The Four Elements in Homeopathy

Taal
English
Type
Paperback
Uitgever
Yondercott press
Author(s) Misha Norland
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Misha Norland in collaboration with Mani Norland

The Four Elements in Homeopathy is an extended update of the popular booklet Mappa Mundi and the Dynamics of Change. It gathers together and fuses ancient wisdom with contemporary ideas to present us with a unique visual tool that will aid healers in perceiving the central dynamics of any case. This book places the homeopathic remedy quest within the wider context of life and nature, and illustrates how this enlarged understanding can be applied to help the student or practitioner view homeopathic philosophy, materia medica and case work from a 'new' perspective. It also illuminates many remedies and provides a clear guide to potency selection.

This book has been written by Misha Norland who has been continually active in the resurgence of homeopathy in the UK since the early seventies. In 1981 he founded the School of Homeopathy. He still runs this and his practice from his home in Devon. He also teaches internationally.

Through developing the traditional teachings of Earth, Water, Air and Fire, the book encourages us to reclaim doctrines that have been embedded in world cultures, both Eastern and Western, for thousands of years. Not only do they inform us culturally but also they are eminently practical tools with which a healer can better understand what is going on in their patient.

The book aims to link images, sensations and feelings, symptoms of mind and body, modalities and preferences, by grouping firstly according to correspondence and secondly by polarity. The polarity principle states that action and reaction are equal and opposite. In living systems this mechanism provides homeostasis which regulates the internal environment so as to maintain a stable condition. When this equilibrium is lost, we struggle and fall sick.

As we become chronically ill, because of unresolved trauma and inherited predispositions, our energy is harmfully drained as our homeostatic systems strive but fail to maintain stability. By 'placing' these failures of homeostasis on the Map of the Four Elements an inherent tension of opposites is graphically revealed. This informs us of the relevance of an individual's symptoms, however disparate they may at first glance seem, and in so doing, this guides us in our quest for a similimum.

The energetic profile of hundreds of remedies, obtained by considering signature and source and applying the Map's methodology, is given for comparison with the profile of a patient - a match indicating a remedy to consider.

Linking the dynamic disturbance in a patient to the remedy source is at the core of this work. It will provide students and newcomers with an inspirational guide, and also provide experienced prescribers with many insights.

Mani says 'Misha's vision, as demonstrated by this book, is driven by principles which both predate and inform homeopathy. Working with him on illustrating the Map has taught me a great deal because the book is packed with seminal ideas that can be engage with and put into practice. It is a beautifully constructed whole that draws together so much. For this reason the Four Elements Map is taught at the School of Homeopathy and by Jeremy Sherr at the Dynamis School. I feel sure that many homeopaths outside of these two schools will enjoy and be enthused by this elegant book.'
Meer informatie
ISBN9780954476625
AuteurMisha Norland
TypePaperback
TaalEnglish
Publicatiedatum2008-11-28
Pagina's159
UitgeverYondercott press
Recensie

This book review is reprinted from Volume 15, 2009 Edition of The American Homeopath with permission from The American Homeopath.

Reviewed by Patricia Hechmer, DSH

Much of the brief history of homeopathy is filled with doctrinaire teachings. It is rare to find a historical perspective that places homeopathic thought in a context so large that it reaches back to ancient Greece and forward to contemporary psychology and homeopathic methods, and from East to West. Misha uses the concept of the mappa mundi to symbolically plot the physical and psychic concepts that have engaged philosophers and healers throughout time.

A map is a graphic representation of place. Different maps can depict the same place.

What would a human map look like? It would have to encompass physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects, and it would have to illustrate the energetic interplay of these aspects. The mappa mundi is an effective image. It is a circle divided into four or eight segments by axes running through its center. The circumference encloses many aspects to form a container representing the unity of life. The ends of each axis represent polar opposites, illustrating dynamic extremes around a center point. This simple conception creates the metaphorical landscape that Misha uses to explain disease as the unresolved tensions prohibiting unrestricted flow along energetic axes. Misha credits Joseph Reves as the first homeopath to use this concept. Reves called his system The Circle. Like Reves, Misha takes as his starting point the four elements: Air, Earth, Fire, and Water. The elements symbolize principles and properties. Water is wet and dissolving. Its polar opposite, Earth, is dry and congealing. Air is cold and dark in contrast to Fire, which is heat and light.

