Sensation refined

Language
English
Type
Hardback
Publisher
Homoeopathic Medical Publishers
Author(s) Rajan Sankaran
4 Items In stock
$69.00
The method is now clearer, easier and more refined than ever before.

This book consolidates a system, the process of which began in the The Spirit of Homeopathy and carried on to The Sensation in Homoeopathy. Since the latter was written, there has been much progress in the Sensation idea.

The Sensation in Homoeopathy gave us the philosophy and guidelines to practice.

This book addresses the problems and pitfalls that seekers in this method face. It answers many queries about the sensation and its expression, and how to understand it better, in a clearer and simpler way.

One of the significant things is the deeper understanding of the experience; living it and seeing almost nothing else. Secondly, refining the technique of how to get there. Understanding in cases, what exactly leads us from one level to another, and how to follow that. A deeper understanding of minerals and some in the animal and plant kingdoms.

The three sublevels of Sensation (Level 5), the features of the various levels (and potencies), the rows of the Mineral Kingdom, and the classes in Animals have got much clearer. Also, case taking has become more flexible and easier. It seems to be now much less of struggle for the homoeopath (and patient) than before.

To follow the patient into his nonsense is one of the most challenging and rewarding of experiences, both for the homoeopath and the patient. As Roger Morrison puts it, In case after case, you followed the thread of the patients expression to this non-human level. In each case I began by feeling, what nonsense is this? and ended by feeling, What sublime nonsense that was! I had already accepted the concept of non-human and made efforts to pursue it in practice, but finally I came to understand that no other information was so specific.

Explained in detail, with several illustrative cases, this book documents Rajan Sankarans most recent advances in the method.

The Sensation idea has come of age.
More Information
ISBN9788190337878
AuthorRajan Sankaran
TypeHardback
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2007-01-01
Pages429
PublisherHomoeopathic Medical Publishers
Review

This book review is reprinted from Volume XXI Winter/Spring 2008 edition, with permission from Simillimum.

REVIEWED BY MISHA NORLAND, CHRISTMAS 2007

I have read this book with an eager desire for further nourishment and I have not been disappointed. This is because I have been learning more about homeopathic practice from this author than from anyone else for more than two decades. What he has to offer is multi-dimensional. For starters, he is able to express the insights brought to us by the genius of Hahnemann and others in a fresh manner. He speaks of these truths with the ease of a natural teacher. And that is exactly what he is and how it works: various others have transcribed his lecture notes over the past two years, while Antonia deSouza has done a fine job editing this into a coherent whole that reads well. This helps us to recognize the value of the case taking innovations and to understand how the system works.

On the main menu is a continuation of the thesis proposed in Sensation in Homeopathy and earlier books. Those who are new to the last ten years of Sankaran's development as a homeopathic "original" should be encouraged to begin with earlier books in order to become familiar with the concepts and methods herein refined. Here we are invited to share in a deepening understanding through the means of new and beautifully explored cases. It is a delight to follow the logic and the imaginative leaps! I feel that I must expand on this last comment, for it informs my personal and deep appreciation of Sankaran 's work and vision. Simply stated, it is that the marriage of art and science is made visible and expressed.

Now, for the dessert! In my opinion, the greatest offerings on the feast table are the chapters on philosophy, clarifying and expanding the system, showing how to remain flexible within it. As always, each case is different, requiring different entry points, and taking the practitioner on different journeys. It is the vital energy which is leading us, both practitioner and patient, to the source. This occurs when the patient's reasoning mind and being has detached itself from its limitations of familiar thinking and defending (compensating), and is expressing the source of the disturbance. This may be communicated by unlikely gestures, doodles, dreams, hobbies, reoccurring images - it really could be anything, but it should be expressed directly at the dynamic level by the vital force when it will be a hot-line to the source of the disease, which by homeopathic analogy, is also the source substance. The patient communicates the energy of the source because the practitioner is wishing and willing to receive this communication. Now we can experience it for what it is: which kingdom, miasm, vital sensation and so forth - and from these categorizations we can begin to build a picture of what or who is sitting in the driving seat and "using" the vital force for its own purpose.

Port and cheese to finish. Many of us have beautiful cases and inspired analyses, however only few individuals have the pertinacity and the will to stay on the case and root out the essential last drop, let alone go on to develop a system which is new and elegant, which can be taught and practiced, and which gets folks better on a consistent basis. This represents the rewards of life-long dedication and deepest pondering as well as more than a modicum of genius.

