Author: David Quinn
Homeopathy and the Integration of feelings -8-
by David Quinn
The process of feelings
Even though suffering and disease can be a complex process which takes so much mental and physical energy, it is amazing to realise that underlying all the suppression are simple feelings. However, what may originally have been more clear, can become in the process of suppression quite distorted.
With the remedies derived from the plants of the Ranunculaceae family, the main feeling is mortification, and this is also experienced to be like being humiliated. I think the true feeling here of both the person and of these plants is mortification. However, in suffering the person becomes very sensitive to humiliation. This may happen because in not accepting the feeling, we start to not accept ourselves, because the feeling is part of ourself. When we do not accept ourselves, our ability to process feelings and information is very much affected. To an extent our perception of what is taking place around us is coloured by a needing be different to what we are experiencing. There are many reasons why this could happen. One reason is that our survival depends on it. In this, simple and healthy feelings will be distorted and will become something more complicated. It seems to make more sense that a plant would produce mortification and not so much humiliation. To be humiliated is a slight distortion of mortification, a more ‘suffering’ emotion.
Another example of this is of the suffering involved in the Loganiaceae remedies. While Dr Sankaran gives the deepest feeling here of being ‘shocked’, he also considers other prominent sensations as being let-down or disappointed. The person is sensitive to being let-down and disappointed while they are really suppressing being shocked by something.
The remedy Capsicum belongs to the Solanaceae family of plants and is well known for its prominent symptom of homesickness. There is also the symptom, “SECURITY, desires” (Dr Chawla). In Capsicum the person is easily offended, peevish, they want to be let alone. In the Materia Medica Pura we see this in the symptoms,
“Repugnance and crossness”
“He makes reproaches and is indignant at the faults of others: he takes trifles ill and finds fault with them”
“In the midst of joking he takes the slightest trifle in bad part”
The person in Capsicum is frightened, (Solanaceae family), “Wakes in a fright, screams: remains full of fear” (Margaret Tyler), and is mortified with the terror. We see a peculiar expression of wanting to be great in the midst of being frightened with the symptom “FEAR censured, of being” (Dr Chawla). In Prisma a similar sentiment is expressed in the sentence, ‘If she wants a certain thing, she will oppose it if is proposed by someone else’. This also sounds like Chamomilla. In the Capsicum state the person wants to be at home where it is safe and secure because they easily become frightened and mortified.
Interestingly, Capsicum shares with Clematis the symptom,
ENNUI homesickness, with (Synthetic repertory)
And when we study the Ranunculaceae remedy Clematis we see that it is also well marked for the expression of homesickness. Also, when looking up the general rubric HOMESICKNESS we find many of the known remedies of mortification. Included is, Aconite, Capsicum (2), Cimicifuga, Clematis (2), Coffea (2), Helleborus (2), Ignatia, Pulsatilla, Pulsatilla nuttalliana, and Staphysagria.
Coffea is a remedy often compared with both Chamomilla and Staphysagria. Coffea is also a state of pain, there is an extreme sensitiveness to pain. But with Coffea it isn’t so much the hurt of mortification which is aggravating to the state, it is stimulation. Dr James Kent writes, “But pain in the extremities aggravated by noise is peculiar. It seems that noise disturbs him so much that he cannot bear the pain.”
Coffea has the symptoms
AILMENTS from anger, vexation (2)
AILMENTS from love disappointed (2)
AILMENTS from scorn, being scorned
FEAR death pain, from (3) (Dr Chawla)
The state of Coffea has stinging pains like both Clematis and Staphysagria. And while with Staphysagria it is like being insulted creates the stinging mortification, in Coffea the person is mortified by apathy.
Another example of how an internalized feeling can become experienced in a different way is seen with the remedies of Row 4 of the Periodic table. The outstanding feeling common to all the remedies here seems to be insecurity. And this understandably creates much anxiety, a symptom well marked throughout the remedies here. Another aspect that seems to run through the remedies derived from the elements of this row is guilt. Rather than being insecure the expression of this is that the person feels guilty.
