Homeopathy Book Reviews

A Dynamic Materia Medica of the Noble Gases: Neon by Jeremy Sherr is reviewed by Vatsala Sperling

Written by Vatsala Sperling

A Dynamic Materia Medica of The Noble Gases, Neon by Jeremy Sherr is reviewed by Vatsala Sperling

Title: A Dynamic Materia Medica of The Noble Gases, Neon

Author: Jeremey Sherr

Publisher: Saltire Books, Scotland.

ISBN: 978-1-908127-07-5

Year of publication: 2016

Hard cover, 228 pages, with index.

Reviewer: Vatsala Sperling

In Dr. Jeremey Sherr’s words,

“The noble gases are the key to understanding the periodic table. The elements of the periodic table are the building blocks of the universe. I therefore embarked on an investigation of the noble gases towards a deeper understanding of health, disease, and our materia medica. I never imagined it would take me twenty years, but the effort has been well worth it, unfolding new dimensions of perception.

The journey began in 1993 with the proving of neon. This was followed in 1995 by helium and 1997 gave birth to both krypton and argon. My friend and colleague Silvie Gowen later proved xenon and radon.

I have recently done a full proving of xenon. Thus, the six noble samurai are complete, missing only the elusive seventh of their number, ‘Element 118’, which I have nicknamed luciferium. Collectively, these remedies form a family, grouped together not only by their unique placement in the periodic table but by the nature of their proving symptoms.

There are seven periods in the periodic table. The end of each of these periods is punctuated by one of the noble gases which represent the fulfilment of each period’s aspirations. All the preceding elements struggle through life in a constant state of lack and dissatisfaction.

They are missing one or more electrons necessary to reach a state of completion, balance, and harmony. This struggle represents the continuous restless motion of life. The noble gases, possessing a full house of protons and electrons, have achieved this goal.

Satisfied and whole in themselves, they exist in stable, inert, and isolated glory, and have no need of any other element. They are monatomic; they neither bind to each other nor do they form molecules. As such, they do not participate in the messy games of chemistry and life. Like enlightened beings, they wander across the universe, always present but never intermingling. 

Out of 118 elements, only seven have reached this lofty state. The lesser elements, looking on in envy, aspire to attain this state but can only approximate it through chemical interaction and sharing of resources, namely electrons. If we can understand the inner nature of a noble element, we can understand the aspirations of all the preceding elements in the period, and consequently perceive what it is they are lacking and striving for.  

The provings of the noble gases are a true wonder, an endless voyage of discovery, both as individual remedies and as a group. Through these provings, I have discovered many shared characteristics, a vertical line of meaning running through the whole group.

At best, these elements align with the endless power of universal force. At worst, they survive in disconnected inertia. One characteristic of the noble gases is that they emit light when an electric current flows through them. It is my hope that these books will supply you with some of the voltage needed to enlighten your homoeopathic journey1.

The noble gases, in the 18th column of the periodic table of elements, (helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon) are known for over 100 years but our materia medica of these gases has been rather basic till 1993 when Dr. Sherr stepped in.

Dr. Sherr first published his proving of neon in 2012 and called it “an opus, and by far the most difficult intellectual challenge I have ever undertaken.” He is the first to re-develop the science and art of provings after a century of near silence.

In 1982 he conducted his first proving of scorpion and has since completed 21 thorough provings. Dr. Sherr’s seminal work in this important aspect of homeopathy has become a go-to resource for understanding provings in modern times2.

With this background information, let us now see what Dr. Sherr says in the book “A dynamic materia medica of the noble gases, neon”. Neon was proved in 1993, and this book came out in 2012. These intervening years gave the author ample time to see how the proving results apply in the real-time settings during case taking.

In 1993, along with John Morgan of Helios Pharmacy, Dr. Sherr has been a midwife to the birth of the remedy neon. The trouble with making remedies from noble gases is that they do not react with any other element, nor do they dissolve in any solvents. While bubbling neon gas through water for ten minutes, Dr. Sherr wondered if the process of potentization will work at all but stayed with the process none the less.

While the gas bubbled through water, the process of potentization had been set in motion, indeed. A prover took the first dose of the remedy, totally unaware of what she was taking, and found a load of discarded neon lightbulbs dumped in her yard.

As one of the provers himself, Jeremy felt trapped inside the ‘cosmic egg’ and felt eager to find out what lay outside the confines of this egg. Between the very first proving of neon in 1993, and the next 18 years, Dr. Sherr prescribed neon successfully in many cases, but felt that the remedy picture was incomplete. He did a second proving, and understood all aspects, facets, full potential, and polarity of neon.

At the outset, the author clarifies about potencies and corresponding levels of perception:

  1. The pure element in nature – purely physico-chemical properties.
  2. Mother tincture: Homeopathic, naturopathic, and herbal aspects.
  3. 12c: Physical affinities
  4. 30c: General themes
  5. 200c: Essence, emotional picture, and signature
  6. 1m, 10m: A search for meaning in the totality. 1m – emotional essence, 10m – inner structure.
  7. 50m: Subtle sensations and functions, including the geometrical structure of the remedy
  8. CM: Analogy and metaphor
  9. MM and beyond: Esoteric roots of the remedy, and the simple substance that lies beyond

Dr. Sherr has described the general information about Neon, and preparations right from mother tincture all the way till CM in chapters from 2 to 10. While 12c and 30c cover a vast ground in physical symptoms and affinities to organs, proving of 200c brings out emotional essences, for example, total stillness, contentment, and total lack of desire.

