Monthly E-Newsletter March 2008
AIDS Nosode Proving
The first proving was undertaken at the School of Homeopathy in 1988 using single doses in either the 30th or 200th centesimal potencies of the blood of a man who subsequently died of AIDS-related diseases. Results of the initial proving, though portraying some symptom patterns, did not convey the ‘shape’ of the remedy. Therefore, some pillules were sent to Mariette Honig in Holland who carried out a similarly exhaustive proving. The verified symptoms of these provings have been included in the extraction presented. However, the picture of the nosode emerged with flying colours when in 1994 we carried out two group provings with students at The School of Homeopathy. One group received 30c and the other 200c.
The AIDS nosode is associated with boundary issues: keeping what is in, in; and what is out, out. The disease is characterised by a complete breakdown of the immune system.
Major themes in the AIDS proving:
Because the AIDS nosode is a relatively new remedy, insufficient clinical evidence exists as to the ‘AIDS type’ of patient. However, some consistent themes emerged, many with strong motifs of boundaries (houses, walls, rooms, shell, contamination, popping seeds and bubbles), rejection, and isolation:
Content: Serene. Relaxed. Confident. Elated.
Sensation of things coming out; of flying gently, of floating, of being uplifted; of love and companionship for everyone; of growth, of blossoming.
Playful. Remembered childhood.
Wanton. Invulnerable. Reckless.
Massive. Passive. Slow. Can’t be bothered. Dull.
Fragile. Weak. Exposed. Shy. Dependent. Panic. Can’t cope.
Confused. Forgetful. Making mistakes. Concentration difficult.
Restless. Frustrated. Irritable. Easily offended. Insensitive. Violent. Desire to kill.
Feeling rejected; “... does not belong”; “... felt excluded, lied to”; outcast.
Feeling betrayed. Suspicious. Persecuted.
Withdrawn. Wants to be alone. Isolated.
Frightened. Loss of identity.
Loss of protection/shell/wall. “I felt that I had lost my wall and my shell, and there was a free flow of emotions both in and out. I was exposed, almost naked, with no control.” “... uninterrupted flow between self and group”.
Feeling contaminated and fear of contaminating others (always washing).
Responsibility for others; responsibility for children.
For the provers of the AIDS nosode the most striking and reoccurring image to appear, particularly in dreams, was the form of a house. More than half of the dreamers had this. This image was reiterated in many different configurations and can be used to describe the wider picture of the remedy. We will offer interpretations of this imagery when we come to it towards the end of the proving. Dream themes included:
Huge houses, vast rooms, small outside, huge within;
Houses or things richly ornate, jewelled, gold, beautiful interiors, colours stunning and rich;
Big, grand houses, ornate, ramshackle or both;
Staircases and corridors;
Wood, metal, water;
Transport, travelling, buses, cars, trains, airports, bus station, train station;
Lots of people/being busy/rushing about.
The ‘story’ of the AIDS nosode:
This arrangement and selection of symptoms from the full proving has been compiled by Peter Fraser, author of The AIDS Miasm: Contemporary Disease and the New Remedies, The Winter Press.
The pathological action of HIV is to bring about a failure of the immune system, our last line of defence against morbific influences. The skin, mucous membranes and organs such as the gut and liver act as a physical barrier, but when they are breached the immune system is the final, dynamic barrier and when it fails, the results are catastrophic. The failure of barriers and boundaries is the central theme of the AIDS nosode and indeed of the whole miasm.
The feeling of having no boundaries between oneself and the world, of being vulnerable, naked and exposed is therefore perhaps the most basic feeling of the nosode.
I felt that I had lost my wall, my protection and my shell, there was a free flow of emotions both in and out. I was exposed, almost naked, with no control.
… uninterrupted flow between self and group…
I am being over-sensitive: exceptionally sympathetic to the point of tears – weepy. Things are getting to me, usually I couldn’t give a damn – I am feeling very fragile.
The shell is the image or metaphor that most clearly and straightforwardly expresses the barrier and the feeling of being without it.
Felt very exposed – I had no shell to protect me.
