Seeing What’s Behind Your Time Line

This blog is part of a series; its original title was “Heilkunst Basics: University, 4th Year (Seeing What’s Behind Your Timeline)”

Today, September the 11th, marks the anniversary of an event which continues to have a tremendous impact on our lives. There are so many dimensions to its meaning, and I will stick here to the direct medical impact, as I have seen through my patients, both at the time of the event itself, and in the years since.

At the time of the event itself, there was a tremendous amount of call-ins to the clinic from patients seeking all forms of emotional remedies, especially including shock and fear at first, and then shortly afterwards followed by the full spectrum of tonic (archetypal) emotional states. The range of acute anxiety remedies (including aconite, ignatia, and so on), and the primary tonic emotional archetypes represented by NSOL were dispensed frequently, and often in very high potencies due to the intensity of people’s experience at that time.

The individual components of NSOL are:

Natrum Muriaticumfor feelings of bereavement and loss, and ultimately for a challenge to someone’s core belief structure which questions whether people and the world in general can be trusted.

Staphysagria – for feelings of being victimized, or abused. Possibly for an anger without knowing exactly where or how to direct it.

Opium – for the root state of mind underneath many fears and anxieties. A kind of feeling “frozen in place”, like the dreams where someone is on a railway track, and cannot move a muscle.

Lachesis – for feelings of guilt, and a generally intense state of pent-up emotions looking for an outlet. Think of the image of a snake all charged up, and ready to strike out suddenly with its venomous tongue.

The NSOL combination is generally used quite a bit during a patient’s general Heilkunst treatment, and its individual components will be called for when they are emerging in a very distinct way on their own. NSOL, and its components, are very often used for treating specific shocks and traumas on a patient’s time line, as well as for dealing with the emotional reactions to situations occurring in the present.

The nature of the event of 9/11 certainly brought up many of these intense emotions, but it went much deeper than that. As is the case with anyone’s time line of shocks and traumas, the question of what is perceived as a trauma, and what it means to a given individual, will depend not just on the event itself, but on their underlying structure, in terms of their armoring structure combined with their belief structure. Two siblings, for example, who grow up in the same dysfunctional family dynamic can potentially have very different perceptions and reactions to it based on their underlying structures.

For many patients, this experience of 9/11 and its aftermath served as a catalyst to break through some of this deeper structure, and start to draw out some of their deeper chthonic issues, as well as higher ideogenic themes. The very nature of our world, as we perceive it, changed in many ways as a result. From a phenomenological point of view, when such an event of mass impact occurs, it represents a point in time where such a general shift in consciousness has, or is about to begin.

The Ideogenic Realm : Anacardium

Anacardium Orientale is the homepathic remedy made from the crushed seed of the marking nut. Like Cannabis, and Anhalonium, it is also themed around a split — in this case, it is the split emerging from the conflicted feeling of not knowing if one is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, in a moral sense. It is related to a core layer of armoring, where the childhood stages were formed in a context of overly strict controls by one or both parents, where the natural desires and decisions were not allowed free expression, and much or all of the child’s energy was tied up in external rules and authority structures.

 

 

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The often portrayed cartoon character image of an angel on one shoulder, and a devil on the other, each whispering their imperatives into the ears of the protagonist, is a clear representation of the feeling of being torn within this remedy state. Typical situations of fighting with oneself over issues of one’s will power, such as in desperately trying not to go off of one’s diet into temptation, illustrate this powerful self-conflict.

The presentation of this remedy state may often be in the form of an outward compliance with rules or authority, but with an incredible seething rage and hatred simmering invisibly on the inside. When this energy is not successfully contained, you’ll see outbursts of incredible profanity, and a speech which spews out aggressive or controlling forms of language.

Anacardium will feel very cut off from their feelings, and may have little or no access to their own inner moral compass as a reference point. A curious pattern that we’ve seen many times, especially when a younger child is in this state, is a strange behaviour of ‘running away’, at least in terms of staying always physically out of reach of the increasingly concerned parent. As a teenager, this is the “rebel without a cause” who breaks free from the perceived constraints of society, and avoids being subsumed by any structure of rule or order.

