The Spirit of Homeopathy

Language
English
Type
Hardback
Publisher
Homoeopathic Medical Publishers
Author(s) Rajan Sankaran
5+ Items In stock
$63.25
This book is meant for the serious student of Homoeopathy and for those who sincerely want to find answers to questions about health, disease and cure. It does not promise solutions, but it does present an honest search over the past several years and contains some observations and ideas from my practice.

The book is divided into four sections.

The first section looks at what disease is. It examines the origins and the dynamics of disease. We shall look at Natures law of cure and, from this, the evolution of homoeopathic thought and its application in practice.

In the second section I shall focus upon a much talked about, yet still nebulous area in Homoeopathy, namely the understanding of the mental state of the patient. We shall trace my journey to the understanding of delusions and ultimately to the understanding of the mental state as a whole. In this section we shall also examine the body-mind connection.

The third section covers the artistic aspect of Homoeopathy, namely, case taking or the process of understanding the patient. In this section I shall once again emphasize the philosophical aspect before proceeding to give very specific and detailed hints and techniques.

In the final section I shall be laying the foundation for a new way of understanding remedies, and shall present some remedies as examples.

Interwoven into these sections are thoughts on various practical questions such as the importance of pathology, remedy relationship, homoeopathic prognosis and a homoeopathic method of psychotherapy.

Each chapter is illustrated with several clinical cases and also some models for better understanding. I have included as the first chapter the fundamental principles of Homoeopathy and also kept the language simple so that even the beginner may follow.

The second chapter, namely The story of this book, is a birds eye-view of the whole book.

I believe that the aim of the teacher is only to stimulate the teacher within each of us. If this book stimulates you to observe and think, it would have more than fulfilled its purpose.
More Information
ISBN9788190081009
AuthorRajan Sankaran
TypeHardback
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2004-01-01
Pages367
PublisherHomoeopathic Medical Publishers
Review

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the American Institute of Homeopathy

Reviewed by Karl Robinson, MD

The level at which author Rajan Sankaran practices homeopathy is a very high, subtle level, one that places ultimate value on mental and emotional symptoms. He details his methodology in his new book, The Spirit of Homoeopathy. It is exciting reading and will make any good homeopath a better one. One of Sankaran's main points is that in every sick person there is a "Central Disturbance" which must first be perceived by the doctor and then treated by the most similar homeopathic medicine. "This is the law of disease," writes Sankaran, "there can be no affection of the parts without the affection of the whole. There can be no disease in the organs without central disturbance." Getting at this central disturbance is not so simple and Sankaran devotes chapter after chapter to giving us hints about how to elicit it. Often this central disturbance will reveal itself in dreams, yet he suggests not using the Dream section per se but interpreting the dream in terms of the Mentals, especially the Delusions.

One of the hardest things any homeopath faces is knowing what a patient means when he or she says something. Sankaran suggests not taking what the patient says at face value but continually probing deeper and deeper until the underlying feeling or mental state is brought to the surface. I was able at once to employ this methodology with a 50 year old patient whom I have treated for over 12 years. On this particular visit I asked her a question I had never asked before, "What is the worst scenario you can envisage for your life?" With only a few seconds hesitation she replied, "Being abandoned." I was about to write down "Forsaken," which is a clear symptom found in the Repertory, when I decided not to accept her answer at face value. "What does that mean to you?" I asked. "What's underneath your fear of being abandoned?" She replied, "I feel unprotected." Puzzled, I asked what she meant. "If I were alone there would be no one to fight off monsters," she said much to my amazement. Considering her age and how long I had known her, I had never heard her say anything like this before. I pushed her for details. Monsters, it turned out, meant something evil. "I'm afraid of some slimy, yucky, powerful, cruel thing," she said. As she was in my office that day complaining of the skin on her right foot peeling off, I turned to the Extremities section of the Repertory where I found Mancinella in italics under "Eruptions, sole of food, desquamating." Mancinella also has "Fear of being taken by the devil" and "Fear of ghosts." I gave her Mancinella , and six weeks later she returned to say her fear of monsters had disappeared, a tendency to scary dreams had ceased, and her foot was improving. Had it not been for Dr. Sankaran, I would most certainly have missed Mancinella.

Since then I have been having more and more interesting interviews with my patients as I probe deeper and deeper, looking for hidden fears and delusions. Sankaran suggests that we can use the Delusions section much as we use any mental symptom. In other words the patient does not have to be actively hallucinating in order to use a rubric from the Delusions section.

Also thanks to Sankaran, I have a new understanding of remedies such as Stramonium, Lyssin, and Lac caninum and have now used these and other so-called "small" remedies to great advantage.

I heartily recommend Sankaran's book and believe that, if we master his methodology, we can prescribe more remedies with greater certainty and obtain better results.

About the Reviewer: Karl Robinson practices classical homeopathy in Albuquerque, NM and Dallas, TX. He is the managing editor of the JAIH.

JAIH December 1992, Vol. 85, No. 4

 

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians

A REVIEW by Kees Dam, M.D.

For those who already attended a seminar of Rajan Sankaran his new book The Spirit of Homoeopathy needs no introduction or recommendation. This book is as inspiring and innovating as are his seminars. The book contains most of his seminar material of the last five years, along with some new ideas. It is clearly written, in short and concise sentences, strikingly constructed, and in easy and "spirited" English. The book is divided into four sections: Philosophy, The Mind, Casetaking and Finding the Remedy and Materia Medica." In each of these chapters Sankaran brings us refreshing new ideas and insights. A discussion of some of these creative ideas follows.

Part One: What is disease and what is to be cured in disease
Sankaran theorizes that disease originates from a traumatic situation, in which the organism has to adopt a posture for survival due to that particular situation. As long as the situation exists and as long as the posture is appropriate and in proportion to the situation, it cannot (and should not) be "helped" or interfered with by any treatment.

However, when the situation changes, but the organism still reacts as if it were still in that prior situation, then we call this disease, which should be treated and removed. If, for example, a man is chased by a lion, it is a very healthy reaction of the organism to produce fear of death, restlessness (running), and a marked increase in blood pressure, pulse and respiration rate. If the man is to survive, this state should not be treated. But if this man gets in the same state when he sees a small dog, this behavior is neither appropriate nor in proportion to the situation. The organism lives in a delusional state (as if a lion is chasing him) and this is a disease state. Disease is an inappropriate response of mind or body. This state of mind and body is maintained by what Sankaran terms the central disturbance, a disturbance of the psycho-neuro-endocrine-immunological (PNEI) system. The core, the origin and the motivation for the central disturbance is the basic delusion (the imaginary situation the organism reacts to). The central disturbance is what has to be cured in disease. The central disturbance is characterized by mentals and generals (in accordance with paragraph 211 of The Organon, which states that the mental state often determines the choice of the remedy).

In several cases Sankaran shows that patients get cured of local or particular complaints after selecting the remedy on the basis of mental and general symptoms, even though the curative remedy may not be known to cure this particular type of pathology. Although the curative remedy may not cover the physical complaint by repertorization, and may not even be found in the materia medica of that remedy, (e.g., uterine fibroids with Arsenicum album, vitiligo with Kali iodatum and Capsicum, or heel spur treated successfully by Aconite), it may still cure if prescribed correctly on the central disturbance in the mind or emotions.

