Interviews

Living History: An Interview with Andrew Lange

Living History: An Interview with Andrew Lange 1

Living History: An Interview with Andrew Lange 2
Dr. Andrew Lange shares a fascinating account of the great teachers and friends who influenced his career, his experiences with homeopathic education, and reflections on the relationship between homeopathy and naturopathy. Join him on a rich journey weaving together stories of Alan Sutherland, Marion Belle Rood, Edward Whitmont, George Vithoulkas, Ananda Zaren, Misha Norland, a visit to Carl Jung’s family home in Switzerland, and other snapshots of homeopathic history.

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Andrew Lange, ND, is a naturopathic doctor licensed in the State of California. He has taught internationally, including as faculty of the College of Homeopathy in London, and served as chair of the Department of Homeopathic Medicine and supervising clinical physician at Bastyr University in Seattle. He is currently the director of the Lange Research Group and maintains a private practice in Mill Valley, California. He specializes in the treatment of psychological, cognitive and developmental disorders.

Dr. Lange is the author of Getting to the Root: Treating the Deepest Source of Disease (2002) and contributing author for A Textbook of Natural Medicine by Pizzorno and Murray and Panic: Origins, Insight and Treatment by Schmidt and Warner. You can learn more about his work at www.AndrewLange.com.

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LN: Let’s start at the beginning. Could you share with us your story of how you came to homeopathy?

AL: I first heard of homeopathy when I was taking a course on herbal medicine in my senior year of high school. The instructor mentioned that the local hospital, Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh, had been a homeopathic hospital. He also mentioned the Flower Hospital in New York City had been a homeopathic hospital. I didn’t realize the Flower Hospital was named after a family. I assumed they used flowers to treat pretty seriously sick people, which in fact was the case. In any event, it stirred my imagination to find out about a system of natural medicine that was used in hospitals.

LN: You certainly did find out, and from the best of sources. You studied homeopathy with some extraordinary homeopaths in the 1970’s and 80’s: Alan Sutherland, Marion Belle Rood, and others of their generation. They represent an important, though perhaps less known, chapter in the history of homeopathy. What was that like for you?

AL: For me my teachers were like the grandparents I never met. I will always love them. I don’t think you can overestimate the value of being told when you are wrong and being shown the correct way. I am a firm believer in the necessity for clinical training. I don’t see how you can practice without it.

Dr. Alan Sutherland and Dr. Marion Belle Rood represented two of the few remaining lineages going back to the origins of homeopathy. Dr. Sutherland attended Hahnemann Medical School in the 1920’s. However, the lack of a sufficient homeopathic training in the school at that time led him to travel to Connecticut regularly where he studied with Herbert Roberts. Roberts was a student of Bernard Fincke and P. P. Wells, who were founding members of the International Homeopathic Association, which defined American classical homeopathy.

Under Roberts’ tutelage, Dr. Sutherland used Boenninghausen’s repertory, but he also referred to Kent’s repertory that had been given to him by Elizabeth Wright Hubbard.

Dr. Sutherland was the dean of the only post-graduate course in Millersville, Pennsylvania, for over 25 years, where he met Hubbard, as well as Ruth Rogers, Henry Williams, Maisy Panos, the historian Harris Coulter, and the pharmacist John Bournemann. When I attended with Dr. Sutherland (remember I was 21 years old then), Bill Gray had just come back from Greece where he had studied with George Vithoulkas. I remember a panel where Dr. Sutherland and Bill were talking and Bill, in the Vithoulkian tradition, insisted coffee antidoted remedies. Well, Hahnemann spoke of coffee as generally detrimental to health, but not as an antidote. Hahnemann of course had a long list of what could counteract the action of a remedy and I don’t believe coffee was among them. Dr. Sutherland responded to this statement by recalling a case of a patient who needed Nux vomica, but who refused medicines. So Dr. Sutherland said he just put a dose of Nux in the man’s coffee and it worked just fine. So much for that.