There is an historical coherence in this depiction of the physical and psychic landscape in terms of polarity and correspondence. The four elements and their properties formed the foundation of early science and medicine. Four bodily fluids or humors-gall, black bile, blood, and phlegm-came to be associated with the four elements. The four humors were aligned with four temperaments: choleric, melancholic, sanguine and phlegmatic. Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, identified his four primary archetypes-Self, Shadow, Animus, and Anima-with the elements Fire, Air, Earth, and Water. Jung treated them as "psychological organs, analogous to physical ones." (p. 7) Across centuries, physical health and mental health were dependent on the "right mixture..., right measure..., and right action" of any of these four qualities. (p. 9)

The mappa mundi provides a means of graphing the energetics of a case. It helps focus on what needs to be cured. Knowing where there is energetic tension provides insight into selection of the most meaningful rubrics to repertorize. Each remedy can also be plotted on a mappa mundi. A remedy's mappa mundi provides an energetic pattern that can be compared to that of the case. Misha relates three cases to illustrate the practical application of the mappa mundi. Each case is presented in detail-narrative, mappa mundi of the individual, repertorization, and differential remedy analysis based on mappa mundi of remedies under consideration. In the first case, Misha also constructs a mappa mundi from the proving symptoms of the curative remedy, Falco peregrinus disciplinatus. By the end of the chapter, Misha has explored eight remedies in depth. This forms a solid context for understanding the mappa mundi of close to two hundred remedies included in the last chapter of the book.

Practical application of the mappa mundi is followed by more esoteric chapters on potency, kingdoms, and alchemy. In the chapter on potency, Misha suggests the alchemical concept of correspondence between heaven and earth has a corollary in the use of increasing ranges of potency from the material (Earth) to the immaterial (Ether, the fifth element). Elemental levels of being range from Earth, which is experienced in physical sensation, to Ether, in which "patients often express themselves with spontaneous gestures." (p. 99) While using different language, Misha suggests a paradigm aligned with the Bombay method of casetaking and analysis.

If communication is the co-creation of shared meaning, the mappa mundi provides a conceptual framework to bridge homeopathic methods and paradigms. It provides a common reference, a way to imagine the energetics of a case. It illustrates a core principle of homeopathy and places it in a broad historical context. The Four Elements in Homeopathy is challenging, but never didactic. Misha invites us to join him in "opening doors into [the] symbolic and magical, as well as practical realms." (p. 2)

This book review is reprinted with the permission from the Summer 2009 Edition of The Homeopath.

Reviewed by Robert Bridge

As a student I remember circles appearing on the board to illustrate patients and remedies, circles with axes and diagonals and numbers and weird compass points that were always in the wrong place accompanied by a whole other vocabulary of elements and temperaments and planets. As a final definitive line transected this strange geometry there would be gasps of admiration from my colleagues. To me it was as intriguing and baffling as a game of Mornington Crescent.

Misha Norland's The Four Elements in Homeopathy offers a key to this arcane code. What was then a plain old Circle has now become the Mappa Mundi, a complex piece of kit whose construction and explanation provide a point of departure for a dizzying grand tour of intellectual and philosophical enquiry from Tao to Bhagavad Gita, Newton to Einstein, alchemy to quantum physics, spanning millennia, often within a single sentence. The author describes the four elements, the four temperaments and the seven ages, taking in kingdoms, Hermetic alchemic levels, potency, and polarity en route: all of life, quite literally, is here. The resultant map becomes a template on which to plot our patients and their remedies, their aspirations and inhibitions, contradictions and tensions, in the continued quest for their simillimum. This is an exhaustive labour: in the three cases that Norland discusses, even the lengthy transcripts of the consultations are dwarfed by the subsequent analyses, themselves interspersed with extensive essays on materia medica. Prom a quick scan of the mini-maps of 192 remedies that appear as an appendix it will be apparent that even obtaining an accurate map of a case, does not uniquely define a remedy or even a coherent remedy group: a predominant choleric/phlegmatic axis in a particular patient might equally suggest Nux vomica, Carcinosin, Pulsatilla, Arnica, Selenium, Rhus tax, or Ringworm, amongst others. Whilst this system may be both fascinating and attractive, it is clearly not a quick fix.

