- What is the exact meaning of potency in Homeopathy?
- What is happening during a potentiation process?
- What is the difference between raw substance and potencies?
- How do homeopathic remedies work?
Without answering these questions there is no chance one can fully understand Homeopathy.
Recently I had a conversation with my Ukrainian colleague and he was pretty sure such questions should not bother us at all. He considered they belong to “scientists” and have very little to do with our everyday prescribing. He has been expecting some quantum physicists are going to make some ground breaking discovery in the future – but again, that is not supposed to influence the way we practice. In the best case scenario it would serve for validation and recognition of Homeopathy in the both scientific and public societies.
Ridiculously, that’s exactly the position of the majority of classical homeopaths today. It’s a sad situation to say the least. Why? Well, understanding the nature of our remedies and how they work is going to radically change the way we practice homeopathy, literally turning it upside down!
Is Homeopathy scientific?
Yes, it is. But the problem is that homeopaths miss the point themselves, i.e. miss the main difference between active substances and high potencies. Homeopaths think they both work. But high potencies do not!
It’s so simple. Here is an analogy. Consider an active substance to be the chef working in the kitchen. But the book written by this chef doesn’t work. It contains some information (chef’s attempt to pass his knowledge and skills), but it does not prepare the meals! Information does not work. It is here for us to reveal our own potential. If we 1) do not have one (=no similarity) or if 2) our priorities are different at the present moment (=present interest!) the book has no influence to us.
Both chef and his book may lead to seemingly similar result, e.g. some kind of delicious meal. But the ways, the “mechanisms” are radically different:
- Chef makes the meal for you and keeps the process in secret, so that if you enjoy the meal, you become chef-dependent.
- But the book inspires you and leads you through the whole process of preparing the meal. You have to use your own energy and resources. But at the end you gain knowledge and skills needed so eventually you even may get rid of the book and become chef yourself.
It’s so simple, it sounds somewhat childish and seems almost inappropriate to be “scientific”.
High potencies are for exploring our own potentials.
That’s the only scientific approach available for homeopaths. It may lead to huge discoveries:
- You may find a huge potential to heal yourself from within. Ridiculously, homeopaths have been exploring it for 200 years thinking these are their remedies that are being explored!
- You may explore numerous different aspects of yourself with the help of the remedies that become like mirrors to glimpse inwards.
- Here we use our remedies to explore different levels/bodies in ourselves: physical body, “energies”, emotions, mental sphere, causal body, etc.
- Remedies may become like simulators that enable us to train our listening skills. As a result we become like experienced pathfinders traversing the realms of sensations and noticing even subtlest changes. Consider it as increasing our sensitivities up to crazy levels.
- You may find events happening around you are also a part of You. Today many homeopaths (Andreas Bjørndal in particular) involved in provings note that remedies somehow influence life events. No, they do not! These are all Your potentials, resulting in how you create the experiencing of life. It is a little bit similar to remedies influencing your dreams. Both dreams and “real life” are happening in the Consciousness, aren’t they?
- At some point remedies are going to introduce you to stillness that is just the opposite to sensations. You may become aware of numerous levels of stillness that lead to the very depths of the Ocean of Yin. Here you explore the realm of potencies in the direct manner!
- At some point your attention may turn onto itself. And you may find the Attention as an Ultimate Reality as an ultimate Potential. That’s definitely the most scientific thing that may happen with you – becoming aware of your Self, the Consciousness.
Again, such journey is about becoming the explorer yourself rather than taking ready meals from a chef. Here you appear to be the owner of the ultimate lab which is Attention. Every manifestation you perceive appears in your Attention/Consciousness, doesn’t it?
Take a look around and also glimpse inside. Is there any border between sensations seemingly happening outside and inside? Birds singing in the trees, body sensations, thoughts… Are these perceived in the same way or differently?
Where are they perceived: outside, inside or in the Consciousness? Is Consciousness (the Self) different from the very process of experiencing?
These are the questions you are going to find answers if you become a good observer.
But we have a very different situation in Homeopathy today. Why? Well, because of that gradual transition between active substances and high potencies. Here is how it happened.
I. Good old classics
Homeopaths claim to be scientific. Well, they have the right: S. Hahnemann’s provings used to be the first systematic experiments performed in the history of our Western medicine.
It all started with S. Hahnemann’s China officinalis proving. Well, active SUBSTANCE taken in therapeutic dose really works and produces certain changes in our bodies. Early homeopaths explored these effects meticulously and rightfully attributed them to remedies that had been proven.
