Mary Higgins & Chester Raphael (eds.), 1967 (1972). Tradução do alemão ao inglês por Therese Pol.
“The publication of the interview contained in this book is not made under the auspices nor with the consent or authorization of the Sigmund Freud Archives, Inc. or K.R. Eissler” É evidente que não! Mas o engraçado é que o entrevistador foi o próprio Kurt Eissler…
Entrevista realizada em 18 e 19 de outubro de 1952.
“While Reich in many of his writings did refer to this relationship and to the conflict that developed later, the directness and informality of the interview technique has made it possible to elicit the information in a manner that is both simple and concise, and it should have the advantage of placing the reader in a favourable position to determine for himself what was at issue.” “In view of recent strenuous efforts to eliminate the libido theory, the publication of this interview is unexpectedly timely. For Reich remained steadfast in viewing libido as the core of Freudian theory.” Libido nunca significou a mesma coisa para ambos. E, ao contrário do que parece aos não-iniciados, depende de Reich o nome de Freud continuar a ter força século XXI adentro, e não o contrário.
“Freud capitulated (sublimation, death-instinct, and cultural theories), and gained fame; Reich died in prison. The fact that Freud did not offer any scientific proof for the libido theory, even though he predicted it would be forthcoming, and the attenuation that resulted from his later speculations, left his disciples with little to sustain them. As a result, they have gradually abdicated, despite some idolatrical lip service in their theoretical discussions and they have offered little, if any, opposition to the concerted effort now being directed against the energy theory”
“They emphasize ‘sociology’ and conveniently deemphasize ‘sexuality’. Ironically, although Reich’s emphasis on the magnitude of the influence of society upon the individual caused his break with Freud and his expulsion from the International Psychoanalytic Association, he saw no justification for discarding Freud’s libido and remained the only one prepared to defend it.
Although he was never politically oriented, Reich was once violently condemned and, at times, even today, continues to be slandered as a communist because he attached so much importance to the impact of society and saw in Marxist doctrine some basis for hope in bringing about an improven1ent in the human condition. However, practical communism, as it developed in the Soviet Union, became a monster he termed ‘red facism’; and this fact, in addition to his own experiences as a physician among the masses, convinced him that human structure, molded by authoritarian institutions, is protoplasmically unable to change.”
“Even Adler, Jung and Rank are not denied Reich’s indebtedness for the inadvertent assistance their theoretical positions provided in his pursuit of a natural scientific basis for the libido theory.”
“We have also provided the footnotes and appended a supplement consisting of correspondence with Freud and others, as well as miscellaneous documents pertinent to the material of the interview.”
“Ernst Freud, managing director of the Sigmund Freud Copyrights, Ltd., initially expressed interest only in the payment of a royalty, but negotiations were abruptly terminated and permission refused on the advice of unnamed psychoanalysts.”
* * *
“Why should we be so full of regard for privacy in important matters when our newspapers drown us in small scandals every day?” “The developments in science and education within the next 100 years will be decisive in establishing whether this interview will have any meaning whatsoever, or whether the evasion of the issues of babyhood and motherhood will continue to mess up more centuries of human destiny.”
Em 2052 a raça humana verá. Eu provavelmente não estarei mais aqui.
(*) “Even though Freud came to realize that these communications could not be taken at face value and, thus, necessitated theoretical and technical modifications, the verbal productions remain the raw material of the psychoanalytic therapy. The attempts to alleviate the difficulty in verbal communication, utilizing free association, produced some improvement, but the ability of the patient to communicate verbally remained an essential feature of the technique. It tended to exclude the uncooperative psychotic, for example, or the patient whose ability to communicate verbally was impaired by the concealed spasm of the glottis. The attempt to relieve such spasm by initiating the gag reflex, as utilized in orgone therapy, would not be a recognized means of eliminating the difficulty in psychoanalysis.”
“I began to see the despair in Freud’s face some time around 1940. Although he was dead, he had a great influence upon the direction of my further search in the realm of human emotions. What was his despair about? Now, if I am right, if I read the emotional expression correctly, the problem is why he was in such despair. And why didn’t I see it before, in 1925 or 1930?” “I don’t know whether you know that he withdrew from all meetings and congresses in 1924. And he developed his cancer of the jaw at that time. Are you following me?” Esse maldito não praticava o coito.
“Now, cancer, in my research is a disease following emotional resignation – a bio-energetic shrinking, a giving up of hope.”
(*) “Carcinomatous shrinking biopathy [biopatia minguante carcinomatosa] is the term Reich has applied to the process underlying the disease known as cancer, in which he discovered the functional unity of psychic resignation and biopathic shrinking which precede, often by many years, and accompany the appearance of the malignant tumor.”
“What happened at that time not only happened in the IPA from 1926 to 1934. It has happened all through the ages. It happened in the Christian Church 1500 years ago. It happened in every home on this planet. Now that sounds peculiar, doesn’t it? What happened? Do you know the term ‘pestilent character’?”
PAULO FODIDO, O DOENTE: (*) “Evidence of Paul Federn’s efforts to disturb the relationship between Freud and Reich was clearly revealed by Freud himself in a letter to Reich dated November 22, 1928, in which he told him that Federn had requested Reich’s removal as director of the technical seminar. In a later letter from Freud to Reich, October 10, 1930, Federn’s malevolent ‘digging’ was again in evidence.”
“I don’t know what has been deposited in the Freud Archives about me – what slander or defamation. But I know it’s around. I know who was involved in it. Jones was in it.”
“You don’t know that rumor of schizophrenia? Oh, yes. That was spread by Fenichel. Oh, yes. Now, today, nobody believes it. It was quite a thing, quite a thing. I doubt that you never heard that I’m paranoiac, schizophrenic.”
“Now listen! I can explain how they came to invent such a rumor, or to set such a rumor into motion about me. In 1929 I began to work in character analysis with physiological emotions, with physiological feelings in the patients.”
(*) “Students of the various schools of psychoanalysis are required to read Character Analysis but are often specifically warned not to read the contents of the 3rd edition beyond the chapter on The Masochistic Character’, to mark their separation from Reich’s later work. This separation is, of course, correct, but the admonition to ignore the later work is given with defamatory emphasis.”
“In investigating the difference between the typical neurotic and the schizophrenic, I learned that the neurotic recognizes the excitations which may break through spontaneously, or in the course of treatment, as biological, as arising from within. The schizophrenic fails to recognize these primary, biophysical sensations and plasmatic streamings as an inner process and, thus, comes to misinterpret and distort them. (…) This explanation of the schizophrenic process was viewed as distorted and even delusional by psychoanalysts such as Jones, Federn, Fenichel. And out of such things grew the slander of calling me a paranoid schizophrenic.”
“At that time, about 1925, the psychoanalysts in the technical seminar didn’t like my work on genitality, on orgastic potency, on the actual stasis neurosis which underlies the whole dynamic structure of the energy source of the neurosis”
“Hitschmann was the only one who said, ‘You hit the nail on the head.’ (He was the director of the Psychoanalytic Polyclinic. We built it up together.)”
“Basically, Freud discovered the principle of energy functioning of the psychic apparatus. The energy-functioning principle. This was what distinguished hin1 from all other psychologists. Not so much the discovery of the unconscious.”
“First, when Freud discovered infantile sexuality, he was furiously attacked, in a horrible way, by Modju. Do you know who Modju is?
Then you knew that ‘Modju’ is a synonym for the emotional plague or pestilent character who uses underhanded slander and defamation in his fight against life and truth.”
From where did you get the name?
It was derived frmn Mocenigo [sobrenome italiano], a nincompoop [idiota], a nobody, who delivered a very great scientist, in the 16th century, to the Inquisition. That scientist was Giordano Bruno. He was imprisoned for 8 years and then burned at the stake. This Mocenigo was a nobody who knew nothing, learned nothing, couldn’t learn anything. He wanted to get a good memory function from Bruno, who had a marvelous memory. But he couldn’t do it. Bruno couldn’t give it to him. So what did he do? He went out and killed Bruno. You see? That’s MO-cenigo. And DJU is Djugashvili. That’s Stalin.”
“F. was moving quite logically in the direction of the genitality problem, where I found myself so n1uch later, about fifteen years later. But he couldn’t get at it.” “The sublimation theory, which he developed as an absolute, was a consequence of that. It was an evasion.” Aristóteles, Nietzsche: o alerta já foi dado no séc. XIX. Enquanto não entenderem o MAL-ENTENDIDO sobre a CATARSE, que começou na Antiguidade, nada mudará. Isso foi quase uma transcrição exata de aspas do último autor citado. O cerne da questão humana, da nossa civilização.
“They hampered Freud. He was hampered so that he couldn’t develop further. And from there, he went right into the death-instinct theory.”
(*) “<Sublimation, as the essential cultural achievement of the psychic apparatus, is possible only in the absence of sexual repression; in the adult it applies only to the pregenital, but not to the genital impulses.> Reich, The Sexual Revolution (New York: The Noonday Press. 1962), p. 19.”
“You didn’t know that? I don’t think his life was happy. He lived a very calm, quiet, decent family life, but there is little doubt that he was very much dissatisfied genitally. Both his resignation and his cancer were evidence of that. Freud had to give up, as a person. (…) Now, if my theory is correct, if my view of cancer is correct, you just give up, you resign-and, then, you shrink.” “I always had the feeling he smoked – not nervousness, not nervousness – but because he wanted to say something which never came over his lips.” the key!
(*) “All day, from breakfast until he went to sleep, Freud smoked practically without pause … usual quantum was twenty cigars a day” (Hanns Sachs) E não são os cigarrinhos com filtro de hoje, eram charutos! Demolindo ao menos o primeiro volume de Schur (porque ainda não li os outros 2), em que a versão das cartas de F. é hagiografada: “esta semana eu fumei apenas um charuto, etc., etc.”…
(*) “Once – and only once – I saw him terribly angry. But the only sign of this anger was a sudden pallor and the way his teeth bit into his cigar.” Theodor Reik, From Thirty Years with Freud
“If you bite with a muscle for years and years, the tissue begins to deteriorate, and then cancer develops. Now, that cannot be found in psychoanalytic theory. That comes right out of my work, out of orgonomy.”
“He was alone and lonesome. Only later, about 1926, Anna Freud began to come into his life, into his work, as a co-worker. He stood it better then. But he really withdrew in 1924. The last time I saw him at a Congress was in Berlin, 1922.” “He knew in 1929 that in my youthful scientific enthusiasm I was right. But to admit this would have meant to sacrifice half of the organization.”
“I don’t speak about impotence or frigidity. No. What I mean is the emotional, the primary emotional experience of the merger of two organisms. Do you get me, now?
It’s not just to fuck, you understand, not the embrace in itself, not the intercourse. It is the real emotional experience of the loss of your ego, of your whole spiritual self.”
“Don’t worry. Just go on. Do your clinical work. Don’t worry. He was right! Today, these death-instinct things are dead; they are finished. You don’t hear of them any more.”
“Now, how, in heaven’s name, are psychiatrists, who are influenced to such a great extent by psychoanalytic thinking, ever to correct the psychic economy in children, in new-borns, in adolescents if they leave that libido out? I don’t think it will stay that way, because I’m still around. You know that? I am quite a bit around. So that is the struggle.”
“Depth psychology, therefore, operates with a function of recent origin. Many animals express themselves by sounds. But the living functions beyond and before any sound formation as a form of expression.”
“You remember the role the so-called ‘negative therapeutic reaction’ played in psychoanalysis. The more you knew, the worse you got. And nobody understood it. Nobody! I began to understand it a few years ago. I would like to try to condense it into a few words.”
“It will sound incredible in 100 years. Take it away from the mother. The mother must not touch or see the baby. The baby has no body contact after having had 9 months of body contact at a very high temperature – what we call the ‘orgonotic body energy contact’, the field action between them, the warmth and the heat. Then, the Jews introduced something about 6 or 7,000 years ago. And that is circumcision. I don’t know why they introduced it. It’s still a riddle. Take that poor penis. Take a knife – right? And start cutting. And everybody says, ‘It doesn’t hurt’. Everybody says, ‘No, it doesn’t hurt’. Get it? That’s an excuse, of course, a subterfuge. They say that the sheaths of the nerve are not yet developed. Therefore, the sensation in the nerves is not yet developed. Therefore, the child doesn’t feel a thing. (…) Circumcision is one of the worst treatments of children. And what happens to them? You just look at them. They can’t talk to you. They just cry. What they do is shrink. They contract, get away into the inside, away from that ugly world. I express it very crudely, but you understand what I mean, Doctor.”
(*) “I find it difficult to believe that circumcision, as practiced in our hospitals, would not represent stress and shock of some kind. Nobody who has witnessed the way these infants are operated on without anesthesia, the infant screaming in manifest pain, can reasonably deny that such treatment is likely to leave traces of some kind on the personality. This is one of the cruel ties the medical profession thoughtlessly inflicts on infants just because these cannot tell what they suffer.” René Spitz
“Words can’t express it. Here, in the very beginning, the spite develops. Here, the ‘no’’ develops, the big ‘NO’ of humanity. And then you ask why the world is in a mess.” “How is it understandable that a single Hitler or a single Djugashvili can control 800,000,000 people?”
BUDISMO ORIGINAL, BUDISMO EUROPEU, BUDISMO MUNDIAL: “The biological system of the human race has been ruined for ages. It has been ruined for thousands of years in Asia – in China, in Japan. The hardened structures in India and Arabia. The helplessness of millions. That is why the Moscow Modju has such success in Asia. It is also true, of course, in Europe and in America. Everywhere.” “People are dull. They are dull, dead, uninterested. And. then, they develop their pseudo-contacts, fake pleasures, fake intelligence, superficial things, the wars, and so on.”
“He wanted to get out of his own marriage. But he couldn’t. He was bound down – bound down by his position, by his Judaism, and by many other things.” “Freud was a peculiar mixture of a very progressive free thinker and a gentleman professor of 1860. Yet, in spite of his conservatism, he was so open-minded and so outgoing. I don’t think that he, himself, betrayed his cause, but he let himself be caught.”
“I have had to destroy one organization after another in order to remain free. You get my point?”
(*) “Reich’s connection with the communist movement in the late 1920s, which has been repeatedly exploited to discredit him, arose simply from the fact that it was expedient, in order to carry on his work in sexual hygiene, to encounter the masses of the people in a semblance of organization in the socialist and communist parties. Thus, <It was necessary to carry on sex-economic hygiene work within the framework of the socialist and communist parties because that was where the masses of people were at that time. Their problems had to be handled in their life set-up if one wanted to get out of the rut of individual treatment. Furthermore, the physicians who would aid in such matters as birth control, and other aspects of sexual hygiene were in the socialist and communist parties, because Russia, at that time, was still connected with sex-affirmative legislation.> Reich, 1952. From the Archives of the Orgone Institute.”
“It is terrifically painful to be alone and alive at the same time. That’s hell. I go through it myself. Do you know why I have removed myself, why I sit here, alone? I have to save my clean thoughts. I have to maintain a cleanliness, a purity. Freud didn’t succeed in that, and you can see it in his face. That was not quite clear in 1925. I didn’t understand it, then. But later, I too began to experience the emotional plague and to see what it does to man’s leaders. Now, that’s very crucial, not only to the understanding of Freud, but to the understanding of the human race and what it does, how it operates with its leaders, how it creates the dictator.”