In summary, 'Sensation Refined' demonstrates a coming of age. It shows science practiced as art. Furthermore, since many cured cases are from practitioners using the system other than the author, the book shines a light on the fact that this homeopathy rests upon easily comprehensible principles. Therefore, a huge thank you, Rajan, for your refined insights.

 

This book review is reprinted fromVolume 21, Summer 2008 edition, with permisstion from Homeopathic Links.

Reviewed by Kaare Troelsen, Denmark

After the three large volumes of "An Insight into Plants" and the equally hefty "The Sensation in Homeopathy", it is a delight to again hold a slimmer and condensed volume by Rajan Sankaran in your hand.

With this "Sensation Refined" it seems that somehow the development has come full circle, the many ideas have been tried, adjusted, pared down and refined. This is, for now, the clearest representation of the idea of sensations, but knowing Sankaran there will always be further development. His latest work, the two-volume "Structure", has already been published by the time you read this review.

In the foreword we are told that you need to read the previous books to get the full benefit of this one. I can only agree but I sincerely wish there would come a book on Plant Sensations Refined. Sankaran is the first to admit that his books represent ideas that are being worked out as the book is being written; that is why "Sensation Refined" is much needed at this point in time.

The five parts: Philosophy, Exercises in Finding the Story behind the Story, Techniques of the Art, Cases and the Appendix are all very concise and to-the-point and at the same time brimming with wonderful insights and valuable thoughts about many aspects of homeopathy. It is a book you can read again and again.

Sankaran says about finding the remedy in case-taking: "We are just going to reveal it; we are not creating it".

The particular technique required for this kind of case-taking is well defined here and the parts on common mistakes, important words, significant hand gestures, how to enter "the secret door", the non-human specific, timing etc. are all of great use. It is refreshing to read a book that is not remedy-obsessed, which is precisely the point Sankaran makes: "every time you see an expression, go deeper... to see and feel how everything about them is connected, is a part of a discernible pattern".

How to guide the patient to his connectedness to the source of the remedy by using the concepts of levels and observing gestures and energy is also very well described here. By focusing on the Experience and not the Situation we can guide the patient to the Non-Human-Specific world of sensation and thereby Global Sensation that permeates all areas of the patient's life. I cannot help but wonder to what degree Sankaran has been inspired by the philosopher Ken Wilber's ideas of the levels of awareness and self-transcendence; the similarities are striking and very enlightening both ways.

The chapter on "The Doorway through Doodles" touches briefly on an area that is extremely interesting and deserves more research.

Reading the "Potency and the Levels" chapter, I can't help but wish that some in-depth research had been done or represented here, to really determine if this connection, between level of awareness and potency required, is more than an elegant philosophy that ties everything up beautifully (again in accordance with Ken Wilber).

"Keep the Patient in the Present" and "What, not Why" are a few of the many great snippets that make the "Sensation Refined" worthy of the title.

What really shows the maturity of the ideas contained in this book are the chapters "Flexibility in the Method" and "Use Your Maps Lightly" where Sankaran warns, "Do not be rigid... the object should be fixed, not the way... one needs to be flexible, according to the situation."

The cases in the last third of the book are great illustrations of the points made in the preceding chapters and are interspersed with Sankaran's "voice-over" explaining to the reader what is happening and what he is doing.

I have not enjoyed any Sankaran's book this much since the first volumes of "An Insight Into Plants" and I am looking forward to what the future brings from Sankaran.

 

This book review is reprinted from Volume 101, Number 4 Winter 2008, Edition, with permission from American Journal of Homeopathic Medicine.

Reviewed by George Guess, MD

It's a rather daunting task to review a book by this profound, inventive, prolific author. Lacking but a modicum of experience in the Sensation technique, I feel barely able to critique these potentially visionary insights. Nonetheless that is the task before me and perhaps as one uninitiated in all the complexity and subtleties of the Sensation Method, I can render a more objective view than others might. Hopefully, that will be the result.

