This book review is reprinted with the permission of the American Institute of Homeopathy
925 E. 17th Avenue
Denver, CO 80218
Complete Repertory: The Mind
By Roger van Zandvoort
Institute for Research in Homeopathic Information and Symptomatology
Delftsekade 23, 2266 AJ Leidshendam, The Netherlands. 1994
449 pages. $119.00 (thumb indexed), $99.00 (without thumb indexes)
Reviewed by George Guess, MD, DHt
Surely the face of homeopathy is changing noticeably. As more and more highly skilled, knowledgeable homeopaths present new ideas in the numerous conferences and seminars now held around the world, we note a marked trend to greater reliance on mental-emotional symptomatology. Gradually our comprehension and understanding of mental-emotional symptomatology is being refined and broadened. Materia medica is penetrating to ever greater depths. It is incumbent on us, as we advance in knowledge, to improve the "technology" of our science-art. Surely our most useful technological tool is the repertory, whether computerized or printed.
Over the years as I have placed increasing reliance on the computer repertory program "MacRepertory," I have gravitated to the now exclusive use of the Complete Repertory in preference to that of Kent, also available in "MacRepertory." I found the Complete Repertory to be so thorough and so much more, well, "complete" than Kent's as to render the latter essentially outmoded-yesterday's technology. The Complete is also far more extensive and accurate than the Synthetic Repertory.
Roger van Zandvoort has labored admirably over the years, continually expanding our repertory. Make no mistake, the repertory-our repertory has never been, can not be the work of one man however great his individual contribution. Each successive repertory has borrowed from the labors of predecessors. What separates one repertory from another is the breadth and carefulness of the schol arship that goes into its creation. It's been known for some time that Kent's Repertory has suffered from numerous mistakes, omissions, and typographical errors. Nonetheless, its utility and style and accuracy have remained highly prized and endearing to the profession.
Roger van Zandvoort first in the computerized version of the Complete Repertory and now in the printed form has corrected these many errors and omissions. While carefully maintaining, with but some logical exceptions, the structure of Kent's Repertory, he has made the following changes and additions: re-alphabetization of the rubrics, clarification of many subrubrics, reindentation of subrubrics, modernization of terms, introduction of more consistent rules for remedy abbreviations, insertion of new rubrics, expansion of the number of remedies in individual rubrics and in the repertory as a whole. All the while he has maintained a scrupulous level of scholarship, as reflected in the numbered superscripts appended to each remedy addition which indicate the original contributor, and in parenthetical references indicating the source of various rubrics.
Some rubrics have been reorganized to follow a more logical sequence. For example, the DREAMS rubric has been relocated to the MIND section; SPEECH and TALK rubrics have been relocated such that emotionally connected speech symptoms appear in the TALK rubric in the MIND section while symptoms pertaining to the motor control of speech appear in a new section entitled SPEECH & VOICE; anxiety somatized to a certain part of the body is found in the relevant subrubric in the ANXIETY rubric of the MIND section; delusions with the same meaning are transferred to one sensible unifying rubric; etc.
All remedy additions were extensively researched with special attention paid to the identification of the oldest reference source and the overall quality of the information provided by an author. In all, some 40 repertories and materia medica were consulted.
Numerous cross-references are provided which help in the selection of the most appropriate rubric for a particular symptom. I find these very valuable. Several synonyms are provided also, again facilitating the identification of the pertinent rubric. Remedy grading is based upon very clear and specific guide-lines published in the preface.
The Complete Repertory is far more exhaustive in its incorporation of varied texts and other sources than is Kent's. A simple comparison of number of pages and number of remedies provides a clear illustration: the MIND section of Kent's Repertory contains 95 pages; the same section in the Complete contains 377 pages. Kent's Repertory covers about 654 remedies, the Complete 893. Furthermore, 142 authors are cited in the Complete Repertory.
One can compare rubrics as well-in the SELFISHNESS rubric there are 10 remedies in Kent, 35 in the Complete. Just of a few of the new rubrics not currently found in Kent are: MUSIC aggravates/ ameliorates; LEARNING poorly; LIAR; etc.-the list is long.
Complete Repertory: the Mind is the first volume of what I understand is to be a three volume set. The book is very sturdily bound, attractively printed on high-grade paper, and thumb indexed. When opened to any page, the book lies flat. The print font is of a good size and very easy on the eyes. There is an extensive bibliography at the end.
Despite the profound utility of computer repertory programs, I still have a fondness for the printed page, often preferring to thumb through various rubrics in the printed repertory than to select them on my computer screen. I find the print easier to gaze upon, and the information seems to better penetrate my brain. Consequently, I am very pleased to now possess this book version of the Complete Repertory. I cannot recommend it highly enough. And I very much look forward to the additional volumes to complete the set. My greater hope for the future of this publication, though, realizing the greater facility of a single book complete repertory, is that volumes one and two will one day be combined into one book. I wish to extend my gratitude and appreciation to Roger van Zandvoort for the incredible amount of painstaking labor he has done to create this valuable work.
JAIH Winter 1994-95, Vol. 87, No. 4