The Weatherman: Legacy of Wilhelm Reich

The Weatherman: Legacy of Wilhelm Reich

Who is Wilhelm Reich?

Dr. Wilhelm Reich, an Austrian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, a student and a protégé of Dr. Sigmund Freud. Began his career in 1919, and working alongside him. Dr. Wilhelm Reich is the pioneering to the discovery of a ‘vital energy’ which he called ‘Orgone energy’ (a name given to the cosmic life energy) by investigation into human sexual functioning. He believed that the discovery of the Orgone energy to identify it permanently with life, organic functioning and with the orgasm, which may be termed the root of physical life. Consequently, he became a controversial social theorist and researcher.

What is Orgone energy?

Orgone energy demonstrably exists in everything living as a pulsatory, specific biological Energy of non-electric character. Externally, in nature, Orgone energy exists as primordial mass-free energy in the soil, water and atmosphere of the earth.

How did he apply the Orgone energy?

In 1940, he constructed devices intended to concentrate and focuses the Orgone energy, called Orgone accumulators, and claimed that they could be used to cure cancer and other illnesses. And also in the latter medium, it is accessible to, and manipulable by extremely simple mechanical contrivances known as cloud buster (CLBs).

Therefore, it is a legacy of Wilhelm Reich, who believed that orgasmic energy could control the weather. A Cloud buster is a pseudoscientific devices designed by Wilhelm Reich, which Reich said could produce rain by manipulating ‘Orgone energy’ present in the atmosphere.

A Cloud buster was intended to be used in a way similar to lighting rod. The Cloud buster Consist of an array of parallel hollow metal tubes which are connected at the rear of flexible metal hoses which are equal or slightly smaller in diameter to the parallel tubes. The open ends of the hose are placed in the water, to draw the Orgone energy out of the atmosphere, Reich believed to be natural Orgone absorber.  And the pipes can be aimed into areas of the sky to draw energy to the ground, causing the formation of clouds and rain. Reich had conducted dozens of experiments with the cloud buster, calling the research ‘Cosmic Orgone Engineering’. The remains of one of Reich’s Cloud buster can be found in Rangeley, Maine.

How did he use the cloud buster?

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In 1953, Blueberry farmers in Maine offered to pay Reich if he could end a drought that threatened the crop. Reich set up his cloud buster and operated it just for just over an hour; the next morning it started rain and the crop was saved. Although, sceptics suggest this was coincidence.

What happened to his scientific theory?

In 1956, Dr. Wilhelm Reich was condemned for unscientific claims by the FDA because of his theories about sexual freedom and his discovery of an alleged ‘Orgone energy’. FDA ordered the destruction of Reich’s accumulator, pamphlets and books in his experimental laboratory. Then, Reich was received sentences for two years for continuing to market the Orgone accumulator as a cancer cure. He died of a heart attack in prison, just one day before he was due to apply for parole. No scientific printed an obituary, but TIME magazine printed the following.

Died. Wilhelm Reich, 60, once-famed psychoanalyst, associate, and follower of Sigmund Freud, founder of the Wilhelm Reich Foundation, lately better known for unorthodox sex and energy theories; of a heart attack in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary, Pa; where he was serving a two-year term for distributing his invention, the “orgone energy accumulator” (in violation of the Food and Drug Act), a telephone-booth-size device which supposedly gathered energy from the atmosphere, and could cure, while the patient sat inside, common colds, cancer and impotence.

Since then, many disapprove of this unconstitutional way of silencing heresy; Dr. Wilhelm Reich which has remained a center of controversy.  Later in life, Science still rejects his ideas, however, Reich’s influence still strongly felt in psychotherapy today.

My discovery of the Life Energy is today widely known nearly all over the globe, in hundreds of institutions, whether acclaimed or cursed. It can no longer be stopped by anyone, no matter what happens to me– Dr. Wilhelm Reich

The Origin of the Material of Dreams

The Origin of the Material of Dreams

We must be wondering where does the dream come from when we sleep? It may seem so real to ones’ reality, although dreams appear to be vivid and abstract. From time to time people have been interpreting their dreams. Some people believe that dreams are a sign sent from God, some people believe dreams are wish—fulfillment  to our deepest state of unconsciousness, and some people also believe that dreams are just a byproduct of brain wave activity and have no significant meaning to our psychological state.   Then, if it is the case, why are we dreaming? And where does it come from? And is there any psychological effect on our lives? And how do we interpret the dream?

