Author Topic: The genius of Wilhelm Reich  (Read 649 times)


  • Administrator
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72
    • View Profile
Re: The genius of Wilhelm Reich
« on: April 06, 2015, 07:32:00 am »
1934–1939: Norway
Willy Brandt
In October 1934 Reich and Lindenberg moved to Norway, where Harald K. Schjelderup, professor of psychology at the University of Oslo, had invited Reich to lecture on character analysis and on vegetotherapy. They ended up staying for five years.

During his time in Norway Reich attempted to ground his orgasm theory in biology, exploring whether Freud's metaphor of the libido in fact represented electricity or a chemical substance, an argument Freud had proposed in the 1890s but had abandoned. Reich argued that conceiving of the orgasm as nothing but mechanical tension and relaxation could not explain why some experience pleasure and others do not. He wanted to know what additional element had to be present for pleasure to be felt.

According to Sharaf, the work of the Austrian internist Friedrich Kraus influenced Reich. Kraus had argued in his Allgemeine und Spezielle Pathologie der Person [General and special pathology of the individual] (1926) that the biosystem was a relay-like switch mechanism of electrical charge and discharge. Reich wrote in 1934 that the orgasm is just such a bioelectrical discharge and proposed his "orgasm formula": mechanical tension (filling of the organs with fluid; tumescence) → bioelectrical charge → bioelectrical discharge → mechanical relaxation (detumescence).

Turner wrote that in 1935 Reich bought an oscillograph and attached it to friends and students, who volunteered to masturbate, while Reich read the tracings. (One volunteer, the young Willy Brandt, the future chancellor of Germany, was at the time Reich's secretary's boyfriend, living in Norway to organize protests against the Nazis.) Reich described the oscillograph experiments in 1937 in Experimentelle Ergebniße Über Die Elektrische Funktion von Sexualität und Angst (The Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety).

Bion experiments and T-bacilli
Further information: Spontaneous generation and Abiogenesis
From 1934 to 1939 Reich conducted what he called the bion experiments, which he published as Die Bione: Zur Entstehung des vegetativen Lebens in Oslo in 1938 (published in English in 1979 as The Bions: The Origins of Life). He examined protozoa and grew cultured vesicles using grass, sand, iron and animal tissue, boiling them and adding potassium and gelatin. Having heated the materials to incandescence with a heat-torch, he wrote that he had seen bright, glowing, blue vesicles. He called them "bions" and believed they were a rudimentary form of life, halfway between life and non-life. He wrote that when he poured the cooled mixture onto growth media, bacteria were born, dismissing the idea that the bacteria were already present in the air or on other materials.

In what Sharaf writes was the origins of the orgone theory, Reich said he could see two kinds of bions, the blue vesicles and smaller red ones shaped like lancets. He called the former PA-bions and the latter T-bacilli, the T standing for Tod, German for death. He wrote in The Cancer Biopathy (1948) that he had found T-bacilli in rotting cancerous tissue obtained from a local hospital, and when injected into mice they caused inflammation and cancer. He concluded that, when orgone energy diminishes in cells through aging or injury, the cells undergo "bionous degeneration." At some point the deadly T-bacilli start to form in the cells. Death from cancer, he believed, was caused by an overwhelming growth of the T-bacilli.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 07:34:53 am by truthaboutpois »