But please, do not forget that
- These were mostly raw substances in material doses that homeopaths experimented with at first! (vs. high potencies today)
- Such homeopathic science and all this tremendous work early homeopaths had accomplished was aimed at advancing Homeopathy: defining the new laws of healing, improving methodology, proving new remedies, comparing manufacturing techniques, etc. (Today homeopaths are pretty sure they know everything: the laws seem to be pretty straightforward, Materia Medica contains more remedies than anyone can comprehend and repertories have become too large to fit a decent-sized book. Actually, all they seek are the proofs they can show to others. They they do not want to change anything – and true science is always risky: each time we risk to destroy our old understanding and discovering something unusual.)
- Homeopathy was used mostly for treating acute ailments at the bed of a sick, giving a remedy and observing the dynamics live, i.e. it used to be pretty perceptual and therefore present. (Today homeopaths mainly deal with chronic diseases, prescribing on probable causes in the past and hoping for an effect in the future)
You know, early homeopaths needed new remedies badly to fight deadly acute diseases like scarlet fever, cholera, typhus, whooping cough, etc. It was a life and death quest to find the remedies that could produce symptoms similar to these cases. Building a new Materia Medica Pura based on provings of different substances was utterly scientific and interdisciplinary: employing the data from derived from toxicology, physiology, etc. And many of early homeopaths can truly be called leading scientists of their epoch.
II. Small doses: a gradual transition to potencies
But soon a new challenge was met. Safety of volunteers while proving toxic substances and the risk of so-called primary exacerbations for patients raised the necessity for designating the minimal dose.
- What’s the minimal dose of a substance that can still cause symptoms to healthy volunteers during the provings? (safety)
- What’s the minimal dose that’s needed for curing the sick? (effectiveness)
Understanding about that minimal dose used to be quite naïve at first. Here is the excerpt from E. B. Nash’s description of Glonoinum:
I used, in my early practice, to carry a small vial of the 1st dilution in my case on purpose for those who were inclined to sneer at the young doctor and his sweet medicine, and many a disbeliever have I convinced, in about five or ten minutes, that there might be power in small doses of sweet medicine, by dropping on the tongue a drop of this preparation, for it seldom failed to produce its characteristic throbbing headache within that time. One lady, not willing to acknowledge that it affected her, rose to leave the room, and fainted and would have fallen to the floor if I had not caught her. No one ever asked after that experiment for any more proof of the power of homeopathic medicine.E. B. NASH Leaders In Homoeopathic Therapeutics
Sure, the 1st dilution of nitroglycerine is what can easily result in dilatation of blood vessels and result in orthostatic collapse. It seems Nash has been tricked by his own trick. Imagine the effect if he use 1st dilution of pure LSD instead!
But then little by little, very gradually through experiments and practice the bravest homeopaths went into the smallest doses they could imagine. To their surprise these had seemed(!) to work even deeper, longer and more specifically so special terms like dynamization and potentiation were coined.
Here I recommend reading Peter Morell’s essay “Hahnemann’s Use of Potency over Time“. Please note, that the founder’s transition from raw substances to 30C potency took almost 40 years of careful experiments!
In this phase of development small doses were still considered to belong to a pharmacological realm. Please, note that all the attention was definitely on the remedies themselves and not the very process of prescribing.
- Not only they seemed to work, but small doses even seemed to have stimulating properties according to Arndt–Schulz rule (Schulz’ law) that seemed to promise a scientific ground for Homeopathy.
- Naturally, the results after taking a remedy (symptoms in provings and dynamics in cures) have been attributed to remedies themselves.
But no matter how hard they tried, homeopaths could not arrive to the minimal dose. No matter how much diluted the remedies were, they still seemed to cause symptoms to provers and still lead to cures in patients when carefully selected.
Soon homeopaths grasped they got in touch with some mechanism of action of remedies never known before and not depending on “atoms”:
The smallest dose of a medicine dynamized in the best manner (where in, after committed calculation, only so little material can be found that its smallness cannot be thought or grasped, even by the best mathematical brain) gives out, in the appropriate disease case, more curative energy by far than large doses of the same medicinal substance.
The specific medicinal energy of these highly dynamized medicines does not depend on their corporeal atoms not on their physical or mathematical surfaces (ideas that are the product of futile and still materialistic theorizing about dynamized medicines, whose energy is higher).S. Hahnemann’s “Organon”, a footnote to §11
Here we should consider the era of a minimal dose to be over. Here homeopaths step into the realm of “energies”. Even today majority of our colleagues still look at the remedies as some sort of “energies”. (That’s 90° degrees at our circle of perception of homeopathic remedies).
