Homeopathy for Today's World: Discovering Your Animal, Mineral, or Plant Nature Paperback – Jun 23 2011
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“Dr. Rajan Sankaran is one of the most insightful homeopathic practitioners and thinkers alive today. The depth and originality of his vision have expanded the boundaries of homeopathic philosophy and practice, gaining him thousands of adherents among professional homeopaths worldwide. In this unique volume, Dr. Sankaran shares his perspective on homeopathy in a manner designed to be accessible to the layperson as well as the clinician.” (Julian Jonas, CCH, Lic. Ac., Center for Homeopathy of Southern Vermont)
“Homeopathy for Today’s World is a triumph: the healing art is revealed! Rajan Sankaran’s experiences and insights to date are united within an overarching philosophy and are made explicit and intelligible. His quest for the most reliable form of homeopathy has been unremitting. I will recommend this book to all my students.” (Misha Norland, founder and principal of the School of Homeopathy, Devon, England)
“Dr. Rajan Sankaran has given us a valuable tool to discover ‘the other song,’ the inner individualizing experience inherent in every person. The nature of this core feeling plays an important role in the response to stressful situations and generally in the maladies of life. Dr. Sankaran’s clarity of thought in the methodology of how to access the continuous inner sensation has opened an immense perspective. His method serves as a deep journey into the self and is a valuable advancement of homeopathic practice today and in the future.” (Anne Schadde, founder of the Homeopathy Forum in Munich and cofounder of the European and Internatio)
“. . . a useful reading for homoeopathy practitioners--beginners and old-timers alike. Its merit lies in the scale of its view revealing the art of healing. The author’s overarching philosophy is explicit and intelligible, and the exposition is such as to make understanding of the subject easy.” (The Hindu, online edition of India’s national newspaper)
“His [Rajan Sankaran] interviewing techniques alone are worth the price of the book. . . It also will stimulate interest in items like Bach Flower Essences.” (Anna Jedrziewski, New Age Retailer, May 2011)
“The focus on understanding and learning one’s “inner song” to reduce negativity and stress makes this a top pick for any alternative healing library.” (Midwest Book Review, November 2011)
“This book is truly groundbreaking in the information it presents, and it explores an entire other universe from most homeopathy books.” (Whole Life Times, November 2011)
“Explaining that there are 7 levels to our experiences, Dr. Sankaran provides techniques to decode the words and gestures we use to describe our pain, emotions, and health conditions, allowing us to probe deeper into our experiences of stress and illness to determine what animal, plant, or mineral is ‘singing’ within us. Showing how this core identity can be used by homeopathic physicians to treat our problems at their source, he reveals how becoming aware of our inner song can reduce the intensity of its negative effects, leading to less stress, better health, and more harmony in our lives.” (Branches of Light, October 2012)
“Dr. Sankaran’s approach is the greatest single advance in homeopathic medicinal practice in the past century.” (The American Journal of Homeopathic Medicine)
About the Author
Dr. Rajan Sankaran is an internationally renowned homeopath who has been in practice since 1981. The creator of the Sensation Method of homeopathy, he gives lectures and seminars throughout the world. The author of several books, including The Spirit of Homeopathy, The Substance of Homeopathy, and The Sensation in Homeopathy, he lives in Mumbai, India.See all Product Description
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Theoretically speaking, Dr. Sankaran's method is actually very simple, in that it consists of tracking the "vital sensation" which underlies a patient's experience. When tracked, this one "vital sensation" will be found to underlie not only the local experience of a physical complaint, but also his entire general experience of every situation in his life. Now, what is uncanny about the "vital sensation", is that it is NOT HUMAN. Rather, the vital sensation in a human being is "borrowed" from either the plant, the animal, or the mineral kingdom. Because the vital sensation is non-human, but the human experiences life through this vital sensation, there are, as it were, two "songs" playing at the same time in every human being - one human, one non-human. Dr Sankaran calls the vital sensation "the other song", because it represents a non-human energy pattern of response to stress that be traced to either the plant, animal or mineral kingdoms. Basically, the plant kingdom is defined by sensitivity of response, the animal kingdom by competitiveness and survival, and the mineral kingdom by the gain and loss of structure. As the other song is essentially dissonant with the human song, the dissonance between the two in a single being creates pathology. When we can identify the other song in a human being, we can administer the correct remedy from the plant, animal or mineral kingdom which loosens that particular non-human energy and makes it less and less dominant and compelling, so that the human response can become free to express itself.
Elsewhere, Dr Sankaran and his associates have made detailed case studies and homeopathic provings of remedies from the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms that add many new, innovative perspectives to our understanding of classic and new remedies from these 3 kingdoms and their subkingdoms. The detailed repertories are not covered in this book but in other (very expensive) books that are meant for the homeopathic practitioner or student. What is covered in this book are the basic infrastructure of the plant, animal and mineral repertories and some examples that show their themes. Interspersed throughout the book are many patient case studies that serve to show how sensations from plant, animal and mineral kingdoms manifest in human individuals, expressed through both pathology and everyday life.
Through his case studies, Dr Sankaran show that the experience and expression of the vital sensation is actually very coherent and makes sense of every facet of that person's experience. However, to get to the sensation, one has to first follow "nonsense". Nonsense happens when, in persistently probing into an individual's sensation, he begins to sprout words or descriptions that would usually be dismissed as "nonsense" because they don't initially make any sense or fit into any coherent framework of meaning. Instead of dismissing the patient's nonsense, the homeopath should follow it, because it is by following this apparent "nonsense" that he gets to the level of sensation. The reason why nonsense is the key to sensation is because sensation actually lies beyond the levels of "name, fact, emotion and delusion", which are cognitive levels of experience that are specific to human beings. The sensation level however is not human-specific. Evolutionarily speaking, sensation goes back to a very deep layer of the brain and nervous system that is pre-human. It is a non-human experience, and it also cannot be easily expressed in human language. In an effort to express sensation, the patient uses hand gestures that show the actual energy patterns at work. The homeopath has to be alert to the hand gestures and the nonsense descriptions, and use them as guides to decipher the non-human terrain in which the patient is operating and expressing.
Dr Sankaran discusses the 7 levels of experience in Chapter Three. (Chapter One discusses Stress and patterns of response, and the disease as delusion. Chapter Two introduces the concept of The Other Song). The seven levels are: name, fact, feeling, delusion, sensation, energy, and the seventh. As discussed above, the first 4 levels are cognitive and human. The 5th level of sensation is pre-cognitive and non-human (or pre-human). The 6th level of energy is cosmic and universal, transcending the terrestrial level of sensation which is experienced by humans, plants, animals and minerals alike. The 7th level is unnamed - it is void, but is the origin of energy itself. One level gives rise to the next. From the seventh (the Un-nameable Source) arises energy which is cosmic, from energy arises sensation which is particularized in terrestrial forms, from sensation arises delusion which is human and cognitive, from delusion arises feeling (emotion), from feeling (emotion) arises fact, from fact arises name.
As I read this book, I am constantly reminded of Buddhist psychology to which useful comparisons can be made. For example, the Buddhist classification of "n'ama'" (variously translated as mind, mentality, or name) consists of sensation (vedana), perception (sanna), mental fabrications (sankhara), and consciousness (vinnana). Sensation (vedana) is that which comes prior to perception and thought itself, and Buddhist mindfulness meditation is based in the first place upon the awareness of this pre-cognitive sensation. Dr Sankaran's method too hones in on the sensation, which he calls the "VITAL sensation" because it goes to the core of a being - in other words, it is experienced at a very deep level which is pre-cognitive, before thought. As in Buddhist mindfulness meditation, the key to accessing vital sensation is awareness. The homeopath simply keeps guiding the patient back to the awareness of sensation, until he is able to verbalize it clearly. Often though, he is not able to verbalize it, as it is beyond the level of language (which is on the level of cognition, of name). So, he employs hand gestures, which directly express the energy pattern of the sensation.
If I were to look at Sankaran's seven levels of experience through the lens of Buddhist psychology and classification, I would say that the "seventh level" corresponds to the Nibbanic Consciousness of the Buddha and the Arhant (and also to the Dao, which is beyond name). "Energy" would correspond to that which impinges upon the six sense doors ie. "sound, light, smell, touch, taste, consciousness" and to factors that belong to rupa-khanda (form group) ie. "movement, cohesion, weight, temperature". "Sensation" is directly equivalent to "vedana" (sensation). "Feelings" would be types of "cetasika" (mental factors), "delusion" would come under "papanca" (conceptual proliferation), and "fact" and "name" belong on the level of "sammuti sacca" (relative truth). Never mind if this comparison doesn't make sense to you, what you can get from this is that, like Buddhist psychology and mental cultivation, Sankaran's homeopathic method can take you to a very deep analysis of the mind and of experience which is, at its heart and in practice, radically transformative. It begins in the first place with the simple awareness of sensation which can potentially rid one of pathology in practice, and it can even potentially - if only in theory - reach up to the level of unmanifest consciousness itself.
Chapter 4 takes a closer look at the themes of the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms. The rest of the book cover aspects of homeopathic diagnosis and case-taking, that also offer some interesting psychological insights that have general applications beyond homeopathy. For e.g., in Chapter 5, Sankaran discusses the three homeopathic postulates (1) sensation and action are equal and opposite, 2) the opposite of what is said is equally true, 3) there is no-one or nothing out there other than yourself). In Chapter 6, he looks at 10 reaction types (panic, crisis, possible, doubtful, persecuted, fixed, claustrophobic, chaotic, isolated and impossible) that represent types of coping reactions - the ten types correspond to stages in life, but one can get stuck in a type. (Not covered in this book, but elsewhere in the extensive remedy repertories of Sankaran, specific remedies within kingdoms and sub-kingdoms correspond to one or other type).
Chapter 7 gives some insight into how the homeopath can lead patients into the depth of sensation (and beyond to the level of energy). It is an interesting read, but only actual experience can reveal how the technique will work in practice. As Sankaran says, the method is simple, but to apply it takes a lot of experience.
Chapter 8 is about doodles and how doodles can be used to reveal the level of sensation and energy. Chapter 9 is about metaphors, and how metaphors in a person's speech can reveal his other song. I found these two chapters to be the weakest chapters of this book: they are interesting and suggestive, but not as intellectually rigorous as the earlier chapters. Chapter 10 is on how awareness can lead to healing. Chapter 11 gives some case studies of the Sensation Method and the Appendix gives some questions and answers.
It was interesting reading the case studies, and I see the power and potential of this method. However, I am left with certain questions which were not addressed in the Q&A. For example, some of the earliest and key remedies in homeopathy are made from bacterium. Why are bacterium not covered as sources of "the other song"? Also, Sankaran says that the vital song can only come from one kingdom. However, can the other song change over time, from one sub-kingdom to another, from one kingdom to another? These are questions for which I do not have the answer. Though it might not hold all the answers, the Sensation Method nonetheless represents one of the most important advances in the field of homeopathy in the last 100 years, and should be studied by every homeopath.
This book can also be profitably studied by the general reader, who will gain greater insight into his own psychology and response to life, as well as insight into the roots of his pathology and the way to healing. One of the most empowering things I got from reading this book, for example, is Sankaran's proposition/conclusion that disease is a delusion. Like in Buddhist psychology, differentiating clearly between the emotional, delusional (i.e. conceptual fabrication) and sensation levels of experience enables us to move beyond emotive and mental reactions to access the vital level of pure sensation and energy, so that we can change or become free of these patterns.
In his book, Sankaran remarked that patients often found the case interview itself enlightening and meaningful, as it leads to self-knowledge, which is in itself a catalyst for transformation and healing. So too, reading this book leads to increased awareness, which is in itself a catalyst for transformation, healing and growth. Homeopathy is essentially an energetic or vibrational form of healing, and if we are skilled enough and aware enough, ultimately, perhaps we don't even have to use a remedy derived from a terrestrial form. If we are skilled enough and aware enough, perhaps we can reach a stage where we just have to become aware and conscious of energy and energetic patterns and their effects within or upon us in order to change them. In this book, Sankaran is already helping to move us in this direction.