This is an old piece by Wilhelm Reich from one of his books “The Murder of Christ” written in the early 1950’s. I actually typed it out some years ago and put it in my myspace notes, and I also posted it on ayahuasa.com, but feel there is some need for some modern day commentary. I feel that Reich’s words are as completely startling and revolutionary as they are now as when he wrote them, and for many, they will just go over their heads I am sure. I have really digested a lot of his words over some years and have some salient perspectives which I think compliment his revelations with some elaborations. I am certainly still a student, but want to share what I have been learning over some years.
Chapter III : The Genital Embrace
The longing for the fusion with another organism in the genital embrace is
just as strong in the armoured organism; as it is in the unarmoured
one. It will most of the time be even stronger, since the full
satisfaction is blocked. Where life simply loves, armoured life
Some of Reich’s quite vast and complex concepts are quite bound into this text. Armouring is the tension and frustration, literal energetic protection that prevents a free flow of bio-energy in the body. Reich was known for being able to create an orgasmic effect of streaming within 10 minutes of doing bodywork on people. Reich in fact, basically invented bodywork in the west, in the 1920’s working with patients in a mental hospital, while his mentor, Freud, only saw comparitvely few patients on a couch practicing talking therapy.
Where Life functions freely in its love relations as it does
in everything else and lets its functions grow slowly from first
beginnings to peaks of joyful accomplishment, no matter whether it is
the growth of a plant from a tiny seedling to the blossoming and
fruit-bearing stage, or the growth of a liberating thought system; so
Life also lets its love relations grow slowly from the first
comprehensive glance to the fullest yielding during the quivering
embrace. Life does not rush toward the embrace. It is in no hurry,
except when long periods of abstinence have made the instant discharge
of energy imperative.
He is in no hurry, because he is confident and trusting in the present relationship!
Armoured man, on the other hand, confined in his
organismic prison, rushes at the fuck. His awful language already
betrays the emotional feel of “taking her” against her will by force or
seduction. To be with a human being of the other sex alone in a room
for any length of time without “trying” whether “he can have her”, or
her fearing that he might attack her, appears unthinkable. From this
derives the disgrace to any form of human dignity in the form of a
chaperon. In these days it is on its way out, since natural gentility
began to occupy the public mind.
Reich’s theories were controversial, even in quite liberal countries like Norway in the mid 1930’s. He basically said that young people needed to be wild and free and like animals, and discover their sexuality without hindrance from parents or authorities. In those days, when the church ruled the public morality, and when contraceptives were not widely available, his ideas were clearly too far ahead of his time. Even in this day and age, perhaps maybe only in a few decades will human beings really begin to catch up with Reich’s observations and ideas.
Life can even be in bed together with a mate without thinking
of the embrace if there is no spontaneous development toward it. Life
does not begin with the fulfillment; it grows into fulfillment. It does
it from love, for love, as it behaves in any other realm of
functioning. Life does not write books in order to have a written a
book “too”; it does not perform it work in order to be written up right
away in the newspapers; it does not write “for people”, but about
processes and facts. Life builds a bridge safely in order to cross a
stream and not in order to get a reward at the next annual convention
of the Society of Engineers.
Otherwise, the act of love, is an act of love! and not something else, bound to the issues, needs, wants of the ego or the body or mind.
He uses the word “life” to talk about a natural state of life, one perhaps which is uncultured, and natural – a life that has freed itself from the ego, from the mind, and operates in an integral unit – as a whole – and in a holy way.
So also, Life does not, in meeting a mate, being with the
idea of the embrace. Life meets because it just meets. It can separate
again; it can walk together a stretch and then separate; or it may go
all the way toward full merger. Life has no preconceived idea of what
will happen in the future. Life lets things run their natural course.
The future here develops out of the continuos stream of the present, as
the present in turn emerges from the past. There are certainly thoughts
dreams, hopes about the future; but the future does not govern the
present as it does in the domain of armoured life. Life, if it grows
freely, is in interested in functioning itself, and slowly develops
certain skills to function well.
Life is in fact, in relationship and is in it for the relationship – for the affection and learning of relating.
It comes to mind, that in the western world, we have seemingly lost the knowledge (as if we ever had it? Perhaps in pre-Roman, Celtic times…), that making love is a celebration of “the other” (who is oneself) it is the realization of this merger and union which can bring the desired result!
