Reprinted courtesy: The Victorian College of Classical Homeopathy
Soul & Survival by Grant Bentley and Louise Barton was written for patients – for the people who shared their faces and their life stories and wanted to know how so much could be learned from their facial structure. Providing an in-depth look at how energy affects all of us, by describing a miasm as an energetic survival instinct rather than a disease, Soul & Survival is also for practitioners.
Students and practitioners are taught that a miasm is a negative force within the patient. When we are out of balance this internal energetic survival instinct can bring about a host of negative signs and symptoms. And yet this same survival instinct is trying to protect and ensure our safety and longevity. The survival instinct has many roles including our immune response, nervous response, emotional response and provision of skills to deal with stress or crisis times.
The following is a guide to the clinical significance of using facial structure to determine the pattern of our internal energetic survival instinct. Energy is the realm of homoeopathy. The homœopath uses the energy of substances to improve the energy of the patient. This energy is not measurable and remains unseen and yet when applied according to the law of similars, its benefit is evident to the observant practitioner and felt as a health advance in the previously sick patient.
Soul & Survival describes energy patterns by highlighting their directional force, their impact on inherited memories, through specific behaviours under stress and by the natural skills belonging to each colour group’s survival instinct.
Individuals and groups
The survival story in chapter one shows the importance of group survival to the survival of the individual. Human beings are physically a precarious species but have a brain and abilities given by a conscious mind to adapt to different environments, as well as to recognize and utilize individual skills. These skills help to ensure the survival of the group. Human beings exist to help each other and the presence and input of others ensures that each of us can survive. This delicate balance between individuals and the group has been in existence since human beings first walked the planet and the same rules apply today as they did during prehistoric times. We need each other and we must show each other how much we are needed. All of us require an edge so we can be seen by others as worthwhile, and this edge becomes our bargaining tool, a behaviour or skill or combination of both, that will endear us to those around.
A healthy person knows who they are; they feel confident in their own abilities and yet know their own limits. They appreciate others’ skills without being threatened by them. But at some point everyone will feel threatened by others. This is the point that we all need to be aware of – this point will come about because of a change in energy.
Being unsure prior to entering a new group of people, being judged by others in a performance situation, being left out and wanting to belong are all natural states and part of the human condition.
Others and us
The politics of survival is a complicated business and yet an undeniable reality. We need others and yet other people are also our greatest threat. If we find ourselves out of favour with our group they can wield more power than we would wish in regard to our personal fate. Whether in the family, the local community, school or in the workplace we are all familiar with the politics of getting along. Different opinions, different strengths of character all play a critical role in our own personal happiness and survival.
If a situation occurs where we are out of favour with our group most of us will suffer greatly. Nature has instilled this fear in us to ensure we strive for acceptance by the group. Without the group, nature knows our individual days could be numbered. The same fears arise within us even in contemporary times and clinically this is seen frequently. “I don’t know why I worry about what others think of me”, “I don’t know why I got sick after my friends left me”, “I don’t know why my husband has become a different person since he can’t find a job”. These are all natural outcomes to not being accepted and rewarded by our group.
Understanding individual and group behaviour is vital for clinical interpretation. If a patient is experiencing any of the following feelings it is normal and part of the human condition when the external situation calls for such a response. When those feelings are out of proportion to the external environment or they don’t switch off after the stress moment is past, then they become a symptom to treat.
- Feeling anxious prior to a job interview, a live performance or meeting a new person
- Feeling sad and hurt when the group doesn’t invite them to participate
- Being concerned about what others think of them
- Feeling depressed and not wanted when unemployed
- Concern over personal skill levels
- Concern when others don’t acknowledge their contribution
- Being frustrated when others don’t hear them
- Needing group approval in regard to culture, manners, dress or habits
- A person superior or dominant to us getting their way in opposition to our way, causing stress and upset
The homœopath must know what is normal and what is out of balance in accordance with the external environment. Many people live in ongoing stress and although the right remedy can alleviate their suffering it will not necessarily change their environment. After the remedy the patient may or may not choose to remove themselves from this environment. Sometimes when they are personally less stressed, another person close to them who has been their stressor may become less stressed themselves, but this is not always the case. A remedy is still effective if it helps the patient – even if it doesn’t change the situation around them. Sometimes after the right remedy, a miracle will occur in the patient’s life but this is not always the case and shouldn’t be used as the measure of success in all cases.
The soul, the survival instinct
The practitioner must understand the two distinctive parts of who we are. Hahnemann was very clear and understood this difference.
- Aphorism 9
In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force (autocracy), the dynamis that animates the material body (organism), rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence.
The indwelling reason gifted mind can employ our body for the higher purpose of our existence. Our higher purpose is always associated with our soul desires, not those of a material nature but an energy that belongs to us and is ever more with us. The spiritual vital force is another side of us. By referring to the vital force as both a “dynamis” and as “spiritual” Hahnemann is defining the vital force as an energetic part of us.
Based on Hahnemann’s observation and our own clinical and life observation, we can see that we have two parts to our nature – both energetic and yet with different purposes. The use of the word ‘spiritual’ in aphorism 9 is confusing because in modern times ‘spiritual’ and ‘soul’ are often seen as one and the same thing. However it is clear that Hahnemann saw the vital force and the reason gifted mind as separate entities and Soul & Survival follows this classification while using different terminology.
The soul is an energetic component of us not bound to material form. Both conscious and self aware, it is the creative part of us and can think and behave outside the stress of the moment. Our soul is immortal and is the part of us that reincarnates in cultures of that belief.
The survival instinct is also energetic but an automatic unintelligent part of us. Responsible for our body functioning, our sensations, our emotions and nervous system it is our early warning system and operates directly in regard to the danger it perceives itself to be in. Disease will result when the survival instinct is switched on indefinitely even after the external danger is no longer there.
Homœopathic remedies treat the survival instinct, not the soul. The soul becomes imprisoned by a continually switched on survival instinct. After the right remedy is given, the survival instinct will calm down allowing the patient to pursue soul actions. Now able to think outside themselves they show true compassion for others and an understanding of everyone’s, needs not just their own. Once the soul is free to rule the patient, that person makes sound judgments, moves forward in their life and learns from their past mistakes.
The soul works with the free will of the person. Once the patient is feeling calm and energized they will often pursue creative or healthy activities that enrich them. It is common for people to do simple things such as choose to eat better or join a gym, or try with a relationship they had deemed to be over, once the right remedy is given. Their survival instinct has been switched off red alert, allowing them to become the person they want to be.