“He didn’t have any pose. On the other hand, Federn was a prophet, with a beard. Somebody else – Eidelberg, for instance, sat there as a ‘thinker’. But Freud was just a simple animal. Would you accept that? Just a simple animal. That was Freud. And then he broke.”
“he would write, ‘Impotence, three months.’ Can you imagine trying to accomplish this in 3 months, or even in 6 months?
[Change of tape. Dialogue lost.]” Oh man!
HOW ALONE AM I, EVEN? “When I first met Freud, there was immediate contact-immediate contact of 2 organisms, an aliveness, interest, and going to the point. I had the same experience with Einstein when I met him in 1940.(*) There are certain people who click, just click in their emotional contact.
(*) Reich met Professor Albert Einstein on January 13, 1941. The basis for the meeting and their ensuing correspondence is contained in The Einstein Affair (Orgone Institute Press, 1953).”
“And there was a great difference between my way of expression, as you feel it right now, and that of the rest of the psychoanalysts in Vienna. It was so very dull there. About 8 or 10 people would sit around, and it was awfully. dull – if you know what I mean?”
(*) “<It is wrong to speak of the psychoanalytic method of thinking. Freud really had no method. He disliked method. And when he tried to do something with it, he went way off. He was a good empirical worker, but not a scientific methodologist. The first attempt to put method into psychoanalysis was my work in character analysis. That’s what Reik criticized me for, just for method. I put what was correct in psychoanalysis on a natural-scientific foundation, but my methodological, scientific work had in itself nothing to do with psychoanalysis, in the sense of being a part of it or developing from it. What I did was to put my eagle’s egg in the nest of chickens’ eggs. Then I took it out and gave it its own nest.> Reich, 1951. From the Archives of the Orgone Institute.”
Almost oh nest!
“He liked my work in the technical seminar. I think Anna Freud knows that very well. She often said it, and she could confirm it. I was a good psychiatrist. I was known as a good clinician. I think I was the only one in that group whose background was in biology, natural science, and natural philosophy. I don’t know whether there was – no, there was nobody else. I don’t think Nunberg or Hitschmann or Federn, or anybody else had that background.”
“He often expressed the hope that I would continue clinical work, just clinical work. I was a clinician. We agreed that speculations had no meaning. It was easy to put up a theory about a case. I, however, appealed to facts, to the developn1ent of the case. And that’s what Freud loved. So he had great hopes.”
“Here, Freud’s disappointment comes in. I went into sociology, which, at that time, was mixed or identical with politics. It was one thing. And, here, there was another man, another genius, Marx. I began to be interested in Marx and Engels in 1927. I had to, of course. They were very great men and they all were right. I learned some good, true sociology, there.”
“I want to have it quite clear that Das Unbehagen in der Kultur was written specifically in response to one of my lectures in Freud’s home.”
…AS WE GET TO KNOW THE CHARACTERS! “Helene Deutsch was very sympathetic, but noncommittal. Who else? Horney understood, but she dropped the sexual angle. Rado was far off. Alexander [Abraham, nulidade] was always far off. Yes, Alexander was an eneny. Anna Freud understood. She was always very interested and friendly, but she was also noncommittal.”
“Now, I can assure you I made many mistakes at that time. For instance, it was a mistake to believe that if you tell the people about a neurosis and if you tell them about happiness, they will be able to understand and to change.” Paradigma vvilfredyano.
“Well, if I hadn’t gone through those mistakes, I wouldn’t have arrived where I am now, at such a mature point. I don’t want to go into that here, but I want you to understand there is no use in individual therapy. No use! Oh, yes, good use to make money and to help here and there. But from the standpoint of the social problem, the mental-hygiene problem, it’s no use. Therefore, I gave it up. There is no use in anything but infants. You have to go back to the unspoiled protoplasm.”
(*) “<While I was accused by Freud of criticizing his psychoanalytic theory on behalf of and at the command of Moscow, Bischoff and Schneider, two Berlin stooges of the Moscow dictators, were using the most intricate devices of defamation, underhandedness, distortion, lies and calumny in order to wrest some 50,000 men, women, adolescents and children from my influence. These people had joined the Sexpol organizations in Germany solely because I had made them look at social institutions from the standpoint of the gratification of human needs. In contradistinction, the red fascists were only interested in state power and in getting social influence by misusing what I had built up. They were not at all interested in the factual, concrete solution of the sexual misery of people. Therefore, they fought me as an ‘anti-Marxist, counter-revolutionary Freudian’. A few years later, I pulled out of this Freudian and Marxian mess and moved onto the road which led to the common functioning principle underlying both Freud’s and Marx’s discoveries, i.e. the living in the human unconscious mind as well as in the human creative working power.> Reich, 1952. From the Archives of the Orgone Institute.”
SOMOS 3: “but I remember that he said, ‘It is not our purpose, or the purpose of our existence, to save the world.’ And you will be astounded when I tell you that I have now reached the same point. I am just where Freud was in 1930.”
“First, you must shift from therapy to prophylaxis – prevention. Second, you must concern yourself with the family, which is the origin of the oedipus conflict, and so on. It was cold. They were revolting. Freud was very hard with me, but it was a good hardness.”
(*) “The responsibility for the instigation and perpetuation of these vicious attacks culminating in Reich’s imprisonment and death must be laid at the door of the psychoanalysts. Their attempts to absolve themselves of this responsibility by references to Reich’s sanity must be scrutinized in the light of this interview, which was requested and conducted amidst these desperate efforts to discredit and destroy Reich and his work by groundless slander.”
“You see, the question is: Will our children, in a hundred years, when they are 5 or 6 years old, be able to live their natural lives as nature or God ordains it? Or will they sublimate according to Anna Freud?”
“Hitschmann once told me that Freud couldn’t stand Federn’s eyes. He referred to them once as ‘patricidal eyes’. And that was quite true. Wonderful! Federn really had murderous eyes. Yes!”
I mean, it’s your fault that you are speaking in such a fascinating way that I don’t notice the time, really.
All right. Now, I could go on and on because it is endless. That’s what Freud means to me. Freud is like Columbus who landed on a shore and opened up a continent. You understand? Now, Freud had a severe conflict with Judaism. Here, he was bound down, too. On the one hand, out of protest against the persecution he had suffered, he maintained very bravely and very courageously that he was a Jew. But he wasn’t. Freud was not Jewish. Do you know what I mean, now? (…) So Freud was really German. His style, his thinking, his interests, everything was German. And, here, he was torn apart. On the one hand, he was a Zionist. On the other hand, he was a German. He liked Goethe, Faust. His language was German. His style was the wounded German style of Thomas Mann – the rounded, harmonic, but very complicated expression, in contradistinction to the English, which is straight and simple. That became more and more apparent in Freud as the years went by and his fame grew. And, then, there was his interest in Moses, who, to Freud’s mind, wasn’t a Jew either.”
“Freud was the Moses who never reached the promised land. His unconscious was only an idea. It’s not real. It was never real.”
“I think he was a very eager physician. He wanted to cure people, but it didn’t work.”
(*) “Making the unconscious conscious, which is, in essence, the function of psychoanalysis, is a speculative, intuitive process of interpretation. In orgone therapy, the attack upon the characterological and muscular rigidities effects a release of bio-energy which is expressed in clonic movements and the experience of bodily sensations described as streamings. This movement provides an objectively expressive language, eliminating the need for the verbal psychoanalytic speculations condemned by many as unscientific.”
“The Christians have the deepest point of view, the cosmic one. The American Jew has it, too, but not the European. I don’t know whether we should go into that. But I am very much interested in the history of Christianity. Do you know what Christ knew? He knew about the Life Energy.”
“Freud was anti-emotional, very anti-emotional. Freud was for intellect only, you understand. I myself am quite intellectual. But intellect without an emotional basis can’t quite fully live or work.”
“Intellectual activity has often such a structure and direction that it impresses one as an extremely clever apparatus precisely for the avoidance of facts, as an activity which really detracts from reality.”
“In short, psychoanalytic theory assumes that the unconscious is the last biologically given realm; that there is nothing behind what the analyst can find in the depth of the person. This theory knows nothing of the bio-energetic functions in the core of the living system; neither does it penetrate deeply enough into the realm of bio-energetic functioning to realize that the ‘polymorphous perversity’ and antisociality of the unconscious are artifacts of our culture which suppresses the naturally given bioenergetics emotions”
Yes. Now in one of your letters you said that you saw Freud at the window like a caged animal.
That was that September, when we parted.”
“But to return to our last meeting. We talked for about an hour, maybe an hour and a half, and I left. I knew it was the last time I would see him. Somehow, I knew that I wouldn’t see him again. I walked down. And as I left, I looked up at his window, and I saw him walk up, down, up, down, fast, up-down, up-down, in that room. I don’t know exactly why this impression remained so vivid to me, but I had the impression ‘caged animal’ And that’s what he was. Every man of his greatness, of his vivacity, of his spirit, who knew what he wanted and landed where he did would behave like that, like a caged animal. I have a very good feeling for movement and for expressions, and that was my impression – caged animal.”
“You see, every pioneer has to have friends and co-workers to carry his work. Now, what usually happens is that they are not around, or if they are around, they take advantage of the pioneer. That’s a very dreadful truth, but it is truth. He waits and waits and waits for somebody to come around, to help, to do things and to go along with him. But they are just dead. You see, the pioneer somehow jumps out of the present-day biological structure of humanity.”
“NÓS” NÃO TEMOS UM PORQUÊ DE SER ASSIM. MAS TEMOS UM “PORQUE SIM” DE SER ASSIM.
“Oh, yes, neurasthenia. The neurasthenia problem. Now, you know that Freud began as a somaticist, as a man who worked with the body. Then he discovered the unconscious. So he switched over into psychology. But he never forgot that he was a somaticist. The greatest thing that ever happened in psychiatry was the discovery that the core of the neurosis was somatic, i.e., the stasis, the libido stasis was somatic. I once treated a waiter. I did this and did that, and finally, I had to give up. I described it in The Function. I worked an hour every day for over 2 years. It didn’t work. Didn’t work. Nothing happened, even though I went through to the urszene, to the primal scene. He had no erections, couldn’t have erections. Well, such things drove me to Freud. His basic attitude about our technique was that we shouldn’t be too ambitious in trying to cure. But I always had the feeling that he was very, very disappointed in the curative faculties of psychoanalysis. He had expected very much, and it didn’t quite work out. When I first began to analyze, treatment was to last 3 months, or, at the most, 6 months. Then it became longer and longer and longer. Then he left therapy altogether. He no longer wanted to improve humanity.”
(*) “Reich, here, is referring to neurasthenia as a specific example of a psychiatric disorder with a somatic core. Contrasting it with the psychoneuroses, Freud had classified neurasthenia and anxiety neuroses as actual (‘aktuelle’) neuroses, i.e., disturbances lacking a psychic etiology. He did go so far as to suggest that all psychoneuroses may have an actual-neurotic core, but he failed to pursue the issue. Reich, on the other hand, searching for the somatic core, found ample clinical evidence to justify the conclusion that the stasis of sexual energy was the common denominator of all neuroses. This was the starting point of his orgasm theory and all his later investigations into the nature of the sexual energy.”
“if your destructiveness is just inhibited and you turn it against yourself and eat yourself up inside, then I agree with you fully. But to believe in a primary masochism, in a wish to punish yourself, in a desire to die – no! no!”
“He couldn’t speak. You see, he had been a marvelous speaker. His words flew clearly, simply, logically. I remember that Berlin Congress. He was beautiful. He spoke about Das Ich und Das Es. He spoke very clearly. And then it hit him right there in the speech organ. He had to resign. This man had wanted to talk, to go out, to speak, to move. Look at his mouth, the configuration of his mouth. He wanted to go out, to do.” I wanna sing, dad serious, dead issues, but I’m pretty awful at it – so what? So my fingers, awfully good in what they do – type, type, and type… I once dreamt they got cut off! Brainless Zanardi
“By the way, I have to mention here that Horney took over my bio-energetic theory. When Freud’s dualism didn’t work, I proceeded toward the physiological and biological realm, and then toward the plasma motions. If I want something, I stretch out. Yes? If I am afraid, I pull in. And if I want to hit, I go out with a fury. So you have: I go out in love. I withdraw in anxiety. Or withdrawal is anxiety. That’s simple. It’s the plasma motion which does it. When I came to the United States, I visited Horney. She asked me about my work and I told her. Three or four years later, a book by her appeared. I don’t know which it was – Personality, or one of them. But it said she had a new theory: People are moving toward people, away from people, and against people. Toward people, away from people, against people. Do you get the point?”
“There was a mental-hygiene movement long before, but the recognition of the neuroses as a social problem, mass neuroses, that’s what I brought into the mental-hygiene movement.”
“I had made statistics in the Psychoanalytic Polyclinic, in free-thinker movements and in various associations. They revealed that about 90% of all women and about 70% to 80% of all men were just plain sick. That made me realize that there was a mass neurosis. I went to Freud. He had already said that all humanity was his patient. Here, quite concretely, was the evidence. 90% of all women (today, I would say even more) are characterologically and neurotically sick and not functioning according to natural law.”
(*) “From the beginning of the attack by the Food and Drug Administration in 1947 until his imprisonment in 1957, Reich was compelled to divert much of his time and energy to legal matters.”
“I went too far. I would have done better if I had restricted the movement for the first 10 years to the spreading of clinics. I had 6 clinics in Vienna where people came and received advice once or twice a week. I had one, Annie Reich had one, Annie Angel had one, Bergler had one, and so on. To provide medical and educational help was its purpose. But I went too fast. I unintentionally aroused the animosity of the political parties. They felt the power of it, and they bccan1e afraid or jealous. Their meetings were dull. They spoke about this and that, law and such things. People weren’t interested. When they came to our meetings they had the whole personal, emotional life right in the open. That created too much competition. It happened too quickly, too quickly.”
“Never do it the political way! People will get very enthusiastic about it. They will glow. They will burn for you. But their structures won’t follow. The character structure can’t follow. Then you are in trouble. That’s the danger, and that’s the special problem of mental-hygiene. I’m fully occupied with it, now, in an effort to solve it. This discrepancy between what a human being wants, what he dreams of, what he intellectually understands as true and good and what he actually can do, i.e., what his structure, the character structure, really permits him to do, is quite a problem in mental hygiene. It is also the gap where religion comes in with the idea of paradise.”
“Freud? I don’t know. I don’t think Freud was ever against it. But the psychoanalysts, socialists, communists, Nazis, yes, and the liberals – everybody was against it. All the politicians were against it. The problem is so tough, so complicated. But I did learn one thing: Never do it politically. Never do it politically. Do it factually. Establish clinics, help adolescents to establish their love lives…”
(*) “<Apart from the mass of diseases it creates, the process of armoring in early childhood makes every living expression edgy, mechanical, rigid, incapable of change and adaptation to living functions and processes. The living organ sensations, which have become inaccessible to self-perception, will, from now on, constitute the total realm of ideas which center around the ‘SUPERNATURAL’. This, too, is tragically logical. Life is beyond reach, ‘transcendental’. Thus, it becomes the center of religious longing for the saviour, the redeemer, the BEYOND.> Reich, Ether, God and Devil”
“Politically? F. always said, ‘I’m a scientist. I have nothing to do with politics.’ And since politics was hooked up with sociology, I said, ‘That’s an impossible standpoint.’ You can’t be apolitical in a situation such as the world was in. You know, the depression years. But he was right as far as politics went because politics is irrational. He was wrong as far as social science went.”