What is vital, and I don’t think Reich highlights this enough, even though it is stated frequently in his works, is that in a truly surrounded orgasm, there are involuntary contractions, in which the two become one and move as one. There is not mind or ego in this – which are literally “shaken” off. In the total let go of a full and complete orgasm, is the seed for a state of existence in which, Reich defined as an emotionally healthy one. That such orgasms were not largely occurring in people around him, even in his students, led Reich to talk of this repression as the emotional plague – the standard state of armored and unconscious and bio-energetically and therefore emotionally repressed and spiritually deadened man.
This view is highly confronting to the ego of most human beings, because he shows modern day sexuality in most *everyone* – to be unconscious fucking! that we! that they! are Fuckers!
Modern day Tantra could be perceived then as often representing a kind of “Glorified fucking”. This perspective is a blow to the ego and the mind and its self importance, which wants to cover over its insecurity in any way possible. I was told by a rock musician, that an industry insider of some decades work, had said to him, that without fail, every international rock star he had encountered was incredibly sexually insecure.
If we cannot base our life and love on an act of pure meaning and realization; the fulfillment of a natural intelligence, then what can we base it on? some pitiful “thoughts”?
If we cannot realise love in its primary and foundational functionality; how are we to realize love in a total and complete sense?
[…and then there is a few hundreds words about marriage and
comparing love making to mountain climbing which I didn’t see the need
to type out!]
The genital embrace grows out naturally from a
slowly developing total body urge to merge with another body.
This urge is not mental or honest, It is honest, it is “true lust.”
My experience of this, is that there are often cords and movements of energy that create a very pure desire for union. This can be a transcendental experience, because it is outside the bounds of the body. One experiences the energies and life outside of one’s bodies in between the two bodies, this is the relationship, this is the momentum that will allow movement of bio-energy or emotion, or the technology of being in relationship. There is a quiet passion in it, yet it is silent. It is not better than love, but it can lead to love, it is loves first sprout. (the urge to love)
This is different from a kind of animal lust, or “hornyness”, which is more indiscriminate, and does not contain a sense of longing and knowing that there is a satisfaction to be had with going from one’s feelings. Whereas, vanilla lust, is just trumped up biological impulses. Of course, the two forces can merge and meet – but hornyness can imply an imposition upon the biology which is often unwanted, that the individual is not orientated to communion and may seem to need the biological basis and backup to make “it” happen.
Gurdjieff said that if had encountered two such obstacles in the spiritual path as the vicissitudes of sexual lust, he said he would be only able to make it past one.
Point is, these impulses are there for a reason, and it is only when they are accepted, and not resisted, can the meaning of that energy flow free into sensuality and a conscious choice to undertake communion – rather than being enslaved by a desire one has not accepted or engaged with truly on its own terms.
Western people seem to be at some advantage in this sense over some more sexually repressive cultures, as they own their impulses, and do not deny sexuality or the urge – but on the other hand, this realm has commonly become cheapened and not governed by a natural intelligence, consciousness and awareness of the energetic meanings and reasons of these engagements with others which can successfully proceed.
One can easily see this basic characteristic in birds, toads, butterflies,
snails, in mating deer and other freely living animals. The final
delight of total energy discharge in the orgasm is the spontaneous
result of a continued build-up of smaller delights. These little
delights have the faculty of providing happiness, yet creating desire
for more. Not always do the smaller delights lead toward the final
supreme delight. Two butterflies, male and female, may play with each
other for hours and then separate again without embrace. They may go
further and superimpose without penetration. But once they merge with
their body energy systems, they go through with it to the end. They do
not frustrate one another unless interrupted by a butterfly collector
or a hungry bird. The total organismic excitation precedes the special
genital excitation. The orgiastic potency grows out of this total body
delight and not from the genital.
Note the words “unite body energy systems” as the stated meaning of sexual interaction! which is the truth, not the physical level of it.
And then he goes further to discount the genital as being the locus from which intercourse occurs. The genitals are only one medium of the uniting. People in the west seem to have entirely forgotten this, in this day and age, leading to a kind of disintegrated sexuality, where so much attention and pressure is given to the genitals that sexual dysfunctions and performance issues of all kinds are rampant.
The genital organs are merely the means of this total body delight AFTER the mutual merger of the orgone energy fields has occurred a long while before the last fulfillment.
