An Understanding of Health and Disease
We have seen that disease is a posture adopted by the organism for survival in a particular situation. A posture is unsuitable and needs to be removed when:
- The original situation does not actually exist.
- The situation now is different.
- The reaction is out of proportion to the situation.
Conditional okayness and restriction of vision
Disease sets up several conditions for feeling okay. Due to these conditions (compulsions) and obsessions (fixed feelings) our ability to react to the situation becomes restricted. This restriction is a measure of our disease. When such a restriction is present we are no longer open to what is in front of us. As against this, health is unconditional okayness. In health a person feels okay without any conditions. It allows man to be in the moment and to react appropriately and proportionately to the situation he faces. If the situation calls for achievement he will achieve. If it demands that he remain passive he will remain so. He does not have either to achieve or to remain passive in order to feel okay. He is free to react in accordance with the situation. Health signifies freedom, spontaneity and being in the present. The spirit within is free to fulfil the requirements of the situation.
The delusion creates conditions for okayness. A person does not feel okay unless the conditions set up in his delusion are fulfilled. Disease is a restriction of vision. It is a narrow way of looking at things. Only awareness of this delusion can remove it, just as light removes the darkness. Disease disappears only with awareness. The Homoeopathic remedy creates awareness of your delusion by putting you in touch with the original situation from which the delusion came.
Compensation involves covering up by an act of will some elements of our own nature without actually changing these elements. In all relationships man has to compensate in some way. Compensation is required when a particular quality is not useful in a particular situation, or when it is not approved by society, or when it is positively harmful to one’s image or life in any society. If the compensation is very intense or when the patient is very sensitive to the presence of a particular quality then over-compensation takes place. This means that a pattern of behavior will be developed which will be exactly opposite to the patient’s real nature. To find out uncompensated symptoms we need to ask the following:
- What is the situation that the patient has chosen for himself? There must be a lot of uncompensation in that. An example of this is a vocation pursued by choice.
- What are the things in the situation that he is happy or comfortable with; these will be in tune with his uncompensated state. Examples are hobbies, interests, aims, ambitions, goals etc.
- What are the features, that despite knowing that these are not good in his situation he cannot help? These will be his uncompensated symptoms.
- What are the things in his nature that are socially frowned upon but he still cannot avoid? These will also be uncompensated symptoms.
- Fears and fantasies also reveal uncompensated symptoms in opposites. In provings uncompensated symptoms are brought out; the effect of the remedy being unfamiliar and short lasting, there is no time for compensation.
True or uncompensated symptoms will be seen in situations of crisis, in childhood, in the patient’s behavior with those close to him, wherever there is involuntary behavior.
In dreams most of our feelings or actions are uncompensated, whereas the reverse can be said to be true of the waking state. Dreams are therefore the most direct and most obvious path to the patient’s delusion. They therefore have immense value as symptoms.
Dreams cannot be ignored, and neither should they be interpreted.
What to look for in dreams:
- The exact description of each ingredient in the dream.
- The exact feeling in the dream: The feelings in the dreams are so individual that they never cease to amaze.
- The depth of the feelings and the degree of desperation in the dreams.
- Where is the feeling in the dream or its opposite found in the patient’s life?
- What does the patient associate with the feeling in the dream spontaneously?
Whatever the dream and however perplexing at first there will always be some feeling associated with it, which will be found in the rest of the case and in the most important incidents in the life of the patient.
Dreams are usually seen where the feelings are heavily compensated. They can be pleasant dreams and their opposites (unpleasant dreams), situational dreams, symbolic dreams (usually without emotions), projected dreams and deep, vivid, repetitive and connected dreams which are usually very important.
Practical Application of these Ideas
What is to be cured in diseases?
From an understanding of the concepts stated above we can see that:
- It is the Central Disturbance that is to be cured and not the pathology. Remove the central disturbance and the pathology ceases. The Central Disturbance is the P-N-E-I (psycho-neuro-endocrine-immune) disturbance.
Hahnemann defined disease as a disturbance of the Vital Force. It has been understood in more recent times that this governing Vital Force acts through the controlling organ systems in the body, viz. the P-N-E-I axis. The symptoms of the P-N-E-I axis together represent the Central Disturbance. If the remedy covers the Central Disturbance, then it will cure the particulars or pathology even if that pathology is not typical of the remedy.
