To read last month’s full case quiz. Visit – What Remedy Is Beethoven?
OK, how did we do? Is anybody there? You’re on the air at Hpathy.com!
Hi, Elaine, it’s Eva! Would you start him on Syphilinum? It has the deafness, the dipsomania…
Was he an alcoholic? He may have been but It wasn’t part of the movie and that’s all we have to go on.
Megalomania (“I am right the way God is Right!”)
Well, remember, Eva, he was attempting “humor” when he said that…
– delusion superior, exalted is,
Mind: fantasies, exaltation–Syphilinum isn’t there.
Insomnia (“don’t keep my hours!”),
He’s up at night creating, he can’t put his work down; it’s not insomnia in the sense that he lies down and can’t fall asleep. He doesn’t want to sleep, he’s full of ideas.
Syphilinum’s not listed under “rage” for some reason.
Sensitivity to cold.
I couldn’t find Syphilinum under “cold weather agg.” either. Of course, winter in Austria? How cold is that? Maybe we’d all be sensitive to cold in that context.
If not that, then definitely a syphilitic remedy.
Like Aurum. He does apologise for his temper.
Right, and there’s a rubric for that, and Syphilinum’s not there either. That’s a very important clue, by the way.
Incidentally, Beethoven has long been suspected to have suffered from syphilis, but after testing his hair for mercury (which in those days was the only ‘cure’ applied to this) and finding none, this was ruled out.
This suspicion obviously stems from his symptoms mimicking Syphilis. So, OK, I’ll go with Syphilinum. I would do an LM6. Seems to me a good opener as a first prescription. What about you, what posology?
What about LM1 and going up one step at a time as per aphorism 270(f) of The Organon? (“And in chronic diseases, one can best proceed by beginning the treatment with the lowest degrees of dynamization and if necessary continue to the higher degrees….”)
Hey, thanks for the treat, I did enjoy the buzz from that music!
Me too! I was very anxious to do this quiz because last month, we did Sheldon Cooper of “The Big Bang Theory” and half the people thought he was Sulphur because he was a “genius”. So, I knew it was incumbent upon me to do a Sulphur quiz next time, and this is it!
Did you hear Beethoven say, “Composers are made of fire!”? Sulphur is fire! This is why they have so many issues with heat–worse hot bathing, worse heat of the bed, hot, sweaty, burning sensations, red lips, red face, flushing easily, red orifices, etc. Sulphur is a product of volcanic eruptions. Did you notice his eruptive temper? I thought sure when he said, “Composers are made of fire,” everyone would know he was Sulphur.
From Murphy’s MM we have the following under Sulphur:
“Persons of nervous temperament, quick-motioned, quick-tempered….Very selfish, no regard for others. … Egotistical and obstinate. Intellectuals. Busy all the time. Hopeful dreamers. … Imagines himself a great man. … catarrhal deafness. … Wakes frequently and becomes wide awake suddenly. Cannot sleep between 2 and 5 a.m.”
That is interesting, Elaine! I may have suffered from ‘self-blindness’ here, as I seem to have a goodly dollop of Sulphur myself. In fact one of my favourite cases is a Sulphur one, where I only found it because she annoyed me so much – and then I realised she got up my nose because she was so much like me!
Even down to a huge shoulder bag stuffed full with all sorts of stuff.
(The Sulphur worked like a charm.)
Ok, so in tried and true Sulphur fashion I shall proceed to try and argue for Syphilinum. Hah!
If you can, please do!
Yes, that’s the gossip in musical circles, that Ludwig was hooked on the bottle:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071597/
(as was his father: http://www.midiworld.com/beethoven1.htm )
But Sulphur is known to have a drinking problem as well.
Syphilinum has the sensitivity to cold which his landlady refers to when she says this is why he is planning to move.
Sulphur is a 2 under Cold Weather Agg.
Also madness is a feature of Syphilinum.