I think the ideas of coffee being an antidote may have come from Elizabeth Wright Hubbard. Both she and Hal Williams were anthroposophists who practiced homeopathy, rather than anthroposophical medicine. Rudolf Steiner spoke of coffee in very interesting dimensions in his lectures. I think anthroposophical thinking has often crossed the membrane to influence homeopathy. I think my friends who have embraced the Sensation method may exemplify an example of this. But there’s no way to critically think about it; it’s phenomenological in nature. I think it then becomes a matter of belief.

Many of our ideas have been sustained without being critiqued. Medicines are crammed into rubrics without differentiation. Knerr’s repertory organized Hering’s Guiding Symptoms into descriptive rubrics. Our computer programs give us more agility in finding sources. But much of what we have was written down without recourse to discussion. That’s why the old journals are such a rich vein to explore, with the many masters’ commentary following each lecture presented.

Dr. Sutherland also practiced obstetrics, traveling in one of the early Model T Fords down icy country roads in the 1930’s to deliver babies. I still have his annotated Yingling’s Accoucheurs Manual that he gave me. He also gave me his copy of Von Boenninghausen’s Repertory with both his and Herbert Roberts’ additions. I was given his entire homeopathic library by his sons when he passed.

Dr. Sutherland had mentioned Dr. Rood to me and suggested I go to visit her if I had the chance. I did so after he passed. Dr. Whitmont also mentioned he had gone to Michigan to study with her. Dr. Rood lived on Rood’s Lake Road in Lapeer, Michigan. It was a dirt road and she hadn’t had a telephone for years. Patients would just line up in their cars until she opened the front door at 10 am and would be seen till there were no more. This often meant until 11 pm or later. I would often have to argue with patients waiting in line just to have the chance to prepare a meal for her.

Dr. Rood was legendary. Working with her was something out of a magical story, a mix of Hypatia, the pagan mathematician from Alexandria, and Madame Curie. She was the only woman in her physics graduate program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, then the sole woman in her medical class at New York Homeopathic Medical College. She tutored the Rockefeller children while attending medical school to pay for her tuition.

Dr. Rood studied with her family physician Harriet Knott, who in her later years, while blind, lived with her and supervised her practice. Arthur Grimmer, who had taken over J.T. Kent’s practice in Chicago had invited her to join that practice, but she declined. She just didn’t want to live in the big city.

From Grimmer she was introduced to the auscultation techniques of Albert Abrams, who was a forerunner of the development of radionics. There were a few members of the IHA who reported on these experimental techniques in the 1920’s, such as Guy Beckley Stearns. Dr. Rood experimented with these methods for many years, having set up a Faraday cage in her farmhouse, but she gave up those pursuits claiming, “I learned what I could from that.” I found the equipment she had used in her attic stored away. She saw patients in an apron; her broken glasses were taped together. I knew not to ask why.

Dr. Rood used to have me go to Erhart and Karl pharmacy in Chicago to pick up medicines and deliver comfrey and other plants that grew on her farm for their uses. She kept abreast of both the sciences and medicine through journals that piled up in her living room, which served during most of the day as her consultation office.

Dr. Rood insisted you couldn’t practice homeopathy without having studied physics. She had me read books and articles on cellular biology, immunology, notably Russian interferon research, and physics. She introduced me to J.H. Allen’s Chronic Miasms and Knerr’s Repertory of the Guiding Symptoms. Then it started to make sense.

Her knowledge of materia medica was encyclopedic. I remember a case we saw where, without repertorizing, she pulled a volume from Hering’s Guiding Symptoms and there described were the symptoms that fit the case exactly. It was a chronic Gelsemium case. And it was not until a couple of years later when George Vithoulkas presented a chronic case that required Gelsemium that I was able to recognize it. I think he was a bit surprised since I was the youngest person in the class by quite a few years and had yet to complete my medical studies.