The following symptoms can be said to represent the central disturbance or P-N-E-I axis:
- The symptoms of the mental state of the patient.
- General symptoms which include:
- General modalities, for example thermal reaction, reactions to noise, light etc., factors that aggravate or ameliorate the whole organism.
- Changes in appetite and thirst
- Cravings and aversions
- Sleep pattern and dreams also represent as all the above do, a general disturbance of the body.
- Sweat patterns which are related to the autonomic nervous system; also the odor and color of the perspiration, whether staining or non-staining, all these are due to generalized metabolic changes and so are representative of the whole rather than being functions of the sweat glands themselves.
- Disturbances in sexual function and impulses, such as menstrual symptoms, symptoms around the time of menopause in women, or increased or decreased sexual desire in both the sexes; these pertain to the endocrine system as well as to the mind and nervous systems.
- Tendencies for specific conditions like recurrent infections, and allergies which are related to the immune system, or peculiar tendencies to recurrent problems of any one or more organ systems, for example recurrent heart affections or diseases of the nervous system etc.
- Highly peculiar and characteristic symptoms, even those which are confined to single parts if they have no organic base, represent the central disturbance and are functions of the whole.
- Disease is nothing but the basic delusion of the patient. Hence by understanding what this basic delusion is we go straight to the crux of the problem. Remove the delusion by creating awareness and the disease is removed.
The Central Disturbance gives rise to the delusion. If we understand and remove the delusion we are reaching a level deep enough to effect a change in the central disturbance.
What is curative in medicine?
Potentized remedies do not have any site of action; they have dynamic effect only.
In a proving a remedy produces a state of being, a state at the level of mind and a state at the level of generalities first. Then depending upon individual susceptibility it will produce symptoms in various organs.
A Homoeopathic medicine is one which is capable of producing a state similar to the state in which a person already is. By producing such a state it creates an impression or an image of the original situation to which the state was an appropriate response.
The closer a factor is to the original situation of the remedy the more it will aggravate the state. The further away it is from the original situation the more it will ameliorate.
General and physical characteristic symptoms of remedies are purely nervous sensations. Symptoms become important when we cannot find an organic basis or pathological explanation for them, and when they occur as a concomitant to or independent of the pathology.
Mind and body speak the same language
Local peculiarities, general symptoms and modalities indicate the central disturbance as much as mental symptoms, since they all come from the same source which is neither mental nor physical but deeper to both. The mental symptoms however form a pattern which can be associated with a delusion. To identify a pattern with the physical symptoms is difficult. The physical symptoms seem discrete.
It depends upon whether the individual practitioner feels more comfortable dealing with the mental state or when dealing with the physical state. Both are doors to the same house or two sides of the same coin. The wise man is the one who looks at both sides of the coin before identifying it, whichever side he may have begun with.
Whenever a person meets with a situation in which the vitality has to cope in an adaptive way, when the mind alone cannot cope it will take the help of the body, and where the body alone cannot cope it will take the help of the mind. Both the mind and the body express the same disturbance. This disturbance neither originates nor is localized to the mind or the body, but at a level which is deeper than both, at the level of the Vital Force itself. Health and disease both occur at the same level. The mind articulates the state, the best.
The entire totality of symptoms is actually one symptom, all coming from one single delusion.
If the mental and general symptoms are clear and intense the potency will be high.
The higher the central disturbance the higher the potency.
The closer we get to the exact remedy of the patient the higher the potency.
Situational Materia Medica
Each remedy must be a posture suitable for a particular situation, so I started studying the situational materia medica of various remedies. Behind the entire conglomeration of mental symptoms there is a pattern which represents a situation. This concept helped to understand remedies, but one could not choose a remedy based on the situation of the patient. In a case it was important not to trace what the patient’s own situation was but what was the situation that he was reacting to.
… to be continued
With kind permission taken from the book: “The Sensation in Homoeopathy”, Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai, India
Literature by Dr. Rajan Sankaran:
“The Spirit of Homoeopathy”,
“The Substance of Homoeopathy”,
“The Soul of Remedies”,
“The System of Homoeopathy”,
“An Insight into Plants”,
“The Sensation in Homoeopathy”,
All these books are published by Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, India