Dear friends, today we have not one, but two renowned homeopaths sharing our Hot-Seat. Please welcome Dr.Prasad S. Shetye and Dr. Falguni K. Khariwala, the brother-sister duo, who have kept the unadulterated torch of pure Hahnemannian homeopathy, burning in Mumbai.
MB: Dr. Prasad and Dr. Falguni, welcome to Hpathy. I have so much to talk with you about the work that you have done and are doing continuously for homeopathy. But before all that, I would like to take our readers to the point where your homeopathic journey started. Tell us what brought you or led you to homeopathy?
FK & PS: You are most welcome Dr. Manish, we are happy to share with you and through you with our colleagues. To cut a long story short, Destiny! would be the most accurate answer. It was a happening, and happily for us it has remained that way all through.
MB: Ah! Destiny! That sounds like my story. I understand you studied at CMP Homeopathy Medical College at Mumbai. A lot of big names were teaching there. What was their influence like? How was the experience?
FK & PS: Those were the formative days of our initiation into homoeopathy. We ingrained a lot from our teachers and we revere them all. Each was an inspiration. They may be big names today, but then they were loving teachers who kindled the spirit of reading and working hard. We did get a lot of personal attention by way of advice, by way of nudging us to read more, by way of encouragement when we solved a case or shared a thoughtful workout of a difficult case. It was a happening time, the world was opening up. Many international teachers were giving seminars in Mumbai and like a sponge we soaked in all that they had to express. We believe, nobody can teach you anything. A teacher doesn’t teach. He or she is an influence, a directional force.
You ask us to talk of the experience; well this would be the most valuable experience that we ingrained … immersing into the Organon … as that made us come face to face with the Master. In a way each one helped us to fall in line with the Master’s teaching and by and by as the Master’s teachings came alive, in practice and in life, we have evolved as physicians by his standards. They say, “If a lock can be opened by more than one key, it’s a useless lock, but if a key can open many doors, it’s a Master Key”. Organon is that Master Key and this quote accurately summarises our experience.At that tender age one is confused as to which path to take. Then comes along a teacher, a lamp post, under whose light your path gets illuminated and that experience you cherish in your heart and hold it close there. It is difficult to speak of those experiences, but luckily for us we had exceptional teachers. Dr. Farokh Master, George Vithoulkas, Dr. Rajan Sankaran and the whole Bombay group (the Friday meetings and the Wednesday garden study circle), Bill Gray, Jonathan Shore (through their extensive typed notes), Dr. Praful Barvalia, Jeremy Sherr and many others had a profound influence on us. There were a few others too, from whom we learnt what one should never do, when one is traversing the path of a student. We say this for it would be untrue to present only the fair part of the spectrum. All in all, what we are today is all because of them. To each we are indebted from our hearts, for they made us fall back onto the Organon.
MB: So who was your real lamppost? I understand you learned from all of them, but there has to be one who helped you make sense of this diversity. If you considered all of them a lamppost, then you would be running around in a maze!
FK and PS.: “Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue”, said, Buddha. For us, our eternal lamppost guiding us through this maze, was Dr. Hahnemann, but to begin with, in our enthusiasm and desire to learn and grow we ran from pillar to post. All our teachers had a profound impact on us and we mean no disrespect; but there were many questions that we asked and the only answer we got was, “it’s our experience, don’t ask any further” e.g. “Sir, why do you give four doses, morning and evening for 2 days followed by S.L?” The answer, “It’s my experience, don’t ask any further”. “Sir, why do you give an intercurrent remedy? Dr. F. E. Gladwin says there is nothing like an intercurrent remedy.” Again the same answer, with a sharp rebuke … “You argue too much!” “Sir, Dr. Kent’s philosophy is based on the 5th Organon. He wasn’t even alive when the 6th Organon saw the light of the day. Then how accurate is his first remedy reaction?” The answer, “From where do you get all these questions? Do you want to pass the exam or fail? Don’t ask such questions!” (And to teach PS a lesson, he was failed in the exam.)
Well, we have seen this writing on the doors of teachers way too often and that made us think deeper, within ourselves. Where could we find the right answers? … Destiny has many ways of teaching you. The answer came as a suffering. PS fell seriously ill and knocking on all doors didn’t help. (It was the most beautiful thing that happened … a disease is a meaningful provider and it came at a juncture which can be called a meaningful coincidence!). A satisfactory answer seemed oblivious. So we felt, “why don’t we, together, start reading the Organon and Chronic Diseases? … maybe we will get an answer.” The personal suffering and the road to recovery was an immense learning experience and all that came from the Organon. Since then we have committed ourselves by dedicating our lives to homoeopathy, rather, towards Hahnemannian teachings. We owe everything to him and we revel in his teachings. Now there is no running around. It’s a settled peaceful place with the Master.
We feel a student must first understand the principles … thereafter, the sky is the limit! But if a zealous student starts with all the sophisticated material, his/her footing will not be firm. To reach your destination the first essential premise is that you have to step, i.e. be pointed or headed in the right direction then the destination will be reached. “The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground”, said Buddha. This grounding in the Organon is necessary or else it’s surely running around in a maze!
MB: How did you make sense of the diversity in your teacher’s views and paths? How did you find your own way?
FK and PS.: The diversity of views was confusing, but as the Masters teachings unfolded, our path became clearer, illuminated, with no shades of gray. As mentioned earlier, the suffering was a great teacher. If not for the suffering, we would not have tapped the source. As we dwelled deeper into the Organon, it completely consumed us. PS got well and then small successes with the application of these principles gave us the unshakable courage to adhere to them, guiding us in curing the so-called incurables. Now it is many years that we are happily basking under our eternal lamp post!
MB: You mentioned that if a lock can be opened by more than one key, it’s a useless lock, but if a key can open many doors, it’s a Master Key. And Organon is that Master Key. I loved the expression! But many homeopaths have devised their own locks and promote Organon as the Master Key to ‘their’ lock. What do you have to say about these new age gurus, who are promoting their own school of thought and using Organon itself to justify every deviation from Hahnemann?
FK and PS : Nowadays, convenience is the dreaded disease that afflicts many, and it corrupts. Worrisome is the thought that students with love of ease are getting a large and potent dose of this convenience. What do we say of people who have eyes but can’t see; forget about viewing. What do we say about people who have ears but can’t hear; forget about listening? What do we say to or of such people? Let us not talk about these new age gurus. Let us keep this away. ‘No comments’ would be the best answer! It’s not diplomacy though. It’s unnecessary. For us, he only is the Master to whom the first revelation was made. In homoeopathy, it’s Dr. Hahnemann. Let us talk of our Master’s work. There is so much packed in the Organon, that it would require a lifetime of conscientious work to fathom its depth. Also, only when a pupil is ready, does a Master appear. For half baked pupils there are a multitude of teachers; they come and go, but they come with an unseen corollary and that is, ‘he or she gets only that which he or she deserves’. We feel the need of the hour is to illustrate Dr. Hahnemann’s teachings, not promote oneself. We hold this premise (i.e. illustrating Hahnemann’s teachings) closest in our heart, since the inception of CHRC and even through our seminars and workshops. We believe, that once you know what is meaningful you can easily decipher the meaningless.
Sadly, today the simple and meaningful teaching of the Master is shunned and the charismatic and meaningless teacher is sought after! It gives us happiness to illustrate what is right, rather than getting into an ugly situation of bringing down what is wrong. Certainly it is not shying away from this responsibility, but we have chosen the path to illustrate, rather than wasting our energies in crying foul against the wrong. In the nth analysis, what to accept and what not to is the prerogative of the seeker.
MB: I understand! Let us talk about your work, instead of others. You started CHRC in 1990’s. Tell us about how it happened and how it has grown since then? Was it a conscious decision to work together?
FK and PS.: We started CHRC in 1998. Again it was a happening. By then we wanted to completely align ourselves with the teachings of Dr. Hahnemann, so the word Classical happened. Following Hahnemann in every letter and word was a passion for both of us, so we have grown together without any hassles. The deeper we dwelled, the clearer became our understanding and miraculous the results. People perceive it as miraculous, but for us it is the application of the principles and the same hard work that we used to put in, in the initial day of our practice. Rather, as highly pathological cases come knocking on the door, the responsibility is huge.
MB: I am yet to find a homeopathic couple, where both husband and wife talk on the same wavelength, when it comes to homeopathy. How does the brother-sister duo manage this?
FK and PS.: The word ‘couple’ reminded PS of a joke, love to share it …
A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position. As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically,
“Relatives of yours?”
“Yep,” the wife replied, “in-laws.” (LOL)
Joke apart, a couple is a relationship by social standards, there is always tension. People are ‘at’-tension for they have to prove their point. Many a times we have seen this – ‘it’s your understanding against mine’. The poor patient is lost in the bargain. In the clinics we have a strict rule. Only the patient matters. We are critical about our understanding of the patient; there we don’t spare each other. In focus is the interpretation of the language of the patient … what the patient is trying to convey, not what we want to make of him. Thankfully we are not in any relationship. They say it is the commonality and not the differences that bond people together. Between us there are many commonalties; and in homoeopathy happily for both of us, it’s Hahnemann. There are other reasons too. FK is a day person and PS burns the lamps bright at night to study, so again there is neither avenue nor space for a discord. (LOL)!
MB: I have always wondered about your names always coming together, in your articles in journals, in your newsletter editorials, in your published cases, your clinic, your seminars and courses ….and now even this interview! It becomes difficult to identify what is coming from whom. So here is a quick fire round to identify your individuality:
Who amongst you loves Organon more?
Who amongst you loves to teach more?
Who writes most of the newsletter editorials?
Who writes Organon lectures?
Who prepares the case reports?
What distinguishes the case taking and analysis styles of PS and FK?
Who amongst the modern homeopaths inspires you most (individually)? (I am not asking about the past, because I know the answer would be Hahnemann!)
Who is more patient?
Who is more experimental and innovative?
Who wins most arguments?
FK and PS.: We were amused and had a hearty laugh; that is a very long list of quick fire questions! … We will try to do justice to your desire of separating us out … but seriously, we are always together, though we function as individuals. Hopefully this collective answer will suffice.
Kindly don’t divide us or our love. We both love Organon and our lives are dedicated towards its illustration. FK teaches with her silence, PS is more illustrative. We work as a team. Usually we decide the theme around which a publication revolves and share the work till the desired outcome is reached. As we are passionate about what we share, it has always been a happy culmination of both of our feelings in all our editorials. Organon needs illustration; it cannot be taught; it is experiential! As we go through our lives as individuals and through our experiences in the clinics, we pour out our individuality into the illustration of the same. Both of us are deeply involved in making learning an enjoyable experience, for our readers as well as those participating in our seminars, workshops and training programs. We don’t have any style, as we follow the Organon. For us, it is not case-taking but case-receiving. If one follows the aphorisms from § 83 to § 104, our point of view will be clear. Again this is something about which we cannot write much, as it is an illustrative spectrum. Though we are taught to take a case our emphasis is on case-receiving. Through case receiving, perception becomes very easy and analysis lucid and considering that, our past and present (and future also) inspiration is only one and will always remain one i.e., Dr. Hahnemann. So, all those who follow and do their best to raise the standards of homoeopathy, inspire us. We are happy to be in their company. Of the modern homoeopaths, Jeremy Sherr is doing very beautiful work. We even travelled to the end of the earth to meet him, to a beautiful and serene island in Scotland, called Raasay, (it is an island between the Isle of Skye and the mainland of Scotland), where he conducts his final training sessions. It was a pleasure to meet him. We have had the good fortune of prescribing the remedies proved by his group and we have always been thankful to him and his group for the same. Another person (whose writings were recently introduced to us by a colleague) and with whom we feel there is a lot in common, is Andre Saine. We have never met but the commonalities are striking. Maybe some day we will meet.
