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Working For or In Orgonomy

It occurs to me while revising this page and re-reading the text that it may put off people who have no professional qualifications or inclination to obtain them, but who would still like to work in orgonomy. Running orgonomic research projects and events definitely needs assistance in many simple jobs that almost anyone could do. So please do not be deterred from offering your time and energy, if you feel that you are a mere 'pair of hands.' C O R E would certainly benefit from your help, if you would like to give it. Please contact C O R E directly if you feel you can help. Helping us with our projects could be a good way of learning about orgonomy. You would pick up a great deal of information without even trying, if you came to work with us. (14. 8. 14.)

Orgonomic Midwifery Training in UK?

Are you thinking of training as a midwife in the EU? Are you interested in the use of orgone-therapeutic methods in midwifery? Are you interested in training as a midwife as opposed to an obstetric nurse? Then you may like the sound of this proposal. Come to the UK to do your midwifery training at a local university in the northwest of the UK and while you are here I will teach you everything I know about childbirth and orgone-therapy! I won't charge you anything for the privilege either. I will do it because I want my knowledge to be handed on to other midwives who can use it and pass it on to yet more midwives. As things stand with orgonomy in the world and particularly in the UK, my orgonomic knowledge and extensive experience and skills will die with me. So far no-one has been interested enough to want to come and learn how to use orgone-therapeutic skills in labour.

Requirements  and prior qualifications for university entry have been, as far as I can see, 'harmonised' so that if you qualify in your own country, you qualify for UK admission. I would, of course, give you a helping hand in getting established here and even be able to help you with your English. (I used to teach English as a foreign language.) If you happen to read this and are a Brit, the offer is open to you as well. I address it in particular to potential students from outside the UK as there is never any interest in orgonomy here and I have already met one student from Italy who for a time thought seriously of taking up this offer. If you are a qualified midwife, we could follow the same plan, if you came and worked as a midwife somewhere within reach of Preston for a couple of years.

The reason why this is such a positive plan is that in the UK midwives are trained to manage the whole of labour and all ante-natal and post-natal care. It is possible and happens for a maternity patient in the UK system to receive almost all her ante-natal, intrapartum, and post-natal care without ever seeing a doctor. As far as I remember the only exception is the routine ante-natal checks carried out on the woman's cardiac system and breasts. These checks are carried out at the first ante-natal clinic visit. Midwives are not trained to carry out these checks. They are pathology-orientated to exclude various cardiac conditions dangerous in pregnancy and labour or routine preventive checks for breast-cancer. If a woman is classed as 'low risk'. she is then only seen by midwives at her ante-natal checks and even a 'high-risk' woman is attended by a midwife during labour. If things go well, a doctor will not be involved in her intrapartum care. For example a qualified midwife will care for and deliver the baby of a woman who has had a previous CS. Even a student midwife might deliver the baby of such a woman, with appropriate support, of course.

So... at the end of traing a UK midwife is able to care for a woman in labour as an independent practitioner and learns to accept the responsility for delivering babies safely. She does not expect an obstetrician to come in and take over when the baby is about to appear, as happens in many countries with severely medicalised maternity care, eg, the US, Brazil, and Italy, to mention three that I know about. Please tell anyone else you know about this offer. You can contact me at info@orgonomyuk.org.uk I speak Russian and German quite well and French fairly well, if language is a problem. (9. 9. 13.)

This page has been inspired by reading the page on employment on George Monbiot's blog. For our foreign site-visitors, I should explain that George Monbiot is a well-known campaigning left-wing, green journalist who has regular columns in the UK newspaper, The Guardian, and who presumably writes regularly in many other publications as well. He is one of the sharpest and most direct voices in British journalism. Apparently he gets many letters from would-be young journalists asking for advice about a career in journalism and his article on work in journalism is a generic answer to all these young hopefuls, who he has not got enough time to answer. One piece of advice stands out in my memory. Given the choice between freedom and security, go for freedom every time. If you flirt with security you will end up chained to and within the system that refuses to speak truth to power. I don't get many enquiries from people who want to work in orgonomy, but the question lurks round the corner for any young person who has become interested in the subject.

We could say the same to the would-be student of orgonomy. If you want to work in orgonomy or work on its behalf, standing up for it and getting word about it spread through the world, there are no easy options. You are embracing a body of knowledge that stands as an outcast, flung out onto the very edges of the galaxy, invisible to most and for the most part, ridiculed by anyone aware of it. There are no cushy corners for anyone committed to orgonomy. There is a big contradiction at the centre of life for any young person who has become interested in orgonomy and who wants to commit themselves to a life of work in and/or for orgonomy.

