PHOSPHOR. Emotionally, the loss of inhibitions makes him easily excited, getting beside himself with anger, vehement, perspiring from excitement (as does the drinker and the anesthetized patient), fearful, cowardly, sad, hysterical, alternatingly laughing and crying, or just tearful and gloomy, weary of life, and misanthropic.

Phosphor, in its active yellow form, exhibits a phenomenon which unique among the non-radioactive substances. It p reduces light without heat independently of any exogenous irradiation. This luminescence is not incidental to a disintegration of the particles of matter but to the synthesis of a more complex compound, the oxide. Whereas the disintegration-products of radioactivity are rather inimical to vital functioning, the oxidation products of Phosphor are more closely related to living activities and actively participate in metabolism and cell structure. Unlike radioactivity, the Phosphor luminescence appears positively integrated into the cycles of life- functioning.

The oxidation of Phosphor is furthermore characterized by its gradual and slow pace. Rapid oxidation leads to loss of luminescence by rapid consumption in burning, while heat without oxygen abolishes the luminescence by converting the yellow phosphorus into the red, inactive modification. Thus, even in the most elementary form, the light activity is distinctly defined as different from heat processes.

Within the living organism the luminescence of ingested material can still be demonstrated, even after days, by the Mitscherlich process as used in forensic medicine. In spite of being exposed to the tremendous oxidizing power of the blood, Phosphor thus maintains its own independent autonomous pace and rhythm within the organism1. We are justified in assuming the what is so readily demonstrated in the gross, material process would not necessarily be abolished in the finer state of colloidal dispersion w here, as yet, we lack the proper means for direct identification. Moreover, that which is a physical phenomenon in the crude substance becomes a dynamic tendency in the potentized intramolecular functioning, the probable basis for all coordinated life-functioning.

Herewith is set forth a preliminary hypothesis of an autonomous “inner light” regulation, or metabolism, analogous to the autonomous inner heat regulation. Just as the autonomous heat regulation depends upon the variations of outer warmth in it response, so may the regulation of our “inner light” depend upon the interplay with outer light, yet in its own sphere be self- regulation. +The postulate of a light “metabolism” where no light at all can be seen directly within the body may at first appear strange. Yet even the is difficulty may resolve itself in view of recent discoveries concerning the regulation of physical functions by radiation-like phenomena arising within the organism. It may only be a limitation of our present techniques which prevents us from direct “visualization” of such radiant microphenomena.- E.W.

In order to test the validity of our hypothesis our first step will be survey of what is known about the function of light in relation to our psychosomatic unit.

Starting our investigation with the evaluation of the psychological aspect, as we at once note the interesting fact that the word, “Phosphor,” translated from the Greek, means “carrier,” or “conveyer of light.” The identical meaning is encountered in the Latin word, “Lucifer.” Phosphor-Lucifer is the angle who rebelled against the Godhead and conveyed the light of reasoning to men so that they “shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:5).

Carl G. Jung points out that allegoric and picturesque tales of biblical, mythological and gnostic or alchemistic intuition convey actual and real insight of the soul into unconscious creative realms which are presented to our consciousness in the form of symbol-images. The treasure of wisdom from this material far transcends what slow evidence our gradual conscious research has been able to gather. None of it need be accepted at face value, but it may indicate new directions for research which will enrich our knowledge providing we can find confirmatory evidence.

According to the psychoanalytical experience of Jung, light, as a symbol or image of a transcendental force-principle, represents the “inner spiritual man,”2 as well as the qualities of consciousness, wisdom and intellect.3 4 This meaning becomes clearer when contrasted with the symbol of darkness which stands for the realm of the unconscious psyche.5 Of particular interest to us is the concept of the “dark light,” which appears in an alchemistic sources and would be analogous to our postulated invisible, internal light activity of Phosphor.

In this alchemistic “dark light” we can discover a similarity to the light that “shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (St. John 1:5). As a matter of fact, in this alchemistic source the “dark light,” as inner light, is identified with the “monogenes” which means the “only begotten one,”6 the “Son of Man,” the “Light of the World.”

