Homeopathy for Epidemics, Collective Trauma and Endemic Diseases – Part 2
This article consists of three parts:
1. The History Of Homeopathy
2. Building On The Past
3. From Theory To Practice
Part 1 was published in the previous edition of Interhomeopathy.
Building On The Past:
Infectious diseases and miasm.
Before discussing how I perceive homeopathy can constructively address the collective issues of our time - as expressed in epidemic diseases, collective trauma, and cultural illnesses – let’s go back to history again.
In his Organon at Ã‚Â§78 Hahnemann declares that true natural chronic diseases are those that arise from a chronic miasm. In his analysis Hahnemann defines three miasm: Psora, Sycosis and Syphilis, of which in modern terms Psora could be seen as the mother of all chronic diseases. According to Hahnemann uncured miasm cannot be eradicated by the life force (Ã‚Â§79) and only homeopathy can do this. A too bold a statement I believe for the like cures like principle is broader than homeopathy but a general law underlying all creation. More miasm have been recognise since Hahnemann. Not all homeopaths are accepting them that easily, but I have no doubt that somewhere in the future it will be broadly accepted and recognise that many influences besides infectious diseases, let be only the three Hahnemann pointed out, determine the state of health and can cause a miasmatic disturbance. It is very clear to me that our understanding of miasm needs to be updated to be able to bring homeopathic treatment of collective issues to a higher level.
Miasma’s and Process:
My own understanding of the miasm underwent a revolutionary change based on an accidental observation that I made. Knowing the work of Stanislav Grof (psychiatrist) on the birth experience I noticed a marked analogy between Hahnemann’s miasm and the stages of birth (See the books ‘Miasm in Labour’ and ‘Homeopathy for Birth Trauma’). I’m not going to repeat all of what I’ve written on the subject here but will summarise some conclusions relevant to this article:
• The birth process shows us life in a nutshell. All phases of human development and of the individuation process are represented. Analysis of an individual birth shows amazing similarity to the state observed later in life, so the birth experience already displays the central theme of an individual. Birth is not causing that state but expressing it, since in cases where there is information from pregnancy, conception or beyond the same patterns can be observed.
• All the miasm we have come to recognise – psora, sycosis, syphilis, tubercular, cancer, leprous etc - can be clearly retraced as belonging specifically to a certain phase in the birth process, and the main remedies representing them can be understood using the symbolical language of that aspect of the birth experience. Since birth is a process it became clear that miasm are related to development, and each of them to a specific phase or theme in development, both on an individual as also a collective level.
• Miasm have a role and serve a purpose. In homeopathy we have only highlighted the pathological side of them, the results of something going wrong during development.
• Disease induces change within an individual, and miasmatic diseases that we could also call collective diseases, induce change within society, the group, tribe, nation or mankind as a whole.
• Diseases and miasm induce the development of qualities within an individual and within humanity. Miasm are subconscious Archetypes. Only if the normal process of development and growth is blocked diseases can come forward to bring this to awareness and to induce the change needed.
• Diseases and miasm are both the problem as well as the key to growth. Actually diseases and miasm are the teachers of mankind, and in infectious diseases microorganisms carry the message.
• 95% of our DNA stems from viruses and bacteria. This means that these germs bring pieces of information to us and that integrating these pieces is what drives evolution. This also makes very clear why killing the bug, allopathy, can never support the role and purpose of the disease, and forces the organism to own the same lesson following a different route, one that can be expected to involve more suffering. This is the deeper meaning of suppression.
Logics of Miasm:
• Symptoms are a sign of the Dynamis restoring balance (Hahnemann)
• A disease is a combination of symptoms
• A disease is a sign of the Dynamis restoring balance in an individual by bringing it to a higher level of functioning. That balance is restored does not mean that the individual is brought back to a previous state, but rather moved on to a new one that includes the qualities induced by the disease.
• An epidemic disease is a sign of the collective Dynamis restoring balance and inducing growth and awareness in a group
• Miasm can be expressed in humanity through a variety of afflictions
• Miasm are a sign of the Dynamis restoring balance and inducing growth in the collective
• Epidemic outbreaks are acute collective manifestations of this process involving a large group, whereas miasmatic diseases are more of a chronic expression of the same energy afflicting those individuals that apparently work on the same issues in their individual development.