The conflict is this: once you become aware of how deeply anti-life almost all work is in our culture, whether anti-life in the sense that it damages the customers or the environment or both, or anti-life in that it demands huge sacrifices of vitality and sensitivity of anyone working within 'the system', you face difficult choices. The whole economy, the world of work, and almost all professional activity reflects our armoured culture and expects anyone within it to be armoured themselves and to behave in an armoured fashion. It is easy to see why many sensitive individuals with professional qualifications end up working outside the system as gardeners, builders, or creative artists or craftsmen/craftswomen, if they have the talent and an initial opportunity to get a foothold in that world.

Is it possible to earn a  living in orgonomy? In the UK the plain answer to this question is no, it is not possible directly to work as a paid orgonomist or student of orgonomy. It is not even possible anywhere else, except in the USA and possibly one or two other countries, unless you are a trained medical practitioner or psycho-therapist. But, and it's a big but, there are many ways of earning a living that seem to be in harmony with the aims of orgonomy, that is, furthering the healthy, natural energy functions of human beings, including your own, and the natural energy functions of the planet or other life-forms inhabiting it, or at least not doing anything to damage those natural energy functions.  

For instance, when I was working in the UK health service as a midwife I always felt I was  practising full-time orgonomy. Birth is a blatantly bio-energetic process and supporting that process and helping a mother and baby to have a better experience of giving birth and being born was in itself immensely enjoyable and satisfying most of the time. Sometimes it was so rewarding compared to many other jobs that I thought it was quite unfair to be getting paid to do such work. Needless to say, no formally organised health service is going to be pro-orgonomy, expansion, and satisfaction, and so there were was a lot of pressure on me, especially when I was a student or a beginner, to work in a much more rigid, life-hostile way than I wanted, but, even so, I managed to deal with these pressures and to give the women and babies in my care positive, supportive care. The downside of working in such a crucial area of life was that occasionally, but more often than the general public realises, one was involved with a woman giving birth to a baby that was already dead, just about the saddest experience I can imagine anyone having to go through, and other similarly upsetting things. But the joys and expansion  by far outweighed the grief and contraction. Once I was called into a manager's office and given a ticking-off for not having enough control over the women I was looking after in labour - a classic example of pure emotional plague, the active opposition to life and the movement of energy. Needless to say, I saw my job when caring for a woman in labour as helping her to 'lose control' as much as she could, to surrender to the involuntary movements of the spontaneous expulsive urge. And I told this manager that! The sight of a woman in touch with that huge, irresistible urge is an experience never to be forgotten. I am a lucky man to have been privileged to see it on so many occasions.

There must be other types of work that can be similarly satisfying, though perhaps not as spectacularly so as midwifery, which in some ways is in a class of its own. I imagine many artists, craft-workers, and musicians get huge satisfaction from their work. I can remember getting a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction from doing woodwork and some sorts of building work. For me the great thing about such work was that unlike say, school teaching, or any work in a  large formal organisation with lots of rules and regulations, I was free to do the work how I thought best with no-one looking over my shoulder. I can imagine that organic farming and gardening could be similarly satisfying.

Many large institutions, of course, have a specifically anti-life ideology behind their way of functioning and this creates enormous, almost killing pressures, especially on a learner or beginner in the system. School-teaching, nursing, and medicine are all in that class. Many idealistic young people go into those professions with the hope of finding a way of making things better for others and finding work that they enjoy. Unfortunately the anti-life pressures of such work often just means that a worker in those fields is worn out with constant conflict and frustration and ends up leaving for the sake of their own sanity. There is a constant haemorrhage of the more sensitive and enterprising out of such work into independent employment in a  related field. If George Monbiot's article is to be believed, (I am sure it is), there is a similar procession in journalism, only many idealists, apparently, stay in, and become part of the system, losing all their radical inclinations and adjusting to the pressures of the mainstream press. I recommend his article, although it has, superficially, nothing to do with orgonomy. But it shows up well the conflict between autonomy and security. (Find Monbiot's blog to read the article. It comes under the heading of employment.)

It is clear that many green activists feel the same conflict. How does one earn a living without inflicting further damage on the planet, not to mention other people and oneself?

I have no easy answers for you. Reich focussed explicitly on people's sexual problems, but in many ways, individuals have more sexual freedom than economic freedom. You can do what you like in your own home and you may be able to find  a partner who shares your feelings about life, however anti-life the dominant culture around us is. But once we start looking for employment we fall foul of all the economic pressures and restrictions on the acts of the individual.

