Exploring Emptiness with Homeopathy

Potentiated remedies contain almost nothing. In most cases – literally nothing.

Nevertheless, up until now that “almost” has been the main sphere of interest for homeopaths. They’ve been fascinated by how these ultra-low concentrations work, they’ve looked for “energies” that are released from material by vigorous succussions, some “vibration” patterns (frequencies) remaining, nanoparticles, clusters of water molecules (“water memory”), even some quantum changes in solution, etc. I mean all this time homeopaths have been looking in their remedies for something that’s detectable.

EMPTINESS – the state of containing nothing

Oxford dictionary

Naturally, NOTHINGNESS hasn’t seemed like a valid option worth anyone’s attention. Making nothing, i.e. taking something out of a remedy solution does not seem like a worthy deal, does it?

But look, that’s exactly what’s happening during potentiation process as we manufacture a remedy!

We take something out up until we end up with nothing, i.e. something that’s imperceptible and undetectable as separate. Actually, we end up with a pure potential. Why should we want to detect it? When a potential is detected it becomes realized. When it manifests in one way or another – it’s not a potential anymore, is it?

Such potentiality (a feature of Emptiness) makes the essence and determines the mechanism of action of potentiated remedies. It is about

  • the hidden, not-yet-manifested (Yin) side of Reality and of Homeopathy as well
  • the very nature of “information”/perception – deep within it is absolutely Empty
  • space of perception (the one in which perception is happening) that has no center, borders or time, i.e. literally nothing
  • the place from which everything appears and disappears in it
  • the nature of Consciousness (every our experience happens It), i.e. who we actually are, the Self.

Emptiness may seem kind of philosophical at first. But with a correct practice and mindset it becomes the actual Reality that’s even more real than perception itself. You know, perception is constantly changing, it is ephemeric in its nature. But Emptiness in which this perception is happening always remains the same, it does not change at all. You may actually become aware of it and live with that awareness.

Homeopaths have been trying to define remedies by symptoms they produce in healthy volunteers:

  • That’s correct in cases you use the raw substances that really work. Substances really produce their own symptoms. It is correct to write them down, analyze, group and use in practice – especially when handling acute cases.
  • But potentiated remedies do not work by their own and do not produce/cause any symptoms. They just reveal certain our aspects. Consider them to be synchronicities or some kind of mirrors showing us (pinpointing, revealing) some parts of the reality here&now.

If you try to define a mirror by the image it shows – you instantly get into different sorts of troubles:

  • Each time you come up to this mirror – the image is different. The lighting, your clothes, hair, emotional state, etc. – at least some of these are different. You can’t repeat the same remedy experience twice, can you?
  • When you learn to look at your patients through these mirrors (using remedies in a proving mode and Listening) – each time you see quite different pictures. The same remedy provokes different reactions in different patients. Each person appears to represent a different Universe with its own priorities and even laws. The same remedy manifests differently in each of these worlds.

We should get comfortable in meeting our remedies in different forms in each of these universes/patients.

Imagine, remedy is the soul that incarnates into many different lives, happening in different universes. In each universe it takes a different form. Imagine the same soul incarnates into a teacher, doctor and fireman. They all look different, they have different jobs, different families and bodies, but they have something in common. I tend to call this style, but you may find another word that suits you the best.

Style comes from the 180° in the circle of perception of our potentiated remedies. Here you literally perceive remedies as some entities, your guides and teachers who are helping you in your quest for Health as you sit with your patient. Remember your own teacher from a university or school. Even if they might be teaching different subjects, they have had some certain style of doing this. So even if that teacher comes in different masquerade costumes you should recognize him by his individual style of teaching.

Homeopaths try to define that style as some kind of a theme belonging to a remedy.

But for most of our colleagues that theme doesn’t seem enough – they need particular symptoms. Again, the latter really work in acute cases where we find them manifested clearly. But we have very few vague symptoms in chronic ones– and here remedies are going to reveal, define them for us when used in a proving mode.

  • Acute cases – patients present us with their clearly manifested symptoms, so we need these clearly defined symptoms in our remedy descriptions. Classical methodology is almost enough here. By “almost” I mean symptomatic approach does not address the underlying causes of acute disease (thus preventing the relapse and giving steady results), but nevertheless is usually enough to evoke the healing process.
  • Chronic cases – all we need are themes. Forget symptoms, they are going to mislead you. Here we employ the revealing properties of our remedies. We use the remedies to reveal what has been hidden, what’s behind the disease. Each time these are very personal details, they can’t be found in books. (All these bloated repertories are misleading, actually.) Well, having arrived at the similar remedy, experiencing it in a proving mode, with some strange sensations revealed we read remedy descriptions together with our patients trying to find out what this remedy is telling us.

Reading remedies while experiencing them is a skill of its own. For example, the remedy reveals some vague emotion. It is released, it starts to rise towards the surface, but is may still be hard to be recognized – so we read the description of that remedy looking for hint.

  • Scanning through a short list of themes appear to be much more effective: our eyes quickly grab the one that fits our situation. Patient recognizes it at once and says “This one is about me!”.
  • But reading pages of symptoms, sensations, etc. doesn’t make much sense. I don’t say we don’t need these and I feel in debt for our old classical colleagues for having such information at my hands. It is just of a little use when solving chronic cases. It messes them up.

Imagine you take a photo of “me” in my previous incarnation (well, all these appear to happen in present anyway) and you try to look for me here by the help of that photo.

I know. Homeopaths try to collect as much information about remedy as it is possible: from different provers and different cases. They analyze the data, they look for the aspects that occur repeatedly and consider them belonging to that particular remedy. That’s smart, but not wise.

Such smart practice still gives to a remedy some kind of form (let’s call it theme) rather than style. It limits the remedy greatly. Such limited remedies cannot unleash their full potential.

