Author: Sujit Chatterjee
I Need to Hide in a Shell to Feel Safe – Analysis through Sensation Approach in a case of Rheumatoid Arthritis by Dr. Sujit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant and Faculty ‘the other song: International Academy of Advanced Homoeopathy’
A 45-year-old female suffering from rheumatoid arthritis was offered consultation at the other song by Dr. Sujit Chatterjee, and his Resident Doctor, Dr. Sadaf Ulde on 27th December, 2013. At the other song, the patient’s case is studied in detail and analysed by the Resident Doctor, before the Consultant meets and consults the patient and opines on the treatment to be received. This process of thorough pre-study of the case is termed as CRA (Case-receiving and analysis). Amongst the other details elicited during the CRA, worth mentioning and what caught our attention were some observations made by the patient’s husband. He reported that the patient was a perfectionist, and often got upset if the surroundings were not clean. According to him, she also possessed spiritual powers by the means of which she could profess her ideas. She occasionally has a feeling of clairvoyance as a result of which she could sail through her difficult times without much of a complaint. This was something important that the husband said right away when asked about the patient, as a result, this was noted as something characteristic.
The case as received by Dr. Chatterjee and Dr. Sadaf has been summarized below and has been edited for brevity. The index to short forms is as follows:
HG: Hand gesture
D: What is your physical complain just now?
P: I have severe joint pain with no mobility and discomfort. Since I'm a workaholic person I feel as if I am punished and get extremely restless and keep thinking about the pain. I am into myself at such times.
D: When you say I am in to myself, what do you mean by that?
P: My mind goes into the pain, this is paining... that is paining and I keep saying that to my family. I feel very dependent and handicapped; I want to be very independent. I have gone through a lot of problems and I have been brought up in a lot of comfort. I have not faced hardships and I never found myself complaining to my husband or even to myself that my husband is not helping me. I used to do everything by myself.
D: What is the feeling, feeling of dependent and handicapped?
P: Very bad I would love to serve people and not to be the one being served.
D: What is opposite of dependent and handicapped?
D: What is the feeling there – in being independent?
D: Tell me about this independent and fantastic feeling.
P: Independent feeling is when you do not trouble anybody for anything like grooming yourself. I like dressing up, cleaning my house, cooking special dishes, I am a very colourful person; I like vibrant colours and I like to look nice all the time. Even if I'm at home, I like to be well dressed and neat all the time as nobody should see me untidy.
My husband is dominating and excessively possessive he does not allow me to talk to men though he talks to ladies but he is very decent and sober. I mean he is a man of character.( Me vs someone, Victim aggressor theme)
D: When you say he is dominating, what do you mean?
P : I have to wear a dress of his choice only, dress in the way he wants me to, not allowed to even have a haircut against his wished. Only talk to a few set of people, and would not even shake hands with people until he permitted. He doesn’t like tailors taking my measurements; I am not even allowed to go to a doctor alone. He never leaves me alone, he is very caring about me and extremely possessive and that makes me feel loved.
D: What is the feeling to be in this situation? ( Experience or feeling of level 3 i.e emotions is delusion i.e. level 4)
P: He feels that I cannot protect myself maybe; I feel he doesn’t have confidence in me. I feel suffocated; I feel I'm not being allowed to grow up, as if I have stopped ageing at 21 or 22, i.e. from the time I have been living with him, since 1990. I feel I have not grown, he has not allowed me to grow. To grow you have to come out of your shell but then I feel cozy in my shell, only I feel that it is very hard. My husband often says that I cannot socialize with people as I tend to get upset with them. I find people hitting at me or that they come to me only for their work and when their work is done, they go and bad mouth me or they neglect me for anything. Maybe they criticise when they look at me; I many-a-times feel that they are laughing at me. I have this problem since childhood.
D: Now put all your attention on cozy... ( experience of delusion is sensation level 5)
P: It means my comfort zone, where nothing can touch me; where nobody’s sight is making fun of me, where I am lost in a crowd.
D: Tell me about comfort zone and cozy feeling – cozy in a shell, what is this shell?
P: Shell is my house or wherever I am, where nobody can see me; it's a cover for me. I don't like to even come out openly in my balcony and stand as I don't like anybody looking at me or noticing me. It is safe.
D: I'm covered with something - what is this? I'm covered meaning?
