David Holbrook, M.D.: ERGEBNISSE DER ZEITGENÖSSISCHEN NEUROWISSENSCHAFT UND PSYCHOTHERAPIE, DIE PARALLELEN ZUR ORGONOMISCHEN PERSPEKTIVE AUFWEISEN

 

DAVID HOLBROOK, M.D.:

 

Ergebnisse der zeitgenössischen Neurowissenschaft und Psychotherapie, die Parallelen zur orgonomischen Perspektive aufweisen

 

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Eine Antwort to “David Holbrook, M.D.: ERGEBNISSE DER ZEITGENÖSSISCHEN NEUROWISSENSCHAFT UND PSYCHOTHERAPIE, DIE PARALLELEN ZUR ORGONOMISCHEN PERSPEKTIVE AUFWEISEN”

  1. Peter Nasselstein Says:

    Unbedingt auch meiner Facebook-Seite folgen, denn da hat z.B. wieder der mit dem ACO assoziierte amerikanische Orgonom David Holbrook kommentiert. Wäre schade drum, wenn das untergeht!

    OK, hier ist es:

    David Holbrook Yeah, I saw part of that the other day. The good illustration of the plague. The plague can’t tolerate speech, because plague ideas and plague behavior can’t tolerate freedom of expression. I always like this quote from Reich:

    „We observe that human thought systems show tolerance as long as they adhere to reality. The more the thought process is removed from reality, the more intolerance and cruelty are needed to guarantee its continued existence.“

    Reich, W. (1949/1973). Ether, God and Devil. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Page 16.

    David Holbrook One quandary is: where is the border between cowardice, allowing one’s speech to be intimidated; and on the other hand, recognizing that the plague is dangerous because it is actually something real that you have to be careful about exposing yourself to in the exact same way that it would be rational to be careful about the way you expose yourself to an infectious disease.

    To express it as an analogy: would you walk into a room that is infected with bubonic plague because you “don’t want to be intimidated by it“? Or would you be careful about what kind of plague you expose yourself to?

    So I mean that is a metaphor for social media. Do I want it to provoke the plague by posting certain things on social media? Of course, I’m not criticizing anyone else’s choices, for example yours. Clearly you have decided that you don’t give a fuck! And I admire that. But for myself, I do wonder about the question of effectiveness. What is an effective way to promote Reich’s ideas? What is an effective way to reach people? That’s why when I have posted things on Facebook I usually state things in a relatively politics-neutral way. I think it’s more am effective, it reaches people better, and even people who might disagree with me politically might be willing to listen.

    Again, I’m not criticizing you. I enjoy the things that you post. The stuff in German I don’t click “like” usually because I really don’t know what it says. I like that you send me things and I hope you continue to send me things. I’m just thinking about it.

    Another thought: the political/ideological alliances that people make are based on very deep processes that are unlikely to be influenced by words, especially words that are in the same kind of sociopolitical language but just with different political labels. The attraction that these ideas exert on people comes from something deeper than the superficial political level. So to me, trying to do get out on that level it is probably fruitless. On the other hand, it’s fun and healthy to express one’s point of you.

    Of course, another level for me is that I am an actual physician and psychiatrist. That leaves me open to specific plague attacks. There are certain things that if I were to say in public would probably promote an actual concerted plague attack on me and my practice.

    So part of the nature of “contact“ is to act and express oneself with these things in mind. In other words, with the countertruth in mind. And it seems to me that if one clearly perceives the countertruth, one recognizes that it may be futile and even counterproductive to engage or express oneself on the superficial political level. At least in a public forum. I do enjoy it in private. And there is an added excitation about doing it in public, I understand that.