Thus the inner light, as a conceptual mental entity in the image of LUcifer, the materialistic intellect,7 arouses men from a state of childlike, paradisical, unconscious innocence and exalts itself in the “Son of Man” to represent the highest and sublimest force-principle of universal and personal consciousness.

Upon further scrutiny of the symbol material we encounter the principle of inner light as “logos” or “nous” (insight) identified with “pneuma, “8 meaning soul, but also breath. Thus Adam, of whom the book of Genesis records that “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7), has in diagnosis the given name of “light”9 which is to indicate his inner spiritual entity.10 Lucifer, the representative of the intellect, is depicted as an air spirit.

11 Another representation of the light-carrier is Prometheus who, according to the Greek legend, seized the fire form the heavens for man and was bound by Zeus to Mt. Caucasus to have a vulture daily consume his liver. Prometheus, whose name literally translated means “for thinker.” is also called the “light man” or “inner man”12 in the diagnosis. The vulture who devours his physical liver again symbolizes thought and intellectualism.13.

In the Paracelsian and alchemistic language the terms Phosphor and Sulfur indicate the tendencies which are sublimating, dissolving and etherizing as contrasted to the concentrating, crystallising tendencies expressed by Sal. Also here. Phosphor is associated with light, Sulfur being linked with heat. Phosphor, Sal and the balancing Mercur are to be found as dynamic principles everywhere in nature, according to the alchemistic concept. In the plant, for instance, Sal represents the root, Phosphor the blossom. On the human level the Sal force would mold an introverted character, Phosphor an extroverted one.

Jung also refers to the blossom as the symbol of the spiritual self,14 thus confirming the uniformity, throughout, of the meaning of the Phosphor-light symbol as the representation of spiritual consciousness.

To summarize, we may state that the force-principle, called Phosphor, has to do with inner spiritual light, insight, intellect and ego-0control,.. AS flower, if reflects the spirit of the spheres,m refining and etherizing. As “pneuma,” it expresses itself in breath or respiration (Homer still has his heroes think in their diaphragm) and, as vulture, it destroys the liver. The main directions of the clinical Phosphor effects already stand out.

If this all appears utterly fantastic, we must remember that Jungs analytical methods have stood the acid test of clinical confirmation and are already now accepted as a sound scientific approach. If we can draw enlightenment of root problems from the same source, if we can confirm our hypothesis with the available clinical and experimental evidence an d succeed in explaining hitherto unexplainable facts, the postulates of unbiased and exact clinical investigation are satisfied.

We turn now to the biologic effects of light.

Plants kept in complete darkness do not grow. A small, insufficient amount of light produces stooping at the expense of stamina and color (Compare mushroom and fungus growth). Conversely, mountain and desert plants, exposed to a super abundance of light, develop extremely short but sturdy stems (even when sheltered from wind) with particularly bright, beautifully colored blossoms.

In the animal organism; strongly growing, embryonal organs have an increased radiosensitivity.15 Purely vegetative growth is sensitive to over-radiation.

On the human organism the effect of light is described as generally vitalizing and strengthening, stimulating perception and the ability to think.16 Finsen especially stresses the fact that the effect is not merely psychological but takes place on the biochemical level.16 So profound and basic is this awakening effect that it abolishes the soporific, depressing, central nervous effect of anesthetics and intoxicants; in order to induce anesthesia in high altitude, a greater concentration of anesthetic is required, not only in the alveolar air (which could be explained as due to the lessened air pressure), but in the bloodstream itself.

A greater awareness of the nerve centers has to be overcome. Similarly, a higher concentration of alcohol is required in the bloodstream to cause intoxication.17 A basic antagonism is indicated here between light and the consciousness- depressing effect of anesthetics and alcohol; this antagonism appears not limited to the functional sphere only, but effects also the organic physiologic level. The fact that light stabilizes an overexcited nervous system points in the same directed (excitation is similar to the primary effect of alcohol and anesthetics). The sympathicus tonus is reduced and the blood pressure decreased.18 Thyroid disturbances are favorably affected.19.

An analogy to the increase of stamina and firmness in plants can be found in the skeletal effects of light.

