This book review is reprinted with permission from Homeopathic Links.
Marina van Haalen
9737 SJ Groningen
Tel: +31(0)50-541 66 30 9-12h
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Complete and Synthesis
A comparison between the mind sections of two new repertories
Kees Dam, The Netherlands
Synthesis and the Complete Repertory are the results of two major ongoing projects to compile one big repertory that includes all reliable symptoms available in the hom她pathic literature. Synthesis was published by Frederik Schroyens in 1993. The Mind section of the Synthesis is a chapter of 211 pages. The Mind of Complete is a separate volume of only the Mind section of Roger van Zandvoort`s Complete repertory, and counts 377 pages (on a smaller text space then Synthesis) and was published in 1994. In the near future also the other chapters of the Complete Repertory will become available in print. For comparison, Kent's Repertory counts 95 pages in the Mind section. Both Synthesis and the Complete Repertory are available for the computer. Kees Dam investigated both volumes and made a comparison.
We will compare the first page of Complete with the first page of Synthesis and will screen them on the criteria mentioned in the article "The Mind of the Repertory".
Both start with the "empty" rubric Abandoned and both refer to Forsaken. In the Complete there are a lot of references like this referring to remedy-rubrics; f.e. after Abandoned in Complete you will find the references Abashed ' Discouraged and Abhorrence ' Aversion which you do not find in Synthesis. These reference-words are used in the old literature of MM or Repertories and are not available as a rubric-entry in this Repertory but refer to an appropriate remedy-rubric. You can discuss whether it would be more convenient to have a separate list of those references at the end of the repertory or to have them alphabetically inserted in the repertory itself (like Kent did too).
Then we see a new rubric in C. which is not in S: Ability, increased: anh. with as source Stephenson's Hahnemannian provings. Now we have to ask ourselves:
1) Is this rubric characteristic enough for the remedy to justify an addition as a single symptom (rubric with only one remedy)?
2) Are there already rubrics similar to this one in which the remedy is mentioned?
3) If an addition is justified, is this the right location/entry?
If we go to the source we see under Lophophora Williamsii (Anhalonium) more than 140 mental symptoms starting with ability increased till words, hard to find. Which one to add to a repertory? No problem for those symptoms that fit in an existing rubric, just add anh. But all those symptoms that have not an equivalent rubric, do we make all single symptoms out of them? Symptoms like -abstract concepts become image like; -artificial, everything seems; -blocked, sensation of being; -cosmic mysticism; flight from decision; -consciousness, non egoic; -poltergeist syndrome; -willing no longer related to thinking , have not been made into single-remedy rubrics. Why is ability, increased added? And what does ability mean? According to the dictionary (Webster's new riverside) ability is the mental or physical power to perform. Is it the mental or physical performing power that is increased in Anhalonium. When we look at other anh. symptoms like -attention, increased; -analytical discrimination, increased; -conclusions, ability to make, lost; -insight increased but volition absent; -judgment increased, it is quite clear that the mental ability of Anhalonium is increased. When so many symptoms point to this "increased ability" it seems justified to have this symptom in the repertory. But are there perhaps already similar rubrics in which the remedy is mentioned or could be added to? There is Concentration, active in which anh is one of the two remedies in italics (together with phosphor). It is in Memory, active. We also have a rubric: Strength, increased mental in which anh. is not added (other hallucinogens like cann-i and opium are there too) and this rubric comes very close to the symptom "mental ability increased". According to the criteria mentioned earlier it should be added to this rubric and in addition to that a sub-rubric mental abilities increased could be considered. In Synthesis there is a rubric: agility, mental: form which also is a close rubric, but in C. this rubric has been merged into Activity.