This book, a pared down, streamlined, and improved version of its forerunner Sensations, offers much more accessible information about the Sensation technique than its predecessor; in fact, I would say it's his best book yet at describing the nuts and bolts of the Sensation Method. Where before I would find myself bogged down in the sheer volume, and at times incompleteness, of his previous works, this work is considerably more accessible, thorough, and enjoyable. It provides a detailed yet concise introduction to the method, defining what is meant by sensation and its significance in case analysis. Very practical advice is offered to facilitate case taking and to avoid some of the many potential pitfalls of this method. Alternative methods (bypasses, doodles, and most especially hand gestures, etc.) are suggested for finding relevant sensation descriptors. Here Sankaran also re-introduces the reader to the idea of Levels of patient experience and symptom description, suggesting specific potencies of remedies for the seven different levels of experience. (For example, a patient who can provide only a disease name, barely any symptoms or modifiers, essentially no generalities, and nothing but common, unspecific emotional characteristics would be considered to exist on Level One, that of Name - his recommended remedy potency would be 6C.) Flexibility in case taking is emphasized here more than in previous works, according to my understanding. Where some practitioners would heretofore effectively hammer patients into submission with the same question over and over, with but little variation, until they uncovered a useful source word, Sankaran advises gentleness and flexibility. The management of acute cases is also presented.

It might have been Seghal in his "Rediscovery of Homeopathy" series who, other that Boeninghausen's complete symptom approach, first espoused a thorough examination of the presenting complaint, asserting that by focusing on that, the essence of the entire case was revealed. Sankaran takes this, what I view, quite limited approach, much, much further. . . quantum levels further. . . into what would appear the innermost depths of the energetic engine driving pathology.

Sankaran's is a holographic paradigm of disease - each and every significant symptom given with emphasis carries within it a full revelation of the underlying disturbance of the whole person, the disharmony calling for its curative remedy.

In rather poetic language Sankaran describes his view of disease: "I began to see that what we consider disease, the totality of symptoms - mental and physical, general and particular - all come from one basic disturbance, which is not in the mind, not in the body, but somewhere deeper than both." The disturbance, according to Sankaran, is expressed in language, "not the language of a human being. .. It is a language coming from a source that is different from the human being. . . a non-human language. .. It is a song of something else that plays within us." It thus becomes the examiner's task to identify and focus on the nonhuman descriptors that are revealed in the language ("source words") and gestures of the patient.

It's as if inside of each of us dwells an energetic alter ego of a sort (represented by an animal, plant, mineral, nosode or imponderable), an energy at once alien and yet deeply intertwined within the fabric of our being. The simillimum then, it seems, is capable of dislodging this 'entity' from our midst, radically affecting not just our manifest pathology and dysfunctional traits, but our self perspective, world view, our creative and productive potentials, as well as our capacity for intimacy, etc. It's an inspiring blueprint for cure, and one that appears to be amply illustrated in the cases from his practice that Sankaran presents.

One such interesting case was that of a woman originally complaining of tightening of the pylorus of the stomach, hip pain, premenstrual tension and a fierce independence coupled with great disappointment and a frustrated sense of longing for a deep connection with someone. At first glance Natrum muriaticum seemed the remedy, but results from it were disappointing. Pursuing the Sensation Method, Sankaran discovered the following descriptive language portraying her state: "shock/confrontation, attack, stabbing, die/vulnerable, exposed, raw/defend, hide, retreat, disappear/ fire, freakout, run out, get out quick/tighten, pressure, expanded, contract/coat slipped off, outside fell off/fragile, delicate, weak/fell apart, collapse/shatter, hard shell/disconnected/crush." An analysis of these characteristics, as well as additional information taken from the case, from Kingdom on down to subspecies proceeded as follows: "attack, terrifying, weak, vulnerable, exposed, blood, assault, pounce, stabbing, sexual, seductive, attractive, vivacious" reflected the Animal kingdom; "small, busy, running, panic, hide, stabbing, sudden unprovoked irrational attack, get out quick, multiple sex partners, vivacious, busy, sudden, restless, sting" reflected the Insect subkingdom (general features of the Insect remedies being "allergic, histaminic, sudden attacks, busy, frank, hardhearted, loquacious, hasty, wild; further, they experience a type of attack that is "sudden and violent, with a desire to escape; violent rage with the impulse to kill"); "contracting, pull back, disappear, retreat, hide, hibernate, fragile, shattered, hard shell, collapsing, crunch, crack, isolate, periodic" reflect an insect with somewhat turtle-like qualities - the beetle. But which beetle? There are four known in homeopathy. Here Sankaran takes a very interesting tack. He reflected on a common dream of the patient concerning fire; might the theme of fire and beetles converge in one subspecies? His research of beetles uncovered that one type of beetle has a habit of infesting hop vines, and after the hops have been harvested, the vines are customarily burned to destroy the pests. This patient's dreams specifically involved many wires that were on fire, coupled with a sense of panic that she couldn't save the children. The similarity in the two images, to this reviewer's mind, was simply amazing. Sankaran thus prescribed ladybug, Coccinella septempunctata 1M, which had an impressive effect.