It prevents and cures rickets and promotes the healing of bone fractures, as well as of wounds in general. In Swiss experiments a marked statistical difference is shown between patients in well-lighted rooms and those in darker rooms in the time required for the union of bone fractures. 20.

Light increases the blood calcium level,21 stimulates motor activity and circulation,22 favorably affects the coronaries,18 and raises the minute volume of the heart.23 The erythrocyte count is increased.

Finally, there is a definite effect upon the respiratory s system: Light increases the ventilation of the lungs and the depth of breathing.25 Pulmonary tuberculosis is favorably affected by small amounts, yet extremely sensitive to strong light radiation, while the nonpulmonary Tb. responds favorably to any degree of radiation.26 (here we already may note the close similarity to the sensitivity to Phosphor dosage). Trivial respiratory infections vanish rapidly in the intense radiation of high altitudes.27.

There is a general anti-infections effect of light which is probably due to increased resistance as well as to anti-bacterial action. Over-radiation on the other hand promotes local as well as general inflammatory response with increased protein break down and febrile reaction.

Summarizing, we have:.

1. A mental direction of the light effects, in enhancing and stabilizing the functions of consciousness and in its antagonism to the action of anesthetics.

2. A general effect, regulating growth and enhancing general vitality and resistance, as well as the firmness of the physical structure.

These two, the mental and general, effects provide the key to the whole pathology, as we shall see, and determine the effects upon particular organs, namely the respiratory, circulatory and locomotor system.

So far, this exposition of the light physiology seems already to agree surprisingly well with the main directions suggested by the symbolical meaning of light at “nous,” insight, and “pneuma,” breath.

How does all this relate to the more detailed symptomatology of Phosphorus?.

According to our hypothesis a normal state of Phosphorus functioning would consist in the undisturbed action of the inner light. Since a complete paralysis of this function, absolute darkness as it were, probably would be incompatible with life, we might liken the clinical Phosphor disturbance to a state of inner twilight. How would such a twilight state be expected to express itself?.

In our analysis, we may well enough follow the classification arrived at in the summary of the light pathology:.

1. Effect upon the consciousness as opposed to the effects of anesthetics and intoxicants.

The gradual ascendance of conscious and cerebral control represents a relatively recent achievement of the gradual evolution of man. If this full light of consciousness is weakened, impulses will come to the fore which are normally relegated to the dark pool of the unconscious. A relapse occurs into an earlier, more instinctive, or comparatively infantile state. Atavistic reactions like clairvoyance, ++Symptoms directly quoted from the Homoeopathic Materia Medica are in italics-E.W. clairaudience or ecstasy may occur, apparitions may be seen, unaccounted for and consequently disturbing and threatening to the patient (fanciful and imaginary notions, faces grinning out of every corner, as if something would creep out of every corner, etc.).

When the borderline between the accustomed daily reality and the assumed unreality of the unconscious weakens, when the unconscious invades the upper stratum of conscious reality, the response is always terror and fear (Jung). Phosphor had fear of being alone, since the presence of people helps to assure the p physical reality against the invasion from the darker strata, fear that something may happen, of death, fear of the darkness, of evening, night and, characteristically enough, of the twilight which is the outward projection of the inner psychological state and consequently aggravates the total psychosomatic state. There is also a striking of these symptoms to the infantile fear pattern.

However, the classical picture of what happens when the inner light acting in our moral consciousness is dimmed is provided experimentally by the observation of drunkenness and anesthesia. Here the conscious and cerebral control is removed and the individual allows himself to revert to a quasi-infantile state in which the instincts hold free sway. Light was found to be directly antagonistic to the action of alcohol and anesthetics.

Moreover, the symptoms and organic changes caused by the aliphatic lipoid soluble anesthetics (alcohol, ether and chloroform) which resemble one another in their main actions,28 when considered together, show a most striking similarity to the Phosphor pathogenesis, thus suggesting the actual relevance of this material for our purpose (for brevity alcohol, ether and chloroform, when not especially differentiated, will be referred to simply as anesthetics).

