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Creating Waves of Awareness

This question was posed to me by Dr Tiwary :
" i have just completed intership i need ur help n guidne sir .how to study materia media n remember it for long sir"
I thought it might be helpful if we opened a public discussion around this topic.

Before i can begin to give some advice I have some questions for you.

I am not so familiar with the various ways in which Homeopathy is taught in India so maybe you could give me some description.
How were you taught materia medica? Over how many years?
About how many remedies were you expected to know well?
What did " knowing well ' mean to your teachers?
Which books were you expected to study for this?
Which repertories do you use.

Not only will it be interesting for me to learn what you have to say about all this but it will give me some idea of how to advise you, or at least to find something  from my own experience which may be of assistance

I look forward to your answer

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Dear Dr Jonathan,

Your concern about the discipline of study of the foundational basics needed for a solid structure is the need of the day.

It is interesting observation that the need for smaller remedies is more felt in cultural settings where vitality is terribly disorganized. And, where folks are out of touch of their organic sensing.

Another example of food cravings losing their conformational value etc. is an eye opener. Can you say a little more about what could be the reasons involved? Is it that individual natural cravings are lost in the popular food fads?

Salt of essence makes a very insightful and interesting reading and gives the essence of salt very succinctly – the relationship and the grief from the loss of it.

Here, you build the case for the need for true homeopathic approach that doesn’t go via interfering of processes and senses. It is rather built upon the wisdom of restoring the organic order and harmony.

Sure, we can not rely on set formulas and predetermined approaches when we are dealing with the multifaceted dynamic of life. Formulas are dead.

We need to take in account not just superficial symptoms but the totality that covers from deepest to the most superficial.

It is common sense that the random symptoms are not independent happenings but are the processes and events in the context of the patient.

You seem to be saying that journey form mental symptoms to essence to central delusion is the natural evolution of an art that is all about drawing faithful image of the patient. I infer from what you say that there is no contradiction in these approaches and this is just natural way a living discipline evolves. I totally agree with you.

I understand you beautifully saying that central delusion is the center of the essence and essence is what makes a thing what it is. This thing is more than the numerical sum. It is the bigger picture – the plan, the idea that connects all other seemingly random symptoms.

I think that the love of ease and attraction of the known, stop from the real case taking. Besides, practitioner's knowledge and experience rather becomes a burden when it interferes in the case taking. Every great teacher has talked about it but no one actually teaches you to be unprejudiced observer!
interesting... ..
the idea is to find the imprint of the physical sensation or complaint in the mind...

the aphorisms listed speak about the STATE OF MIND AND DISPOSITION....
a very less known particular repertory "HERRINGS ANALYTICAL REPERTORY" speaks exactly this gives the mental concomitants in physical diseases.

the entire evolution of totality...from ..the mind to body the development of symptoms...
the concept of central delusion is just one part of the drug..and one way of understanding the remedy...but it seems people are looking it as the only way of understanding the remedy.... i have found in the west and europe that is how the drugs are understood

even remedies which are "new" and less proved
i was shocked to read how the remedies like lac caprinum etc were proved.... and these were published with central themes........
one prover got symptoms just by holding bottle...if she is really that sensitive to the drug why not put randomly numbered bottles in a controlled and unprejudice environment with only one bottle of the remedy and ask her to find it.........with just feeling the same.....these kind of provings MAKES OUR PIONEERS who conducted provings for months at a stretch and reprove them in different enviornment look like a bunch of novices....

i was reading an article in links where the central delusion was formed (in this case the remedy being mezerium where the the authour though this was the central delusion and found 2-3 rubrics covering the drug only in a single mark ...
(single mark in remedies in reertories indicate few provers and clinically unverified)
those provers might be supersenitive but it doesn't indicate it didn't have any action on other provers it had on most who got those symptoms....common to the drug..
most of the cases he had mentioned were of neuralgia and eczema where physical symptoms modalities of mezerium were present ..but they never were highlighted
modalities were never highlighted

so the reader , student just tries to find the core delusion which may or may not exsist overlooking the physical modality which may be characteristic and basic disposition to enable him make the first prescription....

well this is the statement give by Dr C.M Boger in his foward to the synoptic key...