Misha Norland clearly relishes the opportunity to ruminate and expand, and handles the diverse strings of his eclectic scholarship with the dexterity of a master puppeteer. On more mundane details he is less strong: pictures appear without caption or do not show what they are supposed to; many quotations and almost all the poetry remain unattributed; and disappointingly, for a book of such wide-ranging reference, there is no bibliography. And for the patients: prescriptions and follow-ups are mentioned briefly or not at all, and the ethical concerns of requesting that a young girl's mother leave the room for most of the consultation are apparently ignored.

The beautifully designed and coloured pull-out map that accompanies the book is the work of Mani Norland, Misha's son and collaborator.

For prescribers who love to ponder their cases and let their imagination take flight this book is an inspiration and a cornucopia.

Me? Still intrigued. Still baffled. Totteridge and Whetstone?

Recensie

This book review is reprinted from Volume 15, 2009 Edition of The American Homeopath with permission from The American Homeopath.

Reviewed by Patricia Hechmer, DSH

Much of the brief history of homeopathy is filled with doctrinaire teachings. It is rare to find a historical perspective that places homeopathic thought in a context so large that it reaches back to ancient Greece and forward to contemporary psychology and homeopathic methods, and from East to West. Misha uses the concept of the mappa mundi to symbolically plot the physical and psychic concepts that have engaged philosophers and healers throughout time.

A map is a graphic representation of place. Different maps can depict the same place.

What would a human map look like? It would have to encompass physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects, and it would have to illustrate the energetic interplay of these aspects. The mappa mundi is an effective image. It is a circle divided into four or eight segments by axes running through its center. The circumference encloses many aspects to form a container representing the unity of life. The ends of each axis represent polar opposites, illustrating dynamic extremes around a center point. This simple conception creates the metaphorical landscape that Misha uses to explain disease as the unresolved tensions prohibiting unrestricted flow along energetic axes. Misha credits Joseph Reves as the first homeopath to use this concept. Reves called his system The Circle. Like Reves, Misha takes as his starting point the four elements: Air, Earth, Fire, and Water. The elements symbolize principles and properties. Water is wet and dissolving. Its polar opposite, Earth, is dry and congealing. Air is cold and dark in contrast to Fire, which is heat and light.

There is an historical coherence in this depiction of the physical and psychic landscape in terms of polarity and correspondence. The four elements and their properties formed the foundation of early science and medicine. Four bodily fluids or humors-gall, black bile, blood, and phlegm-came to be associated with the four elements. The four humors were aligned with four temperaments: choleric, melancholic, sanguine and phlegmatic. Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, identified his four primary archetypes-Self, Shadow, Animus, and Anima-with the elements Fire, Air, Earth, and Water. Jung treated them as "psychological organs, analogous to physical ones." (p. 7) Across centuries, physical health and mental health were dependent on the "right mixture..., right measure..., and right action" of any of these four qualities. (p. 9)

The mappa mundi provides a means of graphing the energetics of a case. It helps focus on what needs to be cured. Knowing where there is energetic tension provides insight into selection of the most meaningful rubrics to repertorize. Each remedy can also be plotted on a mappa mundi. A remedy's mappa mundi provides an energetic pattern that can be compared to that of the case. Misha relates three cases to illustrate the practical application of the mappa mundi. Each case is presented in detail-narrative, mappa mundi of the individual, repertorization, and differential remedy analysis based on mappa mundi of remedies under consideration. In the first case, Misha also constructs a mappa mundi from the proving symptoms of the curative remedy, Falco peregrinus disciplinatus. By the end of the chapter, Misha has explored eight remedies in depth. This forms a solid context for understanding the mappa mundi of close to two hundred remedies included in the last chapter of the book.

