Centre for Orgonomic Research and Education
The Microscope and the Bion Experiments
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How to Get a 3000x Microscope?
An enquirer asked me recently how he could buy a microscope that would give him a magnification of 3000x, the level recommended by Reich in The Cancer Biopathy to reveal the blue colour of the bions' orgone charge and its internal pulsation. The answer is, you can't buy such a microscope 'over the counter.' Such instruments do not exist, unless you have several thousand pounds to spend. In that case you can buy a high quality microscope made by Zeiss, Olympus or Nikon, for example, and you can buy a magnification changer for such an instrument. This will double the magnification you can obtain normally. With 15x or 20x eyepieces and a 100x objective your top magnification will then be 3000x or 4000x. So that's it then, is it? You can only afford a Chinese student's model, maximum price about £800? Well, no, all is not lost. There is a trick that will do it for you. As you will know, if you already have a typical Chinese model, the maximum magnification for an ordinary biological microscope is 1000x, a 100x objective (oil immersion) and 10x eyepieces. A pair of 20x eyepieces, easily obtained, will increase your magnification to 2000x. (We're getting there, aren't we?) Now start combing the pages of ebay and any other sites you know of with microscope components for sale and look for a secondhand 160x objective, made by one of the old classic manufacturers. The most commonly available maker seems to be Leitz. (As far as I know, these 160x objectives are lo longer made.) I have one myself and seen several others for sale. There was one a few weeks ago on ebay. The objective must match the tube-length of your own microscope. This will be on the objectives provided with it and will be either 160mm, 170mm or so called infinity-corrected, in which case the infinity sign, a figure 8 on its side, which I can't reproduce here, will be on the objectives. It is vital that your objective tube-lengths match. If they do, that's it, it should work and you should end up with a magnification of 3200x. I have tried this on C O R E's Brunel SP150 model and it worked very well. So...it can be done. If you do try this, please let me know how well it has worked out for you. Good luck to you. (Posted 17. 10. 16.) PS 20. 3. 17. It is also possible to increase your magnification level with the benefit of a digital camera with a zoom lens. I have just tried doing this with C O R E's new Panasonic VX980 camera and it worked very well, though the actual area visible is only a tiny fraction of the field of view. This only works well with an optical zoom lens, I suspect. The zoom maximum is 20x on this camera.
Bions for Beginners - Progress at Last - Now Available
At last I can honestly say that this book has arrived and supporters of C O R E interested enough to want to get a microscope and try their hand at the bion experiments now have a basic textbook to help them get going. I am already posting copies out to people who have ordered copies prior to publication. (Added 7. 6. 16.) It's good to be able to report positive news at last about this important little book. If you haven't been following this saga, the printing has been badly delayed by my recent illness and a big cock-up by the first printers. The final, corrected pdfs are now back with the new printers and we should have our copies sometime next week. If you have been reading this page and wondering if you could get a microscope and have a go at the bion experiments yourself, this is the book for you. It costs £7:50 a copy and the second-class UK postage is £1:20. (25. 5. 16.)
Well...I spoke too soon about Bions for Beginners. The first printers managed to make a complete mess of the job and then had the cheek to want to charge me further for the printing of a correct version. £200+ down the drain. I am now renegotiating the printing with a new firm and it may take another two to three weeks before the book is ready. (12. 5. 16.)
Bions for Beginners is well on the way and should be available to buy by mid to late March. Don't forget that participants in our Easter bion week will be offered free copies of this book. (25. 2. 16.)
Bion Experiments Week, Easter, 2016
C O R E is running a study week on the bion experiments and Reich blood test during the week after Easter. If you want an opportunity to familiarise yourself with microscopes and how to use them and how to actually do your own bion experiments, this is a great opportunity. It will be a good opportunity to get to know the ropes before you buy yourself a microscope, if you are interested in bion work but have no chance to see or use a microscope. Please see events page (hyperlink above) for details. I am also preparing for publication a short guide for to the bion experiments - Bions for Beginners. This work is coming on well and the book will be ready for the study week. Free copies to all participants. Otherwise, the cost is £7:50 a copy + £1:20 for UK second class postage. (8. 3. 16.)
Another 'Orgonomic' Microscope in the UK
I am delighted to be able to report that we now have yet another microscope in the hands of a student of orgonomy. I haven't seen it yet, but as far as one can see from the ebay page, it is a marvellous, high-quality Leitz from the seventies, very suitable for bion work with phase contrast facility, not to mention fluorescence microscopy and darkfield. I'll be posting a photo and more information as soon as I have it. This is a classic example of what, with a bit of perseverance, you can get for a few hundred pounds second-hand that would cost you as many thousands, if you bought a high-quality new instrument today. Watch this space! (2. 11. 15.)
'Wild' Bions in Stream Silt
As some of you may have already noticed yourselves, (there is now a handful of individuals know to C O R E out in the world with their own microscopes doing the bion experiments), you will occasionally, if you look very carefully, see 'wild' bions in samples of water taken from ponds, puddles, and streams. Last Sunday I collected a sample of silt from the outside curve of an undulation on a small stream in a nearby wood. I did this with a view to observing the 'wildlife' in the silt, if any. There were a few micro-organisms in it, not many, but the more I looked the more I realised that I was able to make out very clearly indeed in tiny clear patches between the clay and sand particles bions dancing in their usual recognisable way. I tried to film it last night, but, alas, suddenly my simple Roxio system seems to be going astray, and in spite of an excellent image on the big TV monitor, the computer monitor showed stripes sliding up and down the screen and left me with a very poor fuzzy image. It is probably a waste of time appealing for help with this problem, but if anyone knows what might be wrong with the system, please get in touch (email@example.com ). (26. 8. 14.)
Another Orgonomic Microscope out in the World!
I am delighted to report that yet another recent visitor to C O R E has decided to purchase at cost price one of two reconditioned Vickers microscopes. I purchased these for possible students from Brunel, as they were such a bargain at the time. They were reconditioned models discarded by Nottingham University. And someone else has enquired tentatively about the remaining model. It is inspiring and satisfying that for all its being totally ignored by mainstream institutions and individuals, Artificers is definitely inspiring serious readers to get down to some real microscopy with the bion experiments. (7. 3. 14.) PS July 2014. Yes, the other Vickers model has also moved on to reside with one of C O R E's friends in London. Before despatching these two venerable microscopes I checked them both over and had a look at some bions on them. I was sad to see them go. They are lovely bits of English technology. As far as I know, there are now no microscope makers at all in the UK.
Bions from Plastic?
Thanks to an enquiry from our Italian colleague, Roberto Maglione, we have made a further interesting discovery about bions, that they can be obtained from plastic. This seemed very unlikely to me and it had never crossed my mind to bother with a material that doesn't even exist in nature, as far as I know, though, of course, the constituent elements must. Roberto asked me if plastic produced bions and my reply was that I had never tried plastic and just did not know. The actual investigation was very simple. I just 'grated' some plastic, actually the handle of an old tooth-brush, against a steel file, the same one as used to produce other small particles for our experiments, dropped the filings produced into a test-tube full of just boiled water, and, there they were, in quite good quantities, though nothing in comparison to the numbers generated by iron-filings or Scottish rock-dust. The plastic particles seemed to produce fewer of the agglomerations that are so common in an iron-filing or rock-dust bion culture. I shall repeat this carefully, taking more comprehensive sterile precautions, though I am at a loss to find a way of ensuring sterility of the plastic particles. Soak them in hydrogen peroxide? If anyone has some bright ideas about this, please get in touch and let me know. (11. 12. 13.)
Students from Italy
Thanks to Flavia and Giovanni, who I met at the recent Rome conference and who visited C O R E for a few days last week for your enthusiasm, interest, and commitment. We got through a lot of work in a short time and being able to do all that reminded me how good C O R E's microscopy facilities have become, as I collect equipment over the years. Since you left I have made a further improvement, and the camera picture from both microscopes can now be seen at the same time on two different screens. That eliminates the chopping and changing that we had to do while you were here. All we need now is about twice the space we have at the moment.