This poem by Rainer Maria Rilke evokes the feeling of this remedy:

Imaginary Career

At first a childhood, limitless and free

of any goals.  Ah sweet unconsciousness.

Then sudden terror, schoolrooms, slavery,

the plunge into temptation and deep loss.

Defiance.  The child bent becomes the bender,

inflicts on others what he once went through.

Loved, feared, rescuer, wrestler, victor,

he takes his vengeance, blow by blow.

And now in vast, cold, empty space, alone.

Yet hidden deep within the grown up heart,

a longing for the first world, the ancient one…

Then, from His place of ambush, God leapt out.

Heilkunst at the Movies : Risky Business

This weekend, I re-viewed a movie which I hadn’t seen in almost 30 years. Risky Business (1983) was an atypical teen romance movie from the 80s, which in a very exaggerated artistic fashion portrayed the heart of the conflict faced by modern teens. The steamy opening scene, which was recounted as a dream sequence, portrayed the main character discovering an attractive young woman taking a shower, who invited him to come scrub her back. As Joel (the main character portrayed by Tom Cruise) approached the shower, the visibility was more and more obscured by steam, until he found himself suddenly at his High School three hours late for his college entrance exams. This scene clearly set out the theme of the whole movie, which was his seeking a resolution to his inner conflict between his natural desires for pleasure, and his parents’ desire for him to focus on creating a good future for himself through excelling at school.

This theme pervades virtually all chronic medical issues, where the natural instincts have been suppressed and converted into disease forms at both the biological and psychological levels. There are a number of scenes in the movie which beautifully portray the main character’s inner conflict, and un-natural two-sidedness to his character, where he was a sweet and compliant son on one side, and the ruthless and amoral businessman on the other.

In terms of Heilkunst medicine, we can point out the remedy Anacardium, which directly addresses this form of split in the human being, where it is as if the forces of good and evil are battling it out within. There are some very extreme presentations of this state of mind, which can be witnessed at the local mental institution, but in its milder forms, we witness that just about every patient has to confront this false split within themselves sooner or later in their treatment.

For those who are interested in a much deeper historical exploration of the origin of this form of armoring, Dr. Wilhelm Reich outlined it in tremendous scientific detail, and is an area of study which is very rewarding to those who wish to engage with it. He does a tremendous job in linking the historical process of socio-economic changes in our family structures with both the biological and psychological processes of armoring which emerged as a result of an increasing shift into a patriarchal structure. The obvious link with the element of prostitution in the film becomes very clear from this perspective.

For the purposes of this blog post, and getting back to the artistic content of Risky Business, the film’s story and ending left an impression of a true reconciliation between the two sides of his conflict — rather than the false path of choosing one side or the other (being either the “good” boy, or the eternal rebel), the audience witnesses Joel breaking through his false outer form, and learning how to use the “dark side” to fuel his true creative power, rather than to struggle to hold it at bay.

There is a tremendously beautifully shot love-making scene towards the end of the movie, which takes place on a public train, and which ends with an outside shot of the train reaching the end of the line, accompanied by the sound of the train discharging as its lights go out for the night. This is a brilliant artistic expression of the complete function of the orgasm, which the main character has just experienced, and is the doorway through which his character reconciliation becomes possible.

There is a key prop throughout the film, which is a glass “egg” art object, prized by the Mother, and displayed on the family’s mantlepiece. There are probably multiple artistic interpretations of its fate towards the end of the film (where a tiny crack is discovered at its centre), but I would like to offer that it represents the crack in Joel’s armoring, which now allows him to flow more fully through his life, allowing both the elements of light and dark to pass through him freely. I’m reminded of the line in the song There is a Crack in Everything (by Leonard Cohen, as recently coverd by “The Once”), which says “There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.”

Peering beyond all the overtly sexual and amoral content of this film, which some may find difficult to consume, a very effective artistic message lies at the root, in terms of the path we all need to find within ourselves toward a similar reconciliation. Just as in the fact that many of the most powerful homeopathic remedies are derived from poisonous substances, it is also similarly true for powerful art often being derived from “toxic” or difficult subject matter. “Poisons make the best medicines”, and likewise, an ability to look past the surface of the film into its essence can provide a strong mirror and transformation of our own energy structure, as an adjunct to our Heilkunst treatment.