09 April 2010

The mysteries of the organism

This perception is 100% in accord with my own experience:

I'd like to look at a model of Reich's which I find has much explanatory power. He broke out character down into three "layers". The first of these is a "social" layer, a veneer of good behaviour and politeness with which we interact in the social world. If we see this layer as partially a product of armouring and learnt restraint, we can see that underneath it might lie a second layer — of frustration, anti-social impulses, rage and so on. Where Reich really showed his insight was that he posited another layer beneath this, a part of us which is open, loving and vulnerable. Reich argued that this "core" is naturally decent and moral. It is the suppression and suffocation of this layer, through the events of our birth and childhood that produces armouring. I only have to think about which emotions I have easiest "access" to, to see the validity of these ideas - real openness and tenderness seem much more affecting and come from a much more guarded place.

The rest of the article is well worth reading, keeping in mind at all times that Wilhelm Reich was a revolutionary socialist until the Stalinized Comintern hung him out to dry.


The central conceit of this blog is that revolutionary politics, psychology, occultism, cultural studies and artistic endeavour are all going to fail as long as they are isolated from each other. But I fear I may have ignored Rule One of the mystical mindset - as above, so below - in that I have elevated abstract theorising on these issues above actual practice in my daily life. (Which in itself violates one of CM's basic ground rules, viz. you are what you do - or as Karl Marx himself put it, "it's not sensible to evaluate someone based on their self-opinion".)

There will never be enough books for me to read or articles to write to create a Silver Bullet Theory, and it has been a species of intellectual arrogance for me to believe that it could be - and also a species of intellectual cowardice to decide that "nothing could be done" to test the theories in the here and now. (Which is of course precisely what I castigate the sectarian Marxists and anarchists for, opening me to the charge of hypocrisy.)