" The strain which runs through every pathogenetic symptom complex has been called the "genius" of the drug. To give this its proper place in the prescription should be the ideal of every prescriber. To this end is this book written."

the words strain and pathogenetic symptom complex is very it includes altered state of mind and body...
he is exactly speaking what is being

his synoptic key and general analysis are excellent basic repertories....which are sadly forgotten in view of newer versions of synthesis and complete..........
@Dr Nikhil Kambli and Manoj SachDeva
I thank you both for your carefully thought out and erudite responses to my postings. They are very much appreciated.
I apologize for the delay in responding as I was preoccupied with other matters.

My primary teacher was George Vithoulkas who I believe it is fair to say was a Kentian - that is in the lineage of Hering and Kent. Thus I have had little exposure to the methods of Boger or Boenninghausen.

Dr. Nikhil has written
“the concept of central delusion is just one part of the drug..and one way of understanding the remedy...but it seems people are looking it as the only way of understanding the remedy.”
Of course this is the problem, not the idea of central delusion, rather the fact of considering that there is only one path to understanding.

The way I picture the situation is as if we have a bunch of keys, quite a few keys in fact, and each case is a lock to be opened. Now in the beginning the keyhole may be quite large and we have to go through all the keys, big and small, to see which one fits. After years of practice one begins to recognize the type of lock and finds the suitable key in a much more rapid fashion.

Now I am by nature quite a conservative person and have a particular interest in establishing general principles which can be applied to any situation, be it homeopathic or otherwise. ( I can make quite a nice lecture comparing the patterns and principles of stock market investing to those of homeopathy for example )
Reasoning from these principles the necessity of a solid foundation, a well built and coherent structure on top of that and an appreciation of the need for a long and careful study to master a discipline which has the possibility of producing such incredible transformations in people. To put it another way, the price of such possibilities is high and demands a corresponding suffering on the part of the practitioner.

Now having said all this there is another principle which I feel is really important - I can make these demands on myself, and on any who volunteer for the process but I have no right and cannot make this demand on anyone else. People are going to do what they do according to their level of understanding and ability.

In this time there is so much information, so much data, so much intellectual knowledge that it would appear that this has actually resulted in the problem of attention deficit disorder. All this flood of information is taken as having equal value, that is, there is no structure, no hierachy which can distinguish which information is more valuable, is closer to the center, or to the truth. Thus people cannot discriminate, either with their minds or their feelings which information has been arrived at through careful and conscientious study, and which has just appeared through happenstance and may or may not be connected to something solid.

Now there are many who disagree with my methods of prescribing, who feel they have better answers for the situation and so on. I have no interest in convincing anyone of the error of their ways, of setting them right, of proving that, in fact, my methods are the right ones and so on.

What I am interested in is, as I have been doing, in making my views public so that if there is someone else who resonates with this, who has a similar approach, then we can converse and share the facts of our experience.

One other point for Dr Nikhil who wrote

“ the idea is to find the imprint of the physical sensation or complaint in the mind...”

Actually as a vitalist, as one who takes the primacy of the vital force as a guiding principle, I would put it exactly opposite

The idea is to find the imprint of the mind in the physical sensation or complaint.

Thus the establishment of the underlying attitude which informs the decisions, hopes, fears and ultimately the simple, small everyday choices of the individual is to be searched for as the primary goal. The verification that this goal has been reached is to be found in the imprint of these energies on the physical body, that the physical symptoms correspond to this pattern, form one whole.

Of course this is the ideal and one needs to accept and take what one is given, but for me this is the measure, this is what I strive for.

I think it might be possible to have further dialogue on this, as long the discrimination between what is theory and what is the experience of our practice is kept clearly in mind.

Manoj has written

Another example of food cravings losing their conformational value etc. is an eye opener. Can you say a little more about what could be the reasons involved? Is it that individual natural cravings are lost in the popular food fads?

My thoughts on this go in this way:

Loss of craving for eggs in children — I don’ t think the eggs are really eggs. They have the shape of eggs but the way in which the chickens are raised and fed barely resembles a real chicken life and thus the eggs no longer contain the specific nutrients which the body craves

In adults it is a complete mental suppression based on a huge amount of conflicting and erroneous theories about what is or is not good for health. Seeing as a large percentage of the population live such abstract lives, lives with so little connection to the actual instinctive experience of their bodies, they don’t have a clue about what their organism actually needs. Not having a clue they are forced to turn to the opinions of the ‘ experts’ who of course are espousing ‘one size fits all ‘ theories.
Along with this there is a barely recognized inner sense that something is really not quite right inside. This recognition is expressed in the rubric ‘ anxiety about health ‘ along with a desire to look as young as possible. So of course nobody knows what they actually would eat if they just ate what they wanted without any thought overlay.