P: Means now here only you and she (pointing to Dr. Sadaf) can see me, but my husband cannot see me, so I feel covered. When I sleep, I cover myself with a bed sheet; I don't like even my finger popping out I close my ear that is the way my mother has habituated me; so I like to hide behind a cover. I feel I am secure. It is safe, it is something a woman is safe in. Outside this shell, she can be harmed, taken advantage of.
D: What is the experience there when you are hiding, when you are secured, when you are under the cover, when you are covered – experience, what is the feeling; feel it and tell me?
P: I feel very comfortable and relaxed. I feel I'm not being watched by anyone. I like to be in my zone alone. I am basically a loner. I often felt scared of my husband, because he was so overprotective.
D: What was your experience when you were scared of him?
P: The experience was very suffocating and I used to feel as if I'm in a golden cage.
D: What is the experience to be in the golden cage?
P: Being in the cage, I feel that I can do only what my master says. I can eat only what my master gives; I'm not able to speak also against his wish. Gandhiji gave us freedom but I'm not living. I'm an Indian and he is a Britisher in the house. This is how I feel.
D: Deep down, what is the experience when he treats you like this?
P: Very bad; lot of anger... I feel that today if my parents would have been alive, I would have walked out. But I cannot as I have nobody who will look after me. I feel it is OK, I am at least getting my food, I have a shelter, I can sit and meditate. I will be enlightened and will be able to get closer to God. I want to merge with God; I don't want to take anymore births. With the pain, my focus is magnified, I am grateful to God for this painful experience of sickness.
One positive thing happened to me is my focus is completely on God; I want to be a self-realised soul. I want to be my God’s favourite child; I don't want to come back because I've suffered a lot so it's very magnified with awareness. As a child too, I was very aware of myself and God as I went to a good school. From start, I am very forgiving and soft at heart.
D: Close your eyes, take three times deep breaths keep your eyes closed till we say open concentrate on freedom and speak whatever comes to your mind. Keep your eyes closed.
P: I want to get up at the time I want, I want to sleep at the time I want; to watch any channel or any movie of my choice at any time I want to. I wish to be able to take money from house and spend it any time I want to; to dress up the way I want to, have a haircut when I feel like having one, to be able to meet who I want and talk about what I feel, all according to my wish without anyone’s interference.
D: How does this freedom feel?
P: Very good.
D: Physically what is the feeling when you say freedom, at the moment whatever you want you can do money, dress, haircut etc. So what is the feeling there you are free now?
P: Yes I feel very happy, very joyful and I feel I am not under anyone’s control. I can do what I want.
D: What is the need to be under this control? Keep your eyes closed.
P: I need to be under this control because otherwise my husband and my son will make a vamp out of me they, I can't behave badly and live as I'm a good person. ( I observe at sensation level me vs someone or victim aggressor theme is coming again and again. Most likely an animal case)
D: What do you dream?
P: I get dreams of a dirty commode, black magic done on babies. I'm very scared of sharp objects too.
P: Knife or a blade it's very scary I cannot see such things on the TV, also I don't read news papers, I read only spiritual matter
D: What is your sensitivity about this sharp or a blade or a knife or a sharp object?
P: I start getting a current or wave in my body if I see blood or a wound. I feel scared when I see horror movies where they just cut the intestines. I started getting pain on seeing such things.
D: Which objects comes to your mind which you are sensitive to when you say blade and knife. Which kind of object in the horror movie?
D: How is, describe the knife which you are very scared?
P: Knife is very sharp, it's a little bigger than a kitchen knife and it's fat, quite fat I mean a person will die if attacked by it.
D: Any other dream comes to your mind, which has no sense at all?
P: I dreamt that I'm on the eighth floor and the sea has come in the balcony... as if I'm on the ground floor and I don't know what happened to all other houses. I could not see but the sea has come till here.
D: And what is the feeling in the dream?
P: Nothing I feel very nice, I love sea as it is.
D: Tell me about your love for sea.
P: I like water, sea waterfalls it gives me very calming effect. I will bathe for very long and I’ll keep washing my hands with soap for cleanliness. I love to swim, it gives me a feeling of healing, gives me a sense of freedom. I get scared to go deep but I love the sea waves touching my feet. I used to do that in my childhood. If I ever want to go anywhere, it is mostly to the seashore.