“Do you know what a political peddler does? He uses such terms as ‘sexual freedom’, ‘sexual happiness for youth’ as slogans. For example, the anarchists in England, the communists in Greece do it in a political way.”
“All that brain surgery,(*) all that stuff, the chemistry racket business – no good. That’s medicine of the past. There’s no doubt that Freud was one of the fathers of the quite new medicine-psychosomatic medicine, functional medicine. We are the pioneers in that direction.” “There’s so much cheating in the field of medicine, especially in the United States, cheating, cheats, just quacks, that I understand why they become chauvinistic and bureaucratic. (…) I think it was a very great mistake in his fight against the chauvinism in medicine when he protected Reik. (…) He was attacked by someone for practicing medicine. Freud supported him. And from that, ‘lay analysis’ developed.
(*) Reich is referring to the frontal lobotomy which gained some vogue in the treatment of mental disease.”
“The admission of lay analysts into natural scientific psychoanalysis was a very great mistake. Here, again, I refer to the natural scientific angle in psychoanalysis as opposed to the mere psychological angle. The psychological angle doesn’t carry you anywhere. You have to be rooted in natural scientific thinking, in physical medicine, and so on. You have all these lay analysts in the United States and, in my opinion, they do very much damage, very great damage. And it was Freud who opened the way to that.”
“It was quite clear where Adler was wrong. He got stuck in a very superficial layer with the power thing and he didn’t think further. It was an evasion of the libido theory. That was quite clear. Freud was very clear about these things. He had an awfully clear mind. He knew. (…) Freud attacked hin1 fron1 the standpoint of the libido theory. He rebuffed him and didn’t want anything of the ego theory. Then, Freud himself went into it, undermining the libido theory.”
“Jung meant something very important. You know what he meant? He really meant the energy in the universe, a universal libido. Freud said it was not scientific. You couldn’t measure it on a Geiger counter as I can.(*) Furthermore, it was mystically conceived.
(*) The Geiger-Müller counter is used to measure orgone energy in the atmosphere.”
“There is a deadly orgone energy. It is in the atmosphere. You can demonstrate it on devices such as the Geiger counter. It’s a swampy quality. You know what swamps are? Stagnant, deadly water which doesn’t flow, doesn’t metabolize. Cancer, too, is due to a stagnation.”
(*) “The moment a man questions the meaning and value of life, he is sick, since objectively neither has any existence; by asking this question one is merely admitting to a store of unsatisfied libido to which something else must have happened, a kind of fermentation leading to sadness and depression.” F. em uma carta. Mas esta frase é um plágio.
“He was theoretically very good. You must grant mistakes to a man who has to handle such a vast realm as the unconscious. Everybody makes mistakes.”
“He thought Stekel was a charlatan.(*) I think he was unjust to Stekel. Stekel did things. He slept with patients and such things. (…) I think that was his reason.
(*) <He plays the respectful disciple, and meantime assumes the privilege of a superior. He forgives me so to speak for all that he has done to me.> F., in Joseph Wortis, Fragment of
an Analysis with Freud”
“Rank said something very real, without knowing it. It is what we operate with today in our children’s clinic. It is the tight uterus, the contracted, spastic uterus which chokes the child. The oxygen is lacking. The CO2 is excessive. Then, coming out of such a spastic uterus is really a trauma. The birth process takes 20 to 40 hours in primaparae as against 1 to 5 hours in relaxed organisms. So Rank was in the right direction, too. But what did he do? Just as so many others did, just as Adler did with the will to power. They based everything on it. They made a secondary or tertiary process the sole, responsible factor. And Rank did the same thing.”
“Freud rejected the existence of so-called ‘ozeanische Gefühle’. He didn’t believe in such a thing. I never quite understood why. It is so obvious that the ‘ozeanische Gefühle’, the feeling of unity between you and Spring and God, or what people call God, and Nature is a very basic element in all religion, in all religious feeling to the extent that it is not sick and distorted.”
“Well, there was a question wether Anna Freud had a love life. That was a very much discussed thing. Many analysts in Vienna thought she lived in abstinence. And it was regretted. I, personally, felt somehow that it wasn’t good for the development of the education of children. Problems of genitality arise in education and if one of its leaders lives that way it is important. This is what everybody felt. I know nothing about her. I wouldn’t like to utter any opinions about it.”
“F. used to analyze his children. If the child had wet himself, he would ask, ‘Why did you do it?’”
“He liked pretty women. For instance, Princess Bonaparte was quite pretty at that time, and Deutsch was a very pretty woman. Want more of such gossip?”
“Fenichel wrote letters around about what everybody did to everybody else.”
You would like this? Tell me, how far do you go when you mean Freud, when you say Freud, Sigmund Freud Archives? How far do you go?
Well, it’s difficult to say. It originally meant Freud, and just Freud, but I don’t think that you can really make sharp distinctions.”
“It is meaningful from a point of view of my own use, of my early development, my emotional connection with Freud. I liked him very much. He liked me very much. It was important. But it is only a memory now. The psychoanalysts still think I’m a psychoanalyst. No! No! Am I looked upon as a psychoanalyst?”
(*) “<Your suggestion to link up the discovery of the Life Energy with Freud’s contributions to science cannot be put into effect. There is no such link. The utmost station of my work process which had clear cut positive links with psychoanalysis is the presentation in the second edition of my Character Analysis. Even these positive links had been rejected by Freud, including the crucial orgasm theory, the starting point of the later orgone energy developments.> Reich, in a letter to Dr. Harry Slochower, January 3, 1956.”
“I think it will take hundreds of years before the theory of the unconscious and the theory of bio-energy will be really lived by alive people. And to protect that process, you have to guard against slander. Slander will go on for a long time – the slander of love, the slander of genitality, the slander of life, the hate of life – for a long time. To protect against that is part of the job. It is beyond psychoanalysis. It has nothing to do with psychoanalysis. It is outside.”
“everybody wants to know how many women he had; whether he was divorced or not divorced; how many times he was divorced, and so on and so on. But those who ask these questions and those who assume the right to delve into the private lives of the pioneer, mostly to do damage, are themselves hidden in the bushes. I have a very typical picture of that. The pioneer is like a deer in the open meadow, and all of his critics and all of his enemies are all around him in the bushes. They can shoot from ambush and he can’t do a thing about it. Now, Freud was a pioneer, and you know how people wanted to know about him. He ran away from that. I told you that yesterday. He stayed at home. He didn’t see people. He was careful about his private life. He went into the sublimation theory.
Now, I myself began to be a pioneer, about 1923, when I discovered the genitality problem in neurosis. And the enemies – they were not enemies yet, but they sensed danger. As I told you yesterday, most of the psychoanalysts had been patients, sexually disturbed themselves, and that had a great influence. But it wouldn’t have developed as it did if I hadn’t tackled the problem of genitality in the neuroses. So the spotlight was turned on to me very early. I remember, in this connection, a remark by Reik, Theodor Reik, when I gave my first lecture on die Rolle der Genitalität in der Neurosenetiologie. All of the Viennese psychoanalysts sat there and listened. They were very attentive. Then, for the first time, the emotional atmosphere around me cooled. Reik said that it was a perfect presentation, but <I wouldn’t like to have written that book.>”
“About 1926, when I published the work on the genitality in children, the first puberty, rumors came to my ears that I cohabited with my patients. I didn’t. It was Federn who slandered. That went on and on and on, underhandedly. I would hear something here, something there.”
(…) To further illustrate the situation as it developed around 1932 – I was in trouble with my wife, my first wife. You know that?
She was sick. I just had to leave her. And I, in contradistinction to Freud, did not give up my private life. I lived my love life. I was not afraid of public opinion. When the relationship with my first wife did not work out, I took another woman. Today, such things are readily acknowledged, aren’t they? But in those ‘cultured’ Viennese circles it was something very peculiar. Now, I was in the open. Everybody knew about it. I was not promiscuous, or in any way amoral or immoral. But I never permitted my organism to grow stale or to become dirty. That goes very deep, you understand. You know what happens when somebody lives too long in abstinence. He gets dirty, dirty-minded, pornographic, neurotic, and so on. (…) One only shrinks if one lives against nature. One shrinks, gets sick, ill, in one way or another.”
“As a psychoanalyst, you are aware of the fact that the one who leads a frustrated life, or a pathological life, is envious of the one who doesn’t, the one who leads a clear and straight life.”
“When I was through with my first wife, I had a second one. I wasn’t married to her, not legally married to her, but she was my wife. That was Elsa Lindenberg.¹ (…) Without mentioning names, I shall mention facts which resulted from the genital frustration of some psychoanalysts.”
¹ “Elsa Lindenberg met Wilhelm Reich, the psychologist, in May, 1932, during a protest demonstration against Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. She later recalled that ‘I got to know Willie Reich when I used to walk around Berlin at night with a pot of glue and anti-Hitler posters.’” Fonte: https://spartacus-educational.com/Elsa_Lindenberg.htm
“There were instances where psychoanalysts, under the pretext of a genital examination, of a medical examination, put their fingers into the vaginas of their patients. It was quite frequent. I knew that. You see, it happened once or twice that I fell in love with a patient. Then I was frank about it. I stopped the treatment and I let the thing cool off. Then we decided either yes or no to go to bed.
I was quite straight about it. Some psychoanalysts didn’t do that. They would be hypocrites about it. They would pretend there was nothing there and would masturbate the patient during the sessions.”
“One way the world usually attempts to kill the pioneer is to segregate him, to put him away into loneliness, into lonesomeness, so he can’t live a normal life. That is one way of breaking him. It happened to Nietzsche, for example. Now, I never permitted anyone to do that to me. They tried many times. What did I do? I dissolved the organizations that tried to do that.”
“Well, for example, it happened recently in New York. There was a group of two dozen or so physicians who began to admire me and to have this mystical attitude toward me. They sat around me. They made that bust of me and carried it up and down the steps in my house and made a holy smoke out of me. That began to disturb my life, my vitality. I had to separate myself. I didn’t want it. It is much more important that I stay alive and do my experiments and my science than it is to have a few followers.”
(*) “The jailing of Reich achieved for his enemies what he had been able to avoid during so much of his eventful life. It was the final and tragically irrevocable solution to the endless attempts to segregate him. Jailing succeeded where slander and defamation had failed.”
“I was reproached because I married a former patient of mine, Annie Pink. It turned out very badly. Rado married a patient, Emmy. Others married patients. There was nothing wrong with that. What was wrong, however, was the hypocrisy which was in many treatments”
“You make somebody else bad in order to free yourself from responsibility. We call that the Emotional Plague.”
“This was not a special case of hate, or infamy, or destructiveness toward me. It is a general thing that goes on everywhere. But the psychoanalysts are no different from anyone else.”
“I assure you that it is the same with the orgonomists today with the genitality theory. They don’t touch it. These armored character structures cannot handle natural genitality. It may take another 50 years or so to get it across.
Let me give you another example. My second wife, Elsa Lindenberg, was very beautiful. That is her picture over there. I came to the Lucerne Congress with her in 1934. It is quite amusing to think back on that today. But to give you a picture of the attitude of some analysts at that time: They lived in hotels, sat around in smoky lobbies, and so on. I didn’t. I lived with my wife in a tent at the Lucerne Lake. I had a dagger, you know, as you have when camping. Today, nobody would find anything peculiar in it. Fifteen years later, a rumor went around in New York to the effect that I had gone completely crazy at Lucerne and had put up a tent in the lobby of the hotel and that I went around with a dagger. You never knew who started it, but that rumor went around and came back to me.” “Only starved, genitally starved individuals do such things. A genital character, a normal, healthy individual doesn’t do that. It doesn’t occur to him to do such things, to run after a woman in such a manner. They didn’t know that she was my wife, but when they found out, they retreated. To get to the essence of the whole thing, it is impossible for a human organism, such as that of an analyst, to work continuously over the years with the human structure, with the instincts, the perverted instincts and the healthy instincts, to take all that, to have to accept it, to have it poured onto him, and to stand it, unless he himself is completely clean, lucid, and orgastically satisfied, unless he himself lives in a good way. Now, that was not the case with the majority of psychoanalysts. And that is crucial. (…) Their structures couldn’t stand it. I don’t think they avoided it in a moral way. In some cases, they did so in a pornographic way; in others, in a defensive, compulsion neurotic way; in still others, by just not having contact with it, just not handling it.”
“You can’t get at the human character by psychoanalytic means. You have to reach it with character analysis or orgone therapy. Human beings live emotionally on the surface, with their surface appearance. Correct? In order to get to the core where the natural, the normal, the healthy is, you have to get through that middle layer. And in that middle layer there is terror. There is severe terror. Not only that, there is murder there. All that Freud tried to subsume under the death instinct is in that middle layer. He thought it was biological. It wasn’t. It is an artifact of culture. It is a structural malignancy of the human animal. Therefore, before you can get through to what Freud called Eros or what I call orgonotic streaming or plasmatic excitation (the basic plasma action of the bio-energetic system), you have to go through hell. Just through hell! This is true for the physician as well as the patient. In this hell, there is confusion, schizophrenic breakdown, melancholic depression.” “A bull is mad and destructive when it is frustrated. Humanity is that way, too.”
“At that time, I would have run. I couldn’t run today. The bridges are burned behind me. Looking back, I understand it. It is very dangerous. You see, the armor, as thick as it is and as bad as it is, is a protective device, and it is good for the individual under present social and psychological circumstances to have it. He couldn’t live otherwise. That is what I try to teach my doctors today. I tell them I am glad they don’t succeed in breaking down that armor because people, who have grown up with such structures, are used to living with them. If you take that away, they break down. They can’t, they just can’t live any longer. They can’t function, you see. It will take a long time – maybe decades, maybe centuries, I don’t know – until we have new generations whose structures will be different.”
You mentioned yesterday about Jones. I thought that that had a direct effect on-
Oh yes, of course. He was a very frustrated Englishman, you see. And he hated the way I lived. So, to judge from the events at Lucerne, he most likely dug against me to Freud. He thought I was psychopathic. The analysts don’t distinguish the sick and the healthy. So, to them, I was psychopathic.”
“(…) Emmy, Rado’s his wife, and I had very strong genital contact with each other. Never anything like full embrace happened between us, but we danced a lot together and we had very strong contact. And Rado was jealous.
And then he started an intrigue against you?
Yes. He was the one who started that rumor in 1934. He began the rumor that I was schizophrenic. He was the one. And Fenichel picked it up. The rumor was that I was in a mental institution. I wasn’t. I never was, never have been. Fenichel was the one who broke down emotionally. It was Fenichel who was in an institution for three weeks after a breakdown. He broke down in connection with my separation from the IPA. I never mentioned him by name, but I related that whole story in Character Analysis, in the 3rd edition. I never reacted to that publicly because I knew I was strong enough to survive. So, to begin with, it was Rado because of Emmy. Fenichel and others picked it up easily, as usually happens. I had quite a time to get rid of that. The rumor preceded me by a year in the United States. Everybody thought I was psychotic. That was my punishment for the discovery of the orgasm function.”
