Dr. Bill Gray, MD has been in private classical homeopathic practice for 45 years.. After graduating from Stanford Medical School, he studied with George Vithoulkas for three years, and subsequently studied the methods of Lou Klein, Rajan Sankaran, and Massimo Mangialavori. Dr. Gray has lectured on Classical Homeopathy throughout the U.S. and Europe, co-developing homeopathic schools. His book “Homeopathy: Science or Myth?” was published in 1999. He received the first Henry Williams Award for service to the homeopathic profession in 1999.
Dr. Gray is currently Founder and Chairman of Coherence Apps LLC. The program repertorizes a case and then plays the remedy frequency via cell phone.
AS: You received your M.D. from Stanford Medical School in 1970 and a year later took the National Center for Homeopathy course for doctors. Over the years, you’ve studied with many homeopathy teachers. Who were those teachers and how did they influence your approach?
BG: Yes, indeed, I have been privileged to be witness to a huge evolution in homeopathic thinking! We have progressed from a data-point, keynote and rubric worldview to profound insights into human dynamics and connections with nature. For me, the experience has gone from a kind of laborious mathematical calculation to an enlivening expansion of understanding people and nature.
After the NCH basic course, which really opened my Stanford-trained allopathic eyes, I did a brief apprenticeship with Maesimund Panos. Through her I met George Vithoulkas and began going to Athens for a month at a time to tag along with his clinic rounds. Soon I realized that homeopathy requires much more commitment, so I moved to Athens for almost three years to study with him in depth. His “Essence” concept, Definition of Health, and interpretation of Laws of Cure showed me the vast potential of homeopathy for all medicine of the future. His teachings are still foundational in my practice today.
From there I took Lou Klein’s Master course, which was (and still is) mind-boggling in its breadth. His teachings showed me that polychrests are limiting — that truly ALL remedies in nature are profoundly applicable in any case, even those not yet made into homeopathic remedies. Even today, Lou’s teachings are a beacon of aspiration. Following Lou’s influence, Google Search became a major source alongside Allen, Clarke, Phatak, Kent, and Vithoulkas for me.
In the 1990s, I studied in depth with Rajan Sankaran and watched his astounding evolution as a teacher to culmination in his current Synergy — a foundational book for anyone learning homeopathic thinking, in my view. His remedy descriptions for me are profound and reliable. With most of my cases, I refer to one of his books to confirm my thinking of a remedy possibility. His innovations in Sensation-method case-taking also help me in certain cases that are amenable to that method.
From around 2002 to the present, I have been an avid student of Massimo Mangialavori. He shares a profound grasp of human psychodynamics in relation to the Corpus — combined with the way human remedy types are animated by how substances actually live in nature. These perspectives have become an endless meditation in my practice, with immense value in actual results. His careful attention to true empiricism reflects Hahnemann’s own but with a vastly expanded range of connection to nature. Massimo’s Praxis for me is the modern Organon underlying the science of homeopathy. I recommend reading those volumes carefully and meditatively for all students as foundational learning. Massimo continues to this day to be my primary focus for expanding my knowledge.
If there is a lesson in my 45 years of practice, it is that learning is endless. Somehow cases seem to get more and more challenging with time. For me, my sense of mastery covers maybe one-sixth of what is there to be known, even of only those substances made into remedies so far!
AS: Your education covered the whole range of perspectives on homeopathy. Are today’s homeopathy schools approaching anything like that? If you started a school today, what would you offer?
BG: I am not really expert on all the schools. However, from what I do know, Rajan’s The Other Song is the largest and best-thought-out on the planet. Students start from a young age and are exposed to clinical experience from the very start. Of course, material is presented in terms of deep materia medica and Families in modern terms.
Education is the most important topic of all. From the US vantage point, and also in Europe, the profession focused primarily on “empty-nesters”. This brings maturity, but not the kind of dedication young people bring to years of systematic study toward an identity as a full professional.
