|Harry van der Zee is the editor of the renowned international homeopathic magazine “Homoeopathic Links” and he practices in the Netherlands as a homeopathic physician.The theories explained in his book have been influenced by the teachings of Czech psychiatrist Stanislav Grof. Van der Zee recognized Grof’s descriptions of patterns experienced in the birth process closely resemble the teachings on miasms in homeopathy.|
The book is divided into two parts:
First the reader comes across the concept of Miasms as stated in The ‘Organon’, aphorisms 78-81, indicating that the homeopath’s mission seems to be to bring humanity back to a ‘pre-Adam-and-Eve’ condition, uncomplicated by chronic disease. Van der Zee shows that diseases are not to be seen as evil, but as the means through which greater health and existence may be achieved.
As Van der Zee understands it, when one is healed from a severe disease, one is never restored to the state he/she was in before becoming ill. Having undergone the illness all the way through to health, one seems to reach a higher level of existence, becoming better suited, in the end, to fulfill one’s mission or task in life. This restored state of health should be an improvement on the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels of one’s existence. This is where miasms play out their beneficial functions in the evolutionary process, and in the individuation of each human being.
The birth process encapsulates, on a small scale, both the experienced history and the unknown potential of humanity. After examining Grof’s teachings on the ‘Kingdoms of the Human Unconscious’, the reader learns about what a foetus may experience according to the research of the day. It is thrilling to read the examples and explanations. Van der Zee illustrates how the processes of pregnancy and birth are revealing events, so important for the work of finding the best remedy for the mother. These processes again deserve greater focus in order to find the best remedy for the child after he/she is born. In further refining the case-taking strategies, Van der Zee suggests a number of questions to ask of the mother, some which many homeopaths may not have thought to ask; he also illustrates a number of important connections of which many may not be aware.
Next, the reader is guided through the miasms in the different phases of the process of birth. There is a discussion of the “pre-miasmatic state”, and on remedies pertaining to this state, such as Hydrogenium, Helium, Cannabis Indica, and Anhalonium. Van der Zee follows this up with insights on the psoric, sycotic, syphilitic, and acute miasms, with a discussion of their corresponding transitions and relevant materia medica. Again and again the teachings of Grof are presented, enabling the reader to gain a deeper understanding of the subject and how it relates to the miasmatic theory.
The second part of Van der Zee’s book most profoundly changed my view on miasms: ‘Miasms and the Process of Individuation’. Van der Zee writes of miasms as integral parts of the circle of life – conception, birth, and death. Miasms are not simply a creation of disease, they offer us the possibility of health, growth, and transformation. Disease can be best understood as a way of restoring balance after disturbance: miasms involved in these “processes of recalibration” have to be dealt with respectfully, ensuring that the potential for transformation and growth result from the opportunity they provide. After having read this book, I cannot continue to see miasms as ‘Plagues to Mankind’.
Miasms in Labour