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.
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.
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.
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.