D: Which has been the worst situation of your life and your experience in it?
P: When I was bed ridden with arthritis and I could not move. I was not getting proper medicines or proper treatment; there was no way out so I told God either you put me on my feet or you take my life. I have lived my life with so much throbbing pain in my body; it is like every part of my body is tight and I keep saying ‘Release me, release me!’ and so I feel caged and suffocated (HG – bringing hands together).
D: Little bit more about this caged and suffocated, what is this gesture?
P: I feel that I want my freedom, I feel caught by the throat and now I don't have a way out. I am married to my husband so I don't have the guts to leave him. I fight but I don't mean it, maybe because I have lived life where I have been dependent on him for every small help and security.
D: What is security? Just concentrate on it.
P: Security for me is my husband, there is respect in his name. I feel secure because of him (HG).
D: What are you showing with your hands?
P: I hold him high, he looks after me, he does everything for me; he is a very good man. I feel I have the best man on earth. He is GOD for me. He holds my hand when I need him.
D: When your son or husband holds your hand when you are in pain what is the feeling there?
P: I get strength from him to bear my pain better; he calms me down he puts me to sleep like a mother does to a baby and only then does he sleep
D: What is the experience of that, what mother does to a baby, to be with the mother?
P: The mother makes the baby feel comfortable; she feeds her she sees that my baby is safe and she is sleeping sound and happy. My husband treats me in the same way. So I love that part of his, so then in front of all this all other things fade out.
I used to not get along well with my mother; she used to beat me and I would lock myself in the bathroom. She would run behind me with chilli powder in her hand. I would get scared of her but at the same time she was quite supportive as well.( I observe victim aggressor and split)
D: tell me something about the extra sensory power you have, as mentioned by you and your husband earlier?
P: Once when I was at Babulnath temple (a famous shrine in Mumbai) a lady asked the pandit (priest) about her missing husband to which the pandit replied that he was no more. The lady had searched for him in all hospital morgues, but in vain. She was continuously crying. She then came to me, I told her that her husband has been kidnapped by the people to whom he was unable to return money and that he will be back in eight days. Exactly the same thing happened after eight days.
D: Sorry, very funny question, how do you react to snakes?
P: I get scared of snakes but I love them also so I don't understand the mixed feeling.
D: What do you mean by love them?
P: We go to a snake temple and worship snakes. I have also happened to visit my past life and I saw that I then belonged to snake world and that I am follower of Lord Shiva, the lord of snakes. In my childhood, I used to feel a snake crawling over my eyes at night and often saw snakes in my dreams.
D: Tell me the dream (pls explain the dream).
P: I save the Shiva ling from falling in the pool of water. I see that I have travelled in meditation and that my astral Guru took me to Naaglok (the realm of snakes). I've been sent here with a purpose to serve humanity so when the right time comes, I will be able to tell people what is right spiritually and help them. I have been given the sight so that people cannot capture my power and put me down...
A guy at a temple in Powai tried to do this to me, he put nails into me on amavasya (new moon) and told me that it was for my well being, but from that day on, I started feeling sick. He actually harmed me instead of helping me...
Sometimes I feel I have become a hypocrite like my mother-in-law. She says something and does something else all together. It is like a dual personality. I feel that I am too becoming a dual personality and I blame my mother-in-law and husband for that. ( very strong reptile theme)
This case has a lot of stories and emotions, all intermingled with her experience. The physical symptoms are not that well characterised in terms of modalities or concomitants. The skill to analyzing such case is to finding a peculiar pattern, something that runs through her case, the features which describe her as a person. The pattern needs to be something peculiar to her, which is repeated through the case, something which is really peculiar to her.
This is where the Sensation Approach comes can be used. According to his approach, it is the experience that runs through the person, that goes beyond his mind and body, which is unique and can be matched to the experience of a substance in nature. If we are to see the salient features or the highlights of the case, we have:
• Wanting to be in a shell, which is comfortable and cozy
• Never being allowed to go out of the shell
• Feeling caged
• Experiencing suffocation
• Need to hide inside the shell
• Feeling of being dominated by her husband and son
• Feeling of having suffered wrong
• Need for protection
• Mother-in-law being dual personality, hypocrite
• Concern for her appearance
• Connection to sea and snakes
The feeling of being dominated, someone doing something to her, being treated badly, being caged by someone, having to suffer wrong are all indicative of a phenomenon of ‘You versus me’, or a theme of survival are characteristic of animal kingdom. According to Sensation Approach, the main experience or the Vital Sensation of the Plants is to do with sensitivity, of being affected and reacting.
