AH: Tell us about your relationship with Dr. Whitmont?
Schadde: My first meeting with Dr. Edward Whitmont was in London at a Conference of the Society of Homeopaths in 1993. My presentation and his presentation were right after each other and so we switched seats and chatted about homeopathy and dreams. Then in 1996 I dreamt (out of the blue) about Edward Whitmont, meeting him, dining with him and the feeling was that we were very close with each other-like very good friends. When I woke up I was surprised and did not understand what this dream meant to me.
But I remembered the dream in August 1998 when Edward Whitmont called me. He was in the town of Bad Aibling near Munich in a hospital and asked for a consultation. The hospital had offered in their advertisements that patients will get homeopathic treatment but “they call the prescription Solidago mother tincture for kidney diseases homeopathic treatment,” Dr. Whitmont told me.
I will never forget the days when we sat together and talked about his life. We were united by our common interest in homeopathy and psychotherapy, our work with understanding of dreams and last but not least our connection to Goethe’s Faust. Meeting Edward Whitmont was like finding a soul mate, finding someone on the same path. We memorized the same parts of the Faust and recited them together, then grumbling about the translation into English.
In the days when I saw Edward Whitmont, his physical strength was disintegrating due to chemotherapy but his eyes had a great radiance. Edward Whitmont spoke of his dreams during the weeks in Germany. The dreams told him that his last days had come. And through the understanding of his dreams we explored his life and went back to the beginning. His visit was not just a physical journey to Germany. The consultation took us deep into his impressions during childhood and puberty in Germany and to the situation during his involvement against Hitler. “My whole life was the search for the Holy Grail, Parcivals journey.” When I was young I tried to fulfill the myth of the Holy Grail through my engagement with socialism in Germany”.
The day before Edward Whitmont flew back to New York, he held my hand for a very long time. His eyes glowing like stars. He was very far away but then again very close and I felt a deep connection with him.
…he held my hand for a very long time. His eyes glowing like stars. He was very far away but then again very close and I felt a deep connection with him.
AH: What do you think have been his “gifts” or legacies to homeopathy?
Schadde: Dr. Whitmont brought C.G. Jung’s ideas and psychology into homeopathy and this is very important for the further development of homeopathy. Since we investigate about the “feelings and functions” ( ß 19, Organon) of a human being in homeopathy, we need to go very deeply into the psychological understanding. During our first meeting. Edward Whitmont expressed his concern that most homeopaths do not understand how to interpret or understand dreams.
“He went outside of the dogma with ease and delight. He found it useful to employ other, less traditional, methods to arrive at a remedy because he realized that the methodology we have is incomplete when it comes to casetaking. He never stopped being in awe of the mystery of homeopathy. It interested him that a well-taken and properly repertorized case could lead to a particular remedy and then, out of left field, he would test another remedy with his testing method and have a remedy that was not even in the repertorization cure the patient.”-Domenick Masiello, D.O. , Dr. Whitmont’s homeopath and friend.
AH: You were one of the last homeopaths to prescribe for Dr. Whitmont. Because of your deep understanding of Jungian psychology, homeopathy and of him, he said he wanted you to share something with the rest of the world about his experience of being treated by you?
Schadde: He wanted me to share my ideas of how I combined the physical symptoms, the modalities, the dreams with the “feelings and functions,” and relate this to the emotional picture. For example, Abrotanum artemisia. The homeopathic proving gives us symptoms of alternating states, such as: Diarrhea/Rheumatism or Diarrhea/Constipation. While the main theme is marasmus, emaciation, we only have a few mental symptoms of the remedy in our books yet. So we can say the marasmus in Abrotanum means the physical body doesn’t keep what it gets and we have to find this picture in the emotional state as well. At the same time the alternating states mean these people can be unstable inwardly. This is even expressed through symptoms like: unable to hold the head. So even if people show a stability to the outer world the inner feeling can be instability.
During the interview Edward Whitmont asked me how I would search for a remedy, if we do not have any rubric for a symptom. He said, “For example, if someone strongly craves cooked onions but gets diarrhea immediately after eating them. Since there is not a rubric, how can we search for a remedy for this symptom?” My answer was: “This symptom raises a question: why does the patient have a strong desire for something that he cannot digest? This will only be a valuable symptom if the feeling is like a connecting link through the whole life of the person. If there is not a rubric for the symptom we can only translate that feeling into the rubrics of the repertory.
Edward Whitmont liked this approach to homeopathy, the concept of understanding through physical symptoms, desires and aversions or any other modalities-the complete “Gestalt” of the disease in the patient. Seeing the whole picture this way, in some cases, gives us the confirmation of the remedy through the dreams, the hobbies, the job, etc.
This is the ART of homeopathy. Prescriptions made with this concept in mind-confirming the totality of the complaints -have been the best prescriptions I have made in my clinic. (This is exactly what is meant in ß 3, Organon…if the physician clearly perceives what is to be cured in every individual case of disease).
AH: What do you think is the significance of Whitmont coming into your life when he did?