A physician’s best teacher is his patient. As we have grown we have understood the meaning of the word patience and our Master expresses it the best, in § 98 he writes, “… and patience in an eminent degree.” We believe that a physician must do everything at his/her disposal to cure. That has made us read a lot, experiment a lot and experience a lot. We believe that one cannot win by arguing, but when we synergize our energies in treating the patient, the outcome is always a rapid, gentle and permanent cure. Diet and regimen forms a very integral part of our practice and it has helped us cure many so-called incurable cases. In this sphere there is a constant need for innovation. FK is passionate to make that tasteful change for patients on their plates, i.e. the food they eat, to keep them up with what we think is healthful for their bodies. We have done a lot of work on diet and regimen and connections came through beautifully as we were studying the intricate association of cravings, aversions, aggravations and ameliorations in our remedies (which are artificial diseases). There is no winning or loosing but sharing and growing and we wish the same for every one. FK puts it beautifully … “We have one life to live, one vacation on earth, then why be diseased ? We must make people healthy and make them understand the conditions of maintaining that health; that should truly be our calling as physicians … as homoeopaths.” Our lifestyle disease reversal program for patients essentially illustrates this philosophy.
MB: Tell me more about your love for Organon. The way Organon is taught in most colleges, it always remains an enigma for most homeopaths. What pulled you towards it? What made you dig deeper into it? What were the challenges that you faced in understanding Organon and then living it in practice?
FK and PS.: What can we speak of our love? PS’s sickness was a huge learning experience and thereafter we have treated scores of cases. We have always felt that the way Organon is taught in collages must change. It needs to be illustrated. It was our good fortune that this idea dawned on us very early in our practice. Homoeopathic teaching, then, had become materia medica centric. Lecturers and teachers would talk, theorise and speculate (against Dr. Hahnemann’s directives … § 6) of drug pictures of different remedies in the materia medica. This led to a lot of confusion, e.g. some teacher said Staphisagria is like this, the other said it is like that. After a lot of pondering, came the realisation that Staphisagria is neither like this nor like that. Each teacher was painting a different picture of a part of the Staphisagria spectrum. The portrait had vanished! Rather it came to us as a realisation that a patient can be in any part of the spectrum of the indicated remedy and slotting a remedy is to kill its dynamis.
Truly, it was an unlearning experience for us and though unlearning is not difficult, it is also not a very simple process, but we had to unlearn. That took us deeper into the proving notes. The outcome was an enriching experience. When you dive deep … the ocean starts revealing itself. The same thing happened as we dived deep into the Organon … it suddenly came alive! All that our Master has expressed, suddenly had a different feeling to it, a deeper essential vibe to it! Furthermore, a remedy constitutes a very small part of the spectrum when treating the sick. The next important aspect is the potency, dose and the repetition of the dose. Here too we came across varied prescription styles … each in accordance to the practitioner’s dictates. We chose to stick to Dr. Hahnemann’s directives by making the dose minimum and the repetition of the dose in deviated doses as elucidated by him. Here again, Dr. Hahnemann’s keen and truthful observations are the best; the only condition is that you have to accurately adhere to what he has written. We had no teacher to run to, no guru to solve our problems but fortunately for us, the Master stood by with his masterly work … our Eternal Lamp post – ‘The Organon’ … so we always say, “Organon is not a book to be read … it has to be lived … it has to be cherished”. !
MB: You started teaching and clinically training other students at your center very early on. Was there something specific that made you start your training courses?
FK and PS.: Oh yes, but with a small correction … we started sharing, for we never believed in nor intended to teach. We started this for we didn’t want fellow students and colleagues to grope in the dark or to look outside for some charismatic teacher who would deliver them the understanding, ready-made! … just as Dr. Hahnemann says in footnote 104 “ … that the most suitable homoeopathic remedy for each morbid condition does not spontaneously fly into their mouths like roasted pigeons, …”! We wanted to share with them, that if they followed the Organon, homoeopathic practice is not as terribly difficult as they had imagined. As we ourselves had been through this painful process, we felt it would be helpful for upcoming homoeopaths on their journey as physicians. We shared with them more of our failures and how we got over them, than our successes, as one learns more from failure than success. Also, by then we had shifted from the prevalent Materia medica centric to our Organon illustrating course which was offered by none!
MB: Tell us more about your training courses that you conduct every year. There is a plethora of courses available in the market. What makes your training program stand apart? What can a student hope to gain in those intensive three weeks?
