Hippocrates v Hypocrite  




In the Star Wars films George Lucas coined the notion of The Force to explain the extraordinary powers of the Jedi Knights. Obi-Wan Kenobi explains to Luke Skywalker that The Force is ‘an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together’.

This is pure vitalism, a concept which scientific orthodoxy refutes as pseudo science. But then anything that suggests that we are an integral part of a greater whole, that we live in a symbiotic relationship with the universe around us, is dismissed as pseudoscience these days. Because there are forces alive in the world that have a vested interest in perpetuating the notion that we are at war with the rest of Creation. We are experiencing in our lives today the inevitable consequences of allowing ourselves to swallow this notion hook, line and sinker.

In the Star Wars film The Phantom Menace the level of the Force possessed by Anakin Skywalker is measured through blood tests to assess the volume of ‘midi-chlorians’ in his blood. The director George Lucas equated midi-chlorians with mitochondria, the organelles which are necessary components for cells to divide. Without mitochondria there wouldn't be any life. Mitochondria are constantly dividing and then bonding together, in the same way as human beings are constantly dividing and bonding in an everlasting merry-go-round. This is the way life works. This is the life function.

In The Phantom Menace Qui-Gon explains to Anakin exactly what midi-chlorians are:

QUI-GON: Midi-chlorians are a microscopic life form that resides in all living cells.

ANAKIN: They live inside me?

QUI-GON: Inside your cells, yes. And we are symbionts with them.

ANAKIN: Symbionts?

QUI-GON: Life forms living together for mutual advantage. Without the midi-chlorians, life could not exist and we would have no knowledge of the Force. They continually speak to us, telling us the will of the Force. When you learn to quiet your mind, you'll hear them speaking to you.

When I first saw this scene it struck me forcibly how it wraps up in just a few lines the nature of the reality we inhabit.

The midi-chlorians could equally be identified with viruses, bacteria, fungi and every other microorganism that we share this planet with, and that we share our bodies with. It is they that give us Life and we must learn to listen to them. How do we listen to the Force? We need to stop thinking. Because it is our incorrigible need to be thinking all the time that cuts us off from the Force of Life. This is the message of this little scene in George Lucas’ film.

As Sayer Ji has many times reiterated the discovery of the Microbiome was a discovery of Corpernican dimensions. It blew Pasteur’s germ theory out of the water. Because it showed us so clearly that, far from being our enemy, microbes, what are called viruses and bacteria, are an essential part of the fabric of life that we have to learn to live with symbiotically – not exterminate. This pandemic and every manufactured pandemic that has preceded it is a hoax for this reason and this reason alone.

Every mystical spiritual tradition speaks of the necessity of stilling the mind. The mind is the enemy of Being. When we become trapped in the mind only we lose touch with life, we become alienated from it. Only when we stop the incessant chattering of our thoughts can we connect with life. It is only then that the life force can assert itself within us, it is only then the midi-chlorians can speak to us.

The Gnostic teacher Samuel Aun Weor used to say that spiritual advancement is only to be attained through ‘the sleepy state’. From this perspective the slough is a great deal closer to God than we will ever be...

That remarkable man of science Wilhelm Reich invented a term, Orgone Energy, to explain this same all inclusive life energy that suffuses the entire universe and that is responsible for every manifestation of life in it. Reich understood that all disease develops as a result of depletion of this essential life force.

Reich was as opposed to mysticism as he was opposed to materialism because he understood it was a false dichotomy. He understood that all idealism divorces us from the essence of what we are which is living, breathing biological creatures, in a living breathing biological universe.

The FDA in America hounded Reich out of business and dismissed all his research as fraudulent pseudoscience. This is the fate of innumerable creative geniuses in the field of medicine.

This is the fate of anybody that challenges our most fundamental belief about ourselves, namely that we are creatures of the mind and of the spirit only, and everything to do with the body is flawed and irrelevant and to be disregarded.

Wilhelm Reich was a lonely iconoclast who refused to be bounded by any preconceived model. He went back to basics.

