An expedition into the dialectical personality of Lachesis

Dr Ajay Kumar

ABSTRACT
A Lachesis personality is always described under the sub-headings loquacious, jealous, suspicion which are quite characteristic to it. But the evolution of these characteristics is often less known. This article is an attempt to unveil about the sexual tension, duality and polarities of Lachesis personality which are the prime reasons in evolution of its characteristic symptoms.

KEYWORDS : Lachesis, Sexual tension, Duality, Loquacity, Jealous, Suspicion.

INTRODUCTION
Lachesis is derived from the poison of the Brazilian bushmaster, or surukuku, one of the most poisonous and aggressive snakes found in the western Hemisphere (hence its dread name- “The master of the forest”).

It possesses inch-long fangs and, when angered, will chase a man and attack him-as few other snakes will do.

The venom inhibits nerve impulses in heart, destroys red blood cells, and interferes with clotting.

One bite directly into vein can cause almost instant death.

Herring proved it on himself and his students, eliciting some 3,800 symptoms.

  • The results were published in “Archiv” and in his monograph “Schlangengift”.
  • The symptoms given by him are both those of the bite and those produced by internal use.
  • There is an evident correspondence between the two varieties of symptoms, the latter presenting finer shades of subjective symptoms than could be observed under the severe effects of the bite.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

  • Physically, Lachesis resembles Phosphorus and Sepia in being slim and lithe.
  • There seem to be two main variants of the Lachesis physique-the tall and the short. Both are usually slim or even bony.
  • The women often have large chests.
  • Most sensitive, refined people, the fingers tend to be long and thin.
  • The facial features are generally sharp, or even hawkish (like Arsenicum), rather than rounded.
  • The lips tend to be thin, the mouth wide, not the clipped, but rather refined lips like a long bow, stretched out, but still classical in their shape.
  • The hair is usually red, or brown with a reddish tint, but is sometimes black.
  • The skin is pale and usually freckled.
  • Curiously, the upper eyelids often droop slightly, giving a characteristic ‘snake-lid’ appearance.

PERSONALITY

  • Those most responsive to this remedy tend to be ambitious, creative, perceptive, talkative people who live life to the full.
  • If they believe in an ideology they have a tendency to follow it dogmatically.
  • Main idea is overstimulation, which is constantly seeking an outlet for relief, like a pot that is boiling all the time, needs an outlet or will break down.

LOQUACITY

  • Loquacity simply means talking a lot. Almost any constitutional type can have it. It is the way in which Lachesis talks a lot that is so characteristic.
  • An unending flow of words is the classic sign of an emotionally unfulfilled or creatively thwarted personality.
  • Mental hyperactivity compensates for the “heavily repressed emotions”, and inhibitions are released in an “unusual desire to be communicative”.
  • The repressed or tense Lachesis individual is often easy to spot on account of the speed with which she speaks.
  • Lachesis frequently expresses her thoughts in a rush of words, as if hurrying to catch up with them before they slip away. Once started, she cannot control her pace; she cannot slow down.
  • “Hasty speech”: Boenninghausen; “much rapid talking”: Hering.
  • “Most extraordinary loquacity, making speeches in very select phrases but jumping off to most heterogeneous subjects.”
  • “One word often leads into the midst of another story.”
  • As the tension increases further, it becomes impossible for the Lachesis individual to maintain orderly thought processes. The thinking becomes so accelerated that it gets jumbled, and this is reflected in speech, which becomes increasingly erratic.
  • Kent: “Loquacious-changes subjects quickly”
  • Another characteristic of the loquacity of tense Lachesis individuals is the tendency for speech to gather momentum. Speech may start reasonably slowly, and get faster and faster until it is unintelligible in some cases.
  • The child with a lisp is usually Calcarea, the adult quite often, Lachesis.
  • Or the patient, without being an alcoholic, exhibits the latter’s slurred speech and difficult articulation
  • “Thick tongue, blunders and stumbles, only partly finishing words” – Kent (also Natrum muriaticum).