Every great teacher has talked about it but no one actually teaches you to be unprejudiced observer!

Of course there is so much that can be said about this. What I have to add here just barely scratches the surface, and at the same time goes to the heart of the matter in relation to the lack of unity inside modern man

I do not believe it is possible to be unprejudiced in just one area of one’s perceptions and hold all sorts of prejudices and judgements in other areas of ones life, both outer in relation to others, and inner in relation to oneself. Thus to be without prejudice, to exercise discrimination yet not judge implies a very high level of moral/spiritual development which we may strive for without having much expectation of ever achieving.

Another way of looking at the question is that true impartiality might be one indicator of true health. ( health is not to be defined as the absence of certain energies but rather as the presence of energies of a certain quality )

My thanks gentlemen for nudging me into disciplining my thoughts.

Please feel free to raise again any question which you feel I have missed or misunderstood
@Jonathan Shore MD

"“ the idea is to find the imprint of the physical sensation or complaint in the mind...”

by this i imply to find the pathology and the pathogenesis at the physical level and representation at mental

eg: broncho constriction in asthma at physical level to find the corresponding level of constriction with the onset of complaint either due to physical or mental stress at the level of mind
irritation at the level of skin find the corresponding irritation at the level of mind.and to study the pathogenesis through and through

1. most of the patients come to us with physical complaints and most of them are unaware of what homeopathy is...
so they are more definite in describing physical symptom
2.with the diagnosis in hand we can actually find.the pathogenesis of disease again objective and definite.

and hence the statement..
Thank you Dr Nikhil for your response.
Yes, I think it is not so helpful to insist on one direction or the other - whether we look for the mind in the body or the body in the mind.

We have to begin with what we are given.
In the end it is the pattern of symptoms, their very coexistence in a single place ( the patient) that is the main unarguable fact.

Even though it does seem obvious, could you please give me a concrete example or two, that is expand on what you have already indicated regarding "“ the idea is to find the imprint of the physical sensation or complaint in the mind...” just so I can be sure that I have understood your thought.
Thanks for you willingness to continue these conversations

eg 1: if the patient is having headaches and if he pulls hair, bangs the head ,rolls on the floor ..we see the violence in the character of the headaches but more importantly violence in the reaction..of that individual
so here i try to find the violence in the mental make up of the individual.
so here i would get the first important rubric. violence.

eg2. if the complaint is slow in nature , the pathology involved is slow i would also try to look into the slowness of the indvidual , his reactions and or probably "phlegmatic" temperament.
if there is a mismatch in the nature, speed ,complaint of the individual and what i am getting while exploring the mind then i am missing something

eg3. back pain of acute PID(prolapsed intervetebral disc, slipped disc) where there is severe spasm or when the muscles are "tense" or they are trying "pathophysiologically to protect a tender inflammed disc or where there is "back breaking" pain involved. you try to find similar episodes in the history of the individual.
disc pain is associated with stress...and a book by kirkaldy willis called managing lower back a cycle between stress muscle and spasm and back pain in one of the chapters..
but sadly enough i couldn't get any e-copy of that book

eg4 : materia medica.... china...simple modality
you find the reflection of the modality in kent repertory section mind.
Anger caressing, from : Chin.
( though i am against this kind of theorising) but yes the reflection is definately seen

eg5 : book : Boger synoptic full of this kind of application
the first words of the drug ignatia "ERRATIC, CONTRADICTORY OR SPASMODIC EFFECTS" you can apply to any sphere in the entire drug..
right from mind to the physical complaints..

This isn't the only doesn't matter how we approach what matters is that we get the correct understanding..of the patient..
though i would like to know further and understand further..about it..
and thanks again for your willingness to continue these conversations..because you are much experienced and done a lot many things...i am just a neonate :)

it is just the more i see of the "newer" methods it is further is also amazing the claims us homeopaths make...we need a solid foundation...otherwise it is like building a castle of salt on the beach on sand (no solid base and completely soluble)with ever increasing waterlevel ...(pressure from scientific community)

waiting for your response..

aude sapere..
Hi Nikhil,

I am shifting your mail to the new thread. Hope this is OK with you!
Hello Nikhil,
eg 1 is just great. Perfect.
eg 2 - this is an issue I come across quite often, the difficulty of resolving my actual experience of the patient and the remedy the symptoms appear to be indicating.

