The sensation in Homeopathy

Language
English
Type
Hardback
Publisher
Homoeopathic Medical Publishers
Author(s) Rajan Sankaran
5+ Items In stock
€89.25
This much awaited book describes, using numerous case examples, the concept and use of Dr. Rajan Sankarans latest, and perhaps most significant contribution 'The Seven Levels of Experience' that enables a homeopath to know at all times, in any given case, where to begin and where to aim. In this way of working, a definitive pathway for case taking is provided, a means by which to observe and utilize the active energy patterns of the patient (hand gestures and body movements), plus a way of matching the patients level to the remedy potency that is required.

Another key component of this system has to do with becoming attuned to the patients sensations. There is a certain energy in precise sensation(s) having to do with both the chief complaint and the general state of the patient, which has enormous significance. Dr. Sankaran has termed these as the vital sensations. Vital sensations are not merely physical symptoms or emotions, but rather the common sensations that connect the mind and the body. Indeed the vital level is deeper than the mind or the body; it is at the center point of the diseased state. These are non human specific phenomena i.e. not exclusive to the domain of only human beings and thus take us directly to the source of the remedy itself.

Dr. Sankarans system incorporates miasm and kingdom classification (plant, animal, mineral, nosode etc.) as well as the Levels into one comprehensive, sophisticated, yet elegantly simple way of perceiving the patient. It is a quantum leap in the understanding of disease and has resulted in remarkably increased level of success and the use of numerous remedies whose names, previously, we never even knew. In many other cases one has been able to use old remedies in an entirely new light, with a deeper understanding.
More Information
Author Rajan Sankaran
ISBN 8190110365
Pages 720
Type Hardback
Language English
Publication Date 2004-01-01
Pages 720
Publisher Homoeopathic Medical Publishers
Review

This book review is reprinted with permission from Homeopathic Links.

Reviewed by Ilana Dannheisser, United Kingdom

This latest book by Dr. Rajan Sankaran is the most evolved and comprehensive of his work to date. As he notes at the beginning, it is the fullest representation of his ideas, both new as well as incorporated from his earlier works. It approaches completeness, with regard to formulating a system of homeopathic case-taking, analysis, prescribing and management (follow-up), knowledge of remedies, and the understanding of how this practise relates to the fundamental principles of nature. In its totality, Sankaran delivers more profound insights regarding all of the above, in a new way, representing a significant advance in the field of homeopathy. In collaboration with his colleagues in Mumbai, he has developed various principles and 'maps' which help to systematise homeopathy. To my knowledge, no one in the field of homeopathy today has attempted anything like the scale of this effort, which is not only based solidly on the firm foundations of homeopathic philosophy, but also opens new frontiers to understanding.

The fundamental idea is that a remedy is curative when it is given on the basis of the patient's deepest level of experience, his/her vital sensation. At that level, there is an energy which corresponds to something non-human, something which is like a plant, mineral or animal. It seems like non-sense. It is as if there are two songs playing in the same person: the human part, which is supposed to be there, and the non-human, which isn't. The song of the remedy will express itself with the language of its kingdom: plant sensitivity, mineral structure, or animal survival. It will express itself precisely as the song of a substance.

All of Sankaran's previous work culminates here. His observations which led to the classification of kingdoms and miasms were explained in his earlier books, and are recapped in greater depth. In An Insight into Plants (2002) he introduced his model regarding levels of experience, and how this applies to understanding information which the patient gives in case taking. In The Sensation in Homoeopathy, he takes you from the patient, via the levels of experience and the maps of kingdoms and miasms, to the source of the remedy itself. Through his sensitive and skilful case-taking, he shows how to encourage the patient to take you there. The cases selected for illustration have been carefully chosen to provide a suitable range. This amounts to nothing less than a coherent system of practise, one that can be learned and replicated.