FK and PS: What do we tell about our training program? That would be wrongly read as advertisement and self praise. For all those who are interested, there are a host of epilogues written by the participants of our training program, seminars and workshops on our website www.chrcindia.com. We don’t consider ourselves as a part of a market, for our training program it is not a platform to propagate ourselves, nether is it for us to gain wealth or fame. Its only purpose is to disseminate and propagate advanced studies in classical homoeopathy. We conduct only if we have eligible participants. Even if the Training Program doesn’t happen we don’t push for it. It is a unique and intense program as it illustrates the Organon. Like our seminars and workshops, it is fully audio-visual and experiential, so that participants understand every nuance of what our Master has expressed. We can say, in three weeks we share with the participants all that is meaningful, that is, in practice and in the Organon. It also contains our in-depth researched topics such as Dreams, Cravings and Aversions, Aggravations and Ameliorations, Acute and Chronic diseases and in Chronic diseases the management of the highly pathological, the so-called incurable cases (i.e. the reversible) and the irreversible chronic diseases.
We also share of our insight into the so-called Hering’s Law of Direction of cure. It has taken us years of documenting these critically ill and highly pathological cases and one can learn from their cures, through the journey traversed and the principles applied. We would say, “A student or a colleague can learn volumes from our Quantum Leap – International Training Program in Classical Homoeopathy.” There is no avenue for theory or speculation. It is packed with practical clinical learning that helps even a senior homoeopath floundering in his/her travail of healing the sick. Obviously there is a difference and an emphasis and that is, what is it that you call cure? We do not consider, just the alleviation of symptoms, a cure. For us the true cure is the reversal of disease and thereafter the maintenance of the condition of health. We share with the participants a gamut of fully documented cases illustrating the various aphorisms in the Organon. Our vision is to bring Organon alive through our sharing. As we have expressed earlier, it is since the year 2000 that we are conducting our training programs. Through the years it has grown in intensity and depth. Now a whole new section will be added on Diet and Regimen which will translate all that we have done in the sphere of Orthomolecular medicine, i.e. dietetics, in the past 12 years. There is a wealth of knowledge hidden in dietetics. We hold regular Open Forum* sessions for our patients to educate and guide them in this sphere and it (i.e. diet and regimen) being the part of our training program, makes it all the more unique. We urge all our participants to take from us as much as they can, if not everything … for hanging in a balance is a suffering individual, a diseased individual, wanting to be cured. (*Open Forum is an organisation formed by our cured patients to disseminate and propagate the goodness of homoeopathy in the masses.)
MB: Thank you for sharing the details of what you share with your students. Not every student can come to your training courses to benefit from your knowledge and wisdom. So for the sake of sharing something useful with the several thousand homeopathy students who subscribe to our journal, I am going to ask you some questions regarding homeopathy practice. Each question can get a book as an answer, but I am sure you will be able to share many useful insights within this limited space through your answers.
FK & PS: First of all thanks for accepting us as a team; though rare, it exists. Your questionnaire is entering a sphere which is scary. Not that we are scared, but the answers might rub or snub many. We would like to clarify that such a misunderstanding would be most unfortunate. Kindly do not read us with such a mind-set, but rather read us without judgement and if at all you want to judge us, let that be with Organon as the basis. If our answers hurt someone’s feelings, we would like to affirm that it’s unintentional. Also, here we are sharing of ourselves, there is no teaching involved. In a way we are making ourselves vulnerable by expressing our feelings about what matters the most to us. We will try to be brief but as you (M.B.) have rightfully expressed, “Each question can get a book as an answer “.
As we were meditating on “How to best answer your questions, an idea struck P.S.; it is a good idea and can be incorporated into this interview. We would like you to give it a thought and see if it appeals to you. We feel it will be appropriate if we send you illustrative cases which can be hyper-linked, so that our point of view is understood. For all those who would like to go into the details, an illustrative case would be helpful in bringing out the essentials.
MB: It is a great idea to hyperlink the relevant cases and articles from within the interview. Readers are requested to read the cases and articles in the order they are hyperlinked to make this learning opportunity come alive!
Nest question: What is the difference between ‘case-taking’ and ‘case-receiving’?
FK & PS: As we wrote about this we were dreading that you will catch on these expressions and ask for an explanation. But as case-receiving pertains to the experiential spectrum of learning, it is difficult to talk or write (i.e. in a black and white medium) about it. As we try to express in writing, it’s going to get all the more tricky. We feel this will lead to misconception and misunderstanding of our premise and it will be better if we allow readers to get into a thoughtful mode themselves and let the answer be a revelation. This topic itself takes 6 days of audio-visual illustration in our training program and continues to be carried forward through the remaining 12 days. To put it very simplistically, it’s absolutely the same difference that we consider when we mean ‘to take’ and ‘to receive’. If one goes through the dictionary meaning of the same, one will realise what we wish to convey. Taking has an aggressive quality to it; whereas receiving has a gentle quality to it … you are becoming a receptacle. In case-taking you are continuously asking questions whereas in case-receiving you allow the patient to express all that he/she feels like expressing … there is no format of questions i.e. you don’t follow the patient with a kind of a fixed questionnaire.
As an example we would share a case to express this, to the best possible level that can be, through this medium. We have titled this Illustrative Case 1 as Voluntary detail … its meaning and importance.
We hope this helps in illustrating our point of view. A person’s individuality is expressed in the language he uses. It is the voluntary detail that matters most. Please don’t get us wrong that we don’t ask anything and sit like statues! Case-receiving is a very dynamic process. You speak with your body, your senses. Also, we ask only if necessary and to fill in the details of an ill-defined symptom. In short, in receiving there is no taking … it is a gentle prodding … eg. We ask the patient, ‘Please tell us more about yourself.’ … and this with a feeling that we are here, fully available to you and you can take your time and express; we are in no hurry. This availability as a receptacle is what we call to receive. You simply see, hear and feel (aphorism 84, cross reference aphorism 6 with all the relevant inputs from our Master) and let the portrait emerge onto the inner canvas of your mind. In a way, it is getting mastery on how to make people comfortable to express their innermost feelings.