Many case histories similar to the above were presented in this text, all, for the most part, demonstrating the profound correspondences between patient and remedy source and profound cures. One exception was the case of a man with toenail fungus; additionally, further inquiry into his case revealed a pattern of distress wrought of his discontent, restlessness, and perfectionistic over-thinking of problems. The prescription of DNA greatly helped his mental state; however the fungus remained, though his concern about it subsided. While Sankaran's process of selecting DNA as the remedy was fascinating, the persistence of the fungus was disappointing. Though no doubt not entirely comparable, many practitioners have seen patients' mental attitudes improve substantially while their chief complaint failed to budge; few would cite such a case as a cure.

Despite all the extremely useful advice that Sankaran here provides to ease the practitioner's task in uncovering relevant source language, I was struck in my reading of the many cases presented in this volume with the difficulty of this task. In Sankaran's hands, case taking is persistent, penetrating, gentle, sensitive, and exhaustive. Even following the thread of the case when reading it can be straining. I had trouble maintaining my focus on some of the cases, so lengthy were the presentations; the idea of devoting the kind of extended face-to-face time with a patient this method seems to require in many cases could well be daunting to many practitioners. The potential rewards, however, seem great.

Missing from this work and others by Sankaran I have read is a mention of changing remedies. Each case history seems to suggest that each patient demands but one precise simillimum that matches the source language provided. In Sankaran's schema remedies are assigned to particular miasms. Are we to conclude from this that every patient suffers from but one prevailing miasm and requires but one remedy, when chosen accurately? If he were to acknowledge that multiple miasms do coexist in individuals, are those miasms all uprooted by but one remedy or is a changing sequence of remedies indicated? And if remedies change, does one see the source language change as well- does the song dwelling in patients change its tune and lyrics? And if that's the case, has a pattern of remedy relationship been established; ie, does a patient always fall within the curative province of one kingdom or might his or her remedy change from animal to mineral, etc.? These are questions I hope Sankaran will discuss in future works.

The Sensation Method is no strategy to pursue if one is looking for an easy way out, a shortcut. It requires sensitivity, persistence and sharp awareness to successfully conduct this manner of case taking. Admittedly, most of the cases presented in this book would be deemed insufficient from a strictly classicist's perspective; specific modalities of symptoms, many generalities, peculiarities of sleep and sexuality, etc. were often omitted. The pursuit's focus in this method is elsewhere, on an unearthing of the 'source language' of the simillimum, and while by no means exclusionary of all the 'data' that a traditionally classical prescriber would collect, it would seem that often that data is either overlooked or simply given less relevance.

A successful conclusion - finding the correct remedy - requires an intimate knowledge of the Vital Sensations associated with each remedy that has to date been catalogued. Granted, there are road maps - the schematics Sankaran offers in his other works help one place a patient on a grid of sorts, but there's plenty of room to go astray when trying to sort the subtleties of a case and in comparing a case's characteristics with those of a remedy.

And, for some of the newer, yet to be proved remedies, there's little to no confirmatory symptomatic evidence that can be brought to bear. One is literally flying by the seat of his pants in these cases, basing all on one's perception of a case and interpretation of remedy source qualities and sketchy materia medica. To my mind, this territory is a minefield, fraught with potential hazards. Not all of us are blessed with the obvious keenness of mind Sankaran possesses, nor the patience or endurance to take a sometimes exhaustive three and four hour case. Thus, there might be a great temptation to leap at one's first appreciation of a case, neglecting to perform the rigorous confirmation and second-guessing that clearly, from the examples provided in this book, characterize Sankaran's methods. Of course, many cases will flow easily; information will come readily and will clearly define the remedy; however, many others will demand stamina to pursue from beginning to end.