He’s not “mad”, per se, Eva. At least not in this movie. He’s just very difficult to work with. Everything has to be done his way and in his time, he knows best. And all his “eruptions” (“It is they who can’t keep up with me!”)…. Remember, having a temper doesn’t make you a mad man or insane. It means you’re irritable and impatient. He’s irked by musicians who aren’t trying hard enough, a house-keeper who throws away his notes because they look like “scribbles”…think about volcanos where Sulphur comes from, he’s just like a volcano–he erupts!
Then there’s this lady’s response to his proposal of marriage: “He once asked a woman to marry him, and she responded; ‘you are ugly and half crazy, of course not.”’ http://www.midiworld.com/beethoven1.htm
We have to separate the real person from the character shown in the movie. His real life may be quite different. However, I think anyone would have to agree that no woman could be married to him.
On the other hand, the gossip that he suffered from Syphilis himself seems to have been disproved: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17214130 Well, looking at this email, I may not have convinced you of Beethoven’s need for Syphilinum, but my Sulphur constitution seems to be pretty clear!
Here is what I repertorized:
And of course, Sheldon is nowhere near Sulphur…
We definitely agree on that.
Blast! You are just too convincing! Syphilinum is not even getting a look-in.
A complete no-show!
Sulphur it is… Cheers for that!
Is the caller there? Hello!
Tough quiz, really really really tough… But I like very much this kind of quiz! The only remedy I came up with was China. Silly selection maybe, but this was the best I could do! It could be one of the other artistic remedies but here are the reasons I chose it (Radar keynotes):
– NERVOUS and IRRITABLE.
– SENSITIVE and INTROVERTED.
– Cannot express feelings easily; difficulties showing gratefulness or affection.
– Touchy and easily offended.
– Nervous capacity is on edge; sensibility to noise.
– Can be constant irritation with severe irritability, but a feeling of guilt afterwards.
– Refinement, an artistic element, especially poetry to express themselves.
– Great imagination, ABUNDANT IDEAS in the EVENING IN BED.
– Imagine doing courageous things or make plans about great projects.
Maria, because last month half the people thought Sheldon was Sulphur because he was a “genius”, I knew that meant my next quiz would have to be Sulphur so everyone could see why Sheldon could not have been Sulphur, so, this is it! Beethoven is a Sulphur! Now, it’s true that China (Peruvian Bark) imagines that he has many plans and many projects, but he never really does anything! Now, let me explain about Sulphur. It’s an element made from the eruption of volcanos! Sulphur is all about fire! Remember when he said, “Composers are made of fire”? That’s when I thought everyone was going to guess the remedy. Imagine a person on fire with ideas? What happens? He can’t put them aside, he keeps erupting with more and more ideas! One idea leads to another…you get a picture of this bubbling-up of ideas, like lava.
So what happens? He can’t stop to eat, he can’t stop to bathe, he can’t stop to sleep because he needs to keep putting his ideas on paper lest he should forget them. He neglects himself, he forgets to eat, his personal hygiene, his hair, his clothing, his relationships become non-existent; he doesn’t clean his house; his hair becomes a fright; hence, we have the rubric “untidy” that Sulphur is so famous for; but, you can see why. He is so busy, so enthusiastic, he cannot put his work down, whatever it may be. You saw that Beethoven would get an idea for a note or a chord and he’d quickly write it on the wall so as not to forget it! You probably didn’t see it in the 3 clips I posted; but, when he felt like he was getting too grimy or too sweaty, he would simply pour a bucket of water over his head with no regard to the mess he was making, pat himself dry, and keep going! This is what happens when you can’t put your work down!
Now, what else resembles a volcano? His eruptive temper! He has explosions of temper! “Where are my pencils?! Why are there no pencils here?!” “No, no, no, I can tell you’re not keeping up with me!” He has no patience, he’s rude because he doesn’t have the patience to come up with a tactful way of explaining himself.
What else about a volcano is like Sulphur? The heat! Sulphur is very effected by heat. Heat aggravates them. Hot showers and baths aggravate, the heat of the bed aggravates, they have hot feet, they stick their feet out of the covers at night. What else? They flush easily, have red faces, red lips, red orifices, hot, sweaty hands.
Sulphur also holds himself in high esteem, imagines himself a great person. Notice he says, “I’m right! The way God, is right!” Maybe you can associate this with how high the lava shoots up into the air during a volcanic eruption, equating, perhaps, with his high self-esteem.