Sankaran demonstrates that peculiar local symptoms are expressions of the central disturbance, and are not to be considered insignificant particular symptoms.

Mental state versus mental symptoms
Throughout the book Rajan Sankaran stresses again and again the importance of prescribing on the mental state as a "whole" and not to prescribe on "unconnected" mental symptoms. To prove his point he again quotes his favorite aphorism, number 21 1: "...the state of the (mental) disposition of the patient often chiefly determines the selection of the homeopathic remedy, as being a decidedly characteristic symptom which can least of all remain concealed from the accurately observing physician." Understand the state from which these mental symptoms come. If you look at the symptoms you will be led to many remedies. But if you look at the state, there will be only one.

Part Two: The Mind
"Physical state and mental state are two sides of the same coin. The wise man is he who chooses to look at both sides of the coin before finally identifying it, no matter which side he begins with," Rajan Sankaran writes in the introduction to Part Two. But the mental state of a patient is the first thing which will strike us and is observable without one question being asked. The way he looks, walks, sits down, shakes your hand, speaks, the words he uses, the tone of his voice,-every gesture and expression, all are indicative of his mental state, ". . . which least of all remains concealed from the accurately observing physician." (last part of aphorism 21 1). The art is to take notice of it and then to interpret it correctly.

One of the most useful tools Sankaran gives us is the practice of breaking down the expression of the patient into its components. These components can usually be found in the repertory. By this technique of breaking down the expression of the patient into components, expressions which may not be found in any repertory or materia medica can now be utilized for finding the remedy.

He gives an example. A seventy year old man came into the office and sat with his son. Dr. Sankaran's female assistant was also in the room. The patient proceeded to say, "Doctor, I have fever. I know it is due to cracks in my penis. Treat my penis and the fever will go."

Sankaran breaks this scenario down into the following components:

1 Egotism, self esteem
2· Theorising
3 Indifference to personal appearance
4 Cracks in penis
The remedy that comes through is Sulphur.
We can even find confirmation of the component idea in single symptoms (symptoms with only one remedy). In another example, in a certain patient you may find that the major disposition is summed up by the symptom: Restless, must keep busy in order to supress sexual desire. We can break this down into the component symptoms such as: Hurry in occupation, Religious affections (sex is sinful) and Sexual desire increased. Lilium tigrinum is a remedy we find in each of these symptoms, and was the curative remedy in this case.

Basic symptoms versus expressions
A very practical and useful distinction is made by Sankaran between basic symptoms and expressions. As long as we can get an answer to the question: "Why does this symptom exist?", we are dealing with an expression. If we cannot get a satisfactory answer to this question, then it is a basic symptom. If a person says: "I like company," we must ask him why. If he says: "I don't know why, but I just like company." then we have reached his basic nature, namely, "Desires company." But if he says: "I desire company because I am frightened to be alone," then again we must ask why. He may say he does not know, in which case his basic symptom is "Fear of being alone" (and desires company is an expression of that basic symptom). Basic symptoms are often proving symptoms and expressions are often clinical symptoms. It is safer to make your prescription on basic symptoms, and use the expressions only as a confirmation.

Delusions

Delusions, according to Sankaran, are exaggerated feelings, fixed, and often expressed as images. This is his favorite section in the Mind chapter of the repertory, and he explains how to find the delusion. Thuja has a delusion of being brittle, and this idea can be expressed by patients in their life.

The basic delusion is a term introduced by Sankaran. By this, he means the most basic feeling of the person, as a false view of his situation. The basic delusion explains all his other feelings and expressions. Patients are not conscious or aware of their basic delusion, and therefore cannot tell the homoeopath explicitly what it is. This feeling has to be deduced by the homoeopath from the conscious feelings and expressions of the patient.

Often the basic delusion cannot be found directly in the Mind section of the repertory. There may be only an approximation of it there. For example, "Delusion, all alone in the wilderness" is an expression of the basic delusion of Stramonium. If the basic delusion (or an expression of it) cannot be found, then it must be broken down into components that can be found in the repertory in order to be able to find the remedy. If the basic delusion of Stramonium was not in the repertory, you could have broken it down into the following basic components of Stramonium:

1 Forsaken feeling; 2 Delusion, is about to receive injury; 3 Fear; 4 Helplessness, feeling of.

Compensation
Compensation is our attempt to cover up, by an act of will, some socially less-acceptable aspects of our nature, without there being a change in the basic nature. A person is more at ease in a situation where he needs to compensate the least. When he has to control himself a lot, he is most compensated. Compensation is uncomfortable because it involves a struggle against our basic nature. In Aurum the suicidal dispostion is mostly compensated for (in nineteen of Sankarans' cases there were only two with suicidal thoughts). Compensation takes time. That is why there is a difference between remedy pictures made only from proving symptoms (provings are generally for shorter times, leaving no time to compensate) and the clinical pictures of the patients who come to see us (they have had a lifetime to compensate).

This definition of compensation by Sankaran does not equal the regular" definition of compensation in psychology, where compensation is regarded as an unconscious act. By Sankaran's definition, compensation is an act of will.

Dreams
Rajan Sankaran pays great importance to certain dreams, because in dreams we often find the uncompensated feelings and actions of the dreamer. Here the homeopathic remedy picture is more easily recognized than in the compensated behavior in the conscious, waking state. The situation in the dream can come very close to the "original situation" of the remedy (basic delusion). Those basic dreams are often repetitive, without any trigger in the daytime, and often impressive.

Imaginative use of rubrics
The last chapter of Part Two is dedicated to the repertory and its use.

In his foreword to Sankaran's book, Dr. Kunzli emphasized the classical approach of the book, but he also wrote that some of Dr. Sankarans' ideas will provoke discussion. Using too much of our imaginative in selecting rubrics has the potential to lead us astray. Using imagination in selecting rubrics is a useful tool, but must be used cautiously and thoughtfully. It can expand the use and value of the repertory enormously but has to be used with very great caution. This style of repertory use is inspired by Dr. M.L. Sehgal of Dehli (some say he revolutionized homeopathy).

Here is an example from The Spirit of Homeopathy (page 160): Magnetized, desires to be

What does this mean? Magnetize means to hypnotize, to be in a state in which the mind responds to external suggestions.

Interpretation: The person wishes to do what someone else suggests him to do.

Expression: "Doctor, I am completely in your hands. I shall do as you suggest. Please do not ask me what I want. I leave it all to you. You know best what is good for me."

In several seminars I have seen Rajan Sankaran use this rubric, especially when dealing with a Calcarea carbonica patient. This expression gives a strong impression of Calcarea carbonica (susceptible; spineless; anxiety about health; dependent personality).

Very probably the above interpretation of the rubric "Magnetized, desires to be" will be correct in a Calcarea patient. But Lachesis, Natrum carbonicum, Phosphorus, and Silica appear in the same rubric, and if the same interpretation applies to these remedies what do we make of it?. In Perceiving Rubrics of the Mind by Farokh Master (Jain) the above rubric is interpreted as "the wish to be attracted, fascinated or influenced." We could imagine that especially Lachesis wants to be fascinated, Phosphorus wants to be attracted and Calcarea carbonica wants to be influenced.