In homeopathy the remedy and the disease are similar. The remedy does what the disease was trying to do, but not quite succeeding in doing. The disease must therefore contain not only the actual hell of illness but a glimpse of the heaven that will heal. The most valuable symptoms of a patient and the most indicative proving symptoms will be ones in which this contradiction is strong. The AIDS nosode symptom in which this is most powerfully expressed is:
Exquisite and precious mental pain – I had no shell for protection.
The lack of a protective shell is truly painful but that pain is exquisite and precious because it allows the possibility of connecting with people and the world and offers a release from isolation.
A similar sense of escaping the things that separate us from the world is found in a desire to be naked or natural:
I wanted to do something wanton and sensual and extravagant, last night. I felt frustrated – I wanted to swim naked in the sea or ride a horse naked or something naked.
I felt like doing something mischievous. I wanted to do something naked and extravagant. I had no embarrassment with nakedness.
I felt like I had to keep my feet on the ground, the only way to describe it would be as a delusion really – a tribal one; Cheyenne with tepees and people and it was pleasant and the sensation was very, very real to me.
Everything felt natural, tribal – like the south sea islands, natural barefoot, nothing much underneath, with flowers, natural, with white, green and water.
There was a similar desire to be emotionally naked and avoid the things that create barriers between us and the world. Again, the vulnerability that is the disease and the possibility of connection that is the healing are almost one and the same thing.
Decided to simplify my life by not encumbering it with charitable obligations.
Feelings of empathy. Desire to share honestly and with feeling.
A lack of insulation between the self and the world leads to an over-sensitivity that in turn leads to restlessness and irritability.
Feel continuously restless inside.
Great feelings of anger and impatience, triggered by having to wait one and a half hours for an appointment.
Make lots of mistakes on the computer today, and got bloody irritable about it!
For some reason I am really irritable today, mostly at inanimate objects: the car, packaging on biscuits, the computer and so on. Glad to get into bed at the end of the day without smashing something.
Later that day found I was getting very irritated by the clients at work, I did not want to be there doing that job. Went home and was irritable with husband. Why?
The reaction to this is to detach from the world. Detachment is often expressed as a sense of floating or flying or manifests as vertigo:
I feel much calmer. When I arrived I was quite upset because I had just been told that a friend had died. I am concerned, but not in a way that feels overwhelming.
By the afternoon I felt above it all, serene, even rested... was able to listen to landlord being racist and let it pass over my head instead of getting worked up.
I feel above it all, I feel that I am floating, I feel disconnected, I felt I had to ground myself, the world seems an exciting and strange place.
Dreamt of flying. I was in the New Zealand mountains soaring and playing above the snow, swooping – very white. Sky was very blue. I was playing, being reckless and it was such an amazing feeling. I was on a hang glider, one hand, being reckless, but such a feeling, incredible.
Dreams of being in outer space.
A slight dizzy feeling going upwards, uplifting really.
Sensation of flying gently, of floating, of being uplifted.
Another manifestation of detachment is a feeling of numbness:
Another manifestation of detachment is a feeling of numbness:
Numbness of fingers and toes on waking.
There is in the remedy a sense of isolation.
Want to get away from everyone. Yet when on my own want to be with everyone again.
Felt very withdrawn.
Not connecting with people – feelings of isolation – felt, ‘nobody loves me’.
First evening alone for a long time and I don't like it. Really clingy.
Had the desire to be alone. Felt different to and separate from other people. Felt very individual.
I suddenly felt, “I don’t belong here at all”.
There is a sense of connection or a desire to connect in many ways: with family, friends, and partner, but also with nature and the divine.
I noticed last night that I was in and out of the room doing what I wanted to do and being part of the group as well.
Good connection with wife; talked about finding wholeness in the midst of feelings of separation and diversity. The need for spiritual wholeness is great. Synergy: through pursuing creative, enjoyable and relaxing spiritual pursuits together!
Felt very connected to family and friends.
This is a big deal for me – it feels as though barriers between me and other people can come down with this man. (Talking about new relationship.)
