316 Pages, Hardbound
Since the early 1990s, homeopaths have become quite adept at looking into the Periodic Table for remedies. From a material point of view, the periodic table can appear very mechanical, square and precise. Remedies and people are hardly so.
While listening to the narrative of our clients, it is very easy for us to become lost in the details of their story and symptoms and lose track of the essence or the central theme of their experience. I am always looking for a book that will show how to focus on the essence while listening to the myriad details of the presenting complaints and the life narrative.
When I became aware of the book, “Radiance, Resonance and Healing: The Homeopathic Periodic Table” by David Johnson, I was quite intrigued by the title itself and immediately wanted to read this book – hoping that perhaps it will unravel the mystery of how to zero in on the essence of a person’s narrative.
What impressed me right away was the cover of the book. As you would expect, any book on Periodic Table might carry an actual Periodic Table on the cover. But when you look carefully, you will see that the colors are not locked within the mechanical diagram of rows and columns. The colors actually run into each other without holding onto their boundaries in a strict sense.
The change of colors is occurring in a gradual fashion just as it happens in a rainbow. I thought about this observation for a while and felt that our clients and their experiences reflect the blending of colors on the cover of this book. Generally, there are no watertight compartments in the narratives we hear, but we can spot a theme running through and through and that is the essence of their narrative.
With this realization, I was pulled into the book, as a bee to its hive. After a relaxed reading of the book over several weeks (during COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions), I am happy to say that if you are also interested in finding the essence of your client’s experiences and narrative and finding a remedy that is rooted in a similar essence, then, you do not have to go elsewhere. You have found the right book.
As a full color, hard-bound book at 317 pages, this book is a delight to read. As you start from preface and acknowledgments, and move to the introduction part, you see that the language the author has used is simple, direct, light and clear.
The author is literally speaking to you via the pages of his book. There are many, many quotes in italics dispersed through the book, and they allow the author to make his point without laboring at a verbose attempt.
“Natural objects should be sought and investigated as they are, and not to suit observers, but respectfully as if they were divine beings” – Goethe. Few words of Goethe convey precisely what someone might use a full paragraph to say. The various quotes used by David throughout the book make a point that does not miss its mark.
In the chapter on Periodic Table formats, David walks us through the conventionally accepted format, and introduces us to his way of looking at the Periodic Table – as a spiral path that begins at the top of a mountain and descends gradually to the bottom of the mountain. In this spiral format, he envisions latitudes and longitudes that describe the location of the elements on the Periodic Table.
The spiral path is fluid and continuous, so that a blending of various characteristics of elements is a possibility that we can understand. The elements are not locked into watertight and rigid squares of the conventional Periodic Table.
David then examines and presents an overview of the horizontal series or the latitude of the spiral. And here we are comforted by our discovery that latitude and longitude are not yet another new system that we have to get comfortable with, but simply, the author’s insight about how he experiences the Periodic Table and invites us to do so.
The horizontal series / latitude simply represents progression from incarnation (1st row), individual identity (2nd row), social identity (3rd row), pragmatic tasks (4th row), creativity (5th row), greater influence and responsibility (6th row) and finally, heavy responsibility (7th row). All this sounds familiar, right?
Next, come the chapters on individual series from the 1st to the 7th. Each element is described well. David has chosen to create a reader-friendly version of these elements. You do not get bogged down by the geological, physical, chemical, historical, cultural, mythological details about the elements – all, these can be easily found on the internet. Going straight to the point, David gives a crystal-clear snapshot of the essence of the elements. As you move along, you begin to relish the simplicity of what he has tried to do by withholding the barrage of easily obtainable information and giving you a succinct summary of the essence.
I admit that I found David succeeding fabulously in his attempt. I read the essences, almost felt as if they were flowers on a continuous garland where each flower is an individual entity but together, strung into the thread, they make a garland. If anywhere, it is the Periodic Table of elements, as seen and understood in Homeopathy, that we can sense that the cosmic interplay of minerals, of life, is a continuous process without a beginning and an end.
David understands his readers and their hunger for case examples…and so, the book is sparingly sprinkled with extremely abbreviated cases. I would have loved to see more cases that illustrate the essence. What words, expressions and gestures come up in the case taking process, that make David say to himself, ‘Aha, through all his stories, this is exactly what the client has been trying to express…and because of that, I chose element x.y.z for him.’
In presenting the overview of longitude, stages or columns, David has the same clear and direct approach as above. Since he has stayed on the track of presenting the essence without too many cases, he is able to give the essence of each and every element of the Periodic Table – including the lanthanides and actinides. For every stage from 1st to 18th, he has devoted a section to describing the combination of anions and the elements of a stage.
Toward the end, this book contains a chapter each on how to listen for
- Limitation (interview)
- Series (type of / setting for challenge)
- Stages (reliance on structure vs self-direction)
- Anions (conditions affecting connection and performance)
- Less common anion compounds like carboxyls, cyanatums, lacticums (carbon issues of productivity, value, self-worth and exhaustion)
- Situations that elicit combinations of cations and anions.
These chapters, along with the essence information in the preceding chapters of this book enable us to gain a certain degree of confidence in our grasp of the intricacies of the Periodic Table as applicable to Homeopathy.
David makes it very clear that a “compassionate understanding of a state of distress – and ultimately matching it with an elemental remedy – is similar to how we first learn about any remedy: we look for a foothold. And because a person’s history often begins with a physical complaint, their symptom, sign, diagnosis etc., can serve as our general starting perspective, and information builds from there.
But regardless of the type of problem and its initial expression – physical, mental and emotional – a client’s history of ‘elemental distress’ can eventually include: a developmental or performance based setting in which the distress is experienced, a sense of inner capacity – desire for external support vs autonomous action, and a quality, atmosphere or condition surrounding their distress.
Elemental distress, as expressed in the narrative, becomes our indication for going toward elemental remedies, but if the case has many different complex issues and sensitivities, then it is too much to expect that the minerals will resolve them. We need to look into other kingdoms for the remedies.
For me, reading this book till the end was a joyful experience in itself but I found that I had some questions coming up. I decided to reach out to David Johnson for clarification. He agreed to address my questions via a zoom meeting. See my interview with him in this issue.