The contacts are gentle. There is no grabbing, grasping, clutching,
pressing, pushing, squeezing, pinching in them. They go as far as is
given in the special approach and no farther. A man may love a woman
dearly for months, desire her deep down to the fullest, meet her every
single day, and yet he may not go beyond a warm hand clasp or a kiss on
the lips. When the embrace becomes necessary for both of them, it will
happen, inevitably, and they both will know the moment, without telling
each other in words when they are ready. But then nature will develop
its most beautiful powers of unification of two living beings.
One of my best friends waited a year in celibacy with his bride to be, before they got married and made love. His writings of that union are lost forever, but he talked of experiencing her as the creatrix, cosmic creative feminine force. He could only shake his head about it later. There was no way he could describe it to me – even his elaborate writings about this experience seemed to fall short.
On the other hand, there are no rules. I would also say, as there is no rush, it can happen right away ; because it starts to happen right away in the bio-energy. If there is affection, if there is emotion, there can be a green light. And it is not that the female chooses the green light, it is that she knows the green light is a green light and means this interaction is going somewhere in a metaphysical sense. Whereas, a red light, does not really go anywhere for her. In our society, men AND women often seem to force each other to go with their needs, and forsaking the meaning of the whole thing beyond an act of physical fulfillment.
Just as these organisms have permitted their love to grow
organically and slowly, as far IT wanted to reach; just as they knew at
the right moment to make the right move, their bodies will know exactly
how to meet in the embrace. They will search each other’s sensations
and they will feel delight in finding them. They will find each other’s
curves of the body and the degree of mutual giving in each moment, the
inevitably sure way. They may feel that their bodies were ready this
first time to go so far and no farther. Unless the genital merger grows
naturally, out of what proceeded of this phase, they will not merge and
will separate again, for good or for a few days only. The will
“structuralise” their mutual experience, get accustomed to each other
in preparation for greater fulfillments. No trace of possessing the
partner, or of having to prove one’s potency will darken the delight.
Nothing is there to “prove” or to “achieve” or to “get”.
The sweet melting together, is there or it is not there. It
may come for moments, and it may leave again. It cannot be forced or
kept by force. Unless it stays on and grows, no embrace will develop
into genital merger. If genital merger develops ultimately, without the
corresponding growth of the feelings of sweetness and melting, they
will regret it later; it will blacken their delight and it may ruin it
forever. Thus the safeguarding of the full supreme delight is the best
safeguard of the self regulatory behavior in the orgnonotic
superimposition of male and female.
These mechanisms are inbuilt into the organism… but as stated before, so many are genitally orientated, as if it is only with the meat that this all occurs.
The orgasm itself occurs when it has to occur, not when he or
she “wants” it. You cannot “want” an orgasm and “get” it as you get a
bottle of beer at the counter.
Of course he is relating modern day sexuality to consumerism. the term I use is McSexuality!
The orgasm in its true biological sense is a result of steadily growing waves of excitation
and not something ready-made to get by hard labour. *It is unitary
convulsion of one single energy unit which long before the merger was
two units, and which after the merger will divide again into two
This sentence may appear quite mild, but its immensity cannot be overstated!
This is the truth of orgasm, which pornography cannot and does not depict, because it typically deals with male fantasy and not reality of communion and female sexuality – only undiluted male release. (the cum on her face pornographers depict)
And certainly, western pornography is a result or reaction against Christian programming. It is a natural result in a sense, to depict “sin”, which is perceived as only the flesh of the body.
BUT, this is the error of this religious programming, which Reich makes clear here – the truth is liberating and will set you free – on every level.
Bio-energetically, the orgasm amounts to a true
loss of one’s individuality into an entirely different state of being:
it is not the getting of an orgasm on her part from him and on his part
from her, as the sick mind of man in the twentieth century was wont to
believe. The proof of this is the fact that such “getting” the orgasm
vanishes completely upon medical treatment, whereas the true biological
merger does not vanish but rather increases in its vigour. These
matters are crucial.
Reich’s likely confidence works against his cause for many readers. It is that HIS treatment, he considers true medical treatment!
The orgasm is an event which HAPPENS in two living organisms,
and not something “to be achieved”. It is like the sudden protrusions
of protoplasm in a moving amoeba.
As such, it is a bio-energetic phenomena, not as a result of friction or physical stimulation – but meta-physical stimulation.