For example, in his description of Bromium Jan Scholten writes, “The guilty feeling is also very strongly present in Bromium. In the repertory we find the symptoms ‘Delusion people behind her’ and ‘Delusion people looking over her shoulder’ (Homeopathy and Minerals’), and in Prisma ‘…At other times he has intense remorse and guilt feelings about having wounded the feelings of others…’ (Jansen).
There are many symptoms indicative of guilt in the state of Arsenicum, and it is included in the symptom “DELUSION crime committed a, he had”, along with Kali-bichromicum, Kali-bromatum, and Zincum metallicum. Arsenicum is well marked in the rubrics
DELUSION offended people, he has
DELUSION wrong, he has done wrong (Dr. Sangeeta Chawla)
When we look at some of the rubrics of Zincum we see included many of the other remedies of the whole row.
ANXIETY conscience, as if guilty of a crime Arsenicum (3), Calcarea carbonica, Causticum (2), Cuprum, Ferrum (2), Ferrum-arsenicosum, Ferrum-phosphoricum, Kali-bichromicum (2), Zincum
ARRESTED is about to be Arsenicum, Cuprum, Kali-bromatum, Zincum (2)
DELUSION pursued police, by Arsenicum, Cuprum (2), Kali bromatum (2), Zincum
Jan Scholten in his book Homeopathy and Minerals describes the feeling of Zincum,
“Zincum has a very specific mental picture. They have the idea that they have to be very intellectual and achieve a lot in this area…Typical of Zincum is that they dream of taking an exam that they passed a long time ago…This situation often originates in the sort of upbringing they had at home. Here the emphasis will have been on intellectual achievement having to score high marks at school, otherwise they won’t count. It is often the father who exerts this sort of pressure and it is remarkable that these children are usually accompanied by their father when they come for a consultation…The pressure of having to achieve often leads to a feeling of guilt, particularly when they fail. It might make them feel that they have committed a crime. Hence the delusion or the dream that they are being pursued usually by the police.”
Rajan Sankaran writes of Zincum metallicum
“The remedy has the theme of attack and defence, with an accompanying feeling of having committed a crime. I have found that Zincum patients have a tremendous constant anxiety as if they would be arrested, as if they were pursued by someone…Repressed emotions can cause somnambulism and suppressed anger causes trembling and weakness.
After a period of excitability of the brain and tremendous restlessness, the Zincum patient can go to the other extreme which is tremendous dullness, fagged out feeling such that he cannot even understand a question - he repeats questions before answering them. He is muddled and suffers a brain fatigue; later he passes into a state of total collapse and coma” (The Soul of Remedies).
In the state of Zinc the feeling is that you are insecure and are being treated immorally.
When describing Niccolum Jan Scholten writes
“They suppress their emotions, particularly aggression, but also sexual and other ‘negative feeling’. Only ‘decent’ emotions like love may be shown…They think they are worthless and they don’t dare fight back. Hence they have dreams of losing their teeth…They might even develop the idea that they are guilty and being persecuted.” (Homoeopathy and Minerals)
Cobalt is described by S R Phatak, “Sense of guilt, Mental suffering. Thinks too little of himself.”
Rajan Sankaran describes Ferrum metallicum
Being compelled to do something against ones wishes. Fighting against it. Guilt of not obeying the parents. (The Soul of Remedies)
Ferrum is the feeling of being insecure and ‘unprotected’.
The presence of the feeling of guilt with all these remedies is directly related to the internalisation of insecurity. When we suppress insecurity we need to create in its place a compensatory feeling that we are secure. Everything that we do or feel must be in the interest of creating for ourselves a harmonious secure environment. The guilty feeling becomes anything that is happening or anything that we are feeling which is interpreted as interfering with this. Even the insecurity itself will be experienced as something ‘bad’. For instance, if a parent gives their child the message that for everything to be okay they need to do well at school, that child could very easily suppress that their sense of security is in actual fact, under threat, and instead they might end up feeling guilty if they don’t (or even do), achieve well at school.