From my perspective, the ideal school would have a full-time curriculum aimed at young people. Clinical experience from the beginning would keep the focus on human issues rather than theoretical ones. I would definitely include anatomy, physiology, pathology, and all kinds of allopathic diagnostic tests, but everything would be couched in homeopathic orientation. I would emphasize homeopathic theory as the basis for case-taking and all stages of followup.
My own personal heretical views would be less emphasis on Organon memorization and much less emphasis on repertorization than is extant these days. Repertorization is an abstraction of an abstraction away from patient experience; rubrics are way too artificial. Personally, I use Reference Works exclusively, and particularly Rajan’s way of searching anchor symptoms in all books at once.
AS: Clinical experience is also valuable in understanding the remedies. I’ve seen some very intuitive homeopaths grasp a case in a moment, that a more left brained practitioner would struggle with. How important is that intuitive aspect?
BG: Absolutely, intuition is vital. It’s not magic, though. It comes from constant study of cases and remedies, always reaching for deepest dynamics. As Lou Klein says, everyone has the sensitivity needed for homeopathy. We sense someone’s mood the minute we enter the room. How do we do that? Not by collecting keynotes and rubrics and then analyzing! We all have intuition, then homeopathic intuition itself is honed by constant meditation and study of video cases, paper cases, and materia medica — not just to remember whether a particular remedy is warm blooded or chilly or craves bananas, but to reach for the inner life experience of the person needing that remedy.
AS: Over a decade ago when I read the research in your book Homeopathy: Science or Myth?, I thought, “This will help put an end to the placebo myth and silence the critics.” Alas. What went wrong?
BG: Frankly, I don’t think people really are persuaded by science or evidence. They talk like it, and critics stuck in chemical-level thinking espouse it, but very few people are really persuaded. Science, after all, is more of a religion than an open-minded inquiry. Mostly people believe in their own experience, or what friends or family say, or what is considered politically credible. I remember the big debate in British Parliament. Someone gave my book to all the members of parliament to counter drug company critics. Nothing came of it.
We need to get back to basics. Homeopathy spread like wildfire in its first several decades because it was so effective and inexpensive in treating acute diseases, even though word spread slowly by word of mouth, boat, and newspapers. Nowadays we have instant connection worldwide via internet and social media. We should be more organized around putting out the word using modern communications.
Also, we should lead with claims about acutes. Relief is very rapid with acute disorders, so the question of placebo is usually moot. Curing chronic disease is slower and more challenging, and more amenable to placebo fantasies.
AS: You developed MDinyourHand with algorithms for treating acutes using eRemedies. That’s a fascinating technological advance. Could you tell our readers what it is, discuss the technology and share its posibilities?
BG: MDinyourHand.com is a website delivering algorithmically-chosen eRemedies DIRECTLY via cellphone or computer. As I mentioned, homeopathy sells immediately by quick relief of serious acutes. Internet and cellphone ubiquity throughout the world can make this truth available to every household and every village on the planet!
The algorithms are straightforward homeopathic expert systems, not unlike others on the web. This innovation is eRemedy delivery. Many of us know well that homeopathic remedies are made beyond Avogadro’s Number. Therefore they are energies. In the 1990’s Jacques Benveniste demonstrated in the laboratory not only that remedies are energies but also that they can be made into MP3 files deliverable by email. Recently a similar process was demonstrated by Nobelist Luc Montaignier. So, I worked with an Agilent consultant engineer to make a device that would create and store .wav and MP3 eRemedies.
Thus far I have made 23 modules and 250 eRemedies (mostly 30 potencies, a few 200). The aim is to solve common problems such as fever, cough, diarrhea, influenza, bladder infections, injuries, sprains, head injury, anxiety disorders, grief, back pain, pet cystitis, pet abscesses, pet panic, colic, and teething — useful globally but aimed largely at the developed world with widespread web connections. Moreover, there are malaria, typhoid, and cholera modules for use in poverty regions — where cellphones are rapidly becoming commonplace. As a matter of fact, a nonprofit clinic based on MDinyourHand use is developing in Sierra Leone already.