The secret of attraction is to love yourself. Attractive people judge neither themselves nor others. They are open to gestures of love. They think about love, and express their love in every action. They know that love is not a mere sentiment, but the ultimate truth at the heart of the universe. – Deepak Chopra
What does it mean to be spiritual, what does it mean to connect to the spiritual dimension, and how does it relate to living a Low Density Lifestyle?
When I use the term spiritual, what I mean is living a life that is connected to a divine force, to the pulse of the universe. This force, this pulse, is the field that is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of the universe.
Some may call this God—and some may give this God a specific name—and some may call it by something else: the Divine Force, Great Spirit, Soul, Universal Spirit, Universal Mind, Universal Intelligence, Universal Consciousness, Zero-Point Field, etc. However you view this, it is important to understand that there is an underlying force that is at the heart of the universe.
This force is unlimited, infinite, undying and eternal. It is both outside and within us; it is everywhere and in all things. We are connected to it at all times; the less blockages and densities you carry in your body, heart and mind, and the more readily you feel the pulse and flow of the universe within you, then the closer is that connection.
The connection is felt every time you allow yourself to relax, be silent and be still, because it is at these times that the static of unceasing noise that blocks the frequencies and signals that emanate from the Zero-Point Field is quieted. Mother Teresa said:
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…We need silence to be able to touch souls.
When you are living a Low Density Lifestyle it is much easier to feel that connection, because the static does not overcome the silence, whereas when living a High Density Lifestyle you will have a hard time feeling that connection, because the static is always there.
People who live a High Density Lifestyle also need a way to find that connection, but unfortunately the way they do so is usually by partaking of things that are detrimental to their health and well-being.
They will ingest drugs—pharmaceutical and recreational—and drink excessive amounts of alcohol, all as a means of making themselves numb, getting away from their stresses and trying to feel a connection with something.
In addition, since they have a hard time being still, they will look for the thrill, for something that gives them the buzz and the adrenaline rush, something that has a sense of adventure and risk, all in the name of feeling a connection with something greater than themselves.
Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t go and have fun, it’s just that some people take it to the extreme. They feel that this is how they make the connection to the force of the universe. Because they are so caught up in the High Density Lifestyle, they don’t realize that all they need to do is stop and be still, and within that silence will come the flow that brings forth the pulse of the universe.
Feeling the connection to the spiritual dimension also means holding love in your heart—loving yourself, those close to you, and all the inhabitants of the planet. Love is the ultimate truth at the heart of the universe, and when you feel love in your heart, you create an open energy circuit that connects you to the sacred flow of the universe.
Rumi said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
The barriers you have built within yourself that stop you from feeling love are the very same densities and blockages that stop you from living a Low Density Lifestyle. It is so important to surrender and let go of the things that hold you back from feeling love in your heart, because when you do, you can come closer to the Universal Force and be FREE – FREE stands living in a way that focuses on Flow/Relaxation/Effortless Effort.
There are many ways to feel connected to the spiritual dimension; for some it occurs from attending a church, synagogue, temple or mosque, while for others it is more personal—prayer, meditation, silence, walking in the woods, or some other way.
However you find your method of expression, one thing you need to understand is that spirituality is an everyday affair. You are not just spiritual when you go to church, synagogue, temple or mosque; or when you do the more personal way of expressing your spirituality.
Spirituality, and feeling connected to the spiritual dimension, is something that should be realized at all times. For instance, in the Zen tradition, there is no distinction between spiritual and non-spiritual moments. “Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes,” is a Zen saying.
When that understanding is embedded in every cell of your body, your connection to the spiritual dimension becomes second nature, and all your actions will be directed in that way. You are in the flow and every movement you take and every achievement you make is done with effortless effort.
Last week I started a new series on Spirituality, and started it off with poetry by Vermont-based poet David Tucker.
