I remember the first time that I heard somebody talking about the work of Dr. Alfonso Masi Elizalde, it was in the beginning of the nineties and I was in the company of French colleagues who leaned towards pluralist homeopathic approaches. Their comments were rather derogatory and I think they did not understand what Dr. Masi was aiming for. Pluralistic homeopathy usually has a more conventional medicine type of outlook on prescribing. The practitioner aims at treating the complaint, but the deeper seated aspects of the case are conveniently forgotten.
That is where Dr. Masi was so different. Before he concluded a prescription was effective, the patient had to be liberated of the obstacles deep inside, which prevented her from moving forward in life. Removing the obstacles also helped the body to find a good health balance. It is only when such deep healing was attained that serious disease would be successfully eliminated and patients became free of their hindrances to enjoy a good life for many years. Years of feedback were required before a case could be labeled as successful).
To achieve this, Dr. Masi said we should not search for remedy pictures, but rather he advised we should look for the dynamic that creates the different pictures of each remedy.
He explains how to search for these dynamics in every remedy.
High expectations for homeopathic prescriptions have become more acceptable in the last 10-15 years and other schools of thinking have raised the bar to similar heights.
It was when I took up studying with homeopaths who were very much influenced by Masi’s work, that my homeopathic prescriptions started to produce results and make sense to me. Others say that his teachings are out of reach for most, because of his interest in the Thomism philosophy.
So was Dr. Masi out of touch?
Hopefully this edition of Homeopathy for Everyone will help you in deciding for yourself.
To come to a balanced decision the reader will have to trawl through this rather meaty edition of our E-zine. We have assembled a great number of articles on the subject of Dr. Masi and his work, written by a number of homeopaths. I advise you to make time to read, study and digest all the material if you’d like your opinion on his work to be thoughtful. That is of course asking a lot, but do we not owe it to our patients to be thorough and to take up any invitation that may improve our practice?
Dr. Masi did not leave us with much writing about his work. Most of the information has been provided by those who made the effort to understand his work by attending his seminars and then working hard to diffuse it throughout the wider community. But as you will find out, they are also enjoying their homeopathic practice much more, since their discovery of this work.
Each of the articles will help you by using different words, a slightly different angle or by concentrating on a different aspect in clarifying what you need to understand about the work of this great homeopath.
Many articles have been translated from German, French, Spanish and Portuguese. The team wishes to thank all of those who worked hard to finish the work in time for publication.
One of the major aspects you will discover is that Dr. Masi did not place the patient into a miasm to find a remedy, but used the concept of miasms to discover different aspects of each remedy. This is a fundamental conceptual take on homeopathy: If miasms are different ways of expressing the essence of a remedy, miasms are not diseases that invade us and do not need to be addressed in the patient. If, on the contrary, we define a miasm as something to treat, the miasm is an external disease we may want to address with a particular prescription.
In the former, treatment is always directed at the individual expression of the patient. In the latter, the prescription made to ‘cover’ the miasm is not directed at the individuality of the patient but determined by something, a disease, that invaded the patient and is not directly related to the patient’s individual way of reacting. I have put this dichotomy in black and white to highlight its existence because of the role it plays in some of the differences in the world of homeopathy.
If you don’t have the time today, please print out the material and take it with you when you have a break. It will most likely help you in moving forward as a homeopath.
There is a note that follows this editorial which I invite you to read first. It is a simplification of some of Dr. Masi’s teachings which will hopefully help you in finding your way through the material that is about to land on your computer.
Last, but not least, we would like to dedicate this edition to Dr. Masi’s widow, Marta Rossi, to whom the team sends their best wishes.
The team sincerely hopes you will enjoy this edition and, as always, please be generous with your feed back at email@example.com
Edward De Beukelaer
Homeopathy for Everyone
A brief synopsis to help the reader understand the different articles
in this edition.
— Edward DeBeukelaer
Because of the originality of Dr. Masi’s work and the absence of any official manual to guide the reader towards understanding his approach, I will try to help the reader find their way with this synopsis. The following is a very simplified synthesis of Dr. Masi’s work. It should not be regarded as a replacement for the thorough and serious study of the material in this E-zine. Hopefully it can help with making the first step.
Dr. Masi didn’t not try to explain how remedies follow each other or how layers are peeled to arrive at the patient’s
essence. Rather, he argued that good homeopathy comes from understanding the patient by thorough analysis (comparable to the work of Rajan Sankaran and Ananda Zaren). He does this by relying on an established
philosophy and study of man based on the Thomist philosophy. He states that the remedy should be studied in the same way as the patient.