    David Holbrook Reich alludes to this tension between speaking the truth on the one hand and freedom pedaling on the other:

    „An orgonomist who starts upsetting a whole hospital and endangers his own position by proclaiming truth about orgonomic medicine, is only a nuisance. People in distress sense the truth and will COME TO YOU if you wait patiently and give them an opportunity to mature up to what they need. Then meeting them will not be difficult. However, such a rational procedure can easily be replaced by the backslapping type of nuisance calming-the-beast procedure and even be carried as a shield to maintain one’s inner security. This should be fought with all the means of basic truth. Such backslapping and cheekpetting socialite cheats are part of the vast army of the plague which is out to maintain its position and does not care how many children die or how many people starve to death if only their fake friendships are secured. It goes without saying that this has nothing to do with TRUE friendship. It is like the friendship of crooks who know exactly that each one of them only waits for the opportune moment to cut the other fellow’s throat.“

    Reich, W. (1953/1956). The Murder of Christ. New York: Pocket Books. Pages 232-233, emphasis in original.

    David Holbrook The question of what level do you try to make contact with people on is something that of course a therapist encounters every day, especially a medical Oregon therapist, since we are aware of all the different levels and of the depth and of the difference between the core and the middle layer and the superficial layer. So we are always thinking about what level are we working on. And as we know and have discussed, the general idea is that one will not be effective and one will not make contact unless one starts on the superficial level.

    I would say that the problem with engaging on what I have been calling the “superficial sociopolitical level“ is actually that I am wrong to collect the superficial level. It’s actually engaging with people’s middle layer, since all this crazy political stuff comes from the middle layer. And that’s why it’s often not productive. It’s basically warfare.

    In contrast, if you can find a way to engage on the superficial level, it’s not necessarily “superficial” because it actually can make contact with people. I think that’s what you liked about some of the posts that I made about politics. I said a lot of things without mentioning specific political ideas or parties or beliefs. I think I got some pretty good interest and response in that manner. I think that once people start to figure out my actual politics, they turn their back, just like the people in that video above do. That’s the destructive middle layer attempting to sequester and suffocate the core.All of life is basically a struggle between the core and superficial layer attempting to sequester and immobilize the middle layer on the one hand; and the middle layer on the other hand attempting to do the same thing to the core and superficial layers. Dr. Harman talks about that a lot.

    David Holbrook Clinical Applications of Reich’s Work with Impulsive Characters: The Ego, Ego-Ideal, Superego and the Id. Harman, R. (2013). Journal of Orgonomy 46:2, pages 7-33:

    „[The actions of] life positive functions from the superficial layer…include sequestering and eliminating the internalized emotional plague.“ (Page 26)

    „There is…a ‚coordinated‘ attack, by the core and the superficial layer, against the same point of the secondary layer, from opposite sides. Each of the two sequestering operations, core and surface,…intensify the other, in the same way that the functions of Pulsation and Spinning Wave build to a crescendo in the formation of a hurricane. Thus, the process has the characteristics of the functional interrelationship of simple (attractive) opposition….At any rate, there would be an interrelationship between the core and the superficial layer, which would essentially be a form of indirect contact through the medium, so to speak, of the secondary layer. A more or less identical process could be initiated from the superficial layer of the organism and then recruit the core.“ (Pages 26-27)

    „The same two-surface process takes place (but, in reverse, so to speak) when the secondary layer is successful in sequestering and eliminating the life function, for example, in Oedipal acting out. Even in this case, the biological energy and the self-organizing capacity come from the core and the superficial layer. The secondary layer and the emotional plague are completely parasitic in every way.“ (Page 27)

    David Holbrook My digital file with basically all of the selections that I could find that specifically address the three layer theory and it’s applications:

    The three layers of the biopsychic structure

    Reich, W. (1942/1971) The Function of the Orgasm. Translated by Theodore P. Wolfe. New York: The Noonday Press