Yet, having so warned the interested student of this method, it is apparent from the profound results revealed in this book (and in some of my colleagues' reported results, not to mention a very few of my own) that the rewards of this method can be great. Many of the patients discussed in this book were literally transformed - pathology, symptomatology disappeared, and along with these changes their entire mindset of themselves and their relation to the world and events shifted for the better.

The Sensation Method graphically reveals the deep and pervasive correspondences human pathology and psychology share with the multitude of 'energetic' patterns permeating our natural world (and some of the by products of the natural world produced by man). A reading of this process and the potential results can fill the reader with a sense of wonder at the mysterious workings of the natural world. Clearly, given this evidence, homeopaths can feel blessed to have been granted this remarkable insight into Nature, and many will no doubt believe it required of them to become intimately familiar with this Method that they might have at their disposal for any given case the most appropriate and effective healing tools available for curing their patients.

Review

This book review is reprinted from Volume XXI Winter/Spring 2008 edition, with permission from Simillimum.

REVIEWED BY MISHA NORLAND, CHRISTMAS 2007

I have read this book with an eager desire for further nourishment and I have not been disappointed. This is because I have been learning more about homeopathic practice from this author than from anyone else for more than two decades. What he has to offer is multi-dimensional. For starters, he is able to express the insights brought to us by the genius of Hahnemann and others in a fresh manner. He speaks of these truths with the ease of a natural teacher. And that is exactly what he is and how it works: various others have transcribed his lecture notes over the past two years, while Antonia deSouza has done a fine job editing this into a coherent whole that reads well. This helps us to recognize the value of the case taking innovations and to understand how the system works.

On the main menu is a continuation of the thesis proposed in Sensation in Homeopathy and earlier books. Those who are new to the last ten years of Sankaran's development as a homeopathic "original" should be encouraged to begin with earlier books in order to become familiar with the concepts and methods herein refined. Here we are invited to share in a deepening understanding through the means of new and beautifully explored cases. It is a delight to follow the logic and the imaginative leaps! I feel that I must expand on this last comment, for it informs my personal and deep appreciation of Sankaran 's work and vision. Simply stated, it is that the marriage of art and science is made visible and expressed.

Now, for the dessert! In my opinion, the greatest offerings on the feast table are the chapters on philosophy, clarifying and expanding the system, showing how to remain flexible within it. As always, each case is different, requiring different entry points, and taking the practitioner on different journeys. It is the vital energy which is leading us, both practitioner and patient, to the source. This occurs when the patient's reasoning mind and being has detached itself from its limitations of familiar thinking and defending (compensating), and is expressing the source of the disturbance. This may be communicated by unlikely gestures, doodles, dreams, hobbies, reoccurring images - it really could be anything, but it should be expressed directly at the dynamic level by the vital force when it will be a hot-line to the source of the disease, which by homeopathic analogy, is also the source substance. The patient communicates the energy of the source because the practitioner is wishing and willing to receive this communication. Now we can experience it for what it is: which kingdom, miasm, vital sensation and so forth - and from these categorizations we can begin to build a picture of what or who is sitting in the driving seat and "using" the vital force for its own purpose.

Port and cheese to finish. Many of us have beautiful cases and inspired analyses, however only few individuals have the pertinacity and the will to stay on the case and root out the essential last drop, let alone go on to develop a system which is new and elegant, which can be taught and practiced, and which gets folks better on a consistent basis. This represents the rewards of life-long dedication and deepest pondering as well as more than a modicum of genius.

In summary, 'Sensation Refined' demonstrates a coming of age. It shows science practiced as art. Furthermore, since many cured cases are from practitioners using the system other than the author, the book shines a light on the fact that this homeopathy rests upon easily comprehensible principles. Therefore, a huge thank you, Rajan, for your refined insights.

 

This book review is reprinted fromVolume 21, Summer 2008 edition, with permisstion from Homeopathic Links.

Reviewed by Kaare Troelsen, Denmark

After the three large volumes of "An Insight into Plants" and the equally hefty "The Sensation in Homeopathy", it is a delight to again hold a slimmer and condensed volume by Rajan Sankaran in your hand.

