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Wilhelm Reich

Geburtstag: 24. März 1897
Todesdatum: 3. November 1957

Wilhelm Reich war ein österreichisch-US-amerikanischer Psychiater, Psychoanalytiker, Sexualforscher und Soziologe. Reich fand Zusammenhänge zwischen psychischen und muskulären Panzerungen und entwickelte die Therapiemethode der Psychoanalyse zur Charakteranalyse und diese zur Vegetotherapie weiter. Letztere gilt als Grundlage für verschiedene später begründete Körperpsychotherapien.

Seine parallel dazu durchgeführten mikrobiologischen Forschungen führten ihn zur „Entdeckung des Orgons“, einer „primordialen“ Energie, deren Existenz außerhalb von Reichs Schülerkreis nicht anerkannt wurde.

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„DAS GRUNDSÄTZLICHE AUSWEICHEN VOR DEM WESENTLICHEN ist das Problem des Menschen.“ Christusmord, Übers. aus dem Englischen von Bernd A. Laska. Olten und Freiburg/Br.: Walter-Verlag 1978 (Engl. Orig., The Murder of Christ. Rangeley/Maine, USA: Orgone Institute Press 1953)

„Ich bin dein Arzt, und da du diesen Planeten bevölkerst, bin ich ein planetarer Arzt; ich bin kein Deutscher, kein Jude, kein Christ, kein Italiener, sondern Bürger der Erde“ Rede an den kleinen Mann, Fischer Taschenbuch 6777, Frankfurt/M., Juni 1984, 780-ISBN 3-596-26777-3, S. 79 (Deutsche Erstausgabe; zuerst ersch. in engl. Übersetzung: "Listen Little Man", New York: Orgone Institute Press 1948 )


„Das Lebendige beansprucht nicht Macht, sondern Geltung im menschlichen Leben. Es ruht auf den drei Pfeilern der Liebe, der Arbeit und des Wissens.“ Rede an den kleinen Man, Fischer Taschenbuch 6777, Frankfurt/M., Juni 1984, S. 11 (Deutsche Erstausgabe; zuerst ersch. in engl. Übersetzung: Listen Little Man, New York: Orgone Institute Press 1948)

„Die Sexualwissenschaft ist [ … ] politisch und links, ob sie will oder nicht.“ November 1935) — Die Sexualität im Kulturkampf, Kopenhagen: Sexpol-Verlag 1936, Vorwort, S. XVI

„Liebe, Arbeit und Wissen sind die Quellen unseres Daseins. Sie sollen es auch regieren.“ Motto auf dem Vorsatzblatt der meisten deutschen Ausgaben von Reichs Büchern, die 1966 und später erschienen, zitiert in "Die Sexuelle Revolution". Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt/M 1999, 15. Auflage, ISBN 3-596-26749-8, S. 7, erstmals veröffentlicht in "Die Funktion des Orgasmus" 1927

„You differ from a great man in only one respect: the great man was once a very little man, but he developed one important quality: he recognized the smallness and narrowness of his thoughts and actions. Under the pressure of some task that meant a great deal to him, he learned to see how his smallness, his pettiness endangered his happiness. In other words, a great man knows when and in what way he is a little man. A little man does not know he is little and is afraid to know. He hides his pettiness and narrowness behind illusions of strength and greatness, someone else's strength and greatness. He's proud of his great generals but not of himself. He admires an idea he has not had, not one he has had. The less he understands something, the more firmly he believes in it. And the better he understands an idea, the less he believes in it.“ Listen, Little Man!

„You'll have a good, secure life when being alive means more to you than security, love more than money, your freedom more than public or partisan opinion, when the mood of Beethoven's or Bach's music becomes the mood of your whole life … when your thinking is in harmony, and no longer in conflict, with your feelings … when you let yourself be guided by the thoughts of great sages and no longer by the crimes of great warriors … when you pay the men and women who teach your children better than the politicians; when truths inspire you and empty formulas repel you; when you communicate with your fellow workers in foreign countries directly, and no longer through diplomats...“ Listen, Little Man!

„Man's right to know, to learn, to inquire, to make bona fide errors, to investigate human emotions must, by all means, be safe, if the word "freedom" should ever be more than an empty political slogan.“


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

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

„The pleasure of living and the pleasure of the orgasm are identical. Extreme orgasm anxiety forms the basis of the general fear of life.“

„Because you have no memory for things that happened ten or twenty years ago, you're still mouthing the same nonsense as two thousand years ago. Worse, you cling with might and main to such absurdities as 'race,' 'class,' 'nation,' and the obligation to observe a religion and repress your love.“ Listen, Little Man!


„It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principal. This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don't believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you'll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman. You had the choice between Lenin's truly democratic constitution and Stalin's dictatorship. You chose Stalin's dictatorship. You had your choice between Freud's elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air. You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus' mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx's insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state. You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine. In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson. You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo's truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering. … Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. 'Why so tragic?' you ask. 'Do you feel responsible for all evil?' With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn't perish, struck down by your smallness.“ Listen, Little Man!

„You don't believe that your friend could ever do anything great. You despise yourself in secret, even – no, especially – when you stand on your dignity; and since you despise yourself, you are unable to respect your friend. You can't bring yourself to believe that anyone you have sat at table with, or shared a house with, is capable of great achievement. That is why all great men have been solitary. It is hard to think in your company, little man. One can only think 'about' you, or 'for your benefit', not 'with' you, for you stifle all big, generous ideas.“ Listen, Little Man!

„And the truth must finally lie in that which every oppressed individual feels within himself but hasn't the courage to express“ Beyond Psychology: Letters and Journals, 1934-1939

„I know that what you call 'God' really exists, but not in the form you think; God is primal cosmic energy, the love in your body, your integrity, and your perception of the nature in you and outside of you.“ Listen, Little Man!

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