The core functions of all religions are twofold: First, it provides a way of understanding the relation of humans to the cosmos from which they originate and second, it provides a way of coming to grips with people’s armored condition and it’s destructive social consequence, the emotional plague of mankind. Because human armor is omnipresent, practically the entire human race is caught in the world-wide web of the emotional plague. This trap includes religions movements themselves.
Christianity has had a powerful influence on Western life in it’s attempt to address these functions, particularly in understanding and dealing with the problem of human evil which is how the emotional plague is currently recognized in a distorted form. Christianity began to flourish around the fourth century A.D. when the Roman Empire was disintegrating. People’s secondary destructive drives were responsible for this collapse and Christianity’s primary function was to preserve whatever remained intact of Roman social order.
In order to do this, Christianity combined the two basic functions of religion, the cosmic element and the emotional plague element, into one comprehensive mystical dogma: Christ, the son of God, came to earth to save humanity from it’s sins by sacrificing his life for man. The function of this belief was to restore social order by anchoring Christian mysticism into the structure of the armored populace.
Christianity attempted to get to the universality of human armor and the emotional plague through the irrational idea of original sin: all men and woman are sinners. It also attempted to bring about social cohesion by converting all non-believers into Christianity since only by believing in Christ as the true savior of souls could one be saved from eternal damnation.
The act of mystical belief in Christ the savior was expected to keep impulses from the destructive secondary layer of armored humans in check. Since Christ died for people’s sins, the responsibility for sinning (human social destructiveness) and the guilt that is associated with it is taken over in the body of Christ. People can temporarily be relieved of the feeling of guilt that is contained in the destructive impulses in their armor by believing in Christ.
The Catholic church has incorporated into its religion the function of providing relief in the practice of confession. The priest as the representative of Christ on earth functions in the role of confessor. What is essential for obtaining relief from guilt is the sinner’s absolute conviction that Christ is the true savior.
However, the Christian solution to the problem of the emotional plague was only partially successful and lasted for about a thousand years in Europe. Consider the rampant debauchery and corruption of the Church’s leaders during the middle ages that resulted in the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. The importance of the Reformation movement was to deal with the emotional plague within the Catholic Church itself. The Reformation under Luther returned to the earlier Christian belief that faith in Christ alone without any human intervention was sufficient for salvation.
But Protestantism also was not able to contain the build-up of energy in the destructive secondary layer since it soon was apparent that Protestants could be as cruel and as fanatical as Catholics. Furthermore, people were growing dissatisfied with Catholicism’s rigid mystical interpretation of the natural world. From a biophysical perspective, people’s mystical form of ocular armor was loosening.
The only other solution that armored humans had to deal with the problem of human destructiveness was to pull energy up from the body into the head and rely on the objective, not subjective, aspects of human life. This led to the age of enlightenment and the liberal thinkers in 18h century England. On the one hand, liberalism was a rational attempt to deal with the Catholic Church’s mystical view of the world and on the other, it was a hopelessly desperate attempt to deal with and control impulses from people’s secondary destructive layer (the emotional plague) by pulling energy from muscular armor into the brain. With liberalism, brain (ocular) armor intensified through the development of defensive intellectualism at the expense of muscular armor. One form of ocular armor (mysticism) was replaced by another equally destructive form (defensive intellectualism). From a characterological perspective, conservative thinking was replaced by liberal thinking.
However, eliminating mystical religion created another, more serious problem in today’s anti-authoritarian society. There was no longer a mechanism for people who had given up their faith in religion to obtain relief from their guilt resulting from the socially destructive impulses contained in their middle layer. Since people had chronic armor they also had a chronic sense of guilt that they had to live with on a daily basis. As a result, people developed free floating guilt feelings. To obtain relief, it was readily acted out through advocating leftist social and political causes of every kind.
The development of free floating guilt in people who have given up their mystical faith in religion and in religious leaders is the reason for liberalism’s instability as a political movement and why it can quickly degenerate into socialism and communism. It is also the reason for how quickly psuedo-liberal leaders on the political left can appear on the social scene to assume the role of a secular savior of the masses who need to be led into subjugation.
Wilhelm Reich found that human beings are not born evil, but that evilness is instilled in infants and children through a process of armoring and that this causes them to behave destructively toward other humans. Armoring in humans is the source of the emotional plague. Therefore, if humans are not born evil but are made so, sinfulness can be prevented in the human race through natural child rearing practices and through the process of armor elimination of medical orgone therapy. The emotional plague is a medical disorder and must be treated like any other infectious medical disease.