In order to determine what characterised dysfunction he realised it was necessary to identify precisely what characterised the life function at its most elementary level. In this he had a lot in common with the maverick psychologist Abraham Maslow who believed that in order to arrive at an accurate model of the human psyche it was necessary not just to confine yourself to studying sick individuals. Rather it was essential to study healthy human beings – and discover what rendered them healthy in the first place

It was the same for Reich. His starting point was the sexual orgasm.

This inevitably meant his work was controversial and branded by McCarthyite America as wholly unacceptable – Reich ended his days in a penitentiary having been handed out a 2 year sentence for contravening an order by the FDA. Reich died unrepentant, and reading his works 60 years on it is impossible not to be struck by the sincerity of his endeavour, and also the astounding penetration of the man into the problem of human functioning.

Chapter 1 of The Cancer Biopathy bears the title ‘The Function of Tension and Charge’.....

‘It has long been a known fact in sex-economy (Reich’s term for his therapeutic method) that the orgasm is a fundamental biological phenomenon; ‘fundamental’ because the orgastic discharge of energy occurs at the very root of biological functioning. This discharge appears in the form of an involuntary convulsion of the entire plasma system. Like respiration, it is a basic function of every animal system. Biophysically it is not possible to make a distinction between a total contraction of an amoeba and the orgastic contraction of a multi-cellular organism. The most salient characteristics are intense biological excitation, repeated expansion and contraction, ejaculation of body fluids, and rapid subsidence of the biological excitation.....


On this website

‘The function of the orgasm thus reveals itself as a four beat rhythm: mechanical tension --bio energetic charge – bio energetic discharge---mechanical relaxation. We shall call it the function of tension and charge or, in brief, the TC-function.’

Wilhelm Reich The Cancer Biopathy Chapter 1 page 5 Farrar Straus and Giroux 1973

For Reich an understanding of the TC-function – synonymous with the orgasm function is critical to an understanding of the entire life process and of all manifestations of the human machine – not just sex.

However much emphasis Reich may have placed on the sexual component of his theory he never lost sight of the fact that the fundamental mechanism is applicable to all aspects of life and not just human experience.


Later in the same chapter of his book The Cancer Biopathy he writes:

‘...the sprouting of every plant, the development of every embryo, the spontaneous movement of muscles, and the productivity of every biological organism demonstrate the existence of incalculable energies governing the work of living substance. Energy is the capacity to work.’

Wilhelm Reich The Cancer Biopathy Chapter 1 page 11 Farrar Straus and Giroux 1973

For Reich all dis-ease, and cancer in particular came about as a result of the breaking down in some capacity of the TC function which is to be found in all manifestations of life

All of life is characterised by this one function - the TC function – which can be observed at its most basic in the action of peristalsis which can be  observed throughout the animal kingdom from the earthworm up to and including Man

A dictionary definition for peristalsis is as follows:

Peristalsis is a radially symmetrical contraction and relaxation of muscles which propagates in a wave down a muscular tube, in an anterograde fashion. Peristalsis is often found in the contraction of smooth muscle tissue to propel food/chyme through a digestive tract, such as the human gastrointestinal tract. It is wave contraction of longitudinal and circular muscles preceded by wave relaxation of these muscles. Earthworms use a similar mechanism to drive their locomotion. The word comes from New Latin and is derived from the Greek peristallein, "to wrap around," from peri-, "around" + stallein, "to place".

To state it in even more simplified form – the function of life can be declined down to a continuous process of contraction and relaxation

There is nothing very mysterious about this

We can all surely feel the truth of this in our own lives. Every day is characterized by a constant oscillation between the two functions – or polarities if you prefer.

At its most basic we can observe the rhythm in the fundamental opposition of sleeping and waking.

There is no living organism that does not in some way exhibit this fundamental opposition. In order for the organism to remain alive it is essential that at more or less regular intervals it close down in order to recoup. In recent years there has been a lot of research in to the nature of and importance of sleep to general health. It is quite clear that sleep deprivation is deleterious to health.

The world of political expediency has long known this fact and used sleep deprivation as one of the most excruciating forms of torture.

Without sleep or repose of some kind any living organism will eventually break down and succumb either to disease or death...

The fact of the matter is all of our living is characterized by the oscillation between contraction and relaxation

We see it also in our appetites

We become hungry - we eat - possibly to satiety. We are no longer hungry and we repose. I observe this most clearly in the life of my cat.

