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Peter Ind – The Environment and Cosmic Metabolism – Looking at the stars and thinking about the Earth

© Peter Ind 2007


Twenty or even ten years ago if anyone had seriously warned about climate change the general reaction would have been dismissive. Today it has become clear that the world is now faced with a global crisis that appears insurmountable unless we drastically reduce the amount of pollutants we are creating. The core of the problem lays on our total dependency upon energy obtained from fossil fuels. Debates on how to resolve this crisis centre upon how to lessen the pollution we are creating. So far these debates focus upon how to develop alternative energy systems that are non-pollutive. The concepts aired so far, though valuable do little more than to try to alleviate the problem of pollution, as our dependency upon fossil fuels for energy (particularly portable forms of energy) cannot be resolved as long as we view energy as needed to be sourced from the breakdown of matter – whether coal, oil or natural gas – or even nuclear fission.

A second and equally crucial aspect of the dilemma we find ourselves in is the inescapable fact that fossil fuels will not last forever and already these are becoming harder to access. Thus there is a kind of fatalistic aspect to all these discussions. The unspoken fear is that we are living in a time when the final throes of an ideal of affluence for all may never be possible.

My outlook is very different. For the major part of my life I have learned that there is a way forward, an understanding that although already a part of human knowledge, has nevertheless been mainly ignored or demeaned.

It is the reality of a fundamental cosmic energy manifesting in a variety of ways – which humanity has thus far succeeded in ignoring. The way forward lies in the recognition of this power. It is not my intention to be a scaremonger. The revolution of human strivings lays firstly in the acceptance of this prime reality. When this eventually becomes common knowledge it will lead to the further development of a science that the majority of present day scientists are oblivious to. My thesis embraces the work of two major scientists of the twentieth century, Wilhelm Reich and Nicola Tesla. Reich was persecuted for his research and Tesla’s research was used in part without full recognition and much of his most important work remains unappreciated and unused. My aim is to sufficiently dislodge outdated concepts and make room for a deeper perspective of reality than now prevails.

Peter Ind, London, Auvers sur Oise and Amman

Full Text
Peter Ind’s Development of the Concept of Cosmic Metabolism.
© Peter Ind 2009

In 1964 I wrote and published an essay entitled Cosmic Metabolism and Vortical Accretion. This original concept came to me as a result of studying the writings of Dr. Wilhelm Reich a world-renowned psychiatrist and scientist. Originally a student of Freud he was a prominent member of the psychoanalytic group following World War One. Eventually this group were forced to disperse due to the Nazi threat and many including Dr. Reich fled to the USA.
Freud had postulated the existence of psycho- sexual energy and referred to it as the libido. At one point he had stated that one day someone would come along and place the libido concept on a firm chemical basis. This resonated with Reich and profoundly influenced his psychoanalytic work.

What Freud called libido underlay not only normal desires and actions but could also result in neurotic behaviour. It was Freud’s psychoanalytic approach that enabled the patient to understand and overcome neurosis. Initially Reich was in accord with Freud’s concepts, which had already received much acceptance worldwide.

The main problem facing psychoanalysts in their efforts to treat neurosis was what became known as resistance. Though patients with neurotic problems underwent psychoanalysis with the conscious desire to rid themselves of neurosis, it became clear not only to the Freudians but also to Reich himself, that invariably, despite their conscious wishes; in practice patients resisted all attempts by the psychoanalyst to free them of their problems. It was this problem of resistance that led to the first split between the psychoanalysts and Reich.

Originally Freud had worked with hypnosis with a colleague, Joseph Breuer, discovering that whilst under hypnosis the patient fully understood the origin and problem of personal neurosis. Yet when released from hypnosis, this insight was forgotten. Freud termed this memory blank “repression”. The main focus of psychoanalysis then became one of tackling repression. Following his work with Breuer, Freud developed his now well known technique of “free association”. He encouraged his patients to talk freely after getting them to promise to say whatever came into their mind. Such a technique initially proved very promising and patients began to gain insight into the origins of their neurosis and in doing so the neurosis was cured or at least greatly ameliorated.