An orgasm cannot be “had” with everyone. Fucking is possible with everyone since
all it requires is enough friction of the genital organ to produce discharge of the
seminal fluid or a feeling of strong itching. An orgasm is different
from that, and is basically different from a feeling of strong itching.
One cannot obtain an orgasm by scratching or biting. The scratching and
biting male and female is struggling to obtain biological contact by
all means. Orgiastic contact HAPPENS to the organism. One does not have
to make it. It is there only with certain other organisms and is absent
in most other instances. Thus it is the foundation of true sexual
Society, which stresses matches based on ego and physical appearance, neglect the bio-energetic nature of compatibility and what is real here.
THAT is beyond appearance, rank, class, status – and therefore true chemistry is subversive! It undoes divisions between individuals, but that is its purpose. D.H. Lawrence explored these concepts well in his classic text “Lady Chatterly’s Lover”. and so did my ancestor John Wilmont. (see the film, “The Libertine”)
The fucking organism has to “rush” at it in order to
“accomplish” it. It ends in “rubbing it off” or “making love”. The
loving organism lets himself submerge in the flow of feelings and
drifts on the current as master of every move like an expert canoe
rider is in perfect control of his boat on a wild mountain river. The
expert rider of a full blooded horse lets himself be carried away and is
still master of his horse. The hardened organism labours for it,
comparable to a runner whose legs are impeded by a bag around the feet.
He can only hobble along with great effort. In the end, he is exhausted
and there was only misery in the end. The fucking organism keeps a cool
head all through the “act” (the word “act” alone is significant of what
is going on). He can “do it,” “perform it”, “make it”, “accomplish it”,
“go through with it” anywhere and everywhere, like a frustrated, raving
bull or stallion who was away from the female for years on end. And
there are special, skilfully, developed techniques to get at the female
and to seduce her. The life value of such activity is worth as much as
the pushing along of a disabled automobile on the road by way of a
hauling truck – the two front wheels high up in the air.
Some in the modern day seduction community have come to same conclusion. The inclination is either there or it isn’t. It isn’t an issue of words or acts, but merely taking the bull by the horns by meeting new females and simply proceeding to engage and relate in an intuitive, aware and flexible way.
The inner make-up of the love function, determines every
single feature in every single other activity of the individual. The
fucker will always get it, push for it, rut it in or off, have special
techniques for reaching his objective in efficient manner; the
suffering type will remain a victim to what the pusher does to him or
her. The genital character, on the other hand, will always let things
function and happen; he will submerge actively in whatever he is
undertaking, from loving a woman or man to building up an organization
or a job.
The pusher and the sufferer each will flock around the
genital character to learn how to like him. From this first impulse of
the armour ridden individual organism to emulate the freely functioning
Christ, the tragedy ensues with steel like logic. There is no escape
from the final tragedy for both, Christ as well as pusher and sufferer,
at any time, in any land, in any social stratum, as long as these two
ways of life confront each other. In the No-Man’s-Land between these
two camps, the Children of The Future will need to grow up. To find an
answer as how to protect them from the emotional plague resulting from
this tragedy is paramount to any future rational education. There is no
problem of early or late upbringing that does not more or less depend
on its structure and outcome from the conditions leading up to the
Murder of Christ.
Reich does go on about the murder of Christ quite a lot! In these “post-modern” times, we forget that for pretty much 1500 years, the white European western culture was obsessed with trying to resolve strange issues of sexuality and theory related to Christ! i.e. the virgin birth. Again, we forget, our very calendar is forged from the time “Christ” died! But we must remember, Reich was actually born in present day Ukraine, and so was perhaps not as naturally hindered as your typical western individual, as his heritage was both Jewish and to an extent, “eastern european”
To the orgonomic characterologist of the twentieth century,
Christ had all the characteristics of a genital character. He could not
possibly have loved children, people, nature, have felt life and have
acted with such great grace, had he suffered from genital frustration –
dirty thoughts, lasciviousness, cruelty, direct or moralistic, fake
mildness – are absurd in the picture of Christ, as it came down to us,
to such an extent that our attention centres spontaneously upon the
riddle as to why nobody has ever understood it. This is entirely in
line with the fact that no biologist has ever mentioned the wavy,
orgonotic pulsation in living things, and that no mental hygienist has
ever mentioned the ravages of genital frustration in puberty.