The effects of intoxication, which resembles also the beginning of anesthesia, is described as follows:29.

It depresses the central nervous system, especially the higher functions. It simulates stimulation, chiefly by lowering the normal restraining functions…resulting in euphoria, comfort and enjoyment, to elation and vivacity; then downward through loquacity, garrulity, emotionalism, either affectionate or quarrelsome or both, to violence, then hebetude, stupor and finally coma.

This pattern is most closely duplicated in the Phosphor pathogenesis. The provings show a polarity of excitability and ecstasy with lowered inhibitions followed by indifference, stupor and exhaustion. The Phosphor patient resembles the devote of Bacchus in being pleasant, sympathetic, of sanguine temperament, changeable disposition or quarrelsome and easily angered, craving company, loquacious, amative, easily enthused but unreliable, without perseverance, impressionable and very susceptible to external influences with quick perception, increased flow of thoughts which rush through his mind (stimulative phase), subject to states of mania of grandeur yet quickly given to exhaustion and fatigue (depressive phase), unable to stand mental tax, unable to think and worse from mental exertion, becoming hyposensitive, apathetic and indifferent with failing memory and concentration, aversion to work ending in stupor and coma.

Emotionally, the loss of inhibitions makes him easily excited, getting beside himself with anger, vehement, perspiring from excitement (as does the drinker and the anesthetized patient), fearful, cowardly, sad, hysterical, alternatingly laughing and crying, or just tearful and gloomy, weary of life, and misanthropic.

An extreme loss of moral inhibitions results in the ascendance of the most animalistic impulses: lasciviousness, uncovers h is person, seeks to gratify his sex instincts no matter on whom, erotic mania, sex excitement and shamelessness.

Obviously, the similarity between the Phosphor picture and anesthesia (the somatic sphere of which will be discussed late) holds therapeutic implications. Mania-a-potu, delirium, tremens, ill effects of there and chloroform are clinical Phosphor indications.

2. Effect on growth-regulation and general vitality and resistance.

The lack of stamina within the mental personality is paralleled by a loss of stamina in the physical sphere. We may compare this with the analogous disturbances of plants with insufficient light exposure. Such plants show overgrowth, with long, stooping, pale, weakly stems, or the abundant over- production of soft material as found in mushrooms and fungi. Extremest light privation, of course, leads to stunted growth.

The Materia medica of Phosphor lists: Feeble constitutions, born sick, grown up slender, young people who grow too rapidly, stooping, bad posture, stunted growth; chlorotic girls who grow too rapidly and have suddenly taken on weakness, pallor and green sickness (Kent). The failure to form chlorophyll in the pale, lightless plants or mushrooms has its counter part in the deficient formation of hemoglobin; moreover we remember that light increases the red cell count. Anemia thus becomes an obvious finding in a state of disturbed light-functioning.

In analogy to the lack of the generally vitalizing effect of light, the inner twilight state of Phosphor has the typical adynamia; mentally and physically exhausted, always tired, need of rest; easily weakened by loss of vital fluids; empty, all gone sensation in chest (the chest, the seat of the “pneuma,” being particularly under the light-Phosphor influence), lack of vital heat. The exhaustion which follows the mental overexcitation (see above) is augmented by this constitutional physical lack of resilience. Emaciation and marasmus are the final states of the extreme mental and physical exhaustion.

Progressive adynamia is commonly associated with failure of the adrenal glands, and, actually, Phosphor poisoning depresses the adrenals.30 In turn we are led to assume a close association of the adrenals to our postulated inner light-metabolism by the fact that they regulate the formation of melanin, the dark pigment in skin, hair, retina, etc., which is the organisms response to light.

The Phosphor type with its lessened light activity and reduced adrenal functioning is more often found to be blond, soft-haired (also, the hair growth, as such, is under adrenal control) and light-complexioned. The adrenal disturbance also explains the circulatory and cardiac weakness with lowered sympathicus tonus (adrenalin is the sympathicus hormone), as well as the peculiar modality of the craving for salt (Addisons disease has sometimes been favorably affected by massive salt doses).

