…where the shock of AIDS in Africa has been that much more devastating than in the west. A continent that has remained basically tribal and feudal, deliberately kept so by colonial and transnational interests is going to be that much more susceptible to the influence of the Electronic Age. Fraser states that AIDS in Africa is killing the same proportion of the population that smallpox killed in the Americas. He feels similar risks affect other countries such as India and in South-east Asia and even Russia that have remained more feudal than industrial. (Actually this hasn’t transpired for a number of reasons, including the unique dynamics of African life, the prevalence of malaria and TB and other factors, including the greater resistance of Indians, Russians and Asians to Western influence – Ed).
Therefore, the unique susceptibility of Africa is due to the imposition of the dynamics of the electronic age onto a culture like Africa which is identified with tribal and feudal dynamics, leading to a more violent and acute expression of the disease. The acuteness of the way the disease has spread is similar to that of other acute epidemics of the past throughout the world, including smallpox, T.B. the plague etc. In this way it can be seen as an acute expression of the psoric miasm but now put into the context of the electronic age.
Fraser makes a case that Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and some forms of Alzheimer’s belong to the AIDS miasm. He states that the neurological pathologies of AIDS, CJD and other opportunistic infections associated with AIDS, such as toxoplasmosis, cytomegaly virus and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy lead to damage to the central nervous system or peripheral nerves. There is also a type of AIDS dementia, which the author states could be a direct result of the retro rvirus.
In discussing the AIDS nosode as a remedy, Fraser mentions the overriding pattern in the nosode and in the AIDS miasm is the dissolution of boundaries and the stresses that are caused by that dissolution. This analysis fits the previous discussion of the possible cause and spread of AIDS through vaccine production and other medical and military research. The age of communication has reached its ultimate stage when the whole world can be connected with contaminated blood used in vaccines that originate from a different species. In this scenario there is a complete breakdown of the natural human and species barriers that have protected us for millions of years. It is an unknown phenomenon, one that has yet to play its way out in the human story. It doesn’t promise to get any better soon, with the relentless pursuit of yet more vaccines for every conceivable condition, including that of AIDS.
He summarizes the main themes of the AIDS miasm as follows:
“The primary effect of the dissolution of boundaries is that CONNECTION can be made without obstruction or interference. However, connection becomes DISCONNECTION and isolation. This leads to INDIFFERENCE, which then leads to DISPERSION, INSTABILITY, a tendency to EXTREMES and CONFUSION. There is a tendency towards passivity and FEMININIZATION, which is seen in society and in symptoms. There is increasing VULNERABILITY, a sensitivity to INFECTION and a LACK OF CONFIDENCE, and issues around BOUNDARIES and the PORTALS that penetrate them”.
The author then lists a series of words that fit each of these themes. For example in CONFUSION, he lists confusion of the senses, of identity, a vanishing of thoughts, forgetfulness, transgenic confusion, confusion about time, position and words.
The term passivity is interesting, especially as it pertains to Africa. It has often been seen that when Africans are sick, they become very passive and accepting, simply lying down and not resisting their illness. They don’t fight back. David Livingstone and other colonial and religious missionaries in Africa often noticed this, but paradoxically along with a great resistance and perseverance. They can endure many things that others can’t, which is why Africans were used as slaves for so long. But once they become ill, they can give up. They feel they have no power to control events. This obviously ties into a fatalistic philosophy dominant still on the continent. Most people don’t know what their relatives die from. Death is often just around the corner, and simply can’t be avoided or controlled. One simply waits ones turn, without being able to do anything. There are forces outside of human control and far more powerful than any human ability to control, that one simply has to accept. There are dark forces that can be manipulated to cause harm to others and it is hard to resist. In other words, we are not in control, there is nothing to be done. This belief system creates a cultural susceptibility and perhaps which influences the way AIDS has manifested in Africa. The condition of SLIM is perhaps the most graphic example of this, where people simply give up eating. They lose all hope and desire to live. It is the ultimate in fatalism but also, practically speaking, when many people’s diet is dependent on cassava, it becomes unpalatable when other digestive problems occur due to AIDS and there is simply nothing else to eat. People slowly starve to death. It seems the effect of remedies in these cases is to restore hope and the will to live.
