Last year I went for a rock-climbing course. One of the things was to come rambling down the mountain and I have a fear of heights, a queasy feeling in the stomach. Though people made a lot of allowances for me the year before, that I’m not the youngest in the group, almost forty-eight. To me it was important to get some accomplishment over my own fear. I decided to do it and felt ten feet tall (Indicates the degree of performance.) at the end and I overcame my fear. So accomplishment came in accomplishing fear and all the negativity.
D: Tell a little bit about this fear of heights?
P: I don’t know if this is any more than anyone else’s fear. Standing at the top of a building I would like to instinctively go back. If I’m looking down and there’s a stone fence and I’m holding on there’s no fear. It’s not vertigo. I don’t have any fear of flying. I’ve flown in small aircraft, even putting my arms outside of the plane. If I’m at two hundred feet and there’s a pit below, I don’t think there’s too much fear.
D: Tell about this flying?
P: A friend had a plane. I quite enjoyed flying, liberty, vigor, being able to go in any direction, the combination of movements, so it was total freedom and you can move in a combination of movements at any time. Kind of fulfilled in a way like as a child and be able to look at the sky with birds, a feeling of freedom.
D: Tell about freedom? (Note the direction he is taking: effect of chief complaint->coordination and chaos->stress->fear of heights->flying->freedom. En route we noted cancer miasm, and the themes of performance and accomplishment. He seems successful and quite compensated. The aim is to understand him in as much depth as possible by picking up his own words, especially feelings, emotions, images and sensations, and asking him to describe these further till one comes to something deeper. The ultimate aim, as explained above, is to reach an experience, sensation or energy, which is non-human specific.)
P: Unhindered, unfettered, able to go in any direction as you like, when you like, where you like (The opposite has to be there, viz. bound with no place to move.) and yet with such a responsibility because if you’re not too mindful of what you’re doing the engine can actually stop and you can crash. So the freedom to move, but not irresponsibly. You have to be watchful of your action.
D: A slight contradiction?
P: Yes. When you’re flying it’s like no experience before. You can do this, do this; you can have combinations of movements and to be able to control this on your own, unlike driving is in itself a very exhilarating feeling and if you do this without responsibility you’re more likely to have a crash. Your aircraft may stall and you may not be able to control the stall. So freedom, but measured, not with abandon. Yes it is a contradiction, but…. (Freedom, but with control and responsibility. The freedom he further describes as exhilarating.)
D: So what is the exhilarating feeling?
P: Sense of adventure, sense of having accomplishing something. Not many people fly. It changes your life and allows you to think and do and be different, that’s what makes it exhilarating, that you’re not one of the many who came and went without being different.
D: When you say try to be different you mean…?
P: I would never do anything that’s foolhardy, but I would take some risks, worth taking so you can feel good with yourself, not anything disastrous. (So freedom and exhilaration have to do with performance and accomplishment. And performing not just something ordinary but something adventurous and different from the rest, something that is risky and requires control and responsibility. This is where he sees his role. Like the child with the hands off the bicycle handle, getting attention by performing different and risky things and getting attention.
Argentum has to do with performance in the new. Strontium is the line of new, the creative performance, and is afraid of trying out new things. Argentum nit. Has to do with performance in new situations and there is risk and danger involved. It is a remedy of the cancer miasm.)
D: What is disaster?
P: To go scuba diving and not be careful and get the bends. You know there’s a risk and if you do that in a foolhardy manner rather than going about it scientifically.
D: You talked a lot of freedom. What is your experience of freedom?
P: I’ll try to think how I can define it. Freedom is an ability to express your thoughts, your desires, in fact your actions, live your dreams if possible, without too much of inhibition and yet with responsibility. There has to be responsibility. When I was in college I experimented with drugs. I smoked grass. But I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation where I would allow my need to try experiment get the better of me. Again, the same thing, disaster…I started drinking when I was in the army, but I’ve never, ever, ever drank more than two drinks in my life. I’ll go only to that point and not beyond; nothing would sway me. (Again the theme of trying out something new, something adventurous, risky, but within limits, keeping control.)