Central to Sankaran's thesis is the concept of 'levels'. In the chapter called 'Deeper Insights' he expands on this: level one is 'name', two is 'fact', three is 'feeling/emotion', four is 'delusion', five is 'vital sensation', six is 'energy'. Each level arises from the one before, though in a circular, rather than linear fashion: from the level of 'name' (e.g. headache) to 'fact' (worse lying down) to 'emotion/feeling' (it makes me sad) to 'delusion' (it feels as if someone is driving a nail into my head), to 'sensation' (my head is splitting open) to 'energy' (to follow this progression, the source of the remedy might be from the tree family conifers). Equally, you can move in the other direction: 'energy' gives rise to the 'sensation' which gives rise to the 'delusion', which gives rise to the 'feeling/emotion' and so on. Then, Sankaran addresses the question of the next level - level seven which has no other name. It is the level from which energy itself arises. Within this discussion he says, "We experience the Seventh level just at the moment of conception, where something, a life or energy form occurs from nothing, just as creation has happened out of nothing. It is therefore the basis for energy. It is also experienced by us as a void at the moment of death." (p.225) In this way, Sankaran links our understanding of homeopathy to our human craving to comprehend the origin of life itself, within the universe. It gives the practical application of this discipline a spiritual base. Here some may agree, some may disagree. It hardly matters, for everything to level six can be verified repeatedly.

Whereas the first half of the book reviews and expands on the basic principles, the second half is concerned with its application, starting with the case-taking itself. There is something special about this process. The aim of the case-taking is to find 'the non-human' part, to go beyond the story, the emotions, the situation, and discern the essence of something which is usually hidden or concealed within the human expressions. Previously, Sankaran would aim to perceive the 'delusion' of the patient. Now, he says, he "chases the main complaint", since the physical expression of disease is the very crystallisation of the general vital disturbance. From that starting point, the patient moves from the local sensation of the complaint to the corresponding general vital sensation, which when verified at all levels, completes the case.

The words of the patient, at the level of the vital sensation, are the source words. When the patient comes to this level, it feels strange and irrational, and the patient will seek to go back to the more familiar 'human' and rational levels. But this is precisely the point in the case taking where, if they are reassured that it is okay to talk this 'nonsense', they will lead you to the source. What makes no sense corresponds to something strange and peculiar. By paying attention to the unconscious expressions, such as hand gestures, or body movements, you can perceive even more about this energy. This is most true when the gesture is incongruent with the words used. To go to this level of the case is not always easy. In as much as it is uncomfortable, the patient often resists. But once there, the remedy will reveal itself.

Finally, the proof of the pudding: Sankaran discusses the follow-up, and how to determine the degree and nature of improvement. Ultimately, the change must be evaluated at the level of the vital sensation. There should be a shift at this level, and the overall 'state' should be reduced. If this is so, then the pathology has to improve. If the pathology has not improved at all, then it is probable that at the level of vital sensation there has not been a shift either. The last part of this book covers some discussion about acute situations, the method as it can be applied to children, some further points of clarification, and ideas for further advancement.

For anyone not familiar with Sankaran's previous work, or who has not observed this method in action at one of his seminars, this book will present many challenges, particularly with regard to his approach to taking the case. For those who have already been following Sankaran's progression, he has given us much more to work with.

Sankaran's ideas or methods have been criticised for lack of rigor. Within the first few pages of this book, he clearly affirms that his concepts have been derived strictly from the basics in homeopathy, from knowledge of homeopathic philosophy, materia medica and the repertory. Anyone who studies these concepts thoroughly cannot fail to recognise the validity of this claim; those who view these ideas superficially are bound to misunderstand and misrepresent them, Sankaran and his colleagues have given the field of homeopathy a valuable gift. What is most special is that success does not depend only on the extraordinary talent of one person. The ideas are coherent and comprehensive, and it is possible to replicate the methods. This signifies the potential to achieve more consistent results, to help our patients, to move forward, to "cure, as it is termed",

 

This book review is reprinted from Homeopathy, Volume 94, Number 3, July 2005, with permission from Peter Fisher, Editor.

