I have been using Vithoulkas Compass (VC) for the last six months or so. Although, within this time I had faced two major family disasters, the consistency of success in my homeopathic practice is better than any time of my whole career as a professional homeopathic physician. I can say definitely that it is due to VC. What is VC? To me VC is a revised Kent’s repertory, revised by the best man for the business with his personal verification and experiences. What more do you want? Yes, there is more; when you properly use the technology it always gives you something more than human capacity. The evidence based data is continuously verifying and adding new data. The differential analysis will help you when you are stuck in the consulting room – thinking what to ask next. Nevertheless, “Metadata” and Materia Medica of keynotes and confirmatory symptoms of George Vithoulkas himself will give you the most confidence in the practice of homeopathy.
Actually, I got the confidence from Alonissos, when I touched the feet of the best Homeopath of the world – and VC continues the touch. Let me explain. Now, when I use VC, I always think that George is supervising my case, therefore I do not prescrib until I convince myself that I have a thought process for this case which I can explain to George – and I try to write down my thoughts on the note area of VC. After that I prescribe and leave the rest for the Almighty! Hence, I always had to take the full case very carefully and to avoid short cut prescribing by all means.
This I have learnt from Alonissos – to give up! It is difficult to explain – very easy to be misunderstood. Let me try to say in this way – don’t think whether your patient is going to be cured or not – just think of whether you have left any stone untouched; whether a bit of your enthusiasm was short or your enthusiasm was diverted to anything other than the cure of your patient – your high and only mission as stated in aphorism one of Organon by the founder. I have no regret to admit that I did not understand aphorism one before I was in Alonissos.
I tried to understand very deeply aphorism one of “Organon of Medicine”in the very first year of my homeopathic studies, as I learned that the writing style of Organon is same as Aristotle’s “Organon” or “The Novum Organum” of Francis Bacon. The writing style of these books aims for one to understand one aphorism very clearly before you proceed to next one. That is to say, if you don’t understand the first one you will not understand the subsequent aphorisms. However, I think I understood aphorism one at that time – but I did not realise it. “The high” and“Only” is very important to comprehend – the context of discovery and development of homeopathy should be considered to realise the exact emotions of Hahnemann when he stated the aphorism. Hahnemann has set the highest standard of homeopathy by stating the mission as “only” and “highest”– in an absolute measure. As homeopaths our goal should be, how close we can be to that absolute standard. In the practical world that standard is only possible in a society that Vithoulkas described and dreamed of. Let me quote him:
“Yet, individualised treatment should in no sense be confused with a view of humans as egocentric: self-centered and isolated from the society around them. It is a key principle of this book that, once people stop seeking egocentric enjoyment and become more compassionate and caring towards their fellow human beings, they will have started contemplating life’s true essence, and will be in more intimate contact with their social world. “
It is to this type of social order, and to this degree of personal wellbeing, that homeopathy can contribute. And it is under such conditions that homeopathy will flourish once given the task, the privilege and the honour of becoming the leading health care system.” (from the Introduction in his book – The Basic Principles of Homeopathy)
When you are practicing as a professional homeopathic physician you are supposed to cure patients, if you can; no credits – because directly or indirectly you are inviting them to consult you, and if you are a fulltime homeopath you are living on it. Just think, what would you do if you did not get your expected service from different professionals like shopkeepers, mechanics , actors etc.! If you cannot establish a cure or fail to meet the expected quality of your service, apologies to yourself first! Because you know what homeopathy can do, it is your fault. If you could not cure the patient, it is not Homeopathy – this is your lack of enthusiasm – or diversion of enthusiasms to other than curing of the patient! Yes, you can do another thing – theorizing – without admitting that you have lacked in your studies and observations – if you could manage some followers you might be a master as well; who knows!
Many of our present masters say that they started to search new ideas when they failed in Hahnemannian Homeopathy. The “Levels of Health” of Professor George Vithoulkas will give them good lights to follow. It is a great regret that in the homeopathic community, Vithoulkas is mostly prized for his contributions to Materia Medica, but to me his most important contribution is his “Levels of Health.” I am not undermining any of his other works but this is the most original and important one which is not appreciated in the homeopathic community as it should be.
