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Posts Tagged ‘Jan Scholten’


Wednesday, June 8th, 2005


In the wake of a conversation about housing developments, of all things, I found myself back in Jan Scholten’s matrix of the Periodic Table of Elements. (See previous post.)

In dream symbolism the house is frequently taken as a representation of the self. Of course, that symbolism is no less valid in waking life as well. Our houses are very much an external representation of ourselves. So looking at trends in housing development and the property/real estate markets in various countries can provide quite a nice symbolic illustration of the current generalised state of the national psyche. For instance, in countries where ownership of your home is important and highly valued both psychologically and financially (such as in Britain and the US), then the right to self-ownership, self-determination, is similarly highly valued.

The subject came up in conversation because I was talking to an American friend about the extent to which property values, and particularly land values, have skyrocketed in the area where I live in the last year or so. She mentioned that the same thing was going on her side of the Pond. “Here, they are building like crazy – many are going for new houses, though in these housing developments that are generally ug-ly! Many McMansions. Big houses, way overpriced, poorly made, and way too close together.” Which is exactly the situation here in Britain too. Here “self-build” is all the rage. The use of those words in this context is interesting, because what “self-build” seems to involve in many cases is buying your plot of land and then picking a house out of a catalogue and having someone else build it for you. Perhaps I’m being pedantic here, but that doesn’t quite gel with what “self-build” says to me.

It seems all a bit reminiscent of the whole self-improvement/ self-development arena which has so many on the treadmill of course after course in this, that and the next thing just because everyone else is doing  it. And the lifestyle gurus say it’s “good for you”, so it must be, eh? And of course it’s what all the celebs are into, isn’t it? It’s fashionable. Yet all too often these courses are poorly built, over-priced, lack substance, and involve someone else doing most of it for you. They’re about as much to do with self-build as all these new houses.

And once you’ve got your house, then there’s the question of what you do with it. Wheel in the TV makeover teams. The interior designers, the landscape designers …. And while they’re doing that, why not bring in a wardrobe consultant, a life coach, a hair stylist, a makeup artist and get yourself made over too (possibly in more ways than you imagined). Celebrity! Luxury! Affluence! Abundance! We can’t get enough of it. And if we can’t get it for ourselves then we can get it vicariously through the innumerable TV shows devoted to the subject. There’s at least one a day. (Of course it all looks very nice, but is it you? Isn’t it all just a bit hollow and empty? A sham? Is it any accident that all the winning contestants from Big Brother and its clones seem to have just one quality in common? Authenticity. Whoever they are, they’re genuine, they’re themselves: which is ultimately the one saving grace of these programmes … if we can at least still recognise and appreciate that quality, then there’s hope for the human race.)

What do these photographs all have in common? Read on to find out.

Luxury housing


Road rage

Road rage



Nitrate fertilisers

Chemical fertilisers

Beef production


Heart disease

Heart disease

Coming back to the trends in our housing, we then have the tendency to expansion, bloating, over-inflation. An interesting development, occuring as it does alongside a similar over-inflation of ego, of self-centredness. Yet that over-inflation is fragile. It’s disproportionate. It needs protection, padding, insulation. So our houses all huddle together and we pile the fat on our bodies. Our cars – similarly ego extensions – are getting bigger and acquiring more padding and insulation between their inner and outer skins. (Compare today’s Mini Coopers with the originals.) We’re getting more aggressive (particularly in our cars), and more explosive.

Yet despite all this abundance, this over-inflation, this aggression, we’re big on victim mentality. We’re perpetually hard done by. It’s always someone else’s fault. The world is full of abusers. It’s not fair. And on and on. Moaning, complaining (though rarely to the people likely to make any difference).

Anyone familiar with Jan Scholten’s system may be recognising the themes of the two elements coming into view here. Nitrogen and Oxygen.

Nitrogen and Oxygen both belong to the Carbon series which focuses on the individual, the ego, I, self-worth, value, meaning, ethics, body, life, vitality, lust, possessions, the life-stage of the child. The stages they represent are loss and decay, giving the specific elemental themes of:

Nitrogen: assertiveness, expansion, enthusiasm, enjoyment, forgiving/unforgiving, tension and relaxation, hypochondria

Oxygen: egotism, demanding, used/abused, indignation, victim, beggar, debt, decomposition

It’s interesting too to look at the nature of substances that combine these two elements. Take Nitrous oxide. N2O. Laughing gas. Is it any accident that we laugh most frequently at the expense of other’s egos, and that popular humour in recent years has revolved around that to a greater and greater extent? Or that such a substance should also be used to give an enormous power boost to car engines? Or that it has anaesthetic properties? Or confers a high degree of suggestibility?

Then there are the nitrates (NO3) which combine the qualities of these two elements with whatever other element they are conjoined with. Widely used as fertilisers. And in explosives.

And is it at all surprising that we should be this way if, with every breath we take, we’re reinforcing the imprint of those elements? Perhaps not. Yet the atmospheric proportions of nitrogen and oxygen have been pretty constant throughout the existence of the human race. Why should these qualities be on the increase? Could it have anything to do with all the nitrates used as fertilisers? With high protein diets (nitrogen being an essential component of amino acids, the building blocks of protein)?

According to a 1999 report from the World Resources Institute, Critical Consumption Trends and Implications; Degrading Earth’s Ecosystems, “World cereal consumption has more than doubled in the last 30 years, while meat consumption has tripled since 1961 and is increasing at a linear rate. The agricultural success story is that rising demand has been met; more people are now better fed than they were a generation ago. One of the many environmental consequences, only now becoming clear, is significant disruption of the global nitrogen cycle. In the past half century, the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers world-wide has increased more than ninefold, and the number of livestock has more than doubled since 1960. Fertilizers and animal manures have increased and concentrated, respectively, the amount of nitrogen entering soils, freshwater and marine ecosystems. Human activity has actually doubled the natural annual rate of nitrogen fixation, and by far the largest single cause is agriculture.”

The rest of this report is well worth a read. It’s the current Article of the Moment.

If making a connection between the changes in the national psyche over the last few decades and increases in nitrate consumption is valid, we should be able to find equally close correlations between the pathology of the nitrates and the pathology of the nation. The homeopathic remedies prepared from nitrates (the nitricums) should be able to show us very clearly what to expect. The main sphere of pathology of the nitricum remedies is – surprise, surprise – cardiovascular disease. The number one killer * in both the US and UK (and most of the developed world, come to that). The cause of death of one in three of us on average. Arteriosclerosis, angina, claudication, palpitations, arrhythmias, cerebral vascular disease and haemorrhage … cerebral vascular disease? Oh yes, that’s the number two cause of death throughout most of the developed world. Obesity, which is reaching epidemic proportions in the US and rapidly increasing in the UK. The nitricums also have affinity for the skin – red patches, allergies. Congestive conditions. Lung complaints. Tuberculosis. Tiredness. Liver and kidney problems.

Seems we might be paying a very high price for our enjoyment of the good life. Perhaps rather higher than we thought …

[* page 17, table 1339]

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