Sensation of love and companionship for everyone.
Peacefulness, mildness. A feeling of complete peace of mind. A feeling of oneness with my fellow man and the whole of the universe. I felt exceptionally close to my family and friends. All I could think of was: youth, beauty, peace.
Everything in life works more perfectly. There is a new order in things.
Pathologically this is more likely to be found in a sense of disconnection.
Feelings of being awkward and shy – averse company and talking.
Absence of sensitivity towards others.
Given that HIV is a venereal disease it is not surprising that in the nosode this was strongly manifested in sexual feelings.
Dreamt I was about to embark on an affair with a married, middle aged businessman, just for the sex. We didn’t do it though because the night passed in carousing with friends.
Decided to separate from partner in the last two days.
Felt distant from my wife. Feelings of abandonment and lack of love. Feel there is not enough time for closeness and intimacy.
Disinterested in sex and do not have my customary morning erection.
Sex drive very low, really can’t be bothered.
Libido is not there. Don’t seem to fancy husband sexually.
At its most extreme it becomes a feeling of paranoia, that everyone is against them.
The first thing I noticed after taking the remedy was that beforehand I had been very sociable and after taking the remedy I started to feel very self-conscious and kind of almost paranoid and I went and sat in the corner.
At the weekend I kept missing people, not connecting. Felt people were picking on me, felt isolated.
Felt that people were plotting against me.
Felt very strong fear of heights when visiting the cliffs. Lay down and looked over the edge, even while lying down felt great terror (much more than usual) and a mistrust of people behind me, as if they might push me over the edge. (Unusual.)
Oversensitive really. Things are going wrong. Normally I take them in my stride. Been pathetic. What’s the matter with me? Suspicious. Nobody loves me. Not normally like this.
Felt lied to, angry, frustrated.
Feeling rejected; outcast.
I had the feeling of being picked on. I got really close to people as if I could see them really clearly, and I wanted to meet them in the group. And the feeling I had was that no one would come to meet me and I felt very closed and unhappy. I felt this frustration that no one was coming to play.
Felt people did not like me. With people but had feeling they did not like me. Sitting there and not wanting to be sociable. Feeling they don’t like me. Not like me at all.
Felt that people were plotting against me.
This tends to be turned back on to the self with feelings of shame and lack of self-worth.
I imagined everything I said was wrong – that I had offended someone – that I had committed some sort of faux pas.
Feeling that people are looking at me and saying “she’s no good”.
An inability to connect clearly with the outside world leads to a feeling of confusion and forgetfulness.
Feeling of “cotton wool” in the head, slight vertigo. Difficulty concentrating.
I was really conscious all night about having to remember my dreams and having to disentangle whether I was in a dream, whether it was a dream, that sort of half-conscious state.
Continually sensing that I have forgotten something or forgotten to do something.
This forgetfulness is not me. I am usually very organized. Also finding I lose words. Know what I want to say but the odd word just vanishes.
Mind going completely blank.
Forgetfulness. Forgot to put on clean pants. Put my top on back to front. Realized that I had put my trousers on back to front as well.
Loss of words, cannot express himself.
This lack of clarity would seem also to apply to the symptoms of the nosode which are often of a low grade undifferentiated type.
One of the features of HIV and of the AIDS nosode is an issue around secrets and openness. People living with HIV are often very secretive about their status but at the same time can be immensely open about their lives and suffering. Again this clear contradiction indicates it is an important issue in the disease and the nosode.
The remedy’s secrecy meant that its nature was not immediately revealed. Fortunately, those involved in the group proving (where they felt safe and ‘held’) recognised this and persevered.
Many of the provers in all the provings experienced dreams of houses and particularly of large and ornate buildings. Not only were these dreams common but they were the things that most struck people about the proving. The combination of being so common and so striking indicates that such dreams are almost certainly a keynote of the remedy.
The house is a complex image and metaphor that contains within it most of the major issues of the AIDS nosode.