Dr. Rood helped me to see homeopathy in a larger context. One in which modern sciences provided a language for some of our more anachronistic ideas in a way that contextualized them in current medicine. Not all doctors would hear that even in the language of their own sciences. But we are trained to hear in a limited range. And ultimately, we need to find a common ground that transcends our filters.

You have to realize I studied with Dr. Sutherland for two years and Dr. Rood for much of four summers. For this time all of the cases I saw were supervised. With Dr. Sutherland, I reviewed his cases each evening, repertorized them on those tedious graph sheets of paper we used to use, and submitted my selections and conclusions to him the next day.

When I was at school, I would call him to discuss cases. With Dr. Rood, when she was tired, she would have me take over while she sat in the corner observing or offering her conclusions. There was no doubt when I was wrong. The greatest lesson I learned was to know when I was wrong. These two great mentors I will never forget. Their kindness and wisdom are two of the greatest gifts of my life.

LN: You have this ability to bring your teachers to life in a way that most histories fail to do. You did the same with your story of Marion Belle Rood that you shared with Hpathy readers in 2015 – it made me wish I had met her! Who else can you bring to life for us that has been influential or important for you?

AL: Probably the most influential mentor for me was Edward Whitmont. He was so kind to me and allowed me to spend hours visiting with him at his homes in New York and Vermont. I had been deeply influenced by the articles he wrote, which became the book Psyche and Substance. He was one of the founding members of the C.G. Jung Institute in New York City, a classicist in both traditions, trained as a psychiatrist.

He told me the great story of his first visit to Jung in Kusnacht, Switzerland, at his home on Lake Zurich. He went to knock on the door and no one answered so he ventured to the back of the house where he saw a man working in a ditch. When the man came out from the ditch he extended his soiled hand and he realized it was Dr. Jung himself.

Dr. Whitmont never recommended I become a Jungian analyst. For one thing, Jung himself suggested one could not become an analyst until at least after 35, since life experience and a bit of luck in individuation were necessary. Dr. Whitmont just said I had enough on my plate to focus on.

When I was planning my first visit to Europe, I asked Dr. Whitmont if he would write me a letter of recommendation to conduct some research in Jung’s personal library. It never occurred to me that this was an impossible request. He scribbled in his tiny script writing a note on a prescription pad, which I carried with me.

I arrived at the Jung Institute library and spoke with the librarian. She told me she had never seen Jung’s personal library and that it was in the family home. Fortunately for me, Lorenz Jung, Jung’s grandson was in the building, and she offered to introduce me. Lorenz suggested he talk to his father, Franz Jung and see if something could be arranged. A couple days later I called him and he said to come to the family home the next day.

When I entered the home, I was led up the narrow stairs to the second floor. As I entered the library a saw a room filled with books to the right. In the center was a large handmade red leather book lit from above. I knew this was the legendary Red Book, which Jung had hand painted and written in script his visions. I also knew not to ask about it somehow. And it was only a couple years later that it was hid away in a vault, a decision by the family, until its publication. I was there on a different task.

Lorenz helped translate for me some of the medieval Swiss and German texts I was interested in as we sat surrounded by some of the books I would seek out through my work – old materia medicas, books on alchemy and mythology, Eranos yearbooks, which documented the round tables conducted by Jung every year.

At the end of my study there, the family allowed me to visit Bollingen, the small castle Jung built by hand at the end of the lake. It was unmarked down small roads and paths. And it was there that I saw the engraved stone sculptures filled with texts and images that seem to represent symbolically the magnum opus of Jung’s work.

That was an amazing summer in which I met the Dalai Lama in Rikon, Switzerland, and studied with Dr. Lobsang Dolma Khangkar, one of his senior doctors who had recently escaped from Tibet.

One of the first homeopaths I corresponded with was George Vithoulkas. I wrote to him asking how to be educated in homeopathy. This was before I had met anyone. I actually applied to a homeopathic medical school in India, to which I was accepted. But on discussing it with my father, I realized, “What am I, crazy?” I had no business going to India till much later.

