There is a fundamental causative factor, discernible through the case history of the patient, which has created a certain mental attitude, and which will guide us to the choice of the most exact prescription, according to its mode of action.
- As we have seen, the relative value of a symptom is determined by its meaning, intention and result.
- A symptom is an expression of a vital phenomenon, as dynamic and three-dimensional as the world we live in.
If we assume that every patient is basically tri-miasmatic, the labels `psoric', `sycotic' or `syphilitic' will indicate nothing more than a certain tendency of the vital force.
- The patient's collection of symptoms will add a quality of dynamism and relativity to this tendency.
- This point is illustrated by the following example: Lycopodium's aversion to company could be considered to be psoric when it reflects his feelings of incompetence, sycotic when seen as a way of hiding his weakness in order to muster his forces and win some victory, and decidedly syphilitic when coupled with a feeling of complete failure, total indifference to everything, and weariness of life.
One can equally consider the symptom `Sympathetic', which denotes an exaggerated sense of compassion for other people's suffering.
- In Phosphorus, with his hypersensitivity to all external impressions and his feelings of universal love, this could be considered to be a psoric symptom.
- In Nitric Acid, whose hatred and resentment of those who have wronged him fuels a deep desire for revenge and destruction, which in turn is tempered by his guilty conscience, the symptom `Sympathetic' could be regarded as both sycotic and syphilitic.
- The phagadenic ulcers with jagged margins are visible illustrations of this merging of the two miasms.
- In Lycopodium, the symptom could be seen as a sycotic reflection of his apparently over-protective nature, while his secret sense of pride and self-satisfaction remain hidden from view.
The Patient's Story
Ultimately, the miasmatic significance of the symptoms in a case will become apparent in the thread which runs through the patient's story.
- This will reveal the meaning of his life, his work and his quest, and the symptoms will acquire greater or lesser value according to the contribution they make to the meaning, intention and result.
- The human soul and psyche are by their nature fluid and will not fit neatly into any rigid framework.
The Fundamental Cause
It follows that a group of apparently sycotic symptoms, such as meticulous attention to detail, amelioration by occupation and intolerance of contradiction, will not by itself convey the picture of a remedy, unless the symptoms are expressed in terms of the fundamental cause - the origins of the remedy which will be homoeopathic according to its mode of action.
- Hence, we find that the sycotic Sepia has a syphilitic indifference to everything; the sycotic Silicea shows his tubercular roots through his severe lack of self-confidence, his timidity and his fear of failure; and the sycosis of Thuja is typified by his egotism, irritability and anxiety of conscience.
- Clearly, a differential diagnosis must be based on the medical history of the patient, which will indicate the fundamental cause and mode of action of the syphilitic indifference of Sepia, the psoric timidity and fear of Silicea and the sycotic abnormalities of Thuja.
The Miasmatic Theme
In other words, whether we find that a certain case leans towards the psoric, sycotic or syphilitic will depend on the theme which runs through the meaning, the intention, and the quest.
- The medical history, with details of vaccinations, suppressive drug treatments, hereditary factors etc., will give an indication of the predominating miasms in the patient's past and present.
- But, more importantly, it is his mental attitude, his hopes, desires and ambitions, that will reveal the extent of the influence of a given miasm on his current state of health.
The Totality of Symptoms
If we were, however, to stick rigidly to the miasmatic framework where every symptom is categorized as psoric, sycotic or syphilitic, without reference to the totality of symptoms nor to the human being who experiences them, we would ultimately fail in our responsibility towards our patients.
- We must always bear in mind that, while theoretical dogma is by its nature rigid, its practical application should be responsive to the ever-changing dynamic of symptoms which are working at all times to achieve and maintain balance within the organism.
What Is The Active Miasm?
We should therefore always base our examination of the active miasm on the fundamental cause of the case history, in order to arrive at a correct diagnosis. - It is of course useful to study a remedy miasmatically or through the repertory, but even the best tools have their limitations, and the resulting information will be static unless it is brought to life by `the Art' which Kent speaks about, the vital essence at the heart of the remedy.
- The human being is the highest form of life, is both the observer and the observed, and his or her essence is as dynamic and mysterious as life itself.
Nowadays the practice of homoeopathy presents us with many more problems than in Kent's time.
- When Hahnemann was practicing, one-sided cases were very rarely seen, according to Paragraph 177; now we have to deal with cases where the use of allopathic drugs has deformed and silenced the natural language of the disease, where the systematic suppression of the symptoms of the defence mechanism and the increasing use of psychotropic drugs have reinforced the drug miasm to an unprecedented degree.
- In view of this, I would recommend the reader to study Paragraphs 171 to 185, where Hahnemann discusses the problem of one-sided cases and gives clear and concise guidelines for dealing with them.
- Nevertheless, the reader should bear in mind that the application of these guidelines would tax the skill of even the most experienced homoeopath, and he may well find that some of his questions remain unanswered.
Defining Disease and Health
We read in Paragraphs 9 and 11 that disease is not an accident, but rather the expression of a deranged vital force which inhibits our self-development.
- Cure, or the restoration of health, is not simply a matter of removing symptoms; it is the mobilizing of the law of cure, from the center to the periphery and from the mind to the organs.
- Cure involves the realisation of the duty which originated with the miracle of our birth, the duty we all share as unique human beings - the duty of self-fulfilment.
- Disease is disharmony, malfunction, fear, pride, aggression, overgrowth and decay.
- Health is harmony, inner freedom, joy in love, and the will to serve.
A state of absolute health is in fact unattainable, but as we strive we progress along the way, and the attainment becomes our lifelong objective.
If disease is the expression of a deranged vital force which inhibits the spirit from realizing the higher purposes of its existence, then the initiation of the process of cure will be heralded by an inner sense of peace, as the spirit and the conscience become at one with each other.
If the attainment of perfect health were humanly possible, we would never get ill.
- Our state of ill health, which has been so from birth, is due to the disturbance and disruption created by the miasms on our defense mechanisms.
- Disease is but a frustrated attempt at cure.
- Disease and cure are different aspects of the same vital process.
If the symptoms of disease are miasmatic, the symptoms of cure are amiasmatic: they are an expression of the search for those higher purposes of our existence.
- The symptom may be the same, but its quality or essence is different; as I have already remarked, the quality of the miasmatic symptom is dependence, the essence of the amiasmatic symptom is freedom.
Liberation From Disease
As Rilke said, disease is the organism's way of liberating itself from foreign matter.
- Our task is to help it to have its disease, fully and completely, until it comes to a head and erupts, and then moves on along the path of progress.
- I am talking here about progress in the universal sense of the origins and meaning of existence, which underlies all religious philosophy, Adler's concept of a common humanity, or Jung's concept of the collective unconscious.
The Organon Of Medicine
Let us return to Paragraph 9 of the Organon, which says of this apparent anomaly `...so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living healthy instrument for the higher purposes of our existence'. If we can accept that disease is the organism's attempt to liberate itself from a miasm, we will then appreciate the true value of disease and perceive more clearly our part in the solution of the problem. Thus, will spirit triumph over matter and humankind will progress towards self-realisation.