With this "Sensation Refined" it seems that somehow the development has come full circle, the many ideas have been tried, adjusted, pared down and refined. This is, for now, the clearest representation of the idea of sensations, but knowing Sankaran there will always be further development. His latest work, the two-volume "Structure", has already been published by the time you read this review.

In the foreword we are told that you need to read the previous books to get the full benefit of this one. I can only agree but I sincerely wish there would come a book on Plant Sensations Refined. Sankaran is the first to admit that his books represent ideas that are being worked out as the book is being written; that is why "Sensation Refined" is much needed at this point in time.

The five parts: Philosophy, Exercises in Finding the Story behind the Story, Techniques of the Art, Cases and the Appendix are all very concise and to-the-point and at the same time brimming with wonderful insights and valuable thoughts about many aspects of homeopathy. It is a book you can read again and again.

Sankaran says about finding the remedy in case-taking: "We are just going to reveal it; we are not creating it".

The particular technique required for this kind of case-taking is well defined here and the parts on common mistakes, important words, significant hand gestures, how to enter "the secret door", the non-human specific, timing etc. are all of great use. It is refreshing to read a book that is not remedy-obsessed, which is precisely the point Sankaran makes: "every time you see an expression, go deeper... to see and feel how everything about them is connected, is a part of a discernible pattern".

How to guide the patient to his connectedness to the source of the remedy by using the concepts of levels and observing gestures and energy is also very well described here. By focusing on the Experience and not the Situation we can guide the patient to the Non-Human-Specific world of sensation and thereby Global Sensation that permeates all areas of the patient's life. I cannot help but wonder to what degree Sankaran has been inspired by the philosopher Ken Wilber's ideas of the levels of awareness and self-transcendence; the similarities are striking and very enlightening both ways.

The chapter on "The Doorway through Doodles" touches briefly on an area that is extremely interesting and deserves more research.

Reading the "Potency and the Levels" chapter, I can't help but wish that some in-depth research had been done or represented here, to really determine if this connection, between level of awareness and potency required, is more than an elegant philosophy that ties everything up beautifully (again in accordance with Ken Wilber).

"Keep the Patient in the Present" and "What, not Why" are a few of the many great snippets that make the "Sensation Refined" worthy of the title.

What really shows the maturity of the ideas contained in this book are the chapters "Flexibility in the Method" and "Use Your Maps Lightly" where Sankaran warns, "Do not be rigid... the object should be fixed, not the way... one needs to be flexible, according to the situation."

The cases in the last third of the book are great illustrations of the points made in the preceding chapters and are interspersed with Sankaran's "voice-over" explaining to the reader what is happening and what he is doing.

I have not enjoyed any Sankaran's book this much since the first volumes of "An Insight Into Plants" and I am looking forward to what the future brings from Sankaran.

 

This book review is reprinted from Volume 101, Number 4 Winter 2008, Edition, with permission from American Journal of Homeopathic Medicine.

Reviewed by George Guess, MD

It's a rather daunting task to review a book by this profound, inventive, prolific author. Lacking but a modicum of experience in the Sensation technique, I feel barely able to critique these potentially visionary insights. Nonetheless that is the task before me and perhaps as one uninitiated in all the complexity and subtleties of the Sensation Method, I can render a more objective view than others might. Hopefully, that will be the result.

This book, a pared down, streamlined, and improved version of its forerunner Sensations, offers much more accessible information about the Sensation technique than its predecessor; in fact, I would say it's his best book yet at describing the nuts and bolts of the Sensation Method. Where before I would find myself bogged down in the sheer volume, and at times incompleteness, of his previous works, this work is considerably more accessible, thorough, and enjoyable. It provides a detailed yet concise introduction to the method, defining what is meant by sensation and its significance in case analysis. Very practical advice is offered to facilitate case taking and to avoid some of the many potential pitfalls of this method. Alternative methods (bypasses, doodles, and most especially hand gestures, etc.) are suggested for finding relevant sensation descriptors. Here Sankaran also re-introduces the reader to the idea of Levels of patient experience and symptom description, suggesting specific potencies of remedies for the seven different levels of experience. (For example, a patient who can provide only a disease name, barely any symptoms or modifiers, essentially no generalities, and nothing but common, unspecific emotional characteristics would be considered to exist on Level One, that of Name - his recommended remedy potency would be 6C.) Flexibility in case taking is emphasized here more than in previous works, according to my understanding. Where some practitioners would heretofore effectively hammer patients into submission with the same question over and over, with but little variation, until they uncovered a useful source word, Sankaran advises gentleness and flexibility. The management of acute cases is also presented.

It might have been Seghal in his "Rediscovery of Homeopathy" series who, other that Boeninghausen's complete symptom approach, first espoused a thorough examination of the presenting complaint, asserting that by focusing on that, the essence of the entire case was revealed. Sankaran takes this, what I view, quite limited approach, much, much further. . . quantum levels further. . . into what would appear the innermost depths of the energetic engine driving pathology.

Sankaran's is a holographic paradigm of disease - each and every significant symptom given with emphasis carries within it a full revelation of the underlying disturbance of the whole person, the disharmony calling for its curative remedy.

In rather poetic language Sankaran describes his view of disease: "I began to see that what we consider disease, the totality of symptoms - mental and physical, general and particular - all come from one basic disturbance, which is not in the mind, not in the body, but somewhere deeper than both." The disturbance, according to Sankaran, is expressed in language, "not the language of a human being. .. It is a language coming from a source that is different from the human being. . . a non-human language. .. It is a song of something else that plays within us." It thus becomes the examiner's task to identify and focus on the nonhuman descriptors that are revealed in the language ("source words") and gestures of the patient.

It's as if inside of each of us dwells an energetic alter ego of a sort (represented by an animal, plant, mineral, nosode or imponderable), an energy at once alien and yet deeply intertwined within the fabric of our being. The simillimum then, it seems, is capable of dislodging this 'entity' from our midst, radically affecting not just our manifest pathology and dysfunctional traits, but our self perspective, world view, our creative and productive potentials, as well as our capacity for intimacy, etc. It's an inspiring blueprint for cure, and one that appears to be amply illustrated in the cases from his practice that Sankaran presents.

One such interesting case was that of a woman originally complaining of tightening of the pylorus of the stomach, hip pain, premenstrual tension and a fierce independence coupled with great disappointment and a frustrated sense of longing for a deep connection with someone. At first glance Natrum muriaticum seemed the remedy, but results from it were disappointing. Pursuing the Sensation Method, Sankaran discovered the following descriptive language portraying her state: "shock/confrontation, attack, stabbing, die/vulnerable, exposed, raw/defend, hide, retreat, disappear/ fire, freakout, run out, get out quick/tighten, pressure, expanded, contract/coat slipped off, outside fell off/fragile, delicate, weak/fell apart, collapse/shatter, hard shell/disconnected/crush." An analysis of these characteristics, as well as additional information taken from the case, from Kingdom on down to subspecies proceeded as follows: "attack, terrifying, weak, vulnerable, exposed, blood, assault, pounce, stabbing, sexual, seductive, attractive, vivacious" reflected the Animal kingdom; "small, busy, running, panic, hide, stabbing, sudden unprovoked irrational attack, get out quick, multiple sex partners, vivacious, busy, sudden, restless, sting" reflected the Insect subkingdom (general features of the Insect remedies being "allergic, histaminic, sudden attacks, busy, frank, hardhearted, loquacious, hasty, wild; further, they experience a type of attack that is "sudden and violent, with a desire to escape; violent rage with the impulse to kill"); "contracting, pull back, disappear, retreat, hide, hibernate, fragile, shattered, hard shell, collapsing, crunch, crack, isolate, periodic" reflect an insect with somewhat turtle-like qualities - the beetle. But which beetle? There are four known in homeopathy. Here Sankaran takes a very interesting tack. He reflected on a common dream of the patient concerning fire; might the theme of fire and beetles converge in one subspecies? His research of beetles uncovered that one type of beetle has a habit of infesting hop vines, and after the hops have been harvested, the vines are customarily burned to destroy the pests. This patient's dreams specifically involved many wires that were on fire, coupled with a sense of panic that she couldn't save the children. The similarity in the two images, to this reviewer's mind, was simply amazing. Sankaran thus prescribed ladybug, Coccinella septempunctata 1M, which had an impressive effect.