Reviewed by Maggie Curley

Rajan Sankaran's latest book 'The Sensation in Homeopathy' represents the next stage in his epic journey of discovery and understanding of homeopathy; the journey which started in his first book 'The Spirit of Homeopathy' and has progressed through 'The Substance of Homeopathy', 'The System of Homeopathy' and 'An Insight into Plants' He describes the process thus:

'When I started as a homeopath, the state of the profession could be likened to a man with an air gun standing in a field shooting up in the air randomly. Once in a while a bird flew into his aim and was shot. And the homeopath would say, "What a great shot that was!" Patients had to struggle to get into the line of fire! There was a lack of consistency. Each of us had some brilliant results but not consistently... I realized that consistency was a necessity if we were to have any credibility as a system of treatment... My effort all along has been to find a method... that is consistent and reproducible.'

The aim of this book is to revise and enlarge upon concepts which he has developed to systematize homeopathy. The concepts of kingdoms, miasms, sensation and levels, as he is at pains to point out on several occasions, are based on the very solid foundation of knowledge of homeopathic philosophy, materia medica and repertory. This is not a new method of homeopathy which disregards traditional teaching but rather leads to a deeper understanding of the case and the remedy.

For those who have not read his earlier books, I suggest that, because Sankaran gives an excellent review of his thinking to date, it is quite possible to start with this book and gain a clear understanding of the system which he is developing. The layout of the book-if a little muddled and repetitive in places-is easily accessible, either to dip into or to sit down and read in one long session. The excellent Foreword and Introduction could have been written as one section; somewhat bizarrely, Acknowledgment and Note to the Reader are sandwiched between these two. However, this is a small point and does not detract from their content which sets the scene beautifully. This for me was like a spring board from which to jump into the main sections of the text. He has divided the book into three parts with the aim of following the evolution of the current concepts. Each stage of the method is illustrated with clinical cases.

Part I: 'The Spirit of Homeopathy' introduces the ideas of The Central Disturbance, Miasms and Kingdom Classification. Hahnemann's definition of disease as a 'dynamic derangement of the dynamic vital force' is explained by Sankaran as 'The Central Disturbance'-the mental and general symptoms together. These come first and local and pathological changes follow later.

' ... as if pathology grows on the Central Disturbance as a creeper on a stick. To remove the pathology, it is the Central Disturbance that needs to be corrected and the physical pathology will have nothing to sustain it.'

He expands on these ideas and their practical application and then moves on to introduce miasms, kingdom classification and the system of case taking and analysis. Six cases with follow-up and analysis complete the section.

Part II: 'The Vital Sensation' is an extract from Volume I of 'An Insight into Plants' At first sight, it seems strange to have not only part of another book reproduced but also some of the material from other chapters of this book. As he explains in the Foreword, repetition of the ideas is done with the intent of clarifying them in different ways, I found this to work well. These ideas are new and fascinating and coming across them throughout the whole text useful way of absorbing the information. A further four cases illustrate this section.

Part III: This is the largest section of the book and is split, somewhat arbitrarily, into two parts. The reader is taken to a deeper level of understanding of the patient, looking beyond the delusion to the level of sensation and energy. Sankaran then introduces us to his most recent thinking on the Seven Levels of Experience. His observations in clinical practice have led him to a realisation that patients experience pathology at varying levels and his current thinking is that there are seven identifiable. These are: Name, Fact, Feeling, Delusion, Sensation, Energy, The space that supports the energy level. This is the most difficult section of the book but one well worth revisiting; the summary on pages 252-253 is particularly helpful.

The next stage of the journey takes us to the complex subject of miasms. Starting with Hahnemann's theory, Sankaran has come to understand the miasm as the depth to which the Vital Sensation is perceived. He now describes ten miasms: Acute, Typhoid, Psora, Malaria, Ringworm, Sycosis, Tubercular, Cancer, Leprosy, Syphilis. .

He says'... the sensation is the "what" of the case, the miasm is the "how" or "how much" or to put it another way, the sensation is the verb, the miasm the adverb. '

The idea of remedies belonging to and having properties related to its natural kingdom has been discussed increasingly in the last decade. Rajan Sankaran and Jan Scholten, (through his work on the Periodic Table), have contributed hugely to this debate. In the section on The Kingdoms, Sankaran again takes us through his thinking on the subject, explaining how each of the three kingdoms has its own special song-the structure of the mineral kingdom, the sensitivity of the plant kingdom and the survival of the animal kingdom. Case taking itself is the next subject to be described in depth and illustrated with further clinical cases. The chapter on The Sensation is a revision of the concepts already discussed elsewhere-a very welcome stopping off point for the reader to take a breath and regroup.

