The Destructiveness of Mechanistic-mystical Thinking in Psychiatry

In the lead article of the Review section, September 14-15 issue of The Wall Street Journal entitled, ‘Will Your Uploaded Mind Still Be You?’, the author, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Princeton University attempts to compare the natural science of psychiatry with the operation of a mechanical computer to provide an understanding of how the brain works. He postulates that structural causes in the brain are sufficient to explain biological functions and equates the structure of the brain with the human mind (a psychic function). As a neuroscientist, he is convinced that the brain is comparable to a computer and that “mind uploading,”…”preserving a persons consciousness in a digital afterlife,” will one day happen because “there are no laws of physics that stand in the way.” It just depends on technology that has not yet been invented.

This is an illustration of how the mechanistically oriented scientist resorts to mystical thinking to support his preformed mechanical hypothesis that requires an explanation: The neurons of the brain are “working parts” that are used over and over to “create complexity” …”Information” flows … through “vast connected networks in complex and unpredictable patterns, [somehow] creating the mind” (italics added).

The error of applying mechanistic-mystical thinking to biological functions has been a stumbling block in psychiatry for ages. It will continue until human beings are capable of thinking functionally. The error consists in believing that the structure of the brain determines its biological function. In fact, the reverse is true; biological function determines the brain’s organization. The persistence of this erroneous idea results in scientists remaining clueless about the fact that their armored way of thinking is itself a dead-end. The latest example of this mechanical thinking is that the functioning of the brain is compared to the operation of a machine-like computer.

Armored people will go to any to means to defend themselves from emotionally experiencing their biological roots even to the extent of identifying themselves with robotic computers. The destructive consequences of reducing human life to a machine passes by completely unnoticed.

The Young and the Clueless

In “The Young and the Economically Clueless,” (Wall Street Journal February 20-21, 2016) regarding the overwhelming political support of young people for Bernie Sanders, Daniel Arbess asks: “Why are young people voting against their own interests?”

The writer cannot answer the contradiction posed by his question because it is outside the economic realm. He is unfamiliar with two important sociological facts that are discussed in my last book, “Neither Left Nor Right”:
1. The primary determinant of an individual’s social and political thinking and behavior is his socio-political character structure.
2. The anti-authoritarian transformation of Western civilization that occurred around 1960.

This transformation, the result of the so-called ‘sexual revolution,’ was accompanied by the almost complete destruction of the authoritarian family and, with this, a dramatic shift to the left in the political thinking of mainstream Americans. This culminated, in 2008, with the presidential election of a full-fledged, pseudo/liberal communist, Barack Obama.

The clueless young were not in a position to have learned anything about the destructiveness of Obama’s or Bernie Sander’s socialism because, as the writer notes, the eldest of these young people were in elementary school when the Soviet Union collapsed. Moreover, they are generally clueless about the significance of historical events.

More importantly, these children are the product of the baby boomer generation that were growing up during the 60’s. Many of these were the product of broken homes and therefore had little or no parental, authoritative guidance in their development. What many of these offspring experienced was just the opposite, brattiness and rebelliousness in their parents.

Bernie Sanders, a self-claimed socialist, is the ideal role model as a leader for these helpless, clueless young people. Incapable of caring for themselves, Sanders becomes the all giving,”free lunch” father that, in their clueless eyes, will take care of them. The economic stresses that these young people face in today’s times merely intensifies their anxieties about the future, justifies their anger at the world and increases Sander’s attractiveness to them.

What is Functional Thinking?

Q. What is functional thinking?
A. Functional thinking is thinking according to the way nature functions.
Q. Who discovered functional thinking?
A. Functional thinking was discovered by Wilhelm Reich M.D.
Q. What is the importance of functional thinking?
A, Functional thinking provides a way to integrate all the natural sciences into a unified body of knowledge.
Q. What is the difference between functional thinking and ordinary thinking?
A. Ordinary thinking is either mechanistic or mystical.
Q. What is mechanistic thinking?
A. Mechanistic thinking is thinking about nature as if it were a machine.
Q. What is mystical thinking?
A. Mystical thinking is thinking as if there was a purpose to nature.
Q. What’s wrong with thinking mechanistically and mystically about nature?
A. Since nature does not operate like a machine and since it has no purpose, mechanistic/mystical thinking cannot provide a satisfactory understanding of how nature operates. Furthermore, erroneous mechanistic/mystical thinking often has destructive consequences.
Q. How does mechanistic/mystical thinking work?
A. When mechanistic thinking fails to provide a satisfactory understanding of nature, mystical thinking enters to provide a purpose to what is left to be understood.
Q. What is an example of mechanistic/mystical thinking?
A. An example is the statement: The heart pumps blood in order to bring oxygen to the tissues of The body. First, the heart is compared to a mechanical pump. Then, a purpose is given to explain why the heart pumps blood.
Q. What is the functional understanding of this example?
A. The function of biological pulsation defines the goal of bringing oxygen to the tissues.
Q. Where can I learn more about functional thinking?
A. The American College of Orgonomy gives a course on functional thinking to qualified students.