The theory of a Radiation Miasm
Jeremy and Camilla Sherr have been focusing on treating AIDS in Tanzania and they have approached the condition from a genus epidemicus approach using classical homeopathic methodology. They have explored AIDS as well from a miasmatic perspective, seeking to understand the key remedies that are working clinically and putting this into a miasmatic perspective. They feel that AIDS in Africa is a combination of the psoric and radiation miasm. This does not fit into conventional miasmatic theory but is partly based on the fact that they have used the remedy California muriaticum and nitricum in some AIDS cases, both belonging to the Lanthanides series of remedies.
The psoric aspect is fairly easy to see, as the basic issues facing many people here are very basic – getting enough food to eat and simply surviving. When the disease is seen, often people simply give up and don’t fight, a passive reaction to the disease. The radiation aspect is harder to see but Sherr has given the remedy Californian muriaticum in a number of AIDS cases now. He has seen it work well particularly when ARV’s are no longer working. He associated a similar destructive pattern with AIDS to the effects of radiation and identified issues similar to characteristics theorized to be of the radiation miasm and lanthanides remedies. AIDS is the disease of modern age, and since 1945 and the first atomic bombs the whole world has moved into the influence of radioactive forces and the plutonic elements of the underworld (unconscious forces, unraveling the past, all the suppressed elements being revealed, like an X ray). Sherr states:
I have often related the radioactive remedies to cases of serious pathology, diseases of the late 20th and 21st century. Radiology has been used by conventional medicine for the treatment of cancer. Since the discoveries of Uranium in 1898 and the use of atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, humanity has moved from the 6th syphilitic period into the 7th radioactive period, reflected in warfare, science, culture, media, the internet and disease. I discussed this subject in my article “50 years to Hiroshima” (Links, Autumn 1995, J. Sherr) The loss of identity results in the loss of immunity, who am I and who is the other. The radioactive period relates to the scattering and mixing of world populations and the breakdown of the individual and global immune system. In particular African history has many analogies with the radioactive remedies through its association with roots, genetics, ancestry and the uprooting of lives by slavery, colonization and plundering of natural resources. In recent times
Africa has been used as a dumping ground for Western radioactive waste (Beheton,2000)
(Quoted from article in Homeopathic LINKS, Winter 2012)
The cases showed some very good effect in classic cases of AIDS where the ARV’s were not working, the CD4 levels were declining and where in fact it seems some of the major symptoms were due to the side effects of ARV’s. It may therefore be seen that the radioactive remedies like California muriaticum and nitricum as well as other Lanthanides are mainly suitable for the side-effects of the ARV’s, as opposed to the primary effect of viral compromise. That would also fit into the radioactive identity as the ARV’s are a product of the era in which we live. It has also been seen that, especially in the early years of the disease, when toxic doses of ARV’s were given, especially AZT, it actually gave people AIDS. The drug simply further suppressed the immune system, often killing people before the disease did. The drugs are a product of the West and reflect the ideas and impulses of that culture – including building atom bombs and using radiation in medicine. AZT was initially a drug produced to treat cancer, but was shelved due to its toxicity. Even clinical trials had to be stopped due to liver toxicity, so its widespread and continued use – albeit in more moderate doses, further fits the destructive qualities seen in the radioactive miasm.
It is interesting to look at some of the ideas postulated to be of the radioactive miasm – destructiveness beyond syphilis, a profound loss of identity, issues of genetics, ancestry and the deep past, including the power of magic. All these are characteristics of African culture, according to Sherr, especially around AIDS at this time. Perhaps it fits into a cultural susceptibility of Africa combined with the theory that AIDS originated from the contamination of humans with a simian virus (SV40), possibly through polio and/or smallpox vaccines, as opposed to the conventional theory of Africans eating contaminated bush meat. The possible man-made nature of such a disease adds a possible tragic factor to the already existing trauma of the disease throughout the world, not totally different to the trauma of man releasing the power of nuclear forces and plutonic influences onto the world. Some people have even theorized that HIV came out of the biological warfare labs in the United States!
Other remedies that Sherr has used to treat AIDS are Causticum, Zincum, China, Germanium, Magnesium salts, Olive, Natrum muriaticum, Sulphur, Psorinum, which he sees as mainly psoric influence; Ozone and Kali carbonicum in psora/tubercular; Adamas, Baccilinum, Tuberculinum and Salmon in more Tubercular cases; AIDS nosode, Cryptococcus and California muriaticum and nitricum in the Radioactive miasm and Mercury, Flouric acid, Plumbum and Arsenicum album in the syphilitic miasm.
