Part 1 - Orgone & Non-locality.
By Leon Southgate
Introduction and Summary of Previous Essays
Wilhelm Reich discovered a life-creative cosmic and biological energy which he called orgone. For years I have tried to understand how such a life-energy may relate to consciousness – mostly without success. I propose however that this relationship, between orgone and consciousness, is comprehensible theoretically and that there is preliminary evidence for such a position.
If one doubts that orgone itself exists please see the synopsis of 50 plus years of orgonomic research within my Reich Biblio or check out this link to Dr Demeo’s current research at www.orgonelab.org. There is good evidence for a life-energy both within orgonomy and outside of it. Orgonomy has good evidence for the anomalous functioning of the orgone accumulator (Synopsis section, page 228 of Reich Biblio) and the cloudbuster (Synopsis section, page 207 of Reich Biblio) amongst other aspects of Reich’s original research. The scientists, Alfven, Arp, Benveniste, Berkson, Becker, Brown, Kevran, Miller and Sheldrake all detail evidence which supports the existence of orgone in separate fields to orgonomy (Appendix 1).
In previous essays I have outlined a map for how I think this relationship between orgone and consciousness might work. As a foundation for understanding I found I had no choice but to re-evaluate the definition of orgone. Instead of orgone being purely an energy phenomenon (something that moves in time and space) I posited that it may be a three part continuum. It would range from ‘spirit’ to ‘energy’ to ‘matter’.
It is impossible to understand something like consciousness, something that is clearly not an energy phenomenon, in terms of energy. Our sense of self, our observing ‘being’ is not energy. We cannot gain more of our self, concentrate or discharge our self as though it were energy. Self, perception and consciousness are not quantitative like energy. Something about oneself stubbornly stays the same despite the flow of time. In addition, aspects of cognition have been shown to be outside of the flow of time altogether, precognition in humans, or precognitive behavior in animals being examples. The latter has been shown to exist experimentally in animals by the scientist Sheldrake (Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home, R. Sheldrake). Such abilities cannot be energetic as energy only exists as movement in time. Consciousness may have energetic aspects but it is essentially not an energy phenomenon. Modern consciousness research, for example using Random Event Generators, has detailed these aspects of consciousness extensively. A good summary can be found in ‘The Field’ by Lynne McTaggart.
I believe there could be a scientific definition of ‘spirit’. I proposed that the first part of an orgone continuum would be a non-material but strictly physical entity that possesses consciousness. As a background to this I have argued in the Preliminary Essays that we need to separate physicality from materiality, they are not the same thing. As I have stated, a physical-consciousness field is essentially no different to ‘spirit’. Those with a materialist outlook may prefer other words but although it was tempting to invent new terminology, the term ‘spirit’ is simpler and strictly used, already has the same meaning as I intend here. McTaggart refers to a similar concept with the notion of a universal 'field'. However, McTaggart's ‘field’ is a quantum physics-based interconnecting but essentially mystical non-physical field composed of nothingness (although she recognizes that this intangible, immeasurable universal field has real-life effects). I believe the primary realm to be entirely physical so I have used the term, 'spirit'. Please overlook any religious connotations, they are not intended.
I see physicality as a shared, continuing and lawful experience or reality. I define spirit as a universal field, force or entity that is non-material (not made of gross matter or particles) but physical (having lawful, continuing, shared reality) and that is conscious. I have indeed defined physicality in terms of consciousness but this is rational. As quantum physics comprehends, consciousness is the grounding of physical reality anyway. Besides which, there is no other way to define physicality than in terms of consciousness. One could argue that physicality is something that can be measured with scientific instruments but this falls down eventually for what is a measurement but a shared reality? And of course, a shared reality is a form of consciousness. Physicality always comes back to consciousness. However, this does not mean consciousness is ‘nothingness’. Consciousness is always physical. One cannot be aware of something that is not in effect a ‘body’. So all consciousness is bodily and all bodies are physical by my definition (having lawful reality).