    Chapter 6: A Biological Revolution That Miscarried

    3. Fascist Irrationalism

    „It would not be too much to say that the cultural revolutions of our century are determined by the struggle of humanity for a re-establishment of the natural laws of love life. This struggle for naturalness, for unity of nature and culture, reveals itself in the diverse forms of mystical longing, cosmic fantasies, ‚oceanic‘ feelings, religious ecstasis, and particularly in the progressive development of sexual freedom; it is unconscious, full of neurotic conflicts and anxiety and is apt to take the forms which characterize the secondary, perverse drives. A humanity which has been forced for millennia to act contrary to its fundamental biological law and has, therefore, acquired a second nature which is actually a counter-nature, must needs get into an irrational frenzy when it tries to restore the fundamental biological function and at the same time is afraid of it.
    The patriarchal, authoritarian era in human history has attempted to keep the secondary antisocial drives in check with the aid of compulsive moral restrictions. Thus, what is called the cultured human came to be a living structure composed of three layers. On the surface he carries the artificial mask of self-control, of compulsive, insincere politeness and of artificial sociality. With this layer, he covers up the second one, the Freudian ‚unconscious‘, in which sadism, greediness, lasciviousness, envy, perversions of all kinds, etc., are kept in check, without however, having in the least lost any of their power. This second layer is the artifact of the sex-negating culture; consciously, it is mostly experienced only as a gaping inner emptiness. Behind it, in the depths, live and work natural sociality and sexuality, spontaneous enjoyment of work, capacity for love. This third and deepest layer, representing the biological nucleus of the human structure, is unconscious and dreaded. It is at variance with every aspect of authoritarian education and regime. It is, at the same time, man’s only real hope of ever mastering social misery.“ (Pages 203-204, italics in original)

    Mass Psychology of Fascism, Third Edition, 1945, Wolfe translation, Preface to the Third Edition:

    „…in judging human reactions, we have to take into account three different layers of the biopsychic structure….these three layers are autonomously functioning representations of social development. In the superficial layer, the average individual is restrained, polite, compassionate and conscientious. There would be no social tragedy of the animal, man, if this superficial layer were in immediate contact with his deep natural core. His tragedy is that such is not the case. The superficial layer of social cooperation is not in contact with the biological core of the person, but separated from it by a second, intermediary character layer consisting of cruel, sadistic, lascivious, predatory and envious impulses. This is the Freudian ‚unconscious‘ or ‚repressed‘; in sex-economic language, it is the sum total of the ’secondary impulses.‘ Orgone biophysics has shown that the Freudian unconscious, THE ANTISOCIAL ELEMENT OF THE HUMAN STRUCTURE, IS A SECONDARY RESULT OF THE REPRESSION OF PRIMARY BIOLOGICAL IMPULSES. If one penetrates through this second, perverse and antisocial layer, one arrives regularly at a third, the deepest layer, which we call the BIOLOGICAL CORE. In this deepest layer, man, under favorable social conditions, is an honest, industrious, cooperative animal capable of love and also rational hatred.“ (Page vii, emphasis in the original)

    „Since the decline of the primitive work-democratic organization, the biological core of man has remained without social representation.“ (Ibid., page viii)

    „In the ethical and social ideals of liberalism we recognize the representation of the superficial layer of the character, of self-control and tolerance. The ethics of this liberalism served to keep down ‚the beast‘ in man, the second layer, our ’secondary impulses,‘ the Freudian ‚unconscious.‘ The natural sociology of the deepest, nuclear layer is alien to the liberal. He deplores the perversion of human character and fights it with ethical norms, but the social catastrophes of the century show the inadequacy of this approach.
    All that which is GENUINELY revolutionary, all genuine art and science stems from the natural biological nucleus. Neither the genuine revolutionary nor the artist or scientist has been able thus far to win over and lead masses or, if so, to keep them in the realm of the life interests.“ (Ibid. page viii)

    Reich, W. (1949). Character Analysis, 3rd ed. Translated by Theodore P. Wolfe, M.D. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux:

