Eddie volunteered for a science experiment on energy. The researcher gave him a taste of sugar and the electroscope attached to his skin showed a positive energy charge. But when the researcher surprised him with a very salty flavor, Eddie made a face and the electroscope reading dropped down to zero.
With sugar in his mouth, Eddie’s energy moved outward to his periphery. He liked it, and the charge that appeared on his skin showed his pleasure. But then with the salt, the charge disappeared from his skin and Eddie made a face. Where did it go? Eddie recoiled and made a face, but he also pulled away inside himself. His charge pulled inward away from his skin, which was why the electroscope on his skin showed zero. His charge and body fluids moved inward from his skin to his internal organs.
The sugar-salt experiment showed that an energetic charge moves to a person’s periphery with pleasure or to their interior with anxiety. What’s more, it moves in mind and body both at once.
This is a mind/body function because when Eddie’s energy moved, it expressed his distaste (a quality of the mind) and moved a physical distance through his body. His mind and body functioned seamlessly together.
Eddie’s energetic charge moved and it expressed his dislike of the salt. The mind and body share “expressive movement.” There was Eddie’s mind aspect of expressing his feelings, and there was his body aspect of energy moving a physical distance inside his body. It is impossible to separate those two aspects. When he didn’t like the salt, he reacted with disgust and also pulling in his energy.
Energetic charges move to express emotions. Mind and body are completely integrated. Reich’s discovery was that emotions are psychological and they involve energy moving expressively.