Title: Essential Expressions of the Vital Force
Published by: CLC publications, ISBN 9781838532864
Paperback with color pictures
Author: Jaqueline A. Smith
Reviewer: Vatsala Sperling
Kindle Edition – £3.99
Paperback – £6.99
As the title of the book says, this super-slender book is about the essential expressions of the Vital Force. Jacob Berzelius used the phrase, “Vital Force” in 1809, while proposing a theory that organic living compounds are not formed by inorganic compounds but are formed by a Vital Force and only living organisms contain a Vital Force.
After enjoying a momentary sunshine, this phrase was rapidly ousted in 1823 when Fredrich Wohler synthesized the first organic compound Urea from an inorganic compound, Ammonium cyanate. Berzelius clearly had no idea that in the future, people with alternative approaches to science would readily embrace the phrase, for example, homeopaths who see the Vital Force as the very foundation upon which their paradigm and vocabulary are built. Rightly so.
When homeopathy was evolving in the 18th century, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann could readily relate to the concept of the Vital Force and described it as a dynamic, immaterial, spirit-like force that embodies the essence of life and all its metabolic and functional activities. He saw it as an organizing force of life.
Being purely an energetic and immaterial entity, The Vital Force has recognizable characteristics that declare its presence by way of subjective and objective phenomena, but by no means can it be localized within the physical body.
A parallel scenario is the concept of Chakras in Ayurveda. These Chakras, seven in all, show their presence but cannot be located as actual spinning wheels along the length of the spinal column.
Having stated what the Vital Force is, and is not, and how it lets its presence be known, the author rapidly moves on to connect the Vital Force to expressions of disease. When the vital Force is disrupted due to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual factors, it tries its best to keep a state a balance, failing which, it elicits a range of disease symptoms.
When healing occurs, the Vital Force regains a state of optimum balance, and the disease symptoms go away. The author points to the use of the word, “untuned” by Samuel Hahnemann, and indicates that as a non-material energy entity, the Vital Force can best be described more coherently by using terms from music which is pure sound energy.
Using two simple figures, the author has visualized the four fundamental laws of cure. As the Vital Force is trying to regain balance, healing occurs from above downwards, from within outwards, from more important to less important organs, and in the reverse order of the appearance of symptoms.
Drawing from the concepts of the four humors, the four elements, and the four temperaments, the author describes the words we use in our repertories and materia medica and these words also are commonly used by our patients.
For example, someone says, “I am of a melancholic nature”. Now the author takes a grand step and creates a diagram for polychrest remedies like Natrum muriaticum, Bryonia, and Rhus tox, and shows us how a remedy picture can emerge when we use the four elements like earth, fire, water, and air, and connect these with various organs and their disease symptoms.
Further along in this book, the author has done a brave job of presenting ultra-brief pictures of personality types and the general nature of psoric, sycotic, syphilitic and tubercular miasms. Miasm is another word our patients hear us speak, and many of them are rather quite curious about it.
As a quick read, this book is a crash-course on how to observe the expressions of the Vital Force in an organism, and it could find a great placement as an educational tool in the hands of our patients who are curious about the Vital Force.