The domestic cat lives to eat. When she is awake she has only one thought – namely when she will get to eat – and once the appetite has been assuaged she sleeps

My cat exhibits the life function at its most basic – it is the TC function in action.

The domestic cat has of course resolved the problem of subsistence. She doesn’t have to work for her living. She just does it. Food appears. She eats. She sleeps. She wakes and awaits for more food to appear. If she wakes earlier than her proscribed feeding time she has to wait some time for the food to appear. And in that time she will often consider it necessary to remind me persistently by shouting at me that I have a forthcoming duty to perform. If she’s very lucky her persistent miaowing will eventually wear down my resistance to the extent that I will tip biscuits into her bowl prematurely – i.e. before her allotted feeding time.

My cat exhibits the primacy of purely biological function. Her life is ruled by her appetites, that is, by the promptings of her biological functioning, by the promptings of her body.

All living creatures are ruled by their appetites, the promptings of their biological functioning.

We instinctively listen to our appetites – that is the promptings of our bodies - because we know that it is critical for our survival


It is the unique attribute of the human organism that we can override the promptings of our biological functioning.... we can even ignore our appetites to the extent that we can make ourselves ill.

This capacity is unique to the human organism. Indeed it is the prime attribute of our civilization. It is both that which renders humankind capable of supreme attainment and that which renders us most susceptible to dis-ease .

In his Introduction to a Greek Anthology the poet W.H. Auden had this to say about our heritage from the Greeks:

‘It is they who have taught us, not to think – that all human beings have always done – but to think about our thinking, to ask such questions as ‘What do I think?’,’What do this and that other person or people think?’ ‘On what do we agree and disagree. Why? And not only did they learn to ask questions about thinking, but they also discovered how, instead of giving immediate answers, to suppose something to be the case and then see what would follow if it were.

To be able to perform either of these mental operations, a human being must first be capable of a tremendous feat of moral courage and discipline for he must have learned how to resist the immediate demands of feeling and bodily needs, and to disregard his natural anxiety about his future so that he can look at his self and his world as if they were not his but a strangers’


All religions are based upon a recognition of this simple fact. In order to gain spiritual enlightenment we must contemn the body. The capacity to contemn the body in the service of a higher ideal has a premium placed on it from our earliest days.

Open any book on the great heroes of the western world and we find that in each instance what is lauded above all else is the endurance that they demonstrated in the service of a great Idea or Ideal....

Here’s a quote from TE Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom:

Without a creed they could be taken to the four corners of the earth (though not to heaven) by being shown the riches of the earth and the pleasures of it; but if on the road, led in this fashion, they met the prophet of an idea.....then they would all leave their wealth for his inspiration’

See The Seven Pillars of Wisdom cape 1952 page 41

And this is the nub of the problem

Human beings are first and foremost motivated by ideas and ideals

And the greatest ideal – the ideal that is inculcated in us all from a very early age – is that of Service. Not just Service, but above all Obedience  - obedience to An Other....

We learn that rather than assuage our appetites - we have to overcome them – or at the very least we have to control them. We learn from a very early age that in spite of how it may feel in the moment the control of our appetites, which will inevitably feel like denial in the first instance - is in fact the first requirement of our existence.

Thus we become alienated from our biological functioning. We become alienated from our bodies. We become alienated from Life.

If we want to please our parents, if we want to please our teachers, if we want to have the chance of getting a job and advancing ourselves we have to deny ourselves in the moment now in order to build for ourselves a future. We learn to deny the Now in favour of the Future – and in so doing we soon forget that we have a Now. We forget that we have a life to be lived Now because of the incessant necessity to be working for the future.....

The Now becomes identified with the Body – which is Evil – while the Future becomes identified with our Minds – or Spirit - or Soul – which is supposedly Good

And this is not just within the portals of Religion – it is engraved within the constitution of our social conditioning

And what happens is that this habit of denial of the Now, of our appetites, of the demands of our biological functioning, of the body, becomes the ruling feature of our lives and the Now ceases to exist for us. There is ONLY the Future to which we devote ourselves - heedlessly dedicating ourselves to it until the moment we suddenly discover we don’t have a future any more....that is the moment we die – or at the very least become senile and decrepit –

At which moment we realise that we have built our lives on a Lie – and we didn’t even realise it – for it was the lie we were given at birth - the lie we were given by all those we have looked up to from the moment we were born - all those mentors from our parents to our teachers - the Lie that places a premium on the necessity of submitting.

