‘Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful.’- Socrates
Since this is a ‘musical’ issue of Hpathy, two great figures strongly affected by music will be discussed with reference to their possible constitutional remedy. In each case a key rubric is chosen and linked to the personality profiles of the individual. What is particularly ‘characteristic’ to each person is explored, having being researched and justified as far as is possible.
This analysis suggests that those to whom music is a dominant force, reflect other keynotes of the remedy, demonstrated specifically from a mental and emotional perspective.
There are several rubrics in the repertory which highlight remedies strongly influenced by music. However, each of these rubrics is only a small part of the totality of each remedy. To understand the remedy fully, the range of mind symptoms attributed to each remedy will be explored and related to the original chosen rubric, exposing a certain ‘innate sensitivity’. In other words, those of us deeply affected by music display other emotional traits in keeping with those outlined in the overall remedy picture.
To demonstrate this, I have selected key rubrics and allocated them to a well-known philosopher (Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900) and a musical figure (Bob Dylan,1941- ). Music is a fundamental part of each of these characters lives, though in unequivocally different ways. For Nietzsche, his works are strongly influenced by his love of music; musical tones and analogies flow tangibly throughout his writings. From a different perspective, Dylan uses music and song lyrics to vocalise and articulate his revolutionary views. Clearly I have not been able to take the case of these figures, but it is my opinion, based on evidence gleaned; from what they have said about themselves, what they have written and what others have said. What is ‘characteristic’ in the mind symptoms about each figure has been analysed, resulting in a well justified constitutional remedy picture: ‘In this quest for a homeopathic specific remedy…the more striking, strange, unusual, peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms in the case are especially, almost exclusively, the ones to which close attention should be given, because it is these, above all which must correspond to very similar symptoms in the symptom list of the medicine being sought.’ (Hahnemann, S, 2003:125) Aphorism, 153.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 1844-1900
Anhalonium lewinii (anh.)
The Key rubric here is ‘Music: carried by.’
‘With Peyote Man is alone, desperately scraping out the music of his own skeleton, without father, mother family, love, god or society. And no living being to accompany him. And the skeleton is not of bone like a skin that walks. And one walks from the equinox to the solstice, buckling under one’s own humanity.’ Antonin Artaud (cited by Vermeulen, F: 2002:81)
Given that what follows can only be described as a very basic overview of a brilliant talented philosopher, I attributed one key rubric to this great man: ‘Music, carried by.’ The only remedy in the repertory is Anhalonium. By selecting one key rubric, I feel the mental and emotional indications of this remedy are potentially in keeping with what we know of his overall character.
Background and insight into the personality profile of Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born in 1844 in Saxony, Germany, a region rich in musical traditions; Leipzig was known as the home of many well-known composers (e.g. Schütz, Bach, Handel, Schumann, and Wagner). As well as being a brilliant philosopher, Nietzsche was a musician and had the ability to compose music; however it was his passion for music which strongly influenced his writings. What is well known about Nietzsche was his love for Wagner’s compositions, particularly Tristan and Isolde. The two artists who met in Leipzig became friends. Although Nietzsche composed some of his own works, they were gracefully rejected as ‘art’ by the great Wagner; the two artists, remained, however, lifelong friends and allies.
What is particularly striking, with reference to his affinity to music is that Nietzsche would rather have sung his works and not spoken them, hence one of the reasons for attributing the rubric ‘music: carried by’. He revealed this in the preface to his first book The Birth of Tragedy, 1872 (dedicated to Wagner.)
“What spoke here was something like a mystical, almost maenadic soul that stammered with difficulty, a feat of the will, as in a strange tongue, almost undecided whether it should communicate or conceal itself. It should have sung, this “new soul”—and not spoken!” (cited by Liébert: 2004)
It is in the analysis of this short passage that we get a glimpse of Nietzsche’s creativity, and his lifelong relationship with music. Musical themes are ingrained and subtlety diffuse yet unmistakable through all his works. To Nietzsche music was the highest form of art. There is much speculation as to why it was so central to his life. Many say it was a ‘sublimation’ or possible recovery from pain. As a follower and ‘child’ of Schopenhauer’s philosophy, this would make sense. He lost his father at a young age (four) and found this painful in the extreme. In short, music according to Schopenhauer was an expression of will, which has the ability to activate all 5 senses, unlike the written word. The following rubric is illustrative of this idea: ‘Music >: sensation of being carried by music; Flight from reality. Monotony of thoughts. Loss of Will, with increased insight. Self-awareness; feels as if he had two wills.’ (Vermeulen, F: 2004:39).
This explanation serves to explain why Nietzsche was drawn to Schopenhauer’s philosophies, and makes sense of his desire to ‘sing’ rather than write his works.
‘Curiously, for the Anhalonium individual, time and space are often spoken of as if they are rhythmical and musical—almost concrete—constituting a rather unusual anchor to reality. In Anhalonium it is common to observe these states of decompensation after a significant loss.’ (Mangliavori: 2010.)
A further example of the power of music to influence his writing is evidenced here. Nietzsche refers to Thus Spoke Zarathustra, as ‘his greatest gift to humanity and this in itself is a strikingly brilliant example of a musical text; justification for this analogy is outlined below:
a) The work is modelled loosely on Greek tragic tetralogy (three thematically related dramas followed by a Satyr play). As it is known, Greek drama was a musical drama. Therefore, if this speculation is correct, Nietzsche had music in mind (not Greek music but nineteenth century symphonic music) that accompanied the written text.
b) Zarathustra is a music drama influenced by Wagner and the connection here can be possibly seen at a symbolic level. (Particularly with reference to his connection to the Schopenhaurean philosophy)
c) The text of Zarathrustra, in structure and form is musical as evidenced in the structure, punctuation, repetition and form including alliterations and assonances, and above all the rhythms and cadences.
Nietzsche states: “At last we could let ourselves be carried awayby the emotional power of this music, this Schopenhauerian world every corner of which I can see and feel, so that listening to Wagner’s music becomes a joyful intuition, a moment of self-discovery’ (cited by Kohler: 95)
As we are aware in homeopathy, unsolicited symptoms, those offered graciously and spontaneously by the patient are of the greatest value; in other words, what is peculiar and characteristic about the patient. The above is a masterful, beautiful example of this. ‘The physician sees, hears and observes with his other senses what is altered and peculiar in the patient.’ (Hahnemann S, 84) Aphorism 84
In 1889, Nietzsche succumbs to madness, its cause still open to speculation, ranging from having contracted syphilis, due to his apparently wild and adventurous sexual life, to a possible brain tumour. Writing and music flowed in his veins, touched his soul and penetrated the deepest recesses of his being. In his final drugged state in hospital, he would sing The Gondoliers song from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. Ultimately, music carried him to death, as it had carried him during his brilliant, creative life.
It is interesting to consider the opinions of others in viewing Nietzsche’s complex character. The following passage (written by a psychiatrist) refers to ‘hypomanic psychosis, depression and somatic complaints’: ‘Throughout his creative life, Nietzsche had been subject to considerable mood swings. I suggest that from 1881, when he conceived the theory he called die Ewige Wiederkehr des Gleichen (‘the eternal return of the same’), he had recurrent, if brief, episodes of hypomanic psychosis interlaced with longer periods of depression, studded with somatic complaints. In the current issue of Hospital Medicine, in a paper called ‘The Madness of Nietzsche: the Misdiagnosis of the Millennium?’ I argue it was not syphilis but a manic-depressive psychosis, followed by multi-infarct dementia.’ (Cybulska, E:2000)
Further insight and rubrics
‘It is in the Mind section that we find the most numerous and striking symptoms of Anhalonium. Here we find a difficulty in adapting to the environment, a feeling that there is no structure to one’s personality or that one is double, along with anthropophobia: a deep sense of isolation, indifference to the environment and to oneself (questionably interpreted as ‘want of moral feeling’). The sensation of being transported by music, like the other myriad delusions, is characteristic of Anhalonium and of most other Drug remedies.’ (Mangliavori: 2010)
Nietzsche, in the following quote, manages to describe the essence of being physically and mentally ‘moved’by music; words such as to ‘guide’, ‘lift’, ‘elevate’, ‘lead’, ‘move’ are all strong, descriptive verbs, suggesting a flowing, never static process.
