Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wilhelm Reich - An Introduction

I referenced Wilhelm Reich in a previous post, Internal Structure Part 2 - Structural Integration, and others have referenced him and/or his work in their comments on this site. While I learned about Freud and Jung in college psychology class, I never learned about Reich. I found the below biographical segments very informative and so I am re-posting them here.

Man's Right to Know: The Wilhelm Reich Story
"This introductory biography about Wilhelm Reich, M.D. was produced by The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust in 2002 as both the opening exhibit for visitors to the Wilhelm Reich Museum and as an educational tool for wider audiences. It provides a concise overview of Reich's life and work. Comprised of archival photographs and film footage, plus computer animation, this biography is not intended as a substitute for Reich's literature, but rather as an easy-to-understand introduction to Reich's life and to his discovery and investigations of orgone energy. This production also provides a succinct and dramatic account of the Food and Drug Administration’s campaign to destroy Reich's work."

(Watch the following videos on YouTube. Playback on other websites has been disabled by the video owner.)

Watch Part 3 on YouTube.
Playback on other websites has been disabled by the video owner.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Armoring, Cycles and Crossroads

In December I awoke one morning feeling pain in my left deltoid muscle. I thought this odd as there was no recent single injury incident. When it didn't go away after a month, I went to the M.D. who diagnosed rotator cuff tendonosis. As I educate myself about tendonosis it looks like I injured myself, possibly through chronic poor posture; hunching eight hours a day at my deskjob. This was festering for a long time and finally came into consciousness. So what does this have to do with armoring, cycles and crossroads?

Tracing a spiral, going around, I arrive at the same place again. The same but different. The sameness part of the cycle is relaxing, opening and then clamping down, closing off. What is different is that the feeling of kinesthetically opening gets a little stronger each time and it takes a little more energy to block that off each time. Also, this pattern becomes a little more conscious each time.

Since the last post (where I described feeling opening), I've swung to the closing down. Why vacillate like this? Why not simply continue to open, open, open on a straight line trajectory to mastery? This is just who and how I am.

Part of the down-swing was due to feeling anxiety about the loss of range of motion and pain in my shoulder. How could my body let me down like this? Of course, my question represents a compartmentalized and dis-integrated frame.
"Then what do you mean when you say, 'My body is sore today'? Who is the 'I' who is separate from the body and speaks of it as a possession?"
Also, I'm becoming aware of how the "I know. They say." manifests not only in my personal life but also how it is revealed in my Wujifa Zhan Zhuang practice where “I know” could mean “opening” and “They say” could mean “closing”. The feeling, the presence, the "I know" arises and bumps into the armor, the fear, the “They say”. (see time point 3:06 - 4:17. John Gault & Wilhelm Reich, Part 15)

The choice to open or close (at whatever level of consciousness this happens) represents a crossroads. A fork in the road. Open? Close? Go with "I know" or "They say"? Or continue cycling between the two in an awareness increasing spiral until.... ?

How is all this revealed in my Wujifa Zhan Zhuang practice? I’m standing, relaxing, letting go, releasing, exploring how far relax can go. The back muscles release... ahhhhh... and then,SNAP! Oh! Stop! Clamp down! The breath grabbing muscle spasm across the lower or upper back. And I block the relax. In fear of inducing another bout of crippling lower back pain, I stop exploring and settle for some level of tension near the edge. For now. Until next time.

As I continue building integration and functionality, I wonder, How much longer can compartmentalization, dis-integration, and dis-functionality survive?