SEXUALITY/SEXUAL TENSION

  • The Lachesis individual is like a highly strung bow, taut with sexual energy, which must find an outlet if it is not to backfire upon its owner.
  • For many the outlet is sex itself. Lachesis people are highly sexed (Kent:‘Lascivious’), and when they make love they are very passionate.(Kent: ‘Vivacious’).
  • The sexual drive is usually strong in both the male and female.
  • “Amorousness, amativeness, great excitement of sexual desire”: (Hering), with “many voluptuous thoughts” (Allen).
  • But if this high sexuality is not satisfied, deep depression may set in.
  • Abnormally strong attraction of older men to preadolescent or early adolescent girls, or of older women to men who could be their sons.
  • Sex is not only very enjoyable for Lachesis; it also relieves tension.
  • It is when the sexual energy is repressed, when it cannot find an outlet, that Lachesis develops physical and psychological tension.
  • It may be that,
    • She has a partner who is not interested in sex, or
    • She has been without a partner for a long time, or
    • She grew up with a moral teaching that prohibited sex before marriage, and hence has remained a virgin.
  • In these cases all will be well if an activity can be found which channels sufficient passionate energy to discharge the tension within.
  • But if this does not happen, anxiety, restlessness and irritability will develop.
  • Lachesis’ powerful sexual drive is tempered by a refined, sensitive nature.
  • Less sensitive types like Nux and Sulphur may pursue their sexual appetites in a rather crude, unfeeling manner, but for many Lachesis individuals (especially the women) sex is usually reserved for romantic partnership, and is all the more passionate because it an expression of their love.
  • When a Lachesis woman is in love her sexuality is heightened, and she will become very emotional if she is not able to make love frequently with her partner.
  • When a Lachesis woman is in love her sexuality is heightened, and she will become very emotional if she is not able to make love frequently with her partner.
  • If his libido cannot keep up with hers,
    • She is liable to feel that he does not love her.
    • Her frustration and hurt will provoke both tears and anger.
  • A sexually frustrated Lachesis woman is rather like a spurned Ignatia; touchy and highly emotional. After she has made love she is calm again.
  • This theme of tension requiring discharge can be seen to run throughout the features of Lachesis, both mentally and physically
  • On the physical level discharges will ameliorate symptoms, particularly sexual discharges, and the discharge of menstruation.
  • On the psychological level talking is used as a means of discharging tension, hence the famous loquacity of Lachesis.
  • The more sexually repressed – more loquacious.

DUALITY 

  • Hering’s description of the mental symptoms from the first grasped the essential intensity of a nature struggling against itself.
  • Perfect happiness and cheerfulness, followed by fading spirituality; feels as if she was clear animal right through, whilst all mental power was dormant; voluptuous, irritated state which she fights.
  • “Nothing stands out more boldly than the self-consciousness, the self-conceit, the envy, hatred, the revenge and the cruelty of the man. These things, of course, are … an improper love of self. Confusion of the mind to insanity. All sorts of insanity …” – Kent.
  • “The individual who is eager to express his instinctual urges even while laboring under strong repression; the blocked natural energies then find vicarious outlets in some mental overstimulation or physical hyperactivity” – Whitmont.
  • Building on the foundations laid by these three masters, we will choose the nature’s inherent dualism as the theme of our Lachesis portrait.
  • That is, its propensity to embrace opposed behavioral tendencies or impulses and conflicting emotions, and the impact of this struggle on the organism.
  • In Sulphur the remedy’s polarities are usually distributed among different individuals, who are either the “selfish” or the “benevolent” type.
  • In Phosphorus the polarity may be exhibited in the same person but at different times – the opposite emerging with age, hardship, or deteriorating health.
  • In Lachesis the polarity can be manifested in the same person almost simultaneously.
  • Within the individual two forces are constantly at war: indulgence vs. restraint, arrogance vs. humility, love vs. hate, faith vs. cynicism each seeking to overcome the other.
  • “Feels as if he has two wills” – Kent.
  • As Whitmont points out, Lachesis primary conflict is between his lower Instincts and his higher Ego.
  • The strong animal urges seek expression, but, the individual constantly suppresses them for the sake of civilized behavior and/or spiritual growth.
  • “My outward life is not me. My Inner life-what I think and feel does not, want to be me. I don’t know which of my two selves is really me- the proper one I live or the lascivious one I repress?” a patient says.
  • Reminiscent of Oscar Wilde’s aphorism: “One’s real life is often the life one does not lead”

JEALOUS

  • Lachesis ranks with Hyoscyamus as being the most prone to intense feelings of jealousy of all the constitutional types.
  • The more intense a person’s desire, the more liable they are to feel jealous of others who have what the desirer wants.
  • Thus, we can understand Lachesis’ jealousy as a natural consequence of his strong desire.
  • Sexual jealousy is the commonest form seen in Lachesis people, since sexual desire is usually their most intense attachment.
  • In some cases, this jealousy can be totally unrealistic, and can dominate the relationship to the point where it threatens its very existence.