I thoroughly enjoyed the chapter on the 'Realm of Nonsense (the world of the source)' 'Often the most fascinating point in a case is the passage into the sensation level... this is the inner world of the patient... this inner reality has no reason to be; it is illogical, unreasonable, unexplainable and therefore incredible. This is what I call the world of complete nonsense... ...the inner world is the world of the source and serves as the ultimate confirmation of the remedy.' If only we could all get to the source! Part III concludes with sections on Follow-up, Acute Situations, Children's cases and Clarifying Doubts (a question and answer session). The Conclusion comes from feedback and comments of homeopaths from around the world who are studying and using this new approach.

This is a giant of a book and a wonderful read. It takes us on a journey of discovery in which we can dare to share, dare to put these methods into practice and dare to be amazed at the results. I have little doubt that this is by no means the final part of the epic; Rajan's thirst for knowledge and understanding of homeopathy is boundless. He quotes an old Tamil saying: 'What is known is a handful, what is unknown is an earthful'

Maggie Curley, Kenilworth, Warwickshire

 

This book review is reprinted from the Winter 2005 edition of The Homoeopath with permission from Nick Churchill of The Society of Homoeopaths.

Reviewed by Jo Evans

Some critics may say Rajan Sankaran's methods defy logic. According to this latest book, he might reply that the essence of what needs to be cured can only be perceived by going beyond logic, into the sensation of the patient. Despite appearing to be throwing down a homeopathic gauntlet to some (especially in some of the terminology he adopts, such as 'realm of nonsense'), it will be clear to the careful reader that Sankaran's evolving body of work has the classical homeopathic texts firmly at its foundation. While the methods are very clearly explained, understanding the true meaning and value of this work requires close attention. Sankaran dares to think freely and develop his ideas, and due to the nature of the work, readers are advised not to study it superficially, or in isolated parts.

'The Sensation' is not strictly Hahnemann's 'sensation' (as in 'sensation and function', which Hahnemann stresses must be perceivable by the senses) but may be compared to what Hahnemann describes in aphorism 211 of The Organon as the state or disposition of the patient, this being the thing that 'chiefly determines the selection of the homeopathic remedy'. The Sensation, which exists, in Sankaran's words, in 'the realm of nonsense' (explained further below), is deeper than delusion, and of a more vital, spiritual nature than the observable physical, mental and emotional symptoms. It is in fact a deeper, more cohesive expression of all these levels simultaneously: the patient's experience of the delusion taken to its depth.

As Hahnemann emphasised in the same aphorism, it is the expression of the vital force in characteristic symptoms, not particulars, which will lead to the correct prescription. As Sankaran puts it: 'Follow the patient from the chief complaint right down to his deepest level, which is sensation and energy.' This means not always being sidetracked by the more superficial and particular level of the patient's story, but allowing them to go deeply into describing and expressing their state through their language and gestures. To underline this further, Sankaran acknowledges the Boenninghausen method, where there are no local symptoms, only general ones, as indicators of the deranged vital force.

So how is the Sensation defined, and indeed recognised? And then what to do? The book provides clear and detailed answers to these questions, and many case examples. The reader is methodically guided into the meaningful 'Realm of Nonsense' (subtitled: The World of the Source), on which there is a 70-page section and many other explanatory passages, found from the beginning of the book. It is in the World of the Source where the Sensation lies, and where the essence of the simillimum may be found. In addition to the Sensation, the miasm must also be ascertained to make the best prescription.

Sankaran on 'nonsense': 'I understood further that the things we absolutely do not understand, that make no sense to us, must come directly from the source. From this point on in my practice I could see that if we are attentive enough we can pick up in the case, especially close to the level of sensation, things that make absolutely no sense. I call this complete nonsense, and it has directly to do with the source... it is borrowed from something in nature... Nonsense is the language of the source being expressed through the human being.' (p.546)

The 'Bombay method' is deservedly popular, and the clinical results to prove its worth have been observed by increasing numbers of homeopaths. Not all the philosophical statements will sit well with all readers though. For instance, stating that the disturbance of the vital force is an energy pattern 'borrowed' from nature in order to cope with the way we perceive reality. Some might ask: borrowed when, from where, and how, and why? Is it too 'easy' an explanation of where disturbance of the vital force comes from? Perhaps not all the philosophical questions can be answered definitively yet. Philosophy is also a way of perceiving, and in perpetual evolution. So, we will see. Personally, I am eager to watch and wait for more developments from someone with so many clinical and practical 'answers'.