• Epidemics that are endemic for long periods of time, like malaria and TB, are concerned with major shifts in humanity that take many generations.
Since 2004 I got more and more involved with the treatment of epidemics in Africa. This started with AIDS, but gradually has come to include many more epidemic diseases as also collective trauma. It was Peter Chappell’s work with AIDS and the spectacular results I witnessed with his remedy PC1, first in Malawi and later also in other African countries, that made me decide to make the treatment of collective diseases my main focus. Doing so I came to understand that in homeopathy we overemphasize the individuality of problems a patient comes with. The majority if not all so-called individual problems are expressions of universal themes, and the collective roots of these themes can often be traced back in the life of the individual and his/her family or culture. The expression in the patient can be unique asking for an individual simillimum, but there are many cases where if we look deep enough we can discover roots, miasm if you like, that are collective. Let me give you an example.
55-year-old woman with a deep pain
This patient has as long as she can remember suffered from a deep pain, a grief that is bottomless. In the history of her personal life there were certainly reasons for grief and pain, as her mother had been severely depressed and therefore absent for her throughout her youth. And many of her symptoms could be well understood in the light of this history. But somehow the depth of her pain was of a completely different league. As I experienced it in interviewing her it outweighed by far the lack of motherly support and love.
She said: “It’s like a very old well of pain. As if I was losing grips. As if I was losing contact with reality. Going to a deep place where this was lying. It is a completely different world, with strong emotions and loneliness. Being cut off. As if everything is useless. As if I can already see the end of things. The grief and pain there are so huge and I don’t dare to feel the depth of it.”
When she later told the whole family had been extinguished in the Nazi concentration camps, the depth of her pain had found a match. She was clearly suffering from something that was lying beyond her personal history, the collective trauma of genocide.
When in 2005 Peter Chappell was in Rwanda to treat AIDS he soon found out that on top of AIDS people were especially still suffering from the genocide that took place ten years before. He recognise this to be a collective trauma that should be dealt with using the genus epidemicus approach. He prepared a resonance that he called PC War/Genocide Trauma and gave that first to his patients that responded remarkably well. This feeling as if it had happened yesterday, the flashbacks, nightmares and all other ways in which this traumatic miasm was being expressed in them, all of this subsided rapidly. (PC Resonances are not the subject of this article and could be replaced with other remedies based on an analysis of genocide or any other disease or trauma totality. See www.peterchappell.com and ‘The Second Simillimum’ for more information on PC Resonances).
So I decided not to individualise this case but, to start treating the genocide trauma using the above mentioned PC Resonance: PC304x 5 drops daily. The response was wonderful!
Five weeks later: “I am very much surprised. There is a change I had never expected to be possible. I feel a completely different person. A dramatic change. For a short period I continued crying but since then it has not come back. It is a completely new period. I feel optimism, trust, love for life. It is miraculous. This weeping has travelled with me all of my life. The last couple of years it was constantly there. Before that in episodes.
I dream again, quite lucid, remember them better. My sleep is much deeper and I waken up less. On waking up in the morning I am okay.
No more panic or fear of being abandoned. I can continue with my life like this. I’m no longer afraid to move on, to be forsaken. A great trust has come. It is okay what happens or is about to happen. There is more peace inside. I can enjoy the simple things of life again. Before this all joy was lacking.
Before I started taking this remedy I had the feeling being wiped out, taking no space. I just as well might not be there. Now I take a space and that has meaning.”
Two months later there was no further improvement and we discontinued the drops. She says now: “A complete layer has been dealt with, this layer of collective grief. The insecurities I have now have to do with every day practicalities. Like building my house. Then I feel a lack of stability and go back to the time our family was broken up. Like a sea without borders. I love the sea because it gives space, quiet and openness.
In the morning I have a bit troubles starting the day, a little sadness. In the evenings I am feeling great. What I didn’t tell you before is that I have a strong fear of spiders. Since the last couple of months my menses has returned.”
