A Meditation on Reich’s Concept of “Organ Sensations” (part 3 of 4)

Part Two

The present state of science (ie predominantly mechanistic) is the result of a long progression of the evolution of consciousness where we have individually become increasingly armored, and collectively have come to think within a mechanistic, or “world as machine” worldview, as illustrated here:

In his book Meeting of East and West. Northrop explains the importance of direct organ sensation for the entire natural philosophy among ancient Asiatic cultures. It was not ascribed to some god. It was treated within the framework of physical functions and attributed to special, particularly smooth and exceptional, atoms. This ancient view is far superior to that of “modern” natural science and comes closer to the natural processes.

A scientist, or anyone for that matter, cannot be considered healthy to the degree that they exist within such an armored structure, and limited worldview. A more complete understanding of health needs to be defined, and set out as the basis for a complete system of healthcare, as captured in the following excerpt differentiating the healthy from the armored individual:

Just as all emotions and reactions in life spring from and correspond to organ sensations and expressive movements; just as the living organism forms ideas of its surrounding world from impressions it derives from the expressions of the world around it; so all emotions, reactions and ideas of the armored organism are conditioned by its own state of motility and expression.


Of course, this change does not occur in every instance, but where it succeeds, it parallels fundamental changes of organ sensations; and with the organ sensations, the entire view of life changes rapidly and radically.

This concept and definition is further corroborated inside the consult room, in the work that is done with patients which involves releasing the grip they are under of their false ego, and which keeps the expression of their true self checked:

The body armor makes inaccessible the basic organ sensations, and with them the genuine feeling of well-being. The feeling of one’s own body is lost and natural self-confidence with it. They are regularly replaced by fake, show-off appearances and false pride.

Instead, a concept of health which includes such healthy organ sensations is grounded in the biological function of the orgasm:

It continues the overt expression of surrender. Our subjective organ sensation tells us that this attitude of surrender is accompanied by longing. “Longing” for what? And “surrender” to what?

Word language expresses the aim of the longing and the function of the surrender as follows: as the organism develops the orgasm reflex, the longing for ‘gratification’ emerges clearly and unconquerably. The yearning for gratification is clearly focused upon the sexual act, upon sexual copulation. In the sexual act itself, one is ‘surrendered’ to the sensations of pleasure; one ‘gives oneself to the partner’. This we know from observation as well as from our subjective organ sensations.


Basically, nature inside and outside of us is accessible to our intellect only through our sensations. The sense percepts are essentially organ sensations, or, to put it differently, we grope for the world around us by organ movements ( = plasmatic movements). Our emotions are the answer to the impression of the world around us. Both in awareness and self-awareness, sensory impression and emotion merge to form a functional unity.

And at a more fundamental level:

As we have already pointed out, all biological impulses and organ sensations can be reduced to expansion (extension, dilatation) and contraction (compression, constriction).


The electrical experiments demonstrated that the biological excitation of pleasure and the biological excitation of anxiety are functionally identical with their perception. We are justified in assuming, therefore, that even the most primitive organisms have organ sensations of pleasure and anxiety.

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