Author: Jan Scholten
A repertorisation is a black box analysis, not knowing what one is doing.
Polychrest prescribing means forcing many patients and remedies into the mould of just a few remedies.
The quality of the homeopath is determined by the number of remedies he knows and can prescribe accurately.
The principles of homeopathy are very simple and in principle, the practice is too: just find the simillimum. But then the problems start. How can one find the similimum? Which symptoms can be used and how are they to be used?
There has been a long history in this respect in homeopathy. The first clue put forward by Hahnemann is to find and use the strange, rare and peculiar symptoms. This is logical as the particular symptoms are the ones that few or only one remedy has. It works quite well when particular symptoms can be found but the rule often leads to problems. Often particular symptoms cannot be found in the case or they cannot be found back in the Materia medica. This last situation is an indication that the simillimum is a little known or an unknown remedy.
Symptoms have different qualities. In the beginning of the development of homeopathy most symptoms were physical and our Materia medica still 90% consisted of physical symptoms. Reading such Materia medica gives the feeling of an enumeration of symptoms that make no sense. They don’t seem to fit together, they are like chaos. That makes them very hard to remember.
Gradually an awareness has arisen that remedies have a structure, that their symptoms make sense. There grew an understanding that there is an essence in each remedy and that that essence makes the remedy understandable. The essence has become clear in the mind, the soul. The origin of diseases is to be found in the mind.
This has been expressed in many different ways. It has been called the nucleus, genius, spirit, essence. It can be expressed as central emotion, central sensation or central delusion.
Gradually my understanding of remedies has changed, in accordance with the search for the essence. An essential feature is the life story of the patient. It is central to the patient, to his life and emotions, to his sensations and delusions. The life story can be expressed as the goal to be someone. There are several fields where one can be someone. These are the reflected in the 7 Series of the Periodic table. It can be expressed as the goal to be part of something, a family, a small society like a village, a big society like a country, or humanity. The Phases and Stages are expressions of how far one feels to be in this process of being someone, of being part of the group. They express whether someone is at the start, has reached his goal or is on the way down.
The life story of a patient is not something accidental. It is an expression of his goal on earth, in his life, of what has to be done and learned from it. That makes it a central aspect of the story of the patient. His central delusion is another expression of the same, as this shows his drive.
One can say that a person can be recognised by his choices; choices are a central aspect of the life story of a patient. They make it clear why he has lived his life the way he did. It is clarifying to understand the motives of the patient, to understand why he made his choices and what was driving him in them. In the choices we can see his goal, an expression of the Series. The “Why” question is crucial in consultations.
The life story approach makes the Materia Medica quite different. The Plant theory is an attempt to make the remedy picture describable and understandable from this point of view, of Series, Phases and Stages. It is a more abstract level of description. It is a different way of analysing and prescribing. It is a way one has to learn and to familiarise oneself with.
At first this way of description looks vague but it turns out with practice to be very refined and precise.
The first advantage of this view is that it makes the classification of the Plant kingdom possible as presented here in the Plant theory. It makes prediction of remedies possible. It makes analysis possible in a straightforward way, as the differential diagnosis between remedies is clear. The result is that the consultation becomes the analysis.
A second advantage is that Series, Stages and Phases can be recognised in the patient without words. They are a way of being, a state, as such they can be seen directly. Of course this needs practice. Differentiation can be problematic, since seemingly contradictory Phases and Stages exist alongside each other and distinguishing which is which can be difficult.
In this book the above view of life story and essence has been presented under the header “Introduction”. The old way of looking at remedies has been presented under the headers “Mind”, ”General” and “Body”.
The homeopathic analysis is also different with the system of the Plant theory. The old way of repertorising has become something that is done in cases where one doesn’t understand the case. In cases where one can analyse the problem, the analysis leads directly to the prescription. There are many in-between situations. They are explained in the Chapter “Use”.