D: To that point?
P: Where I am in control of myself, but beyond that point I will stop.
In driving the moment I feel the car is not in my control or if I’ve not made allowances for someone else’s mistake then I’ve not…when I drive I drive with a full awareness of the car, the way the car is swaying, what is happening on the other side, with the bullock cart etc., but the moment I see that I am not in control of the car I apply the break. Flying is the same thing, a great responsibility, to be prepared for this thing, for that thing. As far as possible I would want to be on top of every situation. So there is that need for harmony, balance and control.
D: Tell about need for balance?
P: Control can be overly managed. What can be wrong. Work and go on. If I’m working on something with the car I will switch it off. So the consequences should be managed. There is a need to protect those around you from damage as much as possible, whether physical or psychological. One does give sometimes unsolicited advice. If I see a baby getting close to a plug I’ll not just ask to be careful. I’ll say, “Get away from there!” People may not say that to the child, but that’s the way I see it.
(We have gathered so far the need to perform and accomplish new, different and risky tasks in order to get attention, and the need for perfection, control and coordination. The performance is not something ordinary but of a very high degree. It involves a lot of responsibility, as with the high position he occupies in his job. The remedy is likely to be Argentumnit.
Having understood this we can now move to other areas in his life.
Another point to be noted here: Associated with the chief complaint was the fear that it might affect the level of confidence and personal appearance required by him in his job. As we went further the perception of his role, viz. performance in a new and risky situation while keeping full control and responsibility came out through his interests and hobbies, rather than directly from the chief complaint. The experience of the chief complaint is mostly as a fact with some emotions, expressed but not apparent. The level of experience of the chief complaint is Level II, and the potency required will be 30C repeatedly or LM potencies, especially 0/3.)
D: Where do you see control in your life?
P: There’s this girl I’m very much in love with, but I think what happened because of desire to control. When we first got married she couldn’t cook. She came from a home as an only child. She came with a lot of opulence. She wasn’t expected to cook or sew or run the house or learn any of these things. When I got married I discovered she really couldn’t cook. I learned to cook out of necessity and I was a reasonable cook. So my expression of love was to cook, to help out with the baby in the house, do all the little things. This created a sense of insecurity and probably of unhappiness in her. I didn’t realize that this might be seen as control or that that was control.
I was very happy to do this for her out of love. I started to play a more dominant role in the home situation instead of allowing her to grow. If she cooked something instead of just saying it was good I would say it was good but… That must have been distressing for her. It’s not that I would be prepared to tell a lie in such a situation. I’d tell her it was good, but then I’d tell her what was wrong with it.
So in the family situation the control started happening in that form. She relied on Dr. Spock and I felt that my instincts were quite good. To me it didn’t require much rocket science to see that the child needed to be burped. She did an outstanding job as a mother and still is outstanding as a mother. For me it would be very important to come back and say that don’t worry, it’s under control, that I’m managing it very well. It’s just another form of wanting to be in control or is it that I just don’t want people to be hurt. (Again there is the desire to control, for things to be done perfectly.)
D: And then what happened? Why did you split up?
P: We split up on a matter of principle and I was very rigid on some matters. My mother in law didn’t have the money to pay off the tenants and I had the money. She wanted me to pay now and later she’d be good for it. I found out later that she’d sold her shop and didn’t pay me. I don’t think she wanted to cheat me, but she wanted to control me. Having controlled one child all her life here was another child she wanted to control. (Here the feeling is that he was being controlled.) What spoiled our relationship was that she took her mother’s side. I felt that if she needed the money she should have said she needed it and not done it behind my back. She said that I had a vested interest in it and then I was shattered. (This is an expression he has used for the first time. In this expression lies his feeling/delusion/sensation with regard to the incident.)
D: Tell about shattered?