Just as for the mollusc, the snail or the hermit crab their shell is their house, so for us the house is our shell with all that that entails. The house is our protection against the weather and all that might threaten our safety from without. Provers had a number of dreams in which safety inside the house was threatened by danger outside.
I dreamed of a Georgian terrace on a high pavement. I had a smaller apartment within this large house. I remember there were lots of weird things going on with drug dealers, threats and violence. I had big, strong male friends and I took them up there to protect me but the drug dealers had gone.
There was a magic golden key which could unlock or lock any door. Immediately it came in handy because suddenly the boy realized there was a madman outside the door with a knife. It was as if the boy could see through the door. The madman was standing at the door with the knife raised, and so the boy quickly locked the door so that he couldn’t come in.
I went to a party where the place got smashed up. Someone kept telling these thugs that I was a friend, but I wasn’t and they were looking pretty mean as if they would start to work on me next.
I was an onlooker and there was this medieval army with a red hot battering ram attacking a castle. There were three figures of flame, just human figures which burst into flame of red and orange. It was really, really frightening.
Dreams of threats of violence.
A sense of vulnerability was found throughout the remedy.
I had to find a place to get some earrings, and a local man with a truck was taking me there. But he took me down a ramp to a car park underground, with the truck's lights off and no lighting in the car park. I knew he was going to rape me and that the car lights were off to show that he knew where he was going, he was in charge, he had all the power. I was a helpless victim, pleading with him not to do it (and at the same time wishing that I did have the opportunity to have sex with someone I love). I felt I couldn’t escape.
Dream of a circular tall hole in the side of my tent and it was definitely a wolf that had done it.
Dream that a giant black dog, six feet long, four feet tall, a man-eater, was on the loose and after us, especially me.
I dreamt of a mass murder.
Dreadful dreams of fear.
Poverty and particularly dirt and disease were also very threatening.
Dream of seeing an old friend and being disturbed that he is so poor.
Dream about flies. Lots of flies’ eggs mixed in with white rice in the boot of a car. I knew they would hatch out and he was waiting for it to happen. Sense of fear of the swarm of flies.
I dream that I am looking for a toilet as I need to poo. But everywhere I go there is either a very dirty toilet, or one with no lock, or one with people in the cubicles.
Dreamt that a friend told me a mutual ex-boyfriend had all along been having sex and therefore (sic) we were both at risk from HIV and AIDS.
Feeling contaminated and fear of contaminating others; always washing.
Great fear of terminal illness.
Fear of impending disease.
This vulnerability was particularly applicable to children and the childlike state.
I felt vulnerable, that I needed someone to look after me. I felt like a child, but it was a good feeling.
What I have been noticing is that I want someone else to feed me. It is very difficult for me to feed myself at the moment, as if I am a helpless infant in a cradle.
I need someone to look after me but can’t bring myself to ask – too much effort.
Dreams of having to protect children were common.
It was like a community in this house but I was the only adult and there were gunmen surrounding the house and we were in danger and I felt a great sense of responsibility because I had to somehow gather all these animals and children with me and I knew what I had to do, I had to get them out but it was really difficult and felt really unwieldy because I had to get everyone together to get them to safety.
I had a dream that I was in this department store all night and I had to make sure that the whole gang of children that were with me weren’t pinching things and touching things.
In one of my dreams this morning, I was in charge of a roller-coaster, and responsible for providing space for all the people who wanted a ride. I didn’t have enough harnesses to hold them all in and there was this small child and a baby and I had to rig up harnesses for them. I remember watching them coming down and thinking that the harnesses didn’t look very safe. I think the baby got its legs chopped off, but I don't know – I couldn't find out.
Dream of having to look after a group of children.
Concern about children, needing protection.
Another common dream theme was that of injured animals.
Dreamt I was in a car accident which ran over my dog, but when I got home he was alive, but a different colour and had a horrible septic state all over his paws and legs, which had taken the fur off, leaving raw flesh.
Dreamt I came across a nearly dead otter – lots of wounds – covered in blood.
A prover who was notably cured by the remedy gave the following story.