“This ‘don’t touch it’ showed up quite clearly in the handling of the Freud Archives. I don’t know whether you know that. Freud was put away. Nobody wants to deal with Freudian problems, you understand. ‘Put them away for 100 years. Let 2 or 3 later generations decide about it. We don’t want anything of it.’ You won’t agree with me. There is, however, no doubt about it. When your secretary went down to the Library of Congress to confirm receipt of my documents, the answer I received back was the assurance that my correspondence with Freud or about Freud is put away for 100 years. But I am not interested in that. I never intended to put away my correspondence for 100 years. On the contrary, I am going to publish it during my lifetime. There is nothing to hide. Are you going to tell them what I say?”
“It was a handy tool for my enemies, you know. I wasn’t a communist. I wasn’t a Marxist. I understood Marx, but I saw that Marxism, as I proved in my writings, was insufficient to handle the problems. But the analysts were already afraid of the ‘social consequences’. If I had known where it would lead, I would have been afraid, too. But I didn’t, you see. I was determined to go right after the problem.”
“I was never a political communist. I would like to have that fully on record. Never. Oh, yes, I worked in the organization. I worked with them. I believed that capitalism was bad, but I don’t believe, today, that the misery stems from capitalism. The misery is older than capitalism. I tried hard to get psychology, especially psychoanalytic psychology, into sociology.” “From the point of view of later developments of misery for myself and my beloved ones, I wished I had never started my program of improving the socialist movements. No more deadly enemies, no greater danger to my life and liberty or happiness have ever come than that movement directed by liberators without knowledge of the laws of responsible freedom.”
“Bernfeld began it about 1925, but he dropped it. I continued in 1927. In Austria, I worked with the communists, but I was in the Arbeiter Hilfe. (The Arbeiterhilfe (Worker’s Help) consisted mainly of people who were not party members but sympathized openly with the Russian revolution. The Arbeiterhilfe and the Rote Hilfe (Red Help) were designed as a kind of Red Cross organization. However, these affiliates consisting of non-political members were in many cases abused for political power purposes in the early 30s, without the consent or even the knowledge of the members of these organizations.) In Germany, I belonged to the socialist physicians under Simmel.(*) I worked with the communist faction because of the new laws in Russia – the sexual laws. Freud was all for it. Today, everybody is for it except the Russians, who dropped it long ago. Somehow, the world has split up. You see, there was this tendency in the late 20s to unite psychology and Marxism, or psychoanalysis and Marxism.(**)
(*) Ernst Simmel (1882-1947), president of the Society for Socialist Physicians in Berlin, who pioneered in the development of hospital care of patients, using psychoanalytic principles.
(**) At that time, nobody had an inkling of the future split of a mechanized and ruined Karl Marx who would be confined to an imperialist, Russian, tyrant state, and a badly mauled Freud confined to the USA, appearing frequently in a commercial manner as thousands of ‘lay psychotherapists’”
“He was a Modju. Federn was a psychoanalytic Modju. He was very unhappy in his marriage, but he was a very, very good husband. He stuck to her and so on. And he was a ‘culturist’. He used to read Goethe to his patients.”
(…) When did you enter the psychoanalytic movement?
Well, I went to psychoanalytic lectures from 1931 on.
Are you a member of the psychoanalytic society now?
In New York?
May I ask you a question? Did you discuss this interview with anyone of the Board of Directors of the Psychoanalytic?
What do you mean – discuss?
Discuss what we should talk about?
One or two, I think, know that I planned to interview you.
I think I told Hartmann and Kronold.
You know Kronold was my student.
He is quite decent, but they all left me. They all abandoned me.
But they say you are a very good analyst.
Yes. Other psychoanalysts don’t know about this interview? They don’t ask? But they know that I cooperate with you?
Yes, sure. But their interest is really a peripheral one.
Is that so?
You know what I mentioned yesterday about that original damage done to the human, to infants. That’s what it is – this lack of interest. Nobody is interested. They can’t be interested. The protoplasm doesn’t sparkle any more. Oh, we encounter that everywhere. We have it right in our own midst. It is everywhere, everywhere. Were there any objections to my depositing the documents?
There are a few severe enemies in the psychoanalytic association. Nunberg is very severe. There are very many friends there, too, but they don’t touch it. You know what I mean.”
“Do you know who has kept the libido theory alive and working today? And who developed it? I regard myself as the only one who did it. Nobody else. Is that clear? I want this quite clearly on record. I claim that. (…) It was also a point of frequent discussion with Freud. I refer here to the relationship of the quantitative to the qualitative. To him, it was one of his greatest discoveries that an idea is not active on its own, but because it has a certain energy cathexis, i.e., it has a certain amount of energy attached to it. In this, he had brought the quantitative and the qualitative together. He did the same thing when he claimed that the neurosis had a somatic nucleus. But the quantitative, the energy angle, was only a concept. It was not reality. Now, whereas the psychoanalytic organization developed the qualitative angle, i.e., the ideas, their interconnection, and so on, I picked up the energy angle. I had to hold on to the libido theory, you understand, not only because it was true, but because I needed it. I needed it as a tool. It led into the physiological realm. That means that what Freud called libido was not a chemical, but a movement of the protoplasm.”
(*) “I must guard against any attempt to write me down in history as a Freudian or as one of the many psychotherapeutic schools which sprang from the deletion of the living nerve of the Freudian theory, namely, the libido theory. The actual discovery of the cosmic energy has nothing whatever to do with Freud.” Reich, 1956
(*) “The microscope, telescope, orgonoscope, temperature-difference apparatus, electroscope, field meter, fluorophotometer, Geiger-Müller counter are some of the devices used to visualize and otherwise demonstrate and measure quantitatively the orgone energy in biological specimens and in the atmosphere.”
(*) “Blue is the specific color of orgone energy within and without the organism. Classical physics tries to explain the blueness of the sky by the scattering of the blue and of the spectral color series in the gaseous atmosphere. However, it is a fact that blue is the color seen in all functions which are related to the cosmic or atmospheric or organismic orgone energy. Protoplasm of any kind, in every cell or bacterium is blue. It is generally mistaken as ‘refraction’ of light which is wrong, since the same cell under the same conditions of light loses its blueness when it dies. Thunder clouds are deeply blue, due to high orgone charges contained in the suspended masses of water. A completely darkened room, if lined with iron sheet metal (the so-called ‘Orgone Room’), is not black, i.e., free of any light, but bluish or bluish-gray. Orgone energy luminates spontaneously; it is ‘luminescent’. Water in deep lakes and in the ocean is blue. The color of luminating, decaying wood is blue; so are the luminating tail ends of glowworms, St. Elmo’s fire, and the aurora borealis. The lumination in evacuated tubes charged with orgone energy is blue.’” Reich, The Orgone Energy Accumulator – Its Scientific and Medical Use
“However, I could have developed my discovery of the life energy as well from Driesch’s Entelechy or Bergson’s Élan Vital, or from any of the biochemical branches of science, had I happened to have worked practically in any of these fields. Similar conflicts would have arisen to free my thoughts. This is to say that there are many forerunners of my discovery.”
“Think of an article like Sterba’s on my work in which he leaves out the crucial orgasm question entirely. Oh, yes, I know they talk of anal and oral and so on. That is not the point, you understand. The point is the grasping of what the libido theory meant. With the libido theory, psychology hooked onto natural science for the first time in the history of science.”
(*) “The term id expresses, in a metaphysical manner, the fact that there is in the biosystem a ‘something’ the functions of which are determined outside of the individual. This ‘something’, the id, is a physical reality; the cosmic orgone energy. The living ‘orgonotic system’, the ‘bio-apparatus’, represents nothing but a special state of concentrated orgone energy. In a recent review, a psychoanalyst described the ‘orgone’ as ‘identical with Freud’s id’. This is as correct as the contention, say, that the ‘entelechy’ of Aristotle and Driesch is identical with the ‘orgone’. It is true, indeed, that the terms id, entelechy, élan vital and orgone describe ‘the same thing’. But one makes things all too easy for oneself with such analogies. ‘Orgone’ is a visible, measurable and applicable energy of a cosmic nature. Such concepts as id, entelechy, or élan vital, on the other hand, are only the expression of inklings of the existence of such an energy. Are the ‘electromagnetic waves’ of Maxwell ‘the same’ as the ‘electromagnetic waves’ of Hertz? Undoubtedly they are. But with the latter one can send messages across the oceans while with the former one cannot.
Such ‘correct’ equations without a mention of the practical differences serve the function of verbalizing away great discoveries in natural science. They are as unscientific as the sociologist who, in a recent review, referred to the orgone as a ‘hypothesis’. With hypotheses, with such things as the id or entelechy, one cannot charge blood corpuscles or destroy cancer tumors; with orgone energy, one can.” Character Analysis
* * *
APÊNDICES DO LIVRO (PART 2. DOCUMENTARY SUPPLEMENT)
TRECHOS DE ESCLARECIMENTOS E PREFÁCIOS
“Freud seemed to have been stuck in his own need to ‘sublimate’ which he, then, made valid for all by translating it into a wrong psychological theory. Contemporaries of his such as Strindberg, Ibsen, Nietzsche, who had no fear, were far ahead of Freud in these matters.”
“Dialectic materialism as outlined by Engels in his Anti-Dühring developed into biophysical functionalism. This development was made possible by the discovery of the biological energy, the orgone (1936-1939). Sociology and psychology were put on a solid biological foundation. Such a development cannot remain without influence on thought. As thinking develops, old concepts change and new concepts take the place of obsolete ones. The Marxist ‘consciousness’ was replaced by ‘dynamic structure’, ‘needs’ by ‘orgonotic instinctual processes’, ‘tradition’ by ‘biological and characterological rigidity’, etc.” “Does that mean that the economic theory of Marxism is fundamentally wrong? I should like to clarify this question by an illustration. Is the microscope of Pasteur’s time, or Leonardo da Vinci’s water pump ‘wrong’? Marxism is a scientific economic theory which stems from the social conditions of the early 19th century.”
TRECHOS DE CORRESPONDÊNCIAS
Carta a Adler, 1920
“For if this will to power originated from the desire to become like the father (reinforced by the inferiority feeling that this cannot be done), the explanation would suffice if we did not have to ask ourselves: in what respect does the 4-year-old boy want to become like his father? If he feels the stirrings of inferiority, this must have a cause – and what is it? However, our curiosity will scarcely be satisfied by this answer: the youngster wants to become an engineer or a shoemaker like his father; he wants to build equally fine houses, etc., and since he cannot do this, his inferiority feelings awaken, and along with them the will to surpass his father. We can even occasionally observe that little boys show preference for games imitating the occupations of adults, the closest model being the father. But we will have to say that this is not always the case, and if it does happen, it is frequently an imitation, free of envy, whose strongest motives must be sought in entirely different areas. We should even admit that nothing could be more alien to the child than the reality, burdened with worries and sorrow, which in the long run cannot be concealed from him, particularly if he is intelligent; that he will select from this reality only that which gives him the most pleasure – that is, only the marvelous freedom, the come-and-go-as-you-please, above all the freedom from the paternal whip that keeps coercing him back into the narrow circle he tries to break by every available means. And, here, alone, we
would find the relation you have emphasized: cause-effect, pressure by the father (by all education)–inferiority feeling (and the will to surpass the father, i.e., to overcome him, to be free of him).”
“I would like to point to the enormously conspicuous circumstance that persons with a particularly highly developed will to power also show a distinctly sadistic character trait.”
“Here the question arises as to why the absolutely and relatively greater inferiority feeling of the female sex does not produce, by way of overcompensation, a will to power far stronger than the man’s …. In explaining this case, you mentioned the father’s extraordinary love for his young daughter and later, it seemed to me, you did not refer to this very important circumstance again. Is it not likely, then, that the girl returned her father’s love, could not emancipate herself from him and rejected all suitors, regardless of her wish to get married, which even seems to have tormented her?”
Carta a Ferenzi, 1925
“But the principal conclusion of this research, stimulated by The Ego and the Id concerning the character and its analysis, seems to me the, by now, generally accepted opinion that we are progressing from symptom analysis to a therapy that investigates the characterological foundations of the symptom neurosis; and that true and lasting cures can be achieved only if we succeed in modifying the neurotic character, which is the substructure of its symptomatology.”
“Since The Ego and the Id, we can no longer doubt that sadism – the aggressive, destructive death instinct – stands as the equal of Eros, and we are learning to assess its importance, which differs from Adler’s in being less one-sided, and yet somehow resembling it. I must confess that the contradiction between text and addendum irritated me all the more as I felt that the Professor F. did not unequivocally resolve it; for what Adler at the time understood to be an aggressive instinct is the same that Freud calls destructive instinct.”
Carta a Federn, 1926 (infelizmente Reich era muito ponderado e acabava não enviando essas cartas mais ofensivas!)
“On the occasion of the last election of secretaries, after you became acting chairman following Rank’s resignation from the executive committee, you told me that I would have become secretary, along with Nunberg, if it had not been necessary to iron out certain differences with Jokl and to appoint him for political reasons. Nunberg was elected because he had seniority. (May I be permitted to remind you in this connection that I have seniority over Jokl.) I accepted these political arguments, too, even if I did not approve their specific political nature, and I, the ‘aggressive, paranoid and ambitious’ type, forgot the whole affair without being in the least upset about it. It was only after the most recent decisions of the executive committee that both incidents assumed significance in my mind. Now the position of secretary was simply liquidated with the explanation that Bernfeld was the only one being considered ad personam. And what about the post of second secretary before Bernfeld’s elecion? Please believe me when I say that I thought of my automatic advancement to Bernfeld’s position (as secretary or librarian) for the first time when you spoke of the new election in the board meeting. I had a two-fold interest in being on the executive committee. The first was motivated by the understandable desire to see and listen to the Professor more frequently. Infantile, perhaps, but neither ambitious nor criminal. The second was purely factual: I feel that for several years I have presented important suggestions which actually should have originated with a member of the executive committee since they concerned organizational questions such as establishing, conducting and developing the technical seminar (the chairmanship of which I have never claimed); differentiating between two kinds of members, systematizing the clinic services and the employment of physicians. (My admission as acting chairman to the executive committee of the clinician admission I did not claim but which was promised to me – suffered the same fate, for even flimsier reasons, as did my admission to the executive committee of the Association. Without bemoaning the former, I performed my duties in the outpatient clinic to the best of my ability and judgment, giving no cause for complaint, in spite of constant vexations.) Without my energetic efforts against the decision of the Association, the important question of the psychoanalytic specialist might not have been tackled for many years. My organizational work in the Association, combined with my scientific activity, gave me the feeling of justified expectation.”
“My activity – which, like all positive things, also has its negative aspects – has earned me the reputation of being aggressive. I share this fate with Tausk. I had to admit that for a while, stung by an irrelevant scientific opposition and by the general conditions in the Association, I did not exercise sufficient restraint, a fact which I regretted very, very much, and, on realizing it, I changed my conduct immediately. However, I may safely say that, no matter in what defensive position I found myself, I never insulted a colleague or otherwise hurt his feelings. Should this nevertheless have happened, I am ready to make any amends that are asked for. I never intended any personal offense but always objectively said what I was convinced I was justified in saying – without false consideration, however, for age or position of the criticized party. I have always welcomed objective criticism. On the other hand, I have had to put up with many things that would have prompted any one among you to insist on an arbitration procedure, and yet I did not react personally (coram publico or in private) or aggressively. That my objective criticism became stricter still is something I cannot be blamed for. May I recall the personal insults of Dr. Hitschmann, Drs. Nunberg and Hoffer; also, the irrelevant personal criticism of my lectures by Dr. Reik (‘The paper is good, but I would not like to have written it’). I will not even mention all the needling – so intangible, without being the less hurtful – that I cannot itemize without making a fool of myself.
