THE LAW OF SIMILARS IN ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY


THE LAW OF SIMILARS IN ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY. By offering the psychological remedy in the reflection of the inner difficulty by an image taken from outer nurture, actually an inner disorder is matched without corresponding similar outer counterpart. On the psychological level the similimum as a corrective force-principle is presented. A homoeopathic approach is found to be the language of creative nature, within as well as outside of us.


(AUTHORS NOTE: It is with great misgiving that I offer this paper which really the introduction tot he paper on Phosphorus that is to be presented the Bureau of Materia Medica. Briefly, this is how it came to be:I started to collect material for this Phosphorus paper, trying to follow the same line that was followed with the former ones (Lycopodium and Natrum mur), and was rather taken aback by what came out,so much taken aback that for the Phosphorus paper, indeed, I felt an explanation was needed of the method used. This method, I believe, is somewhat new; if it proves accurate and acceptable, it may open up entirely new avenues for the understanding of mental and material physical effects.

I want to clarify one other point. When I speak of :analytical psychology.” I do not mean psychoanalysis of the Freudian School.. Relatively less well know, another school of psychology has come into being during the last ten or ears,that of Jung in Switzerland. As I understand,he was first a teacher psychiatry in Zurich,and was ousted from the position because of the revolutionary aspect of his methods. Her was reinstated and is very highly respected. His work is accepted now.

The outlook he gives is truly startling, particularly when brought into relation with our homoeopathic experience).

In correct prescribing,the system totality, as we call it,of the patient must be matched against the symptom totality of the medicine. This totality should not be a multitude of irrelevant details but a certain basic pattern, significant of the total functional unit. Two or three symptoms may already represent a totality, if they are truly characteristic of the outstanding pattern of the drug pathogenesis.

This empirical observation points to the fact that in the multitude of observable details certain expressions, notably the mental and general symptoms, are outstandingly representative of the wholeness of a disturbed organism; they subordinate logically,almost automatically, the “particulars”, namely symptoms and changes referrable only to certain parts and organs. Attempts have been made since the beginning of Materia Medica study to arrange and classify the multitude of symptoms in accordance with the patterns suggested by these guiding symptoms.

However, we have to admit that our Materia Medica confronts us with a maze of recorded observations which still seems to defy and attempt towards such a logical arrangement.

The resulting difficulty is a double one. {practically, it renders the study of Materia Medica more difficult by requiring a great e dependence on merc memorizing theoretically, it leaves us at a loss for a rational explanation for the sometimes rather strange hodgepodge of clinical indications, peculiar general and mental symptoms and modalities in one and the same remedy.

Since the mental symptoms are of determining and overruling importance in establishing the pattern of the totality,t he conclusion is justified that they must also be a basic factor in its formation. As yet,though, we are unable to indicate why certain mental characteristics are associated with certain physical disorders. We are also at a loss to understand why certain substances again are related to certain mental characteristics, such as salt to seclusiveness Phosphor to sociability, Gold to depression and Sulfur to cheerfulness to mention a few examples.

What avenues can we find leading toward a solution of these problems?.

The homoeopathic approach is a phenomenological one. Hahnemann developed his theory not on the basis of speculation but as the result of pure observation. An analogy was observed between the symptoms caused by a drug upon a prover and the similar symptoms of spontaneous illness. Such an analogy was found to be not merc chance but the expression of a basic functional interrelation between drug pathogenesis and illness.

From this fact the conclusion offers itself that in general an analogy of similar appearance may express a basic relationship since a common factor must be the cause of the similar features, provided that this analogy covers a real totality and is not accepted on the basis of merc superficial resemblance.

The law of similars is the law of the basis relationship of analogous phenomena.

In our attempt at finding a logical correlation between a drug and its mental, general and particular symptoms we are justified,therefore, in looking for analogous phenomena. It is in analytical psychology that a similar phenomenon,that of matching outer phenomena with inner mental happenings, comes to out attention.

Analytical psychology has shown that paramount psychological happenings are summarized and expressed in picture language of symbols. Carl G.Jung has drawn attention to the fact that the interpretations which he gives to these symbols have been fairly invariable throughout the recorded history of man, appearing as the expression of identical meanings not only in our individual dreams but also in the various religions, mystery teachings, mythologies and fairytales as well as in alchemistic sources.

