Wilhelm Reich’s 6 Rules for Creative Sanity

Following rather nicely from Jack Kerouac’s Belief and Technique for Modern Prose, which I came across a couple of days ago, Brain Pickings has posted these 6 Rules for Creative Sanity offered by Wilhelm Reich:

  1. Keep one’s life financially independent.
  2. Continue unabated to exercise one’s power of creativity in concrete, strenuous tasks, always seeking perfection as near as possible.
  3. Carefully cherish LOVE of a partner with full gratification, of the total emotional being if possible, of the body in a clean way if necessary.
  4. Keep out of the trap of confusion by the average man and woman, helping others to keep out of the trap too as best they can.
  5. Keep one’s structure clean like brook water through knowing and correcting every mistake, making the corrected mistake the guiding lines to new truth.
  6. Never yield to the expediencies of life except where it is basically harmless or where the main line of development is not impeded for the duration of one’s life.

I’ve never read Reich, who had always struck me as someone occupying the same intellectual space as Erich Fromm but doing so in a much less interesting way. However Maria Popova’s article has persuaded me to explore his autobiographical writings. He was an interesting guy but also a frustrated one, with it not taking too much interpretation to see how the 6 Rules might be connected to the difficulties he describes here:


Categories: Sociological Craft

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  1. Astonishing, truly truly astonishing. Never have I heard such claims stated so bluntly, while this gentleman demonstrates the awful discomfort of absent friends, whom we must know to exist even as we do for them, sustaining a common bond at the core, around a central hearth as it were, in what many have come to understand as “natural affection,” the apparent loss of which is here bemoaned in such stark emotive and ideational terms. This video is virtually jarring, to say the least.

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