The next rubric in C. is Abrupt with 16 remedies. In S. this rubric is called Abrupt, rough like in S.R of Barthel/Klunker; in the original Kent there is only Abrupt: nat-m, tarent. In C. there are two additions more than in S. (absin, lil-t). In S. the following cross-references are given: Answers, abruptly; Speech, abrupt; Talk, indisposed to. Complete lacks Talk, indisposed to but has in addition: Impolite and Irritability when questioned. Which cross-references are mentioned with a rubric can depend on how the rubric is interpreted by the repertory maker. Besides the sudden and unexpected of abrupt in Synthesis (and also already in S.R.) the interpretation has also been: short or curtly emphasising the reluctance to speak and then Talk, indisposed to is a logical cross-reference. In Complete "abrupt" might have been taken more as rude, emphasising the irritable feeling and lack of civilisation. Then Impolite and Irritability when questioned seem appropriate cross-references.
Then in S. there is the sub-rubric Harsh, in C. this sub-rubric has been made into an entry-rubric Harshness, rough with 16 remedies of which graph, m-aust, nit-ac, pitu-a and sulph are not in S. Two Vithoulkas additions to this rubric: anac, tarent are in S. and not in C.
The next entry-rubric is Absent-mindedness in which C. has 16 remedies more than S. (all-c, art-v, bapt, bar-m, choc, coc-c, dubin, hydrog, laur, m-p-a, med, merc-c, polyp-p, sanic, tub, zinc-c).
In Webster's new riverside dictionary absentminded is given as: 1 Preoccupied, 2 Chronically forgetful. In S. the following cross-references are given: Abstraction of Mind; Concentration, difficult; Unobserving . In C. we find besides these: Dullness; Dream, as if in a; Fancies, absorbed in; Forgetful; Memory, weakness; Staring, thoughtless; Thoughts, loss of.
One could think of two more appropriate ones: Absorbed in thought (which as a consequence almost always "breeds" absentmindedness) and Senses, dullness of.
Sub-rubrics of absentmindedness
In the first sub-rubric: morning hydrogen lacks in S. The provings of hydrogen and chocolate were published after the addition-phase (around 1991) of S. and could not be incorporated. Scorpion (hebraeus) of J. Sherr has been partly added under the abbreviation: scor. (no distinction made with scorpion italicus). In Complete you find scorpion hebraeus in the abbreviation: androc (androctonus amurreuxi hebraeus). This species of Scorpion is one of the most deadly in the world.
Synthesis has 23 sub-rubrics to Absentmindedness (like S.R.), Complete has 32. But remember numbers do not count, it is the quality. Synthesis has a sub-rubric: afternoon, coffee or wine; after: all-c. Complete has split this symptom in two sub-rubrics: coffee, after, afternoon and wine, after, afternoon. So this is a question of which entry is more characteristic: absentmindedness, afternoon (S) or absentmindedness, coffee or wine (C). When the wine is taken by the glass and not by the bottle we might agree that coffee and wine have an entry-priority over afternoon.
In S. we find the following additions that lack in Complete: old people: ambr//stands in one place, never accomplishes what he undertakes: med//starts when spoken to: phos. But S. lacks mur-ac in menses, during, chlorpr. in periodical and acon in writing, while which we find in C.
Of the new sub-rubrics that are in C. and not in S. the following can be considered justified: - evening: hydrog - though of course still a very incomplete sub-rubric, time modalities can be very useful;
- anxiety with: anac - an addition taken from Hahnemann; in the Chronic Diseases we read: "Obtuseness of the senses with anxiety"; when we go by the letter it should be a sub-rubric of Senses, dullness of. In clinical practice though the absentmindedness with anxiety is confirmed for anacardium, the black-outs during examinations can be seen as an expression of this symptom. The combination of absentmindedness and anxiety is quite characteristic for anacardium and therefore deserves a place in the repertory but a cross reference to fear of examinations seems justified. But still in a strict sense the source (Hahnemann) is not correct, a clinical source should be given in which absentmindedness with anxiety is mentioned.
- talking, when: chin-b, lyc, psil - is an example of a good addition in the sense that it contains three remedies from three different sources (Knerr, C. Lippe and Julian) and this is the task of a repertory maker to bring remedies from the different dark corners of the MM together (and to light) in one rubric.
