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Archive for May, 2005


Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

This latest proving still continues! (See previous posts.) About a month ago I had the distinct impression its influence was waning, but no. It was just entering another phase. The physical symptoms are still around too – notably this remedy’s apparent affinity (in me at least) for the left deltoid muscle.

From repeating dreams featuring nested subroutines in either mathematical formulae or programming language, I’m now getting programming language addressing the relationships between various files and routines – how they call each other and incorporate aspects of each other within their own nested subroutines. This seems to relate to the evolving model of existence based on the theoretical understanding of black holes which I’ve introduced in the general essay Unscientific Attachment. More as it develops …

Having sent in my proving log last month when it all seemed to be tailing off, I now know what the substance is. Stangeria eriopus, the Natal Grass Cycad. An ancient plant first thought to be a fern and later discovered to be cone-bearing.

The proving director sent me a photograph of the plant she used as the source of the remedy. Its single leaflet is uncannily similar in appearance to a stone carving of a leaflet I recently made. The carving came into being without any premeditation, and the design was created in about 30 seconds flat. The whole thing was completed before I knew what the proving substance was. Indentations in the edges of the leaflets similar to those in my carving can evidently develop in older plants, as can the wavy surface which I started to carve in the lower leaflets and then thought better of (still evident in bottom left leaflet). Even the manner in which the leaflets attach to the central stem is similar.

Stangeria eriopus

A good example of sympathetic resonance in action? Certainly seems plausible. Now here’s one for all those people who feel that sympathetic resonance with a proving substance cannot be established prior to the ingestion of the physical token of it in the form of the remedy. This carving was made in December 2004. It was actually finished in the same week I received the invitation to take part in the proving, so at the moment of its initial creation, and for much of its execution, there was no conscious engagement with a scheduled proving. (I knew one was on the way because I had already started to experience a change in state, but had no idea where it would materialise from or when.)

The carvings I make seem to have a habit of resonating with provings. Last September I made a carving of a lotus/waterlily while doing another proving. That proving turned out to be an essence prepared from the sand used in the construction of a Tibetan Buddhist sand-painting, a mandala dedicated to the goddess Green Tara, which had been made in Glastonbury during that summer. Tibetan iconography traditionally has Green Tara seated on a lotus flower. These sand paintings are created over the period of 5 days or so, dedicated, celebrated, then ceremoniously destroyed. Since its completion, my carving has been steadily disintegrating, the only one of my works to do so.

Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. Or is so-called “coincidence” just evidence of an underlying pattern and order we’ve yet to become fully aware of? And as for the disintegrating carving, well it just wouldn’t be good sympathetic resonance if it didn’t, would it?

Jan Scholten and the Lanthanides

Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

Jan Scholten

Last weekend I was at a homeopathic seminar in Edinburgh by Jan Scholten on the Lanthanides. For anyone familiar with Jan’s system of approaching the Periodic Table of Elements via a matrix of the common themes running through the elements of each series and group (stage), this was an exposition of the extension of his system into the Lanthanides, the so-called rare earth elements with atomic numbers between 57 (Lanthanum) and 71 (Lutetium) inclusive. The Lanthanides, along with the mostly radioactive Actinides in the series above them, are generally depicted as a block set apart from the main layout of the Periodic Table. It’s not immediately obvious on first glance where they fit into the general scheme of things … which, as it turns out, is a characteristic theme of the group.

Periodic Spiral of ElementsThe Lanthanides’ discovery has been relatively recent. Despite their collective term “rare earth elements”, they are far from rare, occuring naturally with greater frequency than, for instance, gold, silver or iodine. They are chemically very similar and generally occur together. But they are never found in their pure form, so for a long time have remained HIDDEN. In fact the name Lanthanide derives from the Greek word for ‘hidden’. Not surprisingly perhaps, this reveals itself as another major theme of the group.


The group is an extension of the Gold series, and has many themes in common – Leadership, Management, Organisation, Structure, Responsible, Serious, Heavy, King, Power, Dictatorial, Dignified, Haughty, Alone, Isolation, Failure, Offence, Religion, Ripe old age – and on the physical level, urinogenital symptomatology and eye problems (refractive problems, strabismus, colour blindness): regulatory diseases as opposed to the functional bias to complaints evident in the Iron series immediately below.