However as time went on and Freud’s writings and those of other analysts began to become known, the original method of free association began to lose some of its apparent value. It was as though word had spread – so to speak- and many patients began to sense what was expected of them and perhaps unsurprisingly, free association seldom resulted in such spectacular cures.

Freud’s approach had been passive in that he required his patients to lie on a couch and free associate while he sat in his chair quite apart from the patient. On the other hand Reich began to notice that many of his patients while seemingly associating with crucial observations, nevertheless often did so in an unemotional almost impersonal manner. By this time, realising that cure of neurosis would not occur unless accompanied by the release of blocked emotional energy; Reich began to take a much more “hands on” approach. He reasoned that free association would not of itself necessarily result in cure. He began to focus more on the emotional response from his patients rather than the content of their verbalising. In fact Reich found that at times what would have previously considered valuable clues from the patient, were often more of a smokescreen, the patient knowing or at least suspecting what the analyst was looking for, it became part of the “free association” but if this lacked emotional insight it did not lead to cure. It was as though the patient said; “If I give you what you are looking for – will you then be easy on me?” In such situations resistance had permeated the very core of the treatment – that of “free association”.

Convinced by then that no lasting treatment of neurosis would be achieved unless the resistance could be overcome, for Reich then “resistance” and not “free association” became the focus. This was the core of what eventually led to his departure from the Freudians.

It is essential to understand these facts underlining the split between the Freudians and Reich. Much misunderstanding and defamation of Reich and his work came about initially on this account. Though Freud was undoubtedly a great pioneer, who also realised the magnitude of the problem of resistance, it was Reich who developed a valid approach that eventually became known as Character Analysis. Reich demonstrated that not only was it insufficient to rely upon free association, but analysis must encompass the entire character; the problem of resistance being the key. Character Analysis, meant evaluating not only the verbal content of analysis but accompanying character attitudes also. If the analyst interpreted the verbal contents of analysis without taking into account the character attitudes that accompanied the material, invariably the analysis failed if the emotional depth of the revelations had not been reached. For a successful analysis every step along the way had to come from the emotional depths, mere intellectual verbalisation on the part of the patient only hindered progress, even if the contents of the verbalisations later proved to be accurate.
Character Analysis then became a development beyond that of psychoanalysis, and the split widened between Reich and the traditional Freudians. Freud’s view that the libido was a reality and could one day be understood beyond that of a mere concept, was always at the forefront of Reich’s analytic research. He began to understand that what Freud had termed “resistance” was not merely psychological but was physically manifested as tension in the musculature and could be tackled by the analyst physically working on the muscles. The resulting success, led Reich to the concept of armouring, and that the muscular tension had the function of reducing the flow of biological energy (that which Freud had conceptualised as libido.) This proved to be a powerful new approach not limited as before by purely “free association” techniques.

These attempts to unblock the muscular armouring, led in turn to understanding that the armouring functioned in layers, each layer masking an even deeper layer. When a layer of resistance had been successfully loosened, it was then possible to tackle the next layer. However Reich then discovered that in tackling the second layer of armouring the initial armouring again resurfaced, only this time with less intensity. In practice then as each new layer became apparent, the therapy had to again tackle each preceding layer before going deeper. The ultimate core proved to be that of sexual energy. Not merely in the general sense as formulated by Freud, but specifically that of genital sexual energy. Thus the therapeutic goal became that reaching what Reich termed orgastic potency. No matter what the relative levels of success achieved, from then onwards resolution of neurosis always had as its goal that of orgastic potency. The rewards of Reich’s pioneering discovery lay essentially in the success of the treatment. But the split between Reich and the Freudians was never healed. Even today many people when asked about Reich will respond “Oh, you mean the sex man!” Psychoanalysis had largely succeeded in divesting itself of the bogey of sex. But Reich with his far deeper insight, unwontedly inherited that mantle. Freud’s original concept that –one day someone will come along and place the libido concept on a firm chemical basis was illusory in one sense; it was not a chemical basis underlying libido, but living energy.

Despite the seeming enlightenment of today’s world, sexuality in its deepest aspect of genitality is still a controversial subject. However Reich’s work did not cease with his discovery of armouring and the function of the orgasm (which he claimed to be his most significant discovery). The orgasm reflex is a pulsatory movement of bio energy that in an unarmoured individual flows without hindrance from the genitals through the entire body. It is not restricted to any one organ or group of organs, it is a pulsatory energy flow, as can be seen in other forms of life. The simpler the life structure the more evident is the flow of energy. It is expressed most clearly in the pulsatory movement of the jellyfish or in that of the worm.