I was fortunate to attend Vithoulkas’ seminars in both the United States and Greece. George taught that you couldn’t perceive your own remedy, but I had four homeopaths prescribe for me with no results. I was sick of telling my personal story, so I just prescribed what I thought was the obvious remedy and took it. A couple of friends thought I had fallen in love and I had no idea what they were talking about until I realized it must have been the action of the remedy. I couldn’t even see it, as you see sometimes in patients when they change on some fundamental level.

On his return to Seattle, George and I were driving downtown by the space needle and he said, “You’ve changed. Did someone prescribe something for you?” I told him and mentioned that it was self-prescribed. He looked at me curiously and replied, “Very good, very good. Now don’t change the prescription; let it do its work.”

There was a conference that was held for a small group of homeopathic teachers by invitation on Alonnisos, the island where George held many seminars. It was a formidable group and I felt more than a little short-changed in the ego department in comparison to most of the attendants. I got to be good friends with Ananda Zaren, who sat next to me for the week. Ananda practiced in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. She bragged about the famous people she treated. I told her I wasn’t that much concerned with famous people, but just in jest I said, “If you treated Bob Dylan I’d be impressed.” Sure enough she had and told me what remedy she gave him.

Ananda was more a repertory master. She would be poring through her three-volume copy of Barthel’s Synthetic Repertory and I would be reflecting on my material medicas. But just to show you homeopaths can agree, we came to the same conclusion in almost every case. Or least had a good discussion on what might be indicated.

I presented Anantherum muriaticum in several cases of HIV/AIDS I had treating at that gathering. George came up to me after my presentation and told he wanted to show me something. He came back with an envelope that contained a paper he had been writing on Anantherum. He made me promise not to disclose it to anyone else.

The real story is about all the great, known and unknown homeopaths I have had the pleasure to know, many of whom came to stay with me or I with them. I wanted to learn from anyone I could. I used to just write or call old homeopaths, if just to visit with them. James Stephenson or William Gutman come to mind in New York City.

And one of my great friends through all these years has been Misha Norland. When I first taught in London I was told to go meet Misha. That’s a guy who, the more I have gotten to know him, the more I appreciate him. I used to visit him at Yondercott and we planned road trips together when he came to the States.

We were hiking once in Colorado and we saw a brown bear on the next hill not too far away. Misha of course wanted to get close. They don’t have bears in England. They were all killed in the Medieval period about 1500 years ago. So I said to Misha, “This isn’t a Disney movie and this no Gentle Ben.” And sure enough that bear started to run and run fast. Misha saw what I meant. Misha is the real deal and anyone could and should learn a lot, more than just homeopathy, from him.

I met a lot of hard-working homeopaths at LIGA meetings. In Florence I got to be good friends with Lino Antonacci. I taught him how to treat the fungus on olive trees and he passed it on to some of the farmers in the area. I’ve always been interested in the law of similars and its applications to agriculture. And I was able to speak enough Italian to explain to his father, who was a retired policeman, what an incredible son he had. Lino was amazed at the change that produced. Just one conversation. Sometimes words are the remedy. I mean what father could understand his son becoming a homeopath? It takes a lot of love.

I used to stay with Gianni Marotta in Rome. And I have to say that the book he wrote with Massimo Mangialavori comes as close to explaining how I think when I am practicing as I could have said myself, if I had an adequate way to express it. Sometimes it takes someone observing from the outside to describe a method, to articulate the structure of one’s mind.  Like when the neurolinguistic programming guys wrote about the modern hypnotherapist Milton Erickson.

Gianni sings opera songs and lives in a handcrafted cherry wood apartment that was designed by a Japanese architect. A brilliant doctor. He had an original copy of Matthioli’s herbal in his office in Italian. Matthioli was the translator of Dioscorides from the Greek who contributed his own additions.

