Alexander Lowen, M.D. (1910–2008) practiced psychotherapy for more than five decades. He published twelve books on bioenergetic healing, including Love and Orgasm (1965), The Language of the Body (2006), Depression and the Body (1992), Love, Sex, and Your Heart (2004), and Narcissism: Denial of the True Self (1983).
Narcissism is perhaps the most well-known book by Lowen, but that’s precisely the reason I do not review it here. In my view, the other two books are lesser known but deserve a review because they are very daring, and very important for our society, as it is ‘in transformation’ toward a more pleasure-friendly approach, which is—according to James W. Prescott and other researchers on the roots of violence—the conditio sine qua non for a reduction of violence in our society, and worldwide.
In 1985, I intended to establish an educational project, putting an end to my law career after finalizing my doctorate in international law in Geneva. I wrote to Dr. Lowen in New York and asked for advice. He replied, and wrote me answers to all my questions, and regarding this particular project, he wrote me this: ‘That’s certainly a noble idea but please keep in mind that every school can only be as good as the educators who run it.’
This was indeed very good advice. It dampened a little my excitement, and within the Krishnamurti circle in which I participated, I saw that things went wrong precisely because of this simple fact. We were namely busy with setting up a Krishnamurti School in Switzerland, a project that failed precisely because, as Lowen said, the right educators to run and direct this school could not be found—while all the money had been there, and even in abundance.
Lowen was one of those precious elders who really are our cultural grandfathers in that they preserved a wisdom tradition of old that knows about the value of sensuality, and the important implications of guarding the holy custom of sexual intercourse in its purest of all traditions, as a true form of religion, because it is a bridge to our inner god and connects us and grounds us back to the Mother Goddess, Earth, Dust, Serpent and Eternal Female in us.
Lowen’s late book Fear of Life (2003) is an important contribution to fighting the cultural neurosis, if not paranoia in our times of turmoil and change, and root us in a true and non-narcissistic identity that is based upon functional biogenic vibration, autonomy and self-reliance.