To continue our thread here, this primary orgone ‘physical-consciousness’ would morph into what is traditionally termed orgone ‘energy’. This secondary energy realm would have all the properties Wilhelm Reich outlined. For example, a mass-creative, possibly slight-mass-possessing, life-creative energy which fills all space and is the basis of material movement. Then the last part of the continuum is the most material – what we call ‘matter’ (which Reich demonstrated arises from life-energy). So orgone is primarily a physical-consciousness or spirit field. Secondarily it becomes energy. Tertiary - it becomes matter - a tripartite continuum.
Tripartite Orgone Continuum
The finding in quantum physics that particles can behave at times with non-locality (to be two places at once like a wave) spelt the beginning of the end for materialism. This is because particles are not always matter-like in their behaviour. An isolated particle appears to be able to behave at times like a wave, going through two experimental slits at once. Consciousness began to come into the equation too. This was because measurement of the two slit experiment appeared to affect the outcome - whether the particle behaved like a particle (and went through one slit of the double slit experiment) or behaved like a wave (going through both slits). The double-slit experiment appears to show that electrons can behave like waves or like particles under certain conditions to do with our interaction with the experiment. This changes our perception of matter. As the electron ‘wave-or-particle’ duality seemed to depend on our observation of the process, physicists began to talk of the primacy of the mind in creating physical reality.
Double Slit Experiment
The above illustration shows a single photon or particle being propagated at the first line which then goes through two slits at the second line (thus no longer behaving as a particle but as a distributed wave). The evidence that the particle has become a wave is demonstrated at the third line (a photographic plate) which shows the interference pattern of a wave. (The pattern of a particle would be a singular vertical line).
There is another leap to be made – orgone may also have non-local aspects to its functioning. If orgone has non-local properties then it means that orgone is not always behaving like energy. If orgone is not always behaving like energy it is much easier to envisage it behaving like a physical consciousness field. I recognise that the possible non-locality of orgone does not prove it is conscious independently but it is a major step in that direction. To return, energy cannot be in two distinct places at once as it is bound in time and space. Energy is not instantaneous. Energy is not itself consciousness. If orgone has non-local aspects and in addition possesses consciousness, then it could be argued that it is like ‘spirit’ in its primary manifestation or at least possesses some of the qualities associated with that term. It should be noted that I am not arguing that orgone is not energy. Most of its known functions remain describable as energy. I am arguing that it also has aspects of its functioning that are not energetic.
Previous Orgone Theories
I should mention that I believe Reich himself to have never made a firm decision on whether he viewed orgone as possessing consciousness in its free state, what I call orgone as, ‘conscious-in-itself’. This is because he simultaneously argued that perception may arise as a consequence of orgone’s movement within the membrane of an organism (the ‘movement-within-a-membrane’ theory of consciousness as I call it). This is actually not that different from the mechanistic views of consciousness which argue that consciousness arises from the processes of matter in the brain. Both are ‘consciousness-as-a-consequence’ theories. However, no one can show where exactly consciousness resides in the brain or in the body. Sheldrake gives convincing arguments scientifically (The Science Delusion, Freeing The Spirit of Enquiry by R. Sheldrake) against memory being stored as material traces. The non-localisation of memories does indeed contradict mechanical theories of consciousness. Orgone researchers might argue alternatively that consciousness is localised in the body. Certainly it is true that the body, like the brain, expresses and is an instrument of consciousness but to say that the body is our consciousness and without it consciousness would cease to exist is to ignore the growing body of data that suggests consciousness can survive material death. For example the large quantity of Near Death Experiences and research as recounted by Dr Eben Alexander or Dr Ray Moody. Alexander examines how none of the conventional materialist explanations for NDEs reflect the actual evidence – see Appendix B in Alexander's book, Proof of Heaven for a synopsis. The growing body of Western and Asian Past Life Research also contradicts consciousness being exclusively tied to the material realm, for example that of the US academic, Jim Tucker (http://uvamagazine.org/articles/the_science_of_reincarnation). Sheldrake’s arguments against materialisation of memory in the brain also apply to the body.
Reich hinted toward both the views of consciousness I have outlined (orgone as ‘conscious-in-itself’ and orgone creating consciousness through ‘movement-within-a-membrane’). I believe he was actually undecided on the matter, unless it was detailed in his two books written in prison and presumed stolen. He had other more pressing problems at this stage of his life (the 1950s), such as just surviving and of finishing the huge amount of work he had started in so many fields.