When people internalise insecurity, they can end up feeling guilty about all sorts of things.
It be would be very helpful for the Homoeopath to have an understanding of the underlying healthy feeling of all the remedies and also, the various distortions of what they can become in the suffering person.
Many things can happen in the process of suffering and one of the most prominent is the tendency to create the exact opposite feeling to that which is being suppressed. And this opposite state is not just what we want to feel within ourselves. It can also be what we, to an extent, present ourselves as being, to others. A lot of the descriptions of the remedy states and of the behaviour that takes place, is an illustration of this phenomenon. In suffering we can spend a lot of energy keeping this opposite state. And what the person is exhibiting to the world around them can be the most striking and apparent feature of their state. A very important skill of a Homoeopath is to be able to listen, and become aware of what the person is presenting themselves as being. And even though the feelings of the different states are only shades of difference, it is the exactness of seeing this that will show to you a lot about the state of the person. The healthy feeling underlying suffering can be quite hidden from ourselves, we sometimes don’t know what it is, or that it is even there. However, what we want to be, is more apparent.
If we consider the state of Sulphur. The feeling of Sulphur is of being unconnected to others (row 3), and of being treated like you are no-one. It is like the feeling you are nothing, and your thoughts and opinions are nothing. Corresponding to this, the description of the Sulphur state is very much of the person wanting to be ‘someone’. This is why Sulphur is described as being close to Psora itself. Psora is the fundamental process of not accepting ourselves, and so just like Sulphur we instead want to become ‘someone’, apart from ourself.
Next to Sulphur is the element of Phophorus. The feeling of the Phosphorus column is more severe than Sulphur. It is more like being treated like you are less than no-one, like you are inferior to others. It is much easier to see this in the descriptions of both Nitric acid and Arsenicum album. Many descriptions of Arsenicum are of someone treating others like they are inferior. With Phosphorus we can see the disconnectedness to others (row 3), the Natrum, Silicea feeling of being distant, away from others. It is also brought out in the rubric “DELUSION Island, is on a distant” (Dr Chawla). And yet the Phosphorus person can also be very friendly, sympathetic and attractive in their behavior. In this they transform the situation from one where they are treated in such a way. Dr Sankaran describes Sulphur as the attitude “I am proud to be me, and I know better than you”, and the attitude of Phosphorus as “I am the opposite of you.” These descriptions are expressions when the person is feeling bad. They are a part of the opposite state. “I am better than you”, is ‘you are no-one, I am someone’, and “I am the opposite of you”, is ‘I am superior to you’.
The remedy Graphites is an interesting carbon remedy and also an interesting example of a remedy state belonging to Row 2 of the Periodic table of elements. One very outstanding characteristic running through the Graphites state is the feeling of being irresolute, confused, unsure what to do. The other aspect of Graphites is the feeling of being unseen (row 2) by others around them. And while this can create in the Natrum carbonicum state the impression they are an outcast, and in the state of Flouric acid the desire to be bright and glittery, Catherine Coulter shows us how in Graphites this can be like a state of the ‘unfulfilled artist’. She writes,
“Why, one may well inquire, does the Graphites individual seeking solace have no easy recourse to the philosophical disciplines and religious systems that satisfy others, but must work out his own individual understanding…The Graphites individual, indeed, possesses the soul of an artist…Coupled with the neglect of her artistic talents is a dread of being mediocre, and she grows, over the years, more critical of her abilities and increasingly afraid to stretch her wings…When Graphites does not experience pride in achievement or artistic fulfillment, he might begin to consider himself ill-used, unappreciated, unlucky, and eventually turn “peevish” – a word that Hahnemann lists no less than six times in the short “Mind” section…‘Only the person who is incapable of doing anything else in this world becomes an artist’ – and how, at the time, I resented this rather demeaning definition of the artist as a social misfit…Graphites, having taken so long and worked so hard at arriving at his true calling, cherishes that much more the precious gift…the Graphites individual, shedding his inertia, self-doubts, or resignation about remaining a gray presence in the background, can become a conductor of light: the conveyor of those works and ideas that contribute so much to an “enlightened” understanding of life. The remedy may help initiate a quest or prompt the spirit of enterprise.” (Portraits of Homoeopathic Medicines)
Included in the book Twelve Jewels by Peter Tuminello is the proving of Diamond (Adamas). This gem is another form of carbon. A prominent aspect of the Diamond immersion proving is this idea of light, of ‘shining light’. Here are some sentences from the proving,
The positive expression of diamond is as full of light as the negative is full of darkness...“Then I was going down a tunnel winding its way round: a very long tunnel; and came out into darkness. From the darkness came light. That was the message that I got ‘only from the darkness can come the light”...The pressure feels so great. I cry most of the night and wonder where I will find the strength to be what I have to be. I felt as though I could break down completely. Could I survive the pressure? Can I perform? Or would I do as I have done, and emerge from this feeling and shine? I shone and brilliantly.