‘God gave us music so that we, first and foremost, will be guided upward by it. All qualities are united in music: it can lift us up, it can be capricious, it can cheer us up and delight us, nay, with its soft, melancholy tunes, and it can even break the resistance of the toughest character. Its main purpose, however, is to lead our thoughts upward, so that it elevates us, even deeply moves us. … Music also provides pleasant entertainment and saves everyone who is interested in it from boredom. All humans who despise it should be considered mindless, animal-like creatures. Ever be this most glorious gift of God my companion on my life’s journey, and I can consider myself fortunate to have come to love it. Let us sing out in eternal praise to God who is offering us this beautiful enjoyment’: Nietzsche and Music: (no date.)
‘In terms of sensory experience, what is most characteristic for Anhalonium is colorful visions and a heightened awareness of sound and the ability to visualize them as images or transpose them as music.What seems typical of this remedy is the almost entirely self-referential nature of Anhalonium’s creativity.’ (Mangliavori: 2010). “How lovely it is that there are words and sounds. Are not words and sounds rainbows and illusive bridges between things which are
Nietzsche: (Thus Spoke Zarathustra.)
There is much evidence to suggest that Nietzsche had a great degree of confusion surrounding his identity, and sees himself very much part of the bigger picture. Nietzsche stated: “[I am] a higher nature [and not even] related to my parents’ Julius Caesar could have been my father.”
‘Anhalonium comes from a situation where people experience a total solitude and feel they could lose their identity. In such a situation the only solution is being in the anhalonium state, where they can identify themselves with not only a group or a family, but with the whole of existence.’(Sankaran, 2005:9) Nietzsche professed to the following, which is highly demonstrative of the above quotation: “I am alone again and I want to be so; alone with the pure sky and open sea.”
Anahalonium, clearly, has hundreds of rubrics within its remedy picture. The ‘Mind’ rubrics are listed below and are intended to complement the overall picture discussed above. The scope of this work does not allow space to justify each rubric however, but several have been alluded to; specifically: isolation and introspection, being ‘different’ and not part of the real world, self-awareness and insight into the psyche, all sorts of delusions, confusion as to identity, affected greatly by sounds (music) and a merging with the environment.
RADAR Keynotes for Anhalonium lewinii (anh).
- Often introspective, brooding type of people, not very sociable.
- Feel that they are different. Lack self-confidence when in company.
- Lack of initiative, insecurity, irresolution.
- Feel isolated, forsaken.
- Changeable mood. Irritable. Distrustful, resentful to society.
- EXISTENTIAL ANXIETY. Spiritual seekers.
- Flight from reality. Escape in a world of dreams.
- Mental prostration. Confusion. Dullness.
- MENTAL CONDITIONS: false ‘spiritual’, ‘mystic’ states.
- Breaks down the usual effect of time and space.
- Time seems prolonged, space disintegrated.
- DEPERSONALIZATION. Dissociation from the environment.
- Weakened will-power with increased self-awareness, insight in the
inner workings of the psyche; increased bodily awareness.
- Clairvoyance. Uncontrollable active and perceptive mind. Exaltation
- Affected greatly by sounds: ‘kaleidoscopic hearing’. Out of the body
experience or colourful delusions from noise.
- Involuntary, colourful visions.
- Overtaken by world of delusions. Feels merged with environment.