    „The schizophrenic world mingles into one experience what is kept painstakingly separated in the homo normalis. The ‚well-adjusted‘ homo normalis is composed of exactly the same type of experiences as the schizophrenic. Depth psychiatry leaves no doubt about this. Homo normalis differs from the schizophrenic only in that these functions are differently arranged. He is a well-adjusted, ’socially minded‘ merchant were clerk during the day; is orderly on the surface. He lives out his secondary, perverse drives when he leaves home and office to visit some faraway city, and occasional orgies of sadism or promiscuity. This is his ‚middle layer‘ existence, cleanly and sharply separated from the superficial veneer. He believes in the existence of a personal supernatural power and its opposite, the Devil and hell, in a third group of experiences which is again cleanly and sharply delineated from the two others. These three basic groups do not mingle with one another. Homo normalis does not believe in God when he does some tricky business, the fact which is reprimanded as ’sinful‘ by the priests in Sunday sermons. Homo normalis does not believe in the Devil when he promotes some cause of science; he has no perversions when he is the supporter of his family; and he forgets his wife and children when he lets the Devil go free in a brothel.“ (Page 399.)

    MOC, FSG edition:

    Page 42 (in Chapter 5: The Mystification of Christ) shows a diagram illustrating the „core,“ „middle Layer,“ and „surface.“

    Reich, W. 1956. The Medical DOR-Buster. CORE V7 N3-5, Pages 97-113. Rangeley, Maine: Orgone Institute Press.

    „At the very beginning of character-analytic research in the 1920s, the structure of the human character presented itself as if it were composed of three distinct layers: the outer, socially adjusted layer; the middle layer, which contains all the armor blocks, ‚repressed impulses;‘ and the core which functioned as the highly excitable, responsive and mobile autonomous plasmatic life system, including the organized autonomic nervous system which seemed to be governed only by primordial charge-discharge functions in balancing the energy system.“(Page 107)

    David Holbrook (Continued:)

    Harman, R. 1997. Procrastination as a Symptom of Catatonic Schizophrenia. Journal of Orgonomy 31/1: 69-82:

    „… the schizophrenic has an incomplete and sometimes disorganized surface layer…. Contact with the therapist enables the schizophrenic patient to develop a more intact and organized social facade (superficial layer). With many neurotic patients, in contrast, the therapist often may need to keep conversation about superficial matters to a minimum in order to break down elements of the social façade that interfere with genuine contact. With the schizophrenic, discussions of the superficial details of life can be very therapeutic by building up the social façade. This facilitates more contact with others…. Practically speaking, schizophrenic’s core contact and lack of armor has a profound effect on how the orgonomist must relate to him. Whatever the therapist says or does in relation to the schizophrenic will be taken very much ‚to heart,‘ i.e., it will go to his core. It will affect him very deeply, and his intolerance of the resulting excitation may cause him to perceive what was said in a distorted way….a word of encouragement or a bit of common sense advice from me always penetrated to her core and could therefore have a profound therapeutic effect….This patient did not require direct work on muscular armoring but responded to character-analysis…“ (Pages 78-79, 81)

    Effects of Adolescent Marijuana Use: A Case History. (1999). Harman, R. JO 33/1&2: 95-113:

    „When one speaks of ‚contact with the core,‘ the word ‚core‘ refers to the plasmatic system, the pulsatory life apparatus itself. Thus, a loss of contact with the core involves a disruption of perception of bioenergetic, biophysical pulsation. This disruption can be viewed as a result of the disturbances Bill experienced in the relation between sensation and emotion…“ (Page 106)

    Konia, C. 2004. Applied Orgonometry II: The Origin and Function of Thought. JO 38/1: 100-111:

    „The self or the environment can be sensed from any one of the three layers of the bioemotional structure, either separately or in combination. These include the core, the destructive secondary layer, and the façade….Ideas of guilt and sadism are direct perceptions of armor. When thoughts are expressed from the middle or superficial layer they are distorted. These distortions constitute the ‚defense mechanisms,‘ such as rationalization, projection and displacement…“ (Page 107)

    Konia, C. (2008). The Emotional Plague The Root of Human Evil. Princeton, New Jersey: ACO Press:

    Page 67 has a modified version of the MOC diagram.

