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What is Orgone Energy?


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« on: September 17, 2009, 05:16:47 pm »

WHAT IS ORGONE ENERGY?


by Charles R. Kelley

   Franz Anton Mesmer called it animal magnetism; Charles von Reichenbach called it odyle. To Henri Bergson it was the elan vital, the "vital force;" while to Hans Driesch it was the entelechy . Sigmund Freud observed its functioning in human emotions and termed it libido. William MacDougall, the great British - American psychologist of a generation ago, labeled it hormic energy. Dozens, if not hundreds, of lesser - known scientists have recognized its presence and have given it a name to characterize its special properties. Among the 20th-century proponents of the concept are, for example, Doctors Charles Littlefield and his vital magnetism and George Starr White and his cosmo-electric energy . Mechanistic science in the 17th through 19th centuries embraced many of its essential qualities in the concept of the ether, while mystical human beings have embraced other essential qualities of it in the concept of god.

   Orgone energy is Wilhelm Reich's name for the substratum from which all nature is created. The best definition this author can provide for it is this: Orgone energy is the creative force in nature. This article will discuss briefly the history of the discovery of orgone energy by Reich and will describe its properties. It will then summarize the evidence for and against the concept and, finally, will undertake to explain why it is that the concept meets such great resistance.


Reich's Discovery of Orgone Energy


   Orgone energy was originally discovered by Wilhelm Reich in his psychiatric work. As a psychoanalyst and student of Freud, Reich's point of departure was, quite naturally, Freud's concept of "libido. " "Libido" is life energy, desire, the source of human striving. Reich developed the libido concept, concentrating on its physical expression and simultaneous psychological content, until he was able to show the relation of bodily attitude and emotion. This he described in CHARACTER ANALYSIS, a book which went further than any work in history in solving the mystery of the relation' of mind and body. In this great book Reich also described the mass pathology of the animal man, This pathology consists of a chronic rigidity of the musculature which blocks the movement of energy underlying emotion and hence blocks the emotion, thus providing the psychic or emotional underpinning of mankind's universal sickness.

   Reich's initial work on orgone energy was done, then, in depth psychology. From this it spread, quite naturally, into sociology and political science, for Reich saw quite clearly that the sickness of man was socially or culturally transmitted. His books, THE MASS PSYCHOLOGY OF FASCISM, THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION and PEOPLE IN TROUBLE deal with this enlargement of his depth psychological discoveries to the social and political scene.

   It was natural for a mind like Reich's to generalize and deepen his understanding of libidinal energy, and as he did his medical work expanded beyond the field of psychiatry into more general areas of medicine and biology. The concept of libidinal energy developed into the more concrete concept of "bioelectricity," which soon proved not to be electricity and in time was renamed "orgone energy." Books dealing with this phase of Reich's discoveries are THE FUNCTION OF THE ORGASM and THE CANCER BIOPATHY. These books constitute Volumes 1 and 2 of THE DISCOVERY OF THE ORGONE, Reich's presentation to the world of the discovery of orgone energy.

   Although orgone energy was first discovered in the human body, Reich learned through painstaking observation and experiment that it existed in free form in the atmosphere. With this finding, Reich's work transcended the boundaries of biology and entered the realm of meteorology and atmospheric physics. These developments are described in THE CANCER BIOPATHY, THE ORANUR EXPERIMENT, and a series of articles which are covered under the general title of "weather control studies, " published in scientific journals.

   The final and most general stage of Reich Is discoveries was the cosmic function of orgone energy in the universe, and Reich here entered the realms of astronomy and astrophysics. Reich's books dealing with this stage were COSMIC SUPERIMPOSITION and ETHER, GOD AND DEVIL.

   As Reich progressed from the realm of psychiatry and medicine to biology, and from biology to physics, his concept of the energy which was the focus of all his scientific work retained its essential features. His understanding of the energy grew, and new properties were discovered, but the properties that had been discovered in the earlier, narrower realms remained true in the newer and broader ones. Through Reich's work runs the remarkable "red thread," the connectedness that shows each discovery to be a logical progression from the previous one, and each broader realm of nature studied to include the previous more restricted realm.