Also, please do not ask me for details about colleagues (there is only one among them who is younger than I am) who are apparently well-intentioned toward me. Unless it can be proved that I made gross or numerous serious errors which would explain the attitude of many members and, by extension, the attitude of the executive committee, then only one explanation suggests itself: our Association is suffering from intramural envy. A paralyzing skepticism prevails; almost no one takes an active interest in the outpatient clinic, and anyone who wants to bring clarity to the controversial question of analytic therapy and refuses to become stifled in his interest in psychoanalysis as a science and movement is looked upon with a jaundiced eye.”
“A conversation with Professor Freud about analytic therapy convinced me that an infinite number of opinions, circulated as belonging to the Professor (e.g., on passivity), are either falsely attributed to him or, if he voiced them at all, have been misunderstood. Whence stems this shyness to discuss our therapy which is so dangerous for psychoanalysis as well as for the individual analyst? The idiotic rationalization is: the Professor does not think much of therapy. And yet, it is nothing but one’s own inner insecurity and lack of sincerity which take cover behind Freud. I am not an optimist, as people keep telling me over and over. I am merely seeking the truth about our achievements, and for this purpose, confident of analytic honesty, I created the technical seminar. I have worked for many years to obtain insight into the circumstances of successful and unsuccessful analyses. I interpret it as a symptom, and blame everyone who takes this personally, for letting me be the only one in the seminar, in courses and in publications who has reported on failures and tried to clarify these in common discussion. Most of the Viennese analysts report either on the theory of the case alone or on successful cases only.
So this is the crime that makes me unpopular: I criticized the ostrich attitude as being unanalytic; I publicly maintained that an analyst is duty-bound to discharge a patient when he has lost the thread of the analysis and is unable to find it again; he must deal with the therapeutic theory of each case and he must study the criteria for prognosis. I have repeatedly asked for cooperation, and have met either with blind criticism or scorn for my efforts.”
Carta a Freud, 1928
“In yesterday’s meeting I lectured on A Problem of Psychoanalytic Technique, reporting on the technique of dealing with narcissistic defense. Last summer, I was criticized for giving my technical lectures at the Seminar and not at the Association. In yesterday’s lecture, I wished to present to the Association one of the problems which has been discussed for years at the Seminar, in order to elucidate the differences of opinion prevailing in the Seminar. To my greatest astonishment, Dr. Federn declared that what I had presented was so commonplace that it did not belong in the Association. This may be true or not; but I must protest against Dr. Federn’s hateful, high-handed tone, and against the fact that he paralyzed the discussion by proposing that the points of contention should not be debated, which, in view of the Association’s general apathy for debate, was quite enough. This unprofessional attitude of a chairman cannot, and must not, be tolerated.
It is not only my own feeling but the conviction of almost all analysts, particularly the younger ones, that Dr. Federn inhibits all constructive work by his inconsistency, his inability to conduct a discussion, and especially by his embarrassing manner of belittling everything a younger analyst may say; he is not only hampering the development of the Vienna Association but, worse, contributing to its deterioration. Dr. Sterba and Dr. Bibring, who, at my suggestion, were to present to the Association surveys on technique and therapy developed at the Seminar, have refused to do so because they do not want to expose themselves to Dr. Fedem’s supercilious condescension. If Dr. Fedem complained last year that the Seminar draws off lectures from the Association, then he should not now brush aside everything the younger analysts have to say; even if their knowledge is rather basic, they still struggle to acquire it on their own because it is generally held that Dr. Federn’s technical course was inadequate and did not offer what he calls ‘commonplace’. The younger analysts dare not complain because they fear for their future. Conditions in the Association are utterly depressing.”
Carta aos editores do International Journal for Psychoanalysis, 1932
“I criticized the doctrine of the death instinct at a time when I knew nothing about Marxism except that it existed (see discussion with Alexander, written down in 1926). It was not Marxism that caused me to criticize the empirically unproven hypotheses leading to horrendous conclusions (death instinct and repetition compulsion), but it was analytic empiricism that brought me to Marxism. After all, aside from individual psychological motives, the question why psychoanalysis deviated from its initial clear biological path could essentially be explained in sociological terms alone.”
Carta a Eitingon, 1932
“In our conversation of October 6th, you asked me not to admit any candidates in the first training stages to the unofficial technical seminar I am conducting, and to limit attendance to those analysts who at least are guests of the Association. You justified this demand by stating that I differ with Prof. Freud on the death instinct theory, which, judging by the latest decisions, has become an integral part of psychoanalytic theory.”
Carta à IPA, 1933
“Yesterday Dr. Freud, the editorial director, advised me that, following a decision of the advisory board and the publishers, the contract for my book Character Analysis, scheduled for early publication, has been cancelled.”
“For a long time, political reaction has identified psychoanalysis with Kulturbolschewismus, and rightly so. The discoveries of psychoanalysis are diametrically opposed to the nationalistic ideology and threaten its existence. It makes absolutely no difference whether the representatives of psychoanalysis resort to one precautionary measure or another, whether they withdraw from scientific work, or whether they adapt it to present conditions. The sociological and cultural-political character of psychoanalysis cannot be eliminated from this world by any measure whatsoever. The nature of its discoveries (infantile sexuality, sexual repression, sexuality and religion) makes it the arch-enemy of political reaction. One may hide behind such illusory beliefs as a ‘nonpolitical’ science: this will only harm scientific research, but will never prevent the ruling powers from sensing the dangers where indeed they are, and fighting them accordingly. (For example, the burning of Freud’s books.)
Since psychoanalysis, in the unanimous opinion of its exponents, has a cultural and political significance beyond its medical goals and will play a decisive role in the forthcoming struggle for a new social order, but will certainly not side with political reaction, any attempt at adapting or camouflaging the movement’s essential meaning is a senseless self-sacrifice. All the more so as a substantial group of analysts is determined to continue the cultural-political struggle. The existence of this group, regardless of its position inside or outside the IPV[ienna], is politically compromising even if its principal spokesmen should be physically de strayed. I see no possibility for the leaders of the IPV to disavow this group since it is rooted completely, and in contradistinction to other groups, in the soil of psychoanalytic discoveries with all their implications.”
“Hitler’s rule does not spell the end of the historical process. If ever the historical raison d’être of psychoanalysis and its sociological function was needed, the current phase of historical development must prove it.”
Carta a Anna Freud, 1933
“when they learned that I was going to Copenhagen, two Danish students wanted to study with me. They discussed this with several Viennese analysts. One of these analysts discouraged them because a training course with me allegedly would not be recognized. This man knew more than I did. Another promised the bewildered Danes to consult local training analysts, and came back with the information that a training analysis with me was not advisable because the Danes were Marxists, and since I, too, was a Marxist, ‘the danger of identification’ would be ‘too great’. This came as quite a surprise to me, for up to now it seemed virtually taken for granted that theologians were sent to Pfister, moral philosophers to Mueller-Braunschweig, and reconstructed socialists to Bernfeld. Only in my case this Gleichschaltung, to use the latest Nazi term, does not seem to apply. I am powerless against such methods, which I hesitate to describe more succinctly; neither do I fear them.”
“I do not know if you realize that Dr. Harnik is going to Copenhagen as a training analyst, with the explicit consent of Dr. Eitingon. Dr. Hamik’s psychotic illness makes such a move seem extremely questionable. I refrain from describing the serious complications that are bound to arise when his psychosis breaks out in the North. It obviously will not help the cause of analysis. In any event, Dr. Eitingon bears a heavy responsibility for placing Dr. Harnik in such an exposed position.”
Carta a Anna, 1933
“I have the greatest interest in eliminating two facts: first, the IPV’s strategy of ‘killing by silence’ as hitherto applied to my work, and, secondly, the resultant attempts to give me the cold shoulder unofficially, quietly, as it were by indirection. Dr. Eitingon’s private stand on the question of my call to Copenhagen as a training analyst, of which I informed you; Dr. Federn’s private proposal that I should be induced to resign from the IPV; the private attempts by several analysts to dispute my competence to train analysts and to disavow my purely analytic work – these represent inappropriate attempts to resolve a conflict which can only be clarified by an open, official stand.”
Carta a Rado, 1933
“I have the misfortune to be an extremely orthodox analyst and a Marxist all in one, which in our present world has produced some very unpleasant truths.”
“Hence, could you investigate and let me know how the Americans feel about me? And if I could eventually get a purely formal invitation from overseas for visa purposes? I would also be grateful if, in your capacity as secretary of the IUK of the IPV, you would take a stand on my teaching activity in Copenhagen by writing officially to Berlin to the Educational Committee.”
“(Erik Carstens to Freud)
10 November 1933
DANISH PSYCHOANALYTIC ASSOCIATION
Holbersgade 26 – Copenhagen K
My dear Professor:
The Danish Psychoanalytic Association has asked me to write you as follows:
We are turning to you, the founder of psychoanalytic science, to help us in our difficulties. Our efforts in behalf of psychoanalysis are threatened from two sides – by the Danish authorities and the ‘wild’ analysts. Without motivation, our Minister of Justice has rejected our petition for residence and working permit for Dr. Reich, who is our training analyst and scientific director. We replied by inviting the public to a lecture, where Reich, Neergaard and I discussed the Struggle for Psychoanalysis. The evening was a success, about 600 people attended, the press gave us good coverage, and a group of physicians decided to send a new petition to the Minister of Justice. We have written to Dr. E. Jones, asking him for his expert opinion on the need of authorized training for psychoanalysts, for submission to the Danish authorities. The next attack on psychoanalysis happened a few days ago: the Attorney General is suing the editor of a journal for publishing an article by Dr. Reich on sexual education which he considers pornographic. This article is a translation of Reich’s paper published in 1928 in the Journal for Psychoanalytic Pedagogy.
We are determined to continue the struggle for authorized psychoanalytic training, but are further handicapped by the activities of wild analysts. One of them, Sigurd Naesgaard, Ph.D., who has never been analyzed, has battled for years against the training analysis. He asserts that the training analysis is only a means of power. Publicly, he describes himself as your student, but his publications contain such a mixture of opinions by Stekel, Adler, Jung and yourself that no one can quite unravel who said what. He has asked many persons to practice psychoanalysis without previous training. Several have followed his suggestion. Recently he founded, together with Strömme (Oslo) and Bjerre (Stockholm) a Scandinavian Psychotherapeutic Association for the purpose of establishing psychotherapeutic training institutes. In the program brochure, the training analysis is not even mentioned.
I am writing in such detail about Dr. Naesgaard becanse I know that you have corresponded with him and because I must assume that, living as far away as you do, you are not fully informed about him. A friend of mine who knows Naesgaard quite well recently told me that Naesgaard showed him a letter from you, in which you mentioned Harnik and Reich. You apparently wrote about Harnik that you had known for years that he was manic-paranoid. As to your comment on Reich, my friend had promised to keep silent.
You will scarcely be able to judge from such a distance how much Harnik has damaged the psychoanalytic movement here. My letter would be very long indeed if I were to elaborate on this. Let me just say this: people in Copenhagen were greatly surprised, and still are, that a man in his condition was a member of the teaching committee of the German Psychoanalytic Association, that he was given the difficult assignment to teach psychoanalysis in Denmark, and that he was an authorized analyst at all.
In contrast to Harnik, Dr. Reich has rendered us such valuable practical assistance as a training analyst and director of our technical seminar during his brief residence that we wish to keep him at all costs. His departure would not only disrupt our training program but would also cause great personal harm since our training analyses would suddenly stop. Most of us are prevented by external circumstances from following him abroad. But for several analysands with strong transference feelings such a break would be just as harmful as an interrupted operation would be for a patient whose doctor leaves him in the middle of surgery.
Therefore, we would appreciate your helping us in this trying situation by sending us your expert opinion on these two questions:
1) Is a training analysis mandatory for those who wish to practice psychoanalysis?
2) Is Reich’s article ‘Where Does Nudist Education Lead To?’ (Journal for ps. Pedagogy, 1928) pornographic?
We further would ask your permission to forward your opinions to the Danish authorities and also – if we consider it appropriate, to publish them in Denmark.”
“Freud’s reply, dated November 12, 1933, acknowledged Reich’s stature as an analyst, but criticized his political ideology, which he felt interfered with his scientific work. Carsten’s appeal for help was rejected.” C A N A L H Ã O – EM 1933 PASSOU O ANO SE MASTURBANDO COM CHARUTO, NEM SABIA QUEM ERA HITLER!
Carta ao ‘camarada’ Fenichel, 1934
“In science, a political struggle usually does not present itself directly and thus is not easily recognizable, but is camouflaged as a difference of scientific theories. It requires considerable Marxist training to recognize whether such differences merely stem from factual confusion or whether, regardless of the facts, they arise from conflicting political ideologies. I do not consider it very promising to wage a struggle within a scientific movement with weapons taken from the arsenal of party politics. I mean, it is not important to prove that one school of thought is reactionary and the other revolutionary. What matters is not so much the private political conviction of the analyst; rather, it is important to show how the ideology of a scholar will influence the formation of his theory and his clinical, therapeutic work. Any critique of psychoanalysis must grow from the subject matter itself; it must demonstrate from the raw material of research in which particular concepts the road forks off-to the right, or to the left. Therefore, dialectical-materialist criticism of the psychoanalytic movement can only be fruitful if it proceeds from a specific standpoint it has already earned independently – in other words, from a theory. A concrete example: it is certainly characteristic that the attitude of the Paris group toward the German e1nigres was reactionary. But what is decisive for the development of psychoanalysis is the fact not only that today Laforgue’s theories are published in preference to authentic psychoanalytic works but that this distortion of psychoanalysis goes unopposed, even among analysts who have been the most dependable in the past. Therefore, whoever does not take an open stand against the wrong theories we criticize supports them, whether he likes to or not, and runs the danger of slipping into the wrong path. For my part, since 1924, when I saw the beginnings of a schism in the formation of analytic theory, I have tried to gain a firm foothold for my criticism by the consistent development of the psychoanalytic libido theory. The attacks of the most prominent members of the Vienna association (Deutsch, Federn, Nunberg, etc.) on my orgasm theory were the first signs of the conflict between dialectical-materialist and bourgeois psychoanalysis at a time when neither side was aware of it. Even then Freud seemed to realize the depth of the conflict. He once said to me after a lecture: ‘Either you are completely wrong, or you will soon have to carry the heavy burden of psychoanalysis alone’. I knew I was not basically wrong, and today I know that the second part of Freud’s prediction has come true for me. So I already have my own theoretical platform on which to base my militant criticism. I suggest that you also find a theoretical position. Which brings me to the second point.
I think that in Fenichel’s report I have lately detected a tendency that has always caused me great concern. I fully appreciate it, but for purely objective reasons I cannot agree with it. This tendency reads: ‘Wherever possible, Freud himself should be kept out of the conflict’. And this is precisely what cannot be done. It is taken for granted that in tone and attitude our criticism of Freud will differ from our criticism of Roheim, but we cannot, and should not, exclude Freud from criticism. For we must note the following:
1) The scientific sins of Roheim, Laforgue, Jones, Klein, Deutsch, etc., are more or less rooted in Freud.