For the information of those who might be thinking of coming to visit C O R E to learn about the bion experiments, we carried out both the Reich blood tests, a basic bion experiment with the Scottish rock-dust, and observed the early stages of a grass-infusion experiment, also talking a lot about the work, over drinks and food. Giovanni's uncle, another Giovanni, who drove them up from Salford, stayed for the first day, and observed the Reich blood test on our microscopes. He said C O R E felt like a little university! Well... a very small one, but yes, it is a small learning and research centre, with many of the characteristics of a university in miniature. The only thing missing is the building! We discussed my long-cherished idea of setting up a 'virtual' department of orgonomy, using e-mail and phone contact to stay in touch and exchange information. Giovanni is very keen on this project and with five new orgonomic microscopists recruited in the last few months, this should be a real starter at last. If you want to join this project, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org In the meantime, the microscopes ordered by our new American friend's organisation (see below) have arrived and he has sent us a photo of himself, smiling with delight, behind one of them. I will post it on this site, when I have his permission to publish. (17. 11. 13.)
Welcome to our New Site-Visitors
During the recent conferences in Bulgaria on The Physics, Chemistry and Biology of Water and in Rome on Orgonomy earlier in October several participants came up to me and expressed a serious interest in buying a microscope and getting down to studying the bions. Naturally I told them all as much as I could in the brief time available about suitable microscopes, etc, and so I expect many of you to be visiting this page to find out more. Thanks for your enthusiastic interest. It is really gratifying to know that my presentations and Artificers are inspiring a new generation of students to engage in this enthralling work. One young couple from the Rome conference have already planned a visit for November! This is just what orgonomy needs to advance - enthusiasm and commitment from new students, so... thanks to all of you for your interest and welcome to this page. I hope it provides helpful information for you. (One of these people in the US is involved with a charitable organisation and they have already got two microscopes on order. He is eagerly awaiting their arrival.)
And here is Jeremy Love Pfeiffer sitting in front of a new microscope, all set to go, with the necessary sundries (the small items you need to look at anything under your microscope) as well. He is at the Pond Science Institute and asks us to say that the microscope purchase has been made possible through the funding of www.mothertreesanctuary.org , the non-profit charity that he works for. Our link with Jeremy and Mother Tree Sanctuary is a doubly happy meeting. Mother Tree Sanctuary supports young mothers and their babies and so their aims are completely in tune with those of C O R E. It is less than a month since we met at Sofia airport, as we waited for the bus to take us to our conference hotel. This must be the shortest time between first contact and purchase of a microscope that we have had so far. Congratulations to you, Jeremy and your supporters, for your and their commitment to this work. The model in the photo came from Amscope and is also available under a different name in the UK and Europe. Please contact us at C O R E for further information, if you are interested in this model. (As far as we can see from the picture, C O R E already possesses one of these, sold in the UK as a Zenith phase contrast microscope, supplied wholesale by Optical Vision Limited.) It is the modern microscope pictured on the cover of ArtificersofFraud. So if you visit C O R E you will be able to use it yourself and compare it with other models. (19. 11. 13.)
Since we are now getting people involved from quite a variety of countries, (USA, Austria, South America, (?Argentina), and so on, maybe it will be possible to publish guidance on microscope models, etc, for countries other than the UK. Obviously the guidance published below so far is only relevant to the UK, as buying a microscope in one country and having it sent to another is an expensive option, most microscopes being pretty heavy and delicate objects. It can be done, but I would not recommend it. As parcels are charged by weight, it is going to be very expensive to send a microscope from, say, Europe to the US or a S American country. (The better quality a microscope is, the heavier it will be, as the weight comes from the solidity and rigidity of the frame.) If you have bought a microscope in your own country and are happy with it as a work tool, can you please let me know about it? I will post basic information and a photo, if you can provide one.
What a surprise! Brunel, the ever-helpful UK microscope suppliers that C O R E obtains most of our sundries from, tell us that the carriage for a microscope from the UK to Italy is only £25. So, if you are in Italy and can't locate an Italian supplier, there is that option. C O R E has several Brunel models and can recommend them from user's experience. If the carriage to Italy is only £25, presumably it is not prohibitive to other European countries.
Bions and Digestion
Our friend in Germany, Oliver Gerlach, first pointed out to me during his visit here last year, that you see plentiful bions in the blood just after a meal. I am at the moment attempting to make a video of the Reich blood test for the Rome conference, where I am due to talk about that topic. Last night I did the test on my own blood just after a meal and filmed it. I was wondering what all those black dots were and suddenly remembered Oliver's comments. These were definitely not white blood cells in my eyes, (ForteanTimes' review of Artificers). (18. 3. 13.)
Bions on a Budget - This Microscope Came Out of a Rubbish Bin!
I have spent quite a lot of time and money trying to find out just how cheaply you can do a bion experiment, as I assume the person most likely to have a go at repeating Reich's experiments is an open-minded teenager who is still at school and who has not got much money to spend. So far, it seems that you can do a bion experiment quite effectively on a secondhand instrument bought on ebay for about £150. This will probably be a modern, cheapo made-in-China model, a basic student's model. I thought I had touched rock-solid bottom with that and couldn't see it getting any cheaper. But, C O R E's friend in Canada, Larry Gambone, has gone much better and salvaged a discarded microscope from a rubbish-bin in the hospital where he used to work. It was missing its top 45x objective, which he has now replaced. With 20x eye-pieces he has available a magnification of 900x, plenty for day-to-day bion work. And anyway, he finds that he gets a better image at 450x using 10x eyepieces than at 900x using the 20x eyepieces. This confirms the general principle that it is better to get your magnification via the objective, rather than piling it up with high magnification eye-pieces.
The whole story confirms my belief that there are lots of unused obsolete microscopes gathering dust in hospitals and labs and that a bit of crafty investigating may well lead you to one. Larry continues to send me almost daily reports of his progress with the bion experiments. This is exactly what I hoped Artificers would inspire readers to do. So...one success at last!
This page started out life as a how-to-do-it page on our site for younger seekers, tingle.org.uk There was little interest in that site and no enquiries after two years, so we deleted it, having already transferred the bion page to C O R E's site for the benefit of anyone interested in bion research. As bion work is such an important part of C O R E's activities, I have added occasional news items from time to time. As I post yet another really significant item in our bion saga, I realise the page is becoming something different to what it was initially. The how-to-do-it section is still there (see below) but it is now just as much a diary of our bion work, as you can see from the last few entries. And here is another news item, which is really important as part of the work that will fill in the map of the mainland of the continent that Reich discovered. (Reich often likened himself to the Columbus of orgonomy, the explorer who had discovered the continent. Others would come after him and fill in the details.)
I often wonder whether anyone at all ever reads this page. There is a lot of useful information on it, for anyone who is doing bion research. If you are repeating Reich's original experiments or even going beyond them, please let us know of your activities. You may already have discovered something that could be useful to other workers in the field. It would be helful to know if the information posted here is of any use to other workers, particularly beginners with the microscope. C O R E publishes much of this information in booklet form:
We also publish several other booklets on the study of the bions and historical aspects of bion study and Reich's biological research. These are:
I have been invited by the editor of the journal Water to contribute to their conference in Bulgaria in October this year on the history of Artificers. This is an unbelievable lucky break and will mean that this information will reach a large number of scientists working within mainstream science. I sent the editor of this journal a complimentary copy of Artificers as he had been open-minded enough to publish a paper by Dr James DeMeo on orgone energy and the properties of water. I thought he might just be interested in Artificers. After so many years of the relentless UK indifference towards my offerings, I can hardly believe this huge advance. I will post details on the news and events pages as soon as I have them. (21. 6. 13.)
Beautiful Videos of Bionous Disintegration of Red Blood Cells
Thanks to Christos Pechlivanis in Cyprus for sending us the link below to these interesting and beautiful videos. They show the bionous disintegration of the red blood cells, some of the videos at very high magnification (4000x), under darkfield lighting. Not to be missed. (5. 5. 13.)
Atlast C O R E's first publication in book form is now available. This book contains lots of information about the bion experiments and how to do them. There is a detailed chapter on how to repeat both Brown's and Reich's basic bion experiments and information on microscopes, all the basic techniques you need, suppliers, books, and other resources necessary for this work. Please go to Artificer's own page for details on how to order. If you can't afford to or don't want to buy it, you can obtain it to read through your local library. If they buy it, it means it is sitting there for other readers to find and investigate. Getting a copy into your local library will help orgonomy almost as much as buying a copy. (9. 3 .13.)