  Reich did not set out to discover "cosmic" truth; he was never attempting to revolutionize scientific
thought; he was not attempting to make "great" discoveries. Reich simply observed and experimented from day to day, setting down what he found, studying it honestly, and organizing the facts as they appeared, without forcing them into any pre -conceived framework. What he found was that the same energy which flowed in the sexual embrace was present in all nature, "living" and "non-living," and that it governed the most significant and widespread natural functions. Reich found that the same orgone energy underlay each of these classes of phenomena:

      1. Consciousness

            Sensation
            Emotion
            Perception
            Thought

      2. Life

            Animal movement
            Biogenesis
            Reproduction
            Evolution
            Growth

      3. Atmospheric and cosmic processes

            Clouds
            Storms
            Atmospheric electricity
            Creation of matter at every scale
                (atom, planet, star, galaxy)

These three realms correspond to the sequence of Reich's discoveries, from his beginning in psychiatry through biology to physics, each realm including the previous. They are in inverse order with respect to our knowledge about them, however; for Reich explored the realm of psychiatry in breadth and depth, the broader realm of biology in a much more limited way, and only made a good start in his exploration of atmospheric and cosmic processes.



Properties of Orgone -Energy


   Orgone energy, the creative force in nature, is not a form of electromagnetism nor of matter but is fundamental to both. It is the specific life energy, but life is only one particular manifestation of it. Our knowledge about it is partial and fragmentary in major respects, and is no doubt in some measure erroneous. Nevertheless, a clear and consistent picture of what orgone energy is and how it functions arises from Reich's work. The following ten properties of orgone energy were deduced by Reich.

    1. It is mass free. Orgone energy itself has no inertia or weight; i. e., it is mass free. This is one of the reasons it is difficult to measure using conventional techniques. Mass is, however, intimately dependent on the characteristics of the mass-free orgone energy field with which all matter is surrounded. Measurements of weight or inertia reflect the characteristics of this field as well as of the object contained in it.

    2. It is present everywhere. Orgone energy fills all space. It is present in differing degrees or concentrations (or "charges") but is nowhere absent. It is present in vacua, whether within the atmosphere or in outer space. It is in this respect like the ether of pre-20th century physics.

    3. It is the medium for electromagnetic and gravitational phenomena. Again, like the ether., orgone energy is the substratum of the most fundamental natural phenomena. It is the medium in which light moves and electromagnetic and gravitational fields exert force. One of the major tasks of orgonomy is to integrate our knowledge of orgone energy with the facts about those phenomena known to orthodox physics.

    4. It is in constant motion. The continual motion of orgone energy can be observed under appropriate conditions. There are at least two characteristic types of motion, a pulsation or alternating expansion and contraction, and a flow, normally along a curving path.

    5. It "contradicts" the law of entropy. Orgone energy is attracted to concentrations of orgone energy. Unlike heat or electricity, which always show a direction from higher to lower potential, orgone energy flows from lower orgonotic potential to higher. In a thermal system in which outside energy is neither added nor subtracted, heat is lost by hot objects or materials and absorbed by cool until everything within the system is the same temperature. "Entropy increases" as the heat is distributed more and more uniformly. Heat, after all, leaves the sun and goes out into space; it does not collect from space and flow into the sun. In the same way, a heater radiates heat into the room; heat does not flow from the room into the heater. These processes are in accordance with the law of entropy. Orgonotic processes work in the opposite direction. High concentrations of orgone energy attract orgone energy from their less-concentrated surroundings. "Entropy decreases" as orgone energy is distributed more and more unevenly.

   It would be a mistake to think that the flow of orgone energy from lower to higher potential is only the reverse of the law of entropy or to try to represent these processes by thermodynamic equations by reversing the sign of the time parameter. Non-entropic orgonotic processes do not run their course mechanically; they are qualitatively entirely different from entropic processes. They are, in fact, the processes responsible for the growth of living things, for the process of learning, and for the evolution from simple to complex species. In non-living nature they are responsible for the growth of clouds and storms within the atmosphere, and on a cosmic scale, for the growth of galaxies and the stars within them. This leads into the next property of orgone energy.

    6. It forms units which are the foci of creative activity, Orgone energy units may be living or
non-living; e. g.

            bion                  cloud
            cell                   storm
            plant                 planet
            animal              star
                                    galaxy

All of these orgone energy units have features in common. All are "negatively entropic" in the sense discussed above, so that they acquire energy from their environment. All have a "life cycle" as well, passing through birth, growth, maturity, and decline.

    7. Matter is created from it. Under appropriate conditions, matter arises from mass-free orgone energy. These conditions are not rare or unusual, and Reich believed that new matter is continuously being created on this planet.

    8. It is responsible for life. Orgone energy is the life energy, and as such is responsible for the special characteristics which differentiate living from non-living. This can be expressed in this way: Some orgone energy units develop the special qualities associated with life, which is a kind of chain reaction of the creative process. The qualities which seem to me to typify living as opposed to non-living orgonotic units are:

      a. Reproduction of similar units from one or two parents

      b. Evolution of the units in the direction of higher development

      C. Presence of consciousness, the ability to experience feeling,
      at least to some extent, and to perceive the environment

      d. Presence of volition, the ability of an individual to control its own movement

   The first two properties appear to apply to all living things. The last, as far as we know, apply only to
animal life.