The lesson we learn is this: our appetites must be quelled at all costs – if we are to have any chance of assuaging them either in the now or in the future.

We learn to divide our time out so that we have a time to work and a time to relax.

But the concept of work has a strictly limited definition – namely it is that which we have to do in order to subsist.

In the time that we work we must accept the necessity to kow tow before the superior will of our employers – that is those who will pay us – those who will give us subsistence.

And this is easy for us – because we have been conditioned to it from the earliest age.

Thus we learn to take charge of the inchoate primal stuff of which we are fashioned and put it at the service of our need to subsist; and in so doing we deny our birthright. We fail to become what we are (to borrow a phrase from CJG Jung).

And what we are is self conscious self regulating organisms capable of so much more than just subsisting

So the capacity that we have for self regulation is misdirected...

There is a paradox here

We need to assuage our appetites in order to subsist and yet in order to subsist we have to ignore and deny our appetites for at least two thirds of our waking lives.

A Marxist would say that this is solely down to the evils of capitalism and the fact that the means of production are controlled by such a tiny percentage of the total population – the capitalists; but this is to evade the real issue.

The real issue is that we allow ourselves to be conditioned from an early age and refuse to accept the responsibility of our humanity – which responsibility makes itself known to every one of us from the moment we come into full consciousness in adolescence, when the need makes itself felt to rebel – rebel against the persistent conditioning and compulsion that has been the hallmark of our formative years.

And to rebel is a duty which is evaded at great peril to the future health of the individual. For if it is evaded then there is no possibility of the individual individuating and asserting him or herself as an individual in the face of the great morass of humanity by which he or she is surrounded

Failure to individuate inevitably leads to guilt and neurosis; and a life lived under the umbrella of guilt and neurosis inevitably leads to dis-ease with its concomitant threat of sickness – and ultimately death.

If we fail to individuate we live all our days under a compulsion and we lose all joy in living in life – and this is the central issue at stake.

The moment of individuation in adolescence SHOULD be the moment when the compulsion to act and to be productive or creative becomes self willed – a freely assumed responsibility of the individual....

How often does this actually happen?

How often is this critical moment in the individual’s odyssey sidestepped because the entire focus of the adolescent’s concentration must be on the matter of subsistence: How am I going to earn my living and pay my way through life? How am I going to pay my dues to society?

Siegmund Freud identified that neurosis is an inevitable consequence of the strictures of civilisation. Wilhelm Reich refused to accept this conclusion.

Reich openly acknowledged that civilisation was at fault and it was the faulty nature of our civilisation, the faulty nature of the paradigm under which we are living our lives that had to be addressed.


Now it is no accident that this crucial moment of individuation arrives at the same time as the moment of sexual maturation - at the onset of puberty and the awakening of the sexual impulse – synonymous with the life impulse.

But as Reich never tired of pointing out the problem is that the subject of sex – of anything to do with the genitals is virtually taboo in our society. The awakening of the individual’s sexuality, which should be cause for celebration is rather cause for shame, embarrassment and the onset of a fundamental neurosis that may never leave the individual. And this inevitably means a fundamental disruption of the TC function so essential for life...

At the root of the TC function as formulated by Reich is the notion of pulsation

All of life is characterised by pulsation

The biology of the planet we inhabit is characterised by pulsation.

The dictates of civilization are only the dictates of our self consciousness writ large

In order to overcome this chronic problem which is at the root of all dis-ease we have to reconnect with the TC function that characterises all of life.

To do this we have to climb down from our supposed superiority, we have to climb down from our preoccupation with Ideas and Ideals, our inheritance from the Greeks, which is what has led us to the crisis we now face.

 We have to stop thinking and we have to learn to listen, to listen to the midi-chlorians as Qui-Gon tells Anakin in George Lucas’ film.

Then and only then might we have a chance of extricating ourselves from the plight we find ourselves in.