Water-Life Day at Brockholes Nature Centre
On February 20th I took four microscopes, a portable TV monitor, and various microscope sundries to help run a water micro-life at at our local nature conservation centre at Brockholes. It occurred to me afterwards that I could be doing exactly the same for a public bion workshop, if Artificers attracts much publicity and active interest in orgonomic microscopy. There used to be a tradition of philosophers, as they used to be known in the later eighteenth century in this country, as science became popular and fashionable. Well-known practioners used to transport portable laboratories around the country on horse drawn vehicles and attract large audiences for their demonstrations. It would be nice to see orgonomy joining and reviving this noble tradition. (2. 3. 13.)
Bion Growth at Low pH Values
Regular visitors to this page (all three of you!) may remember that I have mentioned somewhere Palm and Doering's finding that bion growth does not occur at very high pH levels, above 12.0 (See their article, Neue Untersuchungen zu den Seesandbionen von Wilhelm Reich in NachReich, edited by Senf and DeMeo, Zweitausendeins, 1997). It seemed probable that the same might be true at the other end of the pH scale. If one extremity prevents bion growth, probably the other will. Until yesterday I had not done anything to get an answer to this question, apart from changing the pH of a bionless limestone preparation with the addition of domestic vinegar, which brought the pH down to 4.0 and produced a normal level of bion growth. The sight of a couple of lemons made me wonder what the pH of natural lemon juice is. I squeezed the juice of a lemon out and found its pH to be 1.76, much lower than I had guessed it would be and low enough to be worth testing. I made a rock-dust culture in exactly the same way as I usually do, except that the fluid was lemon juice instead of KCl or water. I brought the lemon juice to the boil quickly without letting it evaporate much and heated the rock-dust to red heat on a spatula, as usual. To my surprise, under the microscope, the culture showed plenty of bions, maybe slightly fewer than a 'standard' rock-dust preparation, but still plenty. I did not have to scour the slide to find them. The pH of this preparation in the test-tube turned out to be 1.78, slightly higher than the plain lemon juice. The lemon juice in a glass bottle of commercial juice bought at Aldi had a pH of 2.0. This, too, was full of bions and other micro-organisms. Apparently low pH conditions are not as hostile to life as very high ones. (I have made a summary of Palm and Doering's article in English, which I can forward to anyone interested enough to want to follow these questions up.)
I also examined a sample of the lemon juice without the addition of any rock-dust. This too showed plenty of bions, both separate ones and agglomerations. Fruit and vegetables contain bions even before they are opened to the air, as my friend Oliver Gerlach showed me while here on a visit in the summer. This was a very rough examination without any sterile precautions and needs repeating more carefully to be definitive, though it is hard to believe that all the bions seen stemmed from contamination.
The next step would seem to be to buy some commercial nitric or suphuric accid and make a bion culture with that. This will, presumably, have an even lower pH than lemon juice. (23. 11. 12.)
New Video Uploaded on YouTube
Atlast, after hours of frustration and difficulties, I have managed to upload this new video on the existence of bions within rotting wood taken from a tree that has been lying on the ground for several years on one of the many walks near the River Ribble, Preston's beautiful river. (See Picture Gallery page for some views of it.) Here is the link to the video - http://youtu.be/824xMAm7lpM I think this is an important video, as it gets away from the narrow, artifical world of bion preparations in the laboratory to naturally occuring bions found out in nature at large. Once we think about the many natural geological and biological processes going on in nature that lead to bion growth, it becomes clear that she is producing bions all the time by the million. The world is nothing but a giant bion nursery. (12. 11. 12.)
New Portable TV Monitor for Public Bion Demonstrations
The photo above shows bions emerging from a single iron filing in Reich's classic experiment reported on in The Cancer Bioapthy. It was photographed on the screen of our new portable TV monitor, which we have bought to go with the new CCTV camera and the Brunel SP150. This is yet another item obtained via ebay. It means we can now take the necessary equipment to a venue with no microscope or video facilities and still show a good picture of the bions to a roomful of people.
This reconnects me, PJ, with a venerable tradition in the history of science, that of the travelling science demonstrator. Towards the end of the eighteenth century there was a thriving market in the travelling scientific show. Scientific scholars would travel round the country from town to town, taking all their equipment in horse-drawn carts and coaches and perform experiments before the public. The most popular were the ones that produced spectacular effects, the chemical and electrical ones. Apparently these public demonstrations conducted by the best-known scholars pulled a good crowd. I would be happy to be demonstrating a bion experiment to a dozen people. That would be an advance. The monitor and SP150 fit quite comfortably on our folding fishing-tackle trolley that I use to transport microscopes about. (6. 11. 12.)
Further News on Wood Rot and Bionous Disintegration
Further to the item below on rot in wood, I thought it would be a more accurate assessment of the possible bionous disintegration occurring within rotting wood if I could squeeze some water out of naturally soaked wood and see if that contained bions. After a couple of days of almost continuous rain this proved quite a simple operation. I collected a few pieces of rotting wood from the same tree-trunk, which has been lying on the ground by the old tramway walk outside Preston for years, and comperessed this in a polythene bag, which caught the emerging water quite easily. I was able to draw up some of this in a sterile syringe and examine and film it. I shall be posting the results shortly as another of our microscopy videos. In case you can't wait for the video, the water was teeming with bions, needless to say. (24. 10. 12.)
New CCTV Camera
This week C O R E received a further CCTV camera from Brunel, the JVC model that they recommend for microscope work. I decided to buy this for use on our SP150 microscope so that we can film on that without having to change everything over from the Olympus. It also means that we can take both the SP150 and camera out to outside events and demonstrations. We now have an excellent carrying case for the SP150 and together these two items mean we can travel to show people the bion experiments. The Olmpus is far too large and heavy to move around safely. We can now add this facility to C O R E's public offerings, an on-screen demonstration and teaching session on the bion experiments for any interested group that has no microscope available. Here's a close-up of the camera and a photo of it mounted on the SP150. (15. 10 12.)
New Bion Video on YouTube
We have posted a further video from our bion research to YouTube -http://youtu.be/flLHOPNrSaI This shows an unexpected finding that I came across accidentally.
Those of you who follow this page will know of my replication of Reich's iron-filing bion experiment (also filmed on YouTube - http://youtu.be/8IXIvoBZ9AY). Every now and again, out of scientific curiosity, I try a single particle of something else. This time I tried a copper filing, which I thought would produce bions easily. To my surprise it produced none at all. I thought copper produced bionous growth, but realised that I had probably heated the copper filings to red-heat before adding KCl, when I first tested copper. (This turns the copper into black copper oxide, which prices bions quite easily.) I therefore repeated it after heating a single copper filing and saw it producing bions. So...of something slightly hard and shiny like copper doesn't produce any bions, what about stainless steel, which seems much harder and more impermeable than copper, a relatively soft metal? I made a few stainless-steel filings, repeated the iron-filing experiment with one of these, first with a heated filing and then with an unheated one, and found that both produced a really generous bion growth. To my surprise the unheated filing produced a more generous growth of bions than the heated one, which is the opposite of what we expect in bion research. As Reich found and recorded in his reports, materials heated to red-heat before the addition of water or KCl usually show stronger bion growth than unheated ones. He supposed that the heating assisted the break-down process.
I have no explanation for this finding and present it here as simple, empirical fact. Doubtless further work will throw up an explanation. (25. 9. 12.)
The Process of Rotting in Timber and Bionous Disintegration
Somewhere in his writings, (I shall try to find the exact reference for readers), Reich claims that the process of rot in wood is the same as bionous disintegration. I have already confirmed that sterilised sawdust produces generous bion growth when boiled water is added to it. A couple of days ago I collected some samples of wet, rotting wood from a very old, long-dead tree trunk on the ground. A tiny flake of this, peeled off with forceps and placed in boiled water showed generous and vigorous bion production on microscopic examination. An interesting finding, quite new to me, was that there were many agglomerations of bions and that these seemed more developed than the ones I usually see in other bion preparations. They were much more three-dimensional and looked rather like those 3-D models of large bio-chemical molecules that one sees in science museums and textbooks. I am making another YouTube video of this investigation. It is held up by the fact that I cannot locate Reich's reference to rot in wood. Any offers, anyone? Or have I imagined it?(14. 9. 12.)