This set Reich on the path to discover what is the nature of this life energy or libido? It has certain similarities with electrical energy, yet it is not identical with electricity. Unlike electricity which is alien to life, is it slow moving, pulsatory – yet can be measured on certain instruments as though electrical in nature. Electrical potential at the surface of the skin can easily be measured, yet this is expressed in millivolts, though the energy itself is far greater than its apparent electrical potential.

In attempts to understand further the reality of the energy of life, he turned to a study of food (food being our main source of nourishment.) He related how he put a variety of foodstuff into a pot; meat, vegetables whatever and boiled it until it became like bouillon. He then examined the brew under the microscope and what appeared to him most significantly was not the identification of the various constituents, which by that time were hard to define, but that the bouillon had become an amorphous mixture the chief characteristic being a mass of tiny microscopic vesicles virtually indistinguishable from each other. These vesicles when viewed in the dark field of the microscope appeared surrounded by a bluish halo, luminating against the background. These microscopic vesicles he termed “bions”. Further experiments with many non-living substances, when heated also resulted in similar kinds of vesicles.

Subsequently he was able to cultivate bions from Coal, Iron filings, Ocean sand, Earth etc. All showed similar aspects though some substances were far stronger than others. He found for example that ocean sand when heated and then placed in water formed much stronger luminating bions than those cultivated from most other substances. Further experimentation showed that after a time bionous substances would clump together eventually forming protozoa. Thus biogenesis is (as the bion experiments proved) not merely a seed that arrived on earth from outer space millions of years ago, giving rise to life on earth, but is an ongoing and renewable process.

These bion experiments led to observations of energy fields – ultimately to the realisation that the bion energy is the energy of all life and is present everywhere. It is indeed the universal energy though not the energy we use in our combustion engines. Eventually he discovered how to concentrate and use this life energy – especially in healing. He also developed a device that would draw the atmospheric energy, ultimately influencing cloud formation and the weather. By that time his research was truly cosmic in its conception. The evidence for his research can be found in his many books and publications. It was an incredible outcome from Freud’s initial speculation that “one day someone would come along and put the libido concept on a firm chemical footing.” He conceptualised his work as Orgonomy – the study of the life energy – Orgone being the name he gave to it.

The outcome from this life of incredible research was that in 1947 the US Food and Drug Administration began an investigation and years later in 1956 he was served an injunction that forbade further research. He was subsequently jailed for alleged contempt of court and his books and publications were banned and burned. Reich was sentenced to a two-year jail term and subsequently died in Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary of alleged heart failure just two weeks before being due for parole.

Prior to this his work had been recognised worldwide, but the trial, his subsequent jailing and death was hardly reported in the media (whether in the US or elsewhere). Today more than fifty years later he is no longer a well-known figure and now comparatively few know about him or his work.

What has all this to do with Cosmic Metabolism? In 1951 whilst living in New York, I was introduced to a book written by Wilhelm Reich. This was “The Function of the Orgasm”. Already familiar with Freud’s writings I was at first sceptical that anyone could have substantially added to psychoanalytic knowledge.

Upon reading “The Function of the Orgasm” I realised that here was someone that had added another even more profound aspect to psychiatry and psychology. I realised it was as revolutionary and farsighted as had Freud’s work been beyond the psychology of his day. At the time I had no inkling of the FDA investigation that was quietly taking place. In that respect I was not alone. Few knew what was taking place behind the scenes. In those days (the early nineteen fifties) the USA had such a high standing in the world that it would have seemed inconceivable that a US Government investigation would have been based upon false premises. Still unaware of the FDA case, I purchased all of Reich’s writings and though there were still some people who questioned his work, I began experimenting along the lines described in his books. The concept of a universal cosmic life energy, was so exciting to me and my experimentation was not only to familiarise myself with those concepts but to be able to discuss knowledgably about Reich’s work with others.