However, it has to be said that identifying the “radiation miasm” as a key aspect of AIDS in Africa is still somewhat speculative. As mentioned, if significant it is likely to be due to the effect of ARV therapy and how so many AIDS cases seen today are a mixture of symptoms of AIDS and the ARV’s being taken. Also, five of the remedies mentioned by Sherr – Olive, Adamas, Germanium, Salmon and Californicum muriaticum were proven by him and his wife, making one question whether other homeopaths would recognize their significance as a genus epidemicus remedy for AIDS and given the broad syndrome nature of AIDS diagnoses, it is likely other homeopaths would come up with other remedies.
Jan Scholten has also done some research into the homeopathic treatment of HIV/AIDS by doing clinical research into a remedy called Iquilae, which is a combination remedy of various lanthanides remedies – Thulium is likely one of them but his website doesn’t specify the exact ingredients, making it harder to validate. (www.aidsremedyfund.org). In the research, statistically verified improvement was found on all levels, including CD4 levels, mental and physical well being, including evaluation using the Karnofsky’s score. So far, the results have looked promising. Some of the subjects were on ARV’s, some not and most had quite low CD4 levels. The remedy was given once a day for 5 days only. Subjects were followed up at 1, 4 and some at 7 months. Around 250 people were given the drug. Results are summarized as follows:
- More than 95% of the patients had a positive response to the remedy.
- There was a strong improvement in their health status.
Opportunistic infections healed without further intervention.
- 65% of the patients were requiring assistance (Karnofsky score < = 60) and changed their status to being able to perform their normal duties again.(Karnofsky >=80)
- The CD4 cell values of the tested group showed significant increases.
- Those patients who did not get ART and had CD4 cell counts below 200 could postpone ART due to significantly increased cell values.
- Side effects from regular ART were reduced.
Although these preliminary results seem positive, they again have to be seen in the context of all the variable factors mentioned above, including false-positive diagnoses, the syndrome nature of AIDS diagnosis, the theory of HIV as a co-factor and also the unreliability of CD4 measurements as a distinct indication of HIV infection. It has been noted by researchers that CD4 counts, like the HIV test itself is not specific to HIV. One research in Malawi showed that many Malawians who were HIV negative also showed low CD4 counts, to the level at which if positive and asymptomatic, they would still be put on ARV’s. (8)
All these factors make the challenges of doing scientifically verifiable research more challenging. If we can’t be sure that many who say they are positive are actually that, and if the complex of symptoms can be attributed to other conditions, then what are we exactly researching? Also, given the intense political influences around the whole AIDS industry, what can homeopaths hope to achieve in doing research? Time will tell, but as seen with the AIDS miasm, confusion and dissolution seem to be common patterns.
Peter Chappell and Harry van der Zee, using PC resonances for AIDS and other diseases, have speculated that the lesson of AIDS is to see that sex without love has consequences, and that particularly in Africa, the crisis of AIDS is forcing a re-evaluation of the traditional relationship between a man and woman, where the woman (wife) has no choice in matters of when to have sex and in general holds little power in the relationship. Now the woman needs to take more power and have a voice in these matters. (In spite of the fact that many women do have some financial autonomy and are more independent than in other cultures, they none the less still lack many freedoms, even though they often take the most responsibility in a family situation to feed children, work the land and keep everything together). In the West, particularly in the gay community, where sexual expression was taken to extreme lengths, maybe the lesson of AIDS is to force a change in such behavior. If one seeks to understand the deeper meaning of any disease, or to put another way, the purpose of a disease, then making such conclusions can make a lot of sense. For other people, it may seem too abstract and interpretative, even too ‘spiritual’.
When Peter Chappell first explored the use of homeopathy for AIDS in Africa, he realized that the differences in many cases were slight and that individualizing remedies for each person was too laborious and perhaps not the most productive method. He speculated that if one could find a genus epidemicus remedy for most cases, this would be more practical and reflective of the collective susceptibility within Africa. But he said he couldn’t see one or even a few remedies, which led him to experiment by “asking” a “divine/non-human” intelligence to make a “resonance” similar to that of the collective state of AIDS in Africa. This became the basis of the PC resonances, and since then, many others have been created to address conditions such as malaria, T.B., diabetes, hypertension and more. The idea is that they are working on a homeopathic basis on a genus epidemicus model and yet are not actual homeopathic remedies, at least from a traditional perspective.