Ebola and ISIS

According to conventional thinking, Ebola and ISIS are entirely different pathological conditions that exist in different realms of nature. Although they operate in different realms, Ebola in the biological realm and ISIS in the social realm, they have a great deal in common. They are both highly destructive to life, they are highly invasive, they are infectious, they operate from a place of hiding, their victims are highly vulnerable to the pathogen, and lastly, the only treatment is sequestration of the pathogen and/or the carrier.
Thanks to advances in virology the pathogenic agent responsible for the Ebola virus has been identified. Therefore, an antiviral drug will hopefully become available soon. Unfortunately, the pathological condition responsible for the disease, ISIS, still remains to be identified by the medical establishment. Since it is not known how the disease arises, there is currently no known treatment except by destroying the organization. But this will not prevent other ISIS’s from sprouting up at any time.
This is because the disease, ISIS, is endemic in everyone, particularly in the hordes of displaced, sexually repressed Muslim youth who have no other outlet for their frustrated emotions than to turn their hatred outward against the world and murder innocent people.
The disease, ISIS, is just another manifestation of a condition that Wilhelm Reich identified as the emotional plague of mankind. Like Ebola, ISIS is a highly malignant, invasive disease that is carried by infected humans. Like Ebola, it must be recognized and addressed as such before it can be contained.

The Development of Ocular Armor in Infants

In an article published in the October 6 issue of Biological Psychiatry, researchers found that infants who had poor eye contact with the mother had higher “callous-emotional” traits. “These traits include problems recognizing emotions of others,impairment in responding to distress of others, and impaired guilt or empathy.” These traits are hypothesized to be precursors of anti-social behavior found in psychopathic adults.

We know from medical orgonomy that the syndrome of callous-emotional traits described by the authors is a result of disturbances of mother-infant eye contact.
Clinical experience with patients in Medical Orgone Therapy shows that disturbances in eye contact at this early stage of development are one of many consequences of ocular armor that can develop at that time and that these can have destructive behavioral and social effects not only in infancy and childhood but throughout the individual’s life.

The Rise In People’s Cluelessness

Around 1960, a fundamental transformation in Western Society took place from authoritarian to anti-authoritarian. With the transformation, there was a change in the pattern of armor in young people. Ocular armor largely replaced muscular armor and this had destructive personal and social consequences. Emotional energy was no longer able to be bound and held back in muscular armor. As a result of the weakening of muscular armor and the increase in ocular armor, destructive emotions were expressed through intellectualized rationalizations, hatred and contempt of authority. Blame and resentment were directed at traditional authority figures in all areas of society.
Young people became more irrational and out of touch with themselves and with the world. They became more contactless. The word clueless that is in common usage today accurately describes this mental state.
Accompanying the anti-authoritarian transformation, there appeared for the first time a syndrome of symptoms in children characterized by disturbances in focusing, restlessness and hyperactivity. This condition was called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Today, the number of young American adults taking medication for ADHD has nearly doubled from 2008 to 20012. One in ten adolescent boys were taking a drug for the disorder.
Today’s adult population represents the children of the baby boomers that were growing up in the 60’s. From a bio-psychiatric perspective, a primary manifestation of the disorder that first appeared at that time, ADHD, are a result of ocular pathology. It is possible to treat this disorder without the use of medication by a qualified therapist.

Another Way To Contain The Emotional Plague

In the November 9-10, 2013 Wall Street Journal article, “What Mass Killers Want” by Ari N. Schulman, the author presents the personality profile of mass shooters and from the evidence compiled by the research states that their murderous acts are a kind of theater. “Fantasy, public expression and messaging are central to what motivates and defines massacre killers … Like terrorists, mass shooters can be seen, in a limited sense, as rational actors who know that if they follow the right steps they will produce the desired effect in the public consciousness…the perpetrators…are following a ready-made, free floating template for young men to resolve their rage and express their sense of personal grandiosity.”
He correctly concludes that “treating mass killings as a kind of epidemic or contagion largely frees us from having to understand the particular causes of each act. Instead we can focus on disrupting the spread.”

As a way to discourage future mass shootings, Schulman proposes that the killer must be deprived of an audience. He goes on to propose specific recommendations such as never publishing a shooters propaganda, hiding their faces and names and so on. What he is proposing is to deprive the energy behind the shooters motivation to carry out his destructive act.
Schulman’s “treatment” for the problem of mass shootings is correct because it is based on an accurate understanding of the dynamic forces operating in the minds of these killers.
His approach is an application of the medical-psychiatric model to social “diseases.”
In order to treat a disease an accurate understanding of it’s origin is necessary. Human destructiveness in the social realm of which mass shootings is one example, is a manifestation of people’s emotional sickness. It is the result of an actual bio-social disease called the emotional plague, the treatment of which I discuss in my book, The Emotional Plague, The Root of Human Evil,

Schizophrenia And Marijuana Use

Clinical experience in medical orgone therapy shows that patients who have a schizophrenic character structure and  use marijuana often develop a psychotic reaction.  Patients with a non-schizophrenic character structure who use marijuana do not become psychotic but are emotionally deadened and unable to respond in the process of therapy.