Imagine remedy is like a distorted mirror that makes some parts/aspect bigger and some smaller and less significant. The right/similar distorted mirror kind of enlarges some kind of the distortion of our patient making it more prominent and therefore visible – perceiving it starts the healing process by itself. Our job is to recognize it and share it with our patient until he/she starts perceiving it, too.

Here are some examples:

  • Nosodes show us the location of an infection. They bring some kind of pain or uneasiness in seconds.
  • Bach flower bring emotions to the surface so that we start to experience them suddenly
  • etc.

You don’t have to paint any details on that mirror. Don’t paint on the remedy! Leave it as it is. It is divine by itself. Don’t be intrusive, it ruins the mirror instead of enhancing it.

You may think it is impossible to work with such undefined remedies. Well that depends on the techniques that you’ve mastered.

In practice dealing with a chronic case we do not try to define anything, we do not ask any questions, we do not make any interpretations or conclusions. We don’t even think. We recognize the misty landscape and it takes us to the corresponding set of remedies. We test each remedy one by one while listening to whatever is happening (be it body, mind or just the space around us). And we stop and the remedy that has the deepest impact. And that’s all. It’s all in the listening and reacting spontaneously, it has nothing to do with thinking.

Imagine you are trying to help your friend to choose the painting from a gallery. You don’t have to think. You just walk together witnessing his/her reactions. You do not have to be intellectual, you just give the feedback based on phenomenological description.

Testing is very popular in my region. There are different schools, different methods, appliances, etc. I had many different teachers who taught me this art. Testing is all about being empty of prejudices and even understandings – it is a manifested form of Listening, actually.

Again, it is almost impossible to learn Listening as it is passive and empty in it’s nature. Well, you may learn it sitting with a teacher, in his consultation room and observing him working. That should continue for years and it is very ineffective and outdated form of learning.

But with a relatively simple appliance in several days you may lean the basics of testing – and you become an explorer by yourself, you start practicing and training with your friends and patients. From time to time you meet your teachers, you learn new techniques, you get acquainted with new sets of remedies, you have your mistakes corrected, etc. But most of the time you grow by yourself. You have an amazing tool for practice!

That’s how most of my colleagues got trained here. Believe me, that’s by far more efficient way than classical training. It provides a much more intimate relationship with our remedies.

But nevertheless in most cases it lacks the essential component – Listening or Emptiness (no matter how you call it). Testing remedies is much less limited than looking at their description in books.

But even these testing techniques become defined and controlled by mind. It is mostly because testing is usually taught by technical staff, by some geeks, actually. My case has been different though. I had amazing teachers like L. Talpis and A.E. Kudaev who have a very special perception of the world around us and who are real magicians that transform everything they touch.

On the other hand Listening is absolutely passive and empty in its nature. It is the divine Attention itself. It can’t be done/performed. Consider it is about putting 0% of thinking and effort into the Healing process, just letting it happen freely, without any hindrance. Without effort, but with 100% of Awareness.

That’s how Emptiness translates into our everyday practice.

We start exploring emptiness through our potentiated remedies – letting them be empty, existing only as some kind of potential (an empty, clear, well polished distorted mirror). We actually start with exploring different kinds of Emptiness. I mean we start with emptiness rather than EMPTINESS. We start with the small one, not the BIG one – and that’s perfectly fine.

Actually, we start our training from listening to sensations – to recognize even the subtlest changes in perception. Sensitivity doesn’t exist at all, so all we train is our attention.

Our teachers introduce us to a new set of remedies (show us new kind of sensations, new set of distorted mirrors, new way of perceiving the world and ourselves). After each seminar we return home and we use that set of remedies for testing.

I mean we do not take some random remedies from that kit, we test them on ourselves, our friends, colleagues, patients – and each time we end up with a remedy that provides us the deepest and the most efficient proving experience.

I mean proving as we do it for fun, out of the more or less balance state, not because we want to get rid of some bunch of symptoms. When you take a remedy being more or less healthy and you do it just for your interest – it is proving, isn’t it?

We train our senses, we learn to explore that new perception of the world. We test these remedies on ourselves, our relatives, friends, colleagues and patients looking for some hints. It takes time and energy but eventually we master that set our teacher has recommended and it eventually becomes part of our perception. That’s the main purpose of our remedies.

The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.

American portraitist Dorothea Lange. quoted in: Los Angeles Times (13 Aug. 1978)

That’s how we deepen and widen our listening skills, i.e. our abilities to perceive ourselves and the world around us.

But then we go even further. We start exploring the process of listening itself. How do you listen? What skills do you need? How does it happen?

The more we get into these questions, the more we keep our attention on that emptiness/potential that’s behind our remedies and the parts we perceive, the more we immerse ourselves into Totality.

One day our attention recognizes that Totality as its Home or Self. It comes to rest. Our little personal attention dissolves (again, that sounds and feels like diluting a substance making a potentiated remedy up until literally nothing is left) in that big ATTENTION/ EMPTINESS.

When no our personal attention is left (see the highest potency to find out how it happens at a smaller scale in the remedy making process) it is only ATTENTION that prevails.

It is the true HEALING, it is the returning to our real HOME. It is “the basis of all true wisdom, γνῶθι σεαυτόν [know thyself]” that S. Hahnemann has predicted as an outcome of multiple proving experiences the practitioner himself gets involved into. It extends a lot further than “thinking and emotions”, though. I wish it happens with each of you.

None of the observations we make on others are nearly as interesting as those we make on ourselves. […] 
By means of such remarkable observations, he will develop an understanding appreciation of his own sensibilities, of his mode of thinking and emotions which is the basis of all true wisdom, γνῶθι σεαυτόν [know thyself].

footnote to §139 of S. Hahnemann’s “Organon”

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