Thomism is a further development from Aristotle’s thinking. Masi argued that Hahnemann based his thinking on this philosophy, so that using it to develop homeopathy further, makes perfect sense. Dr. Masi believed that those who study the tragedy of man without studying the metaphysical dimension of tragedy, are naïve. Homeopathy is the par excellent technique for treating the tragedy of the individual.
I will briefly develop Masi’s work in a simplified way. According to these philosophies, a living being is the result of the action of the soul on matter. The soul is the principle that assembles matter (chemistry and biochemistry) into the shape that determines an individual: the “appearance”. (This is opposed to the principle of Descartes who separated matter from non-matter.) This concept is not original to Thomism and can also be found in other life philosophies.
Symptoms are the result of the mal functioning of the appearance, the appearance being what matter is organised into, by the soul. Matter cannot influence the appearance, therefore to improve the matter we have to work on the soul, which determines appearance. The soul is what makes each living creature an individual.
Homeopathic remedies through their ‘non matter’ quality are therefore the logic choice for treatment. However, they need to be able to touch the ‘soul’ of the patient, if we want them to commence a real cure.
If we apply this view of the living individual to the remedies, the symptoms in the pathogenesis (the result of the interaction of a potentized substance and a living being -prover), are the outward signs of the essence of the remedy; they are not the essence of the remedy.
The remedy can cure the individual because there is a similarity between the “appearance” of the substance and the “appearance” of the patient. Mental and physical symptoms have the same value; they are both the expression of the same determination, of the interaction of the appearance with the surroundings (both patient and remedy through its proving).
To know a remedy, it is essential to tie all the symptoms, physical and mental, into one idea which is the soul of the remedy = what lies behind the accidents (=symptoms) of the substance (=interaction of the substance with the prover/surroundings).
To do this we need to read the symptoms through a certain type of filter. Using various myths and other symbolic explanations as a filter, we can never be sure about our conclusions. This is because of the great variety of possible explanations, depending on cultural referents.
Masi concluded that we should use as a key, the Divine Attribute described in Thomism, to reduce the ambiguity when studying symptoms in the pathogenesis. In this philosophy, God is manifested where the traits or qualities (attributes) of living beings are perfect.
The patient suffers from the perception that he/she does not possess one particular capacity/quality (which exists and is perfect in the divine attribute). Consequently, there is a sense of loss (not having the capacity/quality) which is not understood by the patient. This causes a sense of punishment for a mistake (which is totally imaginary) and a sense of nostalgia and fear of punishment. There is disregard of a human faculty, because the patient envies the
analogical perfect faculty present in God. God being the expression of each and every thing that is perfect.
The attributes are: simplicity, perfection, good, infinity, immensity, immutability (=no need for change), eternity, unity, knowledge of God, invisibility, incomprehensibility, comprehension, truth, wisdom, life, will power, love, justice, empathy, providence, strength and happiness.
It is as if the patient senses being punished by the absence of one or more of these qualities, and then will compensate for this. (Therefore, the importance of the symptoms “as if” in the pathogeneses.)
The patient will react in the following ways to compensate for his perceived/sense of incapacity: egolysis (accepts the loss and withdraws), alterlysis (makes other’s suffer for its sentiment), egotrophy (tries to convince others it does not exists) egotrophy 2nd degree (he is better and tries to convince the other he has the Divine attribute).
This is Masi’s view on the miasms. They are not tools to classify the patient, but ways in which the patient can respond to a certain sense of loss. Each original sense of loss is present in one remedy. The way the patient expresses the sense of loss is through one the ‘miasmatic mechanisms’ or through the ‘miasmatic dynamic’; the remedy covers the sense of loss, regardless of the way the patient expresses it. The miasmatic dynamic is a filter which allows us to recognise the sense of loss behind the patient’s response/reaction.
Dr. Masi sees the patient as somebody who needs to be liberated from perceived limitation (called psora) so he/she can live freely. Once the patient can overcome this and live happily with this limitation, he is on the road to cure (mental and physical).
The brief explanation of Masi Elizade normally covers about 30 pages of lectures on philosophy, and so this synopsis should be seen as only approximate. The full text is available in French from AFADH, Clos de Corsac, Imm. Les Marroniers, 43700 Brives Charensac, France)