Before I continue with the series, I have some news to pass on, courtesy of PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
PETA has launched the 2010 SEXIEST VEGETARIAN OVER 50 CONTEST, with the tagline:
Healthy, Hot, and Compassionate—After Five Decades, These Folks Are Just Getting Started
Why am I passing on this news? Because in 2009, I wrote articles profiling the winners of PETA’s 2009 Sexiest Male and Female Vegetarian Over 50 contest.
In addition, earlier this year, I did a three-part video interview with Mimi Kirk. Here’s the interviews:
So here’s the news, directly from PETA:
Norfolk, Va. — Ask most vegetarians over 50 if they’ve ever been complimented on their healthy and radiant appearance, and you can bet the answer is, “Yes.” It’s no wonder, when you consider that many of their meat-eating contemporaries are suffering from heart disease, high cholesterol, and other diet-related health problems. That’s why PETA Prime is showcasing just how vibrant and appealing older vegetarians can be through its 2010 Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50 contest.
“Vegetarians—of any age—are, on average, healthier, fitter, and trimmer than meat-eaters are, and that makes them sexier too,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “And because the fat and cholesterol in animal-derived products can slow the flow of blood to all the body’s organs, vegetarians’ love lives can go full throttle for years—even decades—longer.”
PETA Prime is accepting contest entrants from now until October 29 with public voting rounds to help PETA pick winners running until December 3. On December 10, PETA Prime will crown two winners, one male and one female, as this year’s Sexiest Vegetarian Over 50. Each winner will receive a five-night stay at the luxurious and eco-friendly Laguna Lodge in Guatemala.
More and more people are kicking the meat habit after learning that going vegetarian is the best thing that they can do for their own health, the planet, and animals. According to the American Dietetic Association, vegetarians are less likely to suffer from obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Also, going vegetarian is one of the most effective ways that people can slash their carbon footprint. And, each vegetarian saves the lives of approximately 100 animals every year.
I now turn towards a new subject, that of Spirituality. I’ll be exploring this subject over the next few weeks.
Connecting to the spiritual dimension is something that is important, and is a key element of living a Low Density Lifestyle. You’ll learn more about this as this series unfolds.
Today, as a kick-off to this series, we have a poem by the poet David Tucker. David last graced the Low Density Lifestyle website at the beginning of the year with the article Onto a New Year, which featured a series of David’s poems.
This is what David has to say about himself:
“I am a poet who lives in Vermont where I struggle to dig from the rock of mundanity formed by the details and disappointments of life the images that will startle us and remind us how we are connected to each other and to all the universe.”
Today, here is his poem, For Goldberry, the River-Woman’s Daughter.
For Goldberry, the River-Woman’s Daughter
I love God,
I make a real production of it.
I walk around the house,
shouting Her name,
on the fence hammered
from all my ecstasy
to the sweet presence
to every cell of my body.
to the middle
of my river of bliss,
you glide on your slim bark
signal flags proclaiming peace
love and compassion
smelling of herbs,
and the sun
stored in the leaves of Summer.
What will I do?
I am so vulnerable
to the Daughters of River Goddesses.
Even mortal women
have been able
to unbuckle the leather
strapped around my heart
and send me chasing
down the street
after my spilled emotions.
in the sweet name of heaven
will happen with you?
This is not fair.
We speak together,
and a sacred song
from the mists off Withywindle
rattles the chimes
of my soul.
I see the One I adore.
I see the One
who stirs my heart
to leap upon the backs of stars
the dark and silver sky.
I think I’m had.
I think I’m stuck.
even in my bondage
may I sing loud and sweet.
I may never be allowed
to kiss the dawn
into your heart,
will I remember Who you are.
Remember Who lives within you,
dance my prayers
a little corner
of the garden
of the River-Woman’s Daughter.
Today’s article is the last of a three-part article on Wilhelm Reich. The first article in this series, Wilhelm Reich – Putting the Body in Mind-Body Medicine, Part 1, discussed who Reich was and why his ideas were so radical and pioneering for his time, the early to mid 20th century.