MB: There is a lot of talk these days about treating the ‘person’, which often includes ignoring the disease process in favour mental and/or physical generals. Should we treat the ‘patient’ with his individuality, or the ‘person’ with his constitutional or genetic simillimum?
FK & PS: Let us not get into these confusing and tricky words. Let us keep it simple. As Dr. Hahnemann expresses it in the Organon, as physicians we are called upon to treat a gamut of acute and chronic diseases in their various forms. The directives of treating each one are given in explicit details by him. We follow his guidelines by the letter, comma, semi-colon or full-stop.
MB: How should one use dreams in case anamnesis? Should they be repertorized verbatim or analyzed for the hidden context?
FK & PS: Once again we are entering an essentially experiential spectrum. To answer, in short, would do absolute injustice to the subject. We affirm it in the negative, i.e. to take the dreams and simply repertorize them is not correct. That would be too mechanical and therefore it is essential first to understand the meaning of dreams in the homoeopathic context, and then in the context as they play out on the subconscious plane of our patients. It requires one to master the art of Dream Interviewing. Dreams are symbolic expressions and representations of all the repression and/or suppressions happening on the conscious plane and it is the dreamer’s point of view that needs to be explored. Again, this takes 2 full days of illustration and is a part of our training program. We at CHRC had undertaken a huge study of the dream chapter. First we corrected all the mistakes in the dream chapter under all the remedies i.e. we studied all the symptoms and their remedies mentioned in the dream chapter. It was an eye opener, for there are terrible, terrible mistakes in the repertory. For all those who would like to go into the details, here are a few articles we have written to illustrate the same.
(Illustrative examples from our Dream study/Repertory Our Tool)
To make corrections in the repertory is a very tedious process, a process which requires meticulous study as well as accurate depiction. It took us five years of laborious work to complete this work; but then the reward was a completely different perspective that met us in the eye. Since then we look at dreams through this perspective, and what a dream interview reveals is sometimes mind-boggling.
Let us illustrate this very simply, on the level of a proving and we hope our point of view gets through. Let us take an example of the remedy Arnica. One of the single remedy rubrics of Arnica under the Dream chapter is … Dreams of being struck by lightening. Now, apart from its manifestation at the sub-conscious level and therefore documentation during the proving, how many of us have heard this expressed as a dream from our patients? It will be very rare … isn’t it? But now if one views it through the perspective of Arnica, as it tries to express its essentials in a symbolic manner, through the medium of a dream, at the sub-conscious level of the prover, one will get to the essentials of the Arnica state. As the essence of Arnica seeks expression through drug proving, you will understand how beautifully the dynamis of Arnica comes into play. Arnica is a remedy for injuries and this injury could be emotional or physical. As we try to understand this expression and not speculate, how many of us are struck by lightening? It is a rare phenomena and this is a single remedy rubric, i.e. there is only one remedy in the whole of material medica which has this dream. One can perceive how the Arnica state is pushing into experience its essentials through the medium of a dream. An Arnica state is one which attracts injury and this is an extreme of an injury expressed in a symbolic manner on the sub-conscious level in the form of a dream of being struck by lightening.
So also the dreams that our patients express; it is their characteristic disease state that seeks expression, of all that which is repressed or suppressed at the conscious level, in a symbolic manner, in the form of a dream. When a patient expresses a lot of dreams, we unravel the mystery through dream interviewing. We illustrate this in our training program as it is a whole new subject. As it is experiential, it will be difficult to express much about it in this limited space. We will urge our readers to study Materia Medica with this perspective, as a lot of insight is waiting to reveal itself.
MB: I often see students having great difficulty in finding the right remedy in acutes, often because of lack of enough information. This results in lot of therapeutic prescriptions and even poly-pharmacy. How should one approach and deal with acute cases?
FK & PS: Again the key word is simple. Keep it simple. Many times we have seen colleagues rushing in to prescribe something with a desire that something needs to be done and that too urgently. This is a place where one needs to understand that one has to allow the full expression to come forth. The characteristics need to evolve and only when the totality emerges, should one venture to prescribe. There is no need to do something on the spur of the moment, and this caution one needs to accurately and steadfastly hold on to. If you try to do something when the indications are not absolute, you will muddle up the case. For the totality to become clear it takes time; till then one has to remain in the domain of being an unprejudiced observer. We would like to share with you a case to illustrate this and hopefully our point of view will be clear.
Illustrative Case 2: A Case of Abdominal Pain
MB: Paediatric cases also pose a challenge, because many rules for the adult case receiving do not fit perfectly. Any insights about treating infants and kids?
FK & PS: This pertains to a very beautiful expression by our Master and it wouldn’t be inappropriate to express his vision. He called these darlings New world-citizens .