III. High potencies – beyond the substance
Searching for the smallest dose homeopaths have almost incidentally entered the realm of potencies and have ended up with the most sophisticated remedies in human history.
This hidden spirit-like power in the inner wesen of medicines to alter the human condition and thus to cure diseases is, in itself, in no way discernible with mere intellectual exertion. It is only by experience, only through its manifestations while it is impinging on human condition that we distinctly perceive it.S. Hahnemann “Organon” §20
Please, read this paragraph thoroughly. Do you really understand it?
- Whom does this “spirit-like power” belong to? I know, most of you think it belongs to the remedies. But… what if it does not?
- Where is that “inner wesen of medicines” located? A little hint: most of us need thousands of proving experiences to find that place, i.e. to become aware of it. It’s too simple to be considered scientific.
- What if we build our practice in the way that we completely bypass “intellectual exertion” and rely solely on the bodies instincts? Direct “perception” is the key here: therefore we speak about Perceptual Homeopathy and practice of Listening!
For almost 200 years homeopaths have been theorizing about the higher energy mentioned in the “Organon” instead of simply perceiving it by senses through multiple everyday proving experiences and then exploring the very mechanism of perception.
If they have been following this path of direct experience, they definitely find “energy” to be just the first phase of sensory perception of homeopathic remedies (still very distorted one) leading to another three consequent paradigm shifts until the Truth is revealed completely and not a single question regarding our remedies is left unanswered.
Gradual transition from raw substances to potencies resulted that no one saw the radical difference between these two.
- Even after the subsequent dilutions the remedies seemed to continue causing symptoms to healthy volunteers.
- Even more – increasing the potency seemed to enhance “the personality” of a remedy (what an interesting oxymoron!) causing even more characteristic individual symptoms in volunteers.
Today we know that both statements are not true.
- We know our remedies do not cause anything – they reveal instead.
- We also know there is no correlation between the potency of a remedy and the depth and/or vividness of prover’s sensations.
The latter fact comes as surprise for many homeopaths. Well, if we understand that similia belongs to a prover/patient and not the remedy everything becomes clear. We may even say that potency is… optional! (But we’ll talk later on that.)
Today it seems ridiculous that in 200 years period no one has become aware of a simple fact:
Potentiation is about making the remedy more and more transparent – up until only the genuine prover’s/patient’s reactions and personality are left.
On the contrary, homeopaths have always dreamed about strong, working and causing remedies. Potency has become a sign of power and strength rather than a mere potential.
Remedies have become the core of homeopathic practice. Homeopaths have devoted all their attention to the remedies and have neglected the very process of experiencing, actually.
You know seeing a remedy in the patient is not so much different from seeing a certain disease (diagnosis) in the patient. Well, remedy patterns may seem more natural, but that’s it. Look, we may blame allopaths for being disease-oriented. They can talk for hours about a diseases without seeing an individual patients. But equally, homeopaths may publish a whole book or give a series of lectures about some particular remedy. These are two extremes in Healing, actually. What if we stick to the Middle?
Ridiculously, homeopaths continued to utilize the same approach and methodology to prove the potentiated remedies as they used for dealing with the raw substances! Again, it happened because of the gradual transition – no one mentioned the difference.
The difference between these two is huge.
- It is possible to perform the provings of the raw substances and get repeatable results. That’s toxicology and biochemistry, actually. We only have to find the minimal dose (that’s in between the safe and the effective one) to get the result. The rules of such provings are pretty straightforward:
- The bigger the dose, the more pronounced the effect of the substance and the less individual the response of a prover becomes.
- Active substances really do their job.
- Dosis letalis eliminates the prover from the equation.
- But there is no way to explore potentiated remedies that always address the potential that belongs to us. No matter how good our listening (observational) skills are – these are exclusively our own reactions (and not “the remedy symptoms”) that we are going to perceive. We go far beyond toxicology and biochemistry there. It’s not even the scent of a coffee instead of a double espresso, it’s more of a photo of the cup of coffee! The rules are different here:
- As the dosage decreases our reaction to a remedy becomes more and more personalized (individual). The higher the potency, the less effect of a remedy we get, but we start exploring our own reactions instead. Potencies are about awaking our own potential and not the remedial one.
