Wilhelm Reich: Alone

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“This reaction of my closest friends and co-workers to the situation here is exactly the same that has harassed the human race for as much as we can say, 8.000 or 10.000 years, since patriarchy has ruled its destinies and since natural love was extinguished in the newborn infants. I shall not go into that. It is all written up in my publications. Whoever knows these publications also knows what that means. The discovery of the life energy would have been accomplished long ago, had this “I don’t want it, I fear it, I loathe it, I’ll kill it, I’ll flatten it out, I won’t let it exist- live, or exist”. If that had not been in their structures, not in their desires, not in their positive conscious wishes. They’re all descent and good people. No, it is in the structure. It is somehow in their tissues, in their blood. They cannot tolerate anything that has to do with orgone energy, or life energy, or what they call God, or what is their deepest longing for love fulfillment. They cannot tolerate it and they fear it. They fear it by way of structure. Their tissues, their blood cannot stretch out, cannot take it, evades it – avoids it and loathes it.

I do not say all this to depreciate their efforts, their honor, their loves, their lives. I say it because it is true, because it turns up in every single move, in every single word, in every single opinion, in every single paper, in every single thing they did to a- to whatever ever had to do with discovery – the discovery of genitality, life, love, such people as Laurence/Lawrence, or such philosophies as Giordano Bruno’s or such great lives as Jesus Christ, and so forth, and so forth. It is a sad, lonely chapter of the human race.

I don’t feel that I am obligated to solve this riddle, to do anything about it. I happened to discover the life energy. I happened to induce the ORANUR experiment. I know what it means for the future development of medicine and biology, philosophy and natural science and in this awareness I am completely alone.

There is no soul far and wide to talk to, to give one’s feelings – to let one’s feelings go freely, to speak like – as friends speak to each other.
This is all.”

–Wilhelm Reich,


*Special Thanks to Tom DiFerdinando for discussions and knowledge.

9 thoughts on “Wilhelm Reich: Alone”

  1. Did this come from the Listen Little Man book? Reich wasn’t just and always angry, he certainly ended that way, died in jail, jailed for professing cures , orgone therapy, psychotherapy, without the “proper authority”. The man was a stunning revolutionary, parted ways with his teacher Freud, worked to free humans from their constraints, their ‘armor’ and blocking the flow of energy throughout the body. A fully unblocked body meant health. Every disease he said had a psychological root. He said, we develop illnesses as protection from parental interference, assault, and that’s neurosis/ psychosis, done to survive. Drawing in, the way a poked snail retreats. As adults we no longer need to protect ourselves, but hang on to it, the liberation is the psychiatrist’s job. His huge work, Character Analysis, is worth a read. And his excellent books on orgasm.

  2. Thanks for posting this, Celia. It brings to mind the classic theme in literature and movies of collective contempt for the gifted child (as dramatized, for example, in the old movie Powder). It’s a powerful theme, and one that in armored society, pretty much everybody can identify with. Its also the staying power of the story of Christ. We all identify deeply with the sense of having a unique gift – of having something deep and wonderful to share – that starts in childhood, where all we really want is to love and be loved; to explore and discover; to thrill and be thrilled, starting with peering into the eyes of a loving mother and father with mutual glow and satisfaction.

    As adults, depending upon our degree of emotional blocking, this natural expansion finds expression in the desire to “grow our family” and “grow our business”, i.e., to develop and satisfy our biological needs for love and work. But early on, one finds the expression of these gifts comes under attack, i.e., that our curiosity, longing and loving expansion are met with hostility, ridicule, embarrassment and shame. It is as though the thrill is perceived as a threat!

    At first this enrages the child, then frustrates it, then confuses it. In time, the child becomes dead to it (at least on the surface). At that point what emerges is what Reich called the Emotional Plague – the need to attack and destroy that which stirs the long-lost capacity for excitation and pleasurable expansion. Feelings that were once experienced as thrilling are now experienced as threatening, uncomfortable, intolerable. And so the one who stirs the now intolerable longings must be punished or forced to submit; to be killed, driven to suicide or crucified.

    What adds to the poignancy of Reich’s reflection (hear the whole ten minute audio here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t5h-93bxOY ) is that he is the one who discovered and detailed the dynamics of the emotional plague. Why then couldn’t he overcome it? If he understood the plague so well; if he articulated it so clearly; if he truly was the public and scientific advocate for life, love and the pursuit of happiness; why then did he die in jail, with his scientific books and journals condemned by the FDA to incinerators, right here in New York City? Is this narrative – that of humiliation for the gifted child, death for the bearer of truth, or, simply, the Murder of Christ, as Reich called it and titled a book on it – destined to keep repeating itself?

    NO!!! It is only when the child, the truth-teller or the “Christ” is ALONE! That’s what makes Reich’s soliloquy so poignant. He is alone. And he speaks for all of us. It is next to impossible to overcome the emotional plague alone, because the emotional plague is a social sickness, not an individual one. And so Reich felt, with greater social awareness of this phenomena, in time, that the plague could be overcome. But along the way it will take down as many as it can with it. It is the emotional plague, and its “secret sympathy for the killers of life” as Reich put it, that is the real root of all evil.

    1. Tom, I resonate powerfully with your statement, “It is next to impossible to overcome the emotional plague alone, because the emotional plague is a social sickness, not an individual one.” Just last night my adult son and I were exploring the source of our deep perpetual sadness, and after listening to a painfully shocking expose of the extent of pedophilia in high places of power, we realized that we cannot be whole while living in such an atmosphere, even when not knowing about it, or not knowing the particulars. The field of human consciousness is ill, infected with the despair, pain and fear of those who are suffering.
      This in turn impacts our own emotional experience. We are part of a whole, and the whole is under assault.

  3. The Illuminati shut this brilliant man down because he jeopardized the enormous profits of the Big Pharma and medical/health care mafias.

    That’s why US Government incarcerated this man and confiscated his research. He was a threat to the power structure, because if people know they could heal themselves it would change the economics and power structure of the planet.

  4. I had a friend who was enthusiastic about his work. He created an orgone accumulator. I attempted to read some of his books which were popular for a time. It was a flat experience. I don’t know if it helped or not.
    In some ways I think he was trying to research the spirit of man without knowledge of the heart of man.

  5. I must honestly admit that I only grasp some of what Reich is talking about. But his entire statement left me in a sad and wistful state of awareness, and a deep knowing that somehow we have lost something essential, that did we possess it, we would be a well and happy species.

  6. Dear Mrs. Farber,
    Thank you very much for this post and all of your sharing here, thank you, thank you.
    There are many of us who want it, love it, embrace it, are birthing it in new ways, expanding it, nurturing and feeding it, here and now on Earth.
    “Find the others” is one of our daily mantras.
    Love and Laughter

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