We quote: Organon FN: 164: ‘The power of medicines acting upon the infant through the milk of the mother or wet nurse is wonderfully helpful. Every disease in a child yields to the rightly chosen homoeopathic medicines given in moderate doses to the nursing mother and so administered, is more easily and certainly utilized by these new world-citizens than is possible in later years. Since most infants usually have imparted to them psora through the milk of the nurse, if they do not already posses it through heredity from the mother, they may be at the same time protected antipsorically by means of the milk of the nurse rendered medicinally in this manner. But the case of mothers in their (first) pregnancy by means of a mild antipsoric treatment, especially with sulphur dynamizations prepared according to the directions in this edition (§ 270), is indispensable in order to destroy the psora – that producer of most chronic disease – which is given them hereditarily; destroy it both within themselves and in the foetus, thereby protecting posterity in advance. This is true of pregnant women thus treated; they have given birth to children usually more healthy and stronger, to the astonishment of everybody. A new confirmation of the great truth of the psora theory discovered by me.’ (italics and bold ours)
We would say, they (i.e. infants and kids) are the best patients. Our second centre is dedicated to infants, kids and women. With kids, you need to be a kid to understand them. If you talk to them like an adult or a parent, you will not be able to communicate. With kids their energies are always raring to seek expression, but then one must have patience. At CHRC we encourage them to be free in the clinic environment. The parents are requested not to tutor the child. We set them free and the characteristics emerge. During case-receiving of a child, we encourage them to draw. Through drawings, their innermost is expressed very easily. Also, a non-intrusive and free atmosphere allows them to come into their elements, their characteristics, thus leading to ease in prescribing. In their case history it is important to ascertain the state of the mother and father before conception, as well as the mother’s state during pregnancy. Also, one has to go into details after birth, to ascertain their individuality. All in all complete guidelines given by Dr. Hahnemann need to be accurately followed.
Illustrative Case: 3, 4 and 5:
MB: You have talked about ‘deviated doses’. Can you please elaborate that part of posology? How is it different from the frequent/infrequent repetition of dry doses and what are the benefits?
FK & PS: Wisdom says, ‘you can never enter the same water twice’ but we have improvised on it … ‘you can never enter the same water once … the moment you enter, it has already changed’.
We can understand Dr. Hahnemann’s experiments, experience and insight into posology with more clarity once we understand this wise premise.
Affirming the age-old argument of getting results in spite of the dose, its quantity and repetition reveals a very incomplete and prejudiced mind. One has to try and understand what was our Master’s logical and critical mind was raring to express when he said in the 6th Organon that he has discovered a new altered but perfected method of repetition of the dose in Foot note 132
We quote, Foot note 132: What I said in the fifth edition of the Organon, in a long note to this paragraph in order to prevent these undesirable reactions of the vital energy, was all that the experience I then had justified. But during the last four or five years, however, all these difficulties are wholly solved by my new altered but perfected method. The same carefully selected medicine may now be given daily and for months, if necessary in this way, namely, after the lower degree of potency has been used for one or two weeks in the treatment of chronic disease, advance is made in the same way to higher degrees, (beginning according to the new dynamization method, taught herewith with the use of the lowest degrees). —
Now this is our experience. Since the last 14 years we have never repeated the same potency and dose even once. We have applied the same deviated dose understanding to the centesimal scale and it has worked and is working wonders for us. Here again we have to keep in mind that Dr. Kent did not have the 6th Organon at his disposal, so a few of the premises of the most regarded remedy reaction by Dr. Kent don’t meet the insight of Dr. Hahnemann. We don’t mean any disrespect to him, but it is a matter of fact.
The hardest thing to explain is something glaringly evident, which everybody has decided not to see. We have to be very critical and analytical about ourselves and the prescriptions that we make. It is not in what we believe, but in what our experience is that we share. Dr. Hahnemann himself was not a believer in faith, neither did he speculate. As a matter of fact, he even expressed that he is unable to comprehend it. For him experience had more weight than his own intelligence.
Again there is much more to posology than what just meets the eye. Each case is different and so also the dose and its repetition. Here we are expressing only a single premise i.e. the potency needs to be deviated.
You ask of the benefits … it has led us to experience what our Master expresses in simple words as a rapid, gentle and permanent cure. What more can we say ?
MB: Hahnemann himself considered diet to be a very important aspect of treatment and you have also understood its importance. What are the most common dietary issues that you encounter in your patients and what suggestions do you make for them?
FK & PS: Firstly, a very crucial but invariably overlooked point, in the successful treatment of acute as well as chronic diseases, is neglect from the physician to look into the diet and regimen of the patient. Many a times a faulty diet and regimen becomes a maintaining cause for a disease. Dr. Hahnemann himself affirms this multiple times, so that we as students of homoeopathy take note. Just prescribing medicines is not enough; a proper diet and regimen is a must for reversing pathologies, and thereafter to maintain the condition of health and internal balance. It wouldn’t be inappropriate to go through our Masters directives.
Some precepts from the Master …
Foot note 78.
Some of the causes that exercise a modifying influence on the transformation of Psora into chronic diseases manifestly depend sometimes on the climate and the peculiar physical character of the place of abode, sometimes on the very great varieties in the physical and mental training of youth, both of which may have been neglected, delayed or carried to excess, or on their abuse in the business or conditions of life, in the matter of diet and regimen, passions, manners, habits and customs of various kinds.
While inquiring into the state of chronic diseases, the particular circumstances of the patient with regard to his ordinary occupations, his usual mode of living and diet, his domestic situation, and so forth, must be well considered and scrutinized, to ascertain what there is in them that may tend to produce or to maintain disease, in order that by their removal the recovery may be promoted. 87
Having thus seen what attention should, in the homoeopathic treatment, be paid to the chief varieties of diseases and to the peculiar circumstances connected with them, we now pass on to what we have to say respecting the remedies and the mode of employing them, together with the diet and regimen to be observed during their use.
Hence the careful investigation into such obstacles to cure is so much the more necessary in the case of patients affected by chronic diseases, as their diseases are usually aggravated by such noxious influences and other disease – causing errors in the diet and regimen, which often pass unnoticed.140
The most appropriate regimen during the employment of medicine in chronic disease consists in the removal of such obstacles to recovery, and in supplying where necessary the reverse: innocent moral and intellectual recreation, active exercise in the open air in almost all kinds of weather (daily walks, slight manual labour), suitable, nutritious, unmedicinal food and drink, &c.
