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Quotes of the day: Wilhelm Reich

Published Monday, March 23, 2015 @ 8:02 PM EDT
Mar 23 2015

His ideas have something to offend everybody, and he ended up becoming the only heretic in American history whose books were literally burned by the government.
-Robert Anton Wilson


It was the greatest incidence of scientific persecution in American history. In July of 1947, Dr. Wilhelm Reich (March 24, 1897-November 3, 1957) a brilliant but troubled psychoanalyst who had once been Freud's most promising student, who had enraged the Nazis and the Stalinists as well as the psychoanalytic, medical and scientific communities, who had survived two World Wars and fled to New York- was dying in a prison cell in Lewisberg, Pennsylvania, accused by the government of being a medical fraud engaged in a "sex racket." (Click here for full Motherboard article)


A living creature develops a destructive impulse when it wants to destroy a source of danger... In short, the impulse to destroy serves a primary biological will to live...

Don't run. Have the courage to look at yourself!

Follow the voice of your heart, even if it leads you off the path of timid souls. Do not become hard and embittered, even if life tortures you at times. There is only one thing that counts: to live one's life well and happily...

If 'freedom' means, first of all, the responsibility of every individual for the rational determination of his own personal, professional and social existence, then there is no greater fear than that of the establishment of general freedom.

If the psychic energies of the average mass of people watching a football game or a musical comedy could be diverted into the rational channels of a freedom movement, they would be invincible.

It is sexual energy which governs the structure of human feeling and thinking.

Love, work and knowledge are the well-springs of our life. They should also govern it.

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.

Most intellectual people do not believe in God, but they fear him just the same.

Only the liberation of the natural capacity for love in human beings can master their sadistic destructiveness.

Only you yourself can be your liberator!

Rooting in work is crucial to any accomplishment. Rooting in mere enthusiasm will in the long run force illusory measures to keep the fires of empty enthusiasm going. And this makes politics and politicians.

Scientific theory is a contrived foothold in the chaos of living phenomena.

See yourself as you really are. Listen to what none of your leaders and representatives dares tell you: You are a 'little, common man.' Understand the double meaning of these words: 'little' and 'common.'

The character structure of modern man, who reproduces a six- thousand-year-old patriarchal authoritarian culture is typified by characterological armoring against his inner nature and against the social misery which surrounds him.

The cry for freedom is a sign of suppression. It will not cease to ring as long as man feels himself captive.

The fact that political ideologies are tangible realities is not a proof of their vitally necessary character. The bubonic plague was an extraordinarily powerful social reality, but no one would have regarded it as vitally necessary.

The kindly individual believes that all people are kindly and act accordingly. The plague individual believes that all people lie, swindle, steal and crave power. Clearly, then, the living is at a disadvantage and in danger.

The suppression of natural sexual gratification leads to various kinds of substitute gratifications. Natural aggression, for example, becomes brutal sadism which then is an essential mass-psychological factor in imperialistic wars.

Under the influence of politicians, masses of people tend to ascribe the responsibility for wars to those who wield power at any given time... This is passing the buck.

You are 'free' only in one sense: free from education in governing your life yourself, free from self-criticism.

Your life will be good and secure when aliveness will mean more to you than security; love more than money; your freedom more than party line or public opinion...

Categories: Quotes of the day, Wilhelm Reich


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