P: Sense of let down, stabbed in the back from someone you would never expect. Deep disappointment, being let down, being betrayed. (These are emotions, which may be human specific, and should be explored further and reduced to something non-human specific.)
D: What’s the feeling then?
P: Hurt, like physical hurt.
D: Describe that physical hurt?
P: Almost like being boxed very hard in the stomach.
D: How does it feel? What is the sensation?
P: You lose your breath. You feel like you will die…choked.
D: Describe that choked?
P: You can’t breathe. Someone has taken your life away.
D: Describe just that sensation of losing you breath, die, can’t breathe a little more?
P: It’s like drowning.
D: You are doing well. Tell more about this.
P: Like wanting to gasp for air, to come out of this situation, but not being sure if you can or you will.
P: Wanting to escape from the situation, run away.
D: Where have you actually felt this gasping for air, wanting to come out ? In which situation have you actually felt it?
P: Actually only while swimming. Maybe due to a faulty technique. Some breathe very well; some don’t. So even though I can swim, practically the whole length of the pool under water, but when it comes onto doing the crawl I would tend to hold my breath the way I do under water and the last eight or ten feet I would feel a desperate need to hold on and wanting to get to the other side quickly. Whereas when I’m under water there’s no need to rush, I am calm. But when on the surface that’s how I feel. It happens till this day.
D: What is this feeling?
P: It is just till I get to the other side.
D: Some other incident or experience with this desperation to come out?
P: While doing the MRI. I don’t know if I’m claustrophobic and then to have only two or three inches of space from your nose… I have no way to describe it. I could calm myself with prayer. The first moments were like being in a coffin. I decided to shut my eyes and pray. Then they said that I would have to do the test again because it didn’t come out right. It was like a second death, but surprisingly I didn’t feel too uncomfortable about it.
(This is very interesting. He begins with shattered, which comes close to crash. But it is something we have not heard as yet, and so we explore it further. From shattered he goes to stabbed in the back and betrayed. From there to boxed in the stomach which would make one think of injury, and so can be confusing. But when asked about boxed in the stomach he talks about losing his breath, gasping for air and wanting to escape from that situation, feeling claustrophobic. This is the opposite of his description of freedom where you are unhindered, unfettered and can move any way you want.)
D: What was the feeling the first time?
P: Wanting to get out desperately and being held and bound.
D: What is opposite of bound?
P: Feeling of being able to move any way you want as I described with flying.
D: When unable to move and bound and held, what is the feeling?
D: Describe that feeling?
P: It’s deep anguish because you want to change the situation and you can’t. It’s extreme restlessness because you don’t want to be held where you are and you are being held there. Totally out of control on how you would want the situation to be. Total lack of capability to be able to influence your situation or environment in any way. (Being held and bound is being completely out of control and that makes him desperate. Desperate in a situation where he is out of control or has no influence on the situation. This feeling is very typically cancer miasm. And he copes by remaining in control, wanting to be in control. This sensation of suffocation equates in his mind with crashing and falling. And this is related to the mineral kingdom.)
D: So how does that feel?
P: Feels like you ought to be dead.
D: Where is it felt at that time, legs, feet etc. etc.?
P: I certainly break into a sweat and I’m sure my pulse and blood pressure shoots up. I’m not sure, but I’m acutely stressed. I think my breathing certainly is shallower, trying to gulp as much air as you can and as fast as you can.
D: Claustrophobia, any other experiences?
P: Once before. Hiding under the bed of my girl friend…terror filled me. Her uncle came home, not that I did anything hanky panky. She was paranoid that I didn’t want to be seen, so she put me under her bed and there again it was very close to me. I sneezed very loud and I was discovered. He wasn’t so bad. He actually asked me to join him for a glass of beer.
D: What did you feel?
P: My mind was not on being discovered, but on being claustrophobic.
D: Can you tell more about this feeling of being shattered you spoke of earlier?