There’s a wealth of gems in these old herbals. Hahnemann mentions some of them. We tend to dismiss writers such as Cullen, because he defined the action of Cinchona differently than Hahnemann, but that is like dismissing Newton based on the story of the apple falling from the tree, which by the way never happened.

Constantine Hering had a significant collection of Paracelsian literature.  I’ve read from Paracelsus, but also John Parkinson, William Coles, Nicholas Culpepper, Johannes Rudolph Glauber (who developed Natrum sulphuricum), John Turner, Avicenna or Ibn Sina and Al-Buruni. I studied Chinese herbal medicine at Chan Ning Tong, which was the oldest pharmacy in San Francisco. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology was always an inspiration for me, as well as the rich resources of other world medicines. You need to learn the language, the perspective in which they saw the potentials of medicines. Even the humoral system is an expression of the movement of energies as much as potentization or biochemistry is.

LN: It is precisely this breadth of scope that I find extraordinary about your work. It makes for the kind of deep and broad synthesis that we see in your book, Getting at the Root (2002), where you weave together homeopathy with medical and cultural history, herbalism, anthropology, psychology, and so much more. You also refer to your practice as “integrative.” What does that mean for you and how do you view homeopathy within that context?

AL: Well, part of that has to do with how the public perceives our work and how we language that. After about forty years of studying and practicing I am still amazed that homeopathy is still generally thought of as Eastern medicine and naturopathic medicine is still pretty much unknown. We still do not have prominent leaders in the field who are represented in the media. I think of “integrative” as representing the relationship between the body and mind, inclusive of however you understand mind. That is that they are not separate any more than our symbiotic relationship with the world around us is separate.

I think of homeopathy as being the sharpshooters in naturopathy. We talk about the vital force being acted upon, but I view homeopathy’s strength in being its individualization and specific induction at some often-unknown level of the organism’s capacity to respond and regenerate.

Naturopathic medicine is a larger field, primarily a method that enhances the body’s capacity to heal itself. This could come from traditional naturopathic methods: herbs, hydrotherapy, nutrition, lifestyle, etc. Hahnemann, early in the Organon, said to first remove the obstacles to cure. That’s the primary goal of naturopathic medicine as well.

Christoph Hufeland, who published Hahnemann’s first writing on the Law of Similars and was Goethe’s doctor, introduced the term macrobiotics. Both he and Hahnemann had very strict guidelines for diet and public health. There’s a very good book by Alice Kuzniar called The Birth of Homeopathy: Out of the Spirit of Romanticism, which is probably the best historical perspective since Harry Coulter’s Divided Legacy. It covers a lot of these historical interactions between eighteenth and nineteenth century natural philosophies of medicine.

Naturopathic medicine has often been interpreted in a modern sense by a more biochemical model, in which the function of individual systems and biochemical pathways supersede a vitalist perspective. We might disregard this as allopathic, but I think its usefulness is in discovering underlying conditions which contribute to disease, such as environmental influences and inherited genetic weaknesses.

This was the argument during Hahnemann’s time. As progress was being made in physiology and diagnosis, vitalism and elemental theories which had endured since Galen’s time were being rejected. In a similar way, Hahnemann rejected the Paracelsian doctrine of signatures. He was actually against many mystical concepts, criticizing van Helmont and Stahl, fellow vitalists, for their Romantic notions.

Medicine was no longer seen as having divine or astrological influences, but was seen as generated from biological interactions that included the mental and emotional influences. Modern psychology was generated from influences of hypnotherapy and mesmerism, which both Hahnemann and later Freud, were inclusive of.  Whatever the theory that influenced medical decisions, it was ultimately its efficacy or outcome that determined its usefulness. This certainly would have been the case in epidemic diseases from which homeopathy derived its greatest confirmation.

The Eclectic medical schools of the nineteenth century reflected an early representation of what we might find in naturopathic medicine today. These were highly regarded for their introduction of new world plants into medical use, especially those utilized by the Native Americans such as Hydrastis canadensis or goldenseal, Phytolacca decandra or Pokeweed, Ginseng, and so many others. I taught a whole course on Native American contributions to homeopathy.