Thus the interpretation of those symbols appears safely removed from any arbitrary personal preference or prejudice; rather it strikes us as an expression of an actual analogy, or similarity, between the symbol as an object of outer physical nature and the mental content which it represents. A few examples will make this clearer: the color green symbolizes inner growth; red stands for emotion; the number four expresses the principle of Wholeness; the sea expresses the collective unconscious; salt the tendencies of the individualizing mind.

What are we really confronted with in a symbol of this kind? a mental impulse or,in our clinical language, a mental symptom, borrows the image of an object or activity of outer nature for its expression. With what right does it do so? Obviously, some objective factor must be common to the mental impulse as well as to the symbol material in order to justify the regular repetition of the pattern. This fact of the regularity of the associated patterns,regardless of epoch or individual, speaks against the possibility that we may deal with associative processes based on merely superficial resemblance.

The color green, for instance,may seem to appear as the symbol of growth because green is the color of plants and our mental process therefore commonly associates it with growth. Undoubtedly this is true, yet, on the other hand, not only do we associate green with growth but if actually is the color associated by nature with growth: namely, in the plant where growth appears in its purest and least impeded form., Whenever green is replaced by a different color it means that growth has come to a standstill, as witnessed in the termination of the plant in the varicolored blossom (seldom green) or in the reverse action of growth, namely wilting. when it is restricted in its abounding power by the appearance of a soul-life,the green of the plant changes to the red of the blood: the color of emotion.

Thus it appears that our subjective, associative processes follow what they intuitively grasp as already objectively associated by nature in a creative totality. Not every symbol association, of course, reveals its objective justification so obviously; our search for its background, on the other hand, may lead us to new in sights. Jung himself mentions the fact that the number four appears as the symbol of wholeness and points to what he ironically calls the strange polite of nature which have a chemical valence of four to the carbon atom, the most basic building stone of all organic matter.

Accepting the hypothesis of the objective association between symbol image and symbol meanings we still are unable to account for the fact of our knowledge of the connections expressed in this way. We find ourselves confronted by the phenomenon of an intuitive insight into connections and secrets, hidden as yet from our understanding and buried in the dark cauldron of creative natures and of our own unconscious (since this material is shared more or less alike by all men,Jung terms it the “collective” unconscious).

Returning now with our considerations to the problem of the interrelationship of symptoms and substances,m we note that the connecting threads between outer substances, mental symptoms and physio chemical organ-functioning lie within the same darkness of our unconscious: nothing but the fact of their objective association is know to us. An analogy thus is found between the way a mental impulse is related to a biological happening as affected by an outside drug, and the way the same mental impulse is related to an objects quality or force-process of outer nature, the image of which it borrows for a symbol expression.

In a summary we state:.

1. Mental impulses are objectively associated with physical changes and the dynamic energies of drugs.

2. Mental impulses are objectively associated,through symbolical meaning,to outer activities and objects. The conclusion appears logical and inescapable that the symbol meaning, as emerging from proper analytical interpretation, can serve as a bridge to link and clarify for our understanding the connection of outer substances to mental impulses and to the drug pathogenesis wherever the identical mental symptom is common to both symbol and drug pathogenesis. One would be justified in attempting to use the material furnished by the analytical symbol interpretation as a means to discover the hidden meanings of the multitude of apparently unrelated symptoms.

Some examples again may illustrate this step; We find the ability to produce light an outstanding and characteristic quality of Phosphorus. The symbol interpretation of light as a soul-entity indicates knowledge wisdom, consciousness, and control of the higher self but identifies these entities with breath and associates them with the physical liver.

On the hypothesis that personality control,respiratory functioning and liver function are somehow jointed in what out unconscious intuition has grasped as inner light, we investigate the available material dealing not only with the effects of Phosphor, but also with the physiology of light, ad we find not only our assumption apparently confirmed by this evidence,but also are able to arrange all the divergent physical and mental manifestations of the drug around a connecting thread in a logical fashion.

Another example: Natrum muriaticum is linked to the interpretation of the alchemistic symbol of salt by the symptom: desire to be along,. The alchemist “sal” expresses the separating quality of the individualized mind and the trend towards emancipation and mental independence. Out of this tendency towards inner individualization the whole of the pathogenesis of Nat mur. can be deduced.

With this new approach we remain true to the homoeopathic method of comparing analogous phenomena. Only its scope is extended to include the material furnished by the intuitive understanding of mans collective unconscious, a treasure accumulated over uncounted expenses of time. If this method can stand the test if systematic scrutiny it may prove of great value to the homoeopathic as well as to the psychoanalytical scientist, opening entirely new avenues of understanding for both of them. Body and mind are like two different,yet correlate stages upon which the same directing force, the individuality, enacts the same play, in, as it were,two different languages.