I should also note that if the view that consciousness arises from the movement of orgone ‘within-a-membrane’ is taken that this is not an orgonomic but a systems theory. However, it is interesting that Reich was an early proponent of systems theory in relation to consciousness.
Some within orgonomy (the study of orgone) have argued that perhaps free orgone possesses a limited amount of undeveloped consciousness. However, this concessionary argument seems to suffer from unnecessary restriction. If free orgone is conscious why should that consciousness be primitive? This is saying that without the material boundaries of an organism, orgone is primitive. But orgone is primary whereas the material realm is not even secondary but tertiery I believe. Additionally, consciousness may transcend material boundaries in for example, Near Death Experiences, Remote Viewing (see McTaggart’s The Field or Vibrational Medicine by Gerber) and Reincarnation research. So to say that the level of consciousness is entirely defined by organism boundaries is not supported. Such a view is actually just an opinion based on accepting some evidence (material existence) but ignoring the other fields stated above. To believe that consciousness is defined by matter alone I would have to forever ignore any evidence that suggests psychic, spiritual or non-local phenomena are real. Society is lop-sided toward materialism and is very particular about what science it accepts. For example, it accepts that there is no cosmic aether based on a handful of often poorly conducted experiments such as by Michelson and Morley and by rejecting Dayton Miller’s work (aether is a related concept to life-energy). In the same vein society dismisses psychic and spiritual phenomena that have centuries and libraries worth of detailed documentation. Is that really rational?
Synopsis of Introduction
I am proposing the hypothesis that in its primary state orgone is independently conscious and physical but mass-free and thus corresponds to what could now be called ‘spirit’ but in a strictly scientific sense. If preferred the terms, ‘Primary Field’, ‘Prime Force’ or ‘Physico-Consciousness’ could be used to describe this level of the life-force or orgone. I tend to use the phrase life-force rather than life-energy to describe orgone in totality as this phrase is more compatible with orgone being a continuum as detailed.
1: Theoretical Basis
As discussed, I solved this relationship problem (of orgone & consciousness) theoretically by postulating that orgone is a tripartite continuum of spirit, energy and matter properties.
Allowing that orgone has a primary aspect as a spirit-like field (physical, shared, lawful consciousness) would allow orgone to be reconciled with non-local phenomena such as ESP, telepathy, psychic phenomena, personal consciousness, perception beyond the material body and spirit entities. It would also explain how consciousness and orgone interrelate – at the primary unified level of a physical consciousness field. This relationship then expresses and develops at the secondary level of ‘energy’ and is then substantively embodied at the tertiary level of ‘matter’. All three of these phases are aspects of a single orgone continuum I believe. There is no need for a new term for orgone, just to drop the epithet ‘energy’ unless one is specifically referring to the secondary aspects of orgone.
2: Preliminary Evidence
Does the orgone that can be objectively measured possess non-local aspects? Yes, it almost certainly does I believe and there are initial phenomena that support this assertion. I started by exploring the relationship orgone and consciousness may have by using my imagination. I have then found that there are physical observations that support the relationships that seemed most logical to me. I will start with acupuncture.
The Chinese traditionally believe a life-energy exists and that this energy is concentrated within channels of flow within the body. My MSc study and peer reviewed, published experimental studies indicated that the qi energy in acupuncture and orgone may be the same energy. It posited dozens of theoretical parallels and found that orgone has a real effect on acupuncture in a double blind, placebo controlled experiment with 72 participants (Traditional Chinese Medicine and Reichian Theory, European Journal of Oriental Medicine article).
In acupuncture it is a well known phenomenon that a point can be activated at one end of the channel by using the opposite end of the same channel or even a related channel. For example the face can be affected by needling a point on the same channel in the leg or foot. This also works from side to side - one can affect the right foot say by needling the left foot.
The qi energy in the channels often feels like it is ‘leaping’ from one point to another, intelligently. Someone may feel a pulsing at acupuncture point Heart 7 on the wrist and then all of a sudden the pulsing leaps to Liver 3 on the foot. This might also help explain how certain points such as Bladder 67 on the toe can have a documented effect on entirely unrelated areas of the body such as the uterus. Bladder 67 can be used to help turn a breach fetushttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14564112. One can also activate the points merely by thinking about them – demonstrating the conscious nature of qi.