- Confusion of identity. As if he had two wills, or separated from his
- Delusion is floating in the air; body is immaterial; being double; being separated from the physical world and observes from above.
- Usually no fear arises with the illusions.
- Desire for company to talk about the delusions/illusions.
Anhalonium lewinii (anh.) (Whole Health Now).
Nietzsche himself helps to reaffirm the possible constitutional picture of Anhalonium: ‘For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.” Similarly, with reference to a required ‘high’: ‘That which intoxicates, the sensually ecstatic, the sudden surprise, the urge to be profoundly stirred at any price — dreadful tendencies!” ‘Intoxication’ is one of the key words used when referring to Anhalonium (mescal button/peyote). Boericke describes the pathogenesis as follows: ‘It weakens the heart, produces insanity. Its most striking effects appear in the auditory nerve for it makes each note upon the piano a center of melody which seems to be surrounded by a halo of colour pulsating to the rhythm of music.’ (Boericke,W:2004:51)
Bob Dylan 1941
Key rubric: ‘mind, injustice, cannot support’
‘He has passion for ecology
compassion for minorities
he carries printed placards
to put an end to war
he is a hero, he is a rebel
with a half a hundred causes
he peddles his petitions door to door
he is at home among the homeless
singing ‘set my people free’
he will march with total strangers
but he will not walk with me’
(Previn,D, cited by Vermeulen,2002:420)
Background and insight into the personality profile of Bob Dylan
Born 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota, as Robert Allen Zimmerman. As a young man he changed his name to Bob Dylan (Dylan, after the author and poet, Dylan Thomas). By 1964 he had firmly established himself as a definitive songwriter in the 1960’s protest movement with songs like ‘Blowing in the Wind’ and Times they are a changin’; he had become the voice of a generation, chronicling social issues like war and civil rights. The rubric ‘mind, injustice, cannot support’, is fundamental and key to the mental and emotional picture of Causticum and this will be justified with reference to Dylan through the many of his song lyrics, personal writings and poetry, ultimately transposed as music.
‘Causticum tends to be anti-authority and activist and fight injustice, prone to fanaticism and has intense idealism so can hold idealistic self-righteous immovable views without good reason and can be quarrelsome as a consequence. Anarchistic, rebellious against authority, idealism for a better world are common features.’ (Chappell.P:2008:88)
Dylan tried to describe his desire to expose political and social issues through the medium of song writing as follows:
“Songs, to me, were more important than just light entertainment. They were my preceptor and guide into some altered consciousness of reality. Some different republic, some liberated republic… whatever the case, it wasn’t that I was anti-popular culture or anything and I had no ambition to stir things up. I just thought of mainstream culture as lame as hell and a big trick. It was like the unbroken sea of frost that lay outside the window and you had to have awkward footgear to walk with.” (Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Vol. 1)
At the time, Dylan was a revolutionary force and was responsible for much of the change in attitudes occurring, particularly in the 60’s. He is said to have influenced several heads of state and presidents. Through the writing of his lyrics he was able to affect change and also an awareness of change:
“Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin”.
(Times they are a changin’:Dylan: 1964)
What is characteristic of the Causticum personality, is to ‘walk the talk.’ instead of paying mere lip service. Dylan proved this by pledging the entire proceeds of his Christmas album ‘Christmas in the Heart’ to homeless charities. A lifelong gift, in perpetuity; an eternal, selfless act of love and kindness for homeless people. Vermeulen (2004) reflects this as follows:
Causticum: ‘Suffers from injustice to society’, with the following reactions:
- Anarchistic opposition to ‘Big Brother’
- Idealistic fight for a ‘better world’, fighting for a cause
- Helps actually the oppressed, the poor and not only talks about it.