Hay-Infusion News Again (11. 9. 12.)
I opened another Petri dish on the above date from the batch prepared earlier (see below) and examined a sample of the fluid in a syringe and also observed the grass and fluid using the water-immersion lens, as before. Findings are rather disappointing, but that's science. You never know what you are going to find. Firstly, there was fluid on the outside of the dish on the lower half, which suggests that condensate has trickle down netween the lid and side of the bottom of the dish, thus providing a fluid pathway for contamination to enter the dish. Whatever has actually been going on, examination with the W-I lens showed plentiful rods in the fluid, as we see in an open grass-infusion experiment, as devised by Reich. There were the usual agglomerations of bions here and there. Our colleague in Germany suggests that the rods might be the product of bionous disintegration anyway. Yes, that's possible. All this shows that any 'simple' bion experiment is fraught with difficulties that I had not forseen, but which appear as we go along. I shall continue to sample the dishes until I have tested them all, one a week. These dishes have been kept in the lab oven, presumably a fairly uncontaminated environment, but obviously not totally clean, as it has been opened several times. Presumably dry metal surfaces are not a good 'medium' for 'air-germs'. I plan to repeat the experiment with the dishes kept out and in natural daylight. In the meantime, I am testing the air in the microscope room for its content. I am doing this by drawing (yes, sucking!) air through some water in an insect pooter. I do this at random intervals everyday, every few hours, and plan to examine the water under the microscope. If this water sample shows no amoebae, this is further strong circumstantial evidence that the amoebae first seen by Oliver and observed and filmed by us (see YouTube) originated via bionous disintegration and the spontaneous re-organisation of living forms from dead matter. (14. 9. 12.)
This Week's Hay-Infusion News
On Monday, September 3th, I examined a sample from a further Petri dish in the batch prepared for this hay-infusion experiment. The findings were not very different to those of a week earlier. (See below for that report.) There were plenty of bions in the water, agglomerations of bions, and a few proto-orgs, as I now call them. The following day, Tuesday, September 4th, I removed the lid and examined the dish using our 40x water-immersion objective. This showed even more proto-orgs and clusters of bions, but no clearly recognisable organisms and certainly no amoebae. Examing a culture in a Petri dish is always a little awkward on the Olympus and I cannot always examine every corner of the dish, so the fact that I saw no complete organisms is only circumstantial evidence. There will certainly be areas that I was unable to examine. Micro-organisms need time to develop anyway, so it is rather early to expect any thing yet. I shall examine the next dish early next week, probably on September 10th and write up a report here the following day. (6. 9. 12.)
Important New Bion Video from Germany on YouTube
Our colleague in Germany, Oliver Gerlach, who visited C O R E recently, has just posted a very interesting new video on YouTube ( http://youtu.be/FQfNBowvsxg ) . This shows the contents of 60 cubic metres of the outside atmosphere filtered through distilled water. There are plenty of bions but not many spores. This lends circumstantial support to the possibility that the ameobae which he first spotted and which we observed and filmed during his visit, were indeed the product of the disintegrating hay and not items that had generated themselves from spores in the indoor atmsophere, an extremely unlikely possibility, it seems. I am continuing the experiment to test this hypothesis. Please see below and watch this page for further reports. (5. 9. 12.)
The Next Step in our Hay-Infusion Experiment
[Please read all this bions news in reverse. The most recent posting is first on the page and earlier postings are lower down, the earliest being the lowest and furthest away.] Yesterday I opened the first Petri dish from the collection described below and examined a sample of the water drawn up in a sterilised syringe. The findings were quite familiar - quite a few motile bions, agglomerations of bions and the odd proto-organism, that is a cluster of bions that is moving and apparently behaving like an organism. It seems possible, though I would not be dogmatic about it, that these motile clusters are on the way to becoming an organism. Hence my name for them - proto-organism.
Examination of the fluid in the Petri dish through C O R E's 40x water-immersion objective attached to our Olympus microscope showed many more bions and more and larger proto-organisms. These seemed so important that I filmed them on our video system. I hope to attach some still photos of these forms before too long. (28. 8. 12.)
Just to show you that I am not making it up as I go along, here is some up-to-date information about C O R E's hay-infusion experiment and the next step before we take it. If you have seen our video of amoebae found in a hay-infusion (URL below) you will realise that the Petri dish involved must have been open to the air several times to make examination possible. This means that the usual dismissal of such findings - contamination from the air - has a meagre germ of justification to it, though it seems highly unlikely that there are many amoebae spores floating about in the air of an ordinary urban flat. There is a research finding cited in The Microbiology of the Atmosphere, (P H Gregory, 1961), stating that the researcher, B M Puschkarew, (correct modern transliteration from the Russian Cyrilic Pushkarev) found only 2.5 amoebae spores per cubic metre of air above a river bank. That is presumably a favourable place for finding ameobae spores. Apparently Pushkarev was so suprised by this finding that he suggested that there must be other routes of dispersal! Needless to say, he doesn't suggest that there may be other routes of origin.
So, to eliminate this quite justifiable objection, we have prepared a batch of Petri dishes containing chopped hay, 'baked' them all in our lab oven at 200C for a whole hour, allowed them to cool down to room temperature, added 5 mls of distilled water to each dish, brought them up to 100C for 10 minutes, and left them there at room temperature until we open them for examination. I am about to undertake examination of the first dish and plan to examine a further dish approximately every week. I will post a summary of the findings on this page. You have to do a lot of looking to find an amoeba in a Petri dish, so there is always a chance that there is one or more present and that I do not notice them. Here's hoping. Before I look into the water using the water-immersion objective, I will draw up a sample in a syringe and observe that on a slide under a coverslip. Remember that according to the principles of mainstream microbiology, there should be no living organisms in these cultures at all. Judging from previous experience there will certainly be bions and bion clusters present in these cultures. In the first preparation, which was open to the air during examination with the water-immersion objective, Oliver Gerlach and I observed flagellates and amoebae and many immobile spheres that appeared to be the spores of something. (27. 8. 12.)
Further Video on YouTube
Yes! We have managed another one. This one shows amoebae which apparently originated in a hay-infusion, as described by Reich in The Bion Experiments. We have already started a further experiment with hay-cultures in Petri dishes that will exclude any possibility of the amoebae entering the dishes from the air. The results will be published here as soon as we have any important findings. (12. 8. 12.)
New Video Posted to YouTube
The Natural History of the Bion, 1, Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723)
The above video, just posted to YouTube today, is the first of four I plan to make on the observations of some of the early microscopists. It seems clear that these observers must have seen bions in their preparations and I have replicated some of their experiments, my observations confirming this hunch. None of these investigations are too difficult to do yourself. (8. 8. 12.)
Amoebae from Chopped Hay Infusion
C O R E's visitor from Germany, Oliver Gerlach, and I have observed and filmed two amoebae, discovered by Oliver in a long-established hay infusion, set up here in a Petri dish about three weeks ago. This dish has been kept covered except when the contents are being observed using our water-immersion 40x objective. This culture is obviously not sterile and so this is not absolute evidence that amoebae can originate from disintegrating hay in water, but it is strong circumstantial evidence for Reich's claims first made in Die Bione in 1938. (29. 7. 12.) PS (6. 8. 12.) We have made a good video of this with the amoebae clips playing at double-speed to show up the movement more effectively. Alas, true to type, YouTube won't or can't upload the video. This situation seems to be YouTube's default position now - Don't upload it! This work is so important that I am willing to send a DVD without charge to any serious enquirer. To order this video on DVD contact C O R E at email@example.com .
How to Repeat Reich's Iron Filing in KCl Experiment
(For Alexis Mari Pietak and anyone else brave enough to have a try.)
Here is the information you need to repeat this very simple, (too simple!). classic experiment devised by Reich and written up in The Cancer Biopathy. It is the final chapter of Bions for Beginners, C O R E's forthcoming publication on the bion experiments for learners. I have named that chapter The Bion Experiment to End all Bion Experiments, as it is so simple and irrefutable. Only Reich could have had the courage to think of doing something so simple and 'silly' and to take the results seriously. My apologies for the strange state of the references. One.com's software always does that to footnotes. I daren't try to change them to a more readable format for fear of losing the lot. (Posted 16. 7. 12.)