Practical application of the mappa mundi is followed by more esoteric chapters on potency, kingdoms, and alchemy. In the chapter on potency, Misha suggests the alchemical concept of correspondence between heaven and earth has a corollary in the use of increasing ranges of potency from the material (Earth) to the immaterial (Ether, the fifth element). Elemental levels of being range from Earth, which is experienced in physical sensation, to Ether, in which "patients often express themselves with spontaneous gestures." (p. 99) While using different language, Misha suggests a paradigm aligned with the Bombay method of casetaking and analysis.

If communication is the co-creation of shared meaning, the mappa mundi provides a conceptual framework to bridge homeopathic methods and paradigms. It provides a common reference, a way to imagine the energetics of a case. It illustrates a core principle of homeopathy and places it in a broad historical context. The Four Elements in Homeopathy is challenging, but never didactic. Misha invites us to join him in "opening doors into [the] symbolic and magical, as well as practical realms." (p. 2)

This book review is reprinted with the permission from the Summer 2009 Edition of The Homeopath.

Reviewed by Robert Bridge

As a student I remember circles appearing on the board to illustrate patients and remedies, circles with axes and diagonals and numbers and weird compass points that were always in the wrong place accompanied by a whole other vocabulary of elements and temperaments and planets. As a final definitive line transected this strange geometry there would be gasps of admiration from my colleagues. To me it was as intriguing and baffling as a game of Mornington Crescent.

Misha Norland's The Four Elements in Homeopathy offers a key to this arcane code. What was then a plain old Circle has now become the Mappa Mundi, a complex piece of kit whose construction and explanation provide a point of departure for a dizzying grand tour of intellectual and philosophical enquiry from Tao to Bhagavad Gita, Newton to Einstein, alchemy to quantum physics, spanning millennia, often within a single sentence. The author describes the four elements, the four temperaments and the seven ages, taking in kingdoms, Hermetic alchemic levels, potency, and polarity en route: all of life, quite literally, is here. The resultant map becomes a template on which to plot our patients and their remedies, their aspirations and inhibitions, contradictions and tensions, in the continued quest for their simillimum. This is an exhaustive labour: in the three cases that Norland discusses, even the lengthy transcripts of the consultations are dwarfed by the subsequent analyses, themselves interspersed with extensive essays on materia medica. Prom a quick scan of the mini-maps of 192 remedies that appear as an appendix it will be apparent that even obtaining an accurate map of a case, does not uniquely define a remedy or even a coherent remedy group: a predominant choleric/phlegmatic axis in a particular patient might equally suggest Nux vomica, Carcinosin, Pulsatilla, Arnica, Selenium, Rhus tax, or Ringworm, amongst others. Whilst this system may be both fascinating and attractive, it is clearly not a quick fix.

Misha Norland clearly relishes the opportunity to ruminate and expand, and handles the diverse strings of his eclectic scholarship with the dexterity of a master puppeteer. On more mundane details he is less strong: pictures appear without caption or do not show what they are supposed to; many quotations and almost all the poetry remain unattributed; and disappointingly, for a book of such wide-ranging reference, there is no bibliography. And for the patients: prescriptions and follow-ups are mentioned briefly or not at all, and the ethical concerns of requesting that a young girl's mother leave the room for most of the consultation are apparently ignored.

The beautifully designed and coloured pull-out map that accompanies the book is the work of Mani Norland, Misha's son and collaborator.

For prescribers who love to ponder their cases and let their imagination take flight this book is an inspiration and a cornucopia.

Me? Still intrigued. Still baffled. Totteridge and Whetstone?