Some questionable additions in C. are:
- studying, when: hell - the symptom itself is correct without doubt, but the rubric is very obviously incomplete. There are already very similar rubrics in the repertory which are much more complete like: Concentration difficult, studying with 72 remedies (with Hell. in capital).
- post a letter, goes to, brings it home in her hands: lac-c - though it is a striking and clear example of absentmindedness, there are already other very similar rubrics and more complete ones, like: Memory, weak, do, for what he was about to with 32 remedies and lac-c in italics.
- yellow fever, in: sulph - this symptom comes from Knerr (=repertory of the MM of Hering). In Hering vol.10 page 168-169 we read under Sulphur: Yellow fever: melancholic, fearful, undecided, sad, absentminded, dizziness ....etc. So are we to make sub-rubrics of yellow fever in the rubrics: Sadness, Anxiety, Irresolution? How characteristic is absentmindedness in (yellow)fever or is it perhaps quite pathognomonic? There are the rubrics in C.: Sadness, fever during, yellow: merc and Anxiety, fever, during, yellow: merc in both sulphur fails. But sulphur is present in Anxiety, fever, during (with 103 remedies) and in Dullness, heat during (16 remedies) and even in Dullness, fever, intermittent (3 remedies). In our repertorization we will only use those rubrics, that are characteristic enough for the case and are as complete as possible (the so called remedy-indicating rubrics). Single remedy rubrics (and most newly added rubrics are single remedy rubrics) we can not use in a repertorization, only as a confirming symptom afterwards because most of them are far from complete (and a lot of remedies will be added in the future).
Additions and Sources
In Synthesis no new rubrics were added on this first page compared with the S.R. Nine new remedies were added to the existing rubrics of which 4 had a reference with bibliography, the other 5, all from Vithoulkas, had no bibliography. In Complete one new entry-rubric and nine new sub-rubrics were added compared with S.R. To existing rubrics C. has added 22 remedies of which 4 had no bibliography. Of course one should not forget that S. refers directly to the book from which the addition was drawn. In Complete you can get a bibliography-reference with more than one book and you have to find out yourself from which the addition came. When you have a computer with MM (Reference Works or Ex Libris) that won't be much of a problem but without one it might take some time before finding the exact source. I did not check where every addition came from, so I cannot judge the quality and validity of the additions which of course is a very important parameter when you compare the quality of repertories.
According to the criteria given in the article Mind of the Repertory I would estimate that of the newly added entry-rubrics I came across in the chapter Mind of both repertories more than half of them are or superfluous (because there is already an existing and more complete similar rubric) or they are not in the proper place (f.e as an entry-rubric instead of a sub-rubric to a bigger similar rubric). In both repertories there are still a lot of mistakes and things that can be changed for the better, but let us not underestimate the work that has been done already and especially the work that is still to be done. We as repertory-users can be of great help in this by reporting to our repertory-makers the mistakes, double rubrics, better locations of rubrics or other suggestions for improvement which come to our minds in our day to day use of the repertory.
If we count the additions to existing rubrics S. is most of the times outnumbered by C., although you often find in S. additions (especially from Vithoulkas) that are lacking in C.
From the information that was at my disposal about the additions in Complete the following figures might be interesting: around 55.000 additions are made in the Mind section; 44.633 from 13 (referenced) authors: 1 Knerr: 8635 , 2 T.F. Allen: 8025, 3 B霵ninghausen 7138, 4 Jahr 4985, 5 Kent: 3026, 6 Gallavardin 2619, 7 Boericke: 2367, 8 P. Schmidt: 1855, 9 Hahnemann: 1546, 10 Phatak: 1395, 11 Stauffer: 1040, 12 Clarke: 1008, 13 Julian: 1002. The other 10.374 additions are from the remaining 177 authors; 33 of these authors do not have a sufficient bibliography and these account for 1464 additions (=2,7%). 855 of these insufficiently referenced additions are from Vithoulkas when we consider the references: "Lectures" and "Additions to Kent's Repertory copied and updated by B. Gray 1979" as insufficient. When the Materia Medica Viva of Vithoulkas has reached Z all the "unreferenced" Vithoulkas additions in Complete and Synthesis hopefully have a proper reference. Unfortunately there was no such information available about the additions in Synthesis.