Chapter 5 The Bion Experiment to End All Bion Experiments
This last experiment is so simple that it could be at the start of the book. But it does need some familiarity with your microscope and, more importantly, some confidence with your microscope tools. So here is Reich’s iron-filing experiment, as described in The Cancer Biopathy.[i] This experiment is so simple, even naïve, that it is hard to imagine that Reich’s account is true and that it is going to come out right, when we repeat it according to the information given in the book. The ‘subject’ of the experiment is a single iron-filing! But…it does exactly what Reich says it does. This experiment, so simple and pure, poses really difficult questions for the ‘Brownian motion’ merchants and the carriers of ‘contamination.’ They cannot cite either of these two get-out clauses this time. The developments are far too quick for that, the movements too varied.
The perfect tool to pick up a single iron-filing is a pair of fine curved forceps from nhbs.com (item 185509 in their on-line catalogue). These have fine, pointed blades and make it much easier to pick up only a single filing, though even with these the operation demands care. To ensure sterility, you need to flame your slide and coverslip. To do that you need something to hold your slide and coverslip as you pass them in and out of the flame. Some larger metal forceps are the obvious tools. I use a pair of surgical forceps, which, strangely, used to be sold in Preston market. These look like large scissors and hold hot things safely. You could improvise with a large pair of ordinary metal forceps, but these might lose their grip and drop a hot slide on yourself or somewhere where it could do damage. You need to heat the glass evenly and slowly to avoid cracking. Once you have exposed your slide to the flame all round, place it on some safe, non-combustible surface such as a block of wood, (not metal, which, if cold, may cause your slide to crack). Now prepare your filing. Pick up as small a pinch as you can manage of filings and hold them in the flame until they have become red-hot. Drop a few onto the slide.
Remember we want a single filing on the slide. You almost certainly won’t manage that your first time. If you have got a few filings on the glass, look at the filings with a 10x magnifying glass and gently push off all but one with something sharp like a scalpel or razor blade.
This fiddly operation shows how helpful it is to have a low-magnification stereo-microscope in your lab, however improvised it is. Wiping the surplus filings off the slide is fairly easy under such a microscope, but difficult using a magnifying glass. With a stereo-microscope you can even see enough detail to pick up a single iron-filing with the watchmakers’ forceps. You can put it down, pick it up again, move it, and put it down again. I have just tried it to make sure.[i]
With a single filing on the slide, add a few drops of boiled 0.1N potassium chloride (KCl) or water. Soak up excess fluid with a tissue. When the amount of fluid is right, drop a coverslip over the filing and place it on the stage. You can now observe the most amazing developments. Look at the filing at low magnification but do your main observations at high magnification. Here 20x eyepieces make your work much easier. Your objective is not in contact with the coverslip and any slight angle of the coverslip from the horizontal causes no problems. If you use your 100x objective with oil-immersion, the iron particle may lift the coverslip off the slide, making it difficult to get a well-focussed image. It can be done, but it requires care and caution. I have just checked to see that it is possible on the SP150 using 10x eyepieces and a 100x oil-immersion objective.
To begin with you will probably see nothing moving in the water surrounding your iron-filing. After about 5 minutes you should see single bions dancing about here and there. Within 10 minutes there will probably be plenty more. Follow the edge of your iron particle round until you find a ‘bay’ and you should see a real sea of bions dancing, cavorting together in pairs, and quite complex agglomerations of bions in advanced stages of combination. If you want to know what to expect or to check your findings, once you have done this experiment, you can see C O R E’s video of the experiment on YouTube – Bions from an Iron Filing (after Wilhelm Reich).
A German orgonomic colleague, Oliver Gerlach, has discovered that you can see these bions very clearly and easily by observing an iron filing under a drop of potassium chloride on a slide using your 10x objective with 20x eyepieces and darkfield lighting and no coverslip. The working distance of a 10x objective is so large that this is quite safe. There is no danger of the objective getting into the water. You can even do this experiment with a snippet of wire wool, if you have no iron filings.
It’s very simple, but the results are incontestable and irrefutable. If you show this experiment to an ordinary biologist, have a chair and some smelling salts handy. It may effect him severely and lead to fainting fits or worse. Good luck.
[i] Woolnough L (2010); Understanding and Using the Stereomicroscope, Queckett Microscopical Club, London.
[i] Reich W (1973); The Cancer Biopathy, page 25, FSG. (Posted 16. 7. 12.)
Reich's Iron-Filing Experiment in The Cancer Biopathy
Further to the paragraph below, thanks to our colleague in Germany, Oliver Gerlach, who discovered this technique, we can now observe bions easily and clearly at a magnification as low as 200x (10x objective with 20x eyepieces) with darkfield lighting. This is a great advantage to students doing the bion experiments, as it is fairly cheap and simple to equip a microcsope with DF lighting. A darkfield condenser is not usually too expensive. You can also improvise DF lighting by using a phase contrast ring without a phase objective. You can also apply a dark patch to the top lens of the condenser. I once obtained excellent darkfield images on C O R E's Olympus by shining two reading lamps, one from each side, across the stage at right angles to the axis of the tube. (11. 6. 12.)
Regular followers of C O R E's bion work will know of our replication of Reich's iron-filing experiment, a video of which is posted on YouTube, http://youtu.be/8IXIvoBZ9AY . My colleague in Germany, Olive Gerlach is also working on this and between us we are extending Reich's investigations and discovering some very interesting things. This particular experiment seems to be a very fertile area for bion research and I encourage anyone with a microscope to repeat it and to join our conversation and experimentation. If you need any help to get started, please don't hesitate to ask for it. (info@orgonomy uk.org.uk) (8. 6. 12.)
LOMO Water-Immersion Objective
Our orgonomic friend in Germany, Oliver Gerlach, told us recently about a 40x water-immersion objective available in Germany from LOMO, the Russian microscope makers. He wanted copies of all C O R E's booklets, so we are doing a swap. He has fulfilled his side of the bargain, organising the despatch from the suppliers of this lens to C O R E. C O R E's meagre facilities have been subject to severe disruption lately because of a scheme to instal a green heating system involving enormous disturbance to our already overcrowded quarters and great risk from dust-damage to all our optical and printing equipment. (As far as I can see, the precautions taken worked and all our equipment seems to be functioning well, but we may well discover dust-damage a long time after all the drilling and moving was done.) So he is still waiting, uncomplainingly, I must say, for his booklets.
Left: the water immersion objective on C O R E's LOMO microscope, immersed directly in a ml or two of KCl containg a single iron-filing. Right: the same set-up on our Olympus BX50. Images to be added soon, I hope.
It was coincidence that C O R E already had a LOMO microscope, with which this objective was obviously going to be compatible. There was a number of this model on sale at a bargain price on ebay about a year ago. It also works well on our Olympus and Brunel SP150 even though the objective is designed for a 160mm tube and these two models are both infinity-corrected. It occurred to me that it would be possible using this lens to observe the iron-filing experiment (See Bions fron an Iron-Filing (after Wilhelm Reich) on YouTube) while it was happening. This took a bit of juggling and wangling and the first attempt, with the filing in a Petri dish, was a complete failure. The only option seemed to be to run the risk of trying it carefully on an open slide, using as limited an amount of fluid (KCl) as possible and just being careful. (The danger is that fluid will run off the slide and get into delicate condenser components below the stage.) The first attempt at this worked magnificently and there we were, able to see the bions emerging from the surface of the iron filing. Surprisingly, many of them already appeared to be in motile agglomerations as soon as they were visibly separate from the iron matrix. (PS 28. 5. 12. Since first trying this procedure I have thought of the obvious solution to the dangers of fluid dropping off the slide. Place the fluid sample in the cavity of a well-slide! So simple, so obvious. You need a very small fluid sample and gravity helps to keep it in the well and out of harm's way. Cavity slides, also known as well-slides, are a standard item and available from all microscope suppliers. They look like standard slides, but have a flat, saucer-shaped depression in the centre.)
This first image was at 600x, the LOMO having 15x eyepieces. I checked this set-up on two of C O R E's other instruments, the Brunel SP150 and our Olympus. These both have 20x eyepieces in at the moment, giving a total magnification of 800x. The Olympus has a changer facility of 2x so I was able to observe the processes at 1600x. Even so, the sharpest image was on the LOMO at 600x. Because of the building disruption, C O R E's filming facility is dismantled at present, but I hope to film this process from the start and to post images when I can set it all up again. Watch this space!