In the second part of this series, Wilhelm Reich – Putting the Body in Mind-Body Medicine, Part 2, I discussed Reich’s discovery of orgone energy, and his development of the orgone energy accumulator, or orgone box.
The box was used to heal cancer and other chronic, degenerative illnesses.
Today, in the last part of this series, I’ll discuss why the U.S. government, threatened by Reich’s orgone energy, went after Reich with a vengeance.
Reich’s downfall began in 1947 with an article entitled “The Strange Case of Wilhelm Reich” that appeared in New Republic magazine.
Authored by freelance writer Mildred Edie Brady, it was filled with distortions and innuendos about Reich’s sexual theories and orgone research. Brady’s most inflammatory claim was that Reich was building accumulators of orgone energy “which are rented out to patients who presumably derived orgastic potency from it.”
Implying that Reich was a danger to the public, Brady challenged the medical authorities to take action against him. Two months later, the article was brought to the attention of the Food and Drug Administration. The result was a ten-year campaign by the FDA designed to destroy Reich’s work.
The FDA focused on the orgone energy accumulator which Reich and his physicians were using experimentally with patients. Convinced that the accumulator was being fraudulently promoted as a sexual and medical device, FDA agents spent years interviewing Reich’s associates, physicians, students and patients, looking for dissatisfied users. None were ever found. As the FDA’s investigation continued, so did Reich’s work.
Reich continued to develop new ways to visualize, measure, and harness orgone energy from the atmosphere. The cloudbuster, for example, was an experimental instrument that could affect weather patterns by altering concentrations of orgone energy in the atmosphere. It comprised a set of hollow metal pipes and cables inserted into water, creating a stronger orgone energy system than that in the surrounding atmosphere.
Water, which strongly attracts and absorbs orgone, draws the atmospheric orgone through the pipes. This movement of orgone from a lower to a higher energy system was used by Reich to create clouds and to dissipate them.
Reich used the cloudbuster to conduct dozens of experiments involving what he called “Cosmic Orgone Engineering (C.O.R.E.).” One of the most notable occurred in 1953. During a long drought that threatened the Maine blueberry crop, several farmers offered to pay Reich if he could bring rain to the parched region. The weather bureau had forecast no rain for several days when Reich began his cloudbusting operations.
Ten hours later, a light rain began to fall. Over the next few days, close to two inches fell. The blueberry crop was saved, and in local newspaper articles the farmers credited Reich.
In February 1954, the FDA filed a Complaint for Injunction against Reich in the Federal Court in Portland, Maine. The Complaint declared that orgone energy does not exist, and asked the Court to prohibit the shipment of accumulators in interstate commerce and to ban Reich’s published literature which they claimed was labeling for the accumulators.
After considerable thought and discussion of this matter, Reich responded with a lengthy letter to Judge John Clifford, explaining that he could not appear in Court, since doing so would allow a Court of law to judge basic scientific research.
“Scientific matters can only be clarified by prolonged, faithful bona fide observations in friendly exchange of opinion, never by litigation… Man’s right to know, to learn, to inquire, to make bona fide errors, to investigate human emotions must, by all means, be safe, if the word FREEDOM should ever be more than an empty political slogan.
Furthermore, Reich asserted, if his painstakingly elaborated and published findings “…over a period of 30 years could not convince this administration, or will not be able to convince any other administration of the true nature of the discovery of the Life Energy, no litigation in any court anywhere will ever help to do so. I, therefore, submit, in the name of truth and justice that I shall not appear in court as the ‘defendant’ against a plaintiff who by his mere complaint already has shown his ignorance in matters of natural science.”