Complete gives more cross-references to rubrics than Synthesis and has turned more small and incomplete entry-headings into sub-rubrics of similar, bigger and thus more complete entry-rubrics. But we are not to forget that the Mind of Complete was published one year after Synthesis, so they had more time and only had to concentrate on the Mind-chapter. Synthesis had to spread the effort and energy over all chapters of the repertory and is up to this day still the most "complete" repertory in book form. They choose to give priority to source-information (with every addition more than one source can be mentioned) and they introduced a more readable syntax of rubrics which greatly enhances the readability and quick understanding of a rubric (start reading the rubric after the semicolon (;) and the rubric turns into a perfectly understandable sentence).
People who try to prescribe predominantly on the mental-emotional picture should opt for the Mind of Complete, for those who want a good and "updated" version of the whole of Kent and want it all in one book, Synthesis is the best.
Reactions from Complete and Synthesis
We have sent the articles the Mind of the Repertory and Comparison Mind to Roger van Zandvoort and Frederik Schroyens (the compilers of resp. Complete and Synthesis) and asked for a reaction on the different issues and topics discussed in the articles by Kees Dam (including the article in LINKS 1/96). In italics Kees Dam comments on their reaction.
Reaction from Roger van Zandvoort
the editor of Complete
(shortened a little because of text-space limitations)
We do not make any author entries that are not traceable in our hom她pathic literature. There are no entries from contemporary homeopaths without written information from the same authors, although we agree that because of our single-author reference system, information is sometimes difficult to find when under this one reference many books by the same might have to be consulted. (Comment kd: In the article Mind of the Repertory (Links 1/96 page 23) I mentioned that of the 223 given authors in Complete 75 did not have a bibliography. This was not correct because only 190 of these 223 have indeed added to the Mind section but of these 190 there are still 30 authors without sufficient literature-reference."Lectures" or "Articles" I do not consider a sufficient reference.
Addition of new rubrics
It is important to use the information in Kent's repertory to the fullest, which means that one should not too easily add new rubrics. It is better to read through the repertory many times in order to find a fitting rubric and use this rubric to make additions.
New rubrics should only be made when the new rubric really tells us something new, i.e. not yet in the repertory. In the generalities section new rubrics can be made generalising modalities from other sections, which means that there are still many possibilities here to add rubrics. New rubrics can also be made when new sections are created. In the future the Complete Repertory will contain a sections called heart and circulation, where new entries will be made using the existing sections Chest and Generalities. Also we think it is justified to make new entries for symptoms or expressions that are typical for our time and that embody a part of our existing culture, while the rubrics in Kent's repertory stand for what was typical in terms of expression in his time and culture. For example: Relaxed feeling; Dreams of cars, automobiles; Dreams of nuclear explosions; Dreams of pollution. To this category also belong clinical entries that deal with modern day diseases, although they also have to be split up into their subjective components in order to create real hom她pathic entries to the repertory.
(Comment kd: The criterion that a new rubric (single symptom) has to tell something new of the remedy is rather vague and can imply that every symptom of that remedy (characteristic or not) that is not yet in the repertory can be added. The question is: do we want that?)
Adding remedies from sub-rubrics into the main rubrics.
Yes, that will be a great improvement. This has been discussed zealously with many colleagues and a general approach could be to add these "missing" remedies in the lowest degree in the main rubrics when they are not found there. This is perfectly "legal" since first of all a repertory is an index to the Materia Medica and other articles and therefore one can always add information for a remedy in the main rubrics even if the text of the MM is much more specific in that it mentions many more details in the context of that specific syndrome to be added. Practically speaking it makes working with the repertory much more convenient and it will more than now help those who repertorise in a more general way because of incomplete sub-rubrics and because of incomplete information from their clients. In the book version of the Complete Repertory that deals with the chapters Vertigo to Generalities, to be published Spring 1996, the rubrics will be updated this way. Later, in a reprint of the Mind section the same will happen. In the soon to be released computer version of Complete Repertory 4.0 this will be available for all chapters.
(Comment kd: that's good news)
Cross-references, pivotal rubric system/Super-rubrics/Thematic rubrics.
In general this system is understood and it would work in practice but it is very difficult to make and maintain since rubrics are constantly changing. Instead of this we would suggest a thematic repertory with all remedies belonging to a certain theme in the main rubric and all rubrics that are centred around the theme as sub-rubrics of the main, thematic rubric, without the remedies and maybe even in a head to toe scheme. By clicking on the sub-rubric one goes to the exact location in the Complete Repertory automatically. Using the same principles a book can be made that than contains those rubrics that are normally in the repertory. Another possibility is the making of a thematic group Materia Medica where you will find the themes and or symptoms belonging to a specific group of remedies that are related. First of all this system is in study as an extra chapter in the computerised Complete Repertory. It would be much more practical and except for this it would also be something that fits into the development that is taking place in modern homeopathy. A warning is on its place too. With this method, even more than with the normal repertorising, it is necessary to consult the MM at the end of a thematic repertorial study in order not to be mistaken in the prescription.
(Comment kd: A thematic repertory is of course a very good idea, but we still have our old repertory which is badly needing structure in its increasing mass of cross-references. The pivot-rubric system - also without names and numbers of lacking remedies - could be a first structuring step)
Criteria for addition and priorities
In general we strive to update the repertory first with the oldest available material, mostly provings, starting with Hahnemann. It is still amazing how many additions there are still to be made based on Hahnemann's material and how many degree changes would be possible by using the three degrees he used in his work. We do not automatically prefer proving material over material that comes from practice. An addition for a remedy from practice-experience confirmed let us say five times in a cure is for practical homeopathy more important than a proving symptom that occurred only in one prover once. Many of these proving symptoms can be found in Kent, for example based on Allen's Encyclopaedia. Many clinical symptoms can be found too, especially often those remedies in rubrics that cannot be found in the MM when you try to. Often this material comes from Kent's experience and from sources that we forgot about (magazine articles about clinical experience with remedies and magazine articles that are small, one-subject repertories). The material we use should be available on paper, although it may still mean that the material is not easy to get.
We will make exceptions to the making of additions in chronological order if a specific book or addition is very valuable. One of the projects that we are currently busy with is the adding of information from Hart's repertory based on E. M. Hale's Materia Medica and special therapeutics of the new remedies, a work that contains a lot of information on small remedies that one can not easily find elsewhere. For this work we do not stick to our own rules of making additions in chronological order because of its possible importance to the profession, nor did we for the making of the carcinosinum additions, which are too important to leave out of the repertory.
From the information above it might be clear to the reader that a lot of work still needs to be done. One of the best ways of adding the reader's ideas about changes would be to openly discuss them in magazines like Links in order to help ourselves. The repertory compilers will gratefully take the suggestions, check them and if possible add them to their repertories. We cannot do this work alone. We already collaborate with about forty colleagues on this work on the Complete Repertory for years and it is clear how much work there is still to be done.
Reaction from Frederik Schroyens
the editor of Synthesis
(shortened a little because of text-space limitations)
The research you have done to evaluate the ongoing work with Synthesis is very encouraging. Overall I can state that I agree with about 85 % of your remarks and, whenever possible, these have already been integrated in Synthesis on the basis of your earlier article in "Simillima". If all homeopaths would put such an effort in looking at Synthesis, the quality and reliability of the Repertory could increase even faster.
Dictionary and/or Materia Medica
I suggest that the first criterion to decide on the correctness of the insertion of a symptom, on the meaning of the rubric and on the need for differentiation or not, is the text of the Materia Medica in the original language, rather than a dictionary.