   Much more could be said about orgone energy and life since this subject has been studied most fully. For purposes of this synoptic view the above will suffice, however, with the note that Reich has greatly elaborated the role of orgone energy in the phenomena of life.

   9. Separate streams of orgone energy may be attracted to each other and superimpose. The superimposition function is the fundamental form of the creative process. In free space, superimposing orgone energy streams typically show the form of two streams of energy converging in a spiral. This form is most clearly seen in spiral galaxies, and also in the form of hurricanes and other cyclonic storms. At the opposite end of the scale of sizes, mass particles are created by superimposition of two tiny streams of energy. The same process occurs in living organisms, the form then being constrained, of course, by the structure of the individual involved. Mating is a principal expression of the superimposition function in living nature; two separate streams of energy flow together and superimpose during the orgasm. The power and depth of feeling in mating reflects the intensity of the orgone energy flow that takes place.

   10. It can be manipulated and controlled by orgone energy devices. Perhaps the first orgone energy device was the "bacquet" of Mesmer, a crude but apparently effective form of orgone energy accumulator. Reich developed several devices for the control of orgone energy. The best known of these is the orgone energy accumulator. The accumulator is an enclosure formed by a layered arrangement of metallic and non-metallic materials which result in a concentration of energy within the enclosure. Of equal significance is Reich's weather control apparatus, a type of directional antenna that makes it possible to withdraw large amounts of orgone energy from a region of the atmosphere. Used properly, this apparatus can trigger large changes in the weather.

To the above ten properties of orgone energy which Reich described, I would add two others.

11. Orgone energy units "use" stored energy of various kinds in the creative process. Units of orgone energy utilize energy which is stored in various ways in building themselves up and in maintaining or increasing their size or strength. This is most clearly true of animals utilizing chemical energy of foods in metabolism and growth. Storms, which are also orgone energy systems, utilize the latent heat of condensation of water vapor as a source of stored energy. Stars may employ the heat of thermonuclear fusion in maintaining their high temperatures, although I have reservations as to whether the fusion reaction plays the key role in stellar processes that today's astronomers believe. Fifty years ago an entirely different explanation was given by astronomers for the source of stellar heat, and fifty years from now still another may be in vogue. In any case, it is evident that orgone energy processe's typically involve stored energy which is used in various ways in the service of the creative process.

   12. "Spontaneous generation" and other orgonotic processes may require unimpeded contact with cosmic orgone energy streams."Spontaneous generation" of living organisms seldom occurs under the laboratory conditions biological scientists impose, but these conditions are completely abnormal and foreign to nature. Life can and does continuously arise out of non-living matter under more natural conditions. This process has been described in detail by Reich. I believe an essential feature of these natural conditions may be the direct contact of the matter in which life is to develop with cosmic orgone streams. Protozoa seldom appear spontaneously in infusions which are both sterilized and enclosed in sealed containers, for example. They do appear regularly in these same solutions, sterilized and kept uncontaminated but unsealed.



Evidence for and against Orgone Energy


   The evidence for orgone energy, that is to say, the evidence that there is a special energy in nature with properties such as Reich described, is too extensive to be reviewed adequately in an article such as this. Consider these major English language publications:

      Books by Reich:

            CHARACTER ANALYSIS

            THE FUNCTION OF THE ORGASM

            THE CANCER BIOPATHY

            ETHER,, GOD AND DEVIL

            COSMIC SUPERIMPOSITION

            THE MURDER OF CHRIST

            CONTACT WITH SPACE

      Scientific Journals in Orgonomy:

            INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SEX ECONOMY AND ORGONE RESEARCH (four
            volumes)

            ORGONE ENERGY BULLETIN and CORE (seven volumes)

            ANNALS OF THE ORGONE INSTITUTE (one volume)

            ORGONOMIC MEDICINE (one volume)

            ORGONOMIC FUNCTIONALISM (seven volumes)

            THE CREATIVE PROCESS (one volume)

      Technical Report:

            Kelley, C. R. A NEW METHOD OF WEATHER CONTROL

   These twenty-nine -plus volumes are a partial list of publications primarily devoted to observational and experimental work with orgone energy.


*From a public lecture by the author on May 9, 1962, at the Hewitt Auditorium, Cooper Union, New York City. The lecture was the first of a series of six lectures entitled An Introduction to Orgonomy, which were sponsored by the Interscience Research Institute.
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