- At some point (consider that to be the highest potency and compare it to the highest dose (=dosis letalis of a substance) we loose the perception of a remedy completely. Remedy kind of gets eliminated from the equation and only the response of a prover/patient is left. (Just the opposite happens on another side: with a lethal dose it’s a prover who gets eliminated.)
- Such highest potency depends on how transparent practitioner’s relationship with the remedies and Healing are. Actual numbers like 6D, 200C, 1M or LM10 are relative here: some homeopaths may use low potencies or even mother tinctures with amazing transparency (see R.T. Cooper’s arborivital medicine), and for some even 10M is not enough.
Potentiated remedies depend on both a practitioner and a patient. They are subjective and case-dependent.
Potentiated remedies can’t be explored in a conventional scientific manner by their very definition.
You may consider potentiated remedies as telescopes or microscopes meant for exploration of our own worlds. Ideally, these are supposed to do their job while remaining as transparent as possible.
Trying to prove/explore potentiated remedies as such makes very little sense and is not scientific at all. But using them as MEANS OF EXPLORING ourselves and our patients may give us the most scientific tool ever created for such purpose!
Really Scientific Approach to Potencies
Have you ever noticed such a paradox: evidence-based medicine, while relying on comparisons with placebo, actually, has no clue about what placebo really is. Scientists can’t explain placebo and presume it is nothing.
The American Society of Pain Management Nursing defines a placebo as “any sham medication or procedure designed to be void of any known therapeutic value”.Wikipedia
What if nothing is not exactly nothing?
Usually they think placebo is “a tap water” or “just a sugar pill” that contains nothing. And they also think one can compare that nothing to a real thing. They think there are many drugs and one placebo for a comparison.
But 200 years ago homeopaths have started a very curious practice. They started making placebos from active toxic substances by diluting these up to the point where nothing, but water was left. One of the most famous remedy manufacturers of all time B. Fincke did that by literally pouring the tap water into a vial containing that substance for a prolonged period of time. His famous high potencies were no different from tap water that eventually transferred to pills made of a pure sugar!
In homeopathy we then take a group of volunteers that do a proving of that particular placebo. Nowadays sometimes there is also a control group that receives a different kind of placebo. For example, J. Sherr gave Chocolate for a control group in his Hydrogenium proving, or maybe it was vice versa.
In practice it appear that these different placebos provide very different proving experiences. And that has been proved throughout many many thousands of such experiments. And that’s the real scientific value of homeopathy – in exploring the phenomenon of placebo – or actually, numerous different kinds of placebos!
Consider homeopaths have been exploring different placebos for 200 years resulting in huge data bases of their effects/symptoms.
Ridiculously, homeopaths got so much involved into this practice and quest of collecting and analyzing this information, they missed the point of potentiation. Getting all these different and deep proving experiences they interpreted them as effects of immensely strong remedies. They even started looking at their remedies as a very special and energetic ones… And that has caught and locked homeopaths in a very tight trap of thinking…
What if placebo is not what you think?
Look, most of you think placebo is subjective and depends on what you think it is, e.g. you think this pill is real, it should help, etc. Even dedicated explorers of this phenomenon like Joe Dispenza speaks of placebo as something personal. Most of you perceive placebo as kind of psychic phenomenon that’s individual, personal. Well, it is not! There is nothing individual in Life!
Our relationships with different aspects of Life are not personal at all. The language we speak, the concepts we use, all the narratives that surround us – these are not personal, aren’t they?
Ridiculously, most of us think we can control placebo. Well, that’s only partially true. Placebo is a much larger – it’s a collective phenomenon to say the least. Or it may be seen even bigger than that – when seen from a perspective of Consciousness.
Look, let’s take a language as an example. Who’s in control of it? It may seem that I can use and develop it in my individual way. But… At some point we may see it belonging to a nation, being kind of collective property. And then we may see it from yet another perspective – as if developing by itself, spontaneously. Think of it a little.
Placebo is about the ATTENTION. Not about your “personal” attention, though.
But this BIG ATTENTION works through what seem to be the small and personal ones.
Consider remedies (no matter homeopathic or allopathic) are for accumulating, storing and carrying the Attention – the most valuable currency in the Universe. They are actually means of trading the Attention. Allopathic ones also carry active substances while homeopathic ones are a more of a purified Attention.
It takes lot of attention (and “individual” attentions) to build up a successful remedy. You think remedies have their own properties. Well, these properties are provided. They come from those who devote their attentions discovering, manufacturing, proving and using that remedy in practice.