So she’s free now from the collective trauma and the complaints she still has now she relates to her own history, for which now a personal simillimum is indicated.
Regarding her personal trauma the broken relationship with her mother is essential. She was disconnected from her mother, causing feelings of forsakenness and insecurity. This definitely happened at the age of nine when her mother could no longer cope it, but also before that time her mother was depressed and not the source of warmth and comfort she needed. Later in her life we see a tendency toward bulimia with a desire for sweet dairy products, including ice cream and chocolate.
In short, she received one dose of Lac humanum MK and eleven weeks later she reports:
“I’m beautifully out of the dependency in my recent relationship (a friend she got after her divorce). I’m on my own feet now. There have been no dips any more and my base has become firmer. All the symptoms that have improved on the first remedy never returned. Since this last remedy my asthma is a lot better, my stomach problems are gone and I no longer have abdominal pains.
I dream about my recent relationship. I dreamed of getting a clear view by literally putting on other glasses to be able to see further away.”
Three months later: “I’m totally fine and suggest to cancel the appointment. I’ll contact you in case anything new will come up.”
Of course we do not know what would have happened had I started with Lac humanum, but I honestly doubt whether she would have responded as she had done now. By fully clearing up the collective trauma just one dose of her simillimum was enough to clear up all the remaining symptoms and to my knowledge a repetition of either remedy has not been indicated until today.
Trauma and Miasm
Let us look at an example of collective trauma in our time:
Kashmir (Washington Post September 2008)
“The number of patients seeking mental health services surged at the state psychiatric hospital, from 1,700 when the unrest began to more than 100,000…
The patients have insomnia, learning disabilities, anxiety disorders and what Kashmiri therapists call the ‘midnight-knock syndrome’, a fear stemming from the many pre-dawn raids by Indian security forces aimed at rooting out suspected insurgents…
Mental health groups estimate that 60,000 Kashmiris committed suicide last year, a record number, said Mushtaq Margoob, head of the Government Psychiatric Diseases Hospital in Srinagar…
More than 15 percent of Kashmiris are afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a recent study by Margoob … In January, the army recruited 400 psychiatrists after more than 100 soldiers, including officers, killed themselves … "etc.
The symptom in all these people described above may differ, but it is very clear to me that an as-if-one-person approach would be very effective in a fast majority of the cases. And this is only Kashmir. I’m writing this part of the article on my way to Burundi and East Congo, another area full of heavily traumatised people. Just watch the news for some time and you can see that many millions of people are suffering from collective trauma. It’s the collective that is ill, out of balance, and it’s the collective that needs to be treated. If we don’t see that and act accordingly we will never be able to heal these collective derangements. For in the time we need to treat one single traumatised patient using individualised treatment ten new ones get traumatised. It is also a lot more practical to start with a genus epidemicus remedy – genus traumaticus if you like – and to later individualise those cases where the collective approach is not enough. Following such a strategy we would be able to help many more patients and perhaps even be able to induce a real change in the collective.
It seems as if unresolved trauma lies at the basis of many chronic conditions. If we look at the language of Vital Sensation these are all expressions of trauma. These are sensations fitting a traumatic experience to a life form.
Some ideas on the role of trauma:
• An Individual Trauma can express itself in an Individual Disease. This is something we know from experience. For instance an unresolved grief can be expressed in recurrent throat infections, or as a result of sexual abuse a woman can have recurrent bladder infections.
• Trauma is hereditary. See the case above. See also the work of Hellinger. If we go a few generations back there are lots of traumas that can be at the root of symptoms we come across in our patients. These include wars, periods of starvation and crashing stock markets, stillborn babies, rape, incest etc.
• A Collective Disease can follow a Collective Trauma. A good example is cholera following the horror of war. Interesting to see that for instance Cuprum is a remedy fitting both war (the typical Cuprum state is that of a soldier) and cholera. Of course there are also circumstances on the physical level like lack of clean drinking water etc but that doesn’t mean that trauma at the energetic level is not an essential part of the expression of the disease. By looking solely at material manifestations and circumstances school medicine denies energetic disturbances in many conditions. Let’s not make that same mistake. Besides that we know from research that traumatic events cause malfunctioning of the immune system, so circumstances and susceptibility come together to create disease.
