Monday, June 13, 2011

Wilhelm Reich

I came across this article the other day by Nina Silver.  I have always been attracted to Reich, but for some  reason, his material on the self has just flowed over me.  I remember reading some of his stuff years ago about sexual repression but it just didn't ring any bells for some reason. Until now.  Its an interesting read in regards to the body armoring and how we feel more Orgone (kundalini, life force) as we loosen that armoring.  It also talks about our built in notion of shame concerning sex.  Oh yes.....this we have some work to do if we are to embrace this thing....which sends some Christians running for the hills because of all the "snake" or "serpent" references!  Oh my!


The Cosmic Quest
     A young woman named Diane recently sought my body-oriented psychotherapy services in order to "become more spiritual." During our first session she told me that she watched her diet, had been meditating for five years, and tried to embody the qualities she felt constituted an enlightened, loving being. Did she ever get angry? I finally asked. No, not if she could help it. It just didn't "feel right." How about terrifically excited? I wanted to know. That was sort of okay, she answered cautiously, but in an effort to avoid "attachment," it was better not to.
     Then came the big one. "What about sex?" I asked her.
     Her eyes widened. "What do you meaning?" she gasped.
     "In other words, how do you feel about sex? Do you let go when you have an orgasm?"
 Diane blushed and lowered her eyes. "That's not ... very spiritual. I try not to have 'those feelings,' and sometimes I can't help it, but I do the best I can. If you're a truly spiritual person, you don't get into such lower octave energies."

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     I was disturbed. She wasn't the first client who'd walked through my door expecting instant nirvana if I could only help them exorcise all those emotional demons -- anger, sexual desire, even excitement and joy -- from their system. Like many others treading a "spiritual" path, Diane thought that someone who is uplifted only feels uplifting feelings, and that the energy must only "lift up." It was a stunningly new concept to her that genuine spirituality encompasses all of who we are, not just those parts we've been taught are "nice."
     Sexual desire is one impulse that hasn't been on the "nice" list for quite a while. It is considered lewd, crass and intrusive, a beast to be tamed. When I hear designations like these an alarm rings in my brain, and I know that the person voicing them is really speaking of repression -- their own.
     "Repression" is a Western term. Someone following an Eastern tradition would probably use "transmuted" or "transformed," but the underlying principle is the same. Diane and others like her want to redirect their sexual energy so that it ceases to manifest sexually. But by doing this they don't expand; rather, they become small. They limit who they are in an effort to become spiritually "acceptable." But acceptable to whom? And by what standards? Must our sexual urges be channeled elsewhere in order for us to become enlightened and happy? Or will doing this only make us miserable? Do we instead need to reexamine our attitudes toward sex, and perhaps embrace our sexuality even more?
     A brief summary here of my own experiences with spiritual and sexual concerns might be helpful. Fifteen years ago, as my acceptance of transcendent realities grew, I found myself gliding into deep states of "altered" consciousness (to me they were quite normal) with increasing regularity. I would emerge from these meditations with an intensified perception of the energy fields that surround living things, and of the love that I sensed must underlie the creative force of the universe. I felt no need to call this bliss "God." What was meaningful to me were my feelings of expansion -- in my head, chest, entire body. Reveling immensely in these ecstatic states, I promised myself that I'd overcome any fears of opening.
     My experiences, I later discovered, were somewhat different from those that other people described. They focused solely on what was happening in the upper half of their body, which they called love. I, on the other hand, was acutely aware of -- and welcomed --the charge in my pelvis as well. I knew how awful I felt when I didn't pay attention to my excitement, vulnerability, anger, or pelvic stirrings. With the same pragmatism that had led me to biology and the natural sciences, I was determined to access all of myself, not just the parts that were presumably moral or nice. Finally, possessing a healthy sexual appetite made it impossible for me to adopt any teaching that said that sexuality was wrong or at best irrelevant, that once you evolved into a master you wouldn't need to bother with such base sensations. I pondered why the universal intelligence would torture us with such sensitive sexual apparatus in a responsive physical body if we weren't supposed to feel it or use it in enjoyable ways.
     What some people categorize as "spiritual" (or the "divine"), and what these same people consider "sin" (the earthy or sexual), exist on a continuum. The current throughout this continuum is the universal intelligence or life force, called in various cultures ch'i, kundalini, prana, or the great spirit. This current, which pervades all living things, fuels the celebration of life and self inherent in both sexual vitality and authentic spiritual practices. Since ancient times, priestesses, healers, and shamans have perceived this current or flow as permeating and surrounding the human form, with vortices (called "chakras" in Hindu theory) at major glands. Seekers, today, feeling incomplete or empty in their individual existence, are turning to esoteric teachings to help them reconnect to the life force, the infinite source of power. They recognize that to feel whole -- whether they ascribe this connection prana or to the Goddess -- they need not only the comfort, but the ecstacy, that this union provides.


The rest of the article can be found in the link for the Nina Silver Article, along with work by Wilhelm Reich.  I think its worth reading.  I am now looking more into his work a little.  He was the inventor of the Orgone Accumulator as well as the Cloud Buster.  Kate Bush wrote a song from the perspective of one of his children called Coud Busting.  For this he was branded something of a quack, but sometimes just because someone is not saying anything you understand does not mean they are off the mark.  In fact if YOU are soooo far off the mark, it could be the words of a sane person could sound like madness to you, right?

Nina Silver Article

I hope its of some interest.  It covers some of the interconnectedness that is a facet of this experience as well as how important it is to do away with all the limiting beliefs about body image, shame, sex as somehow dirty, and all the rest.  Time to put that one to rest!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reading this article is a
great relief..Thanks