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@Naldaramjo Figured I’d put this in its proper forum category (to avoid clogging up your workout log).

Alright, about 1/3 way through Wandering God. Thank you for the recommendation. What a wonderful read. The book synthesizes and expands on many of my reads/podcasts of the last few years (Sex at Dawn in particular and more peripherally Die Wise (btw Grief Walker is excellent)). 

Most substantially to my own background (extensive training in psychological theory and practice) is Berman’s synthesis of anthropological data on hunter-gatherer (HG) experience against civilization with regards to psychological theory. I’m particularly excited to read Berman’s framing of developing attachment schemas (from breast to environment) against differential outcomes between HGs and ‘vertical’ societies. 

I can just see now Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents being brought up in pages ahead, as well as Mahler’s Object Relations and Winnicott’s Transitional Objects. I can also see where this is going (Reich will have his due in this book I’m sure of it). 

If Berman’s idea of the environment as transitional object (for HGs) is of his own making, he deserves an honorary doctorate in psychology. 

Love the theory of horizontal ‘paradox.’ What a relevant concept within the somatic focus of ‘modern’ movement approaches in particular, as well as the opportunities ST has offered myself. “... movement is the physiological substrate of the paradoxical experience, of embracing life as it presents itself, rather than exclusively through the filters of myth and ritual, which are mistakenly taken to be, in sedentary societies, the fundamental source of aliveness. In this sense, HGs were the first phenomenologists (pg. 81).” Husserl be damned.

The fact that Berman himself walks the talk (has a years-long self-work focusing on being present somatically and mentally) speaks volumes about the genuine nature of his espousals (not only intellectualizing but embodying via experience).

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On 7/20/2019 at 3:42 PM, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

The fact that Berman himself walks the talk (has a years-long self-work focusing on being present somatically and mentally) speaks volumes about the genuine nature of his espousals (not only intellectualizing but embodying via experience).

I agree completely; the fact that this direct experience is not a forma; part of the academic method is a major fraction of what's wrong with it, in my view. I have been sidetracked (but what a side track) by Yuval Harari's "Homo Deus", and will be posting on this at some point. Yuval makes some similar points (he is a long term meditator); one I recall is that as an HG, you simply do not have the luxury of not being present.

I will get Wandering God, too.

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Thanks for the tag, @mytype1collagenis2tight...glad to hear of someone else enjoying this dense book (never seen footnotes as long as his in this book!). 

I remember finishing this book feeling a bit underwhelmed. Perhaps I'd hoped for a conclusion that offered more guidance ("what comes next?"), but the more time I've spent away from the book since finishing it, the more its impression on me has grown. Berman's strength is in his ability to synthesize apparently disparate fields of knowledge into a compelling theory, and even though he acknowledges many times throughout the book that it is his own fringe theory, it is hard for me to see things differently now. Such holistic anthropological proposals are few and far between.

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On 7/21/2019 at 2:36 PM, Kit_L said:

Yuval makes some similar points (he is a long term meditator); one I recall is that as an HG, you simply do not have the luxury of not being present.

I'm curious if Yuval* has read Berman, then. Alternatively, Berman makes multiple outsourced references to (hypothetical) HG phenomenology.

Having finished the book last night, I have several general thoughts and I'm sure more will come as I digest Berman's idea-feast. Luckily, not a surfeit... yet. Three stick out.

1) Somehow Berman tied in (very surprisingly for me personally) many seemingly disparate parts of the Western intellectual cannon into his central thesis. These included Ludwig Wittgenstein's late period and Ludwig's disappearance from academia, while going on to be a small town school teacher. A (least favorite section of the book, read like a genealogy tree at times) review of the rise of civilization itself. An evisceration of 'Gaia' and 'world goddess' myths (with great deconstructions of Jungian mythologizing) against the backdrop of steppe people's nomadic 'incursions.' A brilliant section on nomadism itself and how it has been seen as a scourge of 'vertical' (read: institutional 'higher power') societies by virtue of nomadic environmental-freedoms. 

Probably the most important point that Berman makes early on is the very simple connection (and he takes his time peeling this apart) between the capacity for storage (a pot! a house!) and the eventual development of sedentism/population booms/agri-cultivation/religion/inequality/power structures.