The bulk of the book explains the finer points of case taking (with its many detailed levels, painstakingly annotated for the benefit of the reader), case analysis, and ongoing case follow-up. There are additional chapters covering the treatment of children and managing acute situations. Many cases are provided throughout, all with notes and observations from the author, enhancing the readers' understanding of the process, step-by-step. I found it to be an extremely generous, inspiring and instructive book: a work of great vision, grounded in clinical experience.

Review

This book review is reprinted with permission from Homeopathic Links.

Reviewed by Ilana Dannheisser, United Kingdom

This latest book by Dr. Rajan Sankaran is the most evolved and comprehensive of his work to date. As he notes at the beginning, it is the fullest representation of his ideas, both new as well as incorporated from his earlier works. It approaches completeness, with regard to formulating a system of homeopathic case-taking, analysis, prescribing and management (follow-up), knowledge of remedies, and the understanding of how this practise relates to the fundamental principles of nature. In its totality, Sankaran delivers more profound insights regarding all of the above, in a new way, representing a significant advance in the field of homeopathy. In collaboration with his colleagues in Mumbai, he has developed various principles and 'maps' which help to systematise homeopathy. To my knowledge, no one in the field of homeopathy today has attempted anything like the scale of this effort, which is not only based solidly on the firm foundations of homeopathic philosophy, but also opens new frontiers to understanding.

The fundamental idea is that a remedy is curative when it is given on the basis of the patient's deepest level of experience, his/her vital sensation. At that level, there is an energy which corresponds to something non-human, something which is like a plant, mineral or animal. It seems like non-sense. It is as if there are two songs playing in the same person: the human part, which is supposed to be there, and the non-human, which isn't. The song of the remedy will express itself with the language of its kingdom: plant sensitivity, mineral structure, or animal survival. It will express itself precisely as the song of a substance.

All of Sankaran's previous work culminates here. His observations which led to the classification of kingdoms and miasms were explained in his earlier books, and are recapped in greater depth. In An Insight into Plants (2002) he introduced his model regarding levels of experience, and how this applies to understanding information which the patient gives in case taking. In The Sensation in Homoeopathy, he takes you from the patient, via the levels of experience and the maps of kingdoms and miasms, to the source of the remedy itself. Through his sensitive and skilful case-taking, he shows how to encourage the patient to take you there. The cases selected for illustration have been carefully chosen to provide a suitable range. This amounts to nothing less than a coherent system of practise, one that can be learned and replicated.

Central to Sankaran's thesis is the concept of 'levels'. In the chapter called 'Deeper Insights' he expands on this: level one is 'name', two is 'fact', three is 'feeling/emotion', four is 'delusion', five is 'vital sensation', six is 'energy'. Each level arises from the one before, though in a circular, rather than linear fashion: from the level of 'name' (e.g. headache) to 'fact' (worse lying down) to 'emotion/feeling' (it makes me sad) to 'delusion' (it feels as if someone is driving a nail into my head), to 'sensation' (my head is splitting open) to 'energy' (to follow this progression, the source of the remedy might be from the tree family conifers). Equally, you can move in the other direction: 'energy' gives rise to the 'sensation' which gives rise to the 'delusion', which gives rise to the 'feeling/emotion' and so on. Then, Sankaran addresses the question of the next level - level seven which has no other name. It is the level from which energy itself arises. Within this discussion he says, "We experience the Seventh level just at the moment of conception, where something, a life or energy form occurs from nothing, just as creation has happened out of nothing. It is therefore the basis for energy. It is also experienced by us as a void at the moment of death." (p.225) In this way, Sankaran links our understanding of homeopathy to our human craving to comprehend the origin of life itself, within the universe. It gives the practical application of this discipline a spiritual base. Here some may agree, some may disagree. It hardly matters, for everything to level six can be verified repeatedly.