The element Palladium belongs to row 5 of the periodic table. The feeling of the remedies of this row is like you are being criticised by others. Palladium is the feeling of being powerless and criticised. In the state of Palladium the person is presenting themselves to be someone who is a ‘powerful’ person, and who is beyond criticism. The person here usually reaches a position of power, where they are in charge of organising people. In doing this they are protecting themselves against criticism while also being able to criticise others. They can subtly, and not so subtly attempt to make others feel powerless. S R Phatak describes the Palladium state “Love of approbation, seeks the good opinion of others and attaches great importance to them. Easy prey to slights, real or imaginary; wounded pride and fancied neglect, sometimes finding vent in violent expressions...Keeps up brightly in company, much exhausted afterwards.” This is brought together by Divya Chhabra,“The situation of Palladium is that of a person who wants to win an argument, for example, yet is not willing to accept that the loser thinks badly of her. Palladium wants to be on top and at the same time everybody must think them to be wonderful” (quoted in Prisma).
The feeling of being criticised by others can tend into the sphere of cancer, in which it takes the form of perfectionism, where anything that is not just right, the way it should be, is justifiably open to criticism. Argentum metallicum is another remedy of this row. In Argentum it is like needing to become a person of value, of needing to be a very good performer of something, as the only way to finally evade criticism. The aim is to be appreciated, not criticised. Likewise, to perceive someone in Aurum metallicum is to see a person spending a lot of energy showing to you they are a likeable and valuable person.
Homoeopathy as a practise of medicine serves to encourage and stimulate the collective healing instinct already present in people. And I believe this is the feeling of empathy we share for ourselves and each other. Healing is to fully feel for another, as what they are going through we are going through. When describing the spirit of the Homoeopathy, James Tyler Kent wrote,
This law of similars is seen prominently in the natural world…it is the secret of mind cure, and there are many instances of mind cure that are based on the law of similars. One example of this is seen in the young girl who has lost her mother or lover and is ill as a consequence, is depressed with grief, is constantly sobbing and has become melancholy. She sits in a corner, hears nobody, she thinks no one can pity her because no one has had such grief. Let us apply allopathic treatment to her. “Come there is nothing the matter with you; why don’t you brace yourself up; why don’t you try to arouse yourself?” But this only throws her into a deeper state of melancholy. Scolding and harsh treatment do no good. But introduce the homoeopathic treatment, employ a nurse if you will…who has gone through the same identical grief…Pretty soon the patient will say, “You seem to have the same grief that I have.” “Yes, I have lost a lover.” “Well you can sympathize with me,”…There is a bond of sympathy. (Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy)
Another, tragic illustration of this, is given by Dr Rajan Sankaran in his introduction to An Insight into Plants,
“The patient was a woman with Borderline Leprosy with extensive skin lesions on both extremities. She gave the following history: Her husband had been paralysed. She had one son and he would quarrel with his wife. One day her daughter-in-law abruptly left the house after a quarrel and disappeared for three years. She left the patient completely alone at an hour when she needed her most. Her son became depressed and stopped looking after his shop. And so the patient was left alone to look after an invalid husband, a depressed son, his two small children and the shop, all by herself. When I asked her about her feelings she said she did not feel any anger; she did not feel anything. I could see here that there was heavy suppression of her emotions, and what was being expressed instead was an intense pathology. She used to get angry and abusive in the past but not now. Later her husband died, her daughter-in-law returned home and her son was okay handling the shop. She used to be angry but would not express it for fear that her daughter-in-law might leave once again. Then she developed leprosy…”