(Vermeulen, F: 2004:169)
The lyrics to the song ‘Hurricane (1976) are a perfect example of both the Causticum picture with regards to ‘injustice cannot support’ and of Bob Dylan himself ‘Cannot tolerate to seeing injustice. Affected by bad news, makes them angry and motivated. Obsessive motivation for a cause, politics and injustice. Idealistic. Disappointed easily and argumentative.’ (Murphy,R: 2000:495)
In short the song outlines the story of Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, convicted of the murder of three men during a robbery. Dylan perceived the trial to be racist and unjust with fabricated evidence, leading to a prison sentence of double life for Carter. Dylan, visited him in prison; then held a benefit concert to fund a retrial, raising over $100,000. However, Carter was still found guilty. The original lyrics of ‘Hurricane’ had to be rewritten as Dylan was accused of ‘excessive poetic license.’ In other words, he wrote what he thought and named who he named. Eventually, almost 10 years later, Carter was released by a new Federal Judge, due to an unfair trial and insufficient evidence.
“Now all the criminals in their coats and their ties
Are free to drink martinis and watch the sun rise
While Rubin sits like Buddha in a ten-foot cell
An innocent man in a living hell
That’s the story of the Hurricane
But it won’t be over till they clear his name
And give him back the time he’s done
Put him in a prison cell but one time he could-a been
The champion of the world”
(Hurricane. Dylan, B: 1976)
Bailey (1995) states that; ‘A great many Causticum individuals have interest in broad social issues and feel incensed when politicians and others in a portion of authority appear to restrict individual liberties…Causticum is an intellectual, analytical type in the main and is perfectly suited to exposing injustice and corruption in society through insightful writing.. (Bailey, P: 1995:58)
The above paragraph, could have been written purely with Dylan in mind “My concern has always been for the people who are victimized, unable to speak for themselves and who need outside help.” (cited by Keirsy: no date)
“Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind”
(Blowin’ In The Wind, Dylan, B: 1963)
Poetry, lyrics and Insightful writing
Dylan was not afraid to say things exactly as they were, through the medium of song writing, turned into music, although he declared himself a poet, first and foremost.
‘I consider myself a poet first and a musician second. I live like a poet and I’ll die like a poet:’ (The Intuitive Musician: 2012). This is also indicative of the Causticum picture and what Bailey refers to as Causticum’s ‘insightful writing’ as a way to make their causes heard. It is significant that ‘Visions of Johanna’ (Dylan, B: 1966) was referred to by Andrew Motion, former poet laureate as the greatest song lyrics of all time. The song also illustrates, in my opinion, a specific ‘state ‘of reality versus unreality, a merging of states of consciousness.
“We can hear the night watchman click his flashlight
Ask himself if it’s him or them that’s really insane
Louise she’s all right she’s just near
She’s delicate and seems like the mirror
But she just makes it all too concise and too clear
That Johanna’s not here
The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face
Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place”
(Visions of Johanna: Dylan: 1966)
I would consider the lyrics to this song to be close to genius bordering on delusional, with a touch of insanity. Kent states: “Insanity: Causticum has cured insanity; not acute mania with violent delirium, but mental aberration of the passive kind, where the brain has become tired. The constitution has been broken down with long suffering and much trouble, and finally the mind is in confusion.At first the patient recognizes his inability to do anything and then comes this foreboding that something is going to happen. He is unable to think, and consequently unable to carry on his business. He is going into imbecility. Full of timorous fancies.Timorous anxiety,” overwhelmed with fearful fancies.”(Kent, JT: 2004:399)
Andy Gill, in referring to Visions of Johanna, writes: “air of nocturnal suspension in which the verse tableaux are sketched…full of whispering and muttering.” —”forever teetering on the brink of lucidity, yet remaining impervious to strict decipherment”. Gill writes that the song begins by contrasting two lovers, the carnal Louise, and “the more spiritual but unattainable” Johanna. Ultimately, for Gill, the song seeks to convey how the artist is compelled to keep striving to pursue some elusive vision of perfection.’ (Gill, A: 1998). Clearly illustrated by the lyrics of this song is Dylan’s capability as a poet and a way of expressing himself, through ‘insightful writing’. This song however shows a different side to his temperament, although it still continues to be a Causticum picture. It is said to be about his wife Sara, whilst also dreaming of his previous love Joan Baez; his mind is in confusion. He was in fact on his honey moon when he wrote it. He was able to express his angst through writing. Although intensely private about his personal life (he married in 1986, and subsequently had a daughter, the public were not aware of this for 15 years.) By writing songs he was able to embody the confusion he felt. Similarly, when his wife Sara left him, he wrote the song ‘Sara’ in an attempt to persuade her to stay.