Korean Hand Acupuncture has aspects which appear to be non-local too. It uses the 'holographic' or 'mirror' principle of Chinese medicine. This is the non-local principle that a part of the body can exactly mirror the whole of the body - like a part of a hologram mirrors the whole. The Koreans have given us a whole new set of points, a great rarity in such an ancient medicine. Every acupuncture point on the body is exactly mapped on the hand. Needling the hand point activates both the body point and the body channel. Perhaps because the hands require such a large portion of neurological function they are the best mirror or hologram that I have noted clinically. The other maps, such as on the ear, do not have the exactness or power of the hand maps in my experience. Needling even a single point on the hand can activate a whole body channel. I once needled a 'facial' point on the hand for acute toothache and all the face pain 'jumped' from the face into the hand point at once (which was extremely unpleasant for the person). I took the needle out after which the toothache returned to the face then gradually dissipated over about 10-20 minutes. This was an extreme case but generally I've found the Korean hand points to be more effective at relieving dental pain than the actual local face points. I believe Korean hand acupuncture, which is scientifically validated to have strong biological effects (see Koryo Hand Therapy by T. Yoo) works purely through the non-local aspects of qi or orgone.
Dr Tan (http://www.oxfordmedical.co.uk/uploaded_files/1038/downloads/article_rothenbg.pdf) is a very successful acupuncture practitioner. His clinical practise is studied across the West and relies on the non-local aspects of acupuncture. He has moved away from the herbal or substance-dominated Chinese medical theory in favour of the ancient energy-based channel theory of acupuncture (both theories are contained within Chinese Medicine). In order to relieve pain at one end of the channel system he will use an opposite end of the system rather than the local points. Or he'll use another channel completely and the opposite end of it to relieve pain in the viscinity of a different but related channel. His treatments are very well regarded for their speed and efficacy. They are popular with the growing Community Acupuncture movement for this reason.
Reflexology also utilizes non-local effects I believe. Areas of stress in the body often show up as grittiness in the corresponding zone of the foot. Reflexology itself seems to have strong effects on the internal organs and may affect mental states such as depression (http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/reflexology/what-does-research-say-about-refloxology)
Patients and even cell cultures can be affected by 'healing energy' sent from a practitioner's hands. However some healers can affect the object of their attention without even being in physical proximity, again demonstrating both the non-local aspect of qi/orgone and that it has a consciousness aspect to its functioning (Vibrational Medicine by R. Gerber).
There is another set of observations I have seen that also supports my contention that orgone has a non-local aspect. This experiment is found in modern day Mesmerism.
Mesmerism is the forerunner of hypnotism. It uses more physical and bodily methods than are generally used within modern talk-based hypnotism. It is a very powerful method and has even been used in the past to perform thousands of operations without anaesthetic in Mesmeric hospitals in India, something that has been lost to the annals of 20th Century history. Mesmer believed in a life-energy and the force he postulated had much in common with Reich’s orgone. See here for a synopsis of the common ground between Mesmerism and Orgonomy, blog link.
Non-local Energy Fields In Mesmerism
The above illustration details a modern day Mesmeric experiment. I have seen this experiment performed successfully in England a number of times and have taken part in it as a participant. Both times I was impressed with the apparent objectivity of the results. I have been informed by the leading exponent of Mesmerism in the UK, Lee Gerrard-Barlow that he has seen this experiment conducted a dozen times or more in France, all with positive results.
To further emphasise the non-local connection between the two participants sometimes one of them is in another floor of the same building in a separate room (usually directly above the experimental area). Most often however, the participants are seated back to back as illustrated above.
In the above example the man on the left and the woman on the right are both put into a light trance using Mesmeric methods by the practitioner who is illustrated standing above. The following Mesmeric methods may be used to put the participants in a light trance: the practitioner’s visual focus (eye to eye contact with the patient), controlled breathing (of practitioner and patient) focusing of the patient’s eyes on an object, focus on an external light and ‘massage’ of the person’s energy aura.