Judge Clifford did not accept Reich’s letter as a valid legal response, and on March 19, 1954, a Decree of Injunction was issued on default as if Reich had never responded at all. But the Injunction itself was even more excessive than the initial Complaint:
• it ordered orgone energy accumulators and their parts to be destroyed
• it ordered all materials containing instructions for the use of the accumulator to be destroyed
• it banned a list of Reich’s books containing statements about orgone energy, until such time that all references to orgone energy were deleted
After the initial shock, Reich continued his research, traveling to Arizona to experiment with the cloudbuster in the dry desert environment. While he was there, and without his knowledge, one of Reich’s students—Dr. Michael Silvert—moved a truckload of accumulators and books from Rangeley, Maine to New York City, a direct violation of the Injunction.
As a result, the FDA charged Reich and Silvert with criminal contempt of court. Following a jury trial, both men were found guilty on May 7, 1956. Reich was sentenced to two years in federal prison, Silvert was sentenced to a year and a day. The Wilhelm Reich Foundation—founded in Maine in 1949 by students and friends to preserve Reich’s Archives and to secure the future of his discovery of the Cosmic Life Energy—was fined $10,000.
While Reich appealed his sentence, the government carried out the destruction of orgone accumulators and literature. In Maine, several boxes of literature were burned, and accumulators and accumulator materials either destroyed or dismantled.
In New York City, on August 23, 1956, the FDA supervised the burning of several tons of Reich’s publications in one of the city’s garbage incinerators, including titles that were only to have been banned. Among the materials burned were:
• Orgone Energy Bulletin (12,189 copies)
• International Journal of Sex Economy and Orgone Research (6,261 copies)
• Emotional Plague Versus Orgone Biophysics (2,900 copies)
• Annals of the Orgone Institute (2976 copies)
• The Oranur Experiment (872 copies)
• Character Analysis
• Cosmic Superimposition
• Ether, God, and Devil
• Listen, Little Man
• People in Trouble
• The Cancer Biopathy
• The Function of the Orgasm
• The Mass Psychology of Fascism
• The Murder of Christ
• The Sexual Revolution
This destruction of literature constitutes one of the most heinous examples of censorship in United States history.
On March 8, 1957, Reich signed his Last Will and Testament. Among its stipulations was the establishment of The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust Fund as the legal entity charged with operating Orgonon (Orgonon was Reich’s 160-acre farm in Maine) as The Wilhelm Reich Museum; protecting, preserving, and transmitting his scientific legacy to future generations; and safeguarding Reich’s Archives.
All appeals denied, on March 12, 1957—two weeks shy of his 60th birthday—Wilhelm Reich was temporarily incarcerated at the Danbury Federal Penitentiary in Connecticut. On March 22, he was taken to the Federal Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He died there of heart failure on November 3, 1957, and was buried at Orgonon.
In the last article, Wilhelm Reich – Putting the Body in Mind-Body Medicine, Part 1, I discussed how Reich, an Austrian-American psychiatrist who trained under Sigmund Freud, is the person most responsible for uniting mind and body and pioneering mind-body medicine.
And as I mentioned in the article, he is largely forgotten now. Reich died in 1957 a broken man, in prison, having been persecuted by the U.S. government.
The year he went to prison, in 1956, the U.S. government burned tons of his writings and papers. And as a consequence of that, Reich wrote in his will that his remaining papers were to be sealed and not opened for 50 years, in 2007, because he felt that by then a more enlightened society would exist that could appreciate his ideas better.
And what was Reich’s terrible crime that had the U.S. government coming after him?
His crime was his promotion of what he called orgone energy. In the 1930s Reich discovered a physical, biological energy in all living matter that he called “orgone,” and for the next two decades devoted his life to the investigation of its laws and properties.
Through his research, Reich confirmed the existence of this energy in the human body, verified its presence in the atmosphere, developed instrumentation to observe and collect it, and harnessed it for a variety of purposes from cancer treatment to motor power to weather experimentation.
This is what he had to say about orgone energy:
“I am well aware of the fact that the human race has known about the existence of a universal energy related to life for many ages. However, the basic task of natural science consisted of making this energy usable. This is the sole difference between my work and all preceding knowledge.”
