Stratification of psychic structures

From the book The Function of the Orgasm, by Wilhelm Reich, M.D., Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York, 1973.

The patriarchal, authoritarian era of human history has attempted to hold the asocial impulses in check by means of compulsive moralistic prohibitions. It is in this way that civilized man, if he can indeed be called civilized, developed a psychic structure consisting of three layers. On the surface, he wears an artificial mask of self-control, compulsive insincere politeness, and pseudo-sociality. This mask conceals the second layer, the Freudian “unconscious,” in which sadism, avarice, lasciviousness, envy, perversions of all kind, etc., are held in check without, however, being deprived of the slightest amount of energy. This second layer is the artificial product of a sex-negating culture an dis usually experienced consciously as a gaping inner emptiness and desolation. Beneath it, in the depth, natural sociality an dsexuality, spontaneous joy in work, the capacity for love, exist and operate. This third and deepest layer, which represents the biological core of the human structure, is unconscious, and it is feared. It is at variance with every aspect of authoritarian education and control. At the same time, it is the only real hope man has of one day mastering social misery.