The main sensation of the Mineral kingdom is all to do with structure, whether I am lacking, if I have to complete myself, or if I am losing my structure; while the main experience of the Animal kingdom is survival.
Once the kingdom, is clear, we go on to see which class the patient belongs to. When we consider the following features and experience:
• Dreams of dirt and of black magic
• Relation to snakes
• Wanting to hide in a shell
• Being harmed when outside the shell, being taken advantage of
All lead us to the class of Reptiles, the main features of which are:
• Feeling defenseless, at a disadvantage, weak
• Wanting to hide and escape
• Thermal sensitivity
• Lack of parental care
Further, we need a remedy from the class Reptilia, which needs to hide in a shell to feel comfortable, which can be harmed with a large knife and that has a lot of connection to the sea. This brings us to the family of testudines, which is the family of turtles and tortoises. The features of this sea turtle are:
• Sea turtles are not generally considered as social animals.
• Sea turtles senses are very sharp, sense of smell is the strongest. They have ear drums instead of ears which can detect vibrations along the ground or in water.
• Spear like wounds have often been observed on dead bodies of turtles.
• Turtles bleed profusely when injured and can die following a state of shock.
• The turtles hold on life is so deep and abiding that it is even possible to rip turtles from their shell and remove their intestines while they are still alive.
• The main function of the shell is to protect from the outside threat. The main feeling in seeking this protection is a need to disappear, to remain hidden and to camouflage. This is the main point of difference between the shelled mollusc and T. Row 2 the main feeling is “I am not developed enough to exist without protection/shell. That shell is not part of me, it is somebody else from outside, giving me that protective cover.”
Based on this understanding, she was given sea turtle, twice a day over 2 days. She did quite well on the medicine and all her symptoms improved by almost 40%. In June 2014, she was started with 0/6 potency of the same remedy, after which her progress was even better. In her follow up a year later, she reported that she was almost 80% better. In her words, “The medicine has worked like magic for me. It has given me new life. I do get depressed when I get pains; but when pains are not there I feel very happy that I have come out of it, I am very grateful because nothing got me out of this condition except your medicine.”
D: How is your relation with your husband and child now?
P: They are good now, I have learned to let go, sit, wait, not to react immediately. 2-3 times my son did not behave well, he then started feeling guilty and came to tell me sorry. He tries to talk, make up. He takes me to the gardens for a walk when my husband cannot make it. I feel very good seeing his caring nature. Now, I don’t feel as if they are not caring. My relationship with them has improved a lot.”( changes at sensation level,so platform on which disease was resting disappears)
The skilful application of Sensation Approach can give wonderful results. What is important is to persist without any prejudice and see what is most characteristic and what is true to all aspects of her life, what is it that defines a person, what is the innermost experience of a person. This experience when taken as it as and analysed systematically, can give amazing results.
The Sensation Approach when used with finesse can lead to a definitive analysis, in the absence of obvious symptoms. The solution lies in understanding the deepest issue of the individual, that which is striking and that which runs through his mind and the body and connects them, his sensation or the experience which is central to him. Dr. Rajan Sankaran, the pioneer of Sensation Approach in Homeopathy has developed this approach with his colleagues. They have all made advancements in approaches to case analysis which are beyond the Sensation method. They will come together to present their ideas, of their journey to the Sensation and beyond. the other song has organized Sensation and Beyond: Latest Advanced in Homeopathic Practice, a 3 day intense learning experience on 8th, 9th and 10th January, 2016 in Mumbai, where senior and international homeopaths and experts in the ‘Sensation Method’ will put these new ideas into practice. The main purpose of this event is to highlight the advances made beyond the Sensation method, which have helped treat difficult and challenging cases. Dr. Sujit Chatterjee is one of the main speakers at the seminar.
1 - Rajan Sankaran, Vital Sensation and the Kingdoms, Sensation in Homoeopathy, Reprint 2009, Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai, Page 289.
2, 3 – Rajan Sankaran with Meghna Shah, Survival – Reptile, Volume 1, Introduction and Testudinae, Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai.