This book review is reprinted with permission from Homeopathic Links.
Marina van Haalen
9737 SJ Groningen
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GUIDE TO KENT'S REPERTORY
Ahmed Currim, M.D., Ph.D
Hahnemann International Institute for Homeopathic Documentation
250 pages, ppk., 6" x 8.25"
148 E.Avenue, Ste I -L -Norwalk, CT
06851 - (203) 853-1339
Reviewed by Jay Yasgur, R.Ph., M.Sc.
"This third edition completes my life work. I have brought it up to date. I have re-arranged and made numerous corrections in addition to adding many new remedies. I have verified every symptom in the book. You will find all remedies of any value contained herein. The book is complete."
James Tyler Kent;
Repertory of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica;
3rd Edition, 1924.
With Guide To Kent's Repertory, Dr. Currim offers a detailed overview of Kent's Repertory. This guide consists of twenty sections of which the first 12 serve as an introduction to Kent's massive work which has served countless homeopaths the world over. In these dozen essays (25 pages) Ahmed discusses 'Kent's Original Plan', 'Problems with Existing Repertories', 'The Classification of Symptoms', 'Modifications of Symptoms', 'Construction of Rubrics', and offers a number of 'Notes and Examples'.
The thirteenth section, consists of one hundred pages and concentrates on the rubric Pain. This chapter, 'Descriptions of Pain', is the major portion of the book, and is of great value. Pain, admittedly one of the most frequent complaints homeopaths hear, is examined in all the repertory sections. This should certainly help one get a better understanding of Pain as handled by the repertory. As the headache modalities of heat and cold are scattered throughout the HEAD section, Ahmed has helpfully assembled them together on one page (p. 30).
In the remaining chapters Dr. Currim offers essays on 'Special Rubrics and Cross References', 'History and Case Taking-Basic Rules', 'Repertorisation', 'Advantages of Using the Repertory', and one of Kent's published papers 'The Development and Formation of the Repertory'. A number of diagrams are included, 18 in all, to assist the homeopath in understanding the anatomy as contained in the repertory. Medical professionals would no doubt find this section superfluous but the lay person should find them quite useful.
There is an error in the order of rubrics as found in Kent's Repertory on pages 166-168. Currim has corrected this and included those corrections. This is just another valuable piece of information tucked away in this gem of a book.
The sections on 'Taking the Case', 'History and Case Taking', 'Questionnaire', and 'Repertorisation' are particularly interesting and useful for the beginning student. Currim offers material gleaned from Pierre Schmidt's articles, 'L'Examen du Malade'. This is most fortunate as one gets the added benefit of looking over the shoulder of that great homeopath. Questioning the patient is a subtle, sensitive process and Ahmed offers numerous hints to help one get comfortable with that process.
"As they are talking listen to the tone of their voices; the spontaneous remarks are one of your best guides. The one that comes out with a little extra speed. They go into a lull and suddenly one comes out in an extra speed. They fall over their words. Those are the ones to watch. It is a "feel free". They feel free about it, so it is a good one.
The next one is the intensity in the tone of the voice. When the tone of the voice is said with feeling, they really mean it. Although I take down everything; when it comes to taking the case, the ones that have not had the spontaneity and the intensity, I have an inclination to leave alone. If you have 5-6 written pages you have to sort it out somewhere." (Currim, p. 143)
In the 'Repertorisation' and 'Advantages of Using the Repertory' sections, Ahmed brings together an enormous number of helpful hints many of which he gleaned from Andre Saine and George Vithoulkas.
He offers ten brief examples on how to handle various cases:
"Example 9: Complex Diseases Usually two dissimilar diseases do not coexist together in the body (P 35- 39) but in some cases two diseases, especially chronic, miasmatic ones, complexity occupying separate areas of the body. (Example AIDS, Hepatitis, CMV, EBV, Fungal Diseases, Protozoan Diseases).
Such diseases require a series of remedies first before one can treat the original fundamental state.
Once we have dealt with these dissimilar conditions, the patient will be left either (1) in a healthy state, or (2) Chronic Disease corresponding to the psoric miasm (affecting him since birth) where he needs a deeper therapy. Then we must take all of the symptoms in the case including the Chronic symptoms of personality, temperament or disposition, and to a lesser degree, the characteristic symptoms of physiognomy.
In a large majority of cases, we require a series of remedies to treat this psoric patient. Sometimes (rarely) one remedy is required. In such a case a deep acting mineral remedy (Ex: Sulph., Calc., Nat-m., Sil., Lyc.) or an animal poison (Ex: Lach.) will be called for" (Currim, 196)
Ahmed then explores the process of valorising symptoms and suggests it is best done through the use of three aspects: intensity, peculiarity, and hierarchy.
Next, in Appendix I, 'Advantages of Using the Repertory', Currim puts forth more than 30 numbered reasons for the use of the repertory. Each of these is followed by an explanatory paragraph. Some reasons are more profound than others but all contain truth. Take No. 15, for instance:
"15.2 There are certain rubrics in "Kent's Repertory" which are constant repertorial reminders in case taking.
Among them are the rubrics concerning the trinity of loves of man, pertaining to his Will, Food and Sex; also the rubrics concerning his reactions to climate, weather and position, etc.
