The Chthonic Realm -- Deep personality diseases
Sample Description from Verspoor/Smith's work
This is one of the key reasons I promote the approach of Medical Heilkunst and have it as the ground of my Integrative Homeopathy program. There are diseases that affect people in ways that are most evident in their psychology/personality. This was described by Dr. Hahnemann, but it was given a name only recently by Smith/Verspoor/Decker as "Chthonic Disease," described below.
An important quote from Dr. Hahnemann shows why every person needs to be treated for these because the Chthonic diseases can begin to act when a person has already accomplished a lot of improvement in their health. (This is as opposed to my understanding of Chronic Miasms as beginning to act in visible ways especially when a person is weak and has not been treated in a truly healing fashion.)
Dr. Hahnemann describes how patients would improve then suddenly shift into a different personality, almost as if possessed:
“…How often, for instance, in the most painful, protracted diseases do we not meet with a mild, gentle mindedness, so that the Remedial-Artist feels impelled to bestow attention and sympathy upon the patient. If he [the physician/Remedial-Artist] conquers the disease and restores the patient again – as is not seldom possible in the homeopathic mode – the physician is often astonished and startled over the dreadful alteration of the mind, where he often sees ingratitude, hard-heartedness, deliberate malice and the most degrading, most revolting tempers of humanity come forward, which had been precisely the patient’s own in his former days. " [emphasis added]
Reported by Verspoor/Decker in Dynamic Legacy: From Homeopathy to Heilkunst.
The Chthonic Realm
This is the realm of fear, which Dr. Hahnemann called our “deepest disease.” Anxiety is a necessary condition of man in his natural state. However, when we are living in disease, the alterations created in our inner knowing turn anxiety into fear.
We are born into a state of “sin,” that is, simply a division or separation from our inner knowing (the word for sin in Greek is a technical term meaning “to miss the mark” as in the bull’s eye in archery)., and as our intellect, our awareness of self emerges, so does our separation from our inner knowing (wisdom). What we have lost in wisdom over the centuries, we have gained in individual liberty and sense of self as unique entities.
However, because of disease we have filled our growing state of ignorance of the world with beliefs that block a return to our wisdom. This return must not be simply a return to our previous state, but the creation of a new state of conscious knowing that integrates our inner wisdom (intuition, imagination, inspiration) with our awareness of self and world, a state of super-consciousness that is founded on this integration of sense and super-sense within us.
Instead of the constant strife within between instinct and intellect, we need to have a form of true reason that is the basis of a true science of self and non-self. This true science is one that will finally cut through the Gordian knot of Western philosophy (false polarity between spirit and matter) and free us from the tyranny of both materialism and mysticism.
We have been able to discover and map the chthonic realm, thanks to the principles of Heilkunst and the clinical experiences provided by the cases we have treated. Our own process of discovery has been like the era of discovery of the world by Western explorers, and every case has been like an initial voyage, each time taking us further and deeper into the unknown, expanding our map of the known, leaving the familiar coastline of our rational world and venturing into the oceanic unknown, full of mythical monsters and dangers, some real, many illusory.
While we have been able to circumnavigate the globe, many areas remain uncharted and vague, waiting for future expeditions to shed light and fill in the map of our conscious understanding. What we have to date is the broad outline of the chthonic realm and an approach to treatment that is grounded in natural law.
Our research has revealed that there is a dual stream, each of which exists within us, but one of which may be more dominant. One of the streams, which we term the “hot stream,” is more overt and visible in its expression, with external manifestations of fear. The other is less visible, and we term it the “cold stream.” It expresses itself more by the fear going inward.
For each of the streams, there seem to be four phases and four medicines that address them. What follows below is a summary of the state of mind and condition of each remedy.
Stramonium: When someone needs Stramonium they feel alone, helpless and forsaken in a world that feels overwhelmingly terrifying and dangerous, and their behavior will reflect that fear. Their fears may be exacerbated in the dark and at night, when they may feel more vulnerable, and they may be clingy and needy during the night or at bedtime, or fearful to be alone in a room without a nightlight on or in the company of a parent.
They may become destructive of their clothes and may strike out, and act with violence and fear, all with a sense of self-preservation and defensiveness. In an extreme state the level of violence escalates, and it can be turned inward or outward, with shrieking, biting, screaming, tearing and even cursing. Someone needing Stram may have a fear of animals, particularly dogs (fearing the dogs will attack them), and worse still may be black dogs. They also can have fears of tunnels or other enclosed places, as well as deep water and mirrors. Stram symptoms will arise from a sudden shock, blow to the head, birth injuries, an intense fright, or with a very high fever and/or neurological damage, often seen post-vaccination.
Hyoscyamus: The fears and energy of Hyoscyamus manifest after a shock that causes them to behave as if they have lost all trust, faith, safety and security in those who are supposed to be there to love and protect them. They are so terrified of being alone (or feeling deserted) that they draw attention to themselves, almost in a manic way, with exaggerated behaviors, from joking and laughing, acting silly, being loquacious and immature, to violence, striking, and acting in shamelessly sexually provocative ways. They will expose themselves or fondle their genitals, and speak or joke in lewd ways. Their state is less intensely destructive than that of Stram.
In the back of their minds, those needing Hyos feel that if they do not keep the attention of those they love, need or depend upon, they will lose them, and so they will show extreme behaviors out of this fear.