The other thing with Sulphur is is their “quick repentance”, which I think we observed when the house keeper apologized and ironed his shirt, after which he was extremely humbled. So, I think the rubric is “easy to anger quick to apologize”, something like that, I would have to look it up. OK, I looked it up: “Mind: remorse, regret, repents quickly”.
You sure picked a heck of a character! Anyway I am very interested to see what other readers came up with! For me the artistic element was the most decisive for my selection.
But, Maria, all remedy types can be artistic, but they do it in their own way. For instance, would Arsenicum write notes on the wall???? Noooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! Never! You see what I mean? They would very neatly be written on lined paper.
WOW Elaine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You nailed it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am speechless, what an analysis! You are absolutely right! Best character analysis I have ever read! Thank you for teaching us in such a way!
Can’t wait for next quiz!
Well, I don’t know if I can top this one, to tell you the truth……
Hello! Is the caller there? You’re on the air at Hpathy.com!
Ok – so I watched the videos.
Hey everybody, it’s Mati Fuller!
Within the first 3 minutes of the first video, I saw dictatorial, perfectionist, fastidious, tyrant, (I’m right and the rest of you are wrong, I’m right and nobody else can do anything right, nothing else is up to my standards and that justifies my disgusting behavior….)
He walks quickly, and at the end he states that all doctors are quacks….
In the second video he starts out unforgiving, and still dictatorial.
He also finds the weather too cold, hint, hint….
He is described as a beast, and the boy says that he doesn’t follow any rules of conduct, he makes his own rules (a true tyrant).
But…hint-hint…the boy loves him! What does that tell you?
They also say that he is famous for his temper.
The deafness has to do with him not wanting to hear what anyone else is saying….
It can only be one remedy – Arsenicum, here to prove that he is right and everyone else is wrong, not appreciating anything anyone does for him because nothing is ever good enough….
Glad I didn’t know him…
I have to disagree with you, Mati. To me he’s a very clear Sulphur. Would Arsenicum say, “All doctors are quacks?” Arsenicums love doctors, because Arsenicum is a hypochondriac who goes from doctor to doctor getting proof that he is sick so everyone will have to fuss over him and feel obligated to stay with him and cater to Arsenicum’s every need.
What Beethoven has is an “explosive” temper, he doesn’t “argue” so much as he “explodes”; he’s impatient, he can’t tolerate mistakes and lacks the patience to express himself tactfully. Sulphur, the element, is a product of volcanos. They have explosions of temper but also of ideas, of creativity, they can’t put their work down, one idea leads to the next, they’re hurried, they can’t stop thinking, their work, their projects, are irresistible; so, they miss meals, don’t stop to eat or bathe or comb their hair–look at his hair, it’s a mess, but he doesn’t care what others think. (“Egotism”–Sulphur is 4, Arsenicum isn’t there. “Excessive self-esteem”–Sulphur is a 3, Arsenicum isn’t there.)
He’s not really “good” at arguing, like Arsenicum; he’s not “litigious”, he just yells, bangs the piano keys, “No, no, you’re not keeping up with me!”
I wouldn’t use the word “fastidious”. The housekeeper got things thrown at her because she threw out his notes, they were just “scribbles”, she said. Would Arsenicum scribble on pieces of paper? No, Arsenicum would write neatly and be well-organized. Beethoven would get an idea for a chord or a note and write it on the wall because the wall was nearby and a piece of paper was somewhere out of reach. Would Arsenicum write on the walls? Scribbling? Writing on the wall? That’s not Arsenicum. Yes, everything had to be perfect and done perfectly according to him, but I wouldn’t use the word fastidious. Sulphur is a 1 under “fastidious”, Arsenicum is a 4. But under “dictatorial”, Sulphur is a 2, Arsenicum only a 1.
Last month, Sheldon Cooper from “The Big Bang Theory” was an Arsenicum; but, half the people voted for Sulphur because Sheldon was a “genius” who liked to argue. I felt I had to do a Sulphur character this month so everyone would see the difference between an Arsenicum who argues, and a Sulphur who argues.