A few years ago he had a nervous breakdown because of financial difficulties, his brothers and sisters all ignored him and he felt very low. What finally lifted him out of his depression was the arrival of a tiny, stray kitten. “I was at home all day, moping around, and then this little kitten arrived. It kept coming up to me, purring and nudging me and suddenly I felt: I am accepted, I am part of this world again.”
Dreams of childhood homes were important, as were memories of childhood in general.
In my dream my parents are moving house – I say, “this time I want the room at the top, not my old room.” As a child I always wanted the room at the top of the house. I loved the eaves and it was by my parents’ room. More importantly it was not next door to my brother’s room – it would have been an escape from the place where he (and a gang of friends) had abused me.
I am back in the house with my mum and stepfather, which they bought when I was 14 years old. Never had a dream in that house before, unusual.
Journeying into the past, remembering childhood experiences.
The most colourful and striking dreams of houses were of buildings that were grand or palatial and lavish.
A huge, huge mansion house in the middle of a park where you drive up to it. I was buying a smaller flat within this huge house.
We went to this house. There were lots of boxes in this house and very big rooms, but everything was decorated beautifully. There were chandeliers, beautiful furniture, beautiful paintings, antique carpets and there were railings and you just looked down and there was a great feeling of space.
I dreamed I lived in a huge mansion with lots of beautiful antiques and artefacts. It was stuffed full of them. It looked encrusted. Every surface had beautiful things on it. Tables with collections of pretty handbags on them. It was chunky, solid furniture, but lovely. Collections of things everywhere. There was a huge marble staircase. I remember thinking, “Oh, I do live in a lovely place”.
The room in my dream was big, in fact I couldn’t see the walls clearly because they were all misty.
Often the houses had many stairs.
Dreamt of a house with banisters and lots of stairs.
The stairs were very large in the house in my dream.
The word that was most commonly used to describe this lavishness was “ornate”.
Walking upstairs in House of Commons through enormous rooms, grand, ornate decor – out of another time.
In a Catholic church, very rich gold paintings, colours, statues.
The house is an image of the material. “Bricks and mortar” is a term used to describe the ultimate in solid and enduring wealth.
There could be in the remedy a sense of mass and passivity.
I had a very strong image of an elephant and the feeling was a gentleness and a passivity but also this enormous physical structure.
Feel well, although I do seem much slower than my usual pace.
Even before this proving, where so many people dreamt of houses, I had often said to myself: “The foundations aren't right”. Now I feel the foundations have been put in order.
The theme of materialism is also found in the remedy’s strong treasure imagery.
The treasure was shown to me earlier in the dream – a medieval knight with a thick gold, very old, very beautiful wedding ring, that is just a part… there is more to be found.
They brought in these crates and opened them up. The crates had false centres that were packed full of treasure. There was gold dripping out and jewels and crowns. They were full of treasures and I was really excited.
The father gave the boy some magical gifts from the mother and these were very special significant things. The first thing was a sword in a jewelled holder and they hid it under the bed so that no one else would see because it was a special magic sword. Then there were magic blue boxing gloves with which the boy could knock anyone out. There was also a bejewelled brooch – and that was significant but I didn’t know why. Then there was a magic golden key which could unlock or lock any door.
Treasure is a wonderful thing and can be a metaphor for all that is beautiful and desirable. But treasure, like all material things, is of Hades realm rather than the realm of life. Gems and precious metals are dug from deep in the earth and, in time, return to it. The archetypal treasure is the buried kind.
My wonderful room leads out to the garden which is a mass of dark brown earth. My father says I have only this one day to dig for the treasure because tomorrow he has arranged to have it planted up and laid over.
Treasure often turns out to be false or not of real value.
I am mining in a desert country for rock crystals. I find only amethysts, which is a nuisance because I am looking for diamonds.
I was travelling with people in a car, and when we got there I realized it was my parents’ house. A lot of money had been spent on it in a garish way and I didn’t like it.