2) The basic debate between dialectical-materialist and bourgeois psychoanalysts will primarily have to prove where Freud the scientist came into conflict with Freud the bourgeois philosopher; where psychoanalytic research corrected the bourgeois concept of culture and where the bourgeois concept of culture hindered and confused scientific research and led it astray. ‘Freud against Freud’ is the central theme of our criticism. Not for one moment should we put our consideration for Freud before our consideration for the future of psychoanalysis. And from my personal relationship with Freud I have come to the conclusion that he would prefer it this way, all appearances to the contrary.”
“The present state of affairs would not have spread to such an extent if Freud had not supported the reactionary trends and combated the Marxist trends.”
“If people kill our work by silence – unless they just plagiarize and distort it, as Balint did at the last Congress – we must not only vigorously defend ourselves and even move to the attack, but we must have the courage of our own convictions. We must discard all false modesty and take the position that we are carrying on scientific – i.e., Marxist, dialectical-materialist –psychoanalysis, and that we are determined to defend it even against Freud wherever he is inconsistent.”
“Clergymen and reactionary-minded physicians who in analysis fail to recognize the contradiction between sexual reality and social ideology cannot become analysts.”
“(Reich to dialectical materialistic psychoanalysts)
Malmö, May 30, 1934
To the Group of
Dialectical Materialistic Psychoanalysts
Attn: Otto Fenichel
Dear Colleagues and Comrades:
When my further residence in Sweden was turned down owing to denunciations by psychiatrists, as it recently turned out, a group of psychoanalysts and sympathizers wrote a circular letter to Freud, Einstein, Bohr and Malinowski, asking them to protest in writing against the persecution of scientists by political reactionaries. Freud declined” “The question cannot be clarified by pointing to his age, his weariness, his private convictions, etc. What concerns us here is an essential part of the struggle between reaction and revolution.”
“Now is the time to prove why psychoanalysis has this significance, and why its function can be fulfilled in the camp of the political left alone.”
“To the Group of
Analysts in Opposition
through Otto Fenichel
“I am also professionally interested in seeing that my findings are linked with my name; neither do I want to be judged in the same category and on the same level with Melitta Schmideberg; I want my writings to be studied at least as carefully as those of Miss Searl or Harnik. I will definitely defend myself if my concepts and findings, for which I have fought hard since 1924 against all generally held opinions, are now taken for granted without mention of my name or are presented as new problems that have just come up.”
“I advised supporting liberal slogans but maintaining our own basic, negative stand on reactionary research, if later we intend to come forward as a Marxist group, for essentially we will not be able to conceal this appearance from the world. (…) After all, any development is still possible. I am convinced that these inner difficulties would not exist if for years I had not worked quite openly and if many members of the opposition were not personal friends of mine as well, which seems to commit them more than the situation requires.”
Carta a Lotte Liebeck, sua aluna, fim de 1934
“With O.F. (Otto Fenichel) the situation is very difficult! This friendship and readiness to understand the orgasm theory, combined with a structural inability and unconscious hostility, is a complicated problem for me. I am glad that you could judge this for yourself when you were in Sletten.”
“You have good reason to be shaken by reading Freud: he was a wonderful man. But I was even more shattered by the subsequent break in his work. This is tragic. I am curious to know if you will discern it before it becomes openly manifest. It goes back to the earliest writings (predominance of symbolic interpretation rather than questions of dynamics-economy, genitality, etc.). But this can only be discovered ex post facto.”
A resposta de Liebeck:
“The first work being lucid, courageous, with a brilliant prediction about the tremendous significance of the path shown and of the insights for mankind in general. The suggestion that it is up to the coming century to build up further-and then, ten years later, a totally different man, even in tone! What once was courage and clarity, combined with the utmost caution and integrity of scientific thinking, is now replaced by anxious vacillation and the fear of his own courage. How many disappointments and personal blows there must have been in the intervening years! (…) Objectively, I note that he can be beaten with his own weapons. Throughout his early works he disparaged the hereditary factor in favor of the accidental element – only to smuggle in through the back door the same factor he had previously thrown out! (…) At one time he thought that hereditary damage was incurable anyway; now it is for us to tell him that ourselves!” “Our profession ceases to be gemütlich if we have to rake up the deepest primeval emotions! And this we must inevitably do, or else we will get stuck just as inevitably halfway in between, or worse! And once we do this, we can no longer doubt the truth of the etiology anchored in the traumatic experiences of childhood. I believe more and more that we lean, quite without cause, on fantasies, and seriously neglect actual experience.”
“I deliberately take my cue from the works of 1896. From then on, the roads fork off. Here is how I see it: on the one hand, a continued development; on the other, a slow retreat. For some time both are in balance, and there are still many marvelous discoveries for us in subsequent writings, until the balance shifts more and more to the sterile side and leads to paths that deviate from the natural sciences. There is only one thing I don’t understand: why haven’t the others noticed this? Or am I doing them an injustice out of my limited knowledge of literature? But perhaps it is an indispensable existential lie to have this blind spot.”
“(Reich to psychoanalysts in Denmark, Norway and Germany
who are in opposition to, and in conflict with, Freud)
Oslo, December 16, 1934”
“The German association did not actually want to exclude me and had taken it for granted that I would automatically become a member of the Scandinavian group. I was asked by numerous colleagues from various local groups to rejoin via the Norwegian group, and 3 members of this group, who were attending the Congress, assured me of acceptance. I could not make up my mind at that time and wished to consider the matter. Here are the names of several prominent colleagues who regarded the whole affair as a pure formality: Zulliger, Loewenstein, Bally, Landauer, Meng, Schjelderup, Hoel, Raknes, etc. When I moved to Oslo to carry out certain experiments concerning my sexual theory, people collaborated with me as if I were a member. The close connection of my work with the IPV group, and renewed assurances from colleagues in Oslo, prompted me to reapply for membership. No one had expected that Dr. Fenichel would sharply oppose me and use his influence against me. A few days earlier, I had asked Fenichel for his opinion, but he merely shrugged. The reason for his opposition is as follows: he said I harmed the cause of natural scientific (dialectical-materialist) psychoanalysis; it would be better if I remained outside and if the cause were even dissociated from my name and person.”
“I would ask you to note that I deeply regret ever having placed any confidence in Fenichel and asking for his help. I cannot entrust the dialectical-materialist theory of psychoanalysis which I have worked out over many years amidst the gravest trials to anyone else, nor can I dissociate myself from it. I have no quarrel with anyone doing exactly as he pleases, but I must defend myself against usurpers and so-called services of friendship.”
“I, therefore, find myself faced with the unpleasant task of summarizing my scientific position. Basically, it contains three main parts:
1. The concepts held in common with Freudian theory (the materialistic dialectic already developed by Freud).
2. Orgasm theory and character analysis as consistent extensions of Freud’s natural science and, sinmultaneously, representing those theories that I opposed to the death-instinct theory and the interpretive technique. Point 2 is still in the realm of psychoanalysis.
3. My own concepts of sexuality, based on the orgasm theory and transcending the sphere of psychology (sex-economy and sex-politics). Part 3 has merely points of contact with psychoanalysis. It forms an independent field: the basic law of the sexual process.
Whoever expounds a ‘dialectical-materialist psychology’ without explicitly expounding its very core, with the risks and sacrifices this entails, has simply made up his ‘own’ dialectical-materialist psychology and is at liberty to teach it. There is nothing we can do about the nuisance of naming certain activities by whim. Even Stroemme, for example, calls himself a ‘psychoanalyst’.”
“It was from my teacher Freud that I learned the art of waiting and keeping my ideas free from undesirable interpretations and mongrelizations. I prefer to have fewer relationships and, instead, more tidiness in my work.”
“Whoever fears exclusion – which is not so reprehensible – cannot take part in this struggle and is much more valuable as a quiet sympathetic bystander than he would be as an active fighter. However, it is self-evident that the victory of the scientific over the metaphysical trend in psychoanalysis will be more easily attained and secured if we succeed in revealing the various consequences inherent in the raw material of their own problems to the colleagues of all those groups that have plainly demonstrated their scientific orientation in their own work. The commitment to the dialectical-materialist trend in psychoanalysis in no way entails a similar commitment to the political trend of communism. There is no doubt that the person who is a valid scientist in his chosen professional specialty is to that extent secured against the influences of political reaction. And scientific integrity carries infinitely more weight than a political commitment. These are the natural scientists who someday will become the decisive force of social progress.”
“Fenichel finds himself in a grave conflict. On the one hand, he cannot deny the validity of my scientific position. On the other hand, he fears nothing more than taking an unequivocal stand for me and against Freud whenever the differences are manifest. He cannot oppose me factually without losing sympathies, and so he calls himself a friend of the cause while doing everything he can to avoid a conflict that is unavoidable anyway. No one is forced to go to battle for the natural scientific trend. Gerö declared that he is on my side, but does not want to fight for it. This is the proper attitude: Gerö will never become dishonest as long as he admits this to himself. Lantos told me that she sympathized with me, but that it was not her business and that she did not want to take any risks for it. We are on very good terms. Fenichel’s attitude is insincere because he is caught in a conflict between willingness and ability. I shall no longer argue with Fenichel, but the nature of his dishonesty should be clearly set down here. Perhaps my readmission would lead to a premature exclusion of the group. In Fenichel’s place, as the friend of a cause which was after all my own creation and which remains irrevocably tied to me, I would have talked with Reich, consulted him as to what could be done in order to build up enough strength for some future date; I would have named all those who might sooner or later be won over to the libido-theoretical point of view; I would have sent Reich’s papers around for discussion, etc., etc. What did Fenichel do? He never unequivocally argued against the death-instinct theory; he did not dare to engage in open polemics against Freud when necessary; he presents a theory of dialectical-materialist psychology which in its least important aspects agrees with the theory he ostensibly sympathizes with; no one knows how much scientific knowledge there really is that argues against the death-instinct theory, totem and taboo, etc.; in short, he is afraid. He might be valuable as a quiet co-worker, but he is completely unsuited to lead any scientific opposition because he is not willing to accept the slightest responsibilities. (…) Fenichel is both terribly frightened and terribly ambitious. What he did was the inevitable result of this emotional confusion. I have neither time nor inclination for such organizational struggles. They are sterile.”
Para Liebeck, 1935
“And I most sincerely believe that this isolation – not from Eitingon but from life itself, from the world, from all vital things and processes – will soon prove true for my opponents and hesitating ‘friends’. This of course depends on more general problems to which I subordinate such questions as penis envy in women, etc. I find that psychoanalysis has become isolated from reality, but I have reality on my side and am not alone. (…) For years I’ve pleaded for understanding; now I’ve had it. (…) As I said in my letter, the best thing I can do for the cause is just to send out my publications. Our teacher spent 15 years in isolation. I’m not striving to emulate him, but if necessary I, too, can take it. But I don’t believe it will come to that, because there’s too much momentum in my work. You’ll be glad to hear that I’m going to hold a continuous clinical course and a technical seminar at the university; there is great interest.”
“It won’t be my fault if in the course of time fewer and fewer people will want to travel by a 1915 type train when a more modern one is available.”
“So, dear Lotte, don’t get all entangled, but remember that even the worst will eventually pass to make room for something better.”
“I’ve only scanned Kaiser’s paper.¹ I was amused to see that Imago simultaneously published another article completely contradicting it. I’ve gradually learned to take this kind of thing from the humorous side, although I feel that a certain type of humor is an evasion. [Provavelmente fala do ar sardônico de F.] I believe Kaiser handled the subject too academically; he wanted to be too consistent and he went ahead too fast. He forgets that a theoretical postulate can be substantially correct but may not be easily carried into practice. His conclusion that all interpretation is superfluous is correct, but in our clinical practice we still cannot do without terminal interpretations. From my own development I disliked the academic tone: it didn’t touch the essentials. But still, I liked the article. But I have one suspicion: just as they’ve tried to dissociate me from dialectical-materialist psychoanalysis, just as they’ve usurped my orgasm theory without mentioning my name, so now the IPV is collecting its ‘own character analysts’. I can assure you that my book was only the beginning: the real thing is still to come and cannot be mastered without me.”
¹ Um autor já morto em 1935, outro à frente de seu tempo, que Reich conhecia e cita no Character Analysis. Hellmuth Kaiser, Effective Therapy.
Outra carta, para Lotte, 8 dias depois:
“The only constructive thing one can do today is to analyze the nature and origin of the ‘split’ with complete intellectual honesty and independence. I’ve done my part – and that’s the end of it. I scarcely have ti1ne to carry on this controversy.” Sua discípula estava fazendo àquela altura o que estou fazendo agora: lendo o ‘inimigo’ para apre(e)nder todos os seus erros, já não mais podendo me identificar com quaisquer de suas OPINIÕES. Uma revisão literário-teórica de suma valia, ainda que só para mim mesmo, na pior das hipóteses.
“I realize more and more how sinful the death-instinct theorv really is. What a choking off of life itself!”
“One more thing: Nic Hoel (op. cit.) had the idea that we should start thinking about ways and means of protecting character-analytic technique from unwelcome distortions. What do you think? How should we go about it? I think it’s important to start soon -this is bound to become a fad. We would have to establish definite training requirements. I’ll never permit the work to get out of my hands: it is my strongest weapon. Please write me about this. It is also in the interest of the younger colleagues.”
(*) “Some psychoanalysts stole my principle of character-analysis without mentioning me, because to mention me as the originator of the character-analytic technique would mean to defend the orgasm theory, and to stand the blows which follow in its path. So they have thrown out the orgasm theory and are taking over a kind of ghost which does not mean yes or no, black or white, mah nor bah. You are helpless against such procedure on the part of the so-called common or little man who grabs where he can take without being punished, and pays tribute to where he is treated in an authoritative manner. Take, hit and run is their motto.”
(**) “Liebeck had stated that Freud’s Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex contained ‘just about everything that can basically be said on the subject! Everything else strikes me as mere elaboration.’”
A Lotte, fev. 1935
“Today she had her first session. I immediately noticed what 3 or 4 years ago I probably would not have seen till much later: rigid body attitude, stiff as a board, arms stretched out, hands folded, head practically nailed down. In speaking, the lips hardly moved, the voice without resonance, high-pitched, near inaudible. In previous analyses she had always insisted that she could not, and would not, speak: for 3½ years. The more she was urged to talk, the less she could do so. With Fenichel she was silent for months, and so was he. Instead of making her aware of her body attitude, and nothing else, he asked her to change position (i.e., Ferenczi’s active technique); thereupon increased defiance. The first thing I tell her is: ‘You’re behaving as if you were facing an operation – completely stiff.’ Her reply: ‘I’ve never been afraid of operations; on the contrary, I’ve always wanted them.’ (Masochism!!!) I slowly begin to describe her attitude, feature by feature: mouth, voice, posture, mask-like face, head virtually nailed down. After about 15 minutes she starts speaking softly and urgently, and suddenly remembers the anxiety she felt as a child about operations. That she was always stretched out so expectantly; that at one time she was very angry with her mother because under some pretext she took her to a doctor without telling her the truth. It had hurt a great deal. The posture stiffened even more. I have an idea: ‘Corpse.’ I tell her that a single word seems to me to describe her attitude, but that I will not mention it because she would have to begin to feel it herself. Her reply: ‘Were you thinking of corpse?’ Then come memories: once her hair got stuck in a crate while she was playing; she would go wild if someone suddenly grasped her from behind. The ‘nailed-down’ head gradually acquired meaning, but I said nothing and merely continued describing her attitude. At the end of the hour she said ‘I don’t like my back. I’m lying here as if I were glued down, as if I had no back, as if I’d been cut in two length-wise,’ etc. Now what do you say to that? Not once in 3 years of analysis did she remember that she was afraid of surgery. Her very attitude communicated this. I confess I was shaken. Three years of money, effort, life itself!!! I’m pleased, and a little proud, to have found a way. No, I would be sinning against myself if I failed to draw the therapeutic line vis-à-vis the others, cautiously, but sharply and resolutely all the same.