Whereas the first half of the book reviews and expands on the basic principles, the second half is concerned with its application, starting with the case-taking itself. There is something special about this process. The aim of the case-taking is to find 'the non-human' part, to go beyond the story, the emotions, the situation, and discern the essence of something which is usually hidden or concealed within the human expressions. Previously, Sankaran would aim to perceive the 'delusion' of the patient. Now, he says, he "chases the main complaint", since the physical expression of disease is the very crystallisation of the general vital disturbance. From that starting point, the patient moves from the local sensation of the complaint to the corresponding general vital sensation, which when verified at all levels, completes the case.

The words of the patient, at the level of the vital sensation, are the source words. When the patient comes to this level, it feels strange and irrational, and the patient will seek to go back to the more familiar 'human' and rational levels. But this is precisely the point in the case taking where, if they are reassured that it is okay to talk this 'nonsense', they will lead you to the source. What makes no sense corresponds to something strange and peculiar. By paying attention to the unconscious expressions, such as hand gestures, or body movements, you can perceive even more about this energy. This is most true when the gesture is incongruent with the words used. To go to this level of the case is not always easy. In as much as it is uncomfortable, the patient often resists. But once there, the remedy will reveal itself.

Finally, the proof of the pudding: Sankaran discusses the follow-up, and how to determine the degree and nature of improvement. Ultimately, the change must be evaluated at the level of the vital sensation. There should be a shift at this level, and the overall 'state' should be reduced. If this is so, then the pathology has to improve. If the pathology has not improved at all, then it is probable that at the level of vital sensation there has not been a shift either. The last part of this book covers some discussion about acute situations, the method as it can be applied to children, some further points of clarification, and ideas for further advancement.

For anyone not familiar with Sankaran's previous work, or who has not observed this method in action at one of his seminars, this book will present many challenges, particularly with regard to his approach to taking the case. For those who have already been following Sankaran's progression, he has given us much more to work with.

Sankaran's ideas or methods have been criticised for lack of rigor. Within the first few pages of this book, he clearly affirms that his concepts have been derived strictly from the basics in homeopathy, from knowledge of homeopathic philosophy, materia medica and the repertory. Anyone who studies these concepts thoroughly cannot fail to recognise the validity of this claim; those who view these ideas superficially are bound to misunderstand and misrepresent them, Sankaran and his colleagues have given the field of homeopathy a valuable gift. What is most special is that success does not depend only on the extraordinary talent of one person. The ideas are coherent and comprehensive, and it is possible to replicate the methods. This signifies the potential to achieve more consistent results, to help our patients, to move forward, to "cure, as it is termed",

 

This book review is reprinted from Homeopathy, Volume 94, Number 3, July 2005, with permission from Peter Fisher, Editor.

Reviewed by Maggie Curley

Rajan Sankaran's latest book 'The Sensation in Homeopathy' represents the next stage in his epic journey of discovery and understanding of homeopathy; the journey which started in his first book 'The Spirit of Homeopathy' and has progressed through 'The Substance of Homeopathy', 'The System of Homeopathy' and 'An Insight into Plants' He describes the process thus:

'When I started as a homeopath, the state of the profession could be likened to a man with an air gun standing in a field shooting up in the air randomly. Once in a while a bird flew into his aim and was shot. And the homeopath would say, "What a great shot that was!" Patients had to struggle to get into the line of fire! There was a lack of consistency. Each of us had some brilliant results but not consistently... I realized that consistency was a necessity if we were to have any credibility as a system of treatment... My effort all along has been to find a method... that is consistent and reproducible.'

The aim of this book is to revise and enlarge upon concepts which he has developed to systematize homeopathy. The concepts of kingdoms, miasms, sensation and levels, as he is at pains to point out on several occasions, are based on the very solid foundation of knowledge of homeopathic philosophy, materia medica and repertory. This is not a new method of homeopathy which disregards traditional teaching but rather leads to a deeper understanding of the case and the remedy.

