AvdM: There is one more thing I would like to ask you. What can we expect when we give a similimum? You already said that the vital sensation will still be there, quietly operating in the background, but what will happen with the patient?
AV: When the similimum calms the vital disturbance or makes it invisible or insensible to us Hahnemann said “overshadows it like the rising sun overshadows the light of the moon” it has no reason to express disturbance anymore. We could say the source of disturbance dried up with the result that the mind doesn’t need to occupy itself with all kinds of unwelcome thoughts, worries and ramifications. And if we have no worries, what is there to think about? We have some practical things in the ‘here and now’ to think about, but no longer endless thoughts about past unpleasant events or worries about the future. I guess it is that quiet state of mind, which people try to find by meditation or some other effort. If you have no worries and live in the ‘here and now’, there are no emotional states except reactions to actual occurrences. This means that you’ll react when somebody is for instance rude or unfair or you lose something dear to you but it will be appropriate to what happened and not a volcano of pent up emotions triggered by something small.
AvdM: I have heard people worrying that they won’t have emotions after taking a similimum or would become less emotional?
AV: Isn’t that funny? But I can understand this, it’s the fear that the pleasant emotions will disappear together with the unpleasant ones, that the person will become insensitive. There is confusion between sensitivity and emotionality. I think you become more sensitive, at least towards your surrounding and fellow beings when you are not occupied too much by your own emotions. Vithoulkas defined this more than 30 years ago as to having all your emotions at your disposal without being the slave of them; we should understand ‘freedom from emotions’ in this way. It’s not that our emotions vanish altogether! In general the mood becomes calm and quiet, without all this emotional upheaval we know so well from daily life. The importance given to emotions becomes less because, after all a lot of emotions are ego stuff. Maybe that is why Buddhists and Taoists try to get rid of them and reach this equanimity. A mind that is quiet and not concerned all of the time with defending or satisfying its ego is not easily provoked.
Even when somebody says something really nasty, the person might react with shrugging his shoulders and conclude that the other one is having a bad day.
AvdM: And all this with only one remedy!
AV: It is miraculous, isn’t it? I’ve seen it happen so many times. After the similimum the patient comes in for a follow up and doesn’t have much to tell, he feels calm, peaceful and undisturbed. What should he tell us then? And the other miraculous thing is that often they don’t even notice their peaceful state themselves!
AvdM: I have had the same experience: everybody can see the patient is so much better, looks so much more beautiful, is more relaxed and the symptoms are reduced but the patient himself claims: “Your remedy didn’t do anything, I’m the same!”
AV: And of course they are the same! What did they expect? To wake up next morning as the Dalai Lama? Sometimes they say: “I didn’t feel anything from your remedy” and this is really accurate because in many cases they don’t feel the remedy acting. It is so smooth, so gentle and the symptoms melt away like snow in the sun but this can take a few months, maybe even half a year or longer. So the difference day by day is not noticed because it happens very gradually. They become the best version of themselves and even when they admit to be better they will attribute it to every possibility but the homeopathic remedy.
AvdM: I know, it is so frustrating!
AV: It depends on your purpose: do you want to make people better or do you want to get praise? Besides being calm in mind and emotions we do expect our patient to have more energy and their physical complaints to disappear. It can take time: sometimes the mind clears up first, sometimes the physical complaints, but we have to keep the overview and evaluate if the patient as a whole is evolving towards more harmony and coherence.
AvdM: For me this is a difficult aspect of the homeopathic treatment. The patients who react quickly and positively are easy but the other ones….
AV: Let’s say we have 33% percent of our patients whose reaction is clear and unambiguous, it is positive on mind and body. The patient feels better, his energy went up, his sleep and digestion go without notice, his mind is calm and his chronic symptoms slowly become less frequent and less intense. These are the model patients you will always see in seminars. But the majority of your daily practice is not like that! Many patients seem worse after the remedy or they didn’t feel any change the first two months or they became more emotional when they were very suppressed, or they get new symptoms and sufferings on their way to cure. Maybe another 50% will have this bumpy road towards cure. Some patients are incurable or we can’t find the similimum. And then there is a percentage that won’t react despite your perfectly suitable remedy, no matter what potency you give. Maybe we have to accept that we can’t cure everybody…
AvdM: I guess there is no therapeutic system on earth that can cure everybody. Even if a healer does miracles for many, still some people won’t be helped by him.
AV: You are right and we have to accept our limits.