The element Lanthanum itself falls within Stage 3 of the Periodic Table, and the Lanthanides all share Stage 3 qualities (Investigating, Exploring, Discovering, Comparing, Discerning, Trying, Hesitating, Doubting, Changeable, Unstable, Underestimating, Discouraged, Unofficial, Non-committal, Free-lance, Confusion, Three, Un–). Yet while doing so, each individual Lanthanide also appears to take on the qualities of the stage it would fall into were it included within the basic schema of the Periodic Table. Cerium therefore has the themes of Stage 4, while Lutetium has much in common with the Halogens and Stage 17.

Jan brought out the themes of the Lanthanides through a comprehensive selection of cases from his practice – about 20 in all – which illustrated not just the Lanthanides themselves, but two plant families, the Cactaceae and Carophyllaceae, through which he compared and contrasted some of the essential characteristics of these remedies. Most of the cases were presented through videos. Many were in Dutch, which allowed if anything a greater appreciation of the body language and general demeanour of the various patients.

Jan emphasised the importance of employing a more pro-active case-taking technique with cases that appear to fall into the realm of these remedies. Few have been proved, so in order to make use of his matrix, certain areas of information need particular focus. In terms of the main theme of the case, the series (the horizontal axis in the standard Periodic Table layout) defines the theme itself, the stage (the vertical axis) how the theme is handled. Crossing these two determines the element. The salt of the element represents the modalities of the main theme.

The Lanthanides have proved themselves to have a strong affinty for autoimmune conditions and Jan has used them extensively in this area – to the extent of regarding them as prime remedies for such conditions. His success in halting and reversing the normal progression of a case of multiple sclerosis with a Lanthanide salt was particularly striking. This affinity for autoimmune syndromes keys into another Lanthanide theme – that of AUTONOMY. Autonomy comes from the Greek autonomia, from autonomos‘having its own laws’. This concept has its reflections in the self-containment, self-control and self-willed nature often encountered in those needing these remedies, and in the fact that many stand apart from their group, not fitting in easily or finding themselves a target of ridicule for being “different”. There is a sense of being ill at ease; an underlying but discernible tension that seeks relaxation often in the form of smoking marijuana or in sex.

The emphasis on SELF, as opposed to the more basic I of the Carbon series, finds resonance in much of the so-called ‘New Age’ sphere of interest – self-discovery, self-improvement – the quest for the INNER nature of the being beyond ego. These elements are DEEP, archetypal. Often there is an interest in mythology, depth psychology, symbolism, a quest for TRUTH and UNDERSTANDING.

The elements themselves have a strong affinity for the electromagnetic spectrum. They are stronger magnets than iron and are used in superconductors, lasers, in light equipment to correct refraction. The affinity for the electromagnetic can be found in those needing the remedies. They are more than usually sensitive to colour (blue or blue-green surfaces as a frequent preference). They feel the intentions of others, are able to spot the discrepancies and inconsistencies between outer appearances and inner intent. Their own inner world often remains hidden behind an outward display of apparent confidence. They can be engaging, but simultaneously keep their distance as if both poles of a magnet were in evidence.

A book detailing Jan’s work on the Lanthanides to date is in the pipeline, due to be published in roughly 2 months. Many of the cases he presented in the seminar will be included. This is timely work in the context of the rising profile of autoimmune conditions in recent years, and these remedies offer great promise.

Thanks to the current insanity revolving around homeopathy in this country, in both media and blogosphere, it's become necessary to insult your intelligence by explicitly drawing your attention to the obvious fact that any views or advice in this weblog/website are, unless stated otherwise, the opinions of the author alone and should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you choose to take anything from here that might be construed as advice, you do so entirely under your own recognisance and responsibility.

smeddum.net - Blog: Confessions of a Serial Prover. Weblog on homeopathy, health and related subjects by homeopathic practitioner Wendy Howard