For those who have not read his earlier books, I suggest that, because Sankaran gives an excellent review of his thinking to date, it is quite possible to start with this book and gain a clear understanding of the system which he is developing. The layout of the book-if a little muddled and repetitive in places-is easily accessible, either to dip into or to sit down and read in one long session. The excellent Foreword and Introduction could have been written as one section; somewhat bizarrely, Acknowledgment and Note to the Reader are sandwiched between these two. However, this is a small point and does not detract from their content which sets the scene beautifully. This for me was like a spring board from which to jump into the main sections of the text. He has divided the book into three parts with the aim of following the evolution of the current concepts. Each stage of the method is illustrated with clinical cases.

Part I: 'The Spirit of Homeopathy' introduces the ideas of The Central Disturbance, Miasms and Kingdom Classification. Hahnemann's definition of disease as a 'dynamic derangement of the dynamic vital force' is explained by Sankaran as 'The Central Disturbance'-the mental and general symptoms together. These come first and local and pathological changes follow later.

' ... as if pathology grows on the Central Disturbance as a creeper on a stick. To remove the pathology, it is the Central Disturbance that needs to be corrected and the physical pathology will have nothing to sustain it.'

He expands on these ideas and their practical application and then moves on to introduce miasms, kingdom classification and the system of case taking and analysis. Six cases with follow-up and analysis complete the section.

Part II: 'The Vital Sensation' is an extract from Volume I of 'An Insight into Plants' At first sight, it seems strange to have not only part of another book reproduced but also some of the material from other chapters of this book. As he explains in the Foreword, repetition of the ideas is done with the intent of clarifying them in different ways, I found this to work well. These ideas are new and fascinating and coming across them throughout the whole text useful way of absorbing the information. A further four cases illustrate this section.

Part III: This is the largest section of the book and is split, somewhat arbitrarily, into two parts. The reader is taken to a deeper level of understanding of the patient, looking beyond the delusion to the level of sensation and energy. Sankaran then introduces us to his most recent thinking on the Seven Levels of Experience. His observations in clinical practice have led him to a realisation that patients experience pathology at varying levels and his current thinking is that there are seven identifiable. These are: Name, Fact, Feeling, Delusion, Sensation, Energy, The space that supports the energy level. This is the most difficult section of the book but one well worth revisiting; the summary on pages 252-253 is particularly helpful.

The next stage of the journey takes us to the complex subject of miasms. Starting with Hahnemann's theory, Sankaran has come to understand the miasm as the depth to which the Vital Sensation is perceived. He now describes ten miasms: Acute, Typhoid, Psora, Malaria, Ringworm, Sycosis, Tubercular, Cancer, Leprosy, Syphilis. .

He says'... the sensation is the "what" of the case, the miasm is the "how" or "how much" or to put it another way, the sensation is the verb, the miasm the adverb. '

The idea of remedies belonging to and having properties related to its natural kingdom has been discussed increasingly in the last decade. Rajan Sankaran and Jan Scholten, (through his work on the Periodic Table), have contributed hugely to this debate. In the section on The Kingdoms, Sankaran again takes us through his thinking on the subject, explaining how each of the three kingdoms has its own special song-the structure of the mineral kingdom, the sensitivity of the plant kingdom and the survival of the animal kingdom. Case taking itself is the next subject to be described in depth and illustrated with further clinical cases. The chapter on The Sensation is a revision of the concepts already discussed elsewhere-a very welcome stopping off point for the reader to take a breath and regroup.

I thoroughly enjoyed the chapter on the 'Realm of Nonsense (the world of the source)' 'Often the most fascinating point in a case is the passage into the sensation level... this is the inner world of the patient... this inner reality has no reason to be; it is illogical, unreasonable, unexplainable and therefore incredible. This is what I call the world of complete nonsense... ...the inner world is the world of the source and serves as the ultimate confirmation of the remedy.' If only we could all get to the source! Part III concludes with sections on Follow-up, Acute Situations, Children's cases and Clarifying Doubts (a question and answer session). The Conclusion comes from feedback and comments of homeopaths from around the world who are studying and using this new approach.