This objective is not at all expensive and is available on ebay from the same German supplier. You will also need the Zwischenring that gives the extra length needed for this objective to work effectively. (You can see the ring on the LOMO picture.) At the time of writing, this objective is the only item that comes up if you put water immersion objectives in the ebay search window. There does not appear to be a UK supplier. LOMO have a supplier in the USA. (27. 5. 12.)
Internal Blue Pulsation Seen in Bions again at C O R E
Last weekend I demonstrated various bion experiments and the Reich blood test to a visitor. I repeated the iron filing experiment (which you can see a video of on YouTube) and it showed very well, as it always does, bion growth and movement. We observed all this on the HD TV monitor screen via C O R E's Olympus and the CCTV camera attached to it. (See below for picture of this set-up.) Just to show him the technique I put some oil on the coverslip and swung in the 100x objective. I wanted to show him how easy oil immersion use is and wasn't really thinking of what we would see at all. The images were so good I wondered if we would be able to see the blue internal pulsation of the bions we were observing, so I switched in the magnification changer, which doubles the magnification. We were now viewing at 4000x! (2x100x20). We got a marvelous view of two different bions with a strongly shimmering blue internal orgone charge, possibly the best, the strongest I have ever seen. Yet another quiet confirmation of Reich's findings reported on in The Cancer Biopathy and The Bion Experiments. (24. 5. 12.)
Since our new laboratory oven arrived a few weeks ago I have been able to do another simple bion investigation that I have had in mind for years. We just need the facilities to sterilise some sawdust reliably. We can now do this in the oven. I collected some sawdust obtained by cutting into some scrap pinewood with a tenon-saw in a Petri dish and 'cooked' it at 125oC for about 30 minutes. I then added a sample to boiled water in a test-tube, let it incubate for 24 hours and examined a sample under the microscope. As I expected, the sawdust produced a fairly generous level of bionous growth.
I recently repeated a very simple experiment of Reich's, obtaining bions from a single iron-filing on a slide in potassium chloride (KCl) or water, (The Cancer Biopathy, page 25,). Yes, it sounds impossible and naive, doesn't it? You can imagine a young child asking, what happens when you put a single iron-filing in some fluid? What do you get? The answer is - lots of bions, and very quickly, too! You can see this on YouTube. Put Bions from an Iron-Filing (after Wilhelm Reich) into the search window. This is a devastatingly simple and powerful experiment, in a way, the ultimate bion experiment. I wonder how the faithful will argue away these incontrovertible findings. Watch this space! (They will probably just ignore them, hoping they will go away.)
C O R E is planning a study week in August, when students will have a chance, if they wish, of seeing a bion experiment done and doing one themselves. See our News Page or Events Page for more information or register your interest via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will let you know when things get finalised. (Dates now definite, August 18th-25th. This event now has its own page - Summer School 2012.)
We apologise for the absence of photos in the boxes. We have only just discovered this ourselves. This is yet another bizarre glitch from the one.com software, which has a life of its own, doing the most peculiar things without warning. We will try and restore the photos but are not too optimistic. Anything visual is a major problem on one.com's sites and we can get no help from their so called help-line. This is the drawback to a cheap, do-it-yourself website.
This page was originally imported and revised from C O R E's other site, www.tingle.org.uk (That site has now been closed down.) The aim of the page was to show site visitors how to carry out the basic bion experiments. Since we have now got 5 adult friends with microscopes who are doing these experiments themselves, the text seemed out of place on tingle's site and so we have copied it to C O R E's site and tidied up the text, which was originally written with a teenage reader in mind.
Please see information on our News Page re the Brunel SP150 Microscope
C O R E has just acquired this microscope and we are still testing it. It appears so far to be an exceptionally good instrument in its price range and produces outstandingly good images. We have already posted some video clips to YouTube of a rock-dust bion culture filmed using this instrument. We have now posted a further video Bions from an Iron Filing (after Wilhelm Reich). http://youtu.be/8IXIvoBZ9AY This is a very simple experiment to repeat yourself. See above for more details.
How to Repeat Reich's Bion Experiments
Reich's bion experiments, carried out in the nineteen thirties, are an important turning point in his life-work. (The Bion Experiments on the Origin of Life.) At this time he moved from psychology to physiology and biology. His pathway was quite simple and is easy to summarise. He wondered what the 'something moving' was that his patients talked about. His first investigations were bio-electrical. He was aware that people's energy moved in two directions. It either expanded or contracted, moved away from the centre (pleasure) or towards the centre (anxiety). (The Bioelectrical Investigation of Sexuality and Anxiety.) Was this a basic process, common to all life? Would he be able to observe it in the smallest life-forms - amoebae? This led to his work with the microscope. You can repeat some of his basic experiments with a fairly simple, cheap microscope. You do not need a huge laboratory full of expensive equipment to repeat these basic experiments.
Reich asked where amoebae came from and was told - from spores attached to the grass in his samples. He did not accept this explanation and observed carefully what happened when grass broke down under water. While observing grass under water he discovered the process of bionous disintegration. This had not been noticed by anyone else before, as far as we know. (Robert Brown, the great botanist, (1773-1858), described this process without understanding it in 1828.) The grass broke down to form microscopic vesicles that gathered together and formed new organisms, a process denied by most other workers to this day. He found that a similar process also occurred when ground, dead materials such as sand, rock, or coal dust were heated in a flame and added to water or nutrient solutions. These did not produce organisms, but they did produce highly motile bions, vesicles, with a tendency to agglomerate and form clusters or strings that moved independently. These are the simplest of his experiments and not too difficult for a student of orgonomy to repeat him/herself.
On this page I will show readers how you can repeat these experiments yourself. In the meantime you may find a look at C O R E's YouTube video on Wilhelm Reich and Robert Brown interesting. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dLMvzpdsYo) Below is a picture of one of C O R E's microscopes, a Brunel SP100, a model at the lower end of the price-range, presumably designed for students . We have now got a second video posted to YouTube with further film of the motile forms found in a hay-infusion that has been boiled 10 times and then autoclaved (boiled under pressure at a temperature of 120 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXickkE3aDU
Amazingly, the existence of the bion, (a name invented by Reich), was intuitively guessed at long before Reich's work, in a book published anonymously in 1848, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. It is now known to have been written by Robert Chambers, one of the two brothers who founded the publishing firm of Chambers, which still exists. He guessed at the existence of what he calls an electro-chemical vesicle as the transitional element between non-living and living matter. This is quite an accurate description of a bion. When he first discovered the bions Reich tested them for electrical charge and found that they migrated towards the cathode when an electric current was passed through a solution containing a bion preparation. (The Bion Experiments on the Origin of Life.) Of course in 1848 no-one would have thought of a bio-energetic charge, in orgonomic terms, an orgonotic charge. To see a bion culture under the microscope, please have a look at C O R E's video on YouTube. (See link above photograph.) We hope to post a short video to this page eventually, though we are not sure that it will be possible using one.com's system. (It should be possible, but, so far, we can't get it to work.)
Left: a Brunel SP100 trinocular microscope. Right: rock dust bion culture. To see how the bions move, see C O R E's video Rock-Dust Bions Seen Down a Brunel SP150 Microscope, orglancs channel.
You can repeat the basic bion experiment using ground rock-dust as your material and examining it under brightfield lighting using, for example, an SP100 microscope from Brunel Microscopes Ltd (illustrated above), or even a secondhand instrument bought on e-bay. Just to prove the point, we have done this experiment using a microscope bought on ebay for £120! We will be happy to sell this item on to any young student of orgonomy or a group of students for £100. (Contact C O R E if you want this microscope.) C O R E's booklet - Three Experiments with the Microscope for the Amateur Orgonomist - will give you more detailed information on how to repeat this experiment.
This work with the bion experiments is a very suitable topic for a one-day workshop. If you would like C O R E to set one up for you in your own area, please get in touch.
Doing the Bion Experiments
What do you need to repeat these experiments?
The first thing you need is enough room to set up a microscope safely with enough space around it for you to work safely and comfortably. The ideal, of course, is a room devoted to your scientific work and nothing else, a small laboratory. Unless you are very lucky, you are not going to have such a room. So what is the next best thing? (The 'bottle of milk' in the picture below is an improvised sharps container.)