Reich is largely alone in these acute observations, even today. I don’t know of anyone who really understands what he is talking of here!
Christ could not possibly have been clean like a brook and
sharp sensed like a deer, had he been filled with the filth of
perverted sex due to the frustration of the natural embrace. There can
be no doubt: CHRIST KNEW LOVE IN THE BODY AND WOMEN AS HE KNEW SO MANY
OTHER THING NATURAL. Christs benignity, his gleaming contactfulness,
understanding of human frailty, of adulteresses, sinners, harlots, and
the lowly in spirit, could not possibly fit with any other biological
picture of Christ. We know that women loved Christ – decent, beautiful,
full blooded women. This, too, is crucial to an understanding of the
final murder of Christ. To think otherwise, appears to be out of the
way of things completely. Independent writers such as Renan, have
clearly expressed this thought, and every clear-minded knower of
Christ’s way knows the secret.
These statements that Christ was essentially to his pure state by women, completely destroys Christian views of sex as being somehow bad or sinful! Where did these ideas come from? We do not see them present in Christ’s teaching, only in the writings of the apostles. Saul or Paul, who never even knew Jesus and were the primary agents of the spreading of the Christian church. Most of these ideas are his, likely arising from his sexually overindulgent Roman heritage and perhaps personal history. He is known for saying that it is better to marry than to burn with lust – but that it was “good” to be unmarried, as he was! (1 Corinthians 7:8)
Proof of what Reich stated here has since come to light. In the relatively newly discovered gospel of St Thomas, Jesus is described as kissing Mary full on the mouth, making the other apostles become jealous. Also, coptic scriptures have recently come to light where Jesus talks of “his wife”. There are also likely dozens more such texts in the Vatican library.
The greater is the riddle that from his life emerged a
religion which, contrary to its originator, has banned the core of
natural functioning from its domain, and has persecuted nothing more
than love of the body. This, too, will find its rational answer.
Likely it was simply because Christianity as a religion was spearheaded by Romans – a group of peoples known to indulge in sex only as a physical act, one clearly apart from human or spiritual elements. And this is what is “fucked.” But one cannot deny the sexual act, because of ignorance – because the ritual becomes “something else” apart from love or even relationship for the majority – something quite shallow, a kind of “pleasure” or mutual masturbation.
For the Romans, sex was often a way to dominate or humiliate another, (man or woman) Although Rome was a sexually liberal society, there is absolutely no sign of any metaphysical aspects to their understanding of sexuality. It was *only* a pleasure of the flesh – and still, Modern day western “Christians” and many otherwise very intelligent individuals believe that is what sex is (“the empire never ended”), rather than having the seeds within it of a transcendental or mystical union – a way to connect with spirit, the primary nature of the intelligence of the masculine and feminine god/goddess.
Possibly, it is that Roman guilt and debauchery caught up with them, and individually and collectively, a sense of wrong doing, of “missing the mark” was felt. Drawn on by a fear, that they knew they were doing the “wrong” thing, by treating sex as a motion and notion of separation, rather than union – perhaps feared the ultimate punishment for their “sins”. But such sexuality is actually just ignorant; and can be harmful and has been harmful, because all this imprints on the consciousness of those birthed by this act, and by those who only know an act of physicality, which then cannot be understood to be an act of spiritual relationship. To really go with this, one must take full responsibility of the intelligence and understand the wildness and complexities of the nature of feminine and masculine. And involved in that are complex and deep issues that have embroiled all of humanity from day dot – issues that can be very confronting and confusing for the individual.
Even the Chinese, in the time of the Yellow emperor, four and a half thousand years ago, felt and understood there were metaphysical aspects to sexuality which were important and necessary to be understood – and yet most of what they did, only served to try and control the sexual nature, to make life bound into technique or structure – similar to modern day tantric or taoist sexual practices, tied up in dogma and the ambition and ego of the mind.
It is harder to face life rawly, nakedly, but in that there is the truth, and it requires a kind of humility. Think of the word “repent”, to repent means to acknowledge a lack of full awareness or functioning. And as western, modern human beings, that lack of spiritual functioning, typically appears to be our condition. A lack of awareness and therefore natural intelligence creates much suffering – and yet, to be in full awareness and take hold of the full capacities of our intelligence lies our highest and most true sense of power, and real fulfillment in being human.