Jason-Aeric Huenecke, RSHom (NA), CCH, is the Principal Researcher at the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy (Minneapolis, USA), a role that has earned him international recognition for his proving efforts in North America. He has studied Classical Homeopathy with Eric Sommermann, Valerie Ohanian, Laurie Dack, and Karim Adal, as well as Jeremy Sherr, Jayesh Shah, Rajan Sankaran and other major international teachers. He is certified in Transpersonal Psychology from the Psychosynthesis Institute of Minnesota and trained as a Chemical Dependency & Family Treatment Counselor, finding his homeopathy practice enhanced by this knowledge. His provings are published in The American Homeopath and are available for free on the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy website. In his practice he has found that the new provings bring forward substances that are especially powerful in healing the illnesses of the modern world.
Jason-Aeric’s provings include Gavia immer (common loon), Acer saccharum (sugar maple), Cygnus X-1 (black hole, an imponderable), Lepidolite (a lithium-containing mineral), Didelphis virginiana (North American opossum), Samarium cobaltum magneticum, Lanthanum metallicum, and Promethium muriaticum (rare earth minerals), Odocoileus virginiana borealis sanguis (white-tailed deer’s blood), and Ixodes dammini (deer tick, the carrier of Lyme disease agents), and most recently Technetium (a medical imaging substance).
Can you begin by telling us about yourself and how you envision your work as a homeopath?
I love homeopathy. My whole life is about homeopathy and helping others through homeopathic medicine. I see homeopathy as a spiritual medicine. A lot of people want homeopathy to be accepted like “regular” allopathic medicine but I personally don’t work toward that aim. Of course homeopathy can work as well or better than allopathic medicine for physical pathologies, yet homeopathy is so much more.
Most of the people who come to me don’t particularly know why they’re coming – and these individuals are some of the best patients to work with. They have physical symptoms and illnesses, of course, but there is some deeper healing they’re looking for that they can’t exactly put into words. This allows for a greater freedom in the exploration of the constitutional homeopathic remedy and a wider definition of what healing means beyond what allopathic medicine can offer.
Nowadays, each of us is going to run into people as patients who are suffering from adrenal fatigue, sugar intolerance, gluten intolerance, and so on. But all that, while it’s helpful, is less interesting than what I think we are really doing within homeopathy. It doesn’t mean that those experiences aren’t true. It just means that you are limited if you are staying on that bio-chemical level of why someone is suffering.
I think there are different levels of homeopathic practice. Some homeopathic practitioners mostly aim to cure acute illnesses; others want to specialize in specific things like autism or female issues. For me, if our true task is to heal the sick, this means helping people to be fully on their path of individuation, not ever aiming to cure a specific disease or correct a certain pathology. It means helping them wake up to what is happening with their life in the largest sense of the word, with a true aliveness, and helping them to recognize what their part is in that awakening. I help them to shed any false selves and step into their true self.
What does that mean – shedding false selves and stepping into your true self –from the homeopathic perspective?
One of my spiritual guides, Atisha, a great Buddhist saint-philosopher of 10th-11thcentury, in his Lojong (mind training slogans), reminds us to “regard all life as a dream, “meaning that whatever you experience in your life—sadness, joy, pain, grief, heat, cold or anything else—is like something happening in a dream. This is like the concept of maya or illusion in Vedic philosophy. Although you might think things are very solid, they are truly like passing memories.
I like to think that the whole experience of homeopathy is about waking up from the Dream. When you are living in the Dream, you are suffering; you are not seeing what is possible, you have very few choices, or an inability to make a choice. Your life is full of delusions. So many people are living in a repeating nightmare. In Classical Homeopathic practice, we call the repeating experiences” delusions”. A delusion is what we believe despite evidence to the contrary, and it keeps us in our patterns and stuck in a dream world. We have many layers of delusions, many layers of patterns. What I think we’re doing with homeopathy is helping people release those patterns and become lucid dreamers in life, waking up and living a lucid, individuated life. The suffering person is then able to make conscious choices and live a wider, more authentic life, which eventually eliminates the emotional and energetic sources of their suffering.
I see my role as helping people let their inner light and love shine through them and eliminate any obstacles or blocks that keep them small, held back, and in a state of confusion.
You’ve contributed a number of excellent provings to homeopathy, and provings seem to be central in your mission as a homeopath. What draws you to this work?
I am dedicated to helping eliminate suffering in the world. Provings are an excellent vehicle for this purpose. They help to advance homeopathy by increasing the knowledge of how substances can be used to heal. One of my teachers taught that you can only go as deep into someone else as you can go within yourself. You have to learn how to dive deep. I believe that provings are one way to learn how to dive deeply into yourself. Homeopathy is a deeply spiritual practice for me. I feel that participating in a proving is a way to deepen your awareness about yourself and the world in which you live.
A proving is a kind of trust fall. A trust fall is a trust-building experience often conducted as a group exercise in which people deliberately allow themselves to fall backwards, relying on the other members of the group to catch them. In a proving you are asked to take a substance that stimulates your energy field to manifest symptoms (this is like the fall) and then to carefully record your experiences, symptoms, and sensations both subjectively and objectively. The Master Prover and your personal Proving Supervisor are your spotters, who catch you as you fall. We are most interested in how you experience the fall, the length of the fall, and your experience in as much detail as possible. Therefore, in a homeopathic proving, you’re opening yourself up, albeit temporarily, to suffering for the benefit of others. The proving symptoms generally appear and disappear over time, with a typical proving lasting 30 to 60 days.
The Way of the Bodhisattva inspires the way I practice homeopathy: we are doing our inner work and these proving experiments to heal all beings without exception. In this way a proving is a noble act. Allowing yourself to suffer temporarily in a proving helps to potentially free humanity from its suffering in a greater way.
For those homeopaths and students who are willing to open up and try, what are the benefits of doing a proving?
Technically, we do not promise a particular benefit to doing a proving. However, many people have reported that the process is what really helped them learn how to take a case and also how to be a better patient.You learn how to observe and articulate what is happening to you in a very precise way, with modalities, sidedness, and a clearer body consciousness. You may achieve a deeper awareness of your sensations and emotions.
It’s one thing to have book knowledge; it’s another thing to actually have an experience. You start to understand the essence of the substance without knowing what it is (in a proper blinded proving). The knowledge of the substance comes through all these different provers’ voices that eventually become one voice, as Jeremy Sherr puts it. I’ve participated in several provings and it’s always remarkable. You’re always uncertain about what is going to happen next and this helps you maintain a kind of open-hearted curiosity.
Once you open your door, you begin to see yourself in 10,000 ways, in a much larger context. You begin to learn what your true prejudices are. You get to learn what you are tolerant of, what you are intolerant of, what you enjoy. You learn about power and powerlessness. You begin to come to understand the universality of human suffering. It’s a very exciting and beautiful process.
Would you say then that doing provings is a way to expand our capacity for empathy?
What’s nice about doing a proving is that you get a retreat from your everyday chronic lifetime suffering and you get to temporarily join in the suffering of another. What I observe is you can take a prover who is somewhat aware, who has had a good homeopathic journey prior to coming into a proving, and they will begin to understand more deeply the difference between I, me, and mine – my symptoms, my expression, my way of being – and the Other, which is the proving substance. There is a moment in a proving when someone realizes, “Oh, I’m acting, I’m expressing in a way that my typical I-me-mine is not usually interested in.” The genus of the substance is then speaking through them. They begin to have a greater awareness, an experience of the Other. So, yes! Participating in proving may increase one’s mindful empathy. This is priceless.