ANGER

  • Not surprisingly, intense jealousy can lead to intense anger, and this is not uncommon in Lachesis people of either sex.
  • Lachesis’ anger is sudden and intense in most cases, an eruption that is short-lived but powerful (Kent: ‘Rage’).
  • Jealousy is particularly liable to be the cause of Lachesis’ anger, but it is not the only one.
  • The connection between sexuality and anger is seen more clearly in Lachesis women, for two reasons.
  • Firstly, they are more likely to be sexually repressed.
  • Secondly, a woman’s sexual feelings tend to vary with her hormonal status, and this is especially true of Lachesis women.
  • Many Lachesis women report that their libido is much stronger either at ovulation or premenstrually.
  • At these times they are also more likely to be irritable, and to lose their temper.
  • Lachesis women are prone to premenstrual tension, in the form of anger, oversensitivity to rejection, and weepiness.
  • Since tension in Lachesis is generally caused by sexual repression, this anger is ultimately a release of sexual tension.

SUSPICION

  • Unwarranted jealousy and suspicion.
  • Many times, this medicine has cured suspicion in girls, when they were simply suspicious of their friends.
  • She never sees a whispered conversation going
  • on but they are talking about her, to her detriment.
  • Suspects that they are contriving to injure her, and she will resort to any scheme to see if they were not talking of her to her detriment.
  • A woman imagines that her friends, husband, and children are trying to damage her; that her friends are going to put her in an insane asylum.

PARANOIA

  • As with jealousy and loquaciousness, this characteristic may be absent or very subtle in the healthier Lachesis individual, and becomes more and more apparent as pathology deepens.
  • The first sign of approaching paranoia may be a certain degree of suspicion.
  • Most Lachesis people manage to keep their unreasonable fears pretty much to themselves. In some cases, however, paranoia becomes overwhelming, and the patient loses all perspective of reality.
  • Kent – ‘Delusions of being pursued’, ‘Fear of being poisoned’.
  • Assailants and plotters are seen in every direction, and the patient spends much of his time in terror, avoiding contact with others in an attempt to protect himself.
  • This extreme form of paranoia can also be seen in Hyoscyamus.
  • This can be very hard to distinguish from Lachesis, since it also has loquaciousness, jealousy and increased sexuality.
  • In such cases the pre-morbid personality is usually more ‘normal’ in Lachesis than in Hyoscyamus, and during the paranoid phase Hyoscyamus is more likely to express extremely bizarre thoughts than Lachesis, and to display sexual exhibitionism.

PRIDE

  • Pride is usually accompanied by a tendency to become angry when criticised, and Lachesis is no exception.
  • The proud, extroverted Lachesis is pleasant as long as he is the centre of attention, but will become bored when he has to take a passive role, and resentful if his own high opinion of himself is threatened.
  • Pride, particularly in a man, is very closely connected to sexuality, as is aggression.
  • This is confirmed to some extent by the fact that most of the more proud constitutional types are also those with the strongest sex drive.
  • Platina is an extreme example, being the most highly sexed, and also the most proud type of all.

POWER

  • At the root of many Lachesis self-torturing relationships lies a wounded and oversensitive “pride” (Hering).
  • The “arrogant” (Kent) or vain individual wants to be recognized for some extraordinary achievement in life.
  • If he cannot make his mark in a positive manner, he may in frustration make it negatively.
  • Thus, the theme of revenge often crops up in his conversation, and candid patients will say, “I’m going to manipulate him into a corner just as he’s manipulated me,” or “I’ve got her in my power, and she’ll be sorry for what she did. I’ll get back at her if it’s the last thing I do.”
  • He can be a formidable opponent when feeling threatened or seeking to assert himself.
  • “Malicious, Vindictive” – Kent.
  • The appearance of’ “humility” in a powerful, prominent, or influential person frequently conceals Inordinate pride kept hidden or under control in a predominantly Lachesis or Arsenicum personality
  • Sulphur and Lycopodium openly parade their power
  • Once satisfied, this individual’s dominant power-hunger turned into its opposite and brought out his dormant magnanimity.
  • Lachesis in a position of power (whether in the world at large or only inside his family) frequently demonstrates the reverse: restraint, integrity, and humility vis-a-vis those whom he is leading or supervising.

INTOLERANCE TO RESTRICTION

  • On the psychological level Lachesis is just as intolerant of restriction.
  • He may be able to form a committed and intimate relationship providing that he is given plenty of space when he needs it, and is not told what to do by his partner.
  • Many Lachesis people do remain single, either out of fear and shyness, or out of a refusal to have their freedom limited.
  • Kent: ‘Idea of marriage unendurable’.
  • Lachesis becomes prickly when ordered about, and will soon express his anger at being restricted.
  • Similarly, many Lachesis individuals find it difficult to adapt to the confines of a nine-to-five office routine.
  • Not only do they need lots of fresh air; they also need the stimulation of doing something creative, and are more likely to work well on their own at home than in the confines of a highly structured environment.
  • On the physical level the patient cannot tolerate tight clothing, particularly around the neck.
  • Like many Tuberculinum individuals, some Lachesis people are so addicted both to stimulants and to ‘freedom’ that they would rather die than be restricted.
  • This intolerance of restriction may explain the characteristic Lachesis aversion to being touched.
  • This is often present in cases of physical pathology, where pain is greatly exacerbated by the slightest touch, but it can also occur on the mental level.
  • Kent: ‘Aversion to being touched’.

PROPHETIC PERCEPTION

  • Lachesis can be a highly Intellectual type, displaying a fine incisive mind.
  • The male, for instance, is often as strongly intellectual as Sulphur but, rather than spinning webs of philosophical abstraction, gives concrete and more dramatic expression to his profound understanding.
  • In both sexes the strong mind is imaginative and agile, and possesses an almost “prophetic perception” (Hering) or “clairvoyance” (Kent).
  • He judges correctly how others will act and react, consequently the steps to be taken to achieve a desired end.
  • In the time taken by sulphur to belabor some obvious point or someone big idea Lachesis will have seized all the ramifications of a situation, developed a fertile plan of action, and come up with a variety of possible solutions.
  • “Quick, rapid perceptivity” – Boenninghausen.

RELIGION AND BELIEFS

  • Lachesis is intrinsically a religious nature and requires some strong faith or spiritual commitment as a convenient outlet for his superabundant emotional energy.
  • She is full of religious insanity. She thinks she is under superhuman control. She is compelled to do things by spirits.
  • She hears a command, partly in her dream, that she must carry out.
  • Sometimes it takes the form of voices in which she is commanded to steal, to murder, or to confess things she never did, and she has no peace of mind until she makes a confession of something she has never done.

VITALITY

  • Lachesis individuals exhibit such unquenchable vitality that others instinctively describe them as ‘intense’, ‘hyper-excited’ ‘addiction-prone’, ‘over stimulated’, ‘obsessive’, or ‘passionate’.
  • Not solely in the sexual sense, but also for knowledge, experience, understanding, passion for a cause or a faith─ passion for life itself!

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Bailey PM. Homoeopathic Psychology. 1st Indian edition, New Delhi: B.
  • Coulter CR. Portraits of homoeopathic medicines: psychophysical analyses of selected constitutional types. In Portraits of homoeopathic medicines: psychophysical analyses of selected constitutional types 1986. North Atlantics Books.
  • Chitkara HL. New Comprehensive Homeopathic Materia Medica of Mind. B. Jain Publishers; 2002.
  • Pierce WI. Plain talks on materia medica. B. Jain Publishers; 2000 Jun 30.
  • Lockie A. Encyclopedia of homeopathy. D. Kindersley Pub.; 2006.
  • Sankaran R. The soul of remedies. InThe soul of remedies 1997. Homoeopathic medical publishers.
  • Kent JT. Lectures on homoeopathic materia medica. Jain Publishing Company; 1980.
  • Dunham C. Lectures on materia medica. B. Jain Publishers; 1999 Jun 30.
  • Morrison R. Desktop guide. California: Hahnemann Clinic Publishing; 1983.
  • Vithoulkas G. Essence of materia medica. B. Jain; 1990.

Dr Ajay Kumar
PG Scholar
Department Of Homoeopathic Materia Medica
Father Muller Homoeopathic Medical College And Hospital, Mangalore.

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