Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Homeopathy, anyone?

My sister, Becky, has been really into constitutional homeopathy lately.  She is studying the homeopathic personality profiles and "curing" all the members of her family (and herself) by administering small doses of the appropriate remedy.  Apparently, in homeopathy the idea is that "like cures like," so taking a small dose of your own constitutional type mitigates the negative aspects of that type.

She sent me a book by Philip Bailey called Homeopathic Psychology: Personality Profiles of the Major Constitutional Remedies, and I've been doing my own reading too.  Bailey's book seems to be, while immensely readable, maybe a little less objective and scholarly than some others.  Becky feels like he colors the personality descriptions with a little more of his own spin.  Nevertheless, for my purposes it certainly fills the bill.  I do not plan to delve into the science quite as deeply as she has.

I'm telling you though, it's spooky.  One of the first ones I read was Calcarea Carbonica and I thought, Oh. My. Gosh.  This is Pam (my older sister).  This is totally her!  The nuances and motivations behind her personality and behaviors were spot on.  It was more than uncanny -- it was spooky.

Then I read Graphites and found myself.  I read Lycopodium and was absolutely blown away.  T.  It was like Philip Bailey had known T all his life and knew him the way only a wife of 23 years could know him.  Even his mother doesn't know these things about him.  I thought, if T were for some reason to go to a professional counselor, after years of regular sessions the counselor still would not understand what Bailey encapsulated in 20 pages here.

I was settled on being Graphites until Becky said she thinks of me when she reads Natrum Muriaticum.  So I read that and had to agree that I could identify with a good part of that too.  P.B. sums up this personality as "suppression of emotional pain," and it seems to encompass a huge number of types of people.  He spends 47 (often unflattering) pages on it.  My overarching impression is that in suppressing this emotional pain, Nat Murs wear a mask, which is sometimes strained.  They try to hide their pain.  Poor babies.  Their lives are also often marked by perfectionism and over-achievement.

Sadly, while there was a lot in those 47 pages that didn't resonate with me, I could identify with enough of it that I began taking Nat Mur.  First I took a few 30C doses, which only last a few hours.  Then I graduated to 200C which works for 40-50 days.  And last week I took a 1M dose.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I think it does something.  It's really hard to put my finger on, but I just feel more relaxed.  I feel like something that was tense way deep inside me, not really physically but emotionally, somehow the tension has completely eased.  I feel healthier psychically.  Somehow the vague sense of self-loathing and ever-so-mild depression that had so come to be my norm that I would not have even recognized it -- somehow that has lifted.

In short, I'm happy.  Certainly happier than before, but even just plain happy!

Again, I'm no expert, but my impression is that I really am a Graphites at the core, but a layer of Natrum Muriaticum was blanketing it.  Would that make sense to a homeopathic expert?  The Nat Mur seems like it was a layer of damage, a layer of hurt over a healthy interior that wanted expression.

And I have to smile at the idea that my Graphites interior wanted expression because the one-word description Philip Bailey uses for Graphites is blandness.  Shy and BORING!  Is that sad?  Nah.  It's me.  Maybe I am shy and boring.  But pleasant.  =)

And now I must interrupt this riveting discussion for the VERSE OF THE DAY!!!!  Today's verse is really a passage: Colossians 2:20-3:10.

If you have died with Christ]to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in ]self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2]Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.  5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to]immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—
 What strikes me about this is that Paul is telling the Colossians is to not submit to human regulations as a substitute for their worship of Christ.  He is denouncing self-made religion born of asceticism and severity to the body.

He then, in 3:1-4 tells them to seek what is above where Christ is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  And then in vs 5-10 gives them a list of abstentions -- sexual immorality, impurity, passions, evil desire, covetousness, anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscenities -- which could look a lot like asceticism and severity to the body, self-made religion, the very thing he just told them did not make up their worship of Christ.

What struck me was that all those abstentions come from seeking what is above!  If we are seeking Christ, then those things will become a part of us, they will flow from us naturally.  Unlike what was going on in 2:20-23.  Paul never meant for us to try to manufacture all those things from our flesh, and then call ourselves holy.  If we find ourselves blowing up or falling into gossip or impurity, the answer is not to squelch it through pure force of will.  The answer is to SEEK HIM!  Spend some time at His feet and see what happens!

Spent too much time on homeopathy this morning, so I have to run now.  I hope I explained my thought well enough to make sense!

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