Many case histories similar to the above were presented in this text, all, for the most part, demonstrating the profound correspondences between patient and remedy source and profound cures. One exception was the case of a man with toenail fungus; additionally, further inquiry into his case revealed a pattern of distress wrought of his discontent, restlessness, and perfectionistic over-thinking of problems. The prescription of DNA greatly helped his mental state; however the fungus remained, though his concern about it subsided. While Sankaran's process of selecting DNA as the remedy was fascinating, the persistence of the fungus was disappointing. Though no doubt not entirely comparable, many practitioners have seen patients' mental attitudes improve substantially while their chief complaint failed to budge; few would cite such a case as a cure.

Despite all the extremely useful advice that Sankaran here provides to ease the practitioner's task in uncovering relevant source language, I was struck in my reading of the many cases presented in this volume with the difficulty of this task. In Sankaran's hands, case taking is persistent, penetrating, gentle, sensitive, and exhaustive. Even following the thread of the case when reading it can be straining. I had trouble maintaining my focus on some of the cases, so lengthy were the presentations; the idea of devoting the kind of extended face-to-face time with a patient this method seems to require in many cases could well be daunting to many practitioners. The potential rewards, however, seem great.

Missing from this work and others by Sankaran I have read is a mention of changing remedies. Each case history seems to suggest that each patient demands but one precise simillimum that matches the source language provided. In Sankaran's schema remedies are assigned to particular miasms. Are we to conclude from this that every patient suffers from but one prevailing miasm and requires but one remedy, when chosen accurately? If he were to acknowledge that multiple miasms do coexist in individuals, are those miasms all uprooted by but one remedy or is a changing sequence of remedies indicated? And if remedies change, does one see the source language change as well- does the song dwelling in patients change its tune and lyrics? And if that's the case, has a pattern of remedy relationship been established; ie, does a patient always fall within the curative province of one kingdom or might his or her remedy change from animal to mineral, etc.? These are questions I hope Sankaran will discuss in future works.

The Sensation Method is no strategy to pursue if one is looking for an easy way out, a shortcut. It requires sensitivity, persistence and sharp awareness to successfully conduct this manner of case taking. Admittedly, most of the cases presented in this book would be deemed insufficient from a strictly classicist's perspective; specific modalities of symptoms, many generalities, peculiarities of sleep and sexuality, etc. were often omitted. The pursuit's focus in this method is elsewhere, on an unearthing of the 'source language' of the simillimum, and while by no means exclusionary of all the 'data' that a traditionally classical prescriber would collect, it would seem that often that data is either overlooked or simply given less relevance.

A successful conclusion - finding the correct remedy - requires an intimate knowledge of the Vital Sensations associated with each remedy that has to date been catalogued. Granted, there are road maps - the schematics Sankaran offers in his other works help one place a patient on a grid of sorts, but there's plenty of room to go astray when trying to sort the subtleties of a case and in comparing a case's characteristics with those of a remedy.

And, for some of the newer, yet to be proved remedies, there's little to no confirmatory symptomatic evidence that can be brought to bear. One is literally flying by the seat of his pants in these cases, basing all on one's perception of a case and interpretation of remedy source qualities and sketchy materia medica. To my mind, this territory is a minefield, fraught with potential hazards. Not all of us are blessed with the obvious keenness of mind Sankaran possesses, nor the patience or endurance to take a sometimes exhaustive three and four hour case. Thus, there might be a great temptation to leap at one's first appreciation of a case, neglecting to perform the rigorous confirmation and second-guessing that clearly, from the examples provided in this book, characterize Sankaran's methods. Of course, many cases will flow easily; information will come readily and will clearly define the remedy; however, many others will demand stamina to pursue from beginning to end.

Yet, having so warned the interested student of this method, it is apparent from the profound results revealed in this book (and in some of my colleagues' reported results, not to mention a very few of my own) that the rewards of this method can be great. Many of the patients discussed in this book were literally transformed - pathology, symptomatology disappeared, and along with these changes their entire mindset of themselves and their relation to the world and events shifted for the better.

The Sensation Method graphically reveals the deep and pervasive correspondences human pathology and psychology share with the multitude of 'energetic' patterns permeating our natural world (and some of the by products of the natural world produced by man). A reading of this process and the potential results can fill the reader with a sense of wonder at the mysterious workings of the natural world. Clearly, given this evidence, homeopaths can feel blessed to have been granted this remarkable insight into Nature, and many will no doubt believe it required of them to become intimately familiar with this Method that they might have at their disposal for any given case the most appropriate and effective healing tools available for curing their patients.