In many religions and symbologies a concern with the material world is associated with death – and death is undoubtedly a major theme in the AIDS nosode. The appearance of AIDS, an unknown disease that could strike anywhere and which was inexorably and inevitably fatal, came as a powerful shock to a world that felt it was conquering disease and in time might conquer ageing and death. This message was stressed by health awareness advertising campaigns that used images such as the tombstone to get their point across.
Death is inevitable.
The renunciation of material things is the only way to follow Christ into His Father’s house and eternal life, or the Buddha into Nirvana.
Suddenly I came out into a bright, bright light, the area was like a dome, of the kind you put over a clock, light was coming through windows in the top. There was a gold coffin and it was at this point that I felt really frightened and anxious, didn’t want to be there, the light felt uncomfortable. The gold coffin in the middle of the room was encrusted with jewels. I climbed into it, pulled the lid down over me, all these jewels and gold coins fell down on top of me.
There is in the remedy a dynamic between materialism and death, and the foregoing of material things, of a return to nature and to a spiritual world. This also is reflected in house imagery where the solid house becomes the natural tepee or the South Sea island where housing is unnecessary.
I felt like I had to keep my feet on the ground, the only way to describe it would be as a delusion really – a tribal one; Cheyenne with tepees.
Everything felt natural, tribal – like the South Sea islands, natural barefoot, nothing much underneath, with flowers, natural, with white, green and water.
The house could also be light and filled with music.
The thing that was noticeable about the house was the wood. There was wood everywhere, and floaty white lace. In one room, I think it was the nursery, there was a white lace carpet on the floor. There were West African drummers in some part of that house.
The house that I was organizing the renting of had lots of music in it. A modern room, big room, and very beautiful.
Another particular image was of a house that was large and had not been fully explored: there were secret rooms or floors that had not yet been opened up. Here the house is a metaphor for the life. This too would fit with the appearance of AIDS, a disease of the young that cut down its victims, often very creative people, in their prime when there seemed so much promise unfulfilled.
I felt very playful. If I could give you an image: you have all spoken about houses and rooms; it was as if I had moved. I had fully moved into my house and I can go right up to the window of my house. This isn’t a dream or anything, this is an image. Whereas some people are saying they felt persecuted so they would go back into themselves, I actually felt quite safe to go right up to my very extremities and what the hell, it doesn’t matter what people say and I can go right up to the window and right into the bay and move right round. So it is the opposite of what everyone is saying.
I felt that there were people who just went terribly serious and I had to move right back from anybody who was serious because the message was that life is too short and the house is too big. Let’s explore every room.
The house is also a metaphor for the self – particularly the material self, the body. The house can be old, rambling and decrepit, though often it is being renovated. AIDS patients have an optimism and a thirst for information about the illness and a willingness to try anything that might help.
Big palatial house, used to be very grand, now very ramshackle and being restored by new owners. Striking pictures in the house, modern prints, very, very large – very ornate with large frames, colours stunning and very rich. Woke feeling as if I had eaten a very nice meal.
In some of the dreams, the houses were very different inside from how they appeared on the outside. Sometimes it was a matter of size: the interior was bigger than the exterior; sometimes it was a matter of condition or richness: the interior was far more luxurious than the external presentation. This dissonance is a key theme in the remedy: the internal self is not properly reflected in its outer presentation. The outer perception does not reflect the true internal value.
The house had a top layer which I left derelict so that nobody would suspect that on the basement level I had a beautiful house, so half of it was derelict and half of it was really beautiful downstairs. I don’t usually remember dreams and it was distinctive.
I went to a house with the possibility of buying it. It was on the corner in an industrial estate with lots of scrap metal around, but it was only an ordinary house behind a very high wooden fence around it and there were no views because it was contained inside the fence. The house was like a Tardis because it was much larger inside. There was space in the hall and the staircase and the landings were wide and the view from the lounge was of pretty gardens and the view from the upstairs rooms was a view of the rolling fields. It was in need of renovation, it was empty but it was tatty and it needed to be redecorated. My family was with me and there was a very contented feeling as if I was home. It was the difference between the little outside and the big inside that was strange.