Once the participants are in a light trance and sat in the chairs as above, the practitioner then directs energy, or strokes the energy field of one of the participants. In the illustration above, he directs or strokes the energy field of one arm of the woman. This may cause an unconscious auto-reaction in the second participant’s body. In this case, one of the man’s arms is rigidly raised upwards.
In summary, the practitioner directs or strokes the energy field of one of the participants. The other trance-connected participant, whether next to their partner or in another room may react unconsciously with automatic body movements in a corresponding part of their own body.
In the above example, once the man and woman are in a light trance they become one unit and the interactions of the practitioner with one participant are immediately reflected in the other. This may indicate a non-local life-force field governs both people and with which the practitioner is here interacting.
In my own experience of the experiment I found the automatic movements to be quite compulsive and not easily controlled consciously. It is not that I couldn’t stop the movements with effort but that I had no wish to either be in control or to direct my body consciously.
Overall Implications and Conclusion
A theoretical framework for understanding how orgone and consciousness may relate has been detailed (as a primary force-field that has the indistinguishable characteristics of physicality & consciousness). Evidence from Acupuncture, Mesmerism and Natural healing has been cited to support the non-locality of orgone (or life-force). This in turns indicates orgone may possess consciousness at its most basic level. If this indeed reflects reality there are a number of practical implications to be considered.
Firstly if the primary realm of orgone is a non-material, non-local, physical consciousness field this could give rise to any number of energetic and material dimensions. So other dimensions like our own could be possible or realms that are more energetic or spirit-like in nature. An entirely spiritual realm of existence could be possible too. It would also help bring to an end the Cartesian argument between reality being either mind-based (idealism) or matter-based (materialism). Duality would be superseded by a trinity of spirit-energy-matter, all three states being ultimately real at their particular level of experience. However, it would indicate that the spirit realm transcends the other two levels and is the most basic mother of the other two realities.
It would also imply that it is possible that matter could enter into or out of the material realm (tertiary level) and energetic realms (secondary level). So such science fiction favourites as warp drives should indeed be possible at least theoretically.
If the primary realm of orgone is non-local, in other words, universal, and conscious without restriction then such an entity would be close to what some have called, 'God'. This doesn't mean the Deistic notion of an all-powerful creator God necessarily. Perhaps the theistic, Gnostic, Buddhist or non-religious conceptions of an intelligent universe might suffice. Personally I have gone from being a devout atheist to becoming a spiritual but hopefully, scientific, theist. If the universe is one intelligent, physical entity why should it not also possess personal consciousness? Some assume that such a field as I am describing would be impersonal, but there is no reason to assume a field of physical consciousness would not possess a personality. The future of science may be an uncomfortable place for materialist atheists. I do not believe in a creator God as I do not believe it is proved that the universe has a beginning that would necessitate one (being sceptical of Big Bang theory). However I remain a theist as I believe that is the most coherent position scientifically.
The orgone continuum conception would also indicate the primacy of the 'spirit' in problem solving and all relations. Perhaps in order to change energetic and material reality it might be best to start at the primary level of spirit. It would support prayer as a fundamental activity. It would indicate in reverse that energetic and material aspects can be used to increase the quality of meditation and spiritual aspects of consciousness. I have noted that meditation is easier in groups or when having acupuncture. This is probably why we pray in groups and why watching sport in crowds is exciting.
The continuum theory would explain and harmonise non-local healing, consciousness and so called paranormal and spiritual phenomena with the existence of a life-force. It would also explain the placebo effect and the power of the mind in healing plus the existence of synchronicity. It would support the notion of groups or entities creating a group mind that is entirely distinct from its components. A consciousness could manifest in a body or group of bodies and matter and energy in turn could limit and define consciousness. It would caution us to the power, both good and bad, of group minds. It would also suggest that spiritual possession of another’s body could occur.
The primary realm of orgone, if instant and non-local implies that it is a realm of timelessness. Thus time may only exist in the energetic and material planes. It should be possible for consciousness to step outside of the stream of time by entering the primary realm. It would confirm time-travel as an activity of consciousness. Whether that means physical time travel is possible I do not know. I have experienced precognition in dreams and there is no means to explain such occurrences energetically.