In “Pot-Smoking And the Schizophrenia Connection,” an article in The Wall Street Journal July 2, 2013,  evidence is provided of  “a significant and consistent relationship between marijuana use and the development of schizophrenia and related disorders.”  The article cites other articles in the medical literature confirming the association between marijuana use and schizophrenia.

However, there is a segment of the population that uses marijuana that does not develop schizophrenia.  In order to make sense of the difference in people’s responses to the same drug there has to be a better  understanding of the schizophrenic character.  Schizophrenia is the result of ocular repression with panic and splitting (See Man in the Trap, page 141 by Elsworth Baker). Because traditional psychiatrists do not understand the role played by ocular armor in schizophrenia, many people in the general population who are schizophrenic characters are not recognized to have the illness by them.

There are all degrees in which panic and splitting occur in the schizophrenic population.  Many individuals with a schizophrenic character structure who are able to live fairly normal lives can break down and become psychotic if environmental stresses become more than they can handle.  In these individuals marijuana use can act as a stressor and induce a psychotic reaction.

This is an example illustrating the importance of having an accurate bio-psychiatric diagnosis before  evaluating any social situation.

Why Is Swaddling Becoming Popular?

In the last few decades there has been a revival in the practice of swaddling babies. An example is a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, (May 14, 2013) A Better Night’s Sleep for All that provides the latest information about baby swaddling to prospective parents.  The subject of swaddling is juxtaposed with the subject of infant death syndrome (SIDS).  A correlation is then made between SIDS cases to unsafe sleep environments.  From there, the article goes on to discuss better methods of swaddling.  The reason given for swaddling is that it provides “a better night’s sleep for all.”

The article is a typical manifestation of the emotional plague in operation in everyday life.  The association of  swaddling with SIDS has the effect of frightening people into swaddling their infants.  The reason to swaddle, to insure a good night’s sleep for all, is given to justify the practice with a “good intention”and to provide the parents with a clear conscience.  Nothing is said about the importance of the child’s spontaneous movements for it’s emotional health and natural development.  Nothing is said about the harm that restricting these movements does to the infant.

The reason for this upswing is twofold: First, mothers today are in less emotional touch with themselves and are in need of good advice.  (More and more “experts” are in the market  to give it.)  Second, in today’s anti-authoritarian, overly permissive society,  people have less muscular armor and therefore are generally more anxious than they were in the past.  For many, having a baby is fraught with anxiety and prospective parents  need to have their anxieties brought under control.  Armoring their babies by swaddling them  gives parents comfort and a sense of security.

Until mothers and fathers are in better emotional contact with their own and their children’s emotional needs, there is no hope that there will be any genuine improvement with the way newborns and babies are brought up.

The Problem Of Recognizing The Emotional Plague

The emotional plague’s existence depends on its remaining hidden from everyone’s awareness.  But why is this so?  Why can’t people see this universal sickness of armored humans?  The difficulty that prevents this understanding lies primarily in the defensive ways of people’s thinking.

Comparing infectious medical diseases such as tuberculosis, polio or cholera to the infectious bio-social disease, the emotional plague, it is clear that in the case of the medical diseases the bacterial pathogen that causes the infection is not viewed morally as being “good” or “bad,” “right” or “wrong.”  Nor is there a moral concern whether the pathogen “meant” or “had the intention” to cause the illness.  These moralistic ideas about infectious disease were part and parcel of the thinking of past centuries.  If people looked at infectious diseases morally today, the sciences of bacteriology and virology would not exist, and  knowledge about infectious diseases would still be where it was 300 years ago.

But this is exactly where people are today when judging destructive human ideas and behavior.  They view them morally as being either right or wrong, the product either of a virtuous versus villainous individual or the result of a person’s good or bad intentions.  These ideas are examples of defensive, armored thinking and the moralistic attitudes behind the thinking of almost everyone including the political left and the right.

Because scientists looked at the function of the medical pathogens in its relation to the life of the host organism, whether or not they were destructive to it, these medical sciences thrived.  Regarding social problems, the questions that need to be asked are:  What is the effect or function on others of a person’s behavior or thought?  Are these consequences harmful to the core functions of  people’s lives?  Asking these  questions immediately brings the emotional plague as an infectious bio-social disease into sharper focus and takes the problem of the destructiveness of sick humans out of people’s moral ways of thinking and out of the strait jacket of politics.