    „The clear distinction between the PRIMARY, natural, socially fruitful genital desires and needs, and the SECONDARY, barren, filthy, cruel, unsatisfactory, perverted drives of man will not be made before 20 centuries will pass…“ (Chapter 9: Paul of Tarsus, page 97, emphasis in original)

    Clinical Applications of Reich’s Work with Impulsive Characters: The Ego, Ego-Ideal, Superego and the Id. Harman, R. (2013). Journal of Orgonomy 46:2, pages 7-33:

    „The bioenergetic structure is layered, with the unarmored organism having two layers and the armored organism having three. The unarmored organism, like a living cell or a bion, has a core and a periphery…. According to Reich, the armored organism has three layers: core, secondary layer and superficial layer…“ (Page 11)

    „From Reich’s descriptions (1949. Character Analysis. New York: Orgone Institute Press; 1953. The Emotional Plague of Mankind, Volume 1: The Murder of Christ. Rangeley, Maine: Orgone Institute Press) of the armored human soul, it is clear that the secondary layer (‚devil‘) can be understood as a structuralized form of the emotional plague operating within the organism. Moreover, the secondary layer completely ’surrounds‘ the biological core (‚God‘), in the sense that it prevents any direct contact between the core and the superficial layer.“ (Harman, page 24)

    „The superficial layer includes….orgonotic excitation from outside the body and the immediately resulting sensations and emotions into which that excitation transforms.
    The superficial layer also includes much of the ego, including all that comes under the heading of „the conscious mind.“ (Page 24)

    „…there is no direct contact between the core and the superficial layer in armored organisms.“ (Page 25)

    „[The actions of] life positive functions from the superficial layer…include sequestering and eliminating the internalized emotional plague.“ (Page 26)

    „There is…a ‚coordinated‘ attack, by the core and the superficial layer, against the same point of the secondary layer, from opposite sides. Each of the two sequestering operations, core and surface,…intensify the other, in the same way that the functions of Pulsation and Spinning Wave build to a crescendo in the formation of a hurricane. Thus, the process has the characteristics of the functional interrelationship of simple (attractive) opposition….At any rate, there would be an interrelationship between the core and the superficial layer, which would essentially be a form of indirect contact through the medium, so to speak, of the secondary layer. A more or less identical process could be initiated from the superficial layer of the organism and then recruit the core.“ (Pages 26-27)

    „…contact between the core and the surface can occur. The core can express itself to the surface of the organism and the outside world. Similarly, the superficial layer can express itself to the core.“ (Page 27)

    „The same two-surface process takes place (but, in reverse, so to speak) when the secondary layer is successful in sequestering and eliminating the life function, for example, in Oedipal acting out. Even in this case, the biological energy and the self-organizing capacity come from the core and the superficial layer. The secondary layer and the emotional plague are completely parasitic in every way.“ (Page 27)

    „The impulse to satisfy basic biological needs (food, water, warmth, etc.) comes from the core. The objective need to perform certain actions (gathering food, building a shelter, etc.) comes from the superficial layer.“ (Page 27)

    „…the process of work will, in fact, become a coordinated attack on the individual secondary layer by his superficial layer and core. This is evidenced by the fact that any insightful armored individual can cite daily examples of how work requirements put a stop to his own neurotic patterns of thought, feeling and behavior.“ (Page 27)

    „…deterioration… sometimes occurs after an individual leaves therapy…. When this process of degeneration occurs, the ego-ideal is acting in concert with the superego to sequester and eliminate the individual’s life functions, both in the core and in the superficial layer. On the other hand, when the internalized emotional plague is being sequestered and eliminated, the ego-ideal is acting against the more destructive effects of the superego. It may be that the constructive part of the ego-ideal is functioning both from the core and the superficial layer….most life-positive ego-ideals appear to contain a mixture of the characteristics of core functioning and of socially desirable ideals…. contact can occur between the core and the superficial layer, despite the separation (sequestration of core and facade) caused by the intervening secondary layer.“ (Pages 28-29)

    „…since the secondary layer lacks the capacity to spontaneously organize itself, it parasitically derives its organization from the reactions of, say, the core when it comes into contact with the secondary layer…“ (Page 32)

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