This is a giant of a book and a wonderful read. It takes us on a journey of discovery in which we can dare to share, dare to put these methods into practice and dare to be amazed at the results. I have little doubt that this is by no means the final part of the epic; Rajan's thirst for knowledge and understanding of homeopathy is boundless. He quotes an old Tamil saying: 'What is known is a handful, what is unknown is an earthful'

Maggie Curley, Kenilworth, Warwickshire

 

This book review is reprinted from the Winter 2005 edition of The Homoeopath with permission from Nick Churchill of The Society of Homoeopaths.

Reviewed by Jo Evans

Some critics may say Rajan Sankaran's methods defy logic. According to this latest book, he might reply that the essence of what needs to be cured can only be perceived by going beyond logic, into the sensation of the patient. Despite appearing to be throwing down a homeopathic gauntlet to some (especially in some of the terminology he adopts, such as 'realm of nonsense'), it will be clear to the careful reader that Sankaran's evolving body of work has the classical homeopathic texts firmly at its foundation. While the methods are very clearly explained, understanding the true meaning and value of this work requires close attention. Sankaran dares to think freely and develop his ideas, and due to the nature of the work, readers are advised not to study it superficially, or in isolated parts.

'The Sensation' is not strictly Hahnemann's 'sensation' (as in 'sensation and function', which Hahnemann stresses must be perceivable by the senses) but may be compared to what Hahnemann describes in aphorism 211 of The Organon as the state or disposition of the patient, this being the thing that 'chiefly determines the selection of the homeopathic remedy'. The Sensation, which exists, in Sankaran's words, in 'the realm of nonsense' (explained further below), is deeper than delusion, and of a more vital, spiritual nature than the observable physical, mental and emotional symptoms. It is in fact a deeper, more cohesive expression of all these levels simultaneously: the patient's experience of the delusion taken to its depth.

As Hahnemann emphasised in the same aphorism, it is the expression of the vital force in characteristic symptoms, not particulars, which will lead to the correct prescription. As Sankaran puts it: 'Follow the patient from the chief complaint right down to his deepest level, which is sensation and energy.' This means not always being sidetracked by the more superficial and particular level of the patient's story, but allowing them to go deeply into describing and expressing their state through their language and gestures. To underline this further, Sankaran acknowledges the Boenninghausen method, where there are no local symptoms, only general ones, as indicators of the deranged vital force.

So how is the Sensation defined, and indeed recognised? And then what to do? The book provides clear and detailed answers to these questions, and many case examples. The reader is methodically guided into the meaningful 'Realm of Nonsense' (subtitled: The World of the Source), on which there is a 70-page section and many other explanatory passages, found from the beginning of the book. It is in the World of the Source where the Sensation lies, and where the essence of the simillimum may be found. In addition to the Sensation, the miasm must also be ascertained to make the best prescription.

Sankaran on 'nonsense': 'I understood further that the things we absolutely do not understand, that make no sense to us, must come directly from the source. From this point on in my practice I could see that if we are attentive enough we can pick up in the case, especially close to the level of sensation, things that make absolutely no sense. I call this complete nonsense, and it has directly to do with the source... it is borrowed from something in nature... Nonsense is the language of the source being expressed through the human being.' (p.546)

The 'Bombay method' is deservedly popular, and the clinical results to prove its worth have been observed by increasing numbers of homeopaths. Not all the philosophical statements will sit well with all readers though. For instance, stating that the disturbance of the vital force is an energy pattern 'borrowed' from nature in order to cope with the way we perceive reality. Some might ask: borrowed when, from where, and how, and why? Is it too 'easy' an explanation of where disturbance of the vital force comes from? Perhaps not all the philosophical questions can be answered definitively yet. Philosophy is also a way of perceiving, and in perpetual evolution. So, we will see. Personally, I am eager to watch and wait for more developments from someone with so many clinical and practical 'answers'.

The bulk of the book explains the finer points of case taking (with its many detailed levels, painstakingly annotated for the benefit of the reader), case analysis, and ongoing case follow-up. There are additional chapters covering the treatment of children and managing acute situations. Many cases are provided throughout, all with notes and observations from the author, enhancing the readers' understanding of the process, step-by-step. I found it to be an extremely generous, inspiring and instructive book: a work of great vision, grounded in clinical experience.