chapter  10
INNER GROUND Essence and existence
Pages 21

Wilhelm Reich distinguished between a tertiary, secondary and primary layer in people’s emotional drives.1 The tertiary layer was the level of character defences, substitute contacts and the conformist social veneer, well-adapted to the culture pattern. The secondary layer was the repressed unconscious with its forbidden drives, frequently destructive or confused. The primary layer was made up of spontaneous impulses to reach out and make contact.The primary layer of expression is that which is described by John Pierrakos2 as containing the 'core feelings’. It is the blockage and frustration of these which produces the destructive and raging middle layer. Psychoanalysis knew only of two layers, which it called the 'conscious’ and the 'unconscious’. The unconscious was the territory of the id, with its nightmares, its polymorphous perverse sexuality and its impulses to destroy. It is no wonder that the early Freudians concluded that 'an adequate degree of repression is necessary for a healthy mind’.Reich claimed that if the destructive impulses of the secondary layer could be released from repression and dissolved, the healthy expression of the primary drives in each person would manifest themselves spontaneously. He observed this in therapy when he worked with the funda­mental expressive language of the body at deep levels of plasma relaxation.