In his book The Substance of Homoeopathy Rajan Sankaran gives a description of the remedy Lac-caninum, and after doing this he writes “A possible situation of Lac-can could be incest. Imagine what it must be like. On the one hand the child feels dirty, contemptuous of herself and on the other hand she depends on the parent a lot and has to keep the feeling suppressed…”
It is interesting to look back and see how the remedy of Natrum muriaticum (sea salt) caused some bewilderment when first introduced. Everyone was skeptical about how a medicine derived from common salt, such a harmless substance, could have any medicinal properties. At the time the virtue of substances to act as medicines was seen to be related to their poisonous qualities. The act of potentising a substance was mostly thought of as a way to make it more harmless. In his introduction to the proving of Natrum Muriaticum Samuel Hahnemann wrote about this,
The preparation of drugs, peculiar to Homoeopathy, opens, as it were, a new world of forces, which hitherto have laid hidden by nature, this proof is surely afforded by the transformation of common salt, so indifferent in its crude state, into a heroic and mighty medicine, which, after such preparation, can only be given to patients with the greatest care. What an incredible and yet actual transformation! Apparently a new creation! (The Chronic Diseases)
In Aphorism 3 of the Organon of the Medical Art Samuel Hahnemann declares
To be a genuine practitioner of the medical art, a physician must:
• clearly realize what is to be cured in diseases, that is, in each single case of disease (discernment of the disease, indicator),
• clearly realize what is curative in medicines, that is, in each particular medicine (knowledge of medicinal powers),
• be aware of how to adapt what is curative in medicines to what he has discerned to be undoudtedly diseased in the patient, according to clear principles. (edited by Wenda Brewster O’Reilly)
A potentised remedy is the energy of a feeling inherent within the source of the remedy. Everything else, the non-integration, the sensations, dualistic alternating opposites, generalities, non-acceptance of self, miasmic dispositions and the provings of remedies are all part of and are characteristic of suffering.
Homoeopathy is not an artificial suffering state for a natural suffering state. It is the minute medicinal energy of the feeling given to act beneficially with regard to the process of suffering having come about through the internalization and non-integration of healthy feelings.
In his book The History of American Homoeopathy John S. Haller writes that the word ‘pathy’ in Homoeopathy comes from the Greek word ‘pathos’ which means both ‘to suffer’ and also, ‘feeling’.
While our feelings are necessary to give us information, our attempt to suppress them creates suffering. And this suffering is also protecting us because it is keeping us close to ourselves.
To define sickness and suffering as being the process of resistance to feelings of self is not to in any way individualize suffering. The situation of human civilization we find ourselves in could be described in a Homoeopathic way as a collective Psora in that most of the world has been taken over by colonization. The suppression of feelings is so normal and also perfectly understandable considering the situation in which the feelings emerged. We will probably find that within history, the epidemics of diseases will be related to how many people came to feel collectively about something that was happening in their lives, at that time.
Keywords: James Tyler Kent, Jan Scholten, Zincum, Rajan Sankaran, Ferrum, Margaret Tyler, Catherine Coulter, Graphites, Peter Tuminello, Diamond, Samuel Hahnemann, Divya Chhabra