In the same chapter there is a masterly interpretation of the Stramonium symptom: "Clinging, child awakens in terror, knows no one, screams, clings to those near." Sankaran shows how this rubric is expressed in adults and that the basic delusion underlying this symptom and the vast majority of the other Stramonium symptoms is "Delusion being alone in the wilderness."

Par* Three: Casetaking and Finding the Remedy
The most important chapter of this part "The Heart of Casetaking" has been previously published in Homeopathic Links and re-printed in Simillimum (Vol V #4, Winter '92).

In the chapter "Techniques of Casetaking" Sankaran describes and exemplifies twenty different aspects of practical casetaking. One of his favorite techniques is perceiving a typical behavior or a saying of the patient, breaking it down into its components, and trying to confirm those components in other expressions of the patient (hobbies, dreams, etc.). In the chapter on perceivng he gives the following example. A new patient, on entering the consultation room, paused at the door and asked: "Doctor, should I leave my slippers at the door or can I wear them into the room?" Sankaran wrote, "In my whole career, no patient has ever before asked me this question. One naturally assumes that in an office one can wear slippers. Therefore, it makes this expression of the patient extremely characteristic of her. It is our job to see what is her perception of the world (basic delusion) that made this expression possible. She is very careful and cautious, she tries to find out what are the rules of the clinic, what the norm is here. Why is she being so cautious? Because she does not want to be reprimanded by me. If she follows the rules she will not be admonished. So behind the carefulness is an extreme sensitivity to reprimands. So the whole idea is that she makes herself terribly dependent on the person in authority, whose rules, whether just or unjust, have to be followed because of fear of being admonished or punished."

The indicated rubrics (not given in the book) are:

Cares, full of
Delusion she is criticised
Sensitive to reprimands
Sensitive to rudeness
Ailments from reproaches
Weeping from admonition
Timidity, bashful
Yielding
Very sensitive to what others say about her (Phatak)
The remedy is Staphysagria.

Selection of the remedy
When we are sure of the basic components in the case and we have confirmed them (more than once), we then use these basic feelings and actions to try to create a picture of the situation the patient imagines himself to be in (his basic delusion or original situation). From this situation all the feelings and actions of the patient are logical, explainable and even sensible. When we succeed in this we are touching on the deepest, most hidden feelings of the patient. We understand him on a deep level. Usually one is able to connect the physical generals and peculiarities with the mental state; after all, mind and body are two expressions of the same basic disturbance and must be equally covered by the remedy.

Homeopsychotherapy
In this quite revolutionary chapter Rajan Sankaran describes an experiment in which he gives a "simillimum stimulus" through words and images instead of a homoeopathic remedy. He reasons that a homoeopathic remedy produces a state of being that is similar to the state in which the patient already is, and such a creation of a similar state proves curative. The idea of homeopsychotherapy is that by producing a similar state through words and images it is possible to produce a curative reaction of the vital force. To do this we must confront the patient with an image of his own state, which is similar to his central feeling (basic delusion or his perception of reality).

Rajan Sankaran explains how this is to be done, and gives two case examples. In his seminar in London (May 1991) he showed three videocases of homeopsychotherapy which were very impressive, yielding similar reactions and cures as would have expected when giving the simillimum.

The advantage of homeopsychotherapy is that it can be administered even if we don't know the remedy, or on the possibility that a remedy for that condition has not been proven.

I think that every good homoepath uses (unconsciously) a kind of simile form of homeopsychotherapy, and that part of the success of homeopathy is owed to that usage. In every well-taken case which touches the basic problem, the patient gets confronted with "satelites" of his basic delusion. This confrontation give the possibility of an awareness, a breakthrough (often accompanied with emotional release), which can initiate change. In allopathy this is called the placebo-effect of homoeopathy. However, the effect of consciously applied "simillimum" homeopsychotherapy may be much deeper and much longer lasting.

With this "discovery" and formulation of homeopsychotherapy Rajan Sankaran adds a very effective tool to the psychiatric and psychotherapeutic armament. The effectiveness of homeopsychotherapy is another proof that the core of disease is the (unconscious) basic delusion and that for cure of both mental and also of physical complaints, it is enough to bring this basic delusion into consciousness. This awareness of the delusion definitely involves the mental, emotional and physical level.

Part 4 The Situational Materia Medica
The situational materia medica (SMM) describes the situation in which the patient imagines himself to be in. From this situation all his expressions and feelings become understandable, and can be seen as a mechanism to survive that situation. The SMM is an aid in fully grasping the dynamic interplay of feelings and expressions within a remedy. It can give a deeper understanding of the remedy, and the patient needing that remedy. It is very important to see that the patient is not reacting to the actual situation in which he is presently immersed in, but rather is reacting to a situation in which he imagines himself to be (basic delusion). If he reacts adequately to his actual situation there is no disease and there is nothing to be treated. Sankaran states that the situation to which the patient reacts might have occurred earlier in his life, or in his mother during pregnancy, or in the lives of his parents. Thus family history information will merely confirm the prescription but will not be the indication for it. Followers of transpersonal psychology will undoubtedly assume that the patient might have been in that "original" situation in a past life.

Sankaran dedicates a whole chapter on how one can discover the situational materia medica, with the help of the useful text Materia Medica of the Human Mind by Dr. M.L. Agrawal. He takes Hura brasiliensis, a remedy which he had never used, and shows step by step the discovery of the situation of Hura. Then twenty-three situations of remedies follow. Sankaran has described more situations of other remedies, which are scattered throughout the book. On page twenty-four the situation of Magnesium carbonicum is beautifully described (but without the remedy being mentioned). In his situational materia medica Sankaran reveals quite a few "new" aspects of remedies. In Graphites he builds up the picture of the "tuning fork," all based on repertory rubrics. His picture is the exact opposite of the Vithoulkas Graphites essence. One might say that Vithoulkas described the "male" pole and Sankaran now adds the "female" pole to the remedy. Sankaran's "prince" image of Silica is another feature that was not well known in Europe.

Our remedy pictures in Europe are greatly influenced by the Greek School (Vithoulkas and disciples), and that influence has been of tremendous importance to the development of classical homoeopathy in Europe and the North America. However, no single person, nor can a single school, give the complete materia medica. That is why it is very important and vital for the development of classical homoeopathy to keep an open eye for original additions to remedy pictures, given by such homeopaths as Sankaran, Masi, H.V. Muller, Bad Boll etc.).

The intention of Rajan Sankaran is that we try and work with the SMM, and to see if they stand the test in practice with our patients. He wants us to try to find "situations" for new remedies and change and improve the old ones.

In our experience, when making a SMM of a remedy, it is easier to have in mind two or more patients who have done well with a particular remedy, who may typify the remedy. You must have thorough understanding of those patients, know and understand their central feelings and expressions; and the effect of the remedy on them must have been without any doubt. With those patients in mind you already have a kind of blueprint of the dynamic interplay of feelings and expressions. You can search for traumatic situations in their past, where their remedy picture was adequate and logical. These situations must be near (or an expression of) the original situation of the remedy. Then, by extrapolation and generalization, you can come to the formulation of an original situation. With the help of the Materia Medica of the Human Mind you can see if other mental/emotional symptoms of the remedy fit in the situation in a sensible way. Once this is accomplished, your original situation should be put to the test in practice. Other and future patients of that remedy should fit in smoothly; if not, the situation should be adjusted and improved. You are creating a continuing story that never ends. If you do not have any patients of the remedy, you can turn to the materia medica (Allen, Hering, Hahnemann) and look for complete symptoms. In the repertory, and also in the Materia Medica of the Human Mind, they are broken down into components and have lost their context. Then you might get a hint again of the original interplay of feelings and expressions.

Thuja situational materia medica
For instance we tried to define a new situation for Thuja According to us, a Thuja state may be produced by the situation of a child that is stressed by the high demands of a parent. If those demands are quite vague, unclear, and outspoken (compare this to an Anacardium situation), the child must try hard to be very open to the needs of that parent and try to tune in on the "vibes" in order to know what is expected from him. The body is a protection against outside influences, but to survive in this situation the child must be very open and transparent (Delusion, body made of glass) to the subtle vibrations from outside (possibly the parent). Here the body must dissolve (Delusion, body is thin). Closing off with help of the body-armour would be a disaster in this situation. Everything the child does that is not in accordance with the unoutspoken demands of the parent will be punished (Delusion, wrong, he has done; Dreams, accusations; Despair, religious of salvation). With a dissolved body, "incarnation," meaning "to get into the flesh," can hardly happen. That means that the body is barely experienced (Delusion body is fragile/brittle/lighter than air; light, incorporeal, he is). Without a body ("guard"), you are not only very open but also very vulnerable to outside influences. There is no way to defend yourself (Dreams, teeth breaking off). If you are lighter than air, you are at the mercy of the wind, and you can fall a prey to outside forces. You are no longer in control (Fear of wind; Delusion, under superhuman control). In everyday life, you are at the mercy of cicumstances and lose yourself in adjusting to your surroundings. You become the chameleon (Bill Gray); (Irresolute, changeable; Chaotic, confused behaviour; Inconstancy of thoughts; Confusion as to his identity).

In order to find yourself again you must be alone (Aversion to company). Even the sight of people may trigger you to tune in to the other person, losing yourself as a consequence (Aversion to company, avoids the sight of people). With a fragile body, you have to be very careful, cautious, and constantly alert that nothing or no one will to harm you (Fear of touch; Fear others approaching him; Suspicious). You are especially averse to influences that you did not experience before you had to be on guard (Fear of strangers), and you are also susceptible to other foreign substances; your body is quite defenseless (Ailments from vaccinations). You have to hide your vulnerability and brittleness out of self defense. If you are not constantly on guard, people (and other creatures) can just walk in (Delusion, animals/ voices in abdomen; Delusion, head belongs to another) and the only response you have is bewilderment and confusion. For an adequate emotional response/defense you need a body and need to be grounded. With an already very weak tie between soul and body an easy way out is to escape from the body (Delusion, body and soul are separated) and enter the spirit world (Delusion, sees phantoms/people/dead persons; Delusions, someone is present; Converses with absent people). Death is the ultimate and definite separation between body and soul (Death, desires; Loathing of life; Delusion, thought he was about to die; Delusion, time has come to die; Dreams of dying).

A body also provides solidity and structure; two feet to stand upon. It gives us an identity, and when lacking a body (Confusion as to his identity; Chaotic; Irresolution, changeable) you go and look for structure outside. And when you have found something, you will hold on to that fanatically as if it was a religion (Fanaticism, religious; Fixed ideas; Obstinate; Monomania).

You find yourself untruthful when you lose yourself in your surrounding; untrue to your real inner self. You reproach and even feel contempt for yourself for that (Reproaches himself; Contempt of self) and you feel unlovable (Bill Gray). You try to compensate by being very conscientious and scrupulously truthful (Borland).

The true constitutional Thuja patients we had had so far fit in with parts of this situation. The most important feeling these patients got after the Thuja treatment was that a body was added to them. It would be very interesting to see if constitutional Thuja patients of other homoeopaths could be recognised in this situation. If not, a better situation must be formulated, or perhaps it may be that there is more than one situation to a remedy.

Making SMM yourself (also for the remedies already dealt with in the book, for they can always be improved) is a superb way of learning and memorizing (using and developing your mind) materia medica. It comes through understanding the state of the remedy (and patient).

Conclusion
With this book Rajan Sankaran gives classical homoeopathy a very psychologically oriented foundation that fits in smoothly with the framework and paradigm of psychotherapy and psychiatry. This basic delusion idea comes very near to what in psychotherapy and psychiatry is called neurosis. Homoeopathic case taking and diagnostics would easily fit within the DSM III-R (regular diagnostic system in psychiatry) as a specialised refinement of it. The DSM IIIR is a diagnostic totality and takes into account actual acute and chronic problems: personality; physical complaints; psychosocial stress factors, and general functioning. Case studies and single case research is more accepted in psychotherapy and psychiatry than conventional allopathic medicine. Also modem forms of psychotherapy, such as Gestalt, Bioenergetics, Primal Scream and even Past life therapy, will find common ground in Basic Delusion Theory. The world of psychotherapy and psychiatry will give a better chance of acknowledging the effectiveness of classical homeopathy than regular medical science. Once homeopathy begins to make inroads into acceptance here, acknowledgement of the effectiveness of homoeopathy in treating physical complaints can be gained on the basis of psychosomatics. Then regular medicine should be able to accept the efficacy of homeopathy.

For classical homeopathy, this is the natural way of recognition because it follows Hering's Law. Clinical, complex and isopathic homoeopathy will drop out in the beginning of the race (in psychotherapy) since they will not touch the basic delusion.

The Spirit of Homoeopathy is a very inspiring book for the practicing homeopath. It introduces and explores many well-founded and practical ideas on casetaking, remedy-finding, repertory, choice of potency, repetition (with warnings about waiting too long to represcribe), etc.. For homoeopaths who depend solely on observation to find the remedy (like pediatricians and veterinarians), this book has much to offer. For students of homoeopathy this book is a gem. Homoepathic philosophy and history is explained very clearly and illustrated with many cases. I cannot imagine any other book that can make students more enthusiastic about classical homoeopathy.

One disadvantage of the book is a lack of an index of remedies (about ninety remedies are mentioned) and cases (about seventy are included). The book deserves a hard cover. If a choice is available, I suggest a hard cover. This book is a keeper.

Rajan Sankaran is quite clear about the purpose and place of the book:

"...I must also add that even though my perception of Homeopathy has become much clearer, still I have the feeling of having seen only the tip of the iceberg. I therefore make no pretence that this book is either complete or final. At best, I can say I have made an honest attempt to tell you the story so far. My aim in doing so is to stimulate the reader to make his own observations and develop his vision. I am confident that in doing this the wonderful spirit of Homeopathy will touch you. Truth has the quality of striking deep within."

Homeopath, heal thyself
One of the other nice aspects of the book is that it stimulates the reader to search for one's own basic delusion and bring it into selfawareness (with or without the help of a remedy). Our own (delusional) perception of the world can bias our observation and understanding of the patient as we take and study the case. Once we succeed in discovering our own shortcomings, misperceptions, and delusions, we will make progress in our personal as well as in our professional life. This in beautifully summed up in the motto of The Spirit of Homeopathy:

"Disease is delusion, awareness is cure."

Kees Dam, MD
Van Walbeeckstr. 85-3 1058 CM Amsterdam

Kees Dam has been studying and using homeopathy since 1981. He and his wife, Yvonne Lassauw, practice classical homoeopathic together in Amsterdarn. They also organise the Sankaran and Jayesh Shah seminars in Holland. In the Spring of 1992 they created and continue to edit the outstanding new Dutch-Belgian Journal for Classical Homoeopathy, Simillima. We are delighted to present this excellent review and creative commentary on Dr. Sankaran's extraordinary book.

SIMILLIMUM / Summer 1993 Volume VI No. 2

Review

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the American Institute of Homeopathy

Reviewed by Karl Robinson, MD

The level at which author Rajan Sankaran practices homeopathy is a very high, subtle level, one that places ultimate value on mental and emotional symptoms. He details his methodology in his new book, The Spirit of Homoeopathy. It is exciting reading and will make any good homeopath a better one. One of Sankaran's main points is that in every sick person there is a "Central Disturbance" which must first be perceived by the doctor and then treated by the most similar homeopathic medicine. "This is the law of disease," writes Sankaran, "there can be no affection of the parts without the affection of the whole. There can be no disease in the organs without central disturbance." Getting at this central disturbance is not so simple and Sankaran devotes chapter after chapter to giving us hints about how to elicit it. Often this central disturbance will reveal itself in dreams, yet he suggests not using the Dream section per se but interpreting the dream in terms of the Mentals, especially the Delusions.

One of the hardest things any homeopath faces is knowing what a patient means when he or she says something. Sankaran suggests not taking what the patient says at face value but continually probing deeper and deeper until the underlying feeling or mental state is brought to the surface. I was able at once to employ this methodology with a 50 year old patient whom I have treated for over 12 years. On this particular visit I asked her a question I had never asked before, "What is the worst scenario you can envisage for your life?" With only a few seconds hesitation she replied, "Being abandoned." I was about to write down "Forsaken," which is a clear symptom found in the Repertory, when I decided not to accept her answer at face value. "What does that mean to you?" I asked. "What's underneath your fear of being abandoned?" She replied, "I feel unprotected." Puzzled, I asked what she meant. "If I were alone there would be no one to fight off monsters," she said much to my amazement. Considering her age and how long I had known her, I had never heard her say anything like this before. I pushed her for details. Monsters, it turned out, meant something evil. "I'm afraid of some slimy, yucky, powerful, cruel thing," she said. As she was in my office that day complaining of the skin on her right foot peeling off, I turned to the Extremities section of the Repertory where I found Mancinella in italics under "Eruptions, sole of food, desquamating." Mancinella also has "Fear of being taken by the devil" and "Fear of ghosts." I gave her Mancinella , and six weeks later she returned to say her fear of monsters had disappeared, a tendency to scary dreams had ceased, and her foot was improving. Had it not been for Dr. Sankaran, I would most certainly have missed Mancinella.

Since then I have been having more and more interesting interviews with my patients as I probe deeper and deeper, looking for hidden fears and delusions. Sankaran suggests that we can use the Delusions section much as we use any mental symptom. In other words the patient does not have to be actively hallucinating in order to use a rubric from the Delusions section.

Also thanks to Sankaran, I have a new understanding of remedies such as Stramonium, Lyssin, and Lac caninum and have now used these and other so-called "small" remedies to great advantage.

I heartily recommend Sankaran's book and believe that, if we master his methodology, we can prescribe more remedies with greater certainty and obtain better results.

About the Reviewer: Karl Robinson practices classical homeopathy in Albuquerque, NM and Dallas, TX. He is the managing editor of the JAIH.

JAIH December 1992, Vol. 85, No. 4

 

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians

A REVIEW by Kees Dam, M.D.

For those who already attended a seminar of Rajan Sankaran his new book The Spirit of Homoeopathy needs no introduction or recommendation. This book is as inspiring and innovating as are his seminars. The book contains most of his seminar material of the last five years, along with some new ideas. It is clearly written, in short and concise sentences, strikingly constructed, and in easy and "spirited" English. The book is divided into four sections: Philosophy, The Mind, Casetaking and Finding the Remedy and Materia Medica." In each of these chapters Sankaran brings us refreshing new ideas and insights. A discussion of some of these creative ideas follows.

Part One: What is disease and what is to be cured in disease
Sankaran theorizes that disease originates from a traumatic situation, in which the organism has to adopt a posture for survival due to that particular situation. As long as the situation exists and as long as the posture is appropriate and in proportion to the situation, it cannot (and should not) be "helped" or interfered with by any treatment.

However, when the situation changes, but the organism still reacts as if it were still in that prior situation, then we call this disease, which should be treated and removed. If, for example, a man is chased by a lion, it is a very healthy reaction of the organism to produce fear of death, restlessness (running), and a marked increase in blood pressure, pulse and respiration rate. If the man is to survive, this state should not be treated. But if this man gets in the same state when he sees a small dog, this behavior is neither appropriate nor in proportion to the situation. The organism lives in a delusional state (as if a lion is chasing him) and this is a disease state. Disease is an inappropriate response of mind or body. This state of mind and body is maintained by what Sankaran terms the central disturbance, a disturbance of the psycho-neuro-endocrine-immunological (PNEI) system. The core, the origin and the motivation for the central disturbance is the basic delusion (the imaginary situation the organism reacts to). The central disturbance is what has to be cured in disease. The central disturbance is characterized by mentals and generals (in accordance with paragraph 211 of The Organon, which states that the mental state often determines the choice of the remedy).

In several cases Sankaran shows that patients get cured of local or particular complaints after selecting the remedy on the basis of mental and general symptoms, even though the curative remedy may not be known to cure this particular type of pathology. Although the curative remedy may not cover the physical complaint by repertorization, and may not even be found in the materia medica of that remedy, (e.g., uterine fibroids with Arsenicum album, vitiligo with Kali iodatum and Capsicum, or heel spur treated successfully by Aconite), it may still cure if prescribed correctly on the central disturbance in the mind or emotions.

Sankaran demonstrates that peculiar local symptoms are expressions of the central disturbance, and are not to be considered insignificant particular symptoms.

Mental state versus mental symptoms
Throughout the book Rajan Sankaran stresses again and again the importance of prescribing on the mental state as a "whole" and not to prescribe on "unconnected" mental symptoms. To prove his point he again quotes his favorite aphorism, number 21 1: "...the state of the (mental) disposition of the patient often chiefly determines the selection of the homeopathic remedy, as being a decidedly characteristic symptom which can least of all remain concealed from the accurately observing physician." Understand the state from which these mental symptoms come. If you look at the symptoms you will be led to many remedies. But if you look at the state, there will be only one.

Part Two: The Mind
"Physical state and mental state are two sides of the same coin. The wise man is he who chooses to look at both sides of the coin before finally identifying it, no matter which side he begins with," Rajan Sankaran writes in the introduction to Part Two. But the mental state of a patient is the first thing which will strike us and is observable without one question being asked. The way he looks, walks, sits down, shakes your hand, speaks, the words he uses, the tone of his voice,-every gesture and expression, all are indicative of his mental state, ". . . which least of all remains concealed from the accurately observing physician." (last part of aphorism 21 1). The art is to take notice of it and then to interpret it correctly.

One of the most useful tools Sankaran gives us is the practice of breaking down the expression of the patient into its components. These components can usually be found in the repertory. By this technique of breaking down the expression of the patient into components, expressions which may not be found in any repertory or materia medica can now be utilized for finding the remedy.

He gives an example. A seventy year old man came into the office and sat with his son. Dr. Sankaran's female assistant was also in the room. The patient proceeded to say, "Doctor, I have fever. I know it is due to cracks in my penis. Treat my penis and the fever will go."

Sankaran breaks this scenario down into the following components:

1 Egotism, self esteem
2· Theorising
3 Indifference to personal appearance
4 Cracks in penis
The remedy that comes through is Sulphur.
We can even find confirmation of the component idea in single symptoms (symptoms with only one remedy). In another example, in a certain patient you may find that the major disposition is summed up by the symptom: Restless, must keep busy in order to supress sexual desire. We can break this down into the component symptoms such as: Hurry in occupation, Religious affections (sex is sinful) and Sexual desire increased. Lilium tigrinum is a remedy we find in each of these symptoms, and was the curative remedy in this case.

Basic symptoms versus expressions
A very practical and useful distinction is made by Sankaran between basic symptoms and expressions. As long as we can get an answer to the question: "Why does this symptom exist?", we are dealing with an expression. If we cannot get a satisfactory answer to this question, then it is a basic symptom. If a person says: "I like company," we must ask him why. If he says: "I don't know why, but I just like company." then we have reached his basic nature, namely, "Desires company." But if he says: "I desire company because I am frightened to be alone," then again we must ask why. He may say he does not know, in which case his basic symptom is "Fear of being alone" (and desires company is an expression of that basic symptom). Basic symptoms are often proving symptoms and expressions are often clinical symptoms. It is safer to make your prescription on basic symptoms, and use the expressions only as a confirmation.

Delusions

Delusions, according to Sankaran, are exaggerated feelings, fixed, and often expressed as images. This is his favorite section in the Mind chapter of the repertory, and he explains how to find the delusion. Thuja has a delusion of being brittle, and this idea can be expressed by patients in their life.

The basic delusion is a term introduced by Sankaran. By this, he means the most basic feeling of the person, as a false view of his situation. The basic delusion explains all his other feelings and expressions. Patients are not conscious or aware of their basic delusion, and therefore cannot tell the homoeopath explicitly what it is. This feeling has to be deduced by the homoeopath from the conscious feelings and expressions of the patient.

Often the basic delusion cannot be found directly in the Mind section of the repertory. There may be only an approximation of it there. For example, "Delusion, all alone in the wilderness" is an expression of the basic delusion of Stramonium. If the basic delusion (or an expression of it) cannot be found, then it must be broken down into components that can be found in the repertory in order to be able to find the remedy. If the basic delusion of Stramonium was not in the repertory, you could have broken it down into the following basic components of Stramonium:

1 Forsaken feeling; 2 Delusion, is about to receive injury; 3 Fear; 4 Helplessness, feeling of.

Compensation
Compensation is our attempt to cover up, by an act of will, some socially less-acceptable aspects of our nature, without there being a change in the basic nature. A person is more at ease in a situation where he needs to compensate the least. When he has to control himself a lot, he is most compensated. Compensation is uncomfortable because it involves a struggle against our basic nature. In Aurum the suicidal dispostion is mostly compensated for (in nineteen of Sankarans' cases there were only two with suicidal thoughts). Compensation takes time. That is why there is a difference between remedy pictures made only from proving symptoms (provings are generally for shorter times, leaving no time to compensate) and the clinical pictures of the patients who come to see us (they have had a lifetime to compensate).

This definition of compensation by Sankaran does not equal the regular" definition of compensation in psychology, where compensation is regarded as an unconscious act. By Sankaran's definition, compensation is an act of will.

Dreams
Rajan Sankaran pays great importance to certain dreams, because in dreams we often find the uncompensated feelings and actions of the dreamer. Here the homeopathic remedy picture is more easily recognized than in the compensated behavior in the conscious, waking state. The situation in the dream can come very close to the "original situation" of the remedy (basic delusion). Those basic dreams are often repetitive, without any trigger in the daytime, and often impressive.

Imaginative use of rubrics
The last chapter of Part Two is dedicated to the repertory and its use.

In his foreword to Sankaran's book, Dr. Kunzli emphasized the classical approach of the book, but he also wrote that some of Dr. Sankarans' ideas will provoke discussion. Using too much of our imaginative in selecting rubrics has the potential to lead us astray. Using imagination in selecting rubrics is a useful tool, but must be used cautiously and thoughtfully. It can expand the use and value of the repertory enormously but has to be used with very great caution. This style of repertory use is inspired by Dr. M.L. Sehgal of Dehli (some say he revolutionized homeopathy).

Here is an example from The Spirit of Homeopathy (page 160): Magnetized, desires to be

What does this mean? Magnetize means to hypnotize, to be in a state in which the mind responds to external suggestions.

Interpretation: The person wishes to do what someone else suggests him to do.

Expression: "Doctor, I am completely in your hands. I shall do as you suggest. Please do not ask me what I want. I leave it all to you. You know best what is good for me."

In several seminars I have seen Rajan Sankaran use this rubric, especially when dealing with a Calcarea carbonica patient. This expression gives a strong impression of Calcarea carbonica (susceptible; spineless; anxiety about health; dependent personality).

Very probably the above interpretation of the rubric "Magnetized, desires to be" will be correct in a Calcarea patient. But Lachesis, Natrum carbonicum, Phosphorus, and Silica appear in the same rubric, and if the same interpretation applies to these remedies what do we make of it?. In Perceiving Rubrics of the Mind by Farokh Master (Jain) the above rubric is interpreted as "the wish to be attracted, fascinated or influenced." We could imagine that especially Lachesis wants to be fascinated, Phosphorus wants to be attracted and Calcarea carbonica wants to be influenced.

In the same chapter there is a masterly interpretation of the Stramonium symptom: "Clinging, child awakens in terror, knows no one, screams, clings to those near." Sankaran shows how this rubric is expressed in adults and that the basic delusion underlying this symptom and the vast majority of the other Stramonium symptoms is "Delusion being alone in the wilderness."

Par* Three: Casetaking and Finding the Remedy
The most important chapter of this part "The Heart of Casetaking" has been previously published in Homeopathic Links and re-printed in Simillimum (Vol V #4, Winter '92).

In the chapter "Techniques of Casetaking" Sankaran describes and exemplifies twenty different aspects of practical casetaking. One of his favorite techniques is perceiving a typical behavior or a saying of the patient, breaking it down into its components, and trying to confirm those components in other expressions of the patient (hobbies, dreams, etc.). In the chapter on perceivng he gives the following example. A new patient, on entering the consultation room, paused at the door and asked: "Doctor, should I leave my slippers at the door or can I wear them into the room?" Sankaran wrote, "In my whole career, no patient has ever before asked me this question. One naturally assumes that in an office one can wear slippers. Therefore, it makes this expression of the patient extremely characteristic of her. It is our job to see what is her perception of the world (basic delusion) that made this expression possible. She is very careful and cautious, she tries to find out what are the rules of the clinic, what the norm is here. Why is she being so cautious? Because she does not want to be reprimanded by me. If she follows the rules she will not be admonished. So behind the carefulness is an extreme sensitivity to reprimands. So the whole idea is that she makes herself terribly dependent on the person in authority, whose rules, whether just or unjust, have to be followed because of fear of being admonished or punished."

The indicated rubrics (not given in the book) are:

Cares, full of
Delusion she is criticised
Sensitive to reprimands
Sensitive to rudeness
Ailments from reproaches
Weeping from admonition
Timidity, bashful
Yielding
Very sensitive to what others say about her (Phatak)
The remedy is Staphysagria.

Selection of the remedy
When we are sure of the basic components in the case and we have confirmed them (more than once), we then use these basic feelings and actions to try to create a picture of the situation the patient imagines himself to be in (his basic delusion or original situation). From this situation all the feelings and actions of the patient are logical, explainable and even sensible. When we succeed in this we are touching on the deepest, most hidden feelings of the patient. We understand him on a deep level. Usually one is able to connect the physical generals and peculiarities with the mental state; after all, mind and body are two expressions of the same basic disturbance and must be equally covered by the remedy.

Homeopsychotherapy
In this quite revolutionary chapter Rajan Sankaran describes an experiment in which he gives a "simillimum stimulus" through words and images instead of a homoeopathic remedy. He reasons that a homoeopathic remedy produces a state of being that is similar to the state in which the patient already is, and such a creation of a similar state proves curative. The idea of homeopsychotherapy is that by producing a similar state through words and images it is possible to produce a curative reaction of the vital force. To do this we must confront the patient with an image of his own state, which is similar to his central feeling (basic delusion or his perception of reality).

Rajan Sankaran explains how this is to be done, and gives two case examples. In his seminar in London (May 1991) he showed three videocases of homeopsychotherapy which were very impressive, yielding similar reactions and cures as would have expected when giving the simillimum.

The advantage of homeopsychotherapy is that it can be administered even if we don't know the remedy, or on the possibility that a remedy for that condition has not been proven.

I think that every good homoepath uses (unconsciously) a kind of simile form of homeopsychotherapy, and that part of the success of homeopathy is owed to that usage. In every well-taken case which touches the basic problem, the patient gets confronted with "satelites" of his basic delusion. This confrontation give the possibility of an awareness, a breakthrough (often accompanied with emotional release), which can initiate change. In allopathy this is called the placebo-effect of homoeopathy. However, the effect of consciously applied "simillimum" homeopsychotherapy may be much deeper and much longer lasting.

With this "discovery" and formulation of homeopsychotherapy Rajan Sankaran adds a very effective tool to the psychiatric and psychotherapeutic armament. The effectiveness of homeopsychotherapy is another proof that the core of disease is the (unconscious) basic delusion and that for cure of both mental and also of physical complaints, it is enough to bring this basic delusion into consciousness. This awareness of the delusion definitely involves the mental, emotional and physical level.

Part 4 The Situational Materia Medica
The situational materia medica (SMM) describes the situation in which the patient imagines himself to be in. From this situation all his expressions and feelings become understandable, and can be seen as a mechanism to survive that situation. The SMM is an aid in fully grasping the dynamic interplay of feelings and expressions within a remedy. It can give a deeper understanding of the remedy, and the patient needing that remedy. It is very important to see that the patient is not reacting to the actual situation in which he is presently immersed in, but rather is reacting to a situation in which he imagines himself to be (basic delusion). If he reacts adequately to his actual situation there is no disease and there is nothing to be treated. Sankaran states that the situation to which the patient reacts might have occurred earlier in his life, or in his mother during pregnancy, or in the lives of his parents. Thus family history information will merely confirm the prescription but will not be the indication for it. Followers of transpersonal psychology will undoubtedly assume that the patient might have been in that "original" situation in a past life.

Sankaran dedicates a whole chapter on how one can discover the situational materia medica, with the help of the useful text Materia Medica of the Human Mind by Dr. M.L. Agrawal. He takes Hura brasiliensis, a remedy which he had never used, and shows step by step the discovery of the situation of Hura. Then twenty-three situations of remedies follow. Sankaran has described more situations of other remedies, which are scattered throughout the book. On page twenty-four the situation of Magnesium carbonicum is beautifully described (but without the remedy being mentioned). In his situational materia medica Sankaran reveals quite a few "new" aspects of remedies. In Graphites he builds up the picture of the "tuning fork," all based on repertory rubrics. His picture is the exact opposite of the Vithoulkas Graphites essence. One might say that Vithoulkas described the "male" pole and Sankaran now adds the "female" pole to the remedy. Sankaran's "prince" image of Silica is another feature that was not well known in Europe.

Our remedy pictures in Europe are greatly influenced by the Greek School (Vithoulkas and disciples), and that influence has been of tremendous importance to the development of classical homoeopathy in Europe and the North America. However, no single person, nor can a single school, give the complete materia medica. That is why it is very important and vital for the development of classical homoeopathy to keep an open eye for original additions to remedy pictures, given by such homeopaths as Sankaran, Masi, H.V. Muller, Bad Boll etc.).

The intention of Rajan Sankaran is that we try and work with the SMM, and to see if they stand the test in practice with our patients. He wants us to try to find "situations" for new remedies and change and improve the old ones.

In our experience, when making a SMM of a remedy, it is easier to have in mind two or more patients who have done well with a particular remedy, who may typify the remedy. You must have thorough understanding of those patients, know and understand their central feelings and expressions; and the effect of the remedy on them must have been without any doubt. With those patients in mind you already have a kind of blueprint of the dynamic interplay of feelings and expressions. You can search for traumatic situations in their past, where their remedy picture was adequate and logical. These situations must be near (or an expression of) the original situation of the remedy. Then, by extrapolation and generalization, you can come to the formulation of an original situation. With the help of the Materia Medica of the Human Mind you can see if other mental/emotional symptoms of the remedy fit in the situation in a sensible way. Once this is accomplished, your original situation should be put to the test in practice. Other and future patients of that remedy should fit in smoothly; if not, the situation should be adjusted and improved. You are creating a continuing story that never ends. If you do not have any patients of the remedy, you can turn to the materia medica (Allen, Hering, Hahnemann) and look for complete symptoms. In the repertory, and also in the Materia Medica of the Human Mind, they are broken down into components and have lost their context. Then you might get a hint again of the original interplay of feelings and expressions.