The idea of collective susceptibility is discussed by Harry van der Zee and Peter Chappell in their book Homeopathy for Diseases and also in Peter Fraser’s book. In African culture, the idea of individual ego identity and separation have not taken hold in the same way as in the West. Not being under the cultural influence of Western thought, the Enlightenment and individualism in all its forms, their spiritual identity is woven into the fabric of family, tribe and village. Therefore their susceptibility to AIDS is also different. This could be one reason we see very different images of AIDS in Africa than we see in the West. The cultural susceptibility is different. This led Peter and Harry van de Zee to use PC1 (Africa) for all cases of AIDS, there being one for males and another for females. In the last 10 years, they have been using PC1 for AIDS and a variety of other PC’s for other conditions. A different PC1 for AIDS is used in the West to reflect the different nature of the disease there.
Many homeopaths may be uncomfortable with the “nature” of PC remedies, finding them too esoteric and not homeopathy at all, in spite of Peter and Harry’s experience as homeopaths and the described method of resonance being based on a homeopathic affinity. However, ten years of committed work seems to show that they can work well, for a variety of conditions. Like anything, they don’t work all the time but the evidence is positive. However, it is understandable if some homeopaths don’t want to go there, and like other homeopathic methods to treat AIDS it may be hard to validate the method beyond anecdotal evidence and certainly would stretch the credulity of conventional science on hearing the esoteric method of “manufacture” of the PC resonances.
However, both Jeremy and Camilla Sherr and Jan Scholten have adopted a more genus epidemicus style of addressing AIDS, the former from a classical methodology of finding a number of single remedies and with the latter, the use of a combination lanthanide remedy, as described above. The use of lanthanides, as mentioned may be indicated more the side effects of ARV’s than on primary AIDS and similar to the PC remedies, establishing categorical proof of action may be very hard, especially as it is not clear how many people they are treating really have AIDS and how many are suffering a variety of different conditions, including TB and side effects of TB and AIDS medications.
The Rising of the Psoric miasm and its malarial brother
It is commonly described in homeopathic literature that the main themes of psora are a perennial struggle; a struggle to be and to do; a struggle to survive, to have enough, to keep warm; a struggle to know who one is and where one is going in life. The remedy psorinum – the nosode representing the miasm, similar to other nosodes – shows some of the clearest symptoms of the miasm with the fear of poverty and of isolation, the feeling of being neglected, of being cold and all alone, with not enough to eat, of always being hungry and struggling with the existential anxiety of being. There is never enough and an itch that can’t be satiated.
In studying the ongoing experience of many millions of Africans, daily subsistence life is a struggle. Food is not plentiful, life is very insecure and there is ongoing anxiety of having enough to eat and being able to survive. Life is a struggle, a classic psoric experience. This expresses itself as a constant fear of not having enough, even if there is enough, and even wealthy people can feel the need to hold on to everything they have and to acquire as much as they can as you never know what can happen. Today you eat, tomorrow you don’t. Even most forms of corruption are described in terms of eating. “It is their turn to eat” being a common turn throughout Africa for corrupt practices. This historical and daily experience is the reality for millions of Africans, with between 25% not getting enough to eat on a regular basis and maybe another 25% suffering some forms of nutritional deficiency. Therefore the concept of LACK is central here. Out of this terrain, many diseases arise, including malaria, T.B. and AIDS. Most Africans though are remarkably resolute and optimistic in their response to the travails and struggles of life. They may be fatalistic and passive once they really get sick but before that they remain cheerful and show a lot of heart in dealing with situations that most Westerners would find hard to bear. This therefore shows the tubercular influence, the ability to remain positive in spite of circumstances. However, woven around this is the sense that nothing is easy. There are always obstacles, things will fall part, as the title of Chinua Achebe’s famous book states. For anyone who has worked or spent time in Africa, things do fall apart. Getting stuff done is not easy. The lack of social cohesion and basic chaotic nature of how things function lead to the malarial miasm, a sense of struggle against adversity, an initial effort and inspiration becoming thwarted, leading to exhaustion and hopelessness. This characterizes the remedy China and also the profound impact that malaria has had on the collective consciousness on much of Sub Saharan Africa. Homeopathically, this all make sense; the impact of malaria affects on all levels; physical, mental and spiritual. The African continent is continually struggling to free itself of ongoing economic and political chaos and until now being left behind in economic development by most other countries. Most Sub Saharan African countries come near the bottom of most indicators of economic and social development. Psora and malaria are the miasmatic reflections of this experience.