That’s why remedies are never static. They grow, they transform,…
Also, that’s why good old homeopathic polychrests seem superior to let’s say some new set of essences. You have to be some exceptional wizard to create a new remedy set that outperforms the one used and shared for couple of hundreds of years by thousands of practitioners! Your attention is simply too small to counterweight these.
Jan Scholten’s take on periodic table, Lanthanides, Actinides, etc. is pretty exceptional here and show the real and very rare Mastery.
But what if that nothing or “sham” as they call it instead of being simply nothing, appears to represent a different side of reality that’s just as real and just as much diverse and complicated as their real medicines? I mean a passive, unknown, not-yet-manifested, Yin side of reality that’s actually beyond our perception.
Imagine you think that only natural numbers really exist (1, 2, 3, etc.) and you can prove their existence by comparing them with 0 which stands for nothing. And then you discover the negative side (-1, -2, -3) that’s just as real as these natural numbers, but represents kind of different mirrored reality.
In practice you can’t give a totally neutral placebo. You can’t give 0. Even if it is a double blind study, there is still something: some kind of relationship with doctor, pharmacist,… Even package and the colour of the pill appears to have some influence.
And if we take all that even further we discover we can make thousands of different “placebos” using numerous approaches and techniques. Yes, exactly – that takes us to homeopathic territory.
Homeopaths use certain techniques and have their own terminology that can be misleading. For example, they consider similia simillibus curentur to be a main law of healing. But isn’t similia itself subjective and case-dependent?
Consider Homeopathy is the art of individually prescribing a certain placebo to a patient. But again, in Present Homeopathy it is not even about prescribing, but more in sitting with our patients and listening together, having multiple proving experiences that reveal some truth about ourselves, some missing peace of a puzzle – up until the mirror of perception becomes clean enough for the Totality to shine through.
When approached with care and attention such placebo becomes an instrument that helps us to address the huge, extremely diverse not-yet-manifested, potential (Yin) side of reality. That’s what homeopathic potencies are about.
Homeopathy appears to be a transitional method for completing the shift from substance and impact based medicine (active, Yang) to what we call information medicine (passive, Yin).
- At first, it seemed like just using small doses (= weak means of healing), i.e. the ones that have very weak impact on our bodies. They still appeared to be extremely effective in combating the epidemics of deadly diseases like cholera, typhoid fever. scarlet fever, Spanish flue, etc.
- Then followed different fancy explanations of that phenomenon: energies, frequencies, vibrations, etc.
- Then some concept of information medicine appeared as the “water memory” hypothesis (it is still only hypothesis and homeopaths should be very careful placing all their bids on it).
- With the Present Homeopathy our remedies become 100% perceptual and finally we transcend all these hypotheses and other mental constructs, prejudices and distortions of reality. The Reality that simply is appears to be surpass our theories and does not need any explanations. We get beyond the details, the Totality reveals Itself. When it happens suddenly the whole picture is revealed and parts, phenomena find their places in a simple and perceptual everyday practice. Does it provide the answers? Well, not at all. But not a single question is left, that’s for sure.
Technically all our remedies stand for “placebo” as they void any active substance. You can’t argue with that, don’t you? Don’t be afraid of saying “placebo”. You can’t be ridiculed for that – placebo is terra incognita anyway.
Consider different homeopathic remedies and even their different potencies stand for different kinds of placebo!
Such approach to potencies leads to a very unexpected turn:
- Homeopathic remedies find their place in scientific community as means of exploring the placebo (again, that appears to be a much bigger and much more diverse field than expected before).
- But you can’t explore placebo with the help of placebo! Comparing homeopathic remedies to placebo appears to be pretty absurd and the most ineffective way to deal with them.
- So a new methodology has to be developed and you inevitably arrive to Present Homeopathy with it’s listening sessions, testing techniques, etc.! These are the only valid approaches to our not-yet-manifested side.
- For the lay people and also our holistic colleagues such remedies become an amazing tool for
- systematic training of our sensitivities (up to the levels we’ve thought available only to chosen ones);
- self-exploration (leading numerous discoveries and realization of potentials we’ve not even dreamt about).
- All these taken together result in a much more diverse use of principles and remedies extending far from “homeopathic healing”.
- Ultimately, it all becomes a part of our perception and finds it’s place in everyday life – so that everything we see or get in touch with becomes a means of awakening and knowing our Self better.
