The land of 'No': a case of Golden topaz
The gemstone remedies have become indispensable tools in my clinic. I find that they have a unique role to play helping people integrate seemingly irreconcilable inner states, where they seem to be ‘stuck in time’ around an issue, often related to trauma of some kind. Gems belong to the mineral kingdom and yet, in a case requiring a gem remedy the central issue does not resonate clearly with the themes of the columns and rows of the Periodic Table.
Case: (keywords related to the remedy are italicised)
A twenty year old man came to see me complaining that he was not happy; his life lacked joy. He was deeply depressed and worried a lot. He was not sleeping well and he was moody, experiencing bouts of anger and irritability for no apparent reason. He found it hard to get to sleep; his sleep was disrupted and he woke tired.
His condition had started after he began working full time as an apprentice mechanic. He was by nature very conscientious about his work, steady, and persistent. He said: “I am not motivated to do things I enjoy, such as making things with my hands.” Also contributing to his state was a relationship break-up the previous year, after which he turned to alcohol, and episodes of self-harm. “I feel flat, emotionless; everything is the same day to day. I’m drinking [alcohol] every night of the week. I keep working, which is the only consistent thing in my life. I make money, then I drink it. I feel indifferent; I don’t feel anything; no joy, I don’t look forward to anything; I don’t really care about anything; I feel neutral about life, I’m not concerned about anything good or bad.”
“I want to get motivated again, to find that spark again, and be passionate. I find it hard to open up about anything, I am self-contained. It is like looking out from within myself; all is within me, contained.”
His temperament by nature is melancho-phlegmatic, his body type tall and solid, his skin pale. He used to hate the heat, but now tolerates it (ie. he has cooled down).
Prescription: Golden Topaz 200C (liquid split dose), one dose per day for two days.
Follow-up: For two days after the remedy, he had a mild headache, which resolved. Within the first week, his energy levels improved significantly, he started feeling more enthused, and in a better mood. He started sleeping very solidly and waking less tired. His alcohol intake fell. A few weeks later, he was offered (“out of the blue”) a managerial position, which paid more and better suited his skills and interests. He started enjoying work. His response to Golden Topaz continued to build over the subsequent months, without needing repetition. It was repeated after a slight relapse a year later – in other words, this remedy suited him deeply.
Differential: on the surface Aurum metallicum would seem to be indicated in this case, with its conscientiousness, deep depression, ailments from grief and desire for alcohol. However, the heart of the case centred on a feeling of indifference and despair, a self-contained space (like the buried gem) where there is no feeling – no joy, no sorrow – nothing. By contrast, in Aurum we expect to see at the core of the case issues associated with series 6/ stage 11 of the Periodic Table, which are absent in this case. In Twelve Jewels, Peter Tumminello describes the Golden Topaz state as “The land of ‘No’”, a ‘black inky darkness’, a ‘place of perpetual limbo’, where ‘there are no feelings and no life’; ‘their life seems pointless’, ‘a deeper numb than Opium’, where the person feels isolated, encapsulated, and enclosed. This state can arise out of a deep sense of loss, resulting in a shutting down and separation from the feeling faculty. The opposite positive seed state of Golden Topaz is ‘active, enthusiastic, energised, jovial, love of life’, rejuvenation.
Reference: Tumminello, P. 2002. Twelve Jewels. The Medicine Way.
Keywords: flat, emotionless, joyless, indifference, despair
Remedies: Golden topaz