They also have a more internal state, muttering to themselves or talking with people who are not there. They can obsess, usually over small and simple things, and repeat the same tasks over and over and over again. They may lose control of urination and defecation, and may be fine sitting in it, or spending hours playing with their stool. People needing Hyos also will pick at things, like dust particles in the air, or specks on their clothing. They have symptoms on hearing running water, and may urinate or defecate involuntarily, or dread hearing running water and react with fear.
Belladonna: The energy around Belladonna is intense! It is acute, hot and obvious. The person needing Bell can be happy, dancing, singing and apparently fine one minute, then react with an intense fear, as if there is some massive threat to their life. They may feel the need to run, to escape, to rage, all because they feel they need to save themselves from this imminent danger.
They may be extremely sensitive to noise, light and jarring and avoid bright and noisy places. They do not avoid company, but the stimulation that can come from being with people can be overwhelming for them. The intensity of Bell is a keynote -- red, hot, with violent impulses. They may want to tear their clothes, or be tempted to bit or pull someone’s hair. They have a fear of animals in general, and dogs more specifically.
There can be a delirious state where the person laughs at imaginary things that they see, they can strike out at imaginary objects, knock their head against the wall, or they may sit quietly and break small sticks repeatedly. They may bark or growl like a dog, and feel compelled to touch everything in the room.
The origin of the Bell state can come from strong fevers, injuries to the head and suppression of eruptions.
Veratrum album: Veratrum is busy. There is much less violence than in the other hot stream chthonic remedies, but there is a great deal of industriousness. They are not destructive, but those needing Verat seem to have an endless supply of energy (exhausting for parents), which they use to ceaselessly draw, sing, clean, or do perseverative behaviors and repetitious things like stack CDs, stimming behavior with calculators, etc. This is a very intense remedy, but more in terms of the energy they expend daily than in any violent or destructive way.
Another side of Verat is a melancholy, with an air of superiority and righteousness, which may or may not have religious overtones. They may feel that they are sane and the rest of us are insane; they may hold themselves above the rules, which don’t apply to them. They can look at their parents as if the demands placed on mere commoners in no way could apply to them, with their elevated stature. It is as if their ego is very fragile and they have to protect themselves by withdrawing from the ordinary world.
Some keynotes of Verat are a desire for eating ice and other cold things, and fruit, particularly acidic fruits, and salt. They can have a physical coldness as well, feeling cold to the touch. They are prone to sudden diarrhea that seems to be forcibly ejected from the body, and can have vomiting and diarrhea concurrently.
Baryta carb: Immaturity is a keynote of Baryta carb, and it can be seen on any level, from physical immaturity and slow development of single body parts, to an immature dependence on others for emotional support. They may be quite capable intellectually, performing well in school, but are socially shy and insecure, unable to feel safe without a strong connection with those they feel offer protection. They are also disconnected in terms of their emotions, and are not able to make a connection between what emotions would feel like and how to express them. They can be terrified that something bad will happen to those upon whom they depend.
Those needing Bar-c may have the inability to retain food or to swallow solid foods. They can sit and brood in a corner in their hose for hours, and experience panic when asked to go out into the world. They can have a fear of strangers and of new situations, and may startle easily and be frightened of loud noises. They cannot conceive of pleasure, and are so dependent and immature that they don’t want to socialize or mix with those outside their safety net.
Arnica: The symptoms of Arnica come from a very deep, traumatic assault on the individual either mentally, emotionally or physically, and as a result they are seriously wounded, or “bruised,” and in pain, on one level or another. This leaves them with the sense that the world is unsafe and painful, that they need to protect themselves from all contact with people or situations that could hurt them again.
They maybe irritable, angry, argumentative and unapproachable, but this behavior serves them by ensuring no one comes too close. They may want something and then, once it is given, push it away, unable to know what it is they truly want and don’t want.
Another side of Arn is where the person is passive, sensitive and touchy. They may want to be left alone, not talk with anyone and avoid human contact, and may be upset with consolation and conversation, and want to be more quiet and process things internally.
Helleborus: In the Helleborus state there is so much pain that the person seeks to shut himself off from the world completely. It is as if the physical body is there, but there is no one at home inside. His eyes are fine, but he doesn’t see. His ears are okay, but he does not hear. He may take a long time before responding to a question. He is not able to make decisions for himself, not even when asked what he’d like to eat.
The faces of those needing Helleborus may lack expression, and they may look bewildered and confused. They may sit and moan, and often do have quite a vivid imagination with a lot of activity in their mind, but it’s just not able to be expressed. They also may roll their head, from side to side, as in encephalitis.
Helleborus is sometimes better with a violent shock, as if it takes something dramatic to penetrate their shut down state of mind. A loud shout our yell may get a response, and they may slap or hit themselves, perhaps for the stimulation it brings and to maintain a sense of connection.
Bufo: The keynote of Bufo is a strong sexual element. This can show up in the form of solitary intellectual or mental pursuits, what can be referred to as mental masturbation, or actual physical masturbation. The person needing Bufo is immature, childish and highly sexual. There is no self-control over their instinctual desires, whether they are for eating or physical/sexual stimulation (without shame) or sitting alone in the basement on the computer for hours on end. They need their desires to be fulfilled and they do not understand why they would have to postpone them to a more appropriate time or place, or to limit them in any way.
They may have childish laughter and an immature sense of humor, and have a fear of animals. They may strike out, or be destructive, but more often they are seen as loners who want to remain in solitude to stimulate themselves one way or another. They may appear to be larger and more fleshy physically than other types, and are known for a dull look on their faces with their tongues protruding from thicker lips.