for the US just before WWII broke out, and also, as this book testifies to, kept himself fully abreast of Reich's evolving his research into orgone physics, which he hadn't basically began while he was still in Europe, my great grandfather in his practice as a therapist remained with his focus on vegetotherapy and character analysis, Reich's earlier modalities from which orgone therapy developed. I personally do not believe this was due to him not being capable of following Reich into his newer scientific ventures, but rather a result of a conscious choice to retain his focus on the most important part of Reich's discoveries. I strongly believe that Reich's first discipline, which came out of his discovery of the function of the orgasm (detailed in The Function of the Orgasm) and which he called Sex Economy, remains the most important discovery he made. People tend (very strongly) to emphasize the orgone-related material. I can understand that since that is all very exotic, but the neglect this has caused insofar as people not studying the more basic Sex Economy, I find regrettable. The essay below was published in 1942 and later twice in Norwegian books (1949 and 1975), and apart from being another excellent example of Ola Raknes' qualities as an educator and communicator, I personally think it is the most important text he ever wrote.
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on July 31, 2015
This was a nice recap, personal insight look at someone I wish I could have met while he was alive! Ever since I learned about orgonite and then more about Dr. Reich I have just been wanting to learn more. This book helped!
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on August 22, 2008
Norwegian born psychologist Ola Raknes, Ph.D. (1887-1975), was also a journalist and philologist, who became a psychoanalyst, and later, an orgone therapist. He penned the 183 page "Wilhelm Reich and Orgonomy" in 1970. It documents the development and impact of Reich's approach in and on many fields--from psychoanalysis, the sciences and medicine, to religion and education.

The author says that, "Orgonomy is the science of the Orgone...primordial energy...also called the Life Energy, by...psychiatrist, psychologist and physicist Wilhelm Reich...." Apparently, this energy is universal, ubiquitous and connected to sexuality and behaves quite differently from the known electromagnetic kind.

The subtitle of this volume is, "The controversial theory of life energy," as the existence of this energy was never totally accepted by the scientific establishment. For instance, Raknes alludes to German born, American physicist Albert Einstein, Dr.Sc., and his rendezvous/tests with Reich in 1941. He refuses to delve Einstein's motives for not following up with more tests on Reich's "orgone energy accumulator" box, or why he didn't correspond further with him, but merely directs us to Reich's writings for an explanation. Concerning Einstein's opinion of orgone energy, British biographer Ronald William Clark, in his book, "Einstein, The Life and Times" (1971), quotes him as saying it "'has not my confidence.'" Also, Clark says that Reich told Einstein he was a psychiatrist, not a physicist. Orgone energy, then, may be termed "putative energy" because it is not known to current science, but may have therapeutic use for those who believe in it.

I always believed this specific type of energy furnishes mankind with a drive or impulse known as libido, which means "desire or passion" interacting with three other drives, they being hunger, flight and aggression. Therefore the sex act is never the result of a single drive. Sexual behaviour may be diminished when a person is hungry; and the escape or flight drive may subjugate all other drives in times of panic. The aggressive drive can be motivated by sex and is therefore implemented in unjust acts. It can also be useful socially in overcoming shyness and subsequent flight. The sex drive has an aim, influenced by the internal and external environment of an individual. The libido may desist when one reaches his goal, obtains his sexual reward, usually an orgasmic release accruing in a reducing or satiating effect. The sex drive or libido, operationally speaking, may also be thought of as the memory of past sensual involvement. It never acts as a stimulus and is not indicative of any state of strength. One's drive may be increased when sexual excitement becomes learned; thus pleasure might be regarded as somehow the nature of it. The concept of a sex-instinct is fallacious, for the causes that account for sexual behaviour are the very materials man was made of and the way he was molded from nature. The concept is better conceived of as an intricate series of sex reflexes. The two components that comprise this series are a desire for physical attachment and the expulsion of sexual agitation.

One's "sex economy" is dependent on the amount of bioelectric energy that is emitted at the time of orgasm; but to have sexual drives properly regulated outside the sexual realm, one must adhere to the "performance principle" through an act of non-repressive self sublimation. This will inevitably manifest itself in social relationships by converting biological tensions into other libidinal interests. An individual's sensuality can assume that of a pure appetite which does not create any tension but which, when the cognitive facets are recognized can become an aesthetic experience as well. Sensuousness is a trait admired by any artistically minded person.

"Wilhelm Reich and Orgonomy" by Ola Raknes, offers a thorough defense of Reich's orgonomy, where scientific hedonists holler out their unctuous breezes across our foreheads.
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on January 9, 2013
I've heard of Orgone energy, and the work of Reich and Dr. James DeMeo. This book explains orgone energy, and its beneficial uses. The book has instructions for orgone devices, but I've not experimented with them. There are many web sites based on Reich's work, that offer for sale "orgone healing devices', "Holy Hand Grenades", "Cloud Busters". etc. In my opinion, these are just scams to get your money.
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on October 17, 2015
The 5 stars are for the print version of this book. I cannot give an informed opinion of the material in the Kindle version as it is almost unreadable and I returned it. The actual book is fascinating and informative, and I offer my belated apologies to the author's descendant who was distressed by my bad review. Please be assured that it is only the Kindle edition with which I find fault, the book itself is excellent.
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It was not quite what I expected, but there is still a lot of information and history there. It is a great reference to have.
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on July 13, 2015
Interesting but very slow dry read couldn't help connecting orgon with the force from Star Wars
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on March 11, 2015
This is a very important book!
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