2) I was a bit disappointed by his avoidance to dig deeper on tying psychological theory to his central thesis; though in fairness, he is not formally psychologically trained. This is my own biased disappointment, cause it doesn't speak to my intellectual ego 'needs.' Instead it has, coincidentally, caused me to dust off my old copy of Civilization and Its Discontents for a retread. This shall be my own project. (oh and Christopher Hitchens wrote the 2010 copy introduction section... I'm in good company indeed)

3) One major point Berman did make (and tied into his argument well throughout the tome) was the quelling of the potential power differentials in humans, through 'fission and fusion' in HG bands. Any individual in a HG group could simply leave to another group if there were irreconcilable strife between persons. This was, in Berman's words, a "negative capacity." In a way this could be, through an Operant Conditioning perspective, seen as negative reinforcement. Personal power via withdrawing from another's tyranny. Berman countered that this is NOT the case in vertically structured societies and is a major source of psychological strife (repression, suppression, anxiety, violence, etc.)... aka un-volunteered dependency

Nonetheless, as @Naldaramjo referenced, what Berman has achieved in Wandering God represents a staggeringly original gestalt. Although, his pathway to that gestalt, by necessity, was slightly ataxic at times. By compositing anthropology, Paleolithic & Neolithic history, religious history, and psychological theory to make a compelling argument, he took on a lot at once. Yes, the nearly 100 pages of notations at the end of the book speak for themselves (though also speak to Berman's knowledge base and capacity to make his argument). I can see why this wasn't stamped with a 'best-of' label of some kind, though I couldn't help but chuckle a little that the sun prominent on the upper right of the book cover looked so eerily like those omnipresent 'book prize medallions' that 'prove' a book's value. At that, I doubt Berman cares anyhow. Stamps of approval from vertical structure 'buys-in' to their idea that 'best' is always the goal is exactly what Berman spent the entire book arguing against as a modus operandi.

Other fleeting thoughts:

1) Academia probably harbored multiple disgruntlements on a technical level (the scholastic form is not in tip-top shape here);

2) Berman went out on a limb and there's no way this work wasn't seen as a direct (at times real, at times projected) attack on all institutionalized forms of knowledge;

     - despite Berman conceding that some vertical knowledge has been beneficial, even if it had cost us much loss and suffering

3) It is a dense read for those untrained to be not only other-critical but self-critical: for instance, if one cannot at least consider that our mental paradigms for understanding are pervasively influenced by vertical structures in daily life (beginning at birth; see Berman's arguments for the modern narcissistic mothering) then the whole point is likely to be lost. Much less understood. 

Finally, Berman's authenticity and decided lack of academic non-experiential posturing, make this a worthy consideration for anyone stuck intellectualizing what 'truth' is. I appreciate his final words, (though he cautioned heavily against following any '-isms'): we pave the road by walking it (instead of surveying a false 'real' road first).

*Bookmarking Homo Deus for future reading

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Glad to see someone else enjoyed this book. Have you read the first two books of his "reenchantment" trilogy, The Reenchantment of the Worldand Coming to Our SensesThinking back now, the second one was probably my favourite, and it might be the one most spiritually connected with the philosophy of Stretch Therapy. Reich and his character armor concept (something I've heard @Kit_L mention in at least one interview) are explored, along with many other ways in which aspirations towards somatic fulfillment have been expressed throughout history. And how those aspirations were ultimately expunged or diluted once their religious framework became institutionalized and pure ritual and law replaced direct experience. Giving rise to another heretical somatic movement. Repeat...

7 hours ago, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

3) It is a dense read for those untrained to be not only other-critical but self-critical: for instance, if one cannot at least consider that our mental paradigms for understanding are pervasively influenced by vertical structures in daily life (beginning at birth; see Berman's arguments for the modern narcissistic mothering) then the whole point is likely to be lost. Much less understood. 

Strongly agree...I think one must be in a place where they are willing to have many fundamental assumptions of their experience in the world challenged in order to really appreciate how controversial much of what this book claims is. 

Thinking back to the sections discussing mothering practices, I recall claims from Stephen Pinker's book, The Blank Slate. In it, he downplays the importance of child-rearing on the ultimate temperament of the adult. Yet, if I remember correctly, he makes no mention of the crucial early stages of development for a child during her formation of self and loss of wholeness. A glaring omission, now that I see the significance of it through Berman's (and, no doubt, countless others') analysis. 

