Hello everyone – I hope this finds you warmer than I am here in North Texas….another chilly one! I don’t mind though and will be getting out to enjoy it!
So I went back to bed after Kyle left this morning and got a lot of needed sleep. I’ve been having weird dreams that definitely are like the ones I mentioned in a previous blog about dreams, “what the hell was that about??” kind of thing but in reflection I can see my mind was just processing things….moving files I don’t need in short-term memory to long-term storage.
Anyhew..as I was waking up I was thinking and asking, “what is todays topic?” and immediately what came to mind was, “Is it putting on your holy armor or the iron maiden.” So the topic for today relates to the theory Dr. Wilhelm Reich developed called “Character Armor.” What this is to me is what I’ve noticed for a long, long time and I read in his book last night, he did too, that at about ages 4-5, our families, our churches, or schools…the world….starts to build us a very restricting and uncomfortable suit of armor that gradually disables us….inhibits all natural and healthy function we had as children.
Reich’s Concept of Armoring
July 29, 2013
Dr. Patricia Frisch
Wilhelm Reich’s Armoring
Wilhelm Reich coined the term armoring as a reference to character and body armor. Initially trained as a psychoanalyst with Freud, Reich veered from standard theory and practice and over time conceptualized a very different paradigm. He practiced with an engaged style in the here and now, interacting with how patients presented in the office and toward him.
Reich created the term character armor. He meant that we all have coping patterns – stylistic character defenses that we develop throughout our life, usually starting before we can think or talk. We scope out our life situation with parents, caregivers, and early schooling, and figure out the best way to adapt. Depending on how our life unfolds, our defensive structure either becomes more adaptive or becomes problematic. Reich called our habitual demeanor, stance and attitude character armor. Our dominant, submissive, pleasing, withdrawn, petulant, stubborn styles, for example, become a uniform we wear in relationships – our suit of armor.
As Reich’s work progressed scientifically, his focus turned to the body and the way it mirrors the character in all systems. He found that our bodies embody the template of our personalities and conform to those dictates. Reich discovered the basic pulsation in the universe and that healthy organisms and organs have natural expansion and contraction. That life energy pulsates. When we are armored, our pulsation is interrupted and the movement restricted; the energy flow throughout our body is impeded. We may experience this as a lack of sensation, aliveness, a stiffness or tension. Armor can develop into painful sensation if places in our body have chronic holding or are under-charged. So our physicality speaks as well as our voice. Our armoring reduces our creative capacity, our natural expression of our unique Self.
If we allow expansion, we naturally experience new ideas and interests that we have energy to pursue. As we reinstate our natural pulsation by interrupting our character and dissolving our body armor, we naturally and spontaneously embrace life in the way suited to us. When we are imprisoned in unconscious ways of being, we lose flexibility necessary for healthy adaptation.
Links for further reading:
http://www.wilhelmreichtrust.org/character_analysis.pdf – Character Analysis 3rd edition Dr. Wilhelm Reich
http://www.newhermetics.com/pdfs/ReichianCharacterArmor.pdf – Character Armor of Wilhem Reich
Love and light to you through the wires….through the armor that binds you.
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