I believe that homeopathy is just one path in the larger, more comprehensive holistic outlook to life. To practice homeopathy would not be enough when the rest of our lives is fragmented and dualistic. I consider homeopathy as a philosophy of life and work towards making every aspect of my life as holistic as the philosophy of homeopathy. Here you can read about my personal ideas on this, and I hope it will inspire you to look at your own values in holistic terms as well. Its only by integrating a healthy mind and body that we can manifest our highest spiritual goals.
My introduction to homeopathy
Homeopathic philosophy was introduced to me by my grandfather. He had an extensive Homeopathic library and I remember him successfully treating friends and family with homeopathic medicines. As a child, I had the benefit of being treated by homeopathy right from the start. Not only my grandfather’s treatment, but also that of our family homeopath, impressed me deeply.
As a child and young adult, I had an innate interest in healthy living, and was averse to synthetic and processed foods. Attracted to books about Natural Hygiene, Macrobiotics, and such diets seemed to me logical. I could imagine how much sickness was due to unhealthy living. It became self-evident, too, how stress was a major cause of illness. In my own case, I could relate every illness of mine to some stressful situation in my life.
I noticed that animals who eat and drink in less hygienic situations than humans, are often more healthy. It followed that the cause of illness had to be something deeper than just the microbes. It also had to do with the host. Homeopathy, with its profound understanding of the individual recognized this.
The Ecology of Homeopathy
Homeopathy encompasses a wholeness that touches the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of an individual. Although it is used effectively to treat physical disease, it recognizes the connection between the disease and the emotional imbalance. It is truly the balanced binding together of the whole that allows the freedom of expression in the nature of the being.
Living and practicing for years in Bombay, had made it clear to me that by our very nature, we harm ourselves in the quest for ‘more and better’. The pollution of the air, water and food, and the city’s stresses take an immense toll on an individual’s health, but few can change their lifestyle. Pondering this, I came across an astounding book, One Straw Revolution that describes a system of farming, called natural farming, by Masanobu Fukuoka. To my mind, his philosophy of farming is identical to that of classical homeopathy, and I believe this philosophy can even be extended outwards to life in general.
In his book, Fukuoka implies that man feels that the more he does the better, but in reality he needs to do very little. He shows through agriculture, that doing more can actually be detrimental. The simile can be drawn with health, as probably with many other fields. Plowing to aerate the soil kills helpful organisms like earthworms that aerate it naturally. These organisms, through their simple life processes also fertilize the soil. When eliminated by plowing, farmers must use chemical fertilizers as substitutes. But these formulas have not proved as sophisticated as nature. Chemical fertilizers imbalance the soil due to wrong proportions of individual ingredients. Everyone knows that after several years of using them the soil is rendered even more infertile, requiring another generation of complex additives. Due to nutrient imbalance, food grown in fertilized soil cannot be as healthy as when grown naturally. The use of pesticides and herbicides to fight off enemies can be compared to fighting human disease with antibiotics. The farmer’s harvest results in big beautiful vegetables and fruits with less taste and less nutrient value.
The Human Ecosystem
The comparison with vitamins is easy to draw. The human body inherently knows in which proportion to absorb what, and given a healthy diet can do the optimum. But large doses of vitamins put a strain on the system to excrete the excess. When taken over a long period of time, the body becomes incapable of absorbing vitamins naturally from food since the redundant enzymes become minimalized. And overdoses of vitamins that are stored in the body can cause a new problem, hypervitaminosis.
Without a choice of healthy naturally grown food the need for vitamins is enforced. As in farming this vicious cycle of ‘more is better’ only results in worsening the problem.
The detrimental effects of the present – day mass agriculture is becoming more and more obvious. The pesticides kill the pests, but also the birds, and those pests that become immune escape and multiply out of balance, and so the vicious cycle goes on. Newer pesticides are constantly being manufactured. All these find their way into our water supply, as do the fertilizers, which pollute it. Not only do humans suffer from the effects but also other living creatures and so the destruction, as well as the continuous need for it propagates itself.