Later on when I became aware of the FDA case being brought against him, my own researches took on a more urgent and challenging aspect. I had no degree in science. Though fairly well educated I could not claim authority except by what I had personally learned. Following Reich’s jailing and subsequent death I began to find that a number of his previous supporters were now beginning to doubt the veracity of his work. Few it seemed would even entertain the idea that an arm of the US Government could in any way be wrong. This was not many years following the infamous McCarthy hearings, but the doubts people had about the veracity of Senator McCarthy in no way extended to the Food and Drug Administration.

Finding many previous supporters of his work becoming critical of it, I knew the only choice I had was either to drop my interest in Orgonomy entirely, or pursue my interests in it even more intensely. I repeated my experimentation based on the descriptions in his books to resolve any doubts that I might still have entertained. One of his later books titled Cosmic Superimposition resonated particularly with me as even from childhood I had remained fascinated with astronomy. Reich’s concept of cosmic functioning was very different from the academic outlook of professional astronomers; few of them seemed to view the cosmos as anything but a sterile infinity. For these people especially in those days, planet earth was regarded as something of an anomaly – as the accidental abode of that peculiarity – “life”.

My studies had left no doubt. On the one hand there was our technical civilisation with its incredible discoveries – utterly dependent upon the use of fire energy, petroleum, coal, gas and even nuclear energy. The results were there for all to see; incredible mega cities; aircraft that crisscrossed the planet, radio, TV, and worldwide telephony. There were transcontinental trains and coaches, to say nothing of the revolution in automobile technology. The other side of the coin was life (seen in those days as some kind of freak cosmic accident) Of course there was no question that without life our much vaunted technical civilisation could not exist; nevertheless it was peculiarly demeaned by many “scientists” as though some kind of cosmic accident. I realised that Reich’s work was the breakthrough, demonstrating the reality of the cosmic life energy, existing not only as the living but also as the fundamental cosmic energy.

In 1960 whilst still living in New York, I was pondering the relationship between the energy of fire (upon which our technical civilisation is built) and that of the cosmic energy, which is the opposite of the expansive fire energy. Cosmic life energy contracts into material form and into life. These opposites must resolve – if only we know how. Suddenly, I don’t know how this happened, but the realisation hit me - Space which (especially in those days was regarded as an infinite empty void) is not just space but a function. Its function is to allow ultimate expansion of fire energy until it becomes renewed – simply through expansion. Only upon reaching the condition of ultimate expansion does it change into the condensative cosmic energy, the energy of life and of new material formation. That is the essence of Cosmic Metabolism. For example the extreme energy radiated from the Sun would kill if life were exposed to it nearer the solar surface. Yet at 93 million miles distance, solar radiation is not only, not harmful but has many benign aspects essential to life. To counter that this is merely an effect of dilution of solar radiation is just begging the question. The reality of “dilution” is taken as given, without considering that many such commonly accepted facts also have cosmic significance. ln 1964 when I wrote my thesis conveying my concepts they received some very positive attention, but even to this day have not been taken up by those whose profession is cosmology. Though this is partly my own fault (I am not a good publicist) I also believed that it was not yet time. Humanity is still too much in love with its existing technology, to even look at, yet alone embrace another more profound understanding of the cosmos in which we are embedded. Though I am sure the time is approaching when the truth underlying Cosmic Metabolism will start to be appreciated. My recent book “Looking at the Stars and Thinking about the Earth” is another step in that direction. It is a simplified description, and avoids some of the more esoteric aspects of Cosmic Metabolism described in my original thesis.

But for the moment surely it is of such significance that an observation by Sigmund Freud in the early twentieth century; “one day someone will come along and put the libido concept on a firm chemical footing”; Reich’s perseverance in doing so despite the approbation of his former colleagues and the ignorant attacks by US law officials destroying his life and trying to destroy his work also, has led to the commencement towards understanding universal cosmic energy functions. However the essence of the libido proved not to be chemical, but energetic.

This sketchy outline of the cosmic function of space – that I describe as Cosmic Metabolism will pave the way towards learning how to harness the energy; fuel less energy, eventually replacing our wasteful usage of fossil fuels, the pillage of minerals and the environmental pollution of today. We can (if we apply ourselves) be at the dawn of a new cleaner and cosmically harmonious era.

Peter Ind.