A house by a station. Lots of people about. The station was built on top of a roof. It was in a very rundown state. There was a hill leading up to it and a rough fence all around it. Made of wooden paling held together with wire, I think they call it sheep fencing. I met a very scruffy chap and I said to him, “Where are you living now?” I was some sort of authority figure, a teacher perhaps. He said, “I live underneath”. We went down to his place. It looked derelict outside, rundown, and I thought, “Nobody could live inside”. But inside it was like a palace. There was a huge hall and lots of lovely antique furniture. It was beautiful. I asked him, “How much rent do you pay for this?” It seems he was allowed to live there by the owner.
This dissonance can be around a sense of identity and particularly around issues of gender and sexuality.
Mind going completely blank. Lost all sense of identity – didn't know who I was, found this experience very frightening, I burst into tears.
Felt very sexually aroused by image of young male child.
Noticed that, when I was playing football, I was kicking with my left foot which I never would have done usually.
He also told me that at parties he often used to be approached by men. He had always hated this. Since the proving this has stopped. Now he finds that women are attracted to him, which he is much happier about.
Just as the house is a metaphor for the physical body, so the physical symptoms are often found in places that have a relationship to parts of a house. There is in the remedy a sensitivity where the body and environment interact, particularly the skin and the orifices, which like the windows and doors of a house are points of interaction between the interior and exterior worlds. The skin (walls and roof) is often sensitive, painful and dry. Almost all the orifices of the body (doors and windows) are affected with pain, dryness and sensitivity. The throat, which seems to be one of the most important physical representation of an opening into the body, is also affected. There would also seem to be difficulty in maintaining physical barriers and a common manifestation of this is in haemorrhage.
To sum up: the walls that protect also divide and separate. This results in feelings of isolation and detachment that cumulate in feeling trapped. These dynamically contrast and alternate with feelings of connection: to family, society and to the divine.
The most dynamic expression of the issues describes the feeling of losing your shell, your personal, portable house; this causes painful vulnerability and exposure but is also exquisite in allowing the possibility of connection.
Differential diagnosis – preliminary suggestions:
Acidums: Tiredness and exhaustion. Strong desire for unity.
Arsenicum: Restlessness. Desire for order. Fear of disease.
Carcinosin: Desire for order. Responsible people. Long history of domination by others. Recurring fevers.
Breaching the barriers of trust. Feeling used, abused and dirty.
Galla quercina ruber (Oak galls):
Feels excluded, like a parasite, ugly, contaminates others.
Germanium: Openess for input, but output closed off.
Heroin: Cut off. Shut out. Contaminated. Feeling humiliated, like scum.
Lacs: Feelings of rejection and of not belonging.
Lac caninum: History of abuse. Self-loathing. Feels that she doesn’t belong.
Lac humanum: Do I adhere to my values or those of society? Exclusion.
Mercurius: Rotten inside, rotten outside. Ulceration. Syphilitic miasm to the fore.
Natrum carb and Natrum mur:
Theme of semi-permeable membrane – keeping others out. Vesicles.
Ozone: Rotting, decay. Barriers. Isolation.
Platina: Distancing self from others by feeling taller and better than them, isolation feelings, degradation and dirtiness.
Polystyrenum: Insulation from others and from own feelings.
Rhus tox: Feelings of dirtiness inside and lack of trust outside. Afraid of hidden threat of violence; outsiders should keep out. Physical symptoms of cold and flu. Blisters and vesicles.
Scholten, remedies listed in Stage 8:
Persevering, keeping going, even when under great pressure.
Staphysagria: History of injury/abuse.
Syphilinum: Contamination, washing, estranged. Destructive pathology, history of drug abuse. Ulceration.
Thuja: Feelings of ugliness, unworthiness and secretiveness. The body feels fragile, brittle. Death occurs when the boundary fails and the soul floats free.
