The practice of homoeopathy is not easy. Perhaps one factor that makes it difficult is that Homoeopathy is probably one of the very few scientific disciplines, which has a method of identification that begins with specifics, rather than going from the broad to the narrow. Each patient’s state is to be identified into a remedy state. And this is done through symptoms alone.
When trying to identify the remedy for a patient, very often homoeopaths will go by specifics only. We can see the humor in this if the same procedure were to be followed for others things. It would be something like this: We start with three features of a thing to be identified, say… black… big…. moving. One person says, “Oh, I know! It’s an elephant!” A second one identifies it as a black cloud, while a third is sure that we are talking of a steam engine. It is therefore no wonder that when it comes to prescribing the homoeopathic remedy for a patient there will be as many suggestions as there are homoeopaths.
Normally, a scientific discipline should ask – is it a living or a non-living thing? If living, is it a plant or an animal? If animal, is it a mammal or a snake? etc. And then if it is a mammal the black and big and moving narrows our choice down to two or three. Then we can go on to asking more specific questions to differentiate further. Similarly, our task would be made much easier if we were able to follow a system rather than a random search throughout the Materia Medica – a jungle in which we can easily get lost without maps and signposts.
In searching for such a map two directions call for our attention. Firstly the classification of states (patients’ states, as well as remedy states) into miasms, based on the pace, rapidity, and especially upon the level of desperation: the psoric miasm being the least and the syphilitic the most desperate. This kind of understanding of states is useful in differentiating between remedies that may seem similar to each other due to their symptoms.
This line of inquiry led to the second direction, that of the classification of states into kingdoms, particularly the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms. The original question was: “is it possible that a person who needs a plant remedy is somehow different from an animal or mineral remedy?”
This novel thought represents a very big step in homoeopathy. The significance is that for the first time we understand homoeopathy as system based instead of symptom based. Traditionally we only selected remedies according to symptoms but it could still be several different remedies and from any kingdom. For the first time we do not think only in terms of symptoms but how we can navigate and systematize those symptoms.
Is it a plant, animal or mineral kingdom? But more importantly this simple question connected homoeopathy with the world outside homoeopathy. Instead of remaining confined to materia medica, provings, repertories and symptomatology, it suddenly opens to nature. We say homoeopathy is representative of nature itself! There is something else that is beyond symptoms and that is the system. It is what the disease in us is. It is something in nature expressing itself inside of us; a plant, animal or mineral speaking through us. We could hear that directly without passing it through the filter of symptoms.
Our remedies are plants, animals and minerals and they represent the spirit of the source they come from and must have a character of the source. A simple thought conveys words of an animal, plant, insect or a snake expressed in a human being. Suddenly the walls of homoeopathy break and we are one with nature and free to give and take from nature itself and nature become our bigger materia medica.
Patients needing plant remedies have the fundamental issue of sensitivity; with remedies of the animal kingdom it is survival; and with remedies of the mineral kingdom the themes are of structure, relationships and performance.
The knowledge of classification of remedies according to their kingdom has expanded the use of many unused remedies with much more accuracy and simplicity. The approach in any given case now would be to come to the kingdom, then the subkingdom and then to the source to which the patient belongs. [Also what is the pace, depth and degree of desperation perceived? (the Miasm)] We take the case and come to its core, the essence and the most central point in the case and then we know automatically whether it is a problem with structure, survival or sensitivity.
The following information about Minerals serves as a useful tool to understand the energy pattern. User must observe caution and discretion while using it for prescription.
The elementary issue of the minerals is ‘Structure’. The issues of mineral remedies/personalities arise from lacking, formation, maintaining or losing/breaking of this structure or organization. Structure can be understood in the terms of:
The issue is about ‘completeness’ or ‘incompleteness’ (expressed as something is missing or lacking) in the self or structure, or a ‘fear of losing that completeness’. “Am I stable or unstable? Do I need to join with something else to become stable?”
This is conveyed in patients as:
– lack of identity
– lack of stamina
– lack of support
– lack of confidence
– lack of a relationship
– lack of security
– lack of position or power
In mineral remedies, the problem is not with the opposite person, but is always with oneself. For example, they would say, “I have to bear with whatever he is doing to me only because I not independent. If only I were complete, then there would be no problem. It is my insecurity that leads to problems.”
Mineral remedies are understood on the basis of periodic table. The periodic table is a representation of the various stages of human development, starting from Row 1 which mirrors the stage of conception to Row 7 which is about disintegration of structure. Each Column of the table (Column 1 to 18) seems to correspond to the individual phase of development of that Row. The important issues of rows are as follows –
|Row 1||Conception |
|Row 2||Fetal life |
(being part within and separating)
|Row 3||Identity |
|Row 4||Security |
|Row 5||Creativity |
The first three rows correspond to childhood stages, starting from conception, followed by birth and separation and subsequently development of a separate identity. From the fourth row onwards, issues are related to adulthood, namely security (protection, finding a job, money), performing, taking responsibility, etc. We can identify the row by knowing the stage of development in which an individual is stuck. Just like the rows, columns too represent different stages of development; they denote the phase of development of the structure germane to that particular row.
One can arrive at the column by understanding the following aspects:
1) How much has the structure developed? 2) How much is the structure capable of carrying out the function of that row? 3) Is the structure losing or has it already lost its capability? How much has been lost? The column is decided by judging how much relatively developed or undeveloped the patient is with regards the particular issue of that row. It has been observed that remedies on the left hand side of the periodic column experience a lack in their structure, in the middle, they are successful and on the right side, experience loss of their structure.
The correct column should not be evaluated by what is the actual situation, but by what it is perceived to be. For example: a person may be at the height of power and very successful in reality yet he constantly lives in a delusional situation where he has lost the power. All his actions, emotions, sensations and expressions are similar to the one who has lost his power. The column is decided on his perception and not on reality.
Remedies on the left side of the periodic table have a ‘feeling of lack’; hence they show dependence on others for support and for completing their structure. On the other hand, remedies on the right side of the periodic table have the feeling that they have to do it on their own, i.e. complete their structure themselves without help from anybody.
Mineral remedies can be further classified into various groups:
Among the mineral remedies, the metals have to do with performance and defense. The Row 4 metals in the Periodic Table are concerned with defense more than with performance. This line consists of Manganese, Iron, Cobalt, Nickel, Copper and Zinc. Metals of Row 5 have to do with performance rather than with defense; they include Rhodium, Palladium, Silver, Cadmium and Indium. The elements belonging to the 6th Row have the strongest defense/performance issues. This line consists of the heaviest metals namely Osmium, Iridium, Platinum, Gold, Mercury and Thallium. Thus it is seen that the degree of defense/performance increases as we go from Row 4 downwards.