• The language of the Vital Sensation is the language of Trauma. If we read all the different ways a vital sensation is expressed this becomes very obvious. Whether it is being pressed together, falling to pieces, torn apart, exploded, scattered etc. These are all very physical expression of ways in which the integrity of an organism can be threatened.
• There seems to be a chain reaction:
o Trauma Ã¢â€¡â€™ Miasm
o Miasm Ã¢â€¡â€™ Infection
o Infection Ã¢â€¡â€™ Genetic damage (genetic trauma)
o Genetic damage Ã¢â€¡â€™ Chronic Disease
• Collective trauma Ã¢â€¡ÂÃ¢â€¡â€™ Epidemic; a collective trauma can be both cause and effect of an epidemic; if for instance due to Avian Flu millions of people die that causes a trauma to many more million survivors. And staying with that example the fear and panic that comes up if such an epidemic is broad-casted is the first symptom of the epidemic, the first way in which the collective shows signs and symptoms before or without the virus itself ever reaching the individual.
• Trauma seems to be Primary. So in the chain of diseases and traumatic events - a limited two-dimensional way of cause and effect - it seems with that the wheel starts turning.
• Separation, the delusion that we are separated instead of one, the mythological departure from paradise, is the Basic Trauma.
Follow the river to its source:
If we look at the role homeopathy can play in the world it makes sense to analyse what would be the most effective way of using our resources – the knowledge on how to heal using the law of similars that is present in a considerable but limited number of homeopaths.
• Treating individuals and their miasmatic diseases alone is clearly not enough.
• Besides treating miasmatic effects we can and should treat the causes.
• These causes start as trauma or infectious and epidemic diseases - often based on trauma.
• The roots of miasm lie in collective themes as the infectious and epidemic diseases causing them, or the bacteria and viruses instrumental in them, have nothing to do with the individual.
• To be able to effectively address miasm at an earlier phase, we need to understand and treat the totality of these collective diseases.
• The totality on which we base our prescriptions to treat collective derangements of the vital force (trauma and epidemic diseases) should include the symptoms & the role and purpose of the disease.
• Chronic diseases that prevail in a certain culture or era have strong collective roots. The more prevalent they are the less important an individual approach becomes, and the more important it is to treat the collective issues. E.g. obesity and diabetes mellitus in our time and age.
• Ideally we always do both if one approach doesn’t fully cure – treat the individual and the collective picture.
• Practical is to start as early as possible with the collective before it branches off in a variety of individual expressions.
Homeopathy for the World:
So I feel that homeopathy needs to develop a practical approach to make its best asset top priority. Treating the collective is what we do best and is what has a larger curative and prophylactic impact on humanity. Treating the collective is like using a wider filter that will take out the big chunks effectively. The smaller chunks that it lets through can be filtered out using the more refined filter of individual treatment. By overemphasising the individual expression of collective issues our filters are clogged by a lot of collective debris and the effects of individual treatment is therefore often limited.
• The higher purpose of homeopathy on a global level is to know what needs to be cured in the world, a continent, country, society etc.
• For this we need to be able to read the signs and symptoms of our time.
• An epidemic is an expression of a need for collective change.
• Treating today’s trauma is preventing tomorrow’s epidemics.
• Treating today’s epidemics is preventing tomorrow’s chronic diseases.
• Healing today’s collective diseases is preventing tomorrow’s individual diseases.
This sounds very ambitious, and it is. It may take decades to make this vision a reality. Impossible? Here are some quotes from the past that history falsified:
• “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” (Lord Kelvin, president of the Royal Society, 1895)
• “Unworthy of the attention of practical and scientific men.” (British Parliamentary Committee report on Edison’s electric light bulb)
• “X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” (Lord Kelvin, president of the Royal Society, 1883)
To use a more contemporary quote: “Yes we can.” With the emphasis on we. In theory this is what homeopathy can; to make it a reality it needs dedication and doing by us, homeopaths. At the end of the article I will give some short cases showing what is already a reality using this approach in Africa.