Provers also experienced gratitude, and overwhelming appreciation for world’s beauty. With such positivity in the emotional realm, some provers reported being able to walk upright, with freedom and agility. They are attracted to lights of various hues, and they feel a connection between heaven and earth.

The polarity of the remedy, the contrasts between the positive and negative aspects become strongly evident in 1M. The positive state of neon is contentment, tranquility, agility and effortless movement, bliss, being in the present moment, being in a highly spiritual state, dissolution of ego and its total merger with the whole, the here, and now.

Opposite of this positive state is, dislike, confusion, indifference, loneliness, estrangement, depression, grief, self-disgust, wretchedness, discontent, guilt, anger, anxiety, hurriedness, stress, irritability, self-reproach, cursing and violence.

A synthesis of the entire outcome of proving is presented in chapter 11. A summary is here:

Sensation: Separated from heaven. Disconnected, stranger, odd one out. Function: Must unite with the stars.

Sensation: Upright, with direct connection to heaven. Function: Must divide and lean toward desires.

Sensation: Cannot dissolve. Function: Become fluid.

Adjectives: Colorful, soluble, blissful, grateful, free, dependent.

Noun: Water, stars, sky, firmaments, clouds, doors, windows, keyholes, iris, skin, numbers, reason, lotus, psora, time and space.

Image: Oneness opposed by division and separation. Contentment opposing dissatisfaction.

The take home message is that a neon personality can be childish, two-dimensional, with a lack of emotional depth, ‘I itch, I scratch, I want’ type. Or it can transcend this basic self-centered state, and reach a state of contentment and bliss, powered by a universal force, and a mathematical logic.

If neon does not attain this higher state, life will be hard and full of discontent, struggle, criticism of self and others. Dr. Sherr gives us this summary after his diligent exercise of proving neon in various potencies in 1993 and then again in 2012.

Cases in this book are from varied sources. Dr Sherr proposes that both short and long follow ups are useful, and in some situations, a remedy may act for a short time with profound cure, indicating a deeper action, and when susceptibility is fulfilled, the remedy is no longer needed. In other situations, remedy action may be partial.

Cases presented cover these symptoms: acute influenza, urinary system, sensitivity to strip lights and neon lights, OCD with closing and opening doors, HIV / AIDS, existential anxiety, heavy uterine bleeding, non-interactive – likes number two, overactive thyroid, ADHD, fragility, premature birth, skin rash, schizophrenia, and psychiatric disorders.

The cases are brief, but the need for neon comes up very strongly. For these varied presentations, neon is prescribed in various potencies. Follow ups show overall positive outcome, establishing a permanent place for neon in our materia medica. Further, Dr. Sherr writes about remedies similar to neon, and these are helium, salmon, jade, polaris, iridium, aqua marina and fluoric acid.

Our knowledge of neon can increase by leaps and bounds by reading the concluding chapters where the author draws upon geometry, philosophy, genetics, bible, Cabbala, as well as poetry and songs. In expanding our collective understanding of neon, and finally the miasm to which it belongs, psora, the author has left no stones unturned.

This book – deep, multifaceted, based on proving experiences and the affirmation of various themes emerging from provings, in multitudes of cases – is an effort by Dr. Jeremy Sherr to acquaint the readers with the body, mind and the spirit of the remedy neon.

On reading this book, you will find yourself hungry for reading other books on this series, helium, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon. Some of these are available and some are in the pipeline. As and when I get one of these books, you can rest assured I will write for you a review that will be a prelude to your full understanding of the noble gas in question. Full understanding of a remedy is what we need as homeopathy practitioners, and I must congratulate Dr. Jeremy Sherr for offering this to us in his book on neon.

End notes:

  1. Sherr, J. Interhomeopathy, International homeopathic internet journal, September 2012.
  2. Singhal, A. https://spiritindia.com/understanding-the-noble-gases/Spirit India, February 2014.

About the author

Vatsala Sperling

Vatsala Sperling, RSHom (NA), CCH, MS, PhD, PDHom was the Chief of Clinical Microbiology services at a children’s hospital in Chennai, India, when she published extensively and conducted research with WHO, Denmark. On moving to the USA, Vatsala pursued a 4½ year course in Homeopathy at Misha Norland’s school. She has authored twelve books including her latest, Colubrid Snake Remedies and Their Indication in Homeopathy Practice. Journals from US and abroad frequently publish Vatsala’s writings on spirituality, health, and homeopathy. Vatsala continues to study with several teachers and practices classical homeopathy. She has served on the board of directors of NASH and currently she serves as a volunteer with NCH. She can be reached via her website (www.Rochesterhomeopathy.com)

Leave a Comment