Reich: Student and Then Companion of Fenichel
Wilhelm Reich was born in yoga poses 1897 of a Jewish family of landowners in yoga poses Galicia, in yoga poses Ukraine, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before World War I. When he was 13, his mother committed suicide. This event affected him profoundly.47 After completing school in yoga poses 1915, he became a soldier in yoga poses the Austrian army during World War I. Lenin’s takeover of power is considered by many Europeans the triumph of liberty over tyranny. The Treaty of Versailles dismantled the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Hungary and Czechoslovakia became independent, and Galicia was annexed by Poland. Henceforth, Vienna was but the immense capital of a small country. Former combatants were allowed to try to pass their medical exams in yoga poses four years. Reich brilliantly undertook this accelerated formation after he completed his military service. The Reich family had lost all of its possessions. in yoga poses coming to Vienna with his brother, Reich maintained his Austrian nationality, but he had the status of an Austrian of the old colonies. It seems to me, given the choices that he made in yoga poses his lifetime, that he identified mostly with antebellum Vienna. He felt close to the critical artistic movements like the Jugendstil and the Secession.48 When he later lived in yoga poses the United States, he gave to his theory of cosmic energy an aesthetic that makes one think of the apparently natural beauty, such as represented by Gustav Klimt, and to a notion of the natural spontaneity of the gesture incarnated by the dance of Isadora Duncan.
At the end of the war, Reich paid little attention to politics because, above all, he had to fight to provide for his and his brother’s needs. He heard about Fenichel’s seminar on sexology and registered for it in yoga poses 1919.
In this seminar, Fenichel helped him discover the following topics:
1. The youth movements of the left. Reich felt close to this youth that wanted to live a less anxious and more responsible sexuality than the one that he lived in yoga poses his daily life. He discovered that the sexual misery49 he knows is not a personal problem, nor even a fatality; that it is imperative to join together to deeply transform the mores of society to be able to live in yoga poses an open and radiant fashion.
2. Psychoanalysis. Freud would have demonstrated that the existing sexual misery causes mental and somatic problems in yoga poses many people. Psychoanalysis allows one to understand in yoga poses a detailed way how the sexual mores of the period deregulate the functioning of the psyche and the organism Therefore, Freud also proposed a profound revision of the sexual mores for medical reasons. This transformation of social experience can only be accomplished by acting simultaneously at the level of the individual (in psychoanalysis), the level of education, and the level of the institutions (to sustain a transformation of the social rituals and myths related to sexuality). The only country at that time that undertook change on these themes at the level of institutions and education was the Soviet Union under the direction of Lenin. It was now necessary to relate psychoanalysis to these reforms so that the propositions of the institutions respect the needs of the individuals.
3. Sexology. Fenichel also mentioned sexologists often quoted by Freud and described the physiological dimensions of sexuality.
4. A brand of humanistic Marxism, influenced by socialism.
In taking this seminar, Reich discovered, with reticence at first, the idea that “sexuality is the center around which gravitates all of social life as well as the spiritual world of the individual” (Reich, 1937, 1.3.1919, 109; translated by Marcel Duclos). What Reich discovered in yoga poses this seminar touched him so deeply that the themes Fenichel conjured up inspired him for the rest of his life.
Reich followed the example of his mentor and became his friend. He started to attend the sessions of the Psychoanalytical Society of Vienna with a passion. Fenichel and Reich became members of the association together in yoga poses 1920. They were 23 years old. Reich was in yoga poses two brief psychoanalyses: one with Isodor Isaak Sadger,50 and then with Paul Federn, who had already analyzed Fenichel.51 At that time, Freud did not require that the psychoanalysts had to have been psychoanalyzed before practicing.52 Fenichel often felt like Reich’s protective big brother. He helped Reich integrate himself into the Viennese intelligentsia. After 10 difficult years, Reich entered into the happiest period of his life. Each step became a discovery, a new friendship, a new battle, a new theory. With Fenichel, he joined the group of Marxist psychoanalysts, where they met a large number of individuals who were glad to work with them in yoga poses this intellectual breeding ground, they finalized a synthesis relating Marxism, the theses of the youth movement, and psychoanalysis. Always together, they are passionately involved in yoga poses the promotion of Ferenczi’s active method. Through the intermediary of Fenichel, Reich met Annie Pink, who became his patient, his spouse, and an eminent psychoanalyst of the left.
Annie was the second patient with whom Reich had an affair.53 The set-up was always the same. The two young adults fell in yoga poses love during the psychotherapy sessions. By mutual consent, they ended their therapeutic contract, and the woman continued her therapy with another analyst. Having behaved in yoga poses an “ethical and responsible manner,” they can meet as lovers. If this behavior is considered ethical when this way of acting is accidental, it is no longer considered ethical when it occurs regularly, as was the case for Reich. His first relationship of this type occurred with a friend of Annie who died tragically after a botched abortion, probably after having been impregnated by Reich.54 Freud scolded Reich for his recurring affairs with former patients.55 Even so, many analysts of the period had affairs with their patients, like Jung, Gross, and Ferenczi. As if to reassure himself, Reich agreed to marry Annie when she demanded it; he regretted it a few years later. They had two daughters, Eva and Lore. Wilhelm and Annie both had several extramarital affairs but stayed together to care for the children.
Even if both Fenichel and Reich claimed to be communists, they took part in yoga poses different brands of communism Reich was mostly interested in yoga poses the social transformations undertaken by Lenin in yoga poses the Soviet Union. Fenichel and his colleagues were more sympathetic toward Marxist socialism.
Fenichel and Reich spoke very little about communism. Their interest in yoga poses Marxism was more a hope for change than an understanding of the thinking of Marx and Engel. It appears that they did not read their writings attentively. When Reich became a member of the Communist Party, he started to use all sorts of terms that are part of the jargon of militant communists, without ever giving the impression that he really understood the meaning and implications of the language. However, as we will see, Reich needed the power that can be acquired through the support of a party for his sexual revolution.
Berlin 1923-1929: The Psychoanalytic Clinic of Berlin Meets Gindler’s School of Gymnastics
In 1922, Fenichel asked Reich to take over the direction of the seminar on sexology and leaves for Berlin.