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Man in the Trap Paperback – October 15, 2000
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From the Inside Flap
"Dr. Baker was a superlative psychiatrist and an astute character analyst, making him the ultimate diagnostician." --Paul Mathews, M.A.
This classic book offers a deeper understanding of the core concepts of Wilhelm Reich's universal life energy and it's importance to health. Dr. Baker illustrates techniques for dissolution of chronic body armor, which resulted in dramatic transformations for many of his patients. For mankind, caged in his own armor and prevented from feeling truly alive, this book reads like a road-map out of the trap.
What is body armor--the seven segments of blocked sexual energy
How the removal of chronic muscular contractions can most often effectively relieve anxiety and depression and treat manic-depression and schizophrenia
What you can do to help prevent armoring in your children and increase their chance for health
About the Author
Elsworth Baker, M.D. (1903-1985) was a brilliant therapist, a charismatic teacher, and a courageous physician who fulfilled the challenge of maintaining and expanding the science of orgonomy after Reich's death in 1957. Dr Baker, who received numerous honors for his achievements, founded the American College of Orgonomy in 1968 and served as its president until his death.
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Provided one is sufficiently interested in the subject, I think this can be a very stimulating read. It gave me that special "thrill" which comes from new and/or forbidden knowledge and his case studies are pretty gripping. I found myself rooting for his patients, hoping they would achieve the blessed state of "Orgastic Potency".
I'm sure that if one is really curious about the discipline, it would be best to read books by Reich himself. But there are so many of them, and I'm not sure I'd even know where to begin. This book, then is a great introduction, a sort of "Orgone Therapy for Dummies".
That said, when Baker turns his attention to political analyses, things get a bit muddled and that chapter could be potentially offensive to some readers. Because of this chapter, I was under the impression for awhile that the entire discipline had an inherent rightward slant. This is not necessarily true, and though I disagree with many of Baker's ideas here, even this section contains a (to me) relevant criticism of the sort of liberal academic "type", pedantic, pretentious and dangerously cut off from reality and his or her own body.
A good companion to this book (if you can find it) is "Emotional Armoring: an Introduction to Psychiatric Orgone Therapy" by the more liberal Dr. Morton Herskowitz. Not only is his tone refreshing, but he adds quite a few interesting ideas which are absent in the Baker book. Taken together these books provide a wonderful introduction and have helped me tremendously in gaining some understanding of the discipline.
What I like best about this book is Baker's special gift for describing scientific topics, with all the detail and accuracy that any expert could desire, but still in a way that any intelligent layperson can enjoy and understand completely and easily.
Baker shows how our emotional functioning is based on the same natural laws that govern all living things (some books on this subject explain humans by starting with the behavior of the higher apes, Baker starts with the ameba). He then goes through the stages of human psychosexual development, describes the different healthy and neurotic character types, and has a very moving chapter on how parents and society can support the emotional health of infants and children.