Another fantastic aspect of Vithoulkas’s teachings is complete case taking. In my practice for the last couple of years, I usually can think of a remedy within the first 15 to 20 minutes of the consultation. In 50% of the cases I stay on that remedy and in the other half I change the remedy at the end of the consultation. I think with his experience, Professor Vithoulkas can feel the remedy within the first 5 to 10 minutes of the consultations, and which rarely needs to change at the end of the consultation. Then why does he still he take the complete case each time?
The totality of symptom of Hahnemann is not a plain, black and white sum total of the symptoms. It also includes and/or assesses the mental, emotional and unbalanced physical state of the patient, his predisposition, weaknesses and strengths and course of development of the present diseased state so as to postulate the possible course of cure. Most importantly, he achieves an understanding of the state and language of an intellectual, autonomous energy complex – which is the most basic teaching of Hahnemann and Homeopathy. If “Similia Similibus Curentur” is so easy to understand and easy to do in practice Hahnemann would not have waited until the 6th edition to say homeopathy is “nearly complete”.
At the same time, without complete case taking it is difficult to evaluating the action of remedy. This is my feeling, experience and observation. I can say that now-a-day’s most failures in homeopathy are due to insufficient understanding of the action of the remedy – whether the remedy worked at all, how it is working, what is the progress of disease and what is the medicinal aggravation, when to repeat, how to repeat, what to repeat – higher potencies or another medicine etc. In a nutshell, what is the reaction of the organism – the energy complex, from the stimulation of the homeopathic remedy –the energy medicine; rather than selection of the remedy.
The importance of a complete case taking reminds me of another matter of misunderstanding. All over the world, hundreds of homeopaths every day are using and confirming clinical experience with Vithoulkas’M.M. Everybody praises the effectiveness of it but the misunderstanding of the development of it – leads to many fantasies of Materia Medica – imaginary Materia Medica.
The paradigm of homeopathic Materia Medica was founded by Hahnemann with his Materia Medica Pura. Hahnemann did not have enough time to tell us much of his clinical experience of finding the exact simillimum. It was James Tyler Kent, who shifted the paradigm to next the level – by mixing plain truth of clinical observations with pure proving data. Kent describes the behaviour of the patient, even the behaviour of the patient’s attendants in some cases. The next paradigm shift was Professor George Vithoulkas who added another dimension – why people engage in a particular behaviour. It is not imagination – it is pure experience of year after year complete case taking with exact empathy.
Nevertheless, the combination of keen observing power with total detachment and with excellent memory and above all, a very high level of mental health – are also the key to the development of the Materia Medica of George Vithoulkas. If any homeopath ever tries to confirm or add a single symptom to Materia Medica or repertory with pure homeopathy, he must understand what I am taking about and what are the contributions of Vithoulkas in homeopathic Materia Medica. As we don’t realise the hugeness of the mountain from afar – the greatness of a master can only be realised when you start understanding his teaching.
I have followed George Vithoulkas from the very beginning of my homeopathic study. Long before meeting him, I was proud to say that I am a student of him, and I am following his teaching. BUT, touching the feet and getting direct teaching from George Vithoulkas live at the Academy in Alonissos is a completely different experience. It will amaze you with the beauty of homeopathy! It is the experience of a lifetime for anyone experiencing the homeopathic amphitheatre! Moreover, when you are a student of the academy (The International Academy of Classical Homeopathy – IACH), you are a distinguished guest of Alonissos!
There are many wonderful aspects of Professor George Vithoulkas, including his Compass and the IACH, that I could not elaborate on here in this brief article. My whole life is exclusively in the homeopathic arena – it is the star around which my life is orbiting , and my experience with that star will continue till death. Therefore, I am hoping to share more in the future. In summary, I can say that Professor George Vithoulkas and his Compass gives me the confidence to say – I am a soldier of Hahnemann! Now “I know what I don’t know”!