Rudolf Von Urban, MD

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( Von Urban was a psychiatrist, who studied with Freud in Austria, created and ran a sanatorium, and then moved to California, where he continued to treat patients and also wrote books. He died in 1964.)

[p.136] Recent experiments have shown that currents flow from human cells of sufficient strength to be measurable by a galvanometer. The currents from the nipples, lips and fingers are stronger than those from other parts of the body; but the highest deflection of the needle of the galvanometer is attained by the irritated [excited?] sex organs, including the ovaries at the time of ovulation. The tension in the body increases during sex development and sexual activity.

[p.137] During puberty many children exhibit excited behavior, oversensitiveness, antagonism and the compulsion to fight. Masturbation between the ages of twelve and fourteen is a means of attaining relaxation from tension. But ejaculation through masturbatory manipulations only brings a local relaxation in the testicles, while it otherwise tenses the whole organism. This is one of the the reasons why masturbation is so often followed by feelings of guilt, remorse and the desire for self-punishment. Real relaxation is unobtainable by this means because the tension of the currents in the nerve cells is not diminished. On the contrary, every sex play increases the body currents and the metabolic rate in the cells, and therefore the tension in the whole body. Only a well-performed intercourse can bring full relaxation. ...

The correct way to eliminate tension in adults, as I have made clear elsewhere, is by normal sex intercourse, lasting long enough to allow the currents to flow out from the body cells.

[p.138] Bodily tension can be relieved not only through the sex organs, but also through the palms of the hands, if not too dry, and even through the skin of the body. [Bonding behaviors???] The feeling of happiness, of deep satisfaction and peacefulness, which follows such skin contact by two highly loaded partners, shows us that tension can find its relaxation also in this way. Two partners who are suited to each other in their radiations but who are incapable of diminishing these radiations through normal sex acts (because the way to the sex organs is blocked by a neurosis, for example), can deliver the streams also through the skin of the body by lying undressed in close bodily contact. Sometimes two or three nights are required for full satisfaction in this manner. [Note: Von Urban's wife had such a block due to attempted abuse as a child, so he discovered this bliss-without-intercourse firsthand.]

[p.237] On first reading Walt Whitman and Richard Bucke, I considered their declarations exaggerated, even, I must confess, somewhat hysterical. Then I myself had an experience which brought me back to their belief that man can come into direct communication with a Superior Power.

[238] Deeply in love, in close contact with the beloved one, I felt once with certainty that God was within me. My reunion with the Creative Force of the universe filled me with superhumnan happiness which words are powerless to describe. Was this hallucination? Maybe! But such an experience cannot be altered or undone. It carries with it its own assurance of verity and brings us nearer to the divine truth than all philosophical or scientific thinking....

In analyzing my experiences, I became convinced that real love can open our soul to meeet our Creator. If God is in us, blessing our love, we become kind, good, unselfish, and a feeling of holiness flows through us.

Sex union can be play a part in this ecstasy. For the sexual organs have, besides the propagative function, another and most important one: the amative (full of love) function. They are conductors not only of the semen but also of social magnetism. ...

To repeat: the amative function, that which makes "of twain one flesh" and offers a medium of magnetic and spiritual interchange, is a distinct and independent function, and superior to [p. 239] the task of reproduction. The more the two partners can devote their union to this spiritual interchange, the more they can experience profound love for each other, the more they can receive God in them.

The way to such a state of delight is love! love! love!

...If does not matter by which method a person approaches God--by ascetism, meditation, prayer, or by physical contact with a beloved person, tuned to him in such a degree that the two can mutually neutralize all the radiations of their bodies--by any of these methods he can have the same significant experience: that of freeing himself from the demands of his body cells, so that the rays of God can stream to him undisturbed. Whoever has experienced this ecstasy of divine rapture does not doubt the existence of God. It is experiences of this nature which also have convinced me that Platonic love was probably something of this kind rather than the purely spiritual relationship, without bodily contact, which it is commmonly believed to be.

A passage in Plato's Symposium seems to indicate that the "something they don't know what" which the lovers long to obtain from each other, is the exchange of their body radiations [p240] which enables them to become entirely relaxed. This means that their sublime feelings of happiness are induced, to use prosaic words, by nothing other than a complete liberation from tension.

When I studied Indian philosophy I was never able to understand why Nirvana is regarded by the Hindus as so desirable. How can a state of nothingness be the aim of life? But later I came to understand that the cessation of body tension can be so supreme an experience, that no other pleasure on earth can compare with it; and that when the tension in the body entirely ceases, we reach a state of relaxation so absolute that it is as if we were bodiless. This form of "nothingness" is, I believe, akin to that happiness which easterners call Nirvana.

(From his 1958 book Beyond Human Knowledge: A Consideration of the Unexplained in Man and Nature)