Thuja situational materia medica
For instance we tried to define a new situation for Thuja According to us, a Thuja state may be produced by the situation of a child that is stressed by the high demands of a parent. If those demands are quite vague, unclear, and outspoken (compare this to an Anacardium situation), the child must try hard to be very open to the needs of that parent and try to tune in on the "vibes" in order to know what is expected from him. The body is a protection against outside influences, but to survive in this situation the child must be very open and transparent (Delusion, body made of glass) to the subtle vibrations from outside (possibly the parent). Here the body must dissolve (Delusion, body is thin). Closing off with help of the body-armour would be a disaster in this situation. Everything the child does that is not in accordance with the unoutspoken demands of the parent will be punished (Delusion, wrong, he has done; Dreams, accusations; Despair, religious of salvation). With a dissolved body, "incarnation," meaning "to get into the flesh," can hardly happen. That means that the body is barely experienced (Delusion body is fragile/brittle/lighter than air; light, incorporeal, he is). Without a body ("guard"), you are not only very open but also very vulnerable to outside influences. There is no way to defend yourself (Dreams, teeth breaking off). If you are lighter than air, you are at the mercy of the wind, and you can fall a prey to outside forces. You are no longer in control (Fear of wind; Delusion, under superhuman control). In everyday life, you are at the mercy of cicumstances and lose yourself in adjusting to your surroundings. You become the chameleon (Bill Gray); (Irresolute, changeable; Chaotic, confused behaviour; Inconstancy of thoughts; Confusion as to his identity).

In order to find yourself again you must be alone (Aversion to company). Even the sight of people may trigger you to tune in to the other person, losing yourself as a consequence (Aversion to company, avoids the sight of people). With a fragile body, you have to be very careful, cautious, and constantly alert that nothing or no one will to harm you (Fear of touch; Fear others approaching him; Suspicious). You are especially averse to influences that you did not experience before you had to be on guard (Fear of strangers), and you are also susceptible to other foreign substances; your body is quite defenseless (Ailments from vaccinations). You have to hide your vulnerability and brittleness out of self defense. If you are not constantly on guard, people (and other creatures) can just walk in (Delusion, animals/ voices in abdomen; Delusion, head belongs to another) and the only response you have is bewilderment and confusion. For an adequate emotional response/defense you need a body and need to be grounded. With an already very weak tie between soul and body an easy way out is to escape from the body (Delusion, body and soul are separated) and enter the spirit world (Delusion, sees phantoms/people/dead persons; Delusions, someone is present; Converses with absent people). Death is the ultimate and definite separation between body and soul (Death, desires; Loathing of life; Delusion, thought he was about to die; Delusion, time has come to die; Dreams of dying).

A body also provides solidity and structure; two feet to stand upon. It gives us an identity, and when lacking a body (Confusion as to his identity; Chaotic; Irresolution, changeable) you go and look for structure outside. And when you have found something, you will hold on to that fanatically as if it was a religion (Fanaticism, religious; Fixed ideas; Obstinate; Monomania).

You find yourself untruthful when you lose yourself in your surrounding; untrue to your real inner self. You reproach and even feel contempt for yourself for that (Reproaches himself; Contempt of self) and you feel unlovable (Bill Gray). You try to compensate by being very conscientious and scrupulously truthful (Borland).

The true constitutional Thuja patients we had had so far fit in with parts of this situation. The most important feeling these patients got after the Thuja treatment was that a body was added to them. It would be very interesting to see if constitutional Thuja patients of other homoeopaths could be recognised in this situation. If not, a better situation must be formulated, or perhaps it may be that there is more than one situation to a remedy.

Making SMM yourself (also for the remedies already dealt with in the book, for they can always be improved) is a superb way of learning and memorizing (using and developing your mind) materia medica. It comes through understanding the state of the remedy (and patient).

Conclusion
With this book Rajan Sankaran gives classical homoeopathy a very psychologically oriented foundation that fits in smoothly with the framework and paradigm of psychotherapy and psychiatry. This basic delusion idea comes very near to what in psychotherapy and psychiatry is called neurosis. Homoeopathic case taking and diagnostics would easily fit within the DSM III-R (regular diagnostic system in psychiatry) as a specialised refinement of it. The DSM IIIR is a diagnostic totality and takes into account actual acute and chronic problems: personality; physical complaints; psychosocial stress factors, and general functioning. Case studies and single case research is more accepted in psychotherapy and psychiatry than conventional allopathic medicine. Also modem forms of psychotherapy, such as Gestalt, Bioenergetics, Primal Scream and even Past life therapy, will find common ground in Basic Delusion Theory. The world of psychotherapy and psychiatry will give a better chance of acknowledging the effectiveness of classical homeopathy than regular medical science. Once homeopathy begins to make inroads into acceptance here, acknowledgement of the effectiveness of homoeopathy in treating physical complaints can be gained on the basis of psychosomatics. Then regular medicine should be able to accept the efficacy of homeopathy.

For classical homeopathy, this is the natural way of recognition because it follows Hering's Law. Clinical, complex and isopathic homoeopathy will drop out in the beginning of the race (in psychotherapy) since they will not touch the basic delusion.

The Spirit of Homoeopathy is a very inspiring book for the practicing homeopath. It introduces and explores many well-founded and practical ideas on casetaking, remedy-finding, repertory, choice of potency, repetition (with warnings about waiting too long to represcribe), etc.. For homoeopaths who depend solely on observation to find the remedy (like pediatricians and veterinarians), this book has much to offer. For students of homoeopathy this book is a gem. Homoepathic philosophy and history is explained very clearly and illustrated with many cases. I cannot imagine any other book that can make students more enthusiastic about classical homoeopathy.

One disadvantage of the book is a lack of an index of remedies (about ninety remedies are mentioned) and cases (about seventy are included). The book deserves a hard cover. If a choice is available, I suggest a hard cover. This book is a keeper.

Rajan Sankaran is quite clear about the purpose and place of the book:

"...I must also add that even though my perception of Homeopathy has become much clearer, still I have the feeling of having seen only the tip of the iceberg. I therefore make no pretence that this book is either complete or final. At best, I can say I have made an honest attempt to tell you the story so far. My aim in doing so is to stimulate the reader to make his own observations and develop his vision. I am confident that in doing this the wonderful spirit of Homeopathy will touch you. Truth has the quality of striking deep within."

Homeopath, heal thyself
One of the other nice aspects of the book is that it stimulates the reader to search for one's own basic delusion and bring it into selfawareness (with or without the help of a remedy). Our own (delusional) perception of the world can bias our observation and understanding of the patient as we take and study the case. Once we succeed in discovering our own shortcomings, misperceptions, and delusions, we will make progress in our personal as well as in our professional life. This in beautifully summed up in the motto of The Spirit of Homeopathy:

"Disease is delusion, awareness is cure."

Kees Dam, MD
Van Walbeeckstr. 85-3 1058 CM Amsterdam

Kees Dam has been studying and using homeopathy since 1981. He and his wife, Yvonne Lassauw, practice classical homoeopathic together in Amsterdarn. They also organise the Sankaran and Jayesh Shah seminars in Holland. In the Spring of 1992 they created and continue to edit the outstanding new Dutch-Belgian Journal for Classical Homoeopathy, Simillima. We are delighted to present this excellent review and creative commentary on Dr. Sankaran's extraordinary book.

SIMILLIMUM / Summer 1993 Volume VI No. 2