The formation of social armour,
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This review is from: Character Analysis (Paperback)
Social armour, the basis of the work, is a fairly understandable concept. People construct their body in relation to the social world they inhabit. The muscles form according to the blows and support that they receive, leading to blockages and flows. These were the building blocks for understanding Klaus Theweleit's work when he looked at the formation of German masculinities before and just after World War Two. Hard men formed in relation to, and then molded themselves within, before shaping the environment of their own children,often without any reflection on the processes they were operating within.
Reich is a sex reductionist, and this is a problem, seeing the orgasm as the release of the final blockage. However in retrospect this appears a little naive. Good orgiastic sex will release the internal chemistry and create life balance. No, it does help to validate the other, to release someone from being imprisoned and caught within the loneliness of individualism, but Reich must have realised through talking to Stekel that sex was not the final full stop. It is only part of living, one component amongst many, but not the whole point. He appears to have swallowed the evolutionary concept that we are here to procreate and that is all.
However the foundation of his ideas, those which look at flows and blockages is a crucial component for understanding the body and its processes, particularly in osteopathy and other body practices where the streams of life become blocked and illness forms as a result.
Visualising psychotherapy and talking as not being enough, he began to reflect on how the body processes stores memories, then he reflected on how these can be released. This books is important for understanding the body as he was one of the first to move away from the citadel of the mind to attach the body to the other functions of the brain. In this he was revolutionary and something that CBT for example has failed to reflect upon.