So in our information reality placebo becomes an ultimately complicated phenomenon for unlocking various kinds of potentials in myriads of different ways. And of course, such approach requires specific set of knowledge and skills that require many years to master.
Substances (a white dot on the black Yin side) still have their role in Homeopathy, but it’s very similar to the role placebo has in evidence based medicine. Substance altogether with it’s biochemistry, pharmacodynamics, toxicology kind of stands at the roots of the remedy, but then as there is less and less of that substance left during a process of potentiation, it’s our relationship with the remedy that starts making a difference.
“Void of any known therapeutic value” makes sense in a material world and reflects very limited academic understanding. Getting an empty cup of coffee means not getting any coffee at all. If you get 0 mg of a substance, you get nothing. It is more than obvious, isn’t it?
But in the realm of information – it’s all different! You can’t photograph, film or paint nothing. Because if you try – you inevitably end up with some footprint that’s very different from real nothing.
K. Malevich’s “Black Square on a White Field” is a pretty good example. Seemingly nonsense or “sham” it caused a huge impact and kind of started the real revolution in visual arts. Is the black square a true art or it isn’t? What makes things to look like an art?
- What makes a remedy to be a remedy?
- What if we dilute medicines that contain active substances? At what point are they going to loose their “identities”?
Imagine you dilute a lemon juice and give it as a drink. But imagine you dilute urine and suggest someone to drink it. Urine, no matter how much diluted, does not become a lemon juice… But what is left after we surpass the Avogadro’s number? Information? What is information after all? How different is it from placebo?
What if both allopaths and homeopaths make the same crucial mistakes:
- Allopaths think these are substances that are responsible for healing. They also think placebo is a psychic phenomenon that is … personal! Often they even tend to look interpret it as some altered state of perception, some kind of misinterpretation of reality, “a false reading”, resulting in temporary forgetting of an illness.
- Many homeopaths still see their remedies as highly energetic and working, literally forcing the healing. Some early classics even thought such remedies cause a similar artificial illness that pushes away the real one.
- There are homeopaths who see it in a softer way. They say our information remedies kind of show the way for body to react and then healing naturally starts from within.
The trick is both allopaths and homeopaths think of placebo as a personal, local phenomenon, i.e. limited to either psychic sphere or to the body’s own abilities to heal itself. Homeopathic approach is more sophisticated as it here practitioner starts paying attention to the totality. But still it is a very limited personal totality – belonging to a particular patient, not to Life.
But what if placebo is something much bigger? What if it is
- Omnipresent “vis medicatrix nature” Hippocrates was referring to
- The divine healing Galen had been speaking about: “I bind the wound, God heals.”
- “Indwelling therapeutic forces” as referred by osteopathic tradition
Remedies and remedy sets may become kind of standardized simulators that help to reveal and highlight particular our aspects – each time in an individual and pretty unpredictable way.
A set of potentiated remedies becomes similar to a set of tuning forks that may reveal and help to recognize specific tones. Again, if you are extremely talented and have an absolute ear on music you might not need them. But they can become an indispensable tool if you are a beginner and you want to train your skills.
Having different sets of such remedies we may organize listening sessions.
So when we invite you to the listening sessions
I don’t know of a better and more effective way to learn how to sense, i.e. to train our perceptual skills to a levels hard to imagine. Again, up until your Homeopathy becomes perceptual and then PRESENT one day.
The Purpose of Scientific
Now take a look at the situation we have now. You come across this “scientific” in most of today’s homeopathic conferences and congresses. But, hey, guys, why do you need all that? What is the aim of making Homeopathy scientific?
The answer is ridiculous. Proof and social recognition is everything homeopaths expect from a science. They do not expect anything substantial for Homeopathy from it. Actually, they don’t even want the science to interfere with their practice!
You know, homeopaths think everything is alright with classical homeopathy. They don’t even think about questioning and re-examining homeopathic “truths”: looking at them as hypotheses and testing them rigorously.
That was also the main shortcoming in our founder’s case. S. Hahnemann was aware of a problem: homeopathy appeared to be “hopeless” in chronic cases! So he devoted all his remaining life searching for the solution.
He had been so sure Homeopathy was perfect he didn’t even considered to question the main principles.
His followers are still convinced he has found the answer in miasms. Well, I would not be so sure – especially taking into consideration the founder’s enthusiasm regarding his new discoveries and the tendency to cool down with time and become more and more pragmatic.