Which reminds me: Elsa (Lindenberg) wrote me that she cannot verbalize in her analysis. I forgot to tell you that she has characteristic mouth movements. She will not talk, or talk poorly, unless her neck cramps are made conscious to her first. Please watch this. Each silence – and this I’ve learned only recently – is rooted in anxiety bound up in tensions of the neck musculature. Very important for the beginning; may save months of effort if properly handled.”
A Lotte, mar. 1935
“I’ve done myself a grave injustice by working for so many years under the impression that my theory of genitality was rooted in Freud. This was merely due to my father fixation. Some day I hope to make a clean break.”
“Yesterday Fenichel presented his ‘criticism’ of my technique and everybody was against him, including most of his own analysands (Nic, Raknes). Did you know he’s leaving Oslo? Things have been hard for him lately because the superiority of character analysis had become obvious to all. He’s going to Prague. Unfortunately, he believes that this will solve his problems. The whole Norwegian group has sided with me, except for one who doesn’t know what it is all about, and two who’re honestly trying but are structurally incapable.”
“The apparatus is among the most modem there is. It may soon be necessary to have a professionally trained assistant come from Germany because the local physiologist merely wants to ‘help’, but that’s not enough. The first experiments (recording of potentials at erogenous zones) will start soon. (…) Please try to find an unemployed electrophysiologist who is fully acquainted with the oscillograph and knows about the physiology of the skin and the vegetative nervous system.”
A English (psiquiatra e ex-colega de curso), nov. 1937
“Here is an example of the tactics employed by some psychiatrists. In his attack on me, Professor Ragnar Vogt thinks he can draw on the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski for support. Now we can prove conclusively that Malinowski approves (…) my ethnological interpretations of his book […] Furthermore, he himself has disputed the biological roots of the child-parent conflict, and has interpreted it sociologically. I do not know if you are fully familiar with this struggle in the Psychoanalytic Association, and outside of it, in 1926. If not, you might be interested in reading the back issues of Imago for 1926-27 on Malinowski’s views – of course, only if you consider such orientation necessary and feel that the avenues of approach you studied with me in Vienna and Berlin are insufficiently enlightening.”
Carta aberta de Malinowski, 1938
“I have known Dr. Wilhelm Reich for 5 years, during which period I have read his works and also on many occasions had the opportunity of conversation and discussion with him, in London and Oslo. Both through his published work and in the personal contacts he has impressed me as an original and sound thinker, a genuine personality, and a man of open character and courageous views. I regard his sociological work a distinct and valuable contribution to Science. It would, in my opinion, be the greatest loss if Dr. Reich were in any way prevented from enjoying the fullest facilities for the working out of his ideas and scientific discoveries.
I should like to add that my testimonial may have some additional strength, coming as it does from one who does not share Dr. Reich’s advanced views nor yet his sympathies with Marxian philosophy – I like to describe myself as an old-fashioned, almost conservative liberal.”
Reich a Malinowski, abr. 1938
“I’m not an incorrigible optimist, but thanks to my work I have deeply experienced not only man’s satanic impulses but also the human side of him. So if Hitler plucks the strings of the subhuman theme, why shouldn’t we concentrate on his human core which we know exists all along but has merely been buried?”
Malinowski a Reich, jul. 1939
“My dear Willy:
Many thanks for your letter of July 10. As you can see, I am still in America, and I shall be only too happy to do all I can to help you.
Unfortunately it is by no means easy to manipulate matters now, owing to the enormous pressure on the universities and teaching institutions here. The other unfortunate point in your case is the fact that many psychoanalysts will have nothing to do with you. You know where my sympathies are, so I need not tell you how indignant I feel when this attitude is revealed. This would not be so bad if American psychoanalysts were not so much dominated by people from Vienna or Berlin. But wherever can there be a psychoanalytical society with Rank or H. Sachs or Alexander in the key position.”
Reich a um tal „Dr. Scharfenberg“, carta jamais entregue
“Before moving to New York, I am taking the liberty to express my heartfelt thanks for the service you have rendered my scientific work. I would beg you to restrain your amazement over this somewhat unusual gesture. I am very much in earnest, for I have learned to appreciate the enormously important role of antagonists. The antagonist himself is usually unaware of this aspect of his achievement. You have advanced my extremely difficult scientific work by at least a decade.”
“You pretend to fight alcoholism and, if I remember rightly, you belong to several temperance societies. Now it may have escaped your notice that the case history you referred to with such abusive vehemence describes the cure of an alcoholic by means of the recently developed vegetotherapy. The damming up of sexual energy and the resultant vegetative anxiety are very likely the most important underlying causes of alcoholism.”
“Furthermore, it became clear as never before that the exponents of the obsolete school of psychiatry are determined to collaborate with the police, while modern psychiatry works with the patient. You reacted to the modern treatment of the difficult problem of infantile onanism with police denunciations, while we work with kindergarten and teaching staffs in order to remove for all time a medieval inquisition that has eroded the vital energies of small children.”
“Over the long haul, practitioners who threaten with deportation proceedings are fighting a losing battle. You know that it was psychiatrists of your own persuasion who conspired to make my residence in Denmark and Sweden impossible, and that local and foreign fascists openly cheered your opinions about me. That this scandalizing exposure could happen to a member of a workers’ party calling itself socialist, to a registered member of the Friends of the Right of Asylum, to an ‘anti-fascist’, etc., was worth witnessing, in spite of embarrassing inconveniences. It proves the close ties between fascist ideology and the false premises inherent in genetic-oriented psychiatry. (…) From the ‘theory of degenerative genetic substances’ to Hitler’s ‘racial theory’, it is only one step. True science will stop the influence of such atrophied thinking. In the history of science your name will go down on the minus side. And yet, you might be grateful to me in turn: thanks to your active opposition to me, you have gained the honor that sometime in the future you will at least be mentioned negatively in the history of science.”
(*) “Though denunciations with the police as a weapon against Reich’s work had happened before in Europe, it had never come to an arrest.” USfachos
Reich a Malinowski, 1942
“They had investigated my ‘case’ for more than a year, found nothing, had no complaints, and yet I was behind bars for 3½ weeks.”
“My first wife has something to do with it. My daughter Lore told me several months ago that I had better watch out because her mother had, together with Dr. Kubie from the Psa. Society, prepared something against me in case that I don’t behave well. Here you are! Do you remember my troubles in Denmark and Sweden back in 1934 when psychiatrists had run to the police? Well, here’s the same story. The odds confronting our work are tremendous, but so are also the achievements.”
depth or death psychology, comes the question with a big H
Reich a Neill, dez. 1948
“For instance, the rumor was circulated about two weeks ago in many places that a woman patient had been masturbated at the Orgone Institute and thereupon had a breakdown. The woman whose name was mentioned in this connection had never been here. We went after this story immediately with the help of our lawyer, and the man who spread the rumor, a Dr. Miller, took it back immediately. Well, this is what I call plague.”
“This manuscript (Introduction to Ibsen’s ‘Peer Gynt”, Libidokonflikte und Wahngebilde, 1919-20 [publicação somente em 1952]) is being deposited with the Sigmund Freud Archives not only because it had some interest for the psychoanalytic historian. It is being deposited mainly to give an impression of the academic atmosphere in which the early psychoanalytic movement was submerged at that time. Psychoanalysis, which dealt with human dirt of the worst kind, and at the same time had to survive the onslaught of the maligning, gossiping, slandering academic world of established ‘sex-free’’ psychiatry, was forced to compensate for the dirt it handled by a highly academic, ‘purified’ style. It was, for example, a habit with early psychoanalytic lectures to introduce their lectures with an excuse as to their right to deal with the subject, or as to the subject itself.”
“It is noteworthy that Freud’s simple style in his first papers of the 1890’s became more and more involved, academic, and ‘Goethean’ as the decades passed by. Reich, who met psychoanalysis in 1919 and had grown up in the spirit and language of German, acaden1ic, natural science and philosophy, discloses a shrouded, academic style in this manuscript, which deals little with sex directly.” “But as the years passed by, and as the emotional plague increased its efforts to kill Reich’s fight for the love life of infants and adolescents, in the 1930’s, the style became more congruous with the contents: simple, straight, brief-sentenced, hard-hitting, direct, avoiding circumlocution, evasion, and academicism.”
HISTÓRICO DA SOCIALIZAÇÃO DO NERVOSISMO SEXUAL DA MASSA: “I came to Freud through the field of sexology. It is thus not surprising that his theory of the actual neuroses (Aktualneurosen) which I later termed stasis neuroses (Stauungsneurosen) [neurose de estagnação ou entorpecimento] struck me as much more in keeping with natural science than the ‘interpretation’ of the ‘meaning’ of symptoms in the ‘psychoneuroses’. Freud applied the name of actual neuroses to neuroses which resulted from present-day (aktuelle) disturbances of sex life. According to this concept, anxiety neurosis and neurasthenia were disturbances which lacked a ‘psychic etiology’. Instead, they were the immediate result of dammed-up sexuality. They were like toxic disturbances. Freud assumed the existence of ‘chemical sexual substances’ which, if not correctly ‘metabolized’, caused such symptoms as palpitation, cardiac irregularity, acute anxiety attacks, sweating and other vegetative symptoms. He did not establish a connection between anxiety neurosis and the vegetative system. Anxiety neurosis, so his clinical experience showed, was caused by sexual abstinence or coitus interruptus. It had to be distinguished from neurasthenia, which, in contradistinction, was caused by ‘sexual abuse’, such as excessive masturbation, and which was characterized by pain in the back, headaches, general irritability, disturbances of memory and concentration, etc. That is, Freud classified according to their etiology syndromes which official neurology and psychiatry did not understand. For this, he was attacked by the psychiatrist Lowenfeld, who, like hundreds of other psychiatrists, denied completely the sexual etiology of the neuroses. Freud was trying to adapt his concepts to clinical terminology. As he put it, the symptoms of the actual neuroses, in contrast to those of the psychoneuroses, especially hysteria and compulsion neurosis, betrayed no psychic content whatsoever. (…) The psychoneuroses, understandably, occupied the center of the clinical interest of the psychoanalyst. According to Freud, the treatment of the actual neuroses consisted in the elimination of the harmful sexual practices, such as sexual abstinence or coitus interruptus in anxiety neurosis, excessive masturbation in neurasthenia. The psychoneuroses, on the other hand, called for psychoanalytic treatment. In spite of this sharp distinction, Freud admitted a connection between the two. He thought it likely that every psychoneurosis centered around an ‘actual-neurotic core’. This illuminating statement, which Freud never followed up, was the starting point of my own investigations of stasis anxiety.”
“However, the majority of psychoanalysts opposed Freud’s theory of the actual neuroses. They contended that actual neuroses did not exist at all (…) The chief exponent of this view was Stekel. He, like others, failed to see the fundamental difference between psychosomatic affect and psychic content of a symptom.”
“However, the symptoms of the actual neuroses had undeniably a psychic superstructure. Pure actual neuroses are rare. The distinction was not as sharp as Freud had assumed.”
“While most analysts ascribed everything to the psychic content of the neurotic symptoms, leading psychopathologists, like Jaspers, contended that psychological interpretation of meaning, and thus, psychoanalysis, were not within the realm of natural science at all.”
“In other words: (…) Can psychoanalysis claim to be such a psychology? Or is it only one of the many philosophical schools? Freud himself paid no attention to these methodological questions and quietly continued to publish his clinical observations; he disliked philosophical discussions. (…) They tried to classify us [a escolar reichiana] as mystics and thus to settle the question.”
“If it were true that only experimental psychology in the sense of Wundt was ‘natural science’, because it measured human reactions quantitatively, then, I thought, something was wrong with natural science. For Wundt and his pupils knew nothing of the human in his living reality.”
“The Viennese philosopher and physiologist Allers refused to enter upon the question of the existence of an unconscious psychic life, on the grounds that the assumption of an ‘unconscious’ was ‘a priori erroneous from a philosophical point of view’. I hear similar objections today. When I assert that highly sterilized substances produce life, it is argued that the slide was dirty, or that, if there seems to be life, it is ‘only a matter of Brownian movement’ [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownian_motion].” Gostaria de saber o quanto andaram as comprovações ou refutações sobre esses experimentos reichianos, mas tudo que obtenho de mecanismos de busca é da própria teoria reichiana. Será que toda sua obra foi realmente relegada ao exotismo e desconhecimento?
“The fact that it is very easy to distinguish dirt on the slide from the bions, and equally easy to distinguish Brownian movement from vegetative movement, is not taken into consideration. In brief, ‘objective science’ is a problem in itself.”
RESUMINDO O ANTICRISTO OU ALÉM DO BEM E DO MAL…
“If the excitation subsided, the idea would collapse also. If, as is the case in the stasis neurosis, the idea of sexual intercourse does not arise in consciousness, due to moral inhibition, the excitation attaches itself to other ideas which are less subject to censorship. From this, I concluded: the stasis neurosis is a somatic disturbance, caused by sexual excitation which is misdirected because it is frustrated. However, without a psychic inhibition, sexual energy can never become misdirected. I was surprised that Freud had overlooked this fact. Once an inhibition has created the sexual stasis, this in turn may easily increase the inhibition and reactivate infantile ideas, which then take the place of normal ones.¹ That is, infantile experiences which in themselves are in no way pathological, may, due to a present-day inhibition, become endowed with an excess of sexual energy. Once that has happened, they become urgent; being in conflict with adult psychic organization, they have to be kept down by repression. Thus, the chronic psychoneurosis, with its infantile sexual content, develops on the basis of a sexual inhibition which is conditioned by present-day circumstances and is apparently ‘harmless’ at the outset. This is the nature of Freud’s ‘regression to infantile mechanisms’. All cases that I have treated showed this mechanism. If the neurosis had developed not in childhood, but at a later age, it was shown regularly that some ‘normal’ inhibition or difficulty of the sexual life had created a stasis, and this in turn had reactivated infantile incestuous desires and sexual anxieties.”
¹ Basta uma queda vital para viver pelo resto da eternidade num ciclo trágico.
“Reik had published a book on Geständniszwang und Strafbedürfnis [Compulsão a Confessar e Necessidade de Punição] in which the whole original concept of the neurosis was made upside down. That the book was well received was so much the worse. Reduced to the simplest terms, his innovation consisted in the elimination of the concept that the child fears punishment for sexual behavior. Freud, in Beyond the Pleasure Principle and in The Ego and the Id had assumed the existence of an unconscious need for punishment; this was supposed to account for the resistance against getting well. (…) According to this concept [the death instinct, Thanatos], life really was nothing but a disturbance of eternal silence, of nothingness.”
