Sunday, June 08, 2008

Report on an Orgone Accumulator blanket, with an explanation of Reich's ideas

This is just my experience and is not intended to be either medical advice or anything other than an anecdotal. I am not a psychiatrist or a physician.

I constructed an Orgone Accumulator blanket using steel wool, real wool, and putting it inside a cotton pillow case.

The purpose of the Orgone Accumulator blanket or ORAC is health, both physical and psychological. The action of the blanket, Orgone, and ORACs in general, are related both to psychotherapy and general health, via body consciousness, and the relation of the mind to the body. Contrary to some beliefs, it is not a sex blanket and, in fact, if it's doing its job it should only be mildly pleasurable.

To understand the Orgone Blanket, you have to understand psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich's greater philosophy and how that philosophy preceded from analysis, to body manipulation, to orgone therapy. Reich identified character armor, that part of the psyche containing repressed feelings and traumas, as being located both within the brain and within the muscles that physically embody it through holding tension. You can either work on the brain or work on the muscles as a way of getting around the resistance of the brain against dealing with deep, traumatic, material. Overcoming resistance is what a lot of Reich's work involved. His character analytic technique was designed to get beneath the defenses of patients that caused them to dance around their problems instead of confronting them, and his technique of muscular manipulation was based on the same idea. Reich manipulated the muscular 'plates' that contained traumatic tensions in order to release them. Reich's plates were general areas of muscles like the abdomen, the upper back, the face, the throat. These were either worked on by the psychiatrist or by the patient himself via customized instructions given by the psychiatrist in the office. Freeing the muscles from the tension they held facilitated bringing repressed material to consciousness, material that the muscles helped to repress. The muscular tension of the repressions was also thought to block the free flow of energy throughout the body, leading to physical ailments as side effects of psychological illness. Reich called the energy Orgone The use of orgone energy itself in therapy came out of the strategy of making an end run around surface resistance by going deeper into the body in an alternative way to deal with psychological problems. The orgone energy was applied to the muscular plates holding back emotions and traumas in order to help force them to break up. This was often done in concert with muscular manipulation. By attacking the muscles with concentrated orgone energy their resistance is undermined.

Because all these techniques, the character analytic, the muscular, and the orgone, are aimed at getting behind or below resistance and breaking it down none of them are purely peaceful if they're doing their work, although when it's not used directly on tensions the blanket can be very peaceful on its own. The tensions confronted with muscular manipulations can cause people to scream out, and scream at their therapist, to fight the tension, and to not feel ok, at first. But if these emotions are worked through and the resistance conquered the discomfort is thought to let up and lead both to better psychological functioning and better physical functioning, due to the end of the energy blockage. Reportedly, realizations about the problems will also comes to pass.

With regards to myself and the orgone blanket I had determined through self observation that the muscular plates I have a lot of trouble on are the one on my throat and the one on my upper chest. There are many reasons for this, but one of them refers to having problems with communication, at least in normal life when I'm not in front of a computer. So, it was a sunny day out,and I decided to put the new orgone blanket to use by laying down on top of it with it below my upper chest and neck.

After a minute or two I felt a spontaneous urge to cry. Then that dissipated. It was replaced by a rising feeling of irritation, first manifesting as a head ache and then as a strange uncomfortableness in my upper body. I began to feel angry, to get fidgety, and to become angry at Reich and his blanket. I held on and that passed, and eventually I became aware of an intense internal monologue about the experience itself taking place, the inability of myself to shut it down being part of the problem itself. It was that I had problems getting to unmediated experience without commentary or second guessing, to experience that is less removed from the situation, whatever it might be. This went on for a little while until it all seemed to hit a wall and a sharp pain appeared in the area that made me get off the blanket,to virtually jump off of it. When the pain happened I had a split second realization that was so uncomfortable that I couldn't take it, and felt I had to get out of there.

The orgone blanket was doing its job of Reichian therapy by other means.

*on edit: this article should point to some of the dangers that people should be aware of when using accumulators, namely, that if you're going to disrupt character armor that's been in place for a long time and that your personality has grown around there's potential for destabilization of your mind, if you're not careful. It's necessary in some respects but still dangerous if you're not prepared for the orgone energy to not just bring up good feelings but tough psychological issues that you'd rather not face.

*on edit #2: for more precise directions on how to make a blanket google 'pore' and 'orgone' together. You'll find the site I took the directions from. Look around and you'll find what you need. They make the info available solely for experimental purposes, for testing the potential influence of orgone blankets and orgone on the surrounding physical environment. Not for medical purposes.

*on edit #3. This is how the orgone accumulator is supposed to work. The orgone energy is flowing around us in the atmosphere all the time. It can go through matter to a certain degree but different types of matter effect it differently. They don't change the orgone itself, although electromagnetic energy impacts it negatively, but they effect how it flows. When orgone drifts through organic matter like wool or cotton it gets stuck for a little bit before flowing on. When it comes in contact with certain metals it gets deflected away from them. If you have wool and steel wool arranged in layers what will happen is that the orgone drifting through the atmosphere with get slowed down by the wool then partially deflected by the layer of steel wool back into the wool itself. If you have two layers each of wool and steel, alternating, what will happen is that the orgone will get slowed down by the first layer, some of it will be repulsed by the steel, but some of it will go through the steel wool anyways to the other side, then be slowed down by the next wool again. Through this process the blanket eventually gets charged.

It's not like a battery, though. It's dependent on the orgone in the atmosphere, so that it will be much more powerful on a clear blue day than on a grey, smoggy, cloudy, day. In fact, if there's serious pollution directly around you using the blanket could be dangerous, because it also can accumulate DOR, dead or disrupted orgone, that can cause physical sickness. But that only applies if the pollution is right there, not just if you live in a city that's somewhat smoggy sometimes, although at those times you wouldn't want to use it. It will gain charge of either orgone or DOR, and that charge will seep out of it, regardless of the healthy or unhealthy effects it brings with it.


Ann in Oregon said...

Why not use copper mesh as the metal on an orgone blanket?

John Madziarczyk said...

I don't know a lot about copper in this case, but from what I know copper is a very good conductor of energy while the steel wool is supposed to block the energy. My guess is that it might have the opposite effect from what's needed.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
vingill said...

I was considering buying an orgone blanket - your article was very helpful - thanx

Marc Dalal said...

Great blog. I was looking at the instructions to make an orgone blanket. I wanted to test this blanket out. Before making the blanket I googled and got this blog. Very interesting to read your experience when trying the blanket. I wondered about lying on it but the explanation of how the layers slow down the energy explained that.

I went to a bioenergetics day here in London. There was a facilitator called Guy Gladstone, very experienced. One participant was experienceing deep emotion and could not speak so he was asked to come into the center of the 18 people there and lie facing up. For a few minutes his body was relasing quite vioelent body long shakes.

I was wondering if you have continued to use your blanket and if you have had more emotional release, and possibly memory recovery?

Do let us know your trajectory. Thanks anyway for the detailed blog.


John Madziarczyk said...

Yes, I've experienced more with them. I like Reich's psychological ideas and think that the stuff with orgone dovetails with them very well. It's unfortunate that there really isn't a good presentation of the connection between the two out there beyond Reich's work itself.

Anonymous said...

Hey John,

Thanks for sharing your experiences with the orgone blanket. It was interesting for me who have been doing the reichian body work for years to note that thus far in my own use of an orgone blanket I have had no unpleasant experiences so far.