Photograph by Abe Goodale
Photograph by Abe Goodale
Photograph by Abe Goodale
Photograph by Abe Goodale
Photograph by Abe Goodale
Photograph by Abe Goodale
Photograph by Abe Goodale

Homeopathy in India: Applied Indian Psychology

Sankaran and his Bombay colleagues have been developing a new method of Homoeopathic case taking. I find it interesting that what they are promoting is very much in following with the Indian Psychology of Yoga.

They are suggesting we watch the hand gestures and physical movements of the patient to lead us to the underlying sensation experienced. Deeply listening as the patient describes his chief complaint, we discern the energy of the client. When there is energy, there will be movement in the body. This movement indicates a sensation. The sensation expresses the most peculiar symptom, which subsequently reflects the deeper internal state of the client. When we are in distress or a time of crisis, the inner sensation is most available.

There is a non-human stranger within us, that has been there for so long that we begin to believe it is real. But, the song of this stranger is coming from a source that is not human in nature and does not belong in our human form. The disease is this non-human specific element - this plant, animal, mineral or imponderable that is displaced in the human. The essence of this non-human element mirrors the remedy that is needed for its release. The Homoeopath needs to hear the language from that other source. Pure observation and unprejudiced inquiry has to be the process. It's much like mindfulness meditation.

Sankaran goes on to say that at the core of every individual is complete nonsense - this is the disease - and is described as a sensation. This premise is confirmed in the article entitled The Evolution of Consciousness (1998), which states that in yoga or Indian psychology "there is an underlying consciousness which is trying to free itself from the confines of the mind. Consciousness is trapped in matter or some refinement of it, but constantly exerts a pressure to escape." The yoga asanas are named after animals, plants and mineral kingdom elements, reminding us of the human - environmental connection or perhaps this non-human song within.

The story, emotional expression or delusion of the patient will not lead us as directly to this sensation. However the fears and dreams of the patient can act as bypasses to lead us to the sensations. The sensations that arise will be inter-related. There is no negative or positive, just the sensation and it will be expressed at both ends of the poles of expression. In fact, to have the sensation expressed in its opposite is a confirmation of the sincerity of the sensation. Since all remedies have this polarity, so will the sensations that represent it.

In the article entitled Yoga Path (2003), it mentions that "Indian psychology - yoga - can be considered empirical in the original sense of the word: it is based on immediate experience." By following the very present moment of experience for the patient, we are led to the internal state. Rather than staying in the mind, or the emotions, we are asking the client to move into the subconscious by describing their sensations. Swami Rama (1998) says, "When sensory experience is suspended, the mind is cleared so that material arising from the unconscious can be more clearly observed." The practitioner is to be in complete blankness, unprejudiced but inquiring and receiving the client in the moment. This gives the patient space to move inward, also away from the mind, and thereby externalize the moment of his internal state.

Notice what the client is doing again and again - what is the repetitive pattern? If there are repetitive phrases, hand gestures, facial grimaces, use these as an entry point to bring the inquiry deeper. It is merely a distraction to let the patient go into logic or intellect. Ask the patient to tell more about the gesture, to describe the sensation, what about the repetitive pattern. This increases the patient's awareness of his subtle expression. With the raising of consciousness, he leads the practitioner to the remedy.

Jack Kornfield (2004) suggests that " The best therapy, like the best meditation practice, uses awareness to heal the heart and is concerned not so much with our stories, as with fear and attachment and their release, and with bringing mindfulness to areas of delusion, grasping and unnecessary suffering."

The Bombay method poses a radical shift in case taking, tapping into the unconscious as expressed through the body. It is a truly holistic, mind-body approach. From the cases reviewed, it appears extremely effective, and it seems to be based on the wisdom of the very culture from which is originates.

"For an idea that does not at first seem insane, there is no hope." (Albert Einstein)


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