In concluding one cannot refrain from pondering over the more fact. The unconscious helps us by expressing inner problems and difficulties, and often the corrective answer also, in the intuitive language of the symbols.

By offering the psychological remedy in the reflection of the inner difficulty by an image taken from outer nurture, actually an inner disorder is matched without corresponding similar outer counterpart. On the psychological level the similimum as a corrective force-principle is presented. A homoeopathic approach is found to be the language of creative nature, within as well as outside of us.

We humbly marvel at this manifestations of all-pervading creative oneness.

CHAIRMAN HUBBARD: I feel we all-out to take a deep breath before we even begin in discuss this paper. You rarely at an scientific or other occasion. hear a human being have the courage to try to say the unswayable in words. Thank God, we have among us one who does try to, and I could just see you think, you people here,while he was talking, and I could feel myself try to think-which is very difficult.

In this obscure and difficult and yet extraordinarily illuminating paper I see the germ of a whole new materia medical written from a different angle by Dr.Whitmont in the next thirty years.

Now I have given you your moment to recover,m and I hope there will be some really constructive opinions about this paper.

DR.A.H.GRIMMER;This paper is indeed eliminating and it brings us to some of the philosophies that have been in the world from the most ancient times-0the part, yes, you may call it”science,” of symbols has been with humanity ancient times were proficient to a high degree in this language-the theologians, the great mystics,like Swedenborg,and others, who brought down the correspondences of the extent with the internal, outer man-man being a reflection of the inner. Dr.Whitmont has brought all these thoughts to us in a most beautiful and yet in a very scientific way.

It is very hard to comment on such a paper without mature thought,. I just want to tell him how much pleasure I will have in reviewing that carefully. Thank you for bringing it to us.

DR. MARION BELLE ROOD: I kept listening to the word “semantics.” I would like to know if it belongs.

DR.WHITMONT” “Semantics”-no.

DR.ROOD: This is not related to this new movement of semantics in general, this new psychology?.

DR.WHITMONT: I do not know what-.

CHAIRMAN HUBBARD: I was going to say, you had better tell us what “semantics” means.

DR.ROGER A. SCHMIDT: Semantics is the study of the cymbals of words,. Why do we pronounce a word like “good” or “love” and why does “love” represent what live is to us?> There is something in what word and the association of letters that makes it what it is,and it is exactly this which is brought out in semantics in different languages. All the words have come from roots which are shared in the various languages and how they have been diverted from one to the other is also in the objective study, semantics,so i think there is something in semantics as far as the analogy goes.

DR.ROYAL E,.S.HAYES: I thoroughly approve of Dr.Whitmonts paper. If I had to discuss it. I would have to study it overnight, I think,but it seems to me the basic fact is that everything is created in the same pattern and all these objects are in the pattern only undeveloped, more or less. the more they are developed,the more perfect they become and the greater they become.

I have been interested in reading some of Swedenborgs theology recently and I always had quite a respect for it, but I have more respect for it in one way now that I have read a little of it,and less in another, because I do not believe that he enters in to another realm to discover what he has,but it is simply analogy and that is all,and I am pretty sure the one other thing that made me believe that, too, and proved that to me,is that he claimed to have conversed with the spirits and found out about the causes and influences of planets. Well, he just imperfectly represents what that knowledge is and demonstrates some of the knowledge known thousands years before he ever lived.

It is too deep a subject to discuss offhand.

DR.EDWARD WHITMONT (closing discussion): Homoeopathy has been very much maligned for supposedly teaching the law of signatures out again., It is shown, in other words,by thee latest results of psychiatry and brings the signets out again. It is shown, in other words, by these latest results of psychiatric research, that the outward manifestational, the appearance, actually express something of the inner meaning. that is what we were maligned for when we were supposed to have believed it and, of course,m it is another application of the law of similars. However, we must always remember to look for the totality,and not to accept superficial evidence like i.e., yellow has something to do with the liver. there is more to it than that. We must take the totality of appearance and expression and compare it to the totality if what it is matched with.

As to semantics, I would say that the Jung school of psychiatry is an actually accepted and established school of psychiatry. One considers now Freud and Jung at about the same level, except that Jung is not as popular yet because for many minds he,too, is too high and too hard yet to grasp, but this interpretation of the meaning of words, of course, would fall into the very same field, and everything that is truly established in the long run of human thought is expressing that same principle.

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.