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Silica - the new interpretations

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  • Silica - the new interpretations

    What does everyone think of the newer, psychological interpretations of Silica (etc) in Scholten and Sankaran?
    Sankaran introduces the idea of keeping up an image, and Scholten talks about all sorts of new things - anger, father stuff etc (I haven't got his book in front of me, so that's from memory). Are these from provings, or cases?
    What is everyone's experience with Silica - do you use the newer info, or stick with the more traditional picture.

  • #2


    • #3
      My results have been excellent with both the newer interpretaions as well as the traditional. With many relatives being Silica Constitutional, I've found the pictures using one or the other method - all of them work as long as you understand the patient and what is to be cured.



      • #4
        I always like Kent's lectures on MM.
        However I think Margaret Tyler's writeup on silica is garbage.


        • #5

          If you're gonna make such a provacative statement, you might as well explain it.



          • #6
            Chris, do you use the traditional because that's what you have found more accurate, or because you don't like the new studies for other reasons?

            What does Margaret Tyler say - I haven't read her yet.


            • #7
              Hi felix,

              A properly taken case in the traditional method has an inbuilt safety feature which protects against suppressions, partial simillimums and dissimilar remedies.

              Instead of one word psychological theme keynotes combined with an essence, the classical characteristics are accompanied by qualifying descriptions or concomitants. In this way, classical keynotes cannot be used in a case unless the modalities and general symptoms of the constitution are in agreement. When the totality of symptoms are employed no one or two symptoms, by themselves, can completely dominate the choice of a remedy. The chosen remedy therefore reflects the disease-gestalt and all the checks and balances are in place.

              A worthwhile review to read is found at:

              Many homoeopaths are expressing concerns (see the lyghtforce or minutus lists) about the route taken by the modern mentalist approach. Remedies derived from meditative and seminar provings are being intergrated into everyday homoeopathic use. This is NOT homoeopathy. I wouldn't envisage adopting these kinds of remedies into my practice of homoepathy.

              The new methods are being studied before a sound knowledge of the original classical material is put into practice. The art of case-taking is being lost. Homoeopaths find it enormously difficult to find rubrics in our repertories that match what the person contemporarily expresses. Criticisms that the polychrests don't work, Sulphur was only good for the 19th Century, we need modern meditative provings that reflect the new age (!) etc, IMO reflect the inadequacies of our current focus in homoeopathic education rather than any inadequacy of classical homoeopathiy.

              One word keynotes don't exist in the traditional Materia Medicas, next thing is practitioners stop studying them because they favour the new 'easy reads', and an entire WEALTH of homoeopathic knowledge falls into disuse.


              • #8
                Dear Chris, Felix and all,

                I have studied both Sankaran and Scholton, and I know Sankaran and his wife Divya personally. Sankaran has been a lecturer in my college.

                I think WE OURSELVES as those ascribing to different methods need to have a balance before we put the blame on what they are teaching us. One cannot call onself a homeopath if one has NOT studied Hahnemann's Organon of Medicine, "classical" Materia Medica as handed down to us by the great homeopaths, as well as Homoeopathic Pharmacy (the method of preparation of homoeoapthic medicine). Without this basis, I see no point trying to prescribe anything for anyone listening to any instruction new or old.

                So if one were to study Sankaran's work or Scholton's work, one would expect that the person is already well grounded in the "classical" knowlege of homoeopathy. Then the next step is whether that person is OPEN to understanding another spproach of understanding symptoms that the patient presents, besides the old methods.

                No-where has either Sankaran or Scholton said that their interpretation of remedies (and patient symptoms) holds good all the time, or that what they describe, be the only basis for precribing a remedy in a patient. I will personally vouch for that. In fact both of them have said on record that often in a case they are stumped and they have their share of clinical failures too.

                Sankaran has worked with his father P. Sankaran for more than 25 years, adn therefore has more than adequate knowlege in "calssical" prescribing. Scholton too has had adequate instruction with George Vitoulkas who I suppose is considered a "classical" homeopath. So I don't think they discount the basic materia medica at all.

                In fact what they are doing is highlighting an aspect of the Materia Medica, certain PROVING symptoms that we are still not able to make any sense of and hence not able to recognize them in patients. There is a HUGE part of the Mind repertory called "Delusions". They are symptoms from provings. They have not appeared there by magic. Has anybody ever tried to explain them?

                THere was a long discussion on this board about them, adn each one is trying to interpret them on the basis of "modern psychology". What does Modern Psychology know about homeopathy or homeopathic personalities? How can modern psychology explain a homeopathic proving put into a chapter of delusions? These symptoms were termed "delusion" precisely because our teachers could not interpret them otherwise, to make use of them in the "normal" sense. But they are proving symptoms NO LESS.

                SO now we have a couple of brilliant minds with a clear, GOD GIVEN perception... and we prefer to criticize them and discount their brilliance.

                I prescribe "clasically" often, and especially in acute conditions and highly pathological cases (to mention some instances). BUt I do make use of the methods of Sankaran and Scholton in constitutional prescribing only because I find it easier. But it is always supported with grounded facts of Physical generals and PQRS.
                If it does not fit, the "classical" method works best. No doubt about that.

                Granted the caution that Crhis mentions, but I think its all about suiting a method to the patients picture presentation rather than to our own fixed ideas.
                And if that is not possible, the by all means one must stick to the "classical" methods.