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4 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

his "reenchantment" trilogy, The Reenchantment of the Worldand Coming to Our Senses?

I have not; in fact, you're the first person to put me onto Berman. I look forward to reading these as well.

4 hours ago, Naldaramjo said:

Stephen Pinker's book, The Blank Slate. In it, he downplays the importance of child-rearing on the ultimate temperament of the adult.

More a discretionary warning against Pinker's "data" mining and showmanship: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sex-dawn/201103/steven-pinkers-stinker-the-origins-war.

I haven't read Blank Slate but my memory of many of Pinker's past articles appeared to be too heavily emphasized on behaviorism, genetic determinism, a grandiose sense of 'having it right' and a writing style that was too disorganized. I remember his articles jumping from topic to topic, presuming that the reader understood the connections he was making, yet highly correlating ideas that weren't de facto related. Temperament is a not-uncontroversial topic and not 'known' in any agreeable manner; much less operationally defined and elucidated (beyond blandly stating a person has in-born tendencies towards being "easy, difficult or slow-to-warm-up," whatever that all means). I can't see how Pinker would explain, convincingly, how evaluating these three categories of subjective behavioral traits would be free from undue influence (i.e. the observer's own confirmation biases (aka projections)). 

Alternatively and more to your suspicion, is the issue of Attachment research (which Berman references in Wandering God). There is a very clear HIGH effect of trans-generational attachment styles (secure vs the insecure subtypes) from parents onto children. The Adult Attachment Interview (AAI; developed by Mary Main at Berkeley) showed a 75% predictive value of a parent repeating their own childhood attachment configurations onto their own infants. The AAI has parents relating stories about their experiences with their own parents from childhood. The interviewed-parents' attachment style was determined via patterns in the speech/storytelling of the parent-subject; this was regardless of the parent's expressed belief about how their own parents treated them when they themselves were kids. Then, separately evaluating the infants of the AAI parent-subjects in the Strange Situation, the patterns of secure vs insecure attachment were predictable by 75% (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7777645). This predictability was even demonstrated by applying the AAI before the infant was born and then assessing the Strange Situation post-partum (https://www.jstor.org/stable/1131831?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents). Further, the effect is noted trans-culturally.

Lastly, a corollary to personality/temperament 'truisms.' A very recent article in the American Journal of Psychiatry (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30845820) showed that Adverse Childhood Events ("ACEs") were more predictive of the development of depression than any genetic marker or combination of markers (which, by the way, after meta-analyses were performed, equated with zero predictability for genetic markers). The parallels to 'personality/temperament' are similar for depression; good luck operationally defining and then rigorously, scientifically studying a very context-dependent subjective phenomenological experience. Personality and temperament, if nothing else, are likely just inter-subjectively determined phenomenological experiences of a person generally over time. 

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18 hours ago, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

More a discretionary warning against Pinker's "data" mining and showmanship: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sex-dawn/201103/steven-pinkers-stinker-the-origins-war.

This is quite surprising. I'd figured he'd just been ignorant. This suggests that he is being deliberate in his misrepresentation. I'm quite shocked, to be honest, because, aside from the misgiving I expressed regarding his temperament claims in The Blank Slate, I really enjoyed the book, and took his expertise at face value. No one is immune to confirmation bias, it seems. He certainly was smug about the authority of his view in the TED talk referenced in that Psychology Today article. 

IIRC, he tent-poles his nature vs nurture position on three main ideas:

1) Identical twins raised together are no more similar than identical twins separated at birth

2) Identical twins reared together are more similar than fraternal twins reared together

3) Biological siblings are more similar than adoptive siblings

Here's a sample of him talking about the idea.

~~

Knowing what I do now about the subject at hand, it is hard now to take anyone seriously who continues to use "noble savage fallacy" as a pejorative in the discussion of human nature. It does no justice to the complexity of the topic, and reveals a bias towards modernism.

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On 7/25/2019 at 6:13 PM, Naldaramjo said:

it is hard now to take anyone seriously who continues to use "noble savage fallacy" as a pejorative

I quite readily agree with this perspective. It may be one of the most egotistically-based biases around. It’s the Hobbesian ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, short’ presumption of HG life and our current “best ever” positioning in contrast. There is a bevy of “counter-cultural” counterpoints to Hobbes, though: Berman’s anthropological work, psychology research and primate research. 