Now we come to the interesting bit, your microscope. If you have a look at Reich's books, especially those from his scientific period (as opposed to his psycho-analytic work), you will see photographs of his laboratory equipment, (apparently expensive and modern), and photographs taken down a microscope (photomicrographs) which look mysterious and are difficult to make out, if you are not used to how things look down a microscope. Please don't be put off by these pictures. Obviously, it is good to have a real laboratory with all the equipment and extras that you might possibly need, but a lot of very good orgonomic microscope work has been done in improvised set-ups. The microscope is the only item that will cost a significant sum of money.
What can you expect to spend on a microscope? Well...How much have you got? You could spend £20,000 on one and if you have got that sort of money, spend it! The better your microscope, the easier your work.
If C O R E were a well-funded organisation with a real income, we would help student orgonomists to buy equipment, but that is a dream at the moment. We will certainly help with advice and information. We are helping by doing our best to snap up bargain-price microscopes on ebay. We sell these on to interested students at the price we paid for them. We have already helped two students to acquire microscopes in this way. If you are buying on your own account, what should you be buying? New or second-hand? Which makes are best? Monocular? Binocular? Trinocular? It is easy enough to research the market on line. All you need is access to ebay!
Needless to say, if someone in your family or friends is a professional microscope worker, you can forget what I am writing here and go and talk to them. They will be able to advise you well, if you decide to buy a second-hand microscope.
Most firms selling new microscopes sell them on ebay. You can also see the secondhand market on ebay. There are some really high quality older microscopes for sale on ebay and C O R E has bought several of them for use in our bion workshops. Pound for pound you get a better instrument buying secondhand than you do buying a new one. BUT, and for a beginner, it is a big BUT, there are, or may be, problems with secondhand microscopes.
You may find it hard to find out what components you can add to it. If something in it breaks down, (the light is the most likely item), it may be difficult to find a spare. (Generally, if looked after well, microscopes do not break down or wear out. A 50-years old model can work as well as a new one, if it has been used carefully, though, obviously, light bulbs do go, after a certain amount of use.) Against all these drawbacks, there is a fairly good market on ebay in spares for the well-known classic makes such as Leitz, Zeiss, Olympus, Nikon, and Vickers. You may also find it harder to notice if something important is wrong with an older instrument before you buy it.
If you buy a new model from a reputable supplier, you can find out exactly what the instrument will and will not do, and what you can add to it. Most basic models only provide 'brightfield' lighting - plain, ordinary light. You can see some things, otherwise invisible, using phase-contrast lighting. Some very basic models will not accept the components needed for this or they will not be made. The same goes for darkfield lighting. If you do not understand these words, you don't need to at this stage. If you have got more than the absolute minimum sum to spend, you can get a model that already has phase-contrast and darkfield lighting as part of its systems. It will probably have extra condensors and objectives that you have to exchange with the 'normal' ones. The cost of such models is getting up into the higher hundreds, £700-800, at least, possibly £1000. This sounds a lot, but is quite reachable amongst a group of three or four students. (The last comment was obviously meant for teenagers still at school, but it could well apply to older students or the increasing numbers of the unemployed who may be students of orgonomy.)
If there is something wrong with a new model, you have more rights and anyway, any reputable seller should be happy to fix things for you immediately. For this reason, I would strongly advise you to try to buy within your own country. There are many good sellers in the US, but sending a defective microscope back so far is going to be expensive and take a long time. If your seller is in your own country, a phone-call may be enough to solve a problem with a new model.
You have to face the fact that any affordable new microscope now is going to be Chinese-made. Don't be put off by this. Some of the better Chinese cheap models are unbelievable value for money and the optics on them are very good indeed and for the price outstanding, even though not quite up to the standard of a modern Olympus or Zeiss. We have got some of these models at C O R E and use them regularly. Students used one of them at our recent Easter school without any problems.
Binocular or trinocular? The microscope in the picture on the left is a trinocular model. As you can see, there are the eyepieces, which look more or less like a pair of binoculars and on the top of the microscope there is another opening, closed with a cap in the picture. This allows you to photograph or film what you are observing. You can film using a portable video camera, which many people will have access to already. The best-quality film is obtained using a CCTV camera. Since what you are observing is meant not to exist or happen, if you want to convince the world of the truth of orgonomy, it is helpful to be able to record what you see and show it to others. The model on the right is a binocular one. It has no opening on the top of the body to accommodate a camera. You cannot convert a binocular microscope to a trinocular one by buying a component, alas. So it pays to buy a trinoc at the start, especially if you are buying a new model. There are digital cameras and software to go with them that you can poke down the eyepiece of a binocular model, though the quality of the images obtained is not too good, and nowhere near as good as those obtained with an analogue CCTV camera.
If you are interested in the long-term growth of orgonomy as a valid science and see yourself showing other people how to carry out bion experiments, you will sooner or later need a trinocular microscope, so that you can demonstrate your experiments to the public, even if by 'public' we are, to begin with, thinking of only 3-4 people. It is so simple and direct to show a small roomful of people a bion experiment down one microscope. A trinocular 'scope also allows you to film what you are seeing and show it to a much wider public. In the future this will become more and more important as orgonomic microscopy breaks out of its tiny ghetto and goes public. I am doing it already on a tiny scale and there must surely be more of this activity one day. I have no particular expertise in this field at all and have learnt step by step as I go along. It is not technically too difficult at all to get a good image up on screen. Brunel's SP100 and SP150 models are both made in a standard trinocular format.
We can demonstrate all these things to you at C O R E, if you are interested enough to make a journey to Preston, Lancashire. It is an easy place to get to. You can also see them, if you attend one of our bion workshops, or our Easter school. (There is to be a bion study week this year during the week after Easter. See News and Events Page for details.) C O R E can run a bion workshop in your area, if you can collect a small group of interested students.
So, now you have bought a microscope, you want to know how to do a basic bion experiment. You could even do one without owning a microscope. Borrow your school lab microscope, if there is one. Apart from the microscope, you will need the following microscope sundries, as the catalogues call them.
The Actual Experiment
Let's just describe what we are going to do so that you get a general picture before we start. Reich first discovered the process of bionous disintegration in grass under water. He then investigated inanimate, solid materials to see if the same process occurred in things that had never been alive - for example, sand, clay, or iron filings. It is much easier to do your first bion experiment using one of these simple materials which can be sterilised in a flame than to work with grass, so I am suggesting this as your first experiment.
We take a small sample of our ground material, heat it to red heat in a flame, add it to some boiled water in a test-tube, and then take a small sample in a syringe, place a drop or two on a microscope slide, and examine this at highish magnification to check it for any signs of movement.
According to the criticisms of conventional microbiology, this preparation is not sterile and you cannot therefore claim that the motion observed in your particles is 'new' biological motion. It must be contamination (infection from air-born bacteria) or Brownian motion. (We'll come to Brownian motion later. You need to know about it.) However, for establishing the principle that we are observing new biological motion, transitional from the non-living to the living, our experiment is 'sterile enough.' We boil some water in the tube and discard it. We boil the water that we add to the tube. We heat the solid material to red heat, 500-1000 degrees Celsius. Whereas there are forms that can survive boiling, nothing organic (living) can survive red-heat. We examine a sample from our preparation within minutes of adding this heated matter to the water. This is far too soon for any air-born bacteria to show up in our preparation in observable numbers. You can check this experimentally yourself. Leave some boiled water open in a saucer or other wide, flat vessel and examine a sample from it regularly, say every 4 hours, and see how long it takes to show up any visible growth of bacteria from the air.
How do we examine a sample of fluid from a test-tube under the microscope? It is quite a simple procedure. We draw up a small amount in a syringe with a needle on the end. 0.5 mls is plenty. We squeeze out about 3-4 drops of this onto a flat microscope slide and drop a coverslip onto the fluid. This spreads the fluid out into a thin layer between the slide and coverslip and the sample is now ready for you to examine it. If you have put too much fluid on the slide, the coverslip will float on it and slide about until enough of the fluid evaporates for the slip to settle on the slide-surface. If you haven't put enough fluid on the slide there will be bubbles or an empty area below the slip. If this happens, start again and put another drop or two on your slide. You will soon get it right with a little practice. (In very hot, dry conditions, even on a hot summer's day in the UK, too much fluid at this early stage won't come amiss, as it evaporates very quickly.)