The same is largely true for human health. We are conditioned to think the more we do the better. Yet with the systematic use of vaccinations, antibiotics and vitamins, our health at a fundamental level actually deteriorates while dependency on these substances increases. Homeopathy is the medicine of the minimum dose, the ‘do nothing treatment’, that aims towards good health through minimum intervention, rather than just curing symptomatic disease. The indicated remedy stimulates the body to heal itself both at the level of the mind and body. In fact the understanding of homeopathic principles based on nature’s laws can help the introspecting mind to reach this goal even without the aid of remedies.
Homeopathy – Nature’s Law
In my experience, the understanding of homeopathy is far deeper than giving the similimum. Its philosophy is based on “similia similibus curenter” (like cures like). Life’s problems can be dealt with through this understanding.
Often, taking vitamins or antibiotics is a short – sighted way to deal with health situations since it does not deal with the deeper problem (even though in some situations they can be very useful and should not be completely condemned). But it is important to understand that in any given circumstance, the body is always doing the best to support itself.
For example, in the case of hypertension, the best possible way, in its own self – interest, that the body can deal with the underlying problem is by raising the blood pressure. If there were a safer way, the body would have chosen it. The high blood pressure is only a symptom of the deeper problem, and treatment with an antihypertensive can hide this symptom by making it disappear, yet not solve the problem. It would instead force the body to express the problem in some other way. Understanding this would encourage one to search for the deeper problem and therefore the more permanent solution than the antihypertensive.
To give an example, in one of my patients who suffered from hypertension since her twenties, the stress could be identified as the strained relationship with her mother. When this was addressed through homeopathy, the hypertension was controlled. Another patient also in his twenties, had the same problem, but his stress was identified as the need to rebuild the lost empire of his ancestors due to which he could never rest. This was addressed with a different homeopathic remedy than the first even though the physical symptoms were similar. In each case, the symptoms disappeared when the stress disappeared. Not only is this treatment more effective, it is also much longer lasting.
More is not necessarily Better
As human beings we need to realize that sometimes more is not better (be it medicines, vitamins, or industrialization). Our present unnatural living practices are already backfiring by the destruction of the earth. There’s a story I like which shows how much off the track we humans go:
There was a very poor farmer living in an underdeveloped country. The sun was hot and he had worked hard in his fields all morning. So after a hearty lunch he took a little nap in the shade of an old tree.
To this underdeveloped country came a very rich industrialist from a technologically advanced country to research whether it would be worth his while to invest a huge sum of money in some industry or other. After losing his way and driving miserable hours in the heat of the day, he saw our poor farmer asleep under the shade of the old tree, and it was just too much for him to bear. “Stop the car”, he shouted to the driver and stormed across the road as fast as his heart condition would allow, and woke up the poor farmer. Shouting, “What do you think you are doing?” The farmer replied quite politely, “I was taking a nap in the shade of this old tree”.
“Don’t you know there is work to be done?” “But I’ve been working all morning…” came the reply. Not really listening, the industrialist stormed, “If you people were to get a hold of yourselves and change your ways, work harder, longer you might be able to save money and invest in a profitable business, branch out, install a plant, automation, get your capital back, buy out your competitors and climb to the top.”
“Is it permitted to ask what I would do then, sir?” said the perplexed farmer. “Do?” shouted the industrialist. “Why, you could delegate responsibility to subordinates, relax for a change. Live on the income, house in the country good food, pretty girls. Rest in the shade.”
“Sir, my house is already in the country, the food cooked by my mother the envy of every woman around, my sweetheart prettier than any girl in the district…. and was I not asleep under this old tree when you awoke me?”
The Ultimate Goal of the Minimum Dose
In the Organon, Hahnemann states: ‘In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force, the dynamis that animates the material body, rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason – gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence.”
The true goal of homeopathy is not only to restore health, but thus, to liberate the individual to pursue spiritual goals, the ‘higher purpose of our existence.