... Dr Dienst of the USA once had
difficulty in comprehending a young
lady who was suffering from malarial
fever. When he called to see her, she attempted to make love and in the midst
of her chattering, divulged that she had
a date with a doctor in Pennsylvania to
attend the theatre, and that she believed Dr Dienst to be this doctor. With
the help of the repertory, he recognised
Stramonium in her symptoms, and
within half an hour of receiving a dose
of Stramonium, she presented a rational aspect and her malarial fever had
ceased. Dr. Dienst said that although
Stramonium probably has no intermittent fever in its proving, yet the patient
had intermittent fever and by prescribing for her, he freed her of the fever.
Love in a treble form incites man to action: The sick and even the healthy, is known by the manifestations of love in the treble form; upon the three manifestations of love, as upon a tripod, rest this repertory:
15.2.1 Intellect or reason is the flaming beacon casting a blaze afar upon the sea of passions and in the darkness of errors while the Will pilots the ship of the Ego. The light illumines the way and signals the dangers, but the pilot holds the life of the ship in his hands; hence the Will is the master of our destiny.
15.2.2 Loves and hates regarding food relate to the preservation of the entire body.
15.2.3 Loves and hates pertaining to the sexual sphere including woman's menstruation, etc., are the exponents of the love of the species.
They are related to the entire individual seen as the propagator of his species. Take away this tripod and this repertory falls. Similarly, exclude the three manifestations of love from the study of a patient, and we lose the power of healing as described in the first article of the "Organon" and only hasten the progress of the chronic miasmatic sickness by deceiving our patient (KHP xxxvii paragraph 3) through the ten methods of hybrid prescribing which we shall mention later.
Dr Dienst had a case of a lady of 68 who had drawing down of the corners of mouth and habit of shrugging shoulders. Told a long story of nervousness. Finally it was discovered that she did not love her husband, and never had. Of what did she think? Could not bear to see a sharp knife, without an impulse to cut her throat (85 R); nor to see a rope without the desire to hang herself. These revealed suicidal tendencies. Alumina straightened the case, entirely. " (Grimmer, p. 214,5)
Another important aspect of understanding Kent's Repertory is the logic by which he grouped rubrics. Currim explains this in great detail in the section, 'Modification of Symptoms'. This is the first time I have seen this material in print, and it has certainly helped me gain a deeper understanding of the Repertory construction. For this alone, Currim should be thanked. Currim obtained much of this material during his many visits to Pierre Schmidt, M.D. in the late 60s and early 70s. Schmidt was in the line of Kent's descendants having learned from Frederica Gladwin and Alonzo Austin.
". . All symptoms are modified as follows. Symptom recorded in general, called "Symptom (rubric) In General"; then modified as follows, called "Symptom (rubric) In Particular.
1 . Side
3. Modalities, circumstances, conditions, etc.
4. Extending to
5. Parts or localisation
- 5.1 Side
- 5.2 Time
- 5.3 Modalities, circumstances, condittions, etc.
- 5.4 Extending to
- 5.5 Part or localisation (of part or localisation) 6. Kind and character of
- 6.1 Side
- 6.2 Time
- 6.3 Modalities, circumstances, conditions, etc.
- 6.4 Extending to
- 6.5 Parts or localisation
* 6.5.1 Side
* 6.5.2 Time
* 6.5.3 Modalities, circumstances, conditions
* 6.5.4 Extending to
The modifications of the modifications may again be modified by the above six varieties. See example below under "Note".
It does not matter at all whether a symptom belongs to main symptoms, body symptoms or to any section. The method of recording a symptom is uniform and is the same throughout, using the scheme of modifications above." (Currim, p. 13)
Once familiar with this scheme one can see the logic of the repertory as well as the many errors in rubric placement which it contains. With this in mind, Ahmed is currently working to 'clean-up' Kent's Repertory and add Kent's corrections as well. He intends to call this finalised repertory, Final Kent. It is a massive project requiring superior dedication and a profound love for this special healing art.
Much, more could be said about this, the second golden egg which Ahmed has recently laid, the first being The Collected Works of Arthur Hill Grimmer. If time and space had been kinder I could have delved into Kent's interesting paper, 'The Development and Formation of the Repertory'.
The repertory expert and student alike will find this a most useful book. It contains information for all-story (there is a marvellous letter on Repertorisation Kent wrote to Margaret Tyler), repertory schematics, descriptions of pain, case taking, anatomical charts (they are small), etc. The book suffers from the lack of an Index which could've been easily included. There is no 'Key Word/Abbreviation List'. One can find the meaning of abbreviations (NR, NSW, MVA, CV, C, P, KR, KHP, JTK, etc.) by hunting, but that is so time consuming. A concise listing could have been easily included.
The physical aspects of the book, binding, paper, font selection, etc., are excellent.
Simply put, this book is useful to learn Kent's Repertory. It is meant to be read and studied. Ahmed maintains that you will get the most from it if you sit at your desk and read it with the repertory open. He is right. This is not light reading. A bedroom book, or a commute-book it is not.
This book should help deepen ones understanding of this and for that matter any repertory.
Homoeopathic Links - Winter 1996