THE BION EXPERIMENTS on the Origin of Life by Wilhelm Reich

THE BION EXPERIMENTS on the Origin of Life

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Curiosa for the Complete Reichian. Here the Orgone master records his 1937 experiments in the spontaneous generation of life forms (bions) by means of electrochemical processes occurring in presumably sterile cultures. We leave it to microbiologists to account for the rod shapes, cocci, and amoeboid forms observed. In terms of the evolution of mind, on the other hand, the series of experiments reveals the extent to which Reich's hypothesis of tension/charge, release/discharge found its way into all phases of his thinking in psychology and biology, and into his later theories on the treatment of mental and physical disease, including cancer. Early in the text, Reich compares the vesicular swelling he saw under the microscope with the turgor and tumescence associated with erectile tissue, while vesicular shrinking and collapse parallel relaxation and orgasmic release. These dynamic tensions also have their philosophical/political analogue in dialectical materialism. In the second part of the book, Reich discusses his dialectical approach to science, emerging with a unifying life principle defined as the ""integration of individual functions into a unitary function governed by the two fundamental tendencies of expansion [toward the world] and contraction [back into the self]."" This is Reich in a nutshell. Or an Orgone Box.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1979
ISBN: 0374514461
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux