Beyond Psychology: Letters and Journals, 1934-1939
In August 1934, without warning or explanation, Wilhelm Reich was expelled from the International Psychoanalytic Association. Political expediency ... Show synopsis In August 1934, without warning or explanation, Wilhelm Reich was expelled from the International Psychoanalytic Association. Political expediency and the organization's growing adherence to Freud's death instinct theory had prevailed over Reich's scientific efforts to understand the functioning of what Freud had termed "libido." The provocative originality of Reich's work in the years to follow would inevitably distance him from Freudian psychology. But the result was an extraordinary widening of his scientific interests, scrupulously documented in these journals and letters. They record his pioneering laboratory experiments to verify the reality of the pleasure function and his discovery of an unknown energy that exists in all living matter. They record, too, the anguish of a man unafraid to speak his truth in the face of attack and defamation, even though it cost him his profession, his homeland and his adopted country, his wife, his two children, and his lover. In her introduction to the volume, Mary Boyd Higgins of the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust considers key events and themes of Reich's life and work during the years leading up to 1934.