Sunday, 14 March 2010

When Wilhelm get's that feeling...

And so Brian stood at the front of the room and gaily announced in his Irish lilt
‘you cannot be truly happy until you are having proper orgasms’ to which we inevitably laughed and waited for him to attribute his statement, which he did.
They were the words of Wilhelm Reich an Austrian psychoanalyst who followed Freud’s path of psychiatric discovery even deeper into the woods.

Reich concurred with much of what Freud deduced about the mind, he particularly bought into the idea that we are mentally made up of our ID (our instinctive impulses), our Ego (Our civilised self), and our Super Ego (our prohibitive self which controls our ID).
Freud believed we could aid behavioural or mental problems through talking, he practiced a lot of free association; letting his patients speak in a stream of conciousness until at some point they spewed up something which had a deeper significance, something which could explain all their hang ups and complexes (Freudian word).
Reich on the other hand thought that focusing on the mind had it’s constraints, he believed we should focus on our bodies, that we should self medicate our depression or insecurity with a lot of sex, whenever we feel like it, with whomever we fancy. The simple act of fornication would free us of what he called ‘Orgone Energy’, essentially a sexual tension which we accumulated day to day.
He believed that we were constantly absorbing this ‘Orgone Energy’ like a gas, and a build up of this gas would result in tension and stress, the only means of releasing this gas was through having an orgasm.

Reich thought our sexual desires, which were subdued by our Super-Ego were legitimate and one should satisfy them. He then began to consider the ID and whether our instinctive impulses were destructive, if not why should they be concealed? Why does society fulminate against sexual promiscuity?
Why were we so repressed and who was repressing us?
These were all questions that could only be answered by history, tradition and anthropology.
The 1960’s saw a resurgence in Reich’s philosophy, the idea that ‘free love’ was not only acceptable but ‘good for your soul’ dominated young culture.
Much was born from Reichian ideas but it he still present today?
We certainly have popularised a one-night stand culture and though men are often admired for sexual prowess, women are still berated and condemned.
Will Reich’s ideals ever become social norm? Would we be happier and healthier if we were just a little more focused on our pursuit for an orgasm and a little less on the latest episode of Eastenders?

Was Marvin Gaye was right all along? And we are just all in need of some ‘sexual healing’?

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