                [ 18 January 2002: Message edited by: doctorleela ]</p>


                • #9
                  instead of one word psychological theme keynotes combined with an essence(COULD YOU GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A KEYNOTE COMBINED WITH AN ESSENCE, WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY ESSENCE?), the classical characteristics are accompanied by qualifying descriptions or concomitants(ALSO..PLEASE GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF A CLASSICAL CHAR. AND THE ACCOMPANING QUALIFIYING DESCRIPTIONS OR CONCOMITANTS..USING SOME COMMON REMEDY WE ALL KNOW.). In this way, classical keynotes cannot be used in a case unless the modalities and general symptoms of the constitution are in agreement. When the totality of symptoms are employed no one or two symptoms, by themselves, can completely dominate the choice of a remedy. The chosen remedy therefore reflects the disease-gestalt and all the checks and balances are in

                  I hope you don't think I'm yelling with the caps.. I'm just trying to get some examples of what these words are referring to. Thank you.


                  • #10
                    Hi Snoopy
                    Excuse my manners. For Silica Kent gives a good description of the polarity of silica. Although Kent must be put into his temporal context. He gives examples as well as actual statements from the proving. Tyler on the other hand gives the example of a weak schoolboy. Her write up does not suggest the polarity of hard-soft or anything else for that matter. Many of her other essays of remedies are of great value.


                    • #11
                      Leela lets face it, all you have to do is wink these days & it will end up in the delusions section of some rep. (2 winks=bold type).
                      Open-ness indeed.
                      Looking forward that Chris' examples may demonstrate theimportance of symmetryin a disease picure as a whole; contained within traditional provings; absent in the modern 'pictures.' Sorry I'm pushed for time for I would like to write on this.


                      • #12
                        Hi all,
                        Interesting discussion. I recently studied Silica in depth and felt that Sankaran is really on target with his core picture. Nevertheless, I don't feel just any one source alone will make up the perfect picture of the remedy. Many sources combined in my studies have helped me to come to better knowledge of the remedy's picture and essence. Personally I find it always dangerous to go either "black - or white" there are different perceptions out there and I imagine that there may be different "kinds" of Silica patients one resembling closer Kent's description and an other one closer Sankaran's - and both will benefit from the same remedy. Does it really matter which is the better book in the end ? Isn't it just more important to find the similimum no matter through which book's help one finds it ? I have yet to find one source of MM which is totally complete, covering EVERY little detail of a remedy ! Let's remember that even the great geniuses of Homeopathy are human beings and not all around perfect and infallible. Discernment on our part is what counts in the end.


                        • #13
                          I agree with you Caludia.

                          Louise, that was funny, really!
                          Well I think provings are getting a bit strange. But if I understand Snakaran, I know these approaches are experimental on his part. His mind is constantly searching. ITs us who put him on an infallible pedestal, take eveything he says as homeopathic law and he has cautioned people about doing it at ALL his seminars and lectures in college too.

                          Scholton's brilliance and interpretations are something wonderful. Also he has not said that his book or understanding is unfallible. In fact he has requested ALL of us, that if we have used his suggestions to help out a case and have been successful, he would like to have the details of that case as "CLINICAL Proving", which I believe is fair enough. And He is ready to make changes if things are proved otherwise.

                          Boericke, that we all refer too, is made up of all clinical symptoms. Do you expect the normal provings process to produce the pathological symptoms that he has included? Yet we refer to him and prescribe without questionning. So I think Scholton should be given his opportunity to do this.


                          [ 22 January 2002: Message edited by: doctorleela ]</p>


                          • #14
                            Dr Leela - has Sankaran done a whole new series of provings on Silica, or are his descriptions derived from observations of his cases?

                            I've been reading the lyghtforce list, and I didn't want to have that sort of somewhat grouchy discussion - I thought it might be easier to discuss these new ideas within the framework of a single, well-known remedy.

                            Does Scholten's idea of anger and father/family issues come through as a core symptom for your Silica cases? I can, from what little I know as a student, understand Sankaran's picture - it relates well to the traditional. But the Scholten one I have trouble with, not because I think he's making it up, but because I can't see where he got those ideas from, I suppose.

                            [ 19 January 2002: Message edited by: felix ]</p>


                            • #15
                              HI FElix,

                              That's some question you've asked there! I've had to go and read up a bit. NOw lets see:

                              Do I agree with Scholton's description of Silica?
                              Scholton mentions a lot about SIlica,( that I just read up about - I'm afraid for the first time!). But I agree with his interpretaion of the Silica SERIES/GROUP in general and with its application in Salts of Silica as in Mag Sil, Kali Sil, Calc Sil, etc.
                              I cannot say I really disagree with what he says though. If I think about a couple of Silica cases, there are the issues of family and relationships that were important to them. And yes, these patients did have a large father element in their lives, But I can't say I based my prescriptions on that!

                              Has Sankaran done a whole lot of provings or are these clinical deductions?
                              Well I know for a fact tht Sankaran always has a group of students working with him and they are continiously proving new, and reproving old remedies with clear cut double blind guidelines that are the instructions for provings.
                              Whether he has done so for Silica is difficult for me to tell. But I think Silica is such a well proved remedy in "classical" Materia Medica anyway, and it so frequently indicated, that I would think he has made observations and deduction and thus come to an insightful remedy picture.

                              I have never had to use Scholtons' specific Silica picture, as the original Materia Medica is exhaustive and clearly points to Silica very often in physical general and PQRS as well as mentals. But Sankaran's insights into Silica have come to my aid very often. I think Scholton is most helpful in Salts of Silica where there is inadequate Materia medica, and one wonders when Silica sounds like a partial similimum, does a Salt of Silica apply. And one HITS BULLS EYE!!

                              Hope this is helpful,

                              Warm regards,