“It was only through Reik that I really found out where Freud began to err. Reik exaggerated and generalized many correct findings, such as the fact that criminals tend to give themselves away, or that to many people it is a relief to be able to confess a crime.”
“Such formulations made any further thinking unnecessary. If one was not able to cure, the death instinct could be blamed. When people committed murder, it was in order to go to prison; when children stole, it was to obtain relief from a conscience that troubled them. I marvel today at the energy that was expended at that time on the discussion of such opinions.” “The patients’ ‘negative therapeutic reaction’ was later shown to be nothing but the result of theoretical and technical inability to establish orgastic potency in the patient, in other words, to handle their pleasure anxiety.”
“Until now, we have been concerned only with the question whether non-physicians should practice psychoanalysis on patients (analysis for therapeutic purposes). The problem has now been shifted insofar as Prof. Freud, in his book on lay analysis, has taken a further step, proposing to separate psychoanalysis, even in its medical aspects, from medicine; i.e., to train ‘a special class of therapists’.” Essa e as outras 4 considerações abaixo sobre (contra a) ‘análise leiga’ datam de 1927.
“It is said that non-medical analysts require practical experience in order to engage in scholarly pursuits. But the facts show that the application of psychoanalysis to the humanities is not advanced, but on the contrary suffers when its proponents become clinicians, too. The awakening clinical interest supplants all other concerns. The development of psychoanalysis in the humanities has ceased since lay persons have also been practicing analysis. This argument is thus contradicted by experience.”
“A physician discovered psychoanalysis. l\lost analysts, and not the worst ones, are physicians. Prof Freud once stated that psychoanalysis will one day be placed on its organic base. Furthermore – and, until now, this has merited much too little consideration in the question of lay analysis – he posited something somatic as the core of the neuroses and the essence of the affects.”
“One need only consider the great area of the organic neuroses: hypochondria, neurasthenia and the psychoses. And do we not have much to expect from a psychology of the organic diseases? Or, after psychoanalysis has been separated from its foundation, must there be analysts who, as physicians, concern themselves only with the area bordering on the organic? In our opinion, neither science nor the patient would benefit by such a division.”
“At the present time, medical men offer the best guarantee of an adequate preliminary education. The fact that physicians have shown themselves so contemptuous and devoid of understanding toward psychoanalysis must be ascribed not to their somatic training but to their complexes. And have philosophers or biologists or academic psychologists who have come in contact with analysis behaved differently? Why is the ‘somatic prejudice’ any more onerous than the philosophical one? Does not the philosopher always have the most complicated objections to analysis?”
(*) “Walter Brichl, author of the chapter on Reich in the recently published Psychoanalytic Pioneers, perpetuates the myth that Reich ‘resigned’ from the IPA.”
(*) “We cannot give here an extensive presentation of the motives behind this expulsion or of the differences within the psychoanalytic movement. This may be done at a time when further catastrophes in the scientific development of psychoanalysis, catastrophes which are bound to come, will necessitate a detailed historical explanation. Here we shall show only briefly how conservative scientific organizations of today fight workers who strive to take scientific research seriously. The manner in which the expulsion of Wilhelm Reich took place is so grotesque as to appear incredible to the outsider.”
“As an organization, it has to represent a science which is, intrinsically and in its theoretical origin, revolutionary. But the representatives of this organization are steeped in the ideology and the milieu of the middle classes, are convinced of the unalterability of present-day living to such an extent that they con1d not escape coming into conflict with their own theory; this has taken place to the same extent to which the world political situation turned reactionary and threatened any correct scientific work with destruction of the scientists.” “The administration of the Association had no grounds on which to object to Wilhelm Reich’s scientific and clinical views. On the contrary, over a period of many years, members of the Association, in great numbers, considered his work (theory of genitality and character-analysis) as the consistent development of Freud’s originally revolutionary theory. There were, then, no solid grounds for his expulsion. For a number of years, therefore, the demand had been made that he resign voluntarily. This he rejected, stating that he would never resign voluntarily.”
“A decisive factor in the whole affair was the attitude of the Norwegians. The Executive Committee of the International Association tried to make the recognition of the Norwegian group contingent on their accepting the condition that they would not accept Reich as a member. The Norwegians, however, took the correct point of view: ‘We will not have conditions dictated to us. Make up your mind whether you want to recognize us or not. If you don’t, we will resign.’ The decisive and upright attitude of the Norwegians (Hoel, Raknes, Schjelderup) made a great impression and intimidated the Executive Committee. They were recognized unconditionally as a group of the International Association; however, the Swedish group was separated from the Norwegian group, in order to remove it from Reich’s influence. After his expulsion, Reich read his paper to the Congress as a guest.”
“Sex-economy is being represented as one of the deviations from psychoanalysis like that of Jung, Adler or Stekel. The reasons for this misrepresentation are stupidity as well as malice. He who knows the history of the psychoanalytic movement can see the difference at first glance. All deviations from Freud’s theory, without exception, are characterized by the negation of sexuality. With Jung, the libido became a meaningless, mystical all-soul concept, the best possible soil for the later Gleichschaltung in the Third Reich. Adler replaced sexuality by the will to power, Rank denied the existence of infantile sexuality. Sex-economy, on the other hand, took its starting point precisely from those basic elements in Freud’s theory which originally had aroused the ire of a world afraid of the truth. It developed the orgasm theory and tried in vain to incorporate it into psychoanalytic theory, where it organically belonged. It clarified the theory of the pre-genital infantile sexual drives and built the basis for a characterology which has the sexual process as its core. Character-analytic technique required the full recognition of the laws of sexual economy.”
“And what do things look like in the psychoanalytic movement itself? The English school is a sectarian circle completely divorced from life as it is. The Berlin Society attempted Gleichschaltung and thus perished. The Hungarian group consists almost exclusively of the house-analysts of rich people, without either scientific development or serious perspective. The Vienna Society is under the pressure of political reaction and ruled by some death-instinct theorists who no longer can be taken seriously from a scientific point of view. The French group looks desolate. Has the socialist movement accepted psychoanalysis? Here and there in words, because political reaction placed Freud in the camp of Kulturbolschewismus.”
“Our psychological criticism of Freud began with the clinical finding that the unconscious inferno is not anything absolute, eternal, or unalterable, that a certain social situation and development has created the character structure of today and is thus perpetuated. We recognized that the fear of the ‘sexual chaos’ is justified but also that it applies to definite historical periods; and our therapeutic work showed us that a different regulation of social living is possible.”
“Marxist economics was organized politically. In the realm of political economics, the political organization of science arouses no surprise. It is different in other fields. Here, the illusion of an ‘unpolitical science’ has created much confusion.”
“An anxiety fantasy can be inhibitive or agitating. Vegetotherapy has nothing to do with any kind of calisthenics or breathing exercises such as yoga. If anything, it is diametrically opposed to these methods. Calisthenics and all other breathing techniques are designed to teach the organism various movements or attitudes. Vegetotherapy strives to develop those attitudes, movements, excitations, and natural breathing rhythms that are specifically characteristic of the patient’s personality.”
“The principal method of psychoanalytic therapy is free association, i.e., essentially talking and communicating. The principal method of vegetotherapy consists in the disturbance of involuntary (hence unconscious) vegetative attitudes. Conversely, in vegetotherapy it is the not-talking – the elimination of conscious intensive oral expression – which is one of the principal methods for bringing to the fore vegetative feelings and affects, rooted in organic processes, before they become conscious.” “As a rule, the psychoanalyst sits behind the patient and, if possible, should not be seen by him. In vegetotherapy, this rule is suspended since it no longer relies on free association.”
“Psychoanalysis is a psychology; sex-economy is sexology. ‘Sexology’ is the science of the biological, physiological, emotional, and social processes of sexuality. Sex-economy is the first discipline to establish the profession of sex physician. Up to now this discipline was not taught as a specialized medical branch at the universities, and was practiced merely as a side line of other physicians such as gynecologists, specialists for venereal diseases, neurologists, psychoanalysts.”
“The practice of vegetotherapy requires:
a) An adequate orientation in the fundamentals of sociology, i.e., of the laws of the social process which influence the strength of man’s vegetative drives.
b) The knowledge of the basic elements governing the developmental history of sexual morality, from primitive society to the present state.
c) The knowledge of basic elements of psychiatry, with special consideration of the mechanisms operative in schizophrenia and in manic-depressive psychosis.
d) The work of the vegetotherapist demands precise knowledge of the autonomic or vegetative nervous system and the fundamentals of human physiology as well as endocrinology and sexual physiology.
e) A knowledge of the fundamentals of cell biology, vegetative current manifestations and electrical phenomena in protozoa are among the indispensable prerequisites for the practice of vegetotherapy.
f) Since vegetotherapy is increasingly penetrating the field of physical illness, knowledge of the relationship of the state of the bio-electric charge to the skin surface in neuroses and ego disturbances becomes a prerequisite of practical everyday work.”
“Communism in its present form as Red Fascism is not a political party like other political parties. It is politically and militarily armed organized emotional plague.”
“If you ask a liberal or a socialist or a Republican what he believes in socially, he will tell you frankly. The Red Fascist will not tell you what he is, who he is, what he wants. This proves that hiding is his basic characteristic. And only people who are hiding by way of their character constitution will operate in and for the Communist Party.”
“Such an attitude toward fact and truth, history and human welfare is not specifically a characteristic of Red Fascism. It is typical of all politics. Red Fascism differs from other political disrespect for fact and truth in that it eliminates all checks and controls of the abuse of power and drives the nuisance politician to his utmost power. To believe that ‘’peace negotiations’ are meant as such is disastrous. They may and they may not be meant, according to the momentary expediency.”
“Espionage and counter-espionage may belong as part of present-day social administration: It will never solve the problem of social pathology.”
“He will be a master in cunning, slyness, ‘know-how’ in getting along with people smoothly. He will stand out little from the crowd. He will be a ‘good fellow’, people will like him, he will appear honest and straight, and he will really mean what he says subjectively. But he will never quite overcome the feeling of being an abortive genius, gifted and crippled at the same time. This is strongly developed in him, and he has this trait in common with most average people. The people in general, however, have far less strained ambitions and are not as strong bio-energetically.”
“The pestilent character is basically a coward and he has much to hide, especially sexually. The hiddenness is essential to his social and emotional existence.”
“Djugashvili rides to power over millions, carried along by the very people whom he is going to suppress, supported and protected by what they have in common with hin1, be it ever so minute and little.”
E DE VOLTA À PAIDEIA: “It is clear that the educator and physician instead of the politician and policeman should be in charge of these affairs of social pathology.”
“Here an administrator has embraced a girl he knew in decency and honesty, but slightly out of range of what is considered ‘moral’ by ‘the public’. Many knew it, of course, but since everyone has such little and perfectly decent secrets, there is a common bond, so to speak, among the people who constitute what is called the public. Everybody has a more or less pressing bad conscience, well hidden under a mask of righteousness. Fear of getting into trouble with the law is quite general. Conformism stems from this fear and from these little secrets. And there is nothing whatsoever in the social set-up to understand, handle, or protect such innocent little secrets against invasion by dirty minds.”
O LIMITE MORAL É A MEGA-SENA: “It is all right to stop rampant cheating in the realm of public lotteries, but one can see no harm in a little gambling or a little tun at pinball machines. It is the pestilent character again who here, too, spoils the fun for the people by misusing and abusing freedom of action.”
“They are convinced of the ultimately decent nature of man. But, at the same time, they talk that way out of weakness and fear of the plague. They are factually hypnotized into immobility by the plague like a hen by the snake.”
“Now the pestilent character has easy going. He is protected on all sides and can proceed safely, without any danger of being detected, put into the bright sunlight, or challenged in any other way. If he adds political power machinery to his already rather well-set position he can conquer whole continents.”
“The public will not act or render any help to the truth. It will remain ‘sitting’ silently and watch helplessly or even gloatingly any crucifixion of innocent souls. The public administrator will be frightened to bits and try to maintain public morals and order. The pioneer will be silenced or he may go psychotic or fall into deep depression.”
Atacar o problema da censura na muda (na calada da noite)!
“The pestilent character is usually a coward and has nothing constructive to offer. Meet the plague head on. Do not yield or appease. Master your guilt feelings and know your weak spots. If necessary, reveal frankly your weak points, even your secrets. People will understand.” “Learn continuously how to meet the underhanded lie.”
Now I’m not so sure: “Truth is our potential ally even within the pestilent character. He, too, is somewhere decent deep down, though he may not know it.”
Diário de Reich, 15/10/53
“since clitoral genitality is a neurotic substitute for a blocked vaginal excitation, they [F. e Kinsey¹] confused the acme of the orgasm with the total orgasm which, in the ergonomic sense, includes, in addition to the acme, the ensuing convulsive movements.” Dor femural pós-coito (no lugar de omni tristi).
¹ Alfred Kinsey (1894-1956), sexólogo, biólogo e entomologista americano. Parece ser o pai da sexologia pop estilo Penélope da MTV (ou seja, inútil). Cultuado pelo LGBTQ, que nem deve saber quem foi Reich…
“According to the bio-energetic view of clinical orgonomy, the orgasm is identical with the total involuntary convulsion of the organism beginning with the acme (peak) of the orgasm and ending with complete relaxation. The orgasn1 function in the ergonomic sense reaches far beyond species and genus. It is older than the development of nerves. (…) It is clearly expressed in the protrusion of the pseudopodium of an ameba.”
Excerto de O Assassinato de Cristo (CONCLUSÃO)
“To add a new dogma of human living to the 1naze of philosophies, religions, and political prescriptions means adding another piece of confusion to the building of the Tower of Babel. The task is not the construction of a new philosophy of life, but diversion of the attention from futile dogmas to the ONE basic question: WHY HAVE ALL DOGMAS OF HOW TO LIVE SO FAR FAILED?”
S-H ou Sui.
“Let us now for a moment imagine that the psychoanalysts had acquired social power in some country. They would, from their point of view of the existence of an unconscious mind, acknowledge a vast domain of human existence beyond the conscious will. They would, if meeting with the ‘sitting’ of humanity, attribute it to ‘bad’ unconscious wishes of one kind or another. Their remedy would be to ‘make the spite conscious’, to exterminate the evil unconscious. This, of course, would not help, just as it does not help in the treatment of a neurotic, since the spiting itself is the result of the total body armoring, and the ‘evil unconscious’ is the result of the suppression of natural life in the infant; and ‘I won’t’ is superimposed upon a silent ‘I CAN’T’. This immobility, expressed as an ‘I CAN’T’, is naturally inaccessible to mere ideas or persuasion, since it is what orgone biophysics calls ‘STRUCTURAL’, i.e., frozen emotions. In other words, it is an expression of the total being of the individual, unalterable, just as the shape of a grown tree is unalterable.”
Margaret Anderson, Children of the South
N.B. Talvez os Três Ensaios sobre a Teoria da Sexualidade de Freud sejam seu único texto – ou seus únicos 3 textos – que realmente valham alguma pena ainda hoje.
R., Truth versus Modju + Escuta, Zé-Ninguém! (Listen, Little Man!) + The Murder of Christ…