Comment kd: Of course you are right that the meaning of a rubric must be deduced from a MM study and comparison but when after studying the MM the interpretation of the rubric deviates from the dictionary interpretation the wrong heading was chosen and we should look in the dictionary for a better heading which does correspond exactly to the interpretation we derived from the MM.
Merging and fear in the toilet
Great care has to be taken when rubrics are merged, because sometimes the difference is not immediately apparent. I agree with your idea that the difference should not be too subtle, so, yes, merge "discrimination" and "discernment".
However, I believe it is one step too far to merge all rubrics expressing "fear of narrow places". I am very interested to know reliable remedies which have a "fear in the toilet", because I know some patients have this fear, and yet do not have a fear in other narrow places, such as vaults, elevators, etc. This is an interesting contradiction, and this more peculiar information would be drowned by adding all such remedies to a sole rubric "fear of narrow places".
One way to understand whether two rubrics have to be merged or not is to question if the rubrics fully match each other in both directions. Do all persons with fear in narrow places have a fear in the toilet? And do all persons with a fear in the toilet have a fear in (other) narrow places? I believe the answer is "no". From these questions it can also be understood that the proper time for adding to "fear of narrow places" and for using this rubric is when the fear is encountered in different types of narrow places.
Comment kd: You say that you are interested in reliable remedies that have a fear in the toilet and not in other narrow places (like some of your patients express). Like you say the proper time for adding to Fear of narrow places is when the fear is encountered in different types of narrow places like in Lac-d (the only remedy in fear in toilet) and also in italics in fear of narrow places. So according to my standards you did the right job in Synthesis by not adding this rubric (it is in Complete - without cross reference to narrow places)
Emotions predominated by the intellect
You suggest that "emotions predominated by intellect" can be interpreted in two ways.
1: intellectually oriented people (with only few emotions) and 2: emotionally excitable people where the intellect nevertheless predominates, possibly controls the emotions. From the Materia Medica (hr1, c1, al1, bg2), it appears that valer. and viol-t. fit into the second definition, which is the correct description of the rubric as is indicated by the fact that the head-rubric is "Emotions".
The first definition is the best description for the rubric "intellectual", also mentioned by you and there should be a cross-reference.
In lycopodium intellectual excellence is strikingly opposing the physical under-development, more particularly muscular weakness (hr1, c1, nh4). So it seems correct to add lyc. to the rubric "intelligence" (which is still different from "intellectual").
However, I believe it is too narrow to limit lyc. to a remedy with weak feelings as you state. In fact Kent writes: "...lyc. is a very nervous, sensitive, emotional patient." (k2).
The conflict between these emotions and the intellectual faculties is therefore not so strange for lyc. and I believe that the addition of lyc. to this rubric (meaning 2) by George Vithoulkas may prove very valid in your practice some day.
Comment kd: Undoubtedly Lyc can be like Kent says very nervous, sensitive and emotional like almost all polychrests. But in the concerned rubric the situation is that a highly emotional person uses his intellect to suppress his emotions in an extreme degree. Everyone of us rationalises his average emotions in some degree and Lyc will do that too, but in viol-o and valerian the intellect suppresses the high emotions in a very extreme degree. If we read the lectures of George on Lycopodium it is the intellect type he is referring to not the emotional one. So I doubt if George was fully aware of the correct meaning of the rubric when he added lycopodium to it. And if he was aware and it is correct I would like to know where I can find the source (a case in which it was "cured" by Lyc or a literature reference or a lecture or book concerning this symptom of Lyc).
George Vithoulkas is a very acknowledged hom她pathic teacher and probably one of the best homeopaths of the century and still alive. Kent has added his additions to his repertory without giving any source which we all find is a big pity, but he is dead now - nothing can be done about that anymore. But let us not make the same mistake with contemporary homeopaths, especially if we try to be as scientific as possible we have to have sources in writing or cured cases. We should not be satisfied with: "from my experience", we have to know these experiences, the context of the symptom to be able and find out the proper rubric.