The real science is tough. It demands courage. It is about doubting and questioning even the most obvious things. It’s always about the risk of loosing the ground you think you are standing on.
So why not to be scientific? What if we start with testing miasmatic hypothesis (we still can’t call it theory). We don’t even need huge multicentric trials here. A simple questionnaire would be more than enough. Just ask homeopaths in what percentage of chronic cases they use miasmatic approach.
I bet that number is going to be somewhere around 5%. In my region it’s definitely going to be even less than that. And that leaves us wondering: has homeopathy become 5% less hopeless in dealing with chronic cases since Hahnemann’s times? Or has something else happened with it besides the miasms?
But what if our practice becomes perceptual rather than intellectual? What if we start searching for a clear perceptual answer we can perceive by senses rather than building another theoretical assumption?
We start exploring the very perception of our remedies. We undergo at least several perceptual (and pretty painful!) paradigm shifts that change not only our relationship with the remedies, but with Life itself.
With each of these revolutions our world collapses and is rebuilt from a scratch. That repeats several times until we reach 360 degrees. Here the final collapse happens and we completely loose the foundation on which we can base our understanding of the world and remedies.
And actually, it appears there is no need for that: the perception becomes absolutely clear and it does not require any explanation anymore. Here no questions regarding Homeopathy are left unanswered.
Imagine Homeopathy becomes absolutely clear at a fundamental level. Suddenly we loose all the interest in philosophies and theories. With a few exceptions these seem like awkward attempts to explain the reality that we perceive clearly.
On the other hand we get 100% involved into practice. As we train our listening skills, remedies start talking to us. We clearly perceive them by senses. For example, we may take some seemingly superficial formula remedy into our hand and be surprised by the depth of a process suddenly experienced.
Perceptual Homeopathy means we loose interest in discussions. So when we meet our colleagues we want to see them working with a patient or manufacturing a remedy or simply listening together. Observing that for an hour as if from inside gives us more than discussing different topics for a year. It is as if we get an opportunity to see the world through the eyes of our colleague!
But again – these are not some theoretical answers. The practice starts speaking for itself. Having come to this I can’t give you the answers verbally. But we may sit together with a remedies and Listen. That’s the only way the Truth may be transmitted.
Beware! Perceptual approach and perceptual answers have huge impact on our practice. Differently from scientific discussions they have the power to literally turn our perception upside down destroying all our assumptions and ideas regarding remedies, healing, etc.
Imagine you always wear a pair of some weirdly coloured glasses and see the world through such filter. You may have read about it, you may assume something is wrong with the colours and even have theoretical knowledge on it (spectral shifts, etc.). But imagine we do a practice of taking these glasses off and looking at the world as it is – maybe only for a minute or even less.
That’s what happens with us in the Listening sessions. When a shift of perception happens and some filter is bypassed we suddenly see the world in a completely different and clearer manner. Suddenly we get spoiled: even if we come back to our old way we do not trust it anymore, we perceive it as a distorted one.
- What if the question is
- What if just the opposite happens?
- What if such discovery literally turns our own practice upside down, but has absolutely no impact to scientific world and very little approval from a homeopathic community?
You are the only one who can get to the answer. No one can do it for you. You also have the Attention which by far exceeds the most sophisticated lab ever built. The present of Homeopathy (not even the future) totally depends on you.
In Homeopathy potency reflects the depth of awareness of the practitioner:
- the depth of immersing into the patient’s world (finding ourselves in the landscape of physical body sensations, energies, emotions, thought patterns, life situations, levels of stillness and Totality as our own),
- the depth of relationship with the remedy (perceiving the remedy more as energy, teacher, mirror or maybe it has become absolutely transparent – see phases of perception)
- the depth of therapeutic process (whether we work on fulcrum, cause, health or Totality).
There is no doubt this depth comes from a practitioner but not from a remedy itself. Actually, the remedy is the result of all the practitioners who have contributed their attention to it: 1) remedy creator with his intention, 2) manufacturer, 3) pharmacist who makes a copy of original. Then 4) provers, 5) clinicians and 6) patients contribute their observations and insights as well as an overall relationship with that particular remedy.
And of course, in our case there is also 7) history and folklore that form a huge base for a relationship with the remedy. The latter sometimes comes first inspiring to make a remedy out of this or that. Sometimes we figure out it later and it helps to understand the remedy better by putting it into a context.
Our remedies are non-local. That’s a tough statement to fully understand.