Schadde: For me, it was meeting a person who was so very close to my own thoughts. He is, and was, a wise man. There is a saying:
“If someone doesn’t know and doesn’t know that he doesn’t know-he is a fool-avoid him.
If someone doesn’t know and knows that he doesn’t know-he is a student-teach him.
If someone knows but does not know that he knows-he is a sleeper-wake him up.
But if someone knows and knows that he knows-he is a wise man-follow him.”
It was a “spiritual” encounter. Through meeting with Edward Whitmont, I met myself.
It was a “spiritual” encounter. Through meeting with Edward Whitmont, I met myself. And on a professional level, meeting Edward Whitmont confirmed what I have been doing in my work for the last few years and this deepened the trust towards myself. Besides homeopathy, my understanding of human beings comes from Jung’s psychology. So it is such a wonderful encounter to meet someone who thinks similarly. He immediately understood what I meant and vice versa.
AH: It seems, at times, that those of us who are not extensively trained in dream interpretation may be using the dream section of the repertory in a superficial manner…what do you think about that?
Schadde: First, I believe that dream interpretation can be dangerous because “interpretation” can fix something. What I like to do is to stretch dreams. This means, to try to find out about the feelings in the dreams and make the whole dream story somewhat bigger in order to see it more clearly. Like you magnify something in order recognize the structure. As Jung says, the dreamer uses known or unknown pictures in order to express the unconscious state. This is mostly an individual experience. But sometimes a dream does come from the collective unconscious. And those are the very valuable dreams.
Second, the dream section of the repertory is the result of the provers’ dream reports. It is the result of the proving of a remedy in conjunction with the unconscious of the prover.
Each rubric can tell us something about the hidden structures of the remedy. In my understanding, we can only use the dream rubrics in order to UNDERSTAND THE REMEDY through the subjects of the dreams. But we are not allowed to compare a dream of a patient with a dream of the rubrics of the repertory. Everybody who has knowledge in psychotherapy would consider us quacks if we did that.
AH: If you were presented with the opportunity to speak with Carl Jung for the purpose of explaining to him why homeopathy and Jungian psychology can work so well together as tools for understanding and treating patients, what would you tell him?
Schadde: This is a difficult task. Edward Whitmont told me about his discussion with Jung about homeopathy. But Jung did not quite understand the depth of homeopathy and therefore, it didn’t mean anything to him. It is the law of Hermes Trismegistos: as above-so below. So this means everything could be seen on all levels. The mental picture can be seen on the physical level and vice versa. I would like to share my idea about how we homeopaths work.
First, we try to find out what is to be cured in every individual case of disease” (ß 3 Organon). This means in the whole “Gestalt” (ß 6 Organon) of the disease. For us, physical symptoms are very important as they are the leading thread to the inner state, and I never ignore them. But we must understand what the “driving force” behind them is. Hahnemann told us that when the vital force has come into the state of mistunement, it is expressed through the feelings and functions of the person.
This is followed by the expression of the disease on the physical level. So the symptoms “speak” the language of the unconscious and express it ideally on the physical level. For that reason we homeopaths especially like the “more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar signs and symptoms” (ß 153). We can refer to Jung’s saying: “Nur das Paradoxe vermag die Fuelle des Lebens annaehernd zu fassen; die Eindeutigkeit und das Widerspruchslose sind einseitig und darum ungeeignet, das Unerfassliche auszudruecken.” “Only the paradox can get close to the fullness of life, what is one directional and has no contradiction is one sided and as such unable to express the unfathomable.”
Also, we must understand what is curative in medicines. This is the secret of homeopathy: the story of THE PROVINGS. Only our homeopathic provings can bring out the hidden structure of a substance. I learned more through provings than at any point in my life. Can you believe this? Healthy human beings get symptoms from a remedy and years later, even a hundred years later, we find these symptoms in our patients and cure happens “like by like”. This IS a miracle. In my opinion this would be the most difficult part for Jung to understand because the provings are so subjective. And he is right. So in homeopathy, we do not have any chance to match the scientific rules since the subjective approach is individual. In order to understand this, you have to try it first. Homeopathy is a science of experience. (Erfahrungswissenschaft)
Now the last thing we must understand is how to apply the remedy.
In Germany the old doctors used to ask the patients: “Was fehlt Ihnen?” meaning: “What is missing?” This is saying, that there must be something that you do not have, in order to go another step on your path in life. We must understand what is missing in the patient’s life.
For me, it is not really important whether Jung would believe in homeopathy or not. I appreciate what Hahnemann and all the other homeopaths gave us. I also appreciate Jung’s ideas. They gave me the possibility of deeply understanding human beings and a deeper understanding of myself. Jung and Hahnemann developed something that we as followers of their philosophy can try to apply. Perhaps the discoverers themselves were occupied with their own ideas and intolerant of other concepts. We are free to take from everybody what we need. And I chose Jung’s model to understand my patients and myself.
A therapist can only go with a patient on the path as far as he/she went himself and not any further. So I believe in order to understand our patients, we first have to try to understand ourselves.
AH: Tell us about your relationship with Dr. Whitmont?