Super-rubrics, Cross-references and Pivotal rubric system
I like your idea to create what you call super-rubrics, such as "help", "dogs", etc. Nevertheless, it may not always be mandatory to move a rubric so it becomes a sub-rubric somewhere else. A cross-reference will also draw the attention to rubrics with a similar meaning (e.g.: obstinate and pertinacity).
Your idea to add supplementary remedies to the cross-references of a rubric is very appealing, but the amount of work involved is huge.
Also, where do you draw the line with those cross-references? Is it sufficient to cross reference anger to irritability or do you really want to suggest to cross-link all similar sub-rubrics (anger - morning - waking; on >< irritability - morning - waking; on, etc.)? If so, the book will become almost unusable I am afraid.
Comment kd: You suggest that a cross-reference will do in f.e. Pertinacity and Obstinate. I would like to see as a natural structure in the future repertories that obvious incomplete main-rubrics (like pertinacity) become sub-rubrics of bigger rubrics with a similar (but often broader) meaning (ic Obstinate) and that contain (in 99%) already the remedies of the smaller one. This enhances greatly in the functionality and user friendliness of the repertory. Now you have in one view all the possibly indicated remedies, you don't have to leaf through the repertory to all kind of cross-references.
In the article I suggest bringing structure in cross-referencing because in no time you will have more cross-references than rubrics in the repertory. In the pivotal rubric-system (see the article) you only mention the pivot rubric (the biggest similar rubric) and all the other less big but similar cross references you don't mention but these are given only under the pivotal rubric. This saves a lot of space in the repertory and a lot of time (leafing to all kinds of useless cross-references). I suggest this same pivotal system for some important sub-rubrics (when you read it in the article the advantages of this system also for some sub-rubrics will be clear - it is true this will take some space because till now we did not give cross-references in sub-rubrics but it will be a great service to the repertory-user).
Unfortunately you didn't give any comment on the pivot (or any better word you can think of) rubric-system, I am interested in your opinion and if it is feasible. I can imagine like you said that the adding supplementary remedies to cross-references is a huge work but that is only a minor not essential part of the pivot-system.
Cheerful and Mirth
Again about merging rubrics: several of our native English speaking collaborators expressed the opinion that the difference between "cheerful" and "mirth" was too great to allow a merger. You say Barthel has been "so bold" to do so, but after studying the arguments I have agreed to split the remedies and sub-rubrics again. Cheerful can be defined as "in good spirits, marked by an unruffled flow of spirits", whereas mirth indicates: "spirited gaiety; social merriment. Marked by more tumult and laughter than cheerful." A cheerful person smiles, a merry person (mirth) laughs.
There is too big a difference in gradation, just as with irritable and anger. One example how careful one has to be not to change the original too zealously and how, sometimes, one has to come back on one's own steps.
Comparison Complete -Synthesis
Of course I feel that your approach emphasises too much the quantitative comparison.
I take your first example "abrupt", where the Complete indeed has two more remedies than Synthesis. Absin. is added to the Complete, but when traced back to the source (br1), the closest we can find is "brutal". Absin. is present in "brutality" in Synthesis.
Lilium tigrinum is mentioned on the basis of Pierre Schmidt's annotations in the first edition of Kent's repertory. We cannot confirm this addition, and if we look in the literature we find the closest analogue in the symptom "she will snap even when spoken to kindly" (k2). In Synthesis you find lil-t. in the rubric "snappish" (this deserves a cross-reference to "abrupt").
Quantity versus Quality
At last I want to address the topic of quantity versus quality. Since working on Synthesis, my aim has always been to create the most reliable repertory, one containing information which leads to cure. Therefore additions are often checked, taken from Materia Medica in stead of from Repertories, etc. Technology makes adding easy, but I feel that the hom她pathic community mostly needs constant reviewing such as in your article.