P: That’s the point where I felt that I need to move away from this relationship. I wanted to get as much space and time for both sides to reconcile. (Again the need for space, the opposite of held and bound, claustrophobia. So he got out of the situation.) I’ll let you realize that you made a mistake and I’ll not make you feel small for realizing that.
D: You used the word adventure…tell a little bit about that.
P: Like trying scuba diving, or try some flying. That’s one form of adventure. Adventure is also going to an unknown setting where you have no friends and if anything happens to you…I’m in Jakarta or Sao Paolo etc. where you have no back ups, not safety nets and it’s also when you’ve finished your dinner and you go out and you know there’s danger on the streets. But again I would do it with a sense of responsibility. So I will walk on the sides where the shops are. It gives also a sense of adventure.
(Risk, danger, adventure, but with responsibility.)
D: Why do you walk then?
P: You can’t sit in your room and watch TV, which I never do well at home. There has to be some sense of exploration and going out.
There’s a sense of adventure in business, to try out new countries, to see if you can enter those markets, try out your models to see if they’re viable, look at them as potential business partners.
D: What is that feeling?
P: Accomplishment, well not that, but you tried it. A lot of pursuing and perseverance, just happy for actually having tried it, for having gone beyond the obvious. I enjoy it.
(The same feelings and themes keep coming up. So now we go to the dreams.)
D: Tell some dreams you get.
P: One dream I used to get a lot of the time is actually floating in the air. Going from point A to point B like I would swim, fantastic. Feeling of being totally mobile, freedom again, being unhindered, unfettered. Similar to that is also swimming so I feel those two are linked in a way. (Heights and freedom are the themes here. One should also expect falling.)
D: Anything to do with falling?
P: There are times when I have dreamt of falling from an elevation. Just a free fall like you would do out of a plane, no parachute. Unpleasant, floating in the air.
Attached, eroticism, sexually romantic rather than be very lustful.
Missing trains, flights, being unprepared, all business related dreams. Not that anyone has anything bad about me, but I had goals and fell short.
D: Tell about missing planes or buses?
P: I don’t think I’ve ever missed, but I remember a few times in childhood where someone was seeing someone off and there was a lot of crying and unhappiness. I’d see my mom crying or my grandmother crying and as a three or four year old you couldn’t understand why everyone was in tears.
D: What is the dream like?
P: Just somebody in a train that is leaving and I almost go there and the last shot was he almost gets there and he doesn’t. Feeling of sadness, didn’t have to be so. The need to struggle, to strive and hopefully something will happen at the last gasp. Getting in control and things will ultimately be right if the effort is made. (The train is going away and you really have to struggle to reach it. You give it your best and then there is some hope or chance that you could get there. This is typically cancer miasm and also Argentum nitricum.)
I must also mention that I sleep very late sometimes. Great activity can happen so that sleep doesn’t happen till 1. Dramas happening and all kinds of possibilities, so it’s a mixed bag. I think I’ve been self indulgent as far as sleep is concerned.
D: Tell something about your likes and dislikes in food and drink.
P: I don’t like fish at all. I don’t like the smell of it. I like sweets. Tell about sweets. I enjoy sweets, ones that are milk based more than anything else.
D: Ice cream? (He has mentioned it earlier, and it is a well-known craving of Argentum nit.)
P: I like ice cream.
D: Little or very fond of?
P: I like it and if I had two tubs I would gladly finish them.
D: What are the situations you used to get very tense or nervous? (One would be looking for anxiety related to examinations, interviews and public speaking as a further confirmation.)
P: With my father. Very nice man, very family oriented, but I would never be quite sure as to what his reaction would be. There were times he’d laugh anything off with boys will be boys. And there were times he’d be severely critical and reprimand and maybe use his hand, for things I thought were no big deal. So I was in confusion as to whether I’d meet his approval or not for things I’d done. Acceptance or rejection by my father and all that can do to a child when you feel you can’t live up to his expectation. (Carcinosin children usually feel a high expectation from their parents.)
