Three Levels of the Human Being
Vithoulkas describes the three levels of the human being as;
He continues to assert that within these, there are further levels of hierarchy that directly contribute to wellbeing and ultimately illness and disease for example, within the mental body, absent-mindedness to complete mental confusion. The emotional level from dissatisfaction to suicidal depression and the physical level from skin to brain ailments as highlighted in Diagram 1.
In essence Vithoulkas is describing the elements and varying states of disease within each level that impacts on the human being in the many varying forms that can be presented to the Homeopath by a patient within a case, also alluding to the journey of disease and indeed the direction of cure that Homeopathy can facilitate.
To comprehend, apply and evaluate this model and theory it is also necessary to consider one more aspect of homeopathic healing. That of the direction of cure, otherwise known as Hering’s Law. Direction of cure is essentially, the fourth fundamental principle of homeopathy. It is generally accepted within Homeopathic and other complimentary health disciplines that cure occurs from the inside out, or the centre to the circumference, above downwards and from vital organs to less vital organs and in the reverse order of appearance. Applying this law to Diagram 2 one can easily understand how Hering and Vithoulkas are in tune with regard to facilitating curative medicine and the theories they applied in confirming their hypothesis.
The following discussion will explore each level of hierarchy, apply case examples to demonstrate its practical application and conclude my thinking of how this can be applied to practice whilst working with a patient.
Vithoulkas highlights the importance of the mind within the hierarchy of the human body by stating, ‘The mental level is the most crucial level for the human being. It is this mental and spiritual content of a person which is the true essence of that person.’ This is a totally acceptable explanation as it can be argued, and indeed Vithoulkas continued to state that a person whose physical body is not fully able is still able to be creative, think and live a happy fulfilled life. The mind also plays an important part in an individual’s health and wellbeing and it is here the journey of disease and indeed the direction of cure is to be found. As Vithoulkas described in Diagram 1, the mind can take
a journey from absent-mindedness to complete mental confusion and it is here the individual experiencing disease may hold the key to their direction of cure. Diagram 2 illustrates the direction of disease moving from outer levels towards the core of the being, in this case the mind. This may happen over a number of years and the originating symptom may have been relatively minor, but through suppressive treatments the disease penetrated layer upon layer until it manifests itself within the mind level. An example of this can be found within lead poisoning which is apparent in society today. Lead can enter the body in may differing ways and include inhalation, absorption and indeed ingestion, however, taking the Vithoulkas and Hering models in this case, one can easily see the journey of disease occurring, with a majority of cases being ‘incurable’ at the later stages. Lead poisoning, itself can affect many organs and tissues such as the bones and, as it progresses, possibly exacerbated by suppressive treatments the disease can impact on the central nervous system resulting in behavioural disturbances, learning disabilities and ultimately senility and death. By applying the model of Hering and utilising treatments that reverse the journey of disease to the direction of cure, the penetration of layers could possibly be prevented, thus protecting the inner layers of human kind and ultimately the core of the person Vithoulkas describes as the mind.
Vithoulkas describes this as, ‘the level which is very close to the core of daily existence of every individual.’ Here, feelings and the workings of the mind are expressed in areas such as anxiety and calmness, happy and sadness to name but two. It is important to note here that a Homeopath may experience this element of a patient as being a maintaining causation in the disease being treated resulting in a blockage to the ultimate goal of cure. Interestingly it is here Vithoulkas has placed phobia, anguish and anxiety, which, again highlights the journey of disease as should they be allowed to manifest further, they could affect mental function, thus impacting on the mind with devastating effects. Sankaran beautifully describes this element of emotional function and how the perception to the individual of their circumstances can impact on their vital force and indeed their direction of cure. He states, ‘when a man who is being chased by a dog is running as if from a lion, this is a state of mind (disease)……………………..the only way he can be cured is by the homeopathic way…………………… when he realises that he is creating in his imagination (internally) a situation for which his actions are appropriate……he realises he is overreacting and the process of cure starts.’ These wise words demonstrate how the emotional level impacts on the day to day lives of individuals and ultimately the journey of disease and direction of cure.
In traditional medicine, the physical is the primary focus of treatment. The medical model assesses a symptom; diagnoses a physical disease then commences treatment, usually without full consideration for the emotional and mental layers of the presenting patient. Although extremely important as some vital organs are within the physical realm, the suppression of disease can result in the disease journey being pushed further inside the body as already described. Taking the skin (outward line of diagram 2) as an example as a first symptom, the current physical, emotional and mental levels are unaffected. Utilising Homeopathic treatments, the symptoms could be expelled from the skin without disease moving inwards, thus following the direction of cure arrow. However, should the use of suppressive treatments be applied, the disease may follow the direction of disease arrow penetrating layer upon layer of the person, ultimately, affecting the core of the being and presenting as a more serious disease in the longer term. However, it should also be noted that the journey of disease may move upwards towards the physical organ of the mind, the brain. The skin example can also be demonstrated by the increase in asthma in the population. Many, not all, have had pre-existing skin complaints such as eczema that, when suppressed by aggressive topical creams, has moved inwards to another organ, in this case the lungs with a resultant asthma diagnosis being made that is further suppressed with medication, thus moving the disease to the next organ etc etc. Again this evidence supports Vithoulkas and Hering’s models of human kind.
As a homeopath in training, it is necessary to understand the journey of disease the patient is presenting with and it is here from consultation to consultation, a patient may present with differing symptoms as their journey moves along the direction of cure.Their original case history taken on first consultation should be the baseline for assessment of the direction in which their vital force is supporting them and disease is travelling, either positive or negative to assess whether their expression at the present moment is movement outwards. Through the healing process, the patient may experience a movement from mental symptoms to emotional through to physical symptomology and it is this key element the homeopath is looking for as a sign for the remedy chosen being the correct and true remedy for that time. Attention should be made to the possibility of the direction of disease being reversed and it is at this point, the homeopath should consider an antidote prescription to prevent the remedy aggravating a symptom to a point where it starts to follow the direction of disease, thus not supporting a curative process.
In conclusion, by combining Vithoulkas and Hering into one model as is the case in Diagram 2, the homeopathic medium of healing can fully support, in Sankaran’s words the process of cure to start.
A Gentle miracle post by David