Reich had started his career as a protege of Sigmund Freud, but broke with him over differing views of libido and sexual energy.
Freud had originally discovered that neuroses are caused by the conflict between natural sexual instincts and the social denial and frustration of those instincts. Freud had also hypothesized the existence of a biological sexual energy in the body. He called it “libido,” and described it as “something which is capable of increase, decrease, displacement and discharge, and which extends itself over the memory traces of an idea like an electric charge over the surface of the body.”
But over the years, Freud and his followers diluted much of this concept, reducing the libido to little more than a psychological energy or idea. By 1925, Freud had concluded that “the libido theory may therefore for the present be pursued only by the path of speculation.”
But Reich’s clinical work and research led him to believe otherwise. He observed that sexual energy is more than just an idea, and that sexual gratification, in fact, alleviated neurotic symptoms. He discovered that the function of the orgasm is to maintain an energy equilibrium by discharging excess biological energy that builds up naturally in the body.
As he continued his research into primordial sexual energy, using technical equipment to measure biological activity and phenomena related to sexual energy, what he found was at the root of this energy was a type of radiation emitted that did not obey any known laws of electricity or magnetism. Reich called this energy “orgone,” because its discovery had evolved from his investigation of the orgasm function, and because this energy could charge organic materials.
He determined that orgone radiation seemed to permeate all substances, which led him to constantly confront questions about the origins of this energy. Where did orgone energy come from, he wondered?
To isolate and collect orgone, Reich relied on the results of several laboratory experiments. These experiments demonstrated that organic or non-metallic materials—such as cotton, wool or plastic—attract, absorb, and hold the energy. Metallic materials —like steel and iron—attract the energy and quickly reflect it in both directions.
On the basis of these findings, Reich constructed small boxes with alternating layers of organic and metallic materials, with the inner walls lined with metal. By looking through a specially designed lens inserted into a wall of each box, one could observe orgone radiation within the enclosure.
Reich now faced the daunting possibility of having discovered a biological energy that seemed to be everywhere, while still pondering the perplexing question of where orgone energy originated.
Reich was living in New York City by this time, and the accumulator quickly became an increasingly vital tool for his research. The accumulator’s organic layers attracted the atmospheric energy which was directed inward by the metal layers. Any energy reflected outward by the metal layers was immediately re-absorbed by the organic material, attracted back to the metal, and directed toward the inside of the box. The result was a higher concentration of orgone energy inside the box. The more layers, the stronger the concentration.
The accumulator now allowed Reich to test the effects of orgone radiation on cancer mice, by simply placing the mice inside the metal-lined enclosure. Because his results with cancer mice were so promising, Reich decided to test the effects of orgone radiation on humans. He constructed accumulators large enough for a person to sit in, and in 1941 began experimental treatments with cancer patients.
They were all terminal cases. Reich promised no cure nor charged any money, as shown by the affidavit that his patients and/or their family members were required to sign:
“I state herewith that I came to see Dr. Wilhelm Reich for possibly helping the case of my _____ who suffers from cancer. I came because I was told of the experiments that Dr. Reich has made with cancer mice and human beings. Dr. Reich did not promise me any cure, did not charge any money, and told me that only during the last few months has he tried the orgone radiation on human begins who suffer from cancer. Death or abscesses could occur as a consequence of the disease. I told Dr. Reich that the physicians have given up the case of my _____ as hopeless. Should death or abscesses occur during the time of the experiment, it will not be because of the treatment.”
Over a period of time, the patients showed marked improvement: relief of pain, healthier blood condition, weight gain, and the shrinkage and elimination of tumors. Despite these positive results, the patients died, reinforcing Reich’s conviction that cancer is a bio-energetic shrinking following emotional resignation, and that the tumors themselves are not the disease, but merely a local manifestation of a deeper systemic disorder. Once again, Reich’s focus became prevention.
Next time: Why the U.S. government, threatened by the concept of orgone energy, went after Wilhelm Reich.