I don’t really know what it means that the boy likes him in spite of his temper…
Arsenicums aren’t likable under the best of circumstances! As you point out in your book, Arsenicums throw money around to buy loyalty and support, which they seem to need an unending supply of. The boy sees that Mr. Beethoven has a kind heart underneath his explosions of temper. And Beethoven does apologize to the housekeeper when she irons his coat, and what do they say about Sulphur? Quick to anger but quick to apologize?
You are right, that Arsenicums love doctors because they are hypochondriacs and go from doctor to doctor, but they also hate them because they know that they can’t trust them to do things right. The story that goes with Arsenicum shows that he was poisoned by someone he trusted, so the truth is, they don’t really trust anyone. That is why they always try to get another opinion from a different doctor. So, I believe they could say that doctors are quacks.
My experience with Arsenicums is that they can also blow up and not be very tactful. When they need to prove a point to a worthy opponent, they will express themselves with carefully chosen words, but if it is just someone in his household, I have seen Arsenicums impatient and intolerant of mistakes to the point where they stoop to screaming and throwing things instead of arguing. But you are right – Arsenicum won’t miss meals, or stop bathing or combing the hair. The messy hair was actually niggling at me a bit…
…but I know that when I am in a creative flow, I don’t eat or brush my hair either, and I am neither a Sulphur nor an Arsenicum. So, I thought it was a result of his creative drive and therefore missed it as a clue about his remedy.
But the scribbling on the wall – that is something Arsenicum would not do.
I didn’t know what to think of it… So, maybe you are right… He is probably more likely to be a Sulphur…
Thanks again, Mati!
Oh, look who’s here! It’s our friends Miroslav and Jitka!
Here are our answers to the March quiz “What remedy is Beethoven”:
Miroslav thinks that Beethoven is “Staphysagria”, because he throws things.
That’s understandable but let’s talk about why Staphysagria throws things. Staphysagria only picks up something and throws it when he or she absolutely cannot take anymore stress or abuse and has reached the end of his or her rope! Staphysagria puts up with a lot of abuse, she seems to attract abuse, because she cannot stand up for herself and cannot say no. She gets taken advantage of, and then one day she just snaps! Even she is shocked and embarrassed by her “explosion”! She has tried her whole life not to cause a scene, not to draw attention to herself, and now all eyes are on her! As you can see, Beethoven is nothing like that. He doesn’t care what you think of him!
Jitka guesses that Beethoven is Nux Vomica, because he lives “upstairs” (Nux vomica must always be the highest)
Nux vomica is not a bad guess. Nux v. is very impatient, wants to win, be the best at all costs and will stop at nothing, he must succeed. You are right, Nux v. must be the highest, the tops. He is a fighter and a leader, very ambitious, takes charge, needs the constant stimulation of a challenge; so, he’s always most relaxed when he’s working; he’s at his worst when he has nothing to do, the lack of stimulation is irritating to him. If he has nothing to do he will often irritate the people around him, just to get something going that he can sink his teeth into. This may be fine for him but very unnerving for his wife and children and the people who work under him. They can be afraid to be alone with him, not knowing what will set him off or what confrontation he will start next. Some people avoid confrontation but not Nux vomica!
The remedy I picked for Beethoven was Sulphur. Beethoven is not so much ambitious and wanting stimulation as he is caught up in his creative work. Like Nux vomica, Sulphur knows best and is very impatient. If you work for him, he will not tolerate any less than your best effort. But how do I know it’s Sulphur? Beethoven is the very image of Sulphur: a non-conformist, living outside of the establishment, spurning convention, relationships, friendships, he’s a recluse devoted to art and creative pursuits; he has let his appearance go, he doesn’t sleep, he writes on the wall, he scribbles down notes on pieces of paper that the house-keeper mistakes for trash and throws away…. Everything about this image is Sulphur. It’s like the image of Einstein, who would show up to his classes at Princeton in his bedroom slippers, too busy with ideas to notice he hadn’t put his shoes on. Same with Beethoven.
Is anybody else here today? Hello!!!!! The Hpathy Quiz is on the air!