Such the remedy changes over time. Even if globules are standing on the shelf, the remedy continues to evolve together with practitioners. If you see and feel that clearly there is no need to discuss the topics like “polychrests vs. small remedies“. Again, it’s all about the attention that particular remedy receives from us. Attentions builds up with time and we have a big remedy as a result.
Today we have lots of new remedies (essences in particular) from amazing creators and manufacturers. But their usage remains kind of limited, they receive little attention and they do not grow into big and strong remedies like homeopathic polychrests.
Consider the potency to be a point in a x,y,z coordinate system.
- Vertical axis X stands for bodies/levels of a patient
- Horizontal axis Y stands for the depth of therapeutic process
- The depth (Z axis) reflects our relationship with the remedy.
All these are perceptual, i.e. recognizable by senses.
Neither of these is theoretical. Of course, you may add some other dimensions, but for me these three seem to be enough.
Remedy is the pointer to that certain location in the coordinate system. It is also a mean to transfer that kind of awareness to a patient. Giving patient a remedy is a symbolic act, but by no means it should be considered a placebo. Then in everyday use it works as a reminder.
Strictly speaking higher potencies are not needed if only homeopath is aware. That has been proved numerous times by numerous practitioners.
Potency is not a mechanical term even if it is defined by some figure and letter. Potency is about the depth of awareness of a practitioner:
Let’s take R.T. Cooper as an example.
Fincke and others
Potencies are means to hold the attention on the remedy making process. If we could sit with the bottle in your hands doing nothing that would be great. But most of us can’t. So we need something that
But this is true just in case we prepare the remedies for the patient ourselves (following Hahnemann’s advice). If we do not, potencies lose their meaning except for the safety when dealing with toxic substances.
But even potentiation.
Present Homeopathy actually reveals what homeopathic potency really is. For the first time through practice we can arrive to the full understanding. But no matter how clear and evident is the answer it will not satisfy neither homeopaths nor scientists. Nevertheless let’s start with what the potency is not.
Myths & beliefs
Potency = energy. There are guys who say the higher the potency, the stronger the remedy is. Following such logic we could believe Coffea 200C is many times stronger than double espresso we get from enthusiastic barista.
Who knows how that nonsense creeped into Homeopathy? Let’s take a short look at the history.
A Gradual Transition
It all started with S. Hahnemann’s China officinalis experiment. Well, active substance taken in therapeutic dose really works and produces certain changes in our bodies. Early homeopaths explored these effects meticulously and rightfully attributed them to remedies that had been proven.
But then it all gradually went into these dynamized and potentiated remedies that seemed to work even deeper, longer and more specifically.
I recommend reading Peter Morell’s article “Hahnemann’s Use of Potency over Time“. The Founder’s transition took more than 30 years!
Gradual transition resulted that no one saw the radical difference between material dose and potencies.
Naturally, potencies have continued to be treated just like “normal” remedies. I mean every effect perceived (symptoms in provings and dynamics in cures) has been attributed to remedies and they have become the staple of homeopathic practice.
Anyway, there is a cure for that – reading the dictionary might be really helpful.
That strength is not so evident though, so we need further beliefs to support it.
Homeopaths have always been desperately looking for outward answers. S. Hahnemann thought galvanism could be an answer and dedicated the last chapters of his “Organon” to that topic. Then some homeopaths spoke about frequencies and vibrations. The higher the potency, the higher the vibrations.
Today investing into galvanism and vibrations as the means to explain the mechanism of action of homeopathic remedies seem more like a joke. But water memory and then some quantum physics stuff seem pretty adequate, don’t they? Then we have System theory with all this concept of information.
Investing into these is not wise.
Scientific & philosophical
That’s perhaps the most important topic in today’s Homeopathy. We invite you to find a clear and perceptual answer in the present and not to postpone in to the future. But beware – it’s very different from what homeopaths expect. And it is also much more beautiful either!
Homeopaths think solving it is going to validate Homeopathy scientifically and give it public recognition. Homeopaths also think that’s going to happen through some ground breaking discovery in the field of quantum physics.
What is not a potentiation:
Imagine you smell a scent of coffee instead of drinking a double espresso. That scent has too little of a substance (actually, it has zero caffeine) to produce a pharmacological effect. But it reminds something and body reacts spontaneously. Body memories that are brought to the surface are extremely individual. It can be an overdose of coffee that happened a month ago. But equally it can be whatever life situation where a cup of coffee has been involved! Again, that’s extremely individual and yet we can’t even control that.
Similia always belongs to us and not the remedy.