There were however a great deal of exchanges between the Eclectic school of medicine and homeopathy. In fact, James Tyler Kent was trained as an Eclectic physician, who later converted to homeopathy and his lectures are filled with gems from the eclectic tradition. And many later homeopaths included naturopathic methods in their treatments without considering them to be interfering with homeopathic treatment.

Since naturopathic medicine requires standards of care that reflect the medical education common to all doctors who are licensed, the implementation of physical and laboratory diagnosis would be required to understanding the nature of disease and treatment. What the nature of disease is can be argued, but its measurement is pretty solid science.

So naturopathic medicine and homeopathy have always been interrelated, although more mechanistic practitioners have always been adverse to the implementation of homeopathy. Historically many of these schools had violent opposition to the others ideas, but there were always those whose value of knowledge over dogma superseded their ability to derive benefit from learning across the usual barriers of ignorance.

Homeopathy, however, is singularly focused on the simillimum, the unique prescription that will alter the disease. And because its armamentum contains the breadth of the homeopathic materia medica, many valuable resources become available which might be ignored in general naturopathic practice, especially the metals and mineral salts, the nosodes, and the more toxic substances.

But the definition of homeopathy is not an impermeable membrane, whether through the writings of Hahnemann or the branding of classical homeopathy. Modern medicine is not singularly allopathic in nature either. Homeopathy has always suffered the consequences of its own dogma and various insurrections. It has relentlessly defied modernity or any re-languaging.

I see homeopathy in a larger context. It has remained a specialty in therapeutics. Its pharmacology suspended in animation and targeted. I think the recent development of the concept of hormesis in toxicology may provide a route or bridge to merge our approaches.

I have always been interested in how we could use our methods, not only in the treatment of pathology, but preventatively, to enhance or optimize function and consciousness.

LN: This brings me to your research. In 2006 you founded the Lange Research Group. Can you tell us about this and what inspired you to pursue it?

AL: Well, at first I was asked to be the medical director for a clinical trial to test the efficacy of a treatment that was supposed to increase levels of glutathione. Glutathione is one of the most important regulators of antioxidants and detoxification the body. If you figure how to implement it, it’s kind of a key to unlocking the body’s potential.

Glutathione is difficult to measure. A liver biopsy is probably the best method, but for obvious reasons that wouldn’t be practical in humans. Exogenous glutathione is difficult to absorb, despite all the products on the market these days. If you measure blood levels, it just tells you how much you have put into the body, not whether it is being converted to actual utilization by the cells, where all the activity occurs. We were measuring transaminases, enzymes that catalyzed glutathione’s activity. In this case the outcome was not significant.

But that study opened up a lot of doors for future work. I did clinical trials with many groups, including the Amen Clinics on brain injuries and cognitive functioning. Currently we are working on a potential immunotherapy for cancer metastases. It’s a long process. Some of these studies are funded externally and some are more internal and personal. I bring together the people I need for each project.

LN: In addition to this research, publishing, and clinical practice, you have also done a considerable amount of teaching. How do you think homeopathic education has changed since the generation of your own teachers?

AL: I don’t know. There were always considerable challenges to each generation. Different contributions from physicians as well as self-initiated scholars who attempted to wrench knowledge from the masses of information.

My teachers were educated in the day of homeopathic medical schools. They were educated in the transition from a soil of natural history and vitalism to the pharmacological constraints instituted after the Flexnor Report.

Homeopathic education since then has been mostly private, through post-graduate courses, schools that were often based on the strength of an individual personality, or a mash-up of workshops and lectures. I am probably prejudiced in that I believe the strongest of these have been naturopathic medical schools, because they gave homeopathy the ability to flourish in the context of accredited educational institutions with clinical training and subsequent licensing. That’s about as close as we have gotten to the old institutions.