Tense in medical situations when someone in the family has to be in the hospital. I’d very tense. I was tense when my wife was in the hospital for seventeen days, but I must say I wasn’t in abject fear. I would discuss with absolute rationality what to do and what are the chances, risks etc. (Again he is controlled in a tense situation.) There’s a tension to get through.
D: What is the feeling in the tension?
P: There’s a mix of needing to do and know what to do. Opposite is despair, that maybe the worst can happen. When the views are widely divergent it leads to confusion.
D: How do you experience it in that situation?
P: I feel it’s no big deal, that it can be handled easily.
D: How do you feel? What’s your emotion?
P: A little short of disgust for the doctors: “Come on guys; you should know this!” I expected you’re the guys who should have figured it out. Maybe disappointment. (He has very high expectations of the doctors and when they do not fulfill it he feels disgusted. One can imagine that he would feel disgusted about himself when he is unable to meet high expectations, for example those from his father.) Like a child I would want these two boys to sit down and in awe watch them figure it out.
D: How do you feel emotionally?
P: I feel confused and unhappy. (In the beginning of the interview also he spoke of confusion when the doctors all suggested different approaches.)
D: Describe the feeling of confusion?
P: Uncertainty. Feel lost. Like being lost in a fair ground, absolute fear, fear of having been abandoned, not knowing what’s going to happen. For a child being lost there’s nothing else. (Lost and abandoned: similar to Delusion, deserted he is, which is a symptom of Argentumnit.)
D: What does a child feel like?
P: The feeling is a sense of abandonment. It’s traumatic; it’s scary. I think fear is the most predominant feeling.
D: How does the fear feel? You can use pictures or examples to describe the fear.
P: If the child was able to become seven feet tall (Again the theme of being very tall.) and stand above the people around him, his head would go round and round looking to see where they’ve gone. The fact that the child is so low in height, if I were a child I’d like to be seven feet tall and have my head go round and round. Then you find the parents. (The child is very small and unable to find his parents. If he could become really very, very tall then he might succeed. Again, this gives the depth of the cancer miasm.)
D: What do you feel?
P: Relief, overpowering relief…that everything will be right for my world. The child has a small world, parents and grandparents. Since the parents are the central figure then everything will be alright with your world.
D: And when the parents are lost?
P: The world has crumbled. (Similar to shattered, which was the feeling he expressed with regard to his marriage.)
D: How does it feel when the world has crumbled?
P: You feel like sobbing. You feel inconsolable.
D: Where have you felt this, this feeling of crumbled and inconsolable?
P: I think when my mom died. That’s the biggest sense of loss that I’ve suffered when she died. She and I never had a very good relationship, always felt she loved my sister more. So when she was dying the last three or four weeks there was a huge sense of disappointment, how a life time has gone by without a sense of expression. My mother didn’t express love with physical contact. Her expression was doing things quietly, putting things away. It was one hundred percent love. I took it for granted. To me it was holding, hugging and kissing and that I missed. She was dying of cancer. (Family history of cancer.) There was such little time and there was no hoping she would survive. The night before she died I prayed to God to let her go, while she had the dignity in tact, so we had something to cherish. (He never got the love from his mother in the way that he had wanted it. She had very little time left and he was trying desperately to make up for it in the last few days.)
D: Interests and hobbies as a young man?
P: Collecting stamps etc. Nothing that stayed.
D: Anything particularly you were talented at?
P: I do painting, water colors. I wouldn’t say I’m good, reasonably good. I write. I also find myself fairly good with languages. I know I speak good English, but I still think in Hindi. If I had nothing to do and had all the money in the world I’d probably travel and learn languages.
D: You talked about stage appearances?
P: In school, plays and elocution. Distraction and I’d lose interest in something as soon as I developed a proficiency in something.
D: What is your work now mainly?
P: To set up projects now for this company in many parts of the world. I have to find the right talent and train them because I can’t manage a multi locational program.