However, I feel that the "numerical comparison" between the Complete and Synthesis is not correctly reflected in your numbers (377 pages compared to 211 pages). Besides our priority to focus on quality first, the main reasons for this different quantity of pages are:
1) the mind of the Complete includes many rubrics such as "anxiety - stomach", "anxiety - chest" which are present in other chapters in Synthesis;
2) the mind of the Complete contains the Kent/Synthesis chapter "dreams";
3) in order to have a one-volume repertory, the lay-out of Synthesis emphasises conciseness. For example: the first page you analysed in your article contains 369 remedies in Synthesis and 271 in the Complete.
Comment kd: I have made some calculations in which I considered your justified objections against the "numerical comparison" ; this reduces the 166 page-difference into 55 pages more in Complete (which corresponds with about 14.000 remedy additions more). Of course this does not say anything about the quality of the additions but on the other hand also a lot less added remedies is in itself not a guarantee for more quality.
The source-indicating system in Synthesis is seen as one of the quality parameters of this repertory and indeed the source referring directly to the concerning book is a clear advantage. But on the other hand also in Synthesis there are a lot of sources (and I mean the sources that have indeed added) where only a name (without bibliography) is given.
But also when there is a bibliography mentioned with book indicator in S., we do not know how frequent the source with book nr. is actually used in the repertory or just the "book less" name of the source (f.e. "vh" = Vithoulkas, contemporary homeopath but without bibliography).
Remedies from sub rubrics also in main rubrics
I think it is a good idea to add remedies of sub rubrics to the corresponding main rubrics. Your example of "Jealousy" and the additional remedies from its sub rubrics is clear.
However let's consider carefully before adding all nine remedies of the rubric "Head, pain, pressing, forehead, walking, air; in open" to its corresponding main rubrics. If you apply this generalisation principle all through, you would need to check and possibly add these remedies to the following main rubrics:
* Head, pain
* Head, pain, walking
* Head, pain, forehead
* Head, pain, forehead, walking
* Head, pain, forehead, open air
* Head, pain, pressing
* Head, pain, pressing, forehead
* Head, pain, pressing, forehead, walking
* Head, pain, pressing, walking
* Head, pain, pressing, open air etc
As a result more and more rubrics will swell up and become very large. This is a hell of a job and most of all I am worried that if this is applied systematically, the repertory will become too diluted and therefore unusable. So I believe it is an even better idea to be very cautious with too general rules to add remedies to corresponding main rubrics.
(Comment kd: I can imagine this seems to be a hell of a job, but it must be possible to create a computer program that can do this automatically and otherwise it must be done by hand. Of course this will enlarge rubrics but only in the sense that they get more complete and therefore more reliable. I think it is very much worth the trouble. It will enhance the functionality of the repertory immensely and in my opinion it deserves priority. In the graph from MacRep you can see in one view in which rubrics the remedies from the rubric: Head, pain , pressing, forehead, while walking in open air are already added and in which to my opinion they should still be added. I think that we must bear in mind that provers were often very much skilled in observing themselves and therefore could come up with very precise and complete symptoms but a lot of patients unfortunately are not very good self-observers. It will often happen that a patient has in fact exactly the same complete symptom as the prover but is conscious only of a part of it, now if we make sure that the remedy is added too in that part we have the possibility to track down the original complete symptom in the MM. Now we can confront the patient with the original complete symptom which might bring into conscious the till that time unrecalled aspects of the symptom or/and we can confirm other symptoms of the remedy. Also it is possible that a patient indeed has only a part of the symptom, a time-, pain- or local modality might be missing.)
Synthesis is above all a multi-lingual project which is expressed by the existence of a computer version of the same in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch. Other languages are being prepared. A German and an English version has been printed, and there is a Dutch printed edition of the chapter Mind. As a conclusion I want to invite all Synthesis-users and in fact all homeopaths to keep on collaborating for the common good of this fascinating project.
Kees Dam M.D.
van Walbeekstraat 85-3
1058 CM Amsterdam
Homoeopathic Links - Summer 1996