The relationship between AIDS nosode and Lac humanum is noteworthy. In Rajan Sankaran’s provings of Lac humanum, as in the AIDS proving, themes of houses, self-loathing and rejection came prominently into the foreground. Not surprisingly, milk and blood have features in common. Milk is derived from blood. As blood circulates through the body, it ‘touches’ every cell, bringing to mind the AIDS nosode theme of belonging and its opposite of feeling outcast. The key common theme of AIDS nosode and Lac humanum is relationships, how we nurture and how we touch or don’t touch. Part of the Lac humanum idea is ‘good mother, bad mother’ (partly because the mother’s influence helps to socialise us); the AIDS idea is that of blood brothers, ‘good brother, bad brother’ – trust and its opposite, betrayal. Blood brothers can be a group or tribe, like the gay community. However, gay anal sex involves touching blood in a potentially disease-creating way.
In Lac humanum, the central issue revolves around individuality versus conforming to the group; self-interest versus helping others; going off and doing one’s own thing versus staying at home and attending to family obligations. The opposite of Lac humanum’s individuality theme is universality. This, as we have already posited, is similar to the AIDS theme: “I flow into you and you flow into me.” The opposite of Carcinosin’s theme of conformity is “I shall not do what you want of me – get out of my space!” The opposite of AIDS’ theme of no barriers is “I am completely separate from you”. As Lac humanum is about the price of individuality, Carcinosin is primarily about the price of conformity, and AIDS is about the complete breakdown of defences and barriers. The key concept of AIDS is chronic weakness at the boundary. The positive outcome is freedom to experience love, while the negative is feeling excluded, rejected, isolated.
Following the theme of blood brothers, the ideal of the Aquarian age is the brotherhood of humankind. Here the barriers between us are dismantled and we learn to provide for each other. The ‘Global Village’ ideal of fair play and fair trade becomes established. We come to understand the implications of sharing the planet’s resources: the air that we breathe, the oceans, the land. We share the information of all nations via optical and electronic means. What we do and think is transmitted via satellites into our homes, providing us with the choice of staying in touch, and staying in agreement with one another. This democratisation of information could result in a giant step in human evolution.
On the negative side we note that the collapse of the immune defence system is mirrored in world ecology by such phenomena as the ozone hole. The analogy rests upon the fact that a healthy upper atmosphere acts as a barrier to harmful radiation. Ecological homeostasis gone awry, as evidenced by the current crisis of climate change, is another aspect of the AIDS miasm – the biosphere warms up because it cannot let out enough of the heat it absorbs. The barrier has become too impermeable. (The homeopathic proving of Germanium reveals a remedy with a similar theme. Peter Fraser suggests that Germanium is to the AIDS miasm as Sulphur is to the Psoric miasm, and Thuja is to the Sycotic.) On a smaller scale, the rampant diseases of crops in a monoculture are similar to immune system breakdown. They are combated by agricultural chemicals in a manner mirrored by the multiple drug therapies employed in the conventional treatment of AIDS related diseases.
Increasingly, crops are being genetically engineered to confer selective resistance to pests and herbicides. Genetic engineering, like HIV, subverts not only the barrier of the cell but its very centre, the nucleus, and thus may be immediately recognised as related to the AIDS miasm. In a healthy ecology, plants, bacteria, insects and animals interact for the benefit of the whole. This wide-ranging symbiosis represents a ‘make love, not war’ attitude in nature. The barriers protecting individual species remain intact because they are not threatened by the overcrowding of monocultures. In human terms, any war where land boundaries are breached is an expression of the Aids miasm, as is personal abuse, whether sexual or other abuse, because the boundary of the self has been violated.
It is worthy of note that AIDS was becoming rampant in 1983, when Pluto had entered Scorpio, an event associated with plagues by some astrologers. We could unpack the meaning of this slow-moving astrological configuration as personal and ancestral shit hitting the fan! During this period the world was uncovering child abuse. Also around this time, Chiron, the asteroid associated by astrologers with wounding and healing, was discovered. The primary significance of Chiron could be summed up in the phrase, “suffering is the passport”. As a colleague, Ian Marrs, put it, “the flaw is the floor”. In other words, the wound forms the basis on which healing can take place. The wound of the AIDS miasm is also the foundation of its healing – the breakdown of the barrier allows compassion and love to come in.