Your Ground Material
What is the best material to use for this experiment? At C O R E we have tested dozens, possibly hundreds of different items to see which demonstrate bionous disintegration and the growth of bions the best. So far the best appears to be the rock-dust sold to aid the recovery of exhausted soil by www.seercentre.org.uk They list local suppliers in and outside the UK. This is only fairly coarsely ground and you will need to grind it further with a mortar and pestle to make it usable for this experiment. This is rather hard and laborious work, but you do only need a tiny amount to prepare a test-tube, only a few grams. Passing the dust, as supplied, through a fine seive will give you a small amount without any of the hard grinding. The smallest amount of this dust that you can buy is a 340-gram bag. C O R E can you send you a finely-ground sample to get you started.
Now for the details.
Collect all your items in a convenient and safe place where you have easy access to the flame you are going to use. If you are using the flame on your family gas-cooker in the kitchen, that's it. You must be right by your cooker. If you are using a spirit burner or a blow-torch, you can set things up wherever it is convenient. Please be very careful doing this experiment. Make sure you have plenty of safe space around you and your equipment and make sure no-one is going to be in the way and knock you or your equipment over. Keep animals and small children out of the room. The safest work surface is a non-flammable material, such as a metal work-bench. If you haven't got such a surface available, it is safe enough to work on a wooden work surface, as long as you are careful. Remove all other items, especially flammable ones, and have a fire extinguisher or fire-blanket to hand in case of an accident. (You can improvise a fire-blanket by soaking a tea-towel in cold water and having it to hand. In an emergency, just throw it over the burning item.)
Our first step is to sterilise our test-tube. We pour in an inch or so of water and carefully bring it to the boil, then simmer it for a couple of minutes, allowing the boiling water to rise up the sides of the tube. To make sure it has sterilised the whole inner circumference of the tube, you will need to tilt the tube in various directions, taking good care not to point the mouth of the tube directly at yourself. The water may rise up the tube and shoot out, if you heat it too quickly. After this procedure, pour the water away and repeat the process, simply bringing the water in your tube to the boil. Quickly seal the tube with a cotton wool ball or a clean stopper.
Light your burner and scoop up a spatulaful of your rock-dust on your spatula/spoon-handle. Heat this up slowly and evenly in the flame, moving it about until all the powder has been red-hot for a minute or so. This demands care, patience, and a sharp eye. Once you are satisfied with the heating, withdraw the spatula from the flame, let it cool for a minute, remove the seal from your test-tube and drop the rock-dust carefully into the water. Reseal the tube and repeat the process with a second and third spatulaful of the rock-dust. You have now completed the most difficult part of the experiment.
Next step? Examining your bion-culture under the microscope. If you can't wait, have a look at our first video on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dLMvzpdsYo
Examining a Sample from your Bion Culture
This could be a completely different session from your previous one, so we will start at a beginning again. (Though you could have had a look at a sample straight away, if you had wanted to.) You need your microscope set up and ready and safe to use. If you are lucky enough to have a permanent space for it, in effect a laboratory or laboratory corner, it's already there and waiting for you. Remove the cover, turn the light on, making sure, before you do, that the power input is at the lowest setting. (This helps to prolong the life of the bulb.) We will assume that at this stage you are using brightfield lighting, the basic mode of microscope illumination, and come to phase contrast and darkfield later.
Get your sundries out and lay them out within comfortable reach. You now need your slides, coverslips, forceps and syringe and needle, and, of course, your test-tube. Attach a needle to your syringe, give the tube a quick shake so that the rock particles colour the water grey, remove the stopper or cotton-wool, and insert the needle into the fluid, not right down into the bottom of the tube, into the area above the residue on the bottom, so you are not trying to suck up large particles which may block the needle. As soon as you have obtained your sample, remove your syringe, and seal the tube again.
It is a good idea to practice squeezing out a few drops of fluid from a syringe so you can do this easily without shooting fluid all over the place. You need to be able to expel a few drops onto the slide with complete control. This may seem difficult. It is actually quite simple if you grip the syringe with your thumb and fingers, as you would a pencil, and squeeze the plunger gently with your palm. When you have got 3-4 drops onto the slide, put your syringe down somewhere safe. Remove a coverslip from the box and grip it carefully with the coverslip forceps. Place one side of the slip on the surface of the slide a few millimetres from the drops of fluid and let go of it so that it drops onto the fluid. It will immediately spread the fluid out flat over the surface of the slide and under the coverslip, so that there is a thin layer of water between the two sheets of glass.
Now, the great moment - your first sight of your own bions. In your excitement, don't forget the usual safety rituals with a microscope. Start with low magnification, survey the slide, change up to intermediate and then maximum magnification, observing all the usual safety precautions. In particular, use only the fine-focus wheel when winding up the stage. Don't crank up the stage with the coarse-focus wheel in your enthusiastic urge to see your bions.
Start with the 10x objective, wind up the stage carefully, setting the safety stop lever, and look around the slide carefully. Even at this magnification, if you have keen eyes, you can actually just make out tiny dancing dots which may be bions. Mentally, note the obviously solid, immotile particles, little rock fragments. Once you know what's what on the slide, switch up to 40x magnification. If you have a modern, parfocal microscope, all you need to do is to swing the nose round so that the 10x objective moves out of the light-path and the 40x moves down into it. It will click into place when it is correctly sited. Look down the eyepieces. You may have to adjust the focus slightly to get a clear image. You already know what the crystalline particles look like, so you should be able to recognise them at this higher magnification. At this magnification you should be able to see smaller, dancing particles between the larger rock particles. Some of these will be your bions.
You have got your slide on the stage and you are looking at it with your 40x objective. In between the larger immobile rock particles you should now be able to observe lots and lots of tiny dancing dots. You will need higher magnification than this to see them easily, and, more importantly, to see how they move. Movement is the crucial item in our bion research. So...you need to switch up to your 1000x oil immersion objective. You should have had a practice run with some other item using this objective with oil so that you know how to handle it. Using oil-immersion is a little more complicated than dry observation, though not too difficult. Lower the stage and turn the nose-piece sideways so that your objective is out of your way and carefully place a drop of your immersion oil in the centre of the coverslip. Wind the stage up, observing from the side, until the objective touches the oil. You should see a little flash of light as they meet. Now observe through the eye-pieces and wind up using fine-focus. If things are right you should slowly see the particles coming into view. If you have got too much fluid under your coverslip you will see things swirling about under the glass. It is just possible to rectify this by soaking up some of the excess fluid by placing the corner of a tissue against the fluid at the side of the coverslip. It may be easier to start again with less fluid. It may take a few attempts before you get this right. When you do get it right you may still see some movement of the fluid to begin with, as your objective is now pressing on the coverslip.
If you have got it right and things on the slide are now stable, you should be able to see your dancing dots all over the place. If you want to check to make sure you have got it right, take a look at C O R E's video on YouTube. This shows a couple of clips of a rock-dust bion culture. See link above. I hope to post the video or part of of it to this page, when I can work out how to do it. (I still can't get one.com's system to do this. To see this video, put Robert Brown and Wilhelm Reich into the search window on YouTube and it should show C O R E's video at the top of the list.) At this level of magnification the main way of recognising bions is by observing how they move. If you look carefully and openly you will see the small dots spinning very fast, and here and there pairs cavorting around each other in an endless dance of attraction and repulsion. You may also notice agglomerations of bions, either little lines of 2 or 3 or more that bend, or blobs of several in a clump. With much higher magnification (3000x or more), which we now have available at C O R E, you can see the internal blue colour of the orgonotic charge and the pulsation of this orgone charge. (Blue is the characteristic colour of orgone energy.)
We hope to make a video which will show you how to carry out a basic bion experiment. If we can get it to work, we will attach it to this page, so you can see the practical details covered by these verbal instructions. In the meantime, if you get stuck or have a problem, please feel free to contact C O R E via the link at the head of the page. We will be happy to help you.
Thank you for your interest.
Peter Jones, C O R E, Preston, Lancs.
Posted June, 2011, last added to/revised - March 21st, 2017.
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