When I taught at Bastyr University (it was still a college then), I insisted that the courses in homeopathy be doubled from three to six. There was only one introductory course required. I expanded the required courses to two. I implemented the structure of a homeopathy department from what had previously been designated a program.

I was the first chair of that department. I joked with the administration that I could never be the chair of anything, because I only had two legs. With the aid of John Weeks we raised more funding for the homeopathy department than all the other departments combined. We were able to buy computers for the library and clinic with contributions of software from David Warkinton and Frederick Schroyens. We funded visiting lecturers and paid our teachers in both the academic and clinical teaching positions better. I grabbed anyone I knew to come and lecture. Jeremy Sherr, Lou Klein and Frederick Schroyens were some of our lecturers before they were known in the U.S.

The homeopathy specialty clinic was also a laboratory to test the academic program in vivo. At the time, cases of pneumonia were referred out for antibiotics from the general naturopathic clinic. I protested, insisting we could not train confident clinicians unless they could see the applications of our methods successfully. So all the pneumonia cases were henceforth referred into the homeopathy clinic. And with few exceptions the patients all recovered without referral. Most of the pneumonia cases are primarily viral and, to this day, orthodox medicine has not much offer other than treating secondary infections.

There was once a case of a woman who had chronic fatigue and anemia. I asked my favorite leading question, which was, “Do you know anyone else who has this problem?” She said “yes,” her husband’s former wife had the same ailment and she wondered if it may have been sexually transmitted, but the tests came back normal. From a miasmatic perspective, that may not have relevance. Even in laboratory diagnosis, many strains of viruses or bacteria are missed and become latent infections after treatment. Resistant strains still maintain their grip and are passed on in altered DNA expressions. This wasn’t the case here.

So we went back into the office to discuss the case with the students. I asked them what they were going to do. Of course, they suggested various remedies and other things. I stopped them and said, “First we’re going to call the sheriff’s office and we’re going to test her for arsenic poisoning.” She did come back positive on the arsenic test and the poison was subsequently found in the basement of her and her husband’s home, as I suspected. Sometimes the toxicology is the evidence for the remedy, or at least the basis for a good detective story.

Many of our homeopathic schools haven’t survived. There were too many of them. They failed to offer a level of education that translated into a career. The odds were against us from the outset. We were seen as an anachronism and acted to enforce those beliefs. It takes a certain kind of person to even think of studying homeopathy. It takes a hold of you in a missionary sense, a sense that something might be lost if it is left to fallow. Like a species that is too beautiful to have to face extinction in the onslaught of progress. Something to be protected and nourished.

I believe in the apprenticeship method, but I also know that all of medical knowledge contributes essential elements to successful practice. It’s like Carl Jung said: intuition comes from experience. Otherwise it’s a coin toss. You have to have something solid underfoot to make a leap of any distance. I think we need to teach the role of transference in homeopathy. Just as in psychology, we inflate our concepts of materia medica into facts and project them upon the patients. We need to allow more critical thinking to cure the process before it’s used clinically.

LN: What has your attention at the moment?

AL: Well, for me attention is the only real currency we have. I am still cultivating the same strains of thought I initiated as a student. My mind works differently, my capacity to focus has actually improved with age.  If I get the opportunity I will finish some work on antivirals. I firmly believe we have the potential to alter most of what we know in psychiatry and psychology. Finding new expressions certainly. Ultimately it is a question of our capacity for regeneration and healing. That’s the miracle I’m excited by. And that is still the stream I’m navigating.

About the author

Linda Nurra

Linda Nurra

Linda V. Nurra, PhD, PDHom Adv, is a classical homeopath with a virtual practice based in Santa Barbara, California. She has a background in humanities with a focus on linguistics and semiotics. Her life before homeopathy included university teaching, training, management, and higher education administration. She has translated, edited, authored and co-authored publications in semiotics and homeopathy. She currently serves on the board of the California Homeopathic Medical Society.

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