Book Review by Dr Sunila.
Dr Rajan Sankaran who graduated from the Bombay Homoeopathic Medical College, is known as an original thinker & has introduced many concepts in homoeopathy. He lives & practices in the Juhu area of Mumbai, & teaches worldwide.
He has authored several books namely The Spirit of Homoeopathy, The Substance of Homoeopathy, The Soul of Remedies, Provings, The Sensation in Homoeopathy, The Other Song, An Insight into Plants, Sankaran’s Schema & also helped to develop the software Vital Quest. Many of the books have been translated in several languages.
First edition: 2007.
Printed in India.
Published by: HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICAL PUBLISHERS,
201 Dinar, 20, Station Road, Santacruz (W), Mumbai- 400 054, India.
E- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This book consolidates a system, the process of which began in “The Spirit of Homoeopathy” & carried on to “The Sensation in Homoeopathy”. Since the latter was written, there has been much progress in the Sensation idea. This book begins where The Sensation in Homoeopathy left off.
The Sensation in Homoeopathy gave us the philosophy & guidelines to practice. This book “Sensation Refined” answers many queries about the sensation & its expression, & how to understand it better, in a clearer & simpler way.
“Sensation” is explained in detail, with several illustrative cases. Each section is explained with cases that are very useful to a beginner as well as to an experienced homoeopath. The case interviews in this book have been condensed and grammatically corrected to some extent. Since cases in sections 1 & 2 are much abbreviated, some information may appear in the analysis of a few, which was edited out of the presented text.
R: Rajan Sankaran.
C: Comment by participants who attended a seminar where the case was shown
hg: Hand gesture
Beautiful pictures, interesting stories like “Blind Men & the Elephant” & several quotes of famous personalities have been included to understand the book more comprehensively.
The cover design shows the spiral of going into energy, closer & closer at each of the seven levels, & then discovering man as part of universal energy that manifests as plant, mineral (the iron mask) & animal.
In Sensation Refined Dr. Sankaran’s method is clearer, easier & more refined than ever before. Three sublevels of Sensation (level 5), the features of the various levels & potencies, the rows of the Mineral Kingdom got much clearer. Also, case taking has become flexible & easier. It seems to be now much less of a struggle for the homoeopath and patient than before.
In the preface he reproduces a review of ‘The Sensation in Homoeopathy’ by Ilana Dannheisser (in Homoeopathic Links) since it describes the concept of ‘The Sensation of Homoeopathy’ from which this book takes off.
A. First section is PHILOSOPHY.
Important subsections in PHILOSOPHY
1. Old and New: These are notes from a lecture and discussion during a seminar in Esalen, California in October 2005.
Experience is truth.
The gesture is the key.
The sensation is an experience.
Humour is at the level of delusion.
Go with the flow, to the deepest level. Avoid leading questions.
The difference between kingdoms
For persons needing Mineral remedies, the problem is not with other person or situation, but with themselves.
Persons requiring Plant remedies exhibit sensitivity. In the stressful situation, it is not the other person but his deeds are the problem.
For persons requiring remedies from Animal kingdom the other person in the stressful situation is the problem.
A Nosode is indicated when a mode of defense against a particular infection becomes generalized.
A Sarcode is prepared especially from hormone producing glands. When its (hormone) function takes over an entire being, it is a problem.
We see the difference between kingdoms only at the sensation level. To see it at Delusion or Feeling level or at Fact level is a recipe for disaster.
Miasm is not separate from the sensation. It is the way the sensation is experienced.
Be aware of prejudice.
What we need to is learn the principle, see the broader truth & adapt it to cases.
Essential qualities of the Senation: The Seven ‘I’s
- Intrinsic: relating to essential nature of a thing.
- Ingrained: deeply seated.
- Integral: essential.
In a given case, we need to look for the Seven ‘R’s.
- Rooted: the basic cause.
- Replicated: similar to something else in different medium or context.
When we find sensation, it has these seven features: The Seven ‘P’s.
- Primary: one that is fundamental.
- Pattern: regular form.
- Perpetual: continuing.
3. Global & Local: Sensation is the Global in the local. Global means that which relates to the whole of the something or a group of things. Local means belonging or relating to a particular area.
Only the Sensation can transcend the mind & body.
Global themes in the Kingdoms
a) Mineral kingdom
- Development: How developed am I?
b) Animal kingdom
- Pattern: it will have different aspects with different features co-exiting at the same time.
- Sequence: Each animal patient will describe a story as a sensation.
- Struggle, with self or situation.
But the central idea underlying all the three is one of survival.
c) Plant kingdom
- Reactivity. There is a reaction in accordance with the sensitivity.
4. The Sublevels of Sensation
The vital sensation itself can be understood as having three sublevels:
a) Sensation A: Kingdom
b) Sensation B: Subkingdom
c) Sensation C: Source. It has 3 further subdivisions.
1. C-1: Approximations: C-1 belongs to a general category, like Elaps corallinus belongs to Elapidae.
2. C-2: Characteristics from Repertory or Provings: The characteristic symptoms of a remedy from the Repertory or Proving are often quite exactly the symptoms of the source.
3. C-3: the exact qualities of the source: source language. This is the specific qualities of the source. These will be the most non- human- specific, the “absolute nonsense” among the symptoms of the patient.
A Refined Understanding of the Levels
What it is (local problem)
Fact qualified (location, sensation, modality)
Peculiar local symptom.
How it is experienced
5. Important Words: They are M, N, O, P, Q, R, & S.
- M: Movement – conveyed through speed, direction, force, sound & gestures.
- N: Non-human-specific – these are the words that are common between man & nature; that arte global, not local.
- O: Obdurate – persistent.
- P: Picturised – A word is important when it is associated with a strong image or delusion.
- Q: Queer – A word is queer if it is used out of context.
- R: Repeated.
- S: Synonym: often the patient will use related words or their opposite.
6. Action Speak Louder than Words.
7. The Doorway through Doodles. Doodle – to scribble aimlessly. After years of doing this, one realizes that there are 2 or 3 patterns that keep repeating themselves spontaneously. These are the expression of an inner reality.
Dr. Rajan Sankaran is interpreting up to 20 doodles in this book with pictures which are very much useful for a homoeopathic practitioner. Some of them are:
Circles: Circles indicate self protectiveness as well as a yielding nature.
Irregular dots: the person is deep thinking type.
Stairs & Ladders: a desire to move up in the world.
8. Types of Acute Situations
There are 5 categories of acute situations.
- The patient comes directly in the acute.
- The patient comes in an acute during a chronic, which is doing well.
- The patient comes in an acute during a chronic, which is not doing well.
- The patient comes in an acute during a chronic, which is doing okay, but the picture is very different.
- Acute causes like injury.
9. Potency and the Levels
The potency is selected according to the level that is experienced daily by the patient.
- Level 1: Name: 6
- Level 2: Fact: 30
- Level 3: Emotion: 200
- Level 4: Delusion: 1M
- Level 5: Sensation: 10M
- Level 6: Energy: 50M
- Level 7: Blankness: CM
LM Potency: When the pathology is progressive, constant, continuous and not episodic. Eg. RA Psoriasis.
10. Summaries of the Method –
In this section Dr. Rajan Sankaran included:
a. Steps of the case taking process, based on a summary by Mary Gillies
- Be empty
We must approach each session in the absence of memory or desire- Wilfred Bion
- Connect with that which is to be cured in the patient
- Look, Listen and Ask
- End game: Stop them moving back but with out imparting any sense of direction.
b. A New Case Taking Methodology by Robert Ullman & Judyth Reichenberg- Ullman.
11. Refinements in the Understanding of Minerals
The pace in minerals is different from that in humans. They have got life spans of several million years. A stone or a rock will be relatively unchanged for 1 million years. So when we try to examine a mineral in a human being, the whole scale is different. This is why we don’t easily see mineral source words in the human experience. Mineral experience corresponds with the stages of human development which finds its reflection in the seven rows of the periodic table.
- First row is about existence.
- Second row is about foetal life & birth process.
- Third row is about developing your own choice.
- Fourth row is about task & security.
- Fifth row is about exploring a new, strange or different activity.
- Sixth row is about leadership, responsibility & power.
- The Seventh row has issues of destruction & disintegration of matter & the conversion of matter back into energy.
12. Awareness has 3 steps.
- Simple watching
- Dissociating from the phenomenon
- Experiencing the phenomenon, allowing the experience, yet the same time being the watcher.
13. Thoughts on the Seventh Level: the seventh level is the part that is not sick. It is the bare slate on which the pattern of sickness is written. It is the state of hypnosis, meditation or coma, where the person is blank, silent & is able to observe & narrate the other levels. The only permanent & peaceful connection that one can have with another one is at the Seventh level.
14. Health: a healthy person is in Fact level when he is auditing his books of account, in an emotional level when he shows affection to his children & at the delusion level when he watches a movie or writes verse.
B. Second section is EXERCISES IN FINDING THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY.
1. Metaphors & Mandela.
Metaphor means simile: a figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another. Each one expresses his experience through metaphors, idioms, similes, gestures & images. Some passages from ‘Nelson Mandela’s inspiring autobiography “A Long Walk to Freedom” has been included here to understand non human specific words.
Non human specific words used by Mandela: Heavy, oppressed, fight, powerful, rise, rise above, crush, mountain, fly, chains etc. Mandela’s speeches are full of images & sensations, as if, in his everyday life, he lives on a deeper level of experience like level 4 or 5.
2. Desperately seeking Adolph, a study of Hitler
Dr. Rajan Sankaran got the idea of studying the Hitler while working on a case of Plumbum Metallicum. We may not ever know who Hitler really was. But we learn from this book there can be a song behind a song; a story behind the story. The non-human specific words help us to reach that level.
Dr.Rajan sankaran also put in the speeches of another well known powerful dictator Saddam Hussain . His speech includes non human specific words like solid, base ,unshakable, reconstruction and accumulation.
C. The third section is TECHNIQUES OF THE ART.
1. The Art: there is an art in case taking.
2. The First Ten Minutes: the first 10- 15 minutes of the case are often the most crucial.
3. Keep the Patient in the Present: by keeping the patient in the present, you reach a timeless level, where the phenomenon or experience is described per se, unconnected with the one who experiences it.
4. What, and Why: answer to the question, ‘Why?’ will always lead to a theory. Asking, “What does it feel like?” much more effectively goes deeper to touch their experience.
5. Projection & Denial: Projection & spontaneous denial are gateways to the Sensation.
6. Flexibility in the Method: to reach the Sensation level one can use different paths. One needs to be flexible according to the situation. It is good to try get there by the shortest & clearest path, through the chief complaint, but if one come across a serious road block, and then one must have wisdom to backtrack & find alternative paths.
7. Animals have A Process & a Life Story: in an animal case, each sensation is a part of a process which has many other sensations & actions, all connected to one another.
8. Connected in the Context: Some times when we ask about one aspect, another comes out. It does not seem to be connected. But in the context of the source, it is absolutely connected.
9. ‘What is the Effect on You?’ when the sensation is not clear the question ‘What is the Effect on You?’ takes it further. This is because it shows the person’s most sensitive area.
10. Lessons from practice
- Prejudice: once we fix our mind on something, we hardly see anything else.
- Local & Global: dig into the local till you see the global.
- Flexibility in the method.
- The energy is in the story too.
- Distinguish between delusion & sensation: Delusion is an image. But Sensation is the experience.
- Do not stop at subkingdom level to search for rubrics: go with the energy further & go to the source if possible.
- Hand gestures & doodles.
- The sensation is not one word: sensation is an experience conveyed by a whole group of words.
- The word may mean a totally different thing in human language.
- The readiness of the patient to go into sensation depends on their level: the deeper the level, the more easily he will go into the sensation.
- The story & sensation are often very different.
- The process is one of observation.
- What does not belong to the sensation A & B represents the source.
- The word may be the same, but the experience is different.
- The mineral kingdom is expressed as stages of development.
- Do not ask abruptly when you notice a gesture.
- Do not try to get into a moving train.
- Don’t be too eager to find the remedy
- Take a path to its end
- The sensation lies at the meeting point of two discrete aspects.
- The internet is the place to find the Sensation C words: the peculiarities of the source often cannot be found in the Materia Medica.
- Do not look at the situation, but at the perceived situation.
- When the gesture & word are different, and then wait for the level when the patient brings the gesture together.
- Do not try to make the nonsense sensible
- Cravings & aversions area very important thing to ask the patient
- Follow the energy.
11. Use your map Lightly: Throughout the whole process, whatever ‘maps’ we inquires carry in our minds, it is important to remember that the person before us is far greater than any map or theory.
D. Fourth section is the soul of this book: CASES.
Different types of CASES are explained beautifully that has to be read.
- Completely opposite & remotely similar
- A sudden shot
- An open & shut case
- Separation & Synergism
- Breaking Out
- The volatile case
- I am a cabbage.
E. Last section is APPENDIX.
Here also he included useful sections to a homoeopathic practitioner like
- A preparatory explanation to the patient of the case taking procedure.
- A questionnaire to elicit the sensation.
- What do we look for in the Follow-up
- Repetition of the Dose
a) If there is a change at a level lower than one on which the potency was selected: repetition of the same.
b) If there is a change at the same level on which the potency was chosen. And the patient was in the same level: wait & watch.
c) There is a shift to higher level: increase the potency.
d) There is a shift to a lower level: review the case. Most probably the remedy was wrong.
e) No change anywhere: review the case to decide if the remedy & potency are correct, and if they arte, then one needs to wait.
Some questions from readers
Index of remedies is the last section in appendix.
Explained in detail, with illustrative cases, this book documents Rajan Sankaran’s most recent advances in the method. The Sensation idea has come of age. The method is now clearer, easier & more refined than ever before
Sankaran’s methods have been criticized fro lack of rigor, but this book affirms that his concepts have been derived strictly from the basics in homoeopathy, from knowledge of homeopathic philosophy, materia medica & Repertory.
Book Review by Dr.Sunila. BHMS,MD(Hom)
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