I think Beethoven’s constitution is Lycopodium – one of those Lycopodiums who share Sulphur characteristics, “projecting confidence, assertiveness, intellectuality, energy, intrepidness, viability.” ( Catherine Coulter. )
I used the rubrics;
Rage, fury, general
Dwells, on, past, disagreeable events
and came to Lycopdium followed by Veratrum and Platina which I felt did not match the characteristics.
Wayne, if the key to the prescription is “shares Sulphur characteristics”, why not just go for Sulphur? By the way, I’m not totally happy with the rubric “rage”. He is not rageful, per se, he explodes with people who aren’t trying hard enough or harming him in some way. He’s too impatient to find a tactful way of explaining what’s wrong. I don’t like the word haughty. Haughty people are trying to impress others, Beethoven doesn’t care what you think of him. There’s no evidence that he dwells on the past, though he does have self-pity over losing his hearing. He’s actually a very sweet man but he doesn’t suffer fools gladly; but notice that the soloists actually like him and joke with him and the boy likes him too. “People like Mr. Beethoven don’t follow the rules, they make their own rules,” Christoff says. Does that sound like it could be Lycopodium, who is so afraid of what others think of him, especially superiors? Lycopodium is only dictatorial at home, to underlings like his wife and children. To peers and superiors he’s a follower and a boot polisher.
Thanks for your reply Elaine.
I chose Lycopodium because in my repertorisation in points it was higher to some degree than Sulphur.
What do you think about the rubric Pompous instead of Haughty?
He is pompous, I suppose. Sulphurs have a very high regard for themselves. But, he’s not trying to impress anybody. He just wants the people he’s hired to do what he expects of them; not being able to hear is an added stress and irritation.
I must admit haughty does seem to have an element of nastiness.
What do you call a man who throws things at servants and explodes?
The housekeeper threw out his notes! He wasn’t just randomly throwing things at her, she was cleaning his room, saw his notes, they looked like just a bunch of scribbles to her (another clue to the untidy Sulphur) and threw them out. Imagine how angry he must have been to find that his notes were gone. And by the way, go to “Untidy”, you won’t find Lycopodium there.
I would have called that rage. He was impatient sure, but I thought he exploded into a rage.
He did explode! But it wasn’t for no reason. His explosions are a clue to Sulphur. The element Sulphur is made from volcanos! He erupts in anger, but not for no reason.
What remedy would you use for temper tantrums?
There’s no single remedy that covers temper tantrums. It could be chamomilla, ignatia, calc-phos, cina, tuberculinum, stramonium, staphysagria….Sulphur is there as a 1; but, there’s a subrubric under “Anger, temper tantrums”: namely, “appeased easily”; only two remedies–Phosphorus and Sulphur. Now, when the house keeper apologizes, Beethoven turns to mush. He’s sorry.
He was impatient I agree, because his musicians weren’t able to keep up with his ideas. They would have to be top flight to keep up with him.
They were top flight! That’s why he hired them. Remember what he said to the soloists? “If I didn’t think you could do it, you wouldn’t be here.” And indeed, they could do it, they just weren’t giving it their all and he knew it.
In the film the people liked him, except for the servant who wished to resign, but if you abuse people and put them down, I don’t know too many people who would like you back.
She threw out his notes. All those ideas, gone forever. Maybe you didn’t catch that part and it looked like he was just yelling for nothing.
I agree he is a good hearted person, who doesn’t suffer fools, but you can still upset people if you don’t seem to be fair. He lives in a world of his own and doesn’t realize the repercussions his actions can have.
Yes, that’s Sulphur! “Very selfish, no regard for others. … Imagines himself a great man. … Thinks himself in possession of beautiful things” (his notes) also, “Melancholy, sadness”. Plus, “Egotistical and obstinate. Intellectuals. Busy all the time. Hopeful dreamers. … Persons of nervous temperament, quick-motioned, quick-tempered, plethoric….” — Murphy’s Materia Medica.
I thought he “dwelled on the past” when he had the conversation with the boy. He told him of his drunken father waking him from his bed and forcing him to play his violin, until the early morning. What rubric would this be? It seems like silent suffering to me, even indignation, Staphysagria in nature.