I highly recommend (as you’ve so kindly gifted me the Berman recommendation) reading Sex At Dawn by Christopher Ryan. It considers bonobos, the forgotten ‘other’ closest primate relative, in this general narrative of, shall we call it, ‘dys-civilization?’

Side note: Now that I’m reading through Civilization and Its Discontents (which has some problems though mostly an excellent read), Freud sees it in almost complete opposition to Pinker. From pg. 75, Freud cites a “process of civilization” - 1) instinct renunciation then through repetition of #1 —> 2) character ‘formation’ and 3) sublimation vs. neurosis (note; sublimation is functional in society, though unnecessary as a ‘healthy’ defense outside of society). Freud may not have it right, though at least Freud considers out loud that he may be incorrect. Important that our authorities are more openly honest about their ambivalence (ahem, more scientific too especially in social sciences).

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On 7/27/2019 at 2:30 PM, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

I highly recommend (as you’ve so kindly gifted me the Berman recommendation) reading Sex At Dawn by Christopher Ryan. It considers bonobos, the forgotten ‘other’ closest primate relative, in this general narrative of, shall we call it, ‘dys-civilization?’

I've come across this book recently, funnily enough. I don't recall where exactly. I've also come across criticism for it in the form of the book Sex at Dusk. Having not read either, I want to avoid jumping to conclusions, but are you familiar with this rebuttal book? 

On 7/27/2019 at 2:30 PM, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

Side note: Now that I’m reading through Civilization and Its Discontents (which has some problems though mostly an excellent read), Freud sees it in almost complete opposition to Pinker. From pg. 75, Freud cites a “process of civilization” - 1) instinct renunciation then through repetition of #1 —> 2) character ‘formation’ and 3) sublimation vs. neurosis (note; sublimation is functional in society, though unnecessary as a ‘healthy’ defense outside of society). Freud may not have it right, though at least Freud considers out loud that he may be incorrect. Important that our authorities are more openly honest about their ambivalence (ahem, more scientific too especially in social sciences).

I've also come across this book, too! Through Berman's books' notes, IIRC. Seems a bit too cerebral for me...I can easily get lost in the theory. What do you think?

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3 minutes ago, Naldaramjo said:

Sex at Dusk

Yeah this was written anonymously after Sex at Dawn came out; haven't read it though. The author of Sex at Dawn had some choice words about the rebuttal book on his podcast (as you could expect).

15 minutes ago, Naldaramjo said:

Seems a bit too cerebral for me

In fairness, (re: Civilization and Its Discontents) I have specific training in the mental health field and is my day-to-day job, so the concepts are already very familiar to me. I could definitely see it being jargon-y to others. I finished the book last night and I maintain that it has its problems; yet, it also has many more brilliant insights.

One insight I didn't already mention (and the books 'coda') was Freud's synthesis herein: civilization begets the repression of instinctual impulses via a punitive super-ego (aka 'conscience,' 'guilt/shame' or 'self-punishment'). He makes a case for a tension arc between an impulse, assumed guilt (even when no bad act has been done  but was 'thought') and neurotic illness (depression, anxiety, obsessions, etc.). Basically our instinctual impulses are constantly denied in an increasingly self-regulated manner as we grow-up, in a civilization that demands their repression for external safety. However, this causes internal suffering. 

In essence, he argues, that as long as we have civilization we will have anxiety and neurotic illness. A social utopia died the moment we decided to repress instincts via civilization, and no form of social program or government will make these issues disappear (cue: Berman). Freud argues the human disposition is too inclined towards the libido (Eros) and the death/aggressive (Thanatos) instincts to be completely 'healthily' regulated. Freud even goes so far as to say the entire realm of Ethics is predicated on the same principles of the repression of instinctual impulses; he spends a lot of time tearing apart the Golden Rule, for instance.

Many have problems with Freud's formulation of the libido/aggressive instinct poles and their configuration into the psyche. Freud, however, seems to be a Hobbesian too, believing uncivilized man was more prone to frank violence. This is where I think his theory has some classic faults. The Chris Ryan and Berman analysis of low HG violence statistics suggest the world isn't really any less violent in the modern era, probably more so when you account for mass warfare. Berman appears not only right, but balanced in taking the good from Freud's work while showing how Freud's theory was still bound by the culture of civilization he grew up in (believing in the Hobbesian narrative of violent HG). 