Let’s go back to the time telescope. Ancient beliefs that dreams come from God, as a sign or messages sent by God during sleep. Ancient civilization such as Mesopotamia and Egypt viewed dreams as signs or messages from their gods, created their own Dream book-emphasised on the dream symbols and its meanings. Egyptian believed that dream can reveal fragments of the future, by giving sacrifices, celebrating rituals and reciting prayers. Both dream interpretation tradition influences on other cultural beliefs of dream interpretation afterwards.

Meanwhile, the religious discourses of dream interpretation accept the notion of the divine presence and inspiration within the dreams,which lead to the prophetic message and revelation. However, the religious discourse of dream interpretation do not separate divine presence and human consciousness and thought.

Early Christianity believed the idea that dreams more or less has a divine inspiration. Christianity finds dreams are significant in human lives because God chose to communicate through the dream. And He said, “Hear now my words: if there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream” (Num. 12.6). Christianity viewed that dreams reveal the conditions of one’s heart and as the source of the voice of God within one’s heart. Providing guidance and gifts from God.

Moreover, Hebrew also connects the dream with a religious emphasis. The Hebrew believed that dream is the voice of God alone. The dream can receive divine revelation. However, the Hebrew tradition differentiates the dreams between the good dreams (from God) and the bad dreams (from evil spirits).

Similarly, In Islamic tradition of dream interpretation placed dream as a guide from God to the faithful, especially in Quranic revelation. The prophet Muhammad is reported to have said, “nothing is left of prophet-hood,except glad tidings”,those with him asked,”what is glad tidings?” He replied, “true dreams/vision”. The Dream Interpretation tradition is also carried and practiced in many Sufi riders and has distinguished place in Islamic wisdom tradition. Prophet Muhammad mentioned that prophecy would come only through dreams.

Islamic tradition in theology of dreams divided into types. According to Sahih Muslim, Muhammad said, “there are three types of dreams, a righteous dream which is glad tidings from Allah, the dream which causes sadness is from Shaitan,and a dream from the rambling of the mind”.

The Greeks also consider the dream as a sign from their gods, emphasising the presence of their gods in their dreams. According to Shushan, “Greek dream-books often contained numerous description in which divine instruction led the dreamer to perform tasks that were ultimately interpreted s prophetic messages sent by gods during sleep”.

However, Greek philosopher is not only analysed dreams in terms of religious content, but also analysed in scientific interpretation. Around 335 BC, Aristotle interprets dreams in which human capacity of imaginations influences within the dreams. Hippocrates analysed dreams as an important indicator of physical and mental health.  And seeing dreams comes from human thoughts,  rather than follow the believe of the divine sources within dream’s content. Moreover, Aristotle suggests that “dreams were not actually message sent from a God; he argued that animals could dream and God would ever send messages to anything less than that the superior human”. Aristotle emphasis on the human imagination that responsible for the reality appear during the dream. In other words, Aristotle emphasises that dreams were the extension of reality.

Artemidorus, a Greek philosopher around 100 AD who wrote Oneirocritica, which later, his books influencing the contemporary dream book interpretation, including the work of Sigmund Freud’s the interpretation of Dreams. Oneirocriticea (Interpretation of dreams) that discussed the symbolism and meanings within dreams. According to Hall, “Artemidorus placed emphasis on the true value of using the content of dreams to predict future events;he often compared his dream interpretation to events that actually transpired after the interpretation”. Coolidge states that, “Artemidorus knew that the age, physical health of an individual, and previous events they experienced have an effect of the quality and content of their dreams” .

“The interpretation of dreams is the royal road of the unconscious”-Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud’s work of The Interpretation of Dreams achieved a great contribution to influence the contemporary modern theory of dream interpretation. He gained the influence of the Greek philosopher such as Aristotle, Plato and also Artemidorus in the theoretical structures of the mind- body problem and the idea of psyche to explain the traditional belief in dream interpretation. Freud acquires the idea of the ancient Greek philosopher of ‘trinity of souls’, ‘Tripartite Mind’, theory of ego, superego and id. According to Freud, “Dreams are considered to be a conscious expression of the fulfillment of particular wish or impulse rooted from early childhood which has been repressed into the unconscious.” Moreover, He analysed that dreams would expose the expression of certain wishes and desires of the unconscious mind.