Another aspect to this is that if you wish to work in orgonomy, say conduct orgonomic research or write orgonomic books or even just articles and booklets, you need a fairly secure financial foundation beneath your feet to support those activities. Scientific equipment for orgonomic research is bound to be at least moderately expensive, sometimes very expensive indeed. For example, to buy a microscope or to undertake a research journey to some national library in another country to conduct research will cost quite a sum. You can't do such things living on the dole. You can hardly even buy yourself an important book living on the dole. I lived a precarious existence from hand to mouth for years and know the incredible sense of frustration of not being able to afford to buy important books or to attend orgonomic conferences in other countries.

Almost by accident, after a year or two in the NHS on a regular salary paid week in, week out, even when I was on holiday, not to mention extra payments for nights and at weekends, I found money building up in my bank account. It dawned on me that I had borrowing power and that I was in a position to get on with some serious orgonomic project. From the depths of my unconscious there floated to the surface my long-cherished dream of buying a microscope and repeating Reich's bion experiments. I arranged a bank loan and bought a high quality Olympus microscope. That purchase has turned out to be one of the best things I have done in my whole life and has led to the publication of my first book, Artificers of Fraud  and a further title Bions for Beginners. You can't undertake such projects in orgonomy without a regular income, alas. I published the book myself under the banner of C O R E. The printing cost about £3,000, not a fortune to the well-off, those used to having money to do things with, but a small fortune to someone living on the dole or doing some drop-out's job on the minimum wage.

The sense of empowerment that I experienced as I worked my way through Reich's bion experiments and started a serious study of the history of the origin of life was enormous. This work was so interesting, even exciting much of the time. I could not have done any of this work without my regular NHS income. Anyone wishing to work actively in orgonomy must face the fact that they will have to finance all their work completely out of their own pocket. No official funding body would even look at an application for funding for any orgonomic project and it would be a waste of energy even trying to secure such funding in the UK. Doubtless there are areas of orgonomy, for example research into seed-germination and the orgone accumulator, that would be much cheaper than bion research. Even so they would still cost a few hundred pounds now and again. You cannot even think of undertaking such work unless you have some fairly steady source of income. If you are lucky enough to be left a generous sum by some affluent grandparent or relation in their will, say, £2,000, that would go a long way to finance the purchase of a microscope and the setting up of a small orgonomic biology lab or facilities and equipment for observation of the atmosphere and orgonomic meteorology. Even just to build an orgone accumulator you need a few hundred pounds. On the other hand, with careful purchases, you can buy a basic secondhand orgonomic library on ABE for £50-£100. If your funds are very limited, get yourself some copies of Reich's main books first. 

So far I have not heard of anyone in the UK taking up new training to equip themselves to contribute to orgonomy. (But this country is in a class of its own in its complete and utter indifference to orgonomy, not to mention downright hostility. The UK is truly an orgonomic desert amongst so-called civilised countries.) You can do much more for orgonomy if you get some serious training in a subject relevant to orgonomy - for example, biology, physics, medicine, midwifery, childcare, horticulture or farming, psychology, physio-therapy, to name some of the most obvious fields. I have met several people from other countries who have done or who are doing university trainings in order to work more constructively for orgonomy than they can at present. Needless to say, such a decision assumes a complete, long-term committment to orgonomy.

This website receives a slow but continuous trickle of enquiries from people who claim to want to get involved in orgonomy somehow or other or how to find out more about it. Most seem very reluctant to do anything practical about this apparent interest. I am not sure how they think they can learn about orgonomy, but as soon as I give these enquirers the titles of a few important books to read, or even of my booklets, they disappear. How do they think they are going to learn about orgonomy? From watching a few videos on YouTube? Reading a few web-pages? Chatting over a cup of coffee? If you were going to learn Chinese or how to use calculus, you would surely expect to buy a dictionary and a textbook and to start doing some exercises, perhaps also listening to Chinese radio to get the hang of the pronunciation. Calculus is more complex and difficult. (I have tried it myself.) You would need to seek out a teacher to explain the basics, wouldn't you? And then maybe to practice the techniques again and again. I am not sure, as I couldn't get over the first hurdles, so limited are my mathematical abilities. But people seem to think they can 'get' orgonomy as if it is a consumer item like a film or a piece of music. It certainly isn't.

I appreciate that the prospect of reading a handful of 'big' books, some of them 300-400 pages long, possibly with a medical or scientific dictionary in your other hand, goes against all cultural norms and expectations nowadays. That is doubtless one reason why orgonomy is barely surviving in the present cultural climate. I can see no solution to this difficulty.

Doubtless to be expanded and revised in the light of experience and inspiration.

First posted March 29th, 2013, last revised September 20th, 2017.

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