Anyhow, it's classic late-period Freud. He does have wonderful prose, if one isn't being bogged down with jargon. I enjoyed it. Interesting stuff and I'll be chewing on it for a while. Great discussion @Naldaramjo, I really enjoy this back and forth!

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I've never read any Freud, but your summary is compelling! Thanks for taking the time to do that. 

19 minutes ago, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

One insight I didn't already mention (and the books 'coda') was Freud's synthesis herein: civilization begets the repression of instinctual impulses via a punitive super-ego (aka 'conscience,' 'guilt/shame' or 'self-punishment'). He makes a case for a tension arc between an impulse, assumed guilt (even when no bad act has been done  but was 'thought') and neurotic illness (depression, anxiety, obsessions, etc.). Basically our instinctual impulses are constantly denied in an increasingly self-regulated manner as we grow-up, in a civilization that demands their repression for external safety. However, this causes internal suffering. 

A bloody brilliant observation, and the inevitable question it brings to my mind is, "is there such a Utopian civilization that could orient itself around primal human impulses, and, in doing so, prevent much mental anguish?" I am now into Berman's more recent book, Neurotic Beauty, about Japanese culture. Though certainly not a Utopia by any stretch, there are elements of Japanese culture that fit into my conception of a Utopian society. Namely, the primacy of beauty. 

Yet, if the very concept of a Utopian civilization is a paradox, I can't help but wonder, given our increasing reliance on control and increasing alienation from the natural world, we are destined to remain on our dysfunctional path of exponentially increasing error-correction and fundamental self-denial. I am reminded of Gregory Bateson's famous line:

Quote

The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.

In what is perhaps the thinnest of silver linings, it really is a blessing that our civilized dysfunction is wreaking havoc on the environment. Sooner or later, we'll have to confront this paradox (what, exactly, are we moving towards), and, if we continue to delay, we won't have the luxury of the type of conversations you and I are sharing right now. Runaway, as Bateson so appropriately called it, with collapse the inevitable outcome. 

Unless of course we manage to colonize other planets before we destroy our own, in which case we may find infinite validation for our constant psychotic demand for MORE and BETTER control. 

19 minutes ago, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

Anyhow, it's classic late-period Freud. He does have wonderful prose, if one isn't being bogged down with jargon. I enjoyed it. Interesting stuff and I'll be chewing on it for a while. Great discussion @Naldaramjo, I really enjoy this back and forth!

Me too! It's not often I get to share with someone about these kinds of topics. Cheers

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On 7/28/2019 at 7:26 PM, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

One insight I didn't already mention (and the books 'coda') was Freud's synthesis herein: civilization begets the repression of instinctual impulses via a punitive super-ego (aka 'conscience,' 'guilt/shame' or 'self-punishment'). He makes a case for a tension arc between an impulse, assumed guilt (even when no bad act has been done  but was 'thought') and neurotic illness (depression, anxiety, obsessions, etc.). Basically our instinctual impulses are constantly denied in an increasingly self-regulated manner as we grow-up, in a civilization that demands their repression for external safety. However, this causes internal suffering. 

 

But Reich maintained that violence was the result of repression ('secondary drives') not the reason for it. 

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Well I suppose this is where Freud and Reich would have some fundamental disagreements. The whole history of psychoanalysis is the story of others building off of and changing Freud’s original formulations, so your observation is interesting but not surprising. 

In Freud’s defense, he might simply counter that violence beget from ‘over-repressed’ impulses would equate to displacement (a defense mechanism). Freud explicitly cites the Thanatos pole (aggressive instinct) as being a primary drive. And on that point, it is worth noting:  the impulse to act violently as different from actual violent behavior. This is a very common (possibly epidemically so) mistake, to fuse the two concepts when speaking about them. Freud was talking about impulses (instincts) not violence (behavior), in my original point, per se.

Anyways, I am not saying Freud was necessarily right, either (quoted below). I was simply making observations and chewing on intellectualized gum.

On 7/28/2019 at 7:26 PM, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

Many have problems with Freud's formulation of the libido/aggressive instinct poles and their configuration into the psyche. Freud, however, seems to be a Hobbesian too, believing uncivilized man was more prone to frank violence. This is where I think his theory has some classic faults. 

