This book review is reprinted with permission from Homeopathic Links.
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Knowledge, Seduction and Forsakenness
Notes from the second three-year international postgraduate course in Bologna, Italy
III Session: 1-8 November 2003
By: Dr. Massimo Mangialavori
Notes by Vicky Burley
150 pages A4
Reviewed by Harry van der Zee, The Netherlands
For a more detailed discussion of the three-year, international, postgraduate course by Massimo Mangialavori, please read the seminar report published in this same issue of 'Links'. These notes from the third session have been recently released. The notes include cases for which the intake is printed completely, followed by a discussion of the analysis, the follow-up, and a detailed discourse on the remedies prescribed.
The remedies discussed around the themes of 'Knowledge, seduction and forsakenness' are mainly snakes, reptiles and zincums:
In connection to these remedies the following subjects are discussed:
-Limitation of symptoms
-Coherent groups of symptoms General theme
-What is a reptile and what is a snake?
-The law of signatures
The subject of themes is basic in Massimo's teaching. A theme is a concept that represents a characteristic aspect of any substance in its interaction with a biological system and/or as a phenomenon that can be observed. A theme can be expressed by a single word that needs to express somatic problems and complex concepts. To make a clear division, Massimo talks about:
-Coherent groups of symptoms (GCS). Any symptoms that do not belong to such a group are far less important in the analysis of a case. An example can be any symptoms around the ideas of burning in Arsenicum. Whether the symptom can or cannot be found in the repertory is irrelevant, the theme of burning is what counts.
-General theme (GT). This is a relevant concept whether or not belonging to a GCS. Also these are not always represented well in the repertory, like 'omnipotence' or 'ovulation' .
-Fundamental theme (FT). A fundamental theme explains General Themes and important keynotes. Without it we can not reliably apply the Law of Similars because a deep understanding of the patient/substance is missing. A Fundamental Theme is an essential element in the adaptation of any system and represents a specific approach of the sub stance.
Deciding what is general and what is fundamental is essential to the organisation of symptoms belonging to a substance and/or a case. For instance haemorrhage is a general theme belonging to several substances, among which are the snake remedies. The recognition of the ideas of seduction and duality in the same patient provides fundamental themes for a snake remedy, and narrows the analysis to deciding which snake. This is where you often need to go back to the symptoms, e.g. the existence of stiffness in the neck would point to Naja.
The notes are presented well and make for easy reading. Material belonging to cases and general descriptions of remedies are well-divided in the layout, which makes it possible to read the notes in different ways, and makes them suitable for daily usage in practice as well.