Homeopathy Should Take Its Responsibility in Epidemics!
The easiest and most practical way of starting to address collective derangements of the vital force is by treating epidemics. There are lots of reasons why this is a more than good idea and why luckily several homeopaths are practicing this, especially in developing countries:
• Because it creates no side-effects
• Because it is safe for pregnant women, babies and elderly people
• Because it is not expensive
• Because production, storage and distribution is simple
• Because it does not induce therapy resistance
• Because it does not create more dangerous viruses and bacteria
• Because it has been effective in many epidemics in the past is effective in today’s epidemics
Strategies that need to be developed:
• For treating collective trauma
• For treating epidemics
• For treating chronic diseases in the case the individual Simillimum alone is not sufficient
• For inducing Wellness and Spiritual Growth – this is another step we can make to enhance peace and health. Without it being the main reason for performing them doing provings is an expression of this possibility. Hahnemann himself already said that doing a proving is beneficial for the prover. It awakens people. By doing provings on a larger scale, meaning including many individuals world-wide, and by selecting substances that address the needs of our time, collective wellness and spiritual growth can be stimulated.
We need to broaden the genus epidemicus principle to include other collective conditions that can be approached using the ‘as-if-one-person’ principle, either with or without complementary individual treatment. The following terms we could use:
• Genus epidemicus
o Based on the totality of the symptoms of an epidemic disease
• Genus traumaticus
o Based on the totality of the symptoms of collective or endemic trauma
• Genus endemicus
o Based on the totality of the symptoms of an endemic disease
• Genus chronicus
o Based on the totality of the symptoms of a chronic disease
The ideal simillimum for a patient would include all typical symptoms:
• Those that individualise the patient, including the vital sensation, and
• Those that individualise the disease.
In some rare indications we see this in patients, like in a Mercurius case of colitis ulcerosa, where the characteristics of the patients as also of the disease all fall within the totality of the remedy.
Chronic diseases: prescribe for …
The reality of homeopathic practice is that a super simillimum is only rarely found. In all other cases the homeopath has several options to prescribe on:
1. The patient
2. The causal factor (infection/trauma)
3. The consequence (miasm)
4. The expression (chronic disease)
5. Any combination or sequence of 1-4
A simple and workable motto in where to start if indeed several totalities are discovered in a patient is: start with what is staring you in the face! In advanced cases of chronic diseases as also in epidemic diseases and serious trauma starting with that is to be advised for several reasons:
1. The individual simillimum is often hard to discover as the energy of the condition is overruling it.
2. The individual simillimum has only very limited or even no effect because of the same reason.
3. It works in practice and is the reason why also clinical homeopaths have their success cases.
A New Source:
In homeopathy until today remedies have been used coming from material sources. These include the imponderables like Sol and Magnetis as also these originate from material sources.
Immaterial sources have to my knowledge hardly been used, and if so met with great skepticism. Their basis is consciousness and since nobody can see that under a microscope or put it into a mortar the reserve is understandable. This doesn’t mean though that this source can and should not be used.
I’m sure there are many ways, either based on spiritual practice or technology, in which remedies based on conscious purposely design can be made. My personal experience is limited to those prepared by Peter Chappell. In his search for a simillimum for AIDS in Africa he couldn’t find a suitable remedy in the then existing materia medica and found a way to create a simillimum without the use of material substance (see www.ARHF.nl).
He has named his first remedy PC1 and developed many others later, which together are referred to as PC Resonances.
The last part of this series of three will follow in the next edition of Interhomeopathy.
Part 3 From Theory To Practice
Ã‚Â© Harry van der Zee 2009
Keywords: Stanislav Grof, birth process, logics of miasm, Peter Chappell, AIDS, collective diseases, trauma, PC1, Malawi, PC War/Genocide Trauma, Lac humanum, Kashmir, Lord Kelvin, epidemics, Genus morbicus, Super Simillimum,