This brings us back to Berman; that Freud was operating under the Hobbesian spell when formulating his psychoanalytic theory. Probably Reich was too, but possibly in a different way. I simply am not well read enough on Reich to make any comment there (guess it’s time to read Berman’s Coming to Our Senses). 

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Reich was under more the Malinowski spell--matriarchal sexually free state to start with, then with agriculture came control of livestock breeding, and patriarchy, and control of sex and all that.

Of course aggression is a primary drive, violence (not the same as aggression) is a secondary drive. And Reich wasn't having any when it came to thanatos, he thought there were other reasons psychoanalysis frequently had small effects, like not working the armor in the body.

Stretch therapy works on the muscular armor and frees the _natural_ aggression that may have been perverted by the armor into coercion and control. Change all the individuals and the civilization will change. Hopeless to change the civilization from top down because armored individuals will run even more amok. Of course that seems a losing battle.as we read how much effort and consistency is needed for all of us on this board to achieve even modest advances in mobility (well worth it of course)

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15 hours ago, michaelsamsel said:

Reich was under more the Malinowski spell--matriarchal sexually free state to start with

I believe I had heard that Reich had some sort of oblique views about sexuality. Thanks for this, very interesting indeed. Are there any Reich books in particular you’d recommend that discussed the character armor concept? 

15 hours ago, michaelsamsel said:

Stretch therapy works on the muscular armor and frees the _natural_ aggression that may have been perverted by the armor into coercion and control.

Yes I’m personally finding that doing it from both angles, working the soma and receiving psychotherapy has had a symbiotic effect. It’s a wonderful combination and when I’m consistent they compliment one another so very well. 

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On 8/7/2019 at 9:30 AM, mytype1collagenis2tight said:

Are there any Reich books in particular you’d recommend that discussed the character armor concept? 

Kit's answer covers well the dynamic model of character armor. And as Kit writes, stretch therapy is much more than a release.

However, if you want to know how to work with armor in a therapeutic relationship (or with your self), the work of Alexander Lowen is much more practical.

 

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@michaelsamsel: a "Cliff Notes" sketch of Lowen's work would be helpful, if you have a moment or two. I confess I have only heard of him, but know nothing of his work.

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On 8/10/2019 at 3:44 PM, Kit_L said:

@michaelsamsel: a "Cliff Notes" sketch of Lowen's work would be helpful, if you have a moment or two. I confess I have only heard of him, but know nothing of his work.

That's a tall order but I'll try a few sentences. My website on this topic is linked at the bottom.

Reich's vegetotherapy took place with the patient laying down, and he used over-breathing, direct pressure, and his own personality to bring about release of suppressed affect. He didn't (nor did Lowen) worry much about integration of affect, the idea is that natural drives are naturally gracious. Reich largely gave this up in the 40's and 50's to concentrate on cancer, orgone accumulators, weather, cosmology etc

Lowen stayed with the psychotherapy context. He got the patient up on his or her feet, sought to improve grounding, breathing, and  vibration to improve the amount and circulation of energy (He was shier about using the term orgone, (but not the concept)  He concentrated on releasing the stabilizing muscles around the joints with stretches, stress positions, and expressive movements..

Lowen used expressive exercises (hitting a bed with a racket, kicking, yelling, etc) to cultivate emotional expression but there was and is always a huge misunderstanding that he encouraged catharsis. He did not, the expressed emotion is meant to be ego-syntonic and ultimately transferable to real life. not a hysterical event that become addicting but doesn't transfer. Lowen minimized working via the transference (that had been Reich's stock and trade)

And quite importantly, Lowen systematized character analysis with his five part typology. Character analysis doesn't change the body, but it sends the participant back to bodywork when he or she prematurely thinks he or she is done because it shows that new goals often are just more of the original problem. I have come to prefer stronger, more focused exercises than Lowen's like ST, chi gung (the Taoist energy health and healing model is completely similar), Pilates, Bercelli's TRE etc but Lowen is unique with character analysis, including the need to surrender. He insisted on the need to change the body but wrote that the resistance to change is ultimately in the character.

http://www.reichandlowentherapy.org/

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On 8/13/2019 at 12:18 PM, michaelsamsel said:

...including the need to surrender. He insisted on the need to change the body but wrote that the resistance to change is ultimately in the character

Indeed. And in the many discussions on this site (and my blog) I think you can infer where I stand on this. Thank you for your summation.

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