It is no surprise that the systematizing of the homeopathic remedies started with the grouping of the mineral remedies. In the late 80’s, homeopaths taught remedies in groups like the Natriums, the Kali’s, the Magnesiums, the Ammoniums, the Aurums, the Ferrums and so on. The compound remedies had characteristics of either element and they had a signature of their own. Sankaran noticed that Precious Metals like Palladium, Argentum, Platina and Aurum shared a lot of symptoms and characteristics and were neighbors on the Periodic Table. Could this mean that we could draw conclusions from the position of an element on this table and these shared characteristics? It was clear from these well known remedies that these metals shared the need to perform exceedingly well, to be in the limelight, to be on stage, doing supernatural deeds, being haughty and above others. What about other metals? We had enough well proven metals like: Ferrum, Zincum, Cuprum, Cobaltum, Niccolum to know that they also share qualities. Little by little the whole Periodic Table was examined by Scholten and others who did group-provings. Meanwhile elements that were so far unknown were proven, elements like: Hydrogen, Helium, Ozone, Plutonium, Germanium, Neon, Crypton, etc. (Sherr at al).
During the last two decades the general themes from the mineral kingdom were formulated.
I found the vital sensation of the element is the feeling of being empty.
It is an existential emptiness of Level 5, not the energetic emptiness of Level 2. In the latter it is a matter of having no energy, because of expending a lot (in sports for instance or by overwork) or having chronic fatigue syndrome or a related problem. In the former the experience is of being fundamentally empty, which, by the way, is the truth. Elements are –as proved by quantum physics-not the little building blocks of matter they were thought to be but are empty in themselves.
In a human experience this emptiness results in a need, a lack, a missing or losing something that the person needs in order to exist.
This means that the case of a person needing a mineral remedy will revolve around his ‘existence’, not his life or his survival, as it would in a plant or animal kingdom case.
In order to exist the mineral patient misses something, he needs, lacks or loses something, what we call his ‘condition to be OK’. This ‘something’ is the fundament, the basis on which his existence is built. When you hear the patient using these words: emptiness, fundament, missing, lacking, losing, building, basis: those words are watertight pointers to the mineral kingdom.
Remember: the kingdom is only discerned at Level 5.
Of course it always depends from which level the information is coming. In the beginning of a consultation a lot of patients sound like minerals: the language is fact like, a bit distant and the words chosen are like official language. This can be the phase of testing the homeopath. But even then the patient might introduce his complaint in a mineral way. Not so much in a logical mathematical sequence of telling his symptoms, because this only means the patient is orderly and well organized. It is clear that also plant remedies and animal remedies can be controlled, logical and well organized. These are aspects of a person’s personality and we are not prescribing on personality but on the vital experience.
Personality is the result of inherited traits, education, intelligence, social background, family situation and temperament. But a vital sensation can persist regardless of those conditions. That is why we can rely on the vital sensation to prescribe no matter the gender, age, profession, constitution or circumstances of the patient. If we base our prescription on the pictures of one possible expression (for instance the Nux vomica workaholic, the tearful blond Pulsatilla, the menopausal Lachesis), we risk not recognizing the vital sensation when it shows up in a totally different expression. (The five year old Nux vomica girl, the bald 60 year old Pulsatilla man, the young Lachesis guy). Expressions are limitless. It is very risky to prescribe on them as the same expression could as well result from a different vital expression. A workaholic can belong to any kingdom and miasm because it is a personality trait rather than a vital question.
Back to our minerals.
The underlying experience in their life is of missing, losing, needing, lacking something they need in order to exist.
The basic requirements in order “to be OK” depend on the issue of the horizontal row of the Periodic Table. The degree of dependence is reflected in the vertical column: we’ll go into that in detail when we discuss rows and columns.
The mineral patient will talk about his capacity and for that uses words so common that we can easily overlook them. He talks about what he (can’t) do, what he (doesn’t) manage, in which he (doesn’t) succeed. He feels he lacks strength or stamina; he doesn’t have enough energy, balance, power, security, support, stability. This may accompany the report of his chief complaint. For instance: he has a low back pain and therefore feels unstable. Or he may conclude a whole report of a chronic complaint and all the treatment he underwent by saying that the situation is more or less stable for the moment. A patient put it this way: ‘my health since the stomach ulcer is still a bit shaky.’
Very often they use the words support: ‘I had no support from’, ‘I needed a bit of support from him’, ‘who is going to support me now my father has died?’, ‘this idea supported me’…
They are wanting, needing, lacking or losing the support they need. It can be expressed like ‘something to hold on to’, ‘something to base yourself on’. This accounts for the first 9 columns while the columns from 11 to 18 feel they lose their grip; things are sliding away under their feet, or crumbling down or collapsing altogether.
They experience the hardships of life as a threat to their very basic fundament. It is the structure, the frame that they have built their life on. If things go wrong it is experienced as touching them in the deepest part of their core; sometimes they even use the word ‘nucleus’. Often mineral patients talk about parts or pieces of themselves, as if they were made up from bits and pieces. As they feel something is lacking they feel incomplete and are looking for this completeness in order to ‘be OK’.
This again is common to all humans: to look for the thing that gives fulfillment. But the mineral person feels something in him is lacking, missing or getting lost, while a plant will suffer from his specific sensitivity. There’s nothing missing or insufficient, if only he didn’t always feel so, let’s say injured. In the animal kingdom nothing is wrong or missing with him, it is the other who borrows trouble. In the nosode kingdom the person feels he is weak and abnormal because he is always sick in circumstances where others are healthy.
The mineral person feels dependent on this particular condition he needs to fulfill in order to exist and strives to become independent from it. But the more his structure or fundament is unstable the more dependent he will be.
It is said in the beginning of the categorizing that the mineral patient is well structured and although this is basically correct it can lead to many misinterpretations.
The most common mistake is to go for the words and disregard the context in which the word is said. This makes all the difference in the world and it is well demonstrated by the Vital Approach Scheme. If the information doesn’t come from the fifth level, the kingdom can’t be discerned.
Now if a patient talks about ‘my structure’ and ‘I’m a well structured person’ and ‘the structure in my life is lost since I quit working’, he may well be talking about this personality trait of him: being a person with discipline and a tight schedule. This is something completely different to a vital sensation. A plant can be very busy (Bryonia and Nux vomica are well known examples), an animal remedy can be industrious and well organized and a nosode can plan his agenda meticulously. This is Level 3 information: it is the level of the story, the biography, the personality and might contain Level 5 information (the vital sensation is all levels all of the time) but is not to be confused with it. Level 5 or vital is what persists regardless of age, gender, situation, background, education, intelligence, mood, situations…
Homeopaths are sometimes at a loss when the patient comes with a certain story one consultation, and brings a whole different story and mood at the next one. Which is true and on which one must the prescription be based?
It is exactly here that the value of the Vital Approach is well demonstrated. No matter what the patient comes with, we probe deeper to find the vital experience in it. And we will not be surprised to find that it always leads to the same thing. It has to. There is only one vital sensation in a patient and it is the source of disturbance. This is why a patient will always come back to it. It doesn’t disappear after the similimum because it belongs to his individuality, how could it vanish? His name or face won’t vanish either after the similimum! But it will be silently in the background and won’t prevent the maximum harmonious functioning of the person on all levels.
This basis, this foundation that the mineral person is talking about is not a real material construction, it is the way the person experiences his life and himself. It is the foundation of his being and hence the case will evolve around meaning, sense, use, value, purpose, role in life. This means if the patient talks about a difficulty at his job, for instance he feels surpassed by a colleague and suffers from injustice, we have to keep asking. The story is not sufficient to prescribe on, neither is the feeling of injustice (Level 3) Not only is it a common human feeling and, according to aphorism 153, we shouldn’t prescribe on the common but on the strange rare and peculiar, on top of that it is too superficial. We can’t even distinguish a kingdom on this level, because the feeling of being treated unjustly belongs to all kingdoms.
If the patient would answer your question about how it is for him to be in such unjust situation, with a feeling of inferiority, being a loser, surpassed by better and stronger ones, his career and so he is finished, he obviously needs an animal remedy. If he feels traumatized by it, like being beaten black and blue, he needs a plant remedy from the Compositeae family. But if he feels his security is shaky, unsteady, his financial future unsure, no law and order to fall back on, having lost his grip on his life, feeling useless now that what he built up is breaking down, he surely needs a mineral remedy.
In general the mineral case focuses around just one theme. There is one main problem or main issue to be discussed and the whole case will only explore this one thing.