Maybe we use it in the same way or maybe a little differently. I tend to use the sensations in my own body as a measure. So for example if my feeling of the person is like a light, intense vibration and the symptoms point to Aurum or some other heavy metal then I have a huge problem which must in some way be resolved for the similimum to appear.

What is really interesting to me is not exactly how the principle is applied but rather the existence of a common principle. When we arrive at this then the details and circumstances of the application can be fruitfully discussed.

eg 3 I looked for the book for you. lists it for $115 US. 2nd hand $80 US and $13 shipping. No surprise it is not available as an e book

eg4 I don't understand

eg5 In this case the unifying factor is actually the active chemical principle Strychnine which leaves its imprint so strongly all through the pathogenesis of its remedies ( nux, ignatia, strychninum ) giving rise to these spasmodic and contradictory effects like the reverse peristalsis in Nux.

The pressure from the 'scientific' community is no greater now than 200 years ago and most likely it will be the same 200 years hence.

As for the claims - I have made them too in the days when I did not understand in myself the difference between theory (intellectual knowledge ) and the facts of experience. In other words i suffered from the delusion that because I understood some possibility in my mind I actually was in possession of that possibility and could manifest it.

The experience of my own ignorance and misguided perceptions have finally allowed me to be much more tolerant of these features in others.
Thanks, Jonathan,

I would like to engage further in the dialogue, in the spirit of mutual inquiry.

I personally resonate with what you say about information explosion and attention deficit disorder. 15 years ago, my inner discontentment brought me to taste and test homeopathy. It was an inner drive for a meaningful process that is more than just arbitrary intellectual interventions of western medicine. Homeopathy tasted just right for a thirsty soul and tested as a far superior approach of health care.

But there was so many contemporary teachers on the scene, and so much information and clamouring that I needed a break to maintain personal sanity. My felt sense was that all the information is not equal.

I was struck by the demand to be unprejudiced that Hahnemann puts before any worthy homeopath. I realized that unless one brings sanity and unity to one's own confused and fragmented life one can not be honest in his healing venture. I think, that since then, I have been an ardent student of this self dynamics.

I understand that if I am not free of judgment and prejudices in other more private areas of life, it is not possible to be unprejudiced while taking a case.

Hahnemann cautions the homeopathic practitioner to be unprejudiced and of sound senses to truthfully portray the deviation in vital force ie totality of disease. If I am not free of my opinions, theories and experiences, then, all i will do is to impose my systems, theories and designs on what is given to us.

I sense your humility in stating that you can make these demands on yourself and on someone who volunteers for the process but not on anyone else. I bow down before your wisdom to leave it to personal discrimination of everyone to choose what feels right. You experience freedom once you make your stance public.

But, I am really wondering why people do what they do, as you are saying that they will do what they do according to their understanding and ability.

Do they exhaust their ability by doing what they do? Or, their ability (potential) remains untapped when they don't question their own ways and beliefs?
I think we need to initiate a different thread as we have strayed quite beyond the bounds of materia medica.
Could you come up with a suitable title and paste the relevant material from this one into the new thread and then I can respond there ?
"But, I am really wondering why people do what they do, as you are saying that they will do what they do according to their understanding and ability.

Do they exhaust their ability by doing what they do? Or, their ability (potential) remains untapped when they don't question their own ways and beliefs?"

These are really difficult questions and I suspect whole volumes have been written around this.

The short answer ( from my point of view ) is that our behaviour is conditioned, that is not free at all. That our choices are not choices in the same way as a tree does not choose what kind of branches to grow.

The possibility of freedom begins to exist when one becomes aware of these facts, begins to experience them. Then some small area, some germ of freedom is born.

Now why some find themselves in this possibility and others never even dream of it, believing all the while in their dream of freedom, is for me one of the great mysteries of life.

Although a great mystery it can be summed up in a common saying which contains a deep truth " You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink "

Maybe not a too satisfactory answer but as close to my experience as I can come in a few sentences
Take care my friend
Thanks, Jonathan,

You are right that if such questioning is not your authentic concern.. it is meaningless, just a rhetoric... like written volumes.

Yet, when I share my authentic concern publicly, without reciprocal expectations - I think I am doing my bit. Might be whom I think to be a horse is not actually a horse and starts liking drinking water.


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