While younger people furnish the analogy to the over-grown stooping plant, the fungus-or mushroom-like tendency of abounding growth is found where a longitudinal expansion no longer is possible. Since the normal channel of growth is blocked, the dammed up tendency expresses itself in tumor growth. It is not chance that tumor cells resemble embryonal cells and that both have an increased radiosensitivity15 as the expression of a more precarious light balance. The pathogenesis of Phosphor includes cancer and fibroids.

The personality described so far, devoid of mental firmness as well as of vital stamina, is bound to be a drifting straw, an almost helpless victim of outer influences and inner emotions, The provings account for this by eliciting oversensitivity to almost any outer and inner factor (viz., light, noise, odors, touch, electricity, thunderstorms, changing weather, dampness, etc.; mind too impressionable, excitable, etc.).

Finding no source of strength within himself, he must look for support from without thus always depending and leaning upon others: desire for company, fear of being alone, desire for and better from rubbing, massaging and mesmerisation.

When the symptoms are confined only to potential tendencies, rather than the extremer manifestations which we described, the the average well-known Phosphor type results:.

A sociable; sympathetic, pleasant person of rather sanguine temperament, very adaptable, enthusiastic but unreliable, with but little perseverance ad strength of character, drifting with the current; probably quite artistic, given to day dreaming and romance, sensitive and easily influenced; he looks tall, slender, narrow chested with fair, transparent skin, soft hair and delicate eyelashes, is easily exhausted and has but little physical strength and staying power.

All in all he is a truly flower-or butterfly-like being, thriving in the sunshine of favorable circumstances but wilting in the darkness and coldness of adversity.

If we contrast this Phosphor blossom with the slow, steady, persevering, introverted Natrum mur. type which typifies the alchemistic “sal,” or root principle, we have an impressive example of the deep d intuitive insight into the secret workings of nature as expressed in this symbol terminology.

The remaining “particulars,” symptoms referred to specific organs, untold themselves out of the same two main directions of light:.

A – The mental effect upon consciousness as opposed by anesthetics leads on the action upon the.

1. Nervous and muscular systems and lipoid metabolism.

2. Digestive system.

3. Circulation and respiration.

4. Oxidation mechanism.

B – The general effect upon growth, general resistance and stamina explains the action of Phosphor upon the skeleton and the calcium metabolism.

A – The close similarity between the mental symptoms of Phosphorus and the lipoid-soluble anesthetics, which, as we shall see, is paralleled by almost identical physical effects, signifies a fundamental basic correlation between Phosphor and the anesthetics. We are entitles to the conclusion that those physical symptoms which are common to both of them, express the organic changes which result from a reduced state of consciousness and ego-control, the weakened inner “light man.”.

1. Anesthetics paralyze the central nervous system by virtue of their lipoid affinity and solubility. Apparently, as one result of this selective lipoid toxicity, lipoid and fat infiltration occurs in various organs (live, heart, muscle, etc.).

The lipoid affinity of Phosphor is well enough known: Phosphor occurs in the serum almost exclusively in the form of phosphor lipids,31 which are considered important structural as well as functional elements of the nervous system. Subsequent to the loss of control of the higher centers, as described, organic nervous disorders will occur as the result of the disturbance of the lipoid metabolism. The modality, worse from rising, finds its explanation in the fact that in the upright (awake) position the conscious cerebral control is supposed to prevail, while the horizontal position corresponds to the function of lower centers during sleep as well as to the animalic (with horizontal spine), instinctive level. The many organic nervous symptoms need not be enumerated here in detail.

Edward C. Whitmont
Edward Whitmont graduated from the Vienna University Medical School in 1936 and had early training in Adlerian psychology. He studied Rudulf Steiner's work with Karl Konig, later founder of the Camphill Movement. He researched naturopathy, nutrition, yoga and astrology. Whitmont studied Homeopathy with Elizabeth Wright Hubbard. His interest in Analytical Psychology led to his meeting with Carl G. Jung and training in Jungian therapy. He was in private practice of Analytical Psychology in New York and taught at the C. G. Jung Training Center, of which he is was a founding member and chairman. E. C. Whitmont died in September, 1998.