The greatest interest of the orgone continuum theory for me is that it allows a basis to begin to experimentally investigate consciousness itself - not as abstract phenomena but as a physical force.
Orgone is not merely a theory - it is a physical force that can be measured and objectified. If this force turns out to have a tripartite reality the basis of which is a non-mass, physical and conscious force-field then we have the basis of a fertile marriage - a marriage of spirituality and science.
Having explored that orgone may be a non-local universal force of consciousness at its most basic level, Part 2 of this series will likely be titled, ‘The Orgone Continuum, Is Orgone Conscious in Itself?’ and is my current working project.
Evidence of Biological Energy Independent of Orgonomy - (A Partial and Selected List Taken from my MSc 2002)
Alfven, H. (1981) Cosmic Plasmas, Boston, Kluwer press.
(Evidence of cosmic plasma).
Anderson and Spangler (1973) Serial Statistics: Is Radioactive Decay Random?, USA, J. Physical Chemistry, 77 : 3114-3124 (Evidence that 'random' radioactive decay is affected by an underlying energetic reality).
Arp, et al, (1973) The Redshift Controversy, USA, W.A. Benjamin ; Arp, H. (1987) Quasars, Redshifts, and Controversies,Berkeley, Interstellar Media. (Evidence that the universe is constantly evolving and did not start with the 'Big Bang')
Benveniste, J. et al (1988) Human Basophil Degranulation Triggered by Very Dilute Antiserum against IgE, Nature, June 30 : 333:382. (Experiments indicating that water has an energetic memory. Media reports that this work has been dismissed have not been backed by reliable published evidence).
Becker, R., and Selden, G. (1985) The Body Electric : Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life, New York, William Morrow. (Includes evidence that low pulsed electrical charges can be used to stimulate re-growth of limbs contrary to DNA theory)
Berkson, J. (1966) Examination of Randomness of Alpha Particle Emissions, New York, Research Papers in Statistics, Wiley.(Authors indicate that 'random' radioactive decay may be affected by an underlying energetic reality).
Burr, H.S. (1972) Blueprint for Immortality, The Body Electric, UK, Neville Spearman. (Burr's work suggests that changes in weak electrodynamic fields surrounding organisms can predict disease and other changes such as ovulation).
Brown, F. (1975) Evidence for External Timing in Biological Clocks, An Introduction to Biological Rhythms, New York, J. Palmer, ed., Academic Press. (Evidence that biological clocks, which are affected by cosmic environmental changes, exist in animals and plants).
Coats, C. (1996) Living Energies (Concepts of Viktor Schauberger), UK, Gateway Book. (Schauberger studied the biological energy functions of water and discovered that these functions could be increased using vortexes. Made many discoveries remarkably similar to Reich's).
Jones, J, O'Hara and Elrod, University of California, Irvine, Quantitative Evaluation of Pranic Healing Using Radiation and Cells in Culture, University of California, Irvine
Kevran, L. (1980) Biological Transmutations, Beekman, Woodstock, NY. (Evidence that animals can transmute chemicals from one element to another).
Miller, D. (1933) The Ether-Drift Experiment and the Determination of the Absolute Motion of the Earth, Reviews of Modern Physics, 5 : 203-242. (Evidence for the existence of a cosmic aether. See also www.orgonelab.org/miller.htm for modern evaluation of Miller's work).
Nordenstrum, B. Biological Closed Electric Circuits, Coronet Books (only available from British Library). (Bio-energetic circulatory system seen via X-Rays, bio-electric treatment of cancer tumour).
Sheldrake, R. (1981) A New Science of Life, The Hypothesis of Causative Formation, J. P. Tarcher, Los Angeles. (Energetic theory of inheritance evidenced by large scientific studies. Theory of morphic fields that shape and structure organisms).
Yount, G. (2000). The Effects of Qi-Gong on Normal and Cancer Cells, 15th International Conference on Human Functioning, Kansas, Centre for the Improvement of Human Functioning International, Cassette tape number 2938. (Qi-Gong energies can affect cell cultures from a distance)
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