The focus on food and the desire to have a full belly is strong in Africa. Many people eat only twice a day and often it is the same food. The main staples in Africa today are maize and cassava. Millet is eaten in some countries and rice also is commonly found. One of the indigenous crops is sorghum but that is not eaten much now, cassava having taken over as a major staple.
Cassava is an interesting food. It is well suited to subsistence life. It grows easily, even in drought and in bad soil. It requires no fertilizer and can be replanted year after year. It gives excellent carbohydrate energy and is very efficient crop to grow, given limited resources and land. However, it offers virtually no protein at all. What it does offer is balanced in amino acids but you can barely survive on it. To be healthy, alternative forms of protein have to be found. But it fills you up like nothing else. It satiates hunger, even the idea of hunger. It seems to tap into the miasmatic memory of hunger. Many Africans love it and eating large amounts is central to their lives. Without it, they don’t feel full. I have seen people eat volumes of rice but still say they don’t feel satisfied until they have had their cassava; but it is hard to digest and is an acquired taste. In fact, it tastes of nothing in particular, its effect more in the solid, satisfying full feeling one has on eating it. The proportion of cassava (carbohydrate) to protein (fish, meat, beans) is much greater than the portions we eat in the West. This suits a subsistence lifestyle where digging daily for survival is the main occupation and physical labor a daily chore. Millions of subsistence farmer in Africa simply live off what they grow and supplement this with small amounts of animal product and vegetables, if they can afford it. But for many people, life is lived on the margins of hunger. There is never enough it seems (although in reality, even in famine times, food is often around. It just doesn’t get to those who need it. There is nearly always food). There is often tension around food and where it will come from. If you organize an event, or meeting, the first question often is, what are we eating?
I arranged a proving of cassava in Malawi in April 2012 with students and others working in the homeopathy clinic we were helping in. I entitled the proving “Enough to Survive, not to thrive.” The following symptoms were seen:
Great hunger, with weakness. Increased salivation, with sour, bitter taste. Much spitting. Sores inside and outside the mouth. Nausea and vomiting, churning in stomach, thirst, hunger, feeling about to vomit with increased saliva. Diarrhea.
Pain in the feet, extending up and down, burning in the feet, staggering, not being in control, heavy of legs, sensation of paralysis. Weakness felt in feet extending up the leg.
Dreams of danger, knives, threats, death, killing, fighting, fear, worry.
Weakness, aching of body.
The symptoms of the proving seems to fit the psoric miasm – the feeling of lack, of hunger, of constant effort merely to survive. The great hunger felt may also reveal its need in the opposite, of no hunger at all and especially the inability to eat cassava.
Its affinity for the whole gastro intestinal tract and also the nervous system may make it applicable in cases of AIDS, especially when cassava can no longer be eaten and/or when sores are found in the mouth, along with weakness of the whole system. (It is often seen in cases of SLIM that people can no longer eat their staple food, which is often cassava. It is no longer digestible but there is no other option for most people).
It is interesting to note the relationship between one of the main crops used in Africa (originally imported from South America, along with maize and sweet potatoes) and the predominant miasm and experience of many millions of people.
AIDS in Africa is often connected to the experience of hunger. Although AIDS has affected wealthier, middle class Africans, for the most part, those more affected will be suffering from a lack of nutritional balance and a dependence on a few staple foods and as mentioned, most people living in Africa will be in the same ‘morphogenetic’ field.
The psoric miasm is therefore the most dominant miasm in many AIDS cases. However, as described above, tuberculosis is one of the most common conditions now attributed to HIV/AIDS, and the tubercular miasm is seen as a common influence in much of Africa. The consequence of colonialism and the breaking down of tribal, village life, with the rapid explosion of urban centers has profoundly changed African society. Rapid urbanization has occurred more quickly in many African countries than anywhere else on the planet. More recently, the availability of cell phones and consequent ability to communicate all over the country, if not the world has also thrust a traditional cultures into the 21st century. This shift fits into the tubercular miasm as people now see the chance to escape, to find a new life, and yet still often remain stuck in their situation, due to financial and practical challenges. In the West, we often simply saw another aspect of the tubercular miasm express itself, especially in the gay community, but also mixed with the result of suppressed sycotic and syphilitic influences.