This paradox (of wanting to remain private, yet finding it necessary to vent through possibly more subtle means such as writing) is beautifully illustrated here and is still suggestive of the Causticum constitution: ‘Many causticum people combine their social concerns with a rich personal life, and the loss of a loved one can be devastating for them. Causticum is one of only five remedies listed in black type under ‘Grief’. We must not forget that causticum have a very warm and romantic heart and are usually passionate about their loved ones. Hence the depth of his grief when he loses them.’ (Bailey, P: 200: 80)
Causticum mind rubrics (Macrepertory)
- ANARCHIST; revolutionary
- DICTATORIAL, domineering, dogmatic, despotic
- FEAR; happen; something will
- INDUSTRIOUS, mania for work
- INJUSTICE, cannot support
- OBSTINATE, headstrong
- SELF-CONTROL; wants to control himself
- SELF-CONTROL; loss of
Many of the above rubrics are key to what has been described about Dylan, what he says about himself and through the lyrics in his music. He is passionate about his cause, a revolutionary, who prefers to follow his own path whilst trying to influence others. At the same time he shows obvious confusion, expressed through his writings, particularly with reference to love. Sankaran states: ‘The main feeling in Causticum is that the person is the one who has to take care of the group or the family. He is facing the threat from outside and in order to face this threat, he requires that the whole group should fight together. Being the strongest member of the group, one who is most capable of putting up the fight, he regards a threat to any one member of the group as a threat to himself. (Sankaran, R: 2005a:57) This overview of the Causticum picture is representative of the way that Dylan has the capability to educate through his music and influence those perhaps not as capable of initiating and acting on their own. He fights for injustice, as is seen in his lyrics and clearly had a huge influence on his generation and those which have followed.
It is hoped that a clear picture has been presented of each artist, with their possible, proposed ‘constitutional remedy.’ The perspectives shown are all my opinion, but are, I feel, adequately backed up with fact. In each case, what is ‘characteristic’ to the artist has been focussed upon; as we know, this is the mainstay of homeopathic prescribing, and is key to selection of the correct remedy. ‘This is so important that the psychic condition of the patient is often the decisive factor in choosing the homeopathic remedy, because it is a particularly characteristic symptom and one that can least of all remain hidden from the carefully observant physician.’ (Hahnemann, S, 2003:152) Aphorism 211. Also, Those traits in an individual which are ‘striking, strange, unusual, peculiar’ (Hahnemann, S: 2003:125) Aphorism 125, are forever on top of the hierarchy of symptoms. With Nietzsche, ‘carried by music’ is undeniable and has been carefully analysed. Similarly for Dylan. ‘Injustice, cannot support.’ This is incontrovertible and could not have been more adequately or precisely justified.
Bob Dylan, (2012) INFP, the Intuitive Musician [online] available at:(http://theintuitivemusician.com/mbti-profile-bob-dylan-infp/#sthash.ZmK8erV7.dpuf
Boericke, W (2004) Homeopathic Materia Medica and Repertory, New Delhi, India: B.Jain Publishers Ltd
Bailey, P (1995) Homeopathic Psychology, California, USA: North Atlantic Books
Chappell, P (1997) Healing with homeopathy, England: South Asia books,
Cybulaksa, E (2000) Nietzsche: A Philosophical illumination of delusion [online] available at: http://philosophynow.org/issues/29/A_Philosophical_Illumination_or_A_Delusion