Freud’s work influence a great mind such as  Carl Jung, and continues to influence the modern day dream interpretation. Although his work is becoming the cornerstone of the modern theory of dream analysis, his view is challenged by many other ideas. Carl Jung is influence by Freud’s idea of an unconscious presence in dreams, however, Jung added and felt the spiritual significance role in dream experience. According to Jacobi, “Freud thought that dreams were a way of revealing the unconsciousness, Jung thought that this obtained simply by way of free-association, and that dreams could reveal something deeper and more spiritual”.

According to Jung, “along with  personal conscious that is devoted to your personal experiences, we also posseses a ‘collective unconscious”, in which Archetypes are universal symbols that mean the same thing for everyone”. Symbols are important aspect in Jungian psychology dream interpretation. Moreover, Jung sees dreams as like the unconscious, they have their own language. “it was ridiculous to not pay attention to the signs presented to us, as we wouldn’t ignore our conscious state” (Jung).

“The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night , which was psyche long before there was any ego-consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness extends”- Carl Jung

As with many great theories about dream interpretation, the antithesis and parallel conceptions of dreams source seems intertwined from the time of ancient into religious and modern day interpretation. Whether the dream source comes from God or human thought that separating prophecy and rational prediction. Therefore, the mystery of the source of dreams is still discussed among scholars that in a hope find unity regardless any theories of dream interpretation. And so, what is your dream mean to you? Subjective experience of personal experience is essential in searching for collective unconsciousness that we all posses.

kahlil gibran dream

The Sky is the Living

The Sky is the Living

How many of us have considerable time to star gazing? The technology may become the reason for us to ignore what is on top of us (the sky), as we constantly looking down on earth. What is the purpose of the sky for the living life in the earth? Somehow whether we realise it or not, the movement of the sky affects our life and the life on the planet.

Most of the time we lived and worked indoors, we are constantly get attached to the available technology such as phone, television and computer for any means of reasons including entertainment that become a phenomenon in human lives. In contrast, ancient civilization uses the sky as their entertainment, a theater, where the sky is clearer and living at night.

We look up our watch to tell the time, and we look at the weather forecast to tell us what to wear today, we look up calendar to tell the day, date and month. We seem to forget the existence of the nature surrounding us. What is it for then?

Maybe we are not ignoring, maybe simply, we do not aware of any means of reasons in losing contact with the natural world.  Maybe we do not know because nobody have told us and teach us, or we just are too blind to see and too numb to feel that our behavior and emotions relate to the nature around us; which congruent to the movement of the sun and the moon and the universe.

Technology is not the only reasons we lost contact with the natural world. Our change in a basic of thinking about the natural world is also affecting our detachment to the natural world.

“As long as you still experience the stars as something ‘above the head’, you lack the eye of knowledge”. Friedrich Nietzsche

Throughout the times, any Great civilizations retrospect the knowledge of the sky and the universe are substantially relevant to human existence lives and arguably presents’ in people’s lives. There are some patterns, rhythms and hierarchy in the sky, which contribute to compel for medium human connection. Ironically, the studying of natural knowledge and learning of astronomy is part of ancient Greeks’ culture.

According to a Modern Cosmologist, “it is almost irresistible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe, that human life is not just a more or less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents reaching back to the first three minutes, but that we were somehow built in from the beginning”.

The notion microcosm and macrocosm were widely spread from time to time. The notion demonstrates that the human body (microcosm) and the universe as a whole (macrocosm) have a considerable similarity in patterns. Therefore, ancient terms that becomes an essential foundation of both metaphysics and philosophy, which is “all is one and interconnected”.  Thus, in fact the stars are part of us. The Reality is found in one single source as a result of the interconnection one with another. Indeed, this notion often relates to the mystical belief, however, science is now confirmed by modern physics.

Surprisingly, Science has shown that the universe is a cosmic brain, which has an alignment pattern of the human brain. The pattern shows a congruent reality that can contribute to the human brain and cosmic brain contact is reasonable. In other words, there is a universe inside human body. In other words, everyone is an island of them self.

Now, look at the sky and look around you. How much do you realise that the universe has an effect to our psychological cycle? Once we can correctly understand ourselves, we can have a correct understanding of the universe. Undoubtedly, we still share the same curiosity and knowledge profound to our ancestors with human ability in receptive healthy skepticism and in gaining knowledge of wisdom.