We are on level three when the person expands the topic from ‘my disturbance’ to ‘me’; and in the process he generalizes what he is talking about. When he makes this leap spontaneously and naturally, which frequently happens during consultation if we can keep quiet and not interrupt his account with too early questioning, we go from local to general. Often the patient starts the case by describing his pains and sufferings and at a certain point he admits that the way he feels about the problem, he feels on other occasions too. Or he gives the circumstances in his life that, according to him, caused triggered or aggravated the problem. Or he starts telling the homeopath about his thoughts, feelings and worries concerning the problem. All these are emotionally charged and this is what the homeopath means by ‘patient stories’. The patient starts to tell the story of his life, or at least what he considers to be meaningful regarding his symptoms.
To prescribe on that level would be most dubious. The majority of these feelings will be common human feelings, and in that sense they are normal and are no basis for a prescription. Even when the patient starts crying and feels he is uncertain, always failing, never good enough, not accepted, not understood, and not loved enough we know these are all common human worries. Until we are healthy we all need to be seen, appreciated, accepted, loved and cared for. When we are healthy, we have an abundance of appreciation, acceptance, compassion, love and care to give to others, knowing that everything given is ten times returned to us.
Prescribing on this level therefore contains the danger of prescribing on the projection of the emotions of the homeopath, or prescribing for the patient based on superficial psychology. It carries the risk of giving advice about how to live and what to feel. But the homeopath is not an advisor or a consultant: this would assume that the homeopath knows and the patient doesn’t know. The contrary is true: the patient is the only one who knows how it feels to be him. The homeopath can’t know until he questions and understand the patient fully, on a vital level, and not on a superficial emotional level l. An advisor is the one who is supposed to know better and to tell the other what to do. In homeopathy, we don’t know what is good for the patient and how he should live. We are not on the comfortable side of the ‘knowers’ and the patient on the suffering side of the ‘not-knowers’: we are all in the same boat. The human condition is for all humans and we all have a vital experience of how it is to be us.
During case taking the homeopath is fully present, without thinking or judging, to get to know this unique vital experience. Emotions can be a stepping-stone to the next level or they can be part of the vital expression when they are: not in proportion; unsuitable; unexpected; repetitive; unexplainable; exaggerated or in short, strange, rare and peculiar.
Although this part of the consultation can take a long time, there is always a reason why the patient tells a particular story or anecdote. We don’t prescribe on the story itself but because the patient picked out this particular example, it must be meaningful: there is a message in the story. Mostly the patient gives the message as a conclusion at the end of the story, if not: we can ask for it.
We do this is an indirect way, not bluntly asking: ‘Yes, I see and what is the message in your story?’ Rather we take the leap to the next level and ask how he experiences being in the situation that he just described. Very often he will compare it to another situation where he felt the same. Then we know we are on the right track: since the patient feels the same in different circumstances or situations or levels: it must be an expression of the vital sensation.
A healthy person has all emotions at his disposal but doesn’t sail on every emotional current. Most emotions are triggered by underlying psychological difficulties and are an obstacle in communication. As a result, they can be triggered by ego hurt and defensiveness.
When a similimum is given and the vital disturbance settles, we observe the vulnerability in terms of threats to the ego reduce dramatically. The person begins to consider himself in general as OK the way he is. As a result he considers other people as also OK, because the outside world is nothing but a reflection of the inside world. When a person experiences himself as basically OK, he is no longer in need of appreciation, reassurance, presence, or care from others. He has no need to defend himself when others attack: he can see the attacks are coming from the outside and that they are not his problem. As a result he feels calm, full of self-confidence, carefree. As his thoughts are not crowded with worries, he has little to think about. His mind becomes free to do what he likes to do, to become creative, enjoy whatever he in his freedom chooses to do or to be.