You can recall the past without dwelling on it or living in the past; but, Sulphurs can be sad and melancholy, as he clearly was. But remember the context. “You miss your father, as you should! At least your memories of him will always be happy ones.”
I believe in the Sulphur-Lycopodium link, because I think I am one myself, even though my lecturer told me you are supposed to have one constitution. I think I am mainly Lycopodium, but quite often Sulphur characteristics prevail. I think Sulphur and Lycopodium are both liver remedies and can involve each other. I wouldn’t class myself as a boot polisher.
What rubric would you use for self-pity?
Murphy’s Repertory, 3rd ed., “Mind: pities, themself”
I can only guess you will tell me the remedy is Sulphur.
You must be psychic! Yes, he is a very clear Sulphur, that’s why I wanted everyone to see this movie, so they could see what a Sulphur looks like.
Elaine, Thank you for your clear explanations.
I am much wiser now.
I have seen I think, what is the only photographic picture of Hahnemann.
From what I know about him and the photo, you can see he looks to be sulphur.
You’d almost have to be a Sulphur to persist knowing everyone was against you, to have to live in poverty because your profession was keeping you from practicing, having to constantly move from town to town, having no support other than your family and a few friends. He was about to die in obscurity until Melanie showed up in Germany from Paris, making the trip alone after reading the Organon and wanting his help for, I think, female problems. She took him back to Paris with her after some months, Hahnemann became the talk of the town! His fame rose, his practice took off, he became world-renowned; but by then he was in his 70’s! But anyway, yes, who but a Sulphur would have had the devotion to pour into this new discovery, to not be distracted by the opinion of others and to face hardships undaunted? So, yes, I think you may be right.
Best wishes Wayne
Bye, Wayne! Hello, is the caller there?
Hope I am not too late to answer for the March Quiz.
Hey everybody, Vamsi’s in the house!!!!!
First and foremost, your new feature ( “Shana’s funny things” ) is
It is???? 🙂
But, getting back to the quiz…
Well, if we have to…..
Beethoven’s personality….can be listed under
2. Impulsive with violent temper, with throwing things
3. Cannot be contradicted or opposed
4. Full of anxiety
5. Mind is hurried
6. Keep awake late nights thinking about the concert..
9. Never Contented, Never satisfied
OK, I agree with most of what you said; but, if you throw in “messy” or “untidy” (remember, the house keeper threw out his “notes” because she said they were nothing but “scribbles”; plus he writes on the wall when he gets an idea and there’s no paper handy; plus his hair is somewhat of a fright), what do you think now?
Elaine, in the last scene, Beethoven is deeply immersed in the concert, that he does not realize that the concert has ended.
That’s because he’s deaf and he’s gotten behind in the count! He was not the real conductor, Christoff’s uncle was conducting from the side of the stage. The orchestra was watching him!
I seeing Beethoven as a NUX VOMICA person.
It’s not a bad guess, really; I actually anticipated most people voting for Nux vomica.
OK ladies and gentlemen, we have time for one more contestant, and it is none other than our editor-in-chief, Alan Schmukler!
Beethoven’s prodigious creativity, combined with egotism, impatience, anger from contradiction, indifference to appearance, abusiveness, independence (disregard for propriety), his certainty and his over sensitivity to music all suggest Sulphur.
Alan, you nailed it! Everyone should know Sulphur by now, right? See you back here again next time for another great and fabulous Hpathy Quiz! Oh wait! Stop the presses! This just in from Anurag!
Sorry for being late this time, I was hesitant to post my answer as it’s the same which I guessed for last month’s quiz, namely “Sulphur”.
The person is a genius, works late hours and completely disorganized. Kind of authoritarian who can’t accept anybody’s dictate. His looks and ambiance are also not clean.
Thanks to acknowledge and giving your view point!
Anurag, you are right… the way God, is right! See you back here again next time, for another award-winning, and exceptional, Hpathy Quiz!
Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine takes online cases! Write to her at [email protected]
Visit her website: elaineLewis.hpathy.com