We at CHRC had embarked on studying the various cravings, aversions, aggravations and ameliorations stated under all the remedies in our Materia Medica and stated in our repertories. This took us deeper into understanding the importance of these essentials in each remedy as well as in understanding their co-relation. This was a huge learning as well as an invaluable unlearning experience for us.
Secondly, dear M.B. this is a very difficult proposition! This will really require a book of an answer! We have researched this for the last ten years, applied it in practice and had beautiful cures. To express all that in this limited space would be a daunting task. Can we suggest something instead? We will innumerate all the major important source books that we have studied. Incidentally we do not have any official degree in dietetics, but an intense study of all these major books have helped us transform various so-called incurable diseases into cures. We are sure all our colleagues and students will benefit most, if they study and follow all that is shared in these books.
- Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition
- Fight back with food.
- Heart Healthy life
- Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease
- Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care.
- Cut your Cholesterol
- Engine 2 Diet
- Food Your Miracle Medicine.
- The Healer Within
- Getting Well Again.
- Harrison’s Text Book of Medicine
- The Doctors Book of Home Remedies.
- China Study
- You’ll See it When You Believe it
- Peace Love and Healing
- The Relaxation Response
- Miracle Cures
- Cancer Survivors Guide.
- The Stress of Life
- Stop Aging Now!
- The Miracle Heart
… and many, many more and last but not in the least the amazing World Wide Web which has countless research papers … where you can read anything and everything under the sun … so please read, read and read! Also, remember that every disease individual is different and the disease parameters are also different. One needs to do justice on an individual level. Please do not prescribe a diet for the disease but for the individual who has the disease. That is the reason why we have Lifestyle disease reversal programs for our patients, but they are completely personalised. We have our forum called NEST (Nutritional, Ecological and Spiritual Transformation) through which we conduct these programs. Giving completely of ourselves to this cause has always kept us on our toes. We detest being stereotypes. We explore what more we can do for our patients to make them well in the shortest possible time and in the most reliable way. If one does that, one will cherish every moment of being a homoeopath and a healer.
MB: You have been training students for a long time. What are the most common misconceptions that students carry in your workshops?
FK & PS: Misconceptions? … Don’t ask! If one word would suffice, students as well as colleagues, who have gone through our training program, call it an ‘Unlearning’ experience. All the misconceptions and faulty notions have to be illustratively struck down. This starts from unlearning of ‘case-taking’ to learning about ‘case-receiving’. Thereafter all that which appertains to the medicines (no drug pictures) but the study of Materia Medica, all that appertains to the dose, i.e. its quantity and repetition and last but not in the least, the appropriate diet and regimen. In all these spheres there is need for a thorough unlearning and a wholesome learning.
(Illustrative example: Remedy Study at CHRC/Sepia)
MB: A lot of these misconceptions and lack of knowledge results from the quality of our college education. Any comments about this? How can we improve the education and clinical training in our institutes?
FK & PS: Let us not comment on the shortcomings; then we will keep lamenting. Let us do what needs to be done, each in our capacities, each to the best of our capabilities. We have made this our lifelong commitment. Any group, anywhere in India or around the world, if they require any help to understand the principles laid down by Dr. Hahnemann in the Organon, we are ready to share. We feel, learning happens best through illustration and by now you must have had a fair conception of how we work. If education is illustrative, learning is easy. We feel it is important to demonstrate the principles rather than lecture about it. Lecturing makes Organon boring … you illustrate and the principles come alive. That is what is needed! We feel homoeopathic education will take the turn for the better if the education imparted is Organon centric. Surely we would not like to be misunderstood that we are devaluing the importance of Materia Medica. No, that is not the point. Materia Medica needs to be studied, but this study has to start from the source books “The Fountain Heads” as they are called, not from seminars and lectures where remedy pictures are painted and for a life-time a student is stuck with that picture. We feel there is this void around the world and that is the reason why long ago we started with our training program which illustrates Organon. Also, there is need for like-minded people to come together, to work together and share freely … that would surely help. There is need for such seminars and workshops that will illustrate the Organon.
Also, there is need for an affordable software program that is accurate. We are working on one and we want to make it available at a meagre cost. A lot can be done on this level. A lot of learning can happen but for the horrendous cost of such programs. Let us not have colossal repertories with doubtful additions. Let us have a simple program with accurate inputs. If all this happens it would really be a bright sunny day for all of us and we will have with us the smiling spirit of our kind Master.
MB: Differences in Organon translations, errors in repertories, poor education standards in most institutes, poor clinical training, limited exposure to classical homeopathy, fake gurus – homeopathy students in general, and especially in India, have a lot to cope with. No wonder that a large majority of our fresh graduates are either dispensing complexes or are switching to other professions. What advice would you give to our young students and practitioners who wish to practice homeopathy despite all the challenges? What is the way to be a good and successful homeopath?
FK & PS: There are a lot of shortfalls and short comings, but for all those who are doers there is a lot to be done. Nobody can stop you from doing what you want to do. Nobody can stop you from reading. Read, read, read and read! Immerse yourself in reading; arm yourself with knowledge. Well, M.B., nobody taught us dietetics and nutrition. As we ventured to cure the serious (so-called) incurable diseases scheduled for organ transplants and lifestyle disorders like diabetes, hypertension, obesity etc. with homoeopathic remedies, we stumbled upon dietetics and nutrition, so intensely spoken about by Dr. Hahnemann. It was like a helping hand that came straight out of nowhere, demanded intense study and paved a path for us that could cure a diseased patient in a rapid, gentle and permanent manner as truly as the Master said. As we write this, we just concluded an intense workshop for our patients, “Your Food, Your Medicine” and the obstacles that one causes by indulging into a faulty diet. Most of us don’t know that we are fighting a formidable enemy in the form of faulty food habits and indulgence. We have seen many physicians as well as colleagues fail in their vocation to heal their patients for a want of this knowledge … but we had to teach ourselves. It is said that, ‘to get to the Promised Land you have to negotiate your way through the wilderness.’ Doesn’t matter, if you have to work a little hard, you can do it. So, decide that you can, and you will !
The most important thing is to discern for oneself, what is it that one wants to pursue? We always tell our students; there are two kinds of people … those who make the path for others to follow and … the ones who follow the laid down path. You have to decide which kind of people you want to subscribe to. If one wants to pursue a mediocre life then one can be content with whatever he/she has, but if one desires to give of oneself then the sky is the limit.
Transformation is a process that starts within and from there, flows out … not the other way round. We would like to share with you these golden words said by Zen Master Lao Tzu … “If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself, if your want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”
First, one has to train oneself and second, is to apply that training in one’s life and practice. For all those who would like to take this homoeopathic plunge, we offer them ourselves and our training program which is loaded with our sincere and arduous efforts to reach you there. (Please don’t read this as an advertisement for our training program.) That is one decision that each student, each individual homoeopath has to make and that is solely their prerogative.
We have shared a lot of serious things, but as we conclude we would like to share with you and our colleagues, friends and fellow students, this beautiful and meaningful story. This is a story of a Dragonfly. Symbolically and by way of analogy it is our story and therefore to its spirit we had dedicated one of our seminars … it was called the ‘Dragonfly Seminar’. The story …
At the bottom of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a very happy colony, living far from the SUN. They did notice that every once in a while one from their colony seemed to lose interest in going about with his friends, and clinging to a lily stalk, he gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more. “Look!” said one of the water bugs to others, “One from our colony is climbing up the lily stalk.
Where do you think he’s going?” Wasn’t he happy here?” Where do you suppose he went? ” No one had an answer. Finally one of the water bugs spoke up, “I have an idea. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell the rest of us where he went and why.”
As providence would have it, the very bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up and up he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water and fallen onto a broad lily pad above.
When he opened his eyes, he couldn’t believe what he saw.
Also, a startling change had come over his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail.
Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings. The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from his new body.
He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself above
the water. He had become a DRAGONFLY.
Swooping, swirling and dipping in great curves, he flew. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere.
Every now and then, he (the new dragonfly) landed happily on a lily pad to rest. It was then that he chanced to look down below, at the bottom of the pond. He was right above his old friends, the water bugs! Then the dragonfly remembered his promise. Without thinking, he dived down. He hit the surface of the water and bounced away. He winged off happily into his wonderful new world of SUN and AIR.
After experiencing the freedom of his new environment for some time, he again landed to rest on the lily pad, of course, having realised … “if I had not chosen to outgrow the colony of water bugs, I would never have become a dragonfly. Now, that I have become a dragonfly, even if I want, I can never go back to where I came from. Even if I somehow manage to go back, the colony of water bugs – my old friends – will no longer be able to recognize me in my new form … they won’t understand me. I have to wait till one of them also becomes a dragonfly, for, only then will they understand what has happened to me.”
Well dear M.B., we wait for more dragonflies, for now, the old doesn’t interest us and we can’t go back, for the very same reasons as that of the dragonfly! It is said, ‘in the company of wind even dust achieves great heights, but when mixed with water it becomes mud.’ It all depends upon the company you choose!
We thank you for having us and it was a joy sharing with you and through you with our colleagues and students. In love and in life, we will always remain yours in homoeopathy. FK & PS
MB: Thank you Dr. Prasad and Dr. Falguni for this meaningful sharing. I hope your words will help many students to find the right way forward towards the right homeopathy and success. May you continue to inspire others like this always!
Dr. Prasad Shetye has been a consulting Classical Homoeopath for 14 years. His ability to dream resulted in the birth of the “Classical Homoeopathic Research Centre©” (CHRC) and that of Nyanga©” the ‘educational trust to disseminate and propagate advanced studies in Classical Homoeopathy’. He teaches in Bombay, Pune, Goa and Nasik. At CHRC with his sister Dr. Falguni, he is intensely involved in teaching a training program designed for doctors and interns in India and abroad. He and Dr. Falguni edit ‘Homoeopathy First‘ the newsletter of Classical Homoeopathic Research Centre© (CHRC). He is dedicated to ‘Classical Homoeopathy’ and is very vocal against speculative homoeopathy. He is an avid admirer of Dr. Hahnemann and the way he illustrates Organon makes Organon come alive.
Dr. Falguni Khariwala has been a consulting Classical Homoeopath in practice for the last 16 years. Along with her brother Dr. Prasad Shetye, she has been invited abroad to give Seminars and under their trust ‘Nyanga’ they regularly conduct Seminars in Bombay. She was instrumental in sowing the seed of the Training Program in Classical Homoeopathy. Together with her brother, she edits ‘Homoeopathy First‘ the newsletter of Classical Homoeopathic Research Centre. They have written a series of seven articles that were published in Homoeopathic Links-International Journal for Classical Homoeopathy. She is